Saturday, November 10, 2007

Facebook photo album: Mo's silk painting (photos, art)


Mo's silk painting.

Painting on silk has got to be one of the most challenging forms of painting but the rewards are amazing. The silk glows with an inner light and the paintings are luminous. Many of my silk hoops came out of my stint at drawing and photographing flowers. But I work from real life as the human eye can see far more than the camera lens.

I tend to work in series and in a variety of media. I begin many flower pieces with a pencil drawing (see my drawing folder) but sometimes I just draw directly on the white silk. There's something so compelling about that flowing surface. Nile iris...I lost interest in the drawing, never finished it but it does show the gutta (like batik) lines. 9.5" habotai silk and clear waterbase gutta.

NB I prefer gold gutta percha but it's extremely unstable and often tarnishes or worse, goes gummy and ruins everything it touches. It's basically rubber cement. I also tried acrylic Neopaque and really hated it and it constantly plugged the metal tip I used to draw it with.




First step is to draw the design on stretched silk with gutta percha, or water-based resist. Sort of like batik.


The Chinese gardener at Neil's ashram was ill in the hospital so they made a healing quilt for him. Mine was the only silk piece. I was on display at the Oakland SYDA ashram for quite a while. I had a pot of cyclamens as my model and a surprise night guest: a snail who appears in other silk drawings. 9x9" habotai silk, dye and gutta. 2004? 2005?



Panel for a silk wall hanging for the 2005 international SPIN conference in New Mexico. Mt St Helena, a coyote howling at the moon. A bluejay and a salmon, all totemic animals.9x9" habotai silk, dye and gutta.



Detail of a panel for a silk wall hanging for the 2005 international SPIN conference in New Mexico. This one was never used. I forgot to include a border for seam allowance and had to redo it all over again in 45 minutes and ship it to England in the evening post . 9x9" habotai silk, dye and gutta.



Mt St Helena—Alexander Valley. I don't even know where it is—it's part of an international silk quilt travelling the world. Last I heard it was in Sydney, Oz. Hard to tell, but there's also a poem written on it in gold in the furrows. 2005



The silk wall hanging for the 2005 international SPIN conference in New Mexico. Mine are 2nd row, first on left and last row, last on right. I was the only artist who had two panels. Isabella Wentworth of England created this project and most of the continents are represented. It traveled from GB to Iceland to New Mexico to Australia, where it resides today.






Celtic fish and eel. After 9/11, I drew about 50 Celtic hoops and didn't paint in most of them... This one I finally finished in 2006. I think having to adapt complex Celtic designs to fit 9 inch silk hoops was so challenging that it offered some respite from the horror that followed. 9.5" habotai silk, dye and gutta. 2002/2006



Waterfall at the end of the mind... Wildcat Beach, Beltaine. (May Day). This is the waterfall below Pelican Lake at Double Point above Bolinas. I camped there with a bunch of crazed fifth graders and that night we saw rare white deer under full moonlight. A poem came unbidden and some lines are scribed on the silk. 9x14" habotai silk, dye and gutta. 1989



Tengo Dinero. Cabo San Lucas before it was Miami beached. 9x14" habotai silk, dye and gutta. 1989



The first poem painting I ever made—only there was never a poem, I sent this idea as a valentine to a friend, and then I did another for the Sonoma State Art Auction, which the Dean of Humanities bought. He asked me if I had others. I said no but I went home and did this one which became part of a series of poem paintings. Illuminated manuscripts were my inspiration. I later had a show of the pieces at the California Museum of Art. 9x14" habotai silk, dye and gutta. 1989



Gauguin's The Savage Dream... my childhood friend Micaela Carr sent me her drawing of a gecko that wound up in this painting. I'd just returned from Peru and the Galapagos. Gauguin lived in Lima as a child. 9x14" habotai silk, dye and gutta. The direct scan doesn't do the piece justice. 1989



Three scarves. Orchids for Mina, roses for Justa and poppies for Mari. 9x45" habotai silk, dye and gutta.  2004







My cousin, a watercolorist said: Those roses are stunning! I answered: They had a short shelf life in the hot sun. A friend, Shiva grows hundreds of types of roses so I gathered the ones I liked and then drew them from life. This became a scarf for a Cuban friend's mother in Miami.  2004


© 2007 Maureen Hurley All works of art and photographs in these albums are © copyright by Maureen Hurley and may not be used in any endeavor or context. Got that, Facebook? November 10, 2007







added 2/2017 These are salvaged from Facebook, so I'm saving them here all in one place for the prose as well. They're extremely small files. Loaded with artifacts. No use printing them.


Facebook photo album: Mo's Drawings (photos, art)
Facebook photo album: Mo's Flower Pix (photos)
Facebook photo album: Mo's Landscape Pix (photos)...

Facebook photo album: Mo's Drawings (photos, art)


Mo's drawings

Few know my training is in visual arts. I love bold contour line and sculptural light. A car accident put me in front of a lot of flowers and since I couldn't do much else but sit around for about a year (and heal), I drew a lot of flowers. I used to think that cutting edge artists didn't draw flowers or landscapes, only Sunday painters, and here I was a SMTWThFS flower painter. The only edges I was cutting were my nails as everything hurt.

So I drew, and drew and drew until I got it. I also work in the schools teaching art to kids, so many of the drawings are quickies I've done in class. There are a few landscapes as well. I try to imbue them with energy because that's how I see landscape—alive, like a tawny beast.

But I prefer to work from real life as the human eye can see far more than the camera lens. The only exceptions are the Scottish landscapes. The fish and butterflies that have crept into this album are, for the most part, on the spot in-class 2-minute teaching drawings.




Shoes are amazingly complex to draw. There are so many details that it can be overwhelming. When I do this exercise with kids, they tend to scream because taking off shoes in school AND putting them on the table is way too crazy. The girls go squeamish and the boys go boisterous. Eventually they settle down and do some decent drawings. Sometimes I'll draw their shoes too. This is Freddie's shoe. I got the teaching idea from Greer Upton when we were in a group called Artists in the Schools of Sonoma County (ASC). (teaching drawing) 2005




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Buddy's boot. One of my 2nd grade student's. 2005. (teaching drawing)



This little guy was so uncomfortable when I was drawing him, that he had constant fits of giggling so I had to draw fast. (teaching drawing) 2005



Little Jamie at the Clayton Montessori school had a deformed hand and she was like a small fragile bird but she was able to draw with that hand after I showed her some tricks of the trade. (teaching drawing) 2005



This old 1940s Argus camera was one of my first hand-me-down cameras, from my first boyfriend's father. I used it until it developed a light leak. Then it had another career as still life object. Countless kids drew it, took it apart. Note the film advance spool is really bent. Alas, my drawing notebooks were destroyed when my shed leaked. I managed to save only a handful of drawings from the 1980s.



Argyle Butte in Scotland (from a calendar photograph). 8x10" stabillo pencil. 2006?



Loch Tunnel, Scotland (from a calendar photograph). Marsha Connell, an artist I taught with in the schools of Sonoma County does amazing large watercolor landscapes and I can see a bit of her sensuous influence here. 8x11" stabillo pencil.©2006 Maureen Hurley



North side view of Mount Diablo from Clayton. I had a break between classes and since we were looking straight up the mountain, it was a pretty intense, if not unusual angle. 8x10 stabillo pencil. © 2005 Maureen Hurley



After a catering job there were hundreds of gardenias left over (it was a wedding) so I filled a trash bag with gardenias. Every large bowl I had was filled with them. There were so many I had to resort to filling the bathtub with flowers. Another lost drawing...luckily I have the xerox. Detail of a larger drawing, cheapie Bic mechanical pencil on xerox paper.



I only had three calla lillies, and I kept drawing them from every angle. I was too lazy to get another piece of paper. Then it reminded me of Diego Rivera's lilies. This version was scanned and colorized in Photoshop. 8x11, stabillo. 2000.



I absolutely love drawing star lilies, they're so huge. Unfortunately florists cut off the stamens and pistles which have amazing russet colors. I can't stand the heavy odor of lilies so they stay outside. 8x10" stabillo pencil.


Star lily and bud. 8x10" stabillo pencil.



Daffodils. Detail of one of my very first flower drawings (or rather a xerox of the original–which was destroyed when my shed roof leaked. I'm just grateful that I have the xerox. 2004, or earlier.

All works of art and photographs in these albums are © copyright by Maureen Hurley and may not be used in any endeavor or context. Got that, Facebook?   November 10, 2007








added 2/2017 These are salvaged from Facebook, so I'm saving them here all in one place for the prose as well. They're extremely small files. Loaded with artifacts. No use printing them.

Facebook photo album: Mo's Flower Pix (photos)

Facebook photo album: Mo's Landscape Pix (photos)

Facebook photo album: Mo's Flower Pix (photos)







Not a milk thistle, a cardoon, a member of the artichoke family. The color is outrageous.



A weed, but a morning glorious one


The light fairly pulsed through the heart of the morning glory, only it was late afternoon.



Morning Glory on the refuse heap.



Hollyhock...related to hibiscus...look at the stamen









I had never really taken photos of flowers before, and so I became fascinated with composition and light. Georgia O'Keefe certainly was an influence but I found myself unable to really focus in tight and crop off parts of flowers (or people's heads for that matter). It was hard to chop off the prettiness of the center of the dahlia in order to focus on the petal structure and raindrops.



One intense cosmos. I never realized how many blooms have blemishes and flaws until I started taking photos of them. The human eye is more forgiving than the camera lens, or should I say, the computer screen—because that's where the flaws show up. I came away from this exercise with a profound respect for still life master photographers and the F 16 school of Edward Weston. I wonder how he and Ansel Adams would've taken to the digital revolution? I was primarily a black and white photographer so color often distracted me. I sometimes turned the jpgs into B&W in order to see what I was doing.



Pansies with cat whisker stripes.



Gazania, African daisy



Foxglove. No foxes didn't wear them. They were called folk's gloves, fairy fingers or fairy hats. We used to put them on our fingers. Digitalis by any other name, used to regulate the heart arhythmia. Very poisonous.



One of the few times the old camera did a good job. Depth of field wasn't its forte. I figured that it was little better than a throw away camera with an ASA of 100.






Then the wind came up right before sunset and it lacerated the poppies.



I had to do a rose cliche, get it out of my system.






Two calla lilies (or Aram lilies) so like dancers. I love the forms. Very Martha Graham



Narcissus. An overcast or a rainy day was too much for the camera, I rarely got anything in focus. I miss my old SLR Pentax K-1000 and being able to focus my good lenses but I don't miss the darkroom chemicals. This was my training ground switching over to digital. I took a lot of photos before I figured out what would work. The digital SLRs were still in their infancy and were pretty lousy.




What's summer without basil? A member of the prolific mint family, some 2000 species and counting.



An urban succulent outside a Berkeley office. I loved the stark contrast of plant and door and wall. The people who worked there wanted to know why I would want to take a picture of a scrawny plant. They couldn't see it with fresh eyes. The pot was merely an outdoor ashtray to them.






Same leaf. The camera couldn't pick up the intense reds and greens next to the black edges of the leaf. I didn't know about photoshopping with layers or jpg deterioration and so the original pristine image is lost. I may try & salvage it at a later date. I was so desperate to capture is extraordinary color that I even scammed the leaf.




When I saw the rays of light streaming through the canna leaf up at the compost heap, I thought I was seeing things. I ran for my camera and was able to get a few shots before the sun moved and all was restored to ordinary light.

Most of these photos were taken in the fall of 2005 and 2006 with my first 3.1 megapixel digital camera that was so bad, it cost a whopping $29. The memory card cost more than the camera. But it had a great close up lens, better than my Nikon, but off color and pixellation was hard to work around. In this fall leaf resting on a black car hood, the graininess works. Very Seraut. See the shafts of sunlight streaming through the leaf as if it was a prism?

Someday I'll get a decent digital camera that can focus on what I actually see. it seems most of my best photos are taken with poor field of focus challenged cameras. The light fairly pulsed through the heart of the morning glory, only it was late afternoon. Unbelievable, the new 7.1 MP Nikon camera iisn't as good as the 5.1 MP Nikon I was using after I watered my cheap made in China camera. Ah well...training wheels.




added 2/2017 Google killed off Picasa, where I had the bulk of my photos stored, and left orphans all over the place. A nightmare for me, as I lost all my album prose, identifying people and places. To add insult to injury the photo albums also lost their creation dates, they were moved to the last edit date of the photo. These are salvaged from Facebook, so I'm saving them here for the prose as well. They're extremely small files. Loaded with artifacts. No use printing them.

Facebook photo album: Mo's Landscape Pix (photos)...