Photorealism in Acrylics

Eight weeks ago I signed up to take Photorealism in Acrylics Painting through the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies through Rice University.   What is photorealism?

Photorealism is a genre of art that encompasses painting, drawing and other graphic mediums, in which an artist studies a photograph and then attempts to reproduce the image as realistically as possible in another medium. Although the term can be used to broadly describe artworks in many different mediums, it is also used to refer specifically to a group of paintings and painters of the United States that began in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Inspiration came from artists such as Wayne Thiebaud, Audrey Flack, Ralph Goings, Chuck Close, and Janet Fish, just to name a few.

In order to explore the narrative possibilities of still life we captured images from Whole Foods grocery store, hoping to get that one shot that would be good enough to paint!  One reason I wanted to take this class was to be able to use my photography skills in my art.  Using a grid system, we learned to transfer our imagery to canvas.  But then the hard part came.  How to paint something that would look real?  I decided to do an ear of corn for my first attempt.  My painting became more of a “mixed media” piece of art because I used fabric and thread to complete my project.

Here is the final product that I will present in class today.

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“CORN” acrylic painting on canvas, fabric, thread

16″ x 20″

SIMPLY SCRUMPTIOUS in San Diego

Recently we were out in San Diego and La Jolla visiting our daughter and soaking up the sunshine!   We had some delicious food while there, especially breakfast foods!  I love that about traveling, not cooking and getting to eat all your meals out!  Thank goodness we walked almost everywhere we went otherwise the pounds would have started to pack on.  There are so many wonderful walking trails which are so hilly.   And don’t forget the beautiful beaches and walking in the sand.  That is a great workout, too!

This first picture was from Cody’s in La Jolla.  It is on Girard Avenue.

IMG_9557_2This breakfast was from The Coffee Cup on Wall Street.

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And my favorite food I discovered was an Acai Bowl at Turquoise Coffee in Pacific Beach on Cass Street.

IMG_9737So if you have an opportunity to make it out to San Diego and La Jolla, you have my recommendations for three restaurants.  I wish I was there right now!!  I am ready for some breakfast…

UNDER THE CANOPY

I have been so busy working on a few projects that I have finally finished my quilt for the Into The Woods Challenge.  It was inspired from a photograph that I took while on a family vacation in Deer Valley, Utah.   Using a fisheye lens to capture my son’s image touching a tree was my inspiration.  He appears to bend the tree with shear strength!  

Why does walking “Under the Canopy” of trees feel so powerful?  Can taking a walk help one gain a sense of peace and calmness?  ABSOLUTELY!  These giant structures makes you feel significantly better about yourself.  Breathing in the fresh air and hearing the crunch of leaves and twigs on the ground can melt your stress away.

This quilt started with a photograph that I collaged with words and images.  I scanned it onto fabric.  It was machine quilted with silk, paper, and metal leaves.  Glass bead leaves were added on the bottom.

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H-TOWN, MY TOWN

I’ve been really busy so far this year (only two weeks but seems longer) organizing my studio and getting ready for all the hard work that will be coming out of it.  I’m working on art quilts and making fabric baskets.  I continue to draw and make collages in my art journals.  Basically I am having so much fun playing with all kinds of materials.   My latest quilt , which I finished yesterday, was for an architecture theme which I named: “WELCOME TO MY WORLD”.   Houston is my hometown, so I am very familiar with the distinctive architectural areas of our city.   I chose to show the reflection of various buildings on a pair of glasses.  I started out with a paper collage in my art journal which I scanned onto fabric. It was machine quilted and hand beaded.  You might even recognize some of the neighborhoods!

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Houston or H-Town, is the way we refer to our city for those of you who are not from Texas.  If you are a Lyle Lovett fan, he wrote a song about Texas called:  That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas).  Here is a link to the song if you would like to hear it.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMhaehb5AnE

2015 IS HERE! SEEING IS BELIEVING…

The Quiltart group that I belong to has us choose a word the will be our inspiration for the new year.  My word choice for 2015 is “seeing”.

I plan on be very observant this year and using my eyes to “see” creative inspiration in everything that I encounter.  This is the year that I plan on completing more fiber art than ever before.  I love working in the A4 size frame because it allows me to “see” my ideas on the fabric much quicker and complete more art quilts.  Another love that I have rediscovered is making fabric baskets.  “Seeing” different fabrics and colors is the motivating factor!  (although my sewing machine likes to fight me because I have already broken so many needles)     I will persevere…   My creative juices are flowing and I promise to “see”  more in 2015.

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EYE SEE YOU  art quilt by Kathy Zieben
How about YOU? Tell me what your word will be…

HOME IS WHERE THE MUTT IS

Speaking of dogs in my last posting, I made a quilt called “HOME IS WHERE THE MUTT IS”.  This quilt was inspired by a song that Elvis Presley sang called “You Ain’t Nothin But A Hound Dog”.  I did some research on the lyrics to this song and found that it was really about a certain type of man who was considered a “hound dog”.

But the personal twist that I put on my quilt was choosing to highlight a real “hound dog” in his home.  Dogs are commonly referred to as “man’s best friend.”  Speaking from personal experience, my dogs have always been a huge part of my life!  The dog featured over the fireplace mantel is my own Yogi Bear, who we lost a few years ago.  It is the actual quilt image that I had made that was selected for an exhibit called “It’s Raining Cats and Dogs” last year at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas!

I started out with a paper collage in my art journal which I then scanned on to fabric.  It was machine quilted and hand beaded.  The silver charms on the bottom of the quilt put the final touch on the 8″ x 11″ quilt.

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HANGING WITH DOGS

The bond between humans and dogs is something so special!  Their company is so comforting and the love that we receive from them carries with us throughout the day.   We can be out of their presence for thirty seconds or three hours and they rush back to lick our faces and wag their bodies.  Dogs never lie about love!

Recently I was visiting my daughter out in California.  People take their dogs everywhere with them and they are accepted in almost every restaurant and store.  Here are just a few of the photos I took.

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