New Work Completed 07/2018

I have finished another piece in the Topography series. It is a mashup of a desert/mountain view sourced from satellite imagery. The panel pieces are coming on nicely. I am still finding out about how watercolors, inks, graphite, gesso, and water perform on the surface. Sometimes it can be a super pain in the ass to get the color saturation that I need. Each little rooftop block takes at least 4-5 coats of color then gesso then graphite (if I am adding specific definition). The last two pieces I added Interference Blue by Golden. It has a beautiful unicorn shimmer. The last piece I added it to the roadways and this piece I added it to the patterned background. It is super hard to get its affect in a photo as it looks like the wood is bare in some places, purple-y in other places, and dull in some places. But in person the effect is pretty great. This last piece made me feel like diving deeper into using patterns in unique ways against these landscapes, so this next piece will explore that more deeply. I am itching to get the next panel set up.

A couple of images:

Beth Ortman "The Containment of Water II" in progress

Beth Ortman "The Containment of Water II" in progress

Beth Ortman "The Containment of Water II" from the side

Beth Ortman "The Containment of Water II" from the side

The Containment of Water II by   ©Beth Ortman 07/2018

The Containment of Water II by ©Beth Ortman 07/2018

~b

New Work Completed

In continuing with my satellite / modern landscape paintings, I have a new painting up on my website, "Desert Breezes Gated Community: Not Just Living, Living it Up". This ongoing topography focused series incorporates images of land use of suburban and manufacturing locations in desert, mountain, and shoreline terrain. What we live near, what resources we pull from and even some of the things that occur in nature that we refer to as "natural disasters", interest me and have been inspiring my landscape series from the last couple of years. I have just started using panels again for my paintings and I have really enjoyed working on the wood surface. I feel that the wood enhances my messaging and landscape implications.

Desert Breezes Gated Community: Not Just Living, Living it Up     12" x 12" | watercolor, ink, gesso, on wood panel   ©Beth Ortman 06/2018    

Desert Breezes Gated Community: Not Just Living, Living it Up

12" x 12" | watercolor, ink, gesso, on wood panel ©Beth Ortman 06/2018

 

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Onwards!

~beth

Artist: Pat Steir

A friend of mine recently sent me some videos from the artist Pat Steir. How had I not even heard of this woman? Her work is beautiful, and the way she talks about her work and abstract concepts are magical. Man, this woman is amazing. She is so eloquent and so clear on her vision - her abstract, yet concrete vision. That is so hard to do. I love the work and the way that she talks about her work. There is an accessibility that she brings to it when she highlights how gravity and chance take over after she makes her decision.

Don't listen to me, though, just her:

"These paintings are made by gravity. Weight. Weight and gravity." Her series, based around the word Kairos means 'chaos', but she expands and builds on that and adds, "Choosing the opportune moment. But it can also mean, time. Timing. Which is different from the opportune moment."

Thank you Wendy for introducing her to me and sharing your work with me as well. See Wendy's beautiful art >>

Spring in LA

This weekend I worked some more on a new piece. Everything felt like it was coming together and I was meant to be in this place, in this seat, working on that painting. The wood, the colors, the filling in, and even the fussing over. The sun was out, and the blue skies felt like they were witnessing everyone being alive. As spring is opening its door in LA, the smells are different. The seals at the marina are bitching at each other and making way (or not) on their docks as they insert their dominance over each other.

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So, this painting reminds me of when I painted back in school. But it is also everything in between. The years of drawing, the marks, the paintings that never made it out of the room they were painted in until I moved and destroyed them. The new work combines my weird sense of color, the precariousness of watercolor I have come to love, the gesso that allows me to celebrate history in its ability to build on a transparent base. I have gone through a period of quiet and a slowness getting back into my groove. I will keep showing up as I know that is the key, even when it is hard, because, like spring in LA, showing up opens the door to the subtle changes and smells of a leap of time.

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 ~b