Insert Catchy Title Here

December 27, 2015 at 10:43 pm | Posted in Art Studio, Considering Ideas | Leave a comment
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for this post about a body of work. An unfinished body of work it is. Yet, today I’m having trouble seeing the beginning, and the parts that came after. All because I couldn’t remember when, when, when, I painted this acrylic.

Day/Night by Joan Desmond, acrylic on canvas 24" x 30".

©Joan Desmond, Day/Night. Acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 30″.

I recall the name Day/Night. It’s about opposites in many ways. The visual thinking I see and recall easily. It was a time of exploring tensions between geometric and organic, of the vertical and horizontal, color polarities, all that stuff. When was that?  For me, painting is usually a process that morphes into something else with a little of the old, and a bit of a new direction.  There are breakthrough works, exploring works and new direction works, it’s always ongoing when the immersion is there. But the dates don’t stick.

You’d think I’d have records. Surely I have records somewhere. It wasn’t the only undated, unrecorded, un-moored painting I found while looking around. This would not be an issue if one documents things. So that’s the catchy title angle. Document, date, ’cause you forget. You forget so much. The sanity you save may be your own.

Considering how it all comes down

May 30, 2013 at 9:00 am | Posted in Art Studio | 1 Comment
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Swirling by Joan Desmond 2013

©2013, Joan Desmond, Swirling.

Rhythm-scape for Blog post 100!

August 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Posted in Art Studio | Leave a comment
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©2012, Joan Desmond, Rhythm.


April 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Posted in Art Studio, Considering Ideas | 1 Comment
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The process of abstraction holds endless possibilities. You can zoom in, zoom out, fragment, isolate, select and emphasize; the idea is to…mmm, even that is up for grabs. When subject matter is abstracted, one sometimes, often, looks for the elemental, the essence of a thing. It’s a bit difficult to describe in words, or do. One level of art looks at an object or experience in the visible world and records it, represents it as most see it. It may teach the viewer to really look, that’s good.

A step beyond just recording is the artist’s personalized impression of a moment or an object. That demands that there is a give and take between the artist and the subject matter, a developed perspective. Abstraction goes way beyond that. I should say, “Could go way beyond that” as some doesn’t. Mostly, there can be so much more for a viewer to perceive with abstraction but there has to be a desire.

Here’s an image from my impressions of the past weekend, the senses engaged in a certain area and then the abstraction of it.

©2012, Joan Desmond, River Journey.

Looking Back

May 14, 2010 at 7:49 am | Posted in Art Studio, Considering Ideas | Leave a comment
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Mountain of Memories – River of Dreams* -J.Desmond

We see letters and shape them to words. Through associations, voice and tongue, we give them meanings that resonate within us and bring us home. They are easily accessed.

As easily approached are visual representations of object around us. Yes, that’s a bird, a tree, a mountain in that painting. Immediate understanding comforts us.

But do we remember how to ken depths of color? How to lose self in blue, when to tread lightly on orange, or get carried forward in red?

It takes time to follow a curved line along its path, responding viscerally when it zigs and springs, curls or flows. To let texture reach out for our touch we have to grant permission.

The language of abstraction is elemental and may be felt in our bones and ancient memory. It can open endless perceptions if we allow ourselves that vulnerability.

But that is the more difficult and nor so easily accessed.

*an earlier mixed-media work

Winescapes- The 6-liter Canvas

April 14, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Posted in Art Studio | 1 Comment
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Until I hefted one I really had no idea how big a 6-liter wine bottle was.

The idea was to “art it up” for a benefit auction at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. I had never worked with a bottle before. When you first brainstorm on an art project, tons of ideas come to mind. You entertain all ideas, from the silly to the fantastic. I considered drilling holes, attaching metal extensions, etching into, gluing onto, putting inside off, shall it be wrapped in grapevines? The whole gamut entertained just to shake loose ideas. In the end the decision was to paint onto. I do love to paint! I’m also painting other landscapes. The idea of a Dionysius ‘scape seemed fitting.

by Joan Desmond 2010

I practiced on a couple of smaller bottles to see the effects of the various mediums on glass. The final decision included some of the luscious interference and duochrome acrylic paint from Daniel Smith. They give the image a rich, reflective quality. I also wanted to keep some of the glass exposed as there is always a relationship between the material and the message, and this was a “glass-see-though-with-depth bottle”. For the main image, which you may recognize as a re-creation of a much larger, 62″, oil painting of mine, a thin application of Yes Paste was used to attach a rectangle of paper. This gave it opaqueness and surface stability. Then a layer of gesso was applied and then the paint. The lettering is in acrylic applied to the glass over gesso, with no paper. Afterwards, for a protective coat it was sealed with thinned Golden Soft Gel.

So just how large is a 6-liter bottle? Here’s a comparison.


“Winescapes -wine tasting and auction”, will be held on Wednesday, April 21 from 6:30pm- 8:30pm at:  the Bakersfield Museum of Art, 1930 R St., Bakersfield, CA

Arvin Green Arts Festival

May 16, 2009 at 9:47 am | Posted in Art Exhibitions, Art Studio | Leave a comment
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Recycling…considering the process

An 18″ x 20″ collage created from recycled paperboard which is part of the Arvin Green Arts Festival Juried Show in Arvin, California,  May 16-17, 2009.

Shadowed By The Water

May 20, 2008 at 10:15 am | Posted in Considering Ideas | Leave a comment
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Stopping on the hilltop walk, the dog and I peered down at the lake yesterday. The early morning calm left the lake surface flat and dark in areas. Yet rows of ridges combed the water. Twenty or so parallel bands, then one gradually curved off leading into more parallel rows. In every direction, on and on, the lake was alive with currents creating patterns.

I thought of how it would look in a painting, zooming in only on the patterned rows and dark bands, so abstract, yet so representational of what is.

But instead of going into the studio I climbed on the roof to get the Mastercool going against the sudden 100% heat of the last few days. I’d promised the elderly cats that the house would not steam their fur another day. Hauling the hose up I washed the swirling dirt from the metal panels. I scooped out the brown water that accumulated in the pan and watched it run down the shingles.

At the hardware store I buy a new pump filter. Ah, the net one that reminds me of the lake. Plus some new panel screws. Look how the threads circle the shaft wave-like.

Back again, the float needs adjusting as the water dripped rhythmically down the eaves, onto the deck, and roiled away into the dirt. The overflow turned the roof’s steep angle into a slip and slide. The bottom of my walking shoes are worn smooth, no more contoured lines there. On go the Chacos, river sandals, lake sandals, sandals that let me jump over wet rocks and traverse slick shingles.

Some days are like this, chores need doing, animals and plants need tending, and there is little or no studio time.

Yeah, I considered calling a plumber. An hour and they’re out of there. But I get arrogant about paying for something I can do myself. And they don’t bring up the hose to wash the grime away, pull the rippled pads, or do all the other things that give me peace of mind for the season. Nor would they mention that an owl roosted in the pine trees above and left interesting mice-bone pellets scattered on the roof.

Still the lake image possessed me all day. Wave patterns followed me everywhere. Creative ideas are like that, itching to be realized. We are haunted by the images until we actualize them-send them into the world.

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