Author Archives: joanngilles

Build it and They Will Come—A Mini-Memoir of a Grateful Builder

The title, from the movie Field of Dreams, suggests an overblown parallel to my mini-memoir. But the film shares a thread about need and belief that resonates. It seems appropriate as we approach our 10th annual open studio. CHAPTER ONE … Continue reading

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The Karate Kid

Post cards of Richard Diebenkorn’s work have had a place on my studio wall since the early ‘80’s. His monographs are on the shelves. I have traveled specifically to see exhibitions of his work. His Ocean Park series with their … Continue reading

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Maybe Next Week

My walls are lined with books about art, artists, creativity, the psychology of the creative process, the history of art, and the how-to’s. I’ve read most of all of them cover to cover, notated, re-read, etc. For over thirty years … Continue reading

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Two or Three Things

This week two things signaled reminders for me about focus, trust, faith, and never being too old. As you likely know by now, every life lesson for me relates to the creative process. Focus-what is it good for? Focus is … Continue reading

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Semantics

Visual language. Expression. Artist. Authenticity. Statement. Creating. Creativity. Original. Style or technique. Mix up those words to form different sentences. If you can think about your art-making in these terms, the doors of possibility will be more open. There is … Continue reading

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Storytelling

The idea of painting as a visual language is not new. But we rarely consider the correlation of the pen and the brush. For beginning and often-confused artists (like me), who struggle, (daily), seeing the similarities may be helpful. The … Continue reading

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A Painting Primer

Just this week I’ve painted on: paper, (nice paper—300 LB Lanaquarelle), with the remains of several starts, leaving a highly textured underpainting; a smooth, gessoed panel; and a fresh canvas. Each substrate has a different feel and takes paint differently. … Continue reading

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“Bonnarding”

After visiting Pierre Bonnard’s joyous body of work currently on exhibit at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco I can report it is both other-worldly and very familiar. Its luminosity seems to radiate magically from behind the canvas. But the subjects … Continue reading

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Elevating the Ordinary

The work of Pierre Bonnard is currently on display at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco. I love this work. I was fortunate enough to stumble on a major retrospective at MOMA in 1998. The effects of that … Continue reading

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Awe-some!

Last year a previously undiscovered canyon in the Jefferson Wilderness was accessed by a team of adventurers. Their trek was televised by Oregon Field Guide. We watch while they negotiate waterfall after waterfall. Forty feet, thirty feet, two one-hundred-foot waterfalls … Continue reading

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