Saturday, January 15, 2011

Current Work

I have been a bit slow in posting these days, so it's time to catch up a bit. I have been working and here is a bit of the fruit of my labor. Most are still in progress. I am not sure if I can call any of them finished yet, I'll have to sit with them for a while longer.  I think I have mentioned that I am in this mentoring group. I have been fortunate enough to be selected to be a part of this group of  8 amazing people and artists, it lasts for about 6 months.( And yes - I am one of the 8  -I too am amazing and an artist, I learned that in my group discussion today [huge grin])

The mentors are April Game, head and founder of the mentor program as well as San Diego Fine Art Society, and Alex Salazar of Alexander Salazar Fine Art, gallery and auction house.  April and Alex visited my studio Dec 18, 2010 and on their initial visit gave me some "homework." that consisted of clearing my studio of everything and starting with all new fresh canvases. Then I was to do two large, 36" x 36" paintings of myself as a warrior angel and one of the skies, a celestial piece. I thought my deadline was Jan 8th, turns out I have until the end of the month. Oh well, that is fine. I worked hard and got them done. In the process I have also been working on other pieces, and "Ta Dah" - here they are now. All of these photos were taken with my iPhone. I  love my iPhone- these pics are surprisingly accurate , but certainly not professional or of the quality I usually post. Keep that in mind - nor do I have the exact sizes yet.

I have shown this here before but I am showing it again just for the sake of consistency...or something like that. This is the first one I did to start the warrior angel series. It is a full sheet of watercolor paper - something like 22" x 30" - so this is where I began to think and plan for the larger painting. It is pretty much in the same pose as the little figurine that was in my studio that sparked this whole thing.

Here is the finished 36" x 36" Self Portrait as Warrior Angel...complete with  glasses to aid in my vision hehehheh. I wanted this to be rather earth bound, thus the brown wings and the "dirt" on my sword. I wanted it to be direct, confrontational and have a resolute expression on my face.I think I was pretty successful in that.

The cloud or sky assignment developed quite differently than I expected or initially planned. I had originally thought big fluffy white clouds in a pristine blue spans, a nice Texas type sky. Then when we were flying back from Ohio over the holidays, I looked out the plane window and we were flying between these two layers of rather ominous looking clouds. It felt so right! So I grabbed my trusty iPhone and started snapping pics. This is 36" x 36"

So yay, my homework was done, my assignments fulfilled and yet I wasn't happy. (geesh - am I ever?) - plus I now found out I have more time before they are actually "due" - time to make more of them! The warrior thing felt so static, as well as very video game like - sort of like World of Warcraft, or maybe a new comic book character; "Mommy - Part-Time-Warrior-Princess". Fun, just not where I want to go. It just wasn't any where near what I want to say about angels. So I began to think about spirits and conflict, somehow making the invisible visible without being cheesy or too  literal and - hey, what about color? I need color! This is what developed next - full sheet of watercolor paper - still unfinished - still static - still not saying what I want to say but giving me more ideas and more understanding of some sort. The sort that is inside and can't be put into words yet - even though I sure do try. Eventually, on a trip out through the garage to let the dogs outside I spied this old painting I had started. It was of this character that shows up  lurking about in some of my images, and I grabbed that on my way back upstairs.
This guy shows up now and then and is  usually walking away and looking back over his shoulder at me. That is how this started out and how it was intended to be. He was supposed to be looking back at me over the wing - but as it happens he got turned around and - well, he isn't finished yet either. I dont know what will happen to him. Still too static - still not what I want  - still making me think - but I kind of like the sort of phosphorescent greenish glow about him. Just what kind of angel is this character?

Now - I feel like I might be getting somewhere. I did most of these with my hands - no brushes  - or at least not much - I may have used a brush in the initial washes. Oh, and I used a paper towel. These are starting to speak to me. These are getting exciting. I will be doing more of these. Both of these are full watercolor sheets.All of them are in acrylic - I'm working too fast for oils right now.
All of the above paintings are valid and important. They are a part of the path to discovery.  I don't plan on destroying any of them - I may work on them more and well, you know what happens when I do that sometimes...but my intention is to keep and finish them. However, it's always possible that they may fall by the wayside as I am way more excited and interested in pursuing more work like these last two.

So since Dec 18th - Concerning my art (and not including a week in Ohio and other holiday obligations) - I've cleared my studio out, piled up the garage more,  rented a studio in Escondido and started moving my oil paints and stuff over there, bought a new easel for the studio which just arrived and needs assembly, hired my daughter as an administrative assistant, completed 2 large paintings and have what- maybe 5? paintings in the works. (actually 7 - there are two on my wall that I haven't shown you - they are too early in the beginning stages - not much more than washes on paper).

Not too bad, I am OK with this. In fact I am pretty happy with it - so I guess the answer to the earlier question "Geesh, am I ever happy?" is yes. Yes I am.

Have you visited me here?
N S Davis Art Website
Nathalie Davis web site


  1. Nathalie, these are so indicative of your journey. As mentioned, as I was walking out of your studio, I noticed that you have 3 different conversations going and within that is your intention. It is there Dorothy...just click your heels together and say, "there's no place like home".
    I love what you are doing. So fun. I am so excited for you.
    Roxanne...Savannah is my handle on my blog.

  2. Thank you very much - I really value your thoughts and opinions, you have amazing insight. Now where did I leave those ruby slippers....?