• New work and studio happenings!

    New work and studio happenings!

    I juggle teaching full time high school art, instructing Design 1 at Washburn University and carving out time for my own creative work. Yikes, sounds like a lot and it is! But all my busyiness is all about art and creating. 

    With just several weeks left in the school year my focus is drifting to my studio and new ideas for paintings that have been stored in my sketchbook. My studio practice as of late has been working on small pieces, watercolors and a commissioned painting for returning collector of my work. I enjoyed the collaborative process with hearing clients ideas of subject matter and colors. It is extremely humbling to have a individual like your painting style and ask you to paint a piece. 

    Presently in my studio I just started working on a large 48x72 inch painting. I am focusing on the aerial landscape and family past. I am captivated by the use of vintage wall papers, hand papers and fabrics. The contrast between the oil paint and paper textures add some additional visual interest. I love the idea of using the old/vintage papers, there is a story to tell just with those materials.  

  • Little bit of paint a little bit of clay!

    Just this week I started the second painting in my series of aerial towns & neighborhoods. Time consuming is putting it mildly! I always incorporate hand stitiching  let alone all the oil painting after words. I am asked why I torture myself with all this stitching? Very simply, it my way of recorporating my moms memory and her love for textiles. There is something extremely soothing and meditative in the act of stitching, also it is just the importance of remembering my mom.

    My oil paintings are a labor of love. There is alot of time besides the stitching but with the application of oil paint and glazes. Most people are suprised to know I never use a brush to apply paint. My method is using a palettel knife. Sprending the lush beautiful oil paint on the canvas and excessing paint I achieve beautiful textural effects. The down side of using oils is the time it takes to dry. But I am a true lover of oils, I have tried acyrlics but my training and education was with oils, and I love the look and feel of the medium.

    My afternoons I work at the Lawrence Art Center in the clay studio. I enrolled in a class this summer that I am just throwing on the wheel. It is nice to just work on my art and not teaching. It is lovely to take classes at the Art Center because you can go and use the studio to work on other times, not just during your class time. This fall and winter I plan enrolling in the open studio so I just go work on whatever projects I want! Its a fabulous creative place!

    My goal is to throw larger pieces. Right now I have thrown many cups. The lovely thing about pottery is the surface designing, at least for this girl. I like the construction but it all comes down to the surface. "Mishima" is my favorite way to design the surface. Being able to draw my own designs and add color is fabulous, but also time consuming. I will be posting more of my pottery through out the summer.

  • Summer painting bliss and some other things.

    With the beginning of summer I find I have time on my hands. Of course this is a good thing because I can just work on my own creative work. I started a new large canvas oil painting with hand stitiching. I have been looking at aerial city scapes, there is something beautiful with organization of urban spaces. Squares, circles and line work. I starting this series of city scapes of towns from my past and present.

    My technique of appling oil paint is completely with the palette knife and then I use oil glazes on top of that wonderful texture. Its a bit of a process, but the end result is this layer upon layer colors of texture.

    I began teaching a Digital Art Class and since then I have started using Sketchbook Pro on my iPad. I first take a picture of my painting in progress, and then open it up in Sketchbook Pro App. This App is very easy to use, it is a much smaller version of Photoshop! When I am struggling with color, I will add those colors to my painting in the app and see what I think. To be truthful I am not getting the true color and texture but it gives me a great idea for color choices. The image below the top picture is my painting and the bottom picture was in Sketchbook Pro.  My dream item would be a iPad Pro with the Apple Pen!!

  • iMovie of my Watercolor & Ink paintings.

    I have learned how to make iMovies! Well very basic ones, but they make me very happy. I wanted to show my work from sketchbooks studies to my stuio and through my whole process. What I have learned is I need to take many photo's to document my work. Something I need to work on.

    The video i posted is of my watercolor and ink paintings. Also I threw in some photo's of my work in progress and my interest in digital manipulation of my original painting. I hope you enjoy.

  • Returning to Watercolor

    Returning to Watercolor

    For the past several months my focus has been with watercolor and ink. I cannot express how much I enjoy working with this lovely medium. The subject matter I have been fascinated with is flower/weed pods and seeds. The shapes, colors, and just beautiful organic nature has capture my attention. 

    This new body of work began with my walks with my hasband and dogs. During the winter months in Kansas everything is dead in nature, so I was seeing all these beautful dried up seed pods of flowers and yes, even weeds. When getting back to my studio I started working through compositions in my sketchbooks. I desided to take these small objects and enlarge them! Using Arches 300lb. watercolor paper, I drew my designs to stretch through the entire page. 

    Even with the Kansas winters not showing much in the way of colors, I could not resist myself but add color to my design. I stayed faily limited with color selected for each piece, but over all I am pleased with each decision I made. 

  • For the past eight years pottery as become a important part of my creative world. When I started teaching eight years ago I was asked to teach pottery, this was a totally new material for a 2-dimensional painter! But I have fallen in love with clay. There is something very gratifying with working with your hands and constructing something that has a function.  The pottery above is slab constructed with white glaze. I will stop building with clay in May and focus my summer break with my painting and mix media work.
  • 2016 Brings New Work

    With the beginning of this year I commented myself to start a new body of work. It has been awhile since I painted on a large canvas, 48 x 40. So the painting included with this post is my first for 2016, oil paint, oil glazes, on canvas, "Aerial Landscape". I am extremely thrilled with the texture created by my mark making and texture of the paint itself. Compositionally the painting came together when I started to glaze the work. Laying the painting flat and glazing opens up a whole new visual perspective.

    Also I have started two flower oil paintings. There is nothing that makes more happy than nature and flower gardens. Sunflowers are extremely enjoyable to paint. Also Kansas winters are usually cold and not all that pleasant. So painting with color and flowers just makes me happy. The sunflower painting included with my post is 22 x 24, oil paint, oil glazes on canvas. Currently I am working on a Tulip piece and will include a post and picture with my next post.

    I am happy to have my mix media paintings and pottery at "The Open Window" located in the NOTO Arts District in Topeka, Kansas. A big thank you to Carolyn for carrying my work! Also my website; mramberg.com is another location to see my paintings.