Sunday, May 20, 2018

FLEXIBILITY by Sue Scoggins North Carolina Painter


Just in case you are the type who has to be in control of everything....guess what...that's not me! You would get so frustrated with this person. (me)  Although there is method in my madness and organization in it's chaos.

Twenty years in the airline industry trained me in one thing.  FLEXIBILITY.  I mean, if you are dependent on the "ontime" machine, you are sunk!  Things happen.  And you have to be prepared to rise above any circumstance. So, with my living in two places, I am prepared.  Sort of.  I have sets of paints and a makeshift studio in each place and a small carryall in my trunk filled with random art supplies. Not only does my "living abode" shift...but my mind has to shift too.

When I am at the coast, my mind is infused with the most indescribable beauty.  There's no reproducing it...only painting the effect it has on me.  When I am in the city, up in my little roof top spot, I am far, far away from raw nature.  I am surrounded by buildings and traffic.  While it takes a day or painting mind shifts. Call me skitso. (is that a word?) I have to shift from the expanse of sweeping skies to blocks of buildings and streets.  Sometimes it throws me into a total expressionist tizzy!

In the meantime, wherever I am, I paint numerous paintings at one time.  At the beach, I have 3 - 4 canvases lined up one my kitchen counter.  I mean...a little pthalo blue here and a little there. In the city, I only have on on my easel but there are 2 or 3 leaned up against the wall that get placed on the easel when the previous one goes off.  They revolve and evolve. All of them.  I paint like a mad dog.  Then I stop cold.

So if you are wondering where in the world the variety comes from.....that is the best I can do to explain it.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

New Years Oak Tree Challenge - by Susan Scoggins, North Carolina Painter

After seeing a small oak tree painting, a client recently challenged me to 50 days of oak trees, a tree a day for 50 days.  Raleigh, being the City of Oaks. ..why not?  I've never accepted a challenge like that before.

In a way, it's a bit scary. What if I don't make it to 50?  What if I don't post a new "tree" daily? "FEAR NOT! " I say to myself. The worse that can happen is that I am labeled a LOSER!!!!  But "NO!  I am not a loser.  I am a painter!" No one understands us anyway!

This painter goes along, daily, painting what comes to mind. Now, this is going to challenge my brain to stay on task and spark some creative spirit.  So how does one create 50 oak trees?  How boring.  First of all, in my concrete mind, I rounded up a bunch of 12x12 canvases. Sounds pretty easy to me.  Then I painted a painting from my head.  Ok.  That was number ONE.

After that...what?  Before I knew it, I was obsessing over different projects.  Oaks in a boat.  Oaks on a float.  Lots of oaks.  One oak.  Oaks on the water.  Oak in a field. Oaks!  Oaks!  Oaks! That's what happens to us creatives.

In my closet older paintings are stored "resting".  Ah-ha!  One painting had been punctured but the colors were just to beautiful to toss!  Out came Edward scissors hands. Large pieces. Small pieces. Looked like leaves to me. If only I had a shredder!  I began to glue the pieces onto a previously painted canvas. Not just glue...but I literally tossed the pieces onto the canvas, glued each piece where it landed and let it dry over night with a board on top to flatten it.

With the leaves in tact, each leaf was loosely outlined with pthalo blue and raw umber.  Then the underlying painting was washed with titanium white, leaving a hint of the old paint showing.  At least it's a start.

For most of you, I've lost you.  I mean you do have a life!  But, if you don't, you can read this on New Years Eve!  Then have some champagne!!

The final result will be posted eventually.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Butterfly Cream by North Carolina Painter, Sue Scoggins

Butterfly Cream, 30x40 on gallery wrapped canvas

A new twist to florals!  One way to keep florals from being boring is to splash on the color and go BOLD! Every stem doesn't have to look real, and the flowers do not have to have a registered name in the botanical encyclopedia. They just need to give the impression of flowers.  Let the paint shape itself, then surround it with negative painting. Try color that compliments. Try color that doesn't make sense. Break the rules! 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Blue on Blue - an aqueduct impression by Sue Scoggins

Blue on Blue 36x36 oil on gallery wrapped canvas

Lest you think I've gone mad.....I couldn't paint an aqueduct impression without remembering my favorite little one out of Sienna, Italy. Two summers ago was a dream summer when I was honored to teach art at a beautiful Tuscan Boutique Hotel in Palazetto,Italy. Once a week, I would be driven to Siena to buy art supplies at the coolest, most eclectic, little art shop.  Each time, as we rounded the rolling hill and into the valley, my driver would point out the remains of this quiet little aqueduct.  It was out in the middle of no where and was said to have been dated around 4BC.  That is mind boggling! There it was, surrounded by castles and villages, but away and quietly alone, being overgrown by brush, yet it was still standing. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Aqueduct of Segovia - by North Carolina Painter Sue Scoggins

Flaming Pig 30x40 old on gallery wrapped canvas
Aqueducts are stuck in my head now...and I mean REALLY stuck. There are all sorts of paintings that can come out of this.  Two aqueducts, in particular, bring back fabulous days of new discoveries.  The first, the Aqueduct bridge of Segovia, built some time in the 1st century AD.  I was with a group of peers from the airline days and we were being taken through Spain so that we could sell Spain to travelers. It was a true old world experience, in a seemingly centuries old eatery tucked under the arches of the bridge. We were taken down old red tile steps into a room furnished with a heavy wooden banquet table. The windows were small but we knew we were under the bridge.  It was there that I had my first flaming pig, brought out whole, with an apple in his mouth.  The server proudly placed him in the center of the table, set family style.  Lots of festivity and wine toasts!  It is only appropriate that this painting is painted with vibrant colors to represent the mood.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Aqueducts - by North Carolina Painter, Sue Scoggins

This artist, me, finds it a bit difficult to come up with new subjects. Landscape, landscape, landscape. Pears! Fruit!  I mean how many times can one paint the same "scene" of the water and the sound or of wildflowers.  For quite some time now, I've wanted to break out of my routine and find NEW discoveries.

It takes a lot of thought.  In fact, often, more time is spent in thought BEFORE the painting than the actual process of painting itself. That's why it's hard for me to paint unless I have days of solitude before hand. This summer, when not doing commission work, I've spent time going through my old travel sketches of summers in Italy and France. The first thoughts that come to mind is the old world architecture. Arches and aqueducts have solidified in my head.  They are everywhere and many date back to 300BC.  So aqueducts it is! There is no end to the modern paintings this will bring.

Let's get started.  This sort of takes me back to the color and design days in college.  Believe me...those were ancient days! But, I remember having a project similar to this where I constructed a geometric tree with shapes and colors.  I suppose since math was my thing, the geometry is right up my ally. The supplies are ink, charcoal pencil, oil sticks, oil goes.  What have I been waiting for?  (like the frying pan in the sink?)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Artistic Freedom by North Carolina Painter, Sue Scoggins

It's so wonderful to accept commissions, where the new owner gives complete artistic license.  The only parameters were "I love blues, greens and water.  Oh...and I love clouds." So...there ya have it...another chance to paint from the head.  I suppose this scene is pretty much emblazoned in my mind because it's the view of the sound in Emerald Isle.  I see it every day in the summer. I dream it every night. The cloud banks that pile up along the horizon are some of the greatest I've ever seen. They make the car stop.