Tales of My Personal Art History: Portal Paintings

While going through my work to get ready for my first art exhibition in Austin, I realized that even in just the 8 paintings I was displaying, they represented 3 periods of my artwork.  I was astonished that I had art periods like a real famous artist person!  How bizarre!

With that said, here is the first group of paintings done 2009- 2011, The Portal Paintings…

I have always felt more comfortable with a pencil, pen, or pastel in my hand than a brush.  Drawing is my background and my major in college (before dropping out).  I feel more in control and love the energy of the lines that can be achieved with a drawing instrument.  2009 – 2011 were significant years for me in which I pushed myself out of my comfort zone in many facets of my life.  As an artist, I went in a different direction by pouring my creativity onto canvass; by experimenting with color and the organic rhythm of lying on pigment with no plan or objective.  I allowed myself to flow.  I call these ‘Portal Paintings’ because not only do I see portal or tunnel shapes in them, they also serve as an opening or doorway to another form of self expression.

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The Portal ~ 2009~ Acrylic & high gloss varnish on canvass ~

30 x 40

 

This was my first attempt of painting a large abstract.  I was just jamming to music (a CD of local punk bands) in “the wee apartment” in Clifton Heights near the University of Cincinnati.  I was just letting my brush travel the canvass; making swirls and undulating shapes.  It was only when I had finished and backed away from the work to get a better look, that I was surprised by the imagery and thought that it looked like a creepy portal to hell, ha ha ha.  At first, this painting wigged me out… I didn’t want evil creatures coming out of my painting while I slept.  Seriously that WAS a thought that crossed my mind even though it is quite ridiculous and illogical.  Later on I came to love this piece; I enjoyed the swirls and spirals, the bright gold against the red and black, and came to see it as energetic and powerful rather than ‘creepy’.  I actually view it now as a sort of a dream catcher object that sucks negativity to another dimension.  Ha ha ha, I’m not superstitious AT ALL.

 

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Land of Impossible Dreams ~ 2009 ~ acrylic on canvass ~

36 x 48

 

This was another painting I created in that wee apartment in Clifton while listening to cd’s of local music.  I wanted to capture a different energy than I had in the previous one.  I liked working on a large scale and this was a huge canvass that I bought at the art store up the street.  I could afford it because of a super 70% off sale.  I also liked the look of the metallic gold against the other colors in my last painting, so decided to use that element again in this painting.  Working large and metallics will be 2 qualities I keep in the future.  But this was in the beginning, before I knew what other worlds I would create.

 

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Down The Rabbit Hole With Rat Pack ~ 2011 ~

acrylic & high gloss varnish on canvass ~ 36 x 36

Mid-summer of 2009, I found myself in the hospital and found that I had health issues of which I was previously unaware.  For many months I adjusted to lifestyle changes and powerful medicine.  I also started dating someone in 2010, so I was a bit distracted from painting indeed.  In 2011, I started my experimentation with large abstracts; now that I was married to the guy I had started dating a year ago.  At this point, I was using my phone and Pandora to supply the soundtrack.  I swirled green about and posted the finished product on Facebook.  Through the many comments, friends were mentioning seeing a martini glass and olive.  One of these friend went farther and came up with the awesome title I ended up keeping.  Yes martinis and old blue eyes (though I’m partial to ‘Dean-O’). Funny thing is, I now see I graffiti-esque “tag” in this painting.  Totally see the word “smores”.  Seriously…

 

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Yonic Blue ~ 2011 ~ acrylic & high gloss varnish on canvass ~

40 x 30

 

Started out with a nice “TARDIS blue” and then added a portal that was very yonic in symbolism.  Many people ask what the word “yonic” means… it a symbolic representation of the yoni, or the vagina.  It’s odd (but not surprising- grumbles my inner feminist) that regular people have heard the term “phallic symbol” and “phallus” but not the female counterpart.  But that is a rant for another day.  In the meantime, here’s my first abstract with a bit of figurative; a celebration of female sexuality.

 

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Untitled ~ 2011 ~ acrylic & high gloss varnish on canvass ~

36 x 36 (I think) ~ Not For Sale

This one surprisingly didn’t take a long time to complete.   l like the colors created when copper patinas; the teals against the brilliant metallic.  I used this pallet and created a sort of southwestern, but yet alien landscape.  This picture is blurry, but the real article is over a 1000 miles away currently, so no nice pics yet.  This was my mom’s favorite and became her Christmas present in 2012.  She has it displayed prominently with a good view of it from the front door.  Do you think my mom is proud of me? 😉

 

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Untitled ~ 2011 ~ acrylic & high gloss varnish on canvass ~

36 x 36 ~ Not For Sale

 

I decided to take a different approach.  Instead of a bright colorful background with black circles and spirals, I went with a dark ground with white accents.  There is a nice energy to this one… so nice that I don’t wish to part with it.  In other words:  This one is MINE- you can’t has!  It was also pointed out to me that this piece is very ‘ Gallifreyian’.  If you are a Whovian, no explanation is needed, but contrary to my wishes for the world, there are probably some of you haven’t watched Dr. Who.  *shudder*  The Doctor is an alien from Gallifrey. Their language looks like a bunch of circle shapes kind of like my painting,  but not really.  I guess I was painting in cursive 😉  (Also, be grateful that I was extremely concise in my Dr. Who description, hee hee)

 

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Untitled ~ 2011 ~

acrylic, oil pastel, & high gloss varnish on canvass ~

(don’t remember dimensions) ~ Not For Sale

This is actually my first use of the high gloss varnish that I ended up loving SOOOOOOOO much, I added to some of my previous works.  I used many layers of the varnish in this one and put paint and oil pastel between them.  This was a fun experimentation and an intended birthday gift for a friend of mine.  It was much smaller than most of my paintings, but I can’t remember the exact measurements.  This is very spacey looking one… and apparently looks like the Death Star to some people, ha ha ha.

 

This post only represents my first period, so more to come!  Also, all works are for sale unless otherwise noted… hint, hint.  If some rich benefactors want to buy my artwork, I would not be offended 😉