What was I thinking?!

July 28, 2013
Watercolor study from direct observation on Arches Torchon

Watercolor study from direct observation on Arches Torchon

A lot of people comment on the fact that I paint things that are not normally what most would consider worthy of being painted. I don’t take into account the literal use of objects in real life when I choose them as models, I simply paint the things that attract me. In this case, I like the idea of repeating ellipses, metallic surfaces, and bright graphics.

I also get a lot of comments on how I seem to make these everyday items look better than they do in real life. I always attempt to make the most of the things that originally attracted me to them (see above)  in order to create a strong composition, rich color and texture. I’m not painting cans, I’m painting interesting geometrics, interesting surface texture and interesting colors. The way the paint is applied is another factor in the end result–if it’s applied confidently and with bold strokes, you will achieve a strong and bold result, no matter what the subject.

This piece is a good example of the direction I am taking with my work, particularly with watercolor. I love the idea of an even looser, more abstract look. To do that, I use the subject as a departure point, emphasizing the elements I find interesting and enhancing them with color and texture. I always start with a gestural drawing of the subject as a structure and emphasize correct placement of forms and values. From there, I allow myself the freedom to apply paint freely and confidently. It does not matter if every piece does not turn out perfectly, the more often I (or anyone else) paints, the better the work gets as a whole. That is always my goal–consistency over time,  painting a “master piece” every time.


Summer Studio Sale, Now Through July 31, 2013

July 13, 2013
Pastel Still Life, this and lots more landscape and still life demos on studies available!

Pastel Still Life, this and lots more landscape and still life demos on studies available!

I recently cleaned my studio and started reorganizing it a bit to become more efficient. I don’t often sell my work directly, but at the moment, I have a lot of works on paper that I’d like to clear out of my flat files.

As most of you know, I don’t sell prints of my paintings, I only sell originals. My works on paper, including still life and landscape studies done either for practice or as demos, are an alternative way for new collectors to own some of my work.

Here is a link to a Facebook album of over 75 pieces that I currently have available (unless they are marked as SOLD). Please feel free to share the link with anyone who might be interested. If you have questions about anything you see in the album or would like details on a specific piece, please feel free to email me at anne@kullaf.com for information on size, price, etc.

Hope you find something you like!

Willow - plein air pastel, 8x10 in., another piece that is available in my Summer Studio Sale

Willow – plein air pastel, 8×10 in., another piece that is available in my Summer Studio Sale


My Sketchbooks Are My Priority Right Now…

July 7, 2013
Stream Side, Ken Lockwood Gorge, Highbridge, NJ - watercolor sketch

Stream Side, Ken Lockwood Gorge, Highbridge, NJ – watercolor sketch

Main Street, Oldwick, NJ, watercolor sketch

Main Street, Oldwick, NJ, watercolor sketch

Main Street, Ludlow, VT, watercolor sketch

Main Street, Ludlow, VT, watercolor sketch

Those of you that follow me on Facebook know that I sketch everyday, sometimes more than once a day. Sketching gives me a chance to practice my observation skills, build confidence in all aspects of drawing and painting, and it provides a sense of structure or foundation for future paintings. I don’t like fancy terms like creative process, so let’s just say it’s an integral part of the way I work.

Several people have suggested that I sell my sketchbooks, and that the work in them is art in its own right. That’s great to hear, but I wouldn’t ever sell them–I’d love to exhibit them at some point, but only to show that the art we create does not always have to have a commercial value in order to be worth doing. As a professional artist, that may seem strange, but I’ve found lately that I am happiest to be creating art that is purely for myself. I don’t have to feel guilty about making too many sketches–they are self-contained in my sketchbooks and easy to store. I love the idea of the sketches in them NOT being available for sale, they are not a burden to me and I can go back and look at them whenever I want, often remembering exactly what was going on the day I painted them.

I am definitely painting less formal pieces since I started this obsession with sketching in watercolor, I will only produce enough work in oil to sell in select exhibitions at the galleries that represent me and at the Salmagundi Club of NY. I like the direction I am headed in, and know it’s the right thing to do at this point. There is no pressure to get another painting done only to wonder if will sell, which gallery I should offer it through, etc. While I don’t believe that commercial success and quality are mutually exclusive, becoming a better artist is definitely my priority. I think taking a step away from the commercial side of things to focus on development is necessary from time to time. Anyone in a hurry to get gallery representation so they can start selling take note–there is nothing wrong with doing this purely for yourself. It’s hard to take a break once you’re on the professional path, always maintain a source of income separate from your painting sales that you find stimulating and creative. In my case, it’s my teaching–my workshops and classes are my way of earning a living in a creative way that does not affect my ability to stay focused and true to my goals as a painter.