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Some recent watercolor studies

"The Bicycle Thieves" o/c 18 x 18
was recently awarded Third Place
 in the Artists Choice Exhibition 
currently on display at the 
Toledo Artists Club. The show runs through October 25.

I've been experimenting with watercolor ... 

and watercolor and ink ...

and charcoal ...

and pastel.

So much to learn ......

I've also been tweaking this web site, 
so please ignore the wonky variety of fonts and sizes
while I figure out what I'm doing.

And a meditation for the widow of a dear friend ....

The latest drawing from the museum, 
a value study of one of Laocoon's sons that I'm still working on. 

Here's how this prismacolor drawing on toned paper evolved:

And the lobster is coming along:

October 19, 2013

Every year, oil paint manufacturer Gamblin holds a Torrit Grey Competition. Torrit Grey is a color made from all the pigment throughout the year that's sucked into the company's air filtration system. The result is a grey that varies from year to year, sometimes cool, sometimes warm, which is distributed to art suppliers for their customers to try. A competition is held every October in honor of Earth Day and the lucky winners get gift certificates for Gamblin paints, solvents, and mediums.
Only 3 colors can be used in the paintings: Torrit Grey, black and white.

Here are my entries:

"All for Naught"   20" x 16"  
  Torrit with Fast Matte Chromatic Black and Titanium White
Medium: Galkyd Lite

"Apple Pi"   10" x 10"
Torrit with Ivory Black and Titanium White
Medium: Galkyd Lite

January 19, 2013

"I knew [painting the figure] was really where my heart was. I do think that if you don't paint the way you want, you shouldn't go into painting. You should go into advertising."

-- Mel Leipzig
American Realist

December 24, 2012
Wishing you all the warmth of the holiday season.

October 16, 2012

Alas ....

"When it comes to box office pull, work on paper and work on canvas don't carry equal weight. ... At the high, wide banquet table of art, drawing is salad, painting is steak."

-- From an article in the New York Times.

June 22, 2012

May 3, 2012
They came. They drank. They bought art.

THREE ARTISTS. ONE NIGHT, a reception on April 28 in Toledo, Ohio, was a rousing success. We plan to do it again, so stay tuned.

March 13, 2012

I've spent part of the winter working on my drawing skills in a class that took me to the Toledo Museum of Art to draw the incredible sculptures there. It was a challenging and wonderful exercise ... and produced this (nearly finished) drawing of Bishamonten, a 2nd Century Japanese god.

Wood, 1250-1300
One of 4 guardians at the main altar of a Buddhist temple, Bishamonten was the god of victory in war as well as the god of wealth and good fortune. The mask at his belt denotes the subjugation of evil. Quite a guy.

What you are will show in what you do.

- Thomas A. Edison

Life obliges me to do something, so I paint.

- Rene Magritte

November 15, 2011
Elixir Too

I've been away awhile and my apologies for that. I've had a number of projects and the work has been taking decidedly different directions. I still find comfort in painting still lifes, but I also find myself working in a more abstract style. See below.
Finding a quiet place for all manner of objects still engages me. And it's the fleeting nature of things -- flowers and peppers and onions and apples -- that draws me to still lifes. The cut flowers have died, have been tossed out. And those peppers and onions and apples -- gone too. Roasted. Sauteed. Baked. Eaten.
'Elixir Too' is a small study (6" x6") of a moment captured in time. 
Captured on canvas. But gone. Did it ever exist? Who's to know?
But I also find myself working in a more abstract style. 
A more purely emotional style in which I'm still  trying to find my way.
(And before I go any further, forgive the quality of the photographs. I snapped them. 'Nuff said. I'll update with shots by a trained professional.)

My studio space in a downtown building houses a kitchen design center on street level. It's a new business, two talented guys following their dream: WS Solutions. I partnered with them for their grand opening and provided this painting for their man cave display: No, it's not your neon beer sign kind of a room. It's an elegant room, with a large-screen TV dropped into a rich dark wood built-in with bookcase, state-of-the-art seating, wine cooler, sink. And this painting on the one blank wall. It couldn't have been a better fit. I thank them for the opportunity to think in a new way. This is Leaded Window   o/c  40 x36.
Oh, and did I mention that I've begun drawing the human figure again after a long hiatus?
More on that another time.

November 15, 2011

o/c   24x18
Sometimes life keeps throwing things at you.

June 9, 2011

We blast into life
mingle and merge
clash and collide
dancing and drifting
seeking our path
a moment to shine
but driven by forces
beyond our control
toward an uncertain fate
-- life's last great adventure

-- aa

May 2, 2011
Blue-Footed Booby

o/c 18" x 24"
A traditional take on traditional slang. Cantaloupe. Cassabas. Melons. Chest.
Shelf. Jugs. Hooters. Headlights. Rack. Bust. Knocker (sorry, just one).
And, of course, a Blue-footed Booby. A weird exercise, it was.

March 20, 2011

Star Magnolias

Spring can't get here soon enough.
I've been fretting about the magnolia in my yard. 
The buds are growing plump, but the threat of frost lingers. I hope it behaves sensibly.
I painted this from a photo I took in the spring of 2010.

Jan. 26, 2011

I completed this painting during a workshop in 1990 and it's the first painting
 that I actually kept. 
The first one that I felt was truly finished and the resemblance to the model accurate. The instructor's name was Russell Keeter, an acclaimed painter and anatomist who taught in Detroit for 25 years. During classes and workshops he would beautifully render the human form.  From the inside out. 

Bones first, then muscles, then skin.
With compressed charcoal.
 Attached to a long stick.
An avid handball player, he won many national and international senior competitions.
He had a heart attack a year after the workshop - on the court, I'm told - and died at 
age 56. 

It was an incredible loss to the Detroit art community.

Jan. 26, 2011

- 30 -

Historically, the symbol - 30 - was used by journalists to signal the end
 of their stories, so I thought that was a good place to begin this blog.
(A curious thing that blogs end where they begin.)
- 30 - evolved as a meditation on color and texture, nine 5 x 7 canvases
 that flow from one to the next. Well that didn't feel quite right. The work
 grew to 12 panels, then 16, and, ultimately, 30. Perfect.
Who said painters don't know when to stop?
This work was accepted in the Toledo Area Artists exhibition
at the Toledo Museum of Art several years ago.
It now hangs in my dining room.



My name is Anne Abate and I'm an artist and retired journalist living in the Midwest. I paint to escape. I paint to engage. But mostly I paint so my head doesn't explode.

Have a look around. Stay awhile. And let me know what you think.