Out of the Cradle

skecthbooksArtists take their cues from babies. When we are born the first things we can see are darks and lights. As our sight develops we begin to discern shapes and movement, and then finally we see color! 

When I visit a fellow artist’s studio or a gallery I usually take a quick glance around. I make a sort of mental inventory of what the experience might be promising. I am almost always attracted to one or two pieces that “catch my eye.” No matter if the work is representational, expressionistic or abstract it always comes down to the masses of lights and darks, the shapes they make and the way my eye follows them through the painting. Then there are the glorious colors.

valuepageSo religiously I start each painting with a value study. My sketchbooks are filled with black, gray and white thumbnails that might even pass for Rorschach inkblot tests. When the shapes have a “sameness” about them  I rearrange them to create more interest. I love to go back through old sketchbooks and remember the place and the resulting painting. It is sort like connecting the dots, enjoying the thought process and the experience all over again.

Today I have been challenged to come up with twenty ideas for future blog posts. My sketchbook can tell at least 100 times that many stories. So I hope you stay tuned and follow me through my painting process and my travels. In future posts I will share more pages from my sketchbooks, the images and the thoughts of what goes into my paintings. You’ll see the places I explore and the inspiration I find. And you’ll probably hear a funny story or two along the way.


3 Responses to “Out of the Cradle”

  1. Beth Rommel Says:

    Hi Marianne,
    I am intrigued by your blog ideas. I will look forward to reading them. The 8 colors, very nice. I still love the big box of crayons with the sharpener, really wanted one of those when I was a child. My son gave me one….one of those art supplies I always wished for.

  2. Marianne Post Says:

    Yes, the box of 64 was a childhood treasure for me. Now I have a studio filled with hundreds of pastel sticks. Which gives me another idea for a blog post. Thanks!

  3. Katherine Kean Says:

    Hi Marianne,

    Judging from what I can see in the photo above 20 pages from your sketchbook would make 20 fascinating blog posts.

    I agree with your thoughts about the importance of value. It’s the first thing I go for when developing a new piece and the first thing to double check if I’m running into trouble.

    I’m looking forward to reading more.

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