Highlights from the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

During the challenge I painted more than thirty paintings ranging from 4x5" to 24x18" on paper and cradled panel. To get through this it really helped to set some goals and create a strategy. Working in batches, I explored color palettes that were new to me, and new painting processes.  This was a great opportunity to expand my painting vocabulary. The process I used generated many painting starts, finished pieces and new ideas. The images below are from the first two weeks.  More will be showcased in the next two blog posts.

Christine Sauer, "Urban Flora II", image 8x6" acrylic on paper, matted to 14x11" $70

Christine Sauer, "Urban Flora II", image 8x6" acrylic on paper, matted to 14x11" $70

Working alongside others, even though it was virtual on Instagram and some postings in a Facebook group, provided a level of accountability that kept me on track.  It wasn't easy to keep up the pace.  Several other things in the works were put on hold.  And lots of other stuff fell through the cracks like dishes, laundry, etc., you know, all that fun stuff!  

The "Urban Flora" group of paintings were inspired by flora from my small but abundant New Orleans garden.  The "Marvels and Mysteries" batch are imaginative little worlds that reflect a fascination with microbiology.  All paintings in this post are 8x6" floating in 14x11" mats that easily fit in frames of that size. $70 each.   If you are interested in dressing up your walls with one or a grouping of these, please email me at csauerarts@yahoo.com.  Framed option in bright white or natural wood also available, 14x11",  $175. Free shipping in the US

Click images below to enlarge. 

Painting Process: Keeping it Fresh and Lively

My paintings emerge out of an enjoyment of the painting process. Intuitive and improvisational, the process is a journey and the end point is always a surprise.  It usually begins by applying color and arranging paper, fabric or paint skins out of my collage stash in a freewheeling manner. Or sometimes I create a textured surface using various acrylic pastes or gels before adding the first layers of color and other materials. The unexpected, serendipitous magic that happens when working this way is what excites me as an artist and gives the work its potency.  

 Christine Sauer, " Marvels and Mysteries IV" 20x16" acrylic and mixed media on canvas   Final layers being added to this work in process.  "To pour or not to pour?"  It's important to stay brave since choices seem riskier toward the end of the process.

 Christine Sauer, " Marvels and Mysteries IV" 20x16" acrylic and mixed media on canvas   Final layers being added to this work in process.  "To pour or not to pour?"  It's important to stay brave since choices seem riskier toward the end of the process.

The images surface through the process.  Sometimes the initial layer is engaging, spontaneous and feels like a complete visual statement so it becomes a keeper.  Some paintings need more attention.  Layers of paint are added from thick impasto to dripped, scraped, and thinly glazed passages that conceal or reveal the initial layers. Complex, lively surfaces are created where vibrant color and lush texture coalesce to engage the viewer to take an up-close look to discover visual surprises.   Mark making includes loose and painterly brushwork, dripped paint, scribbled drawing, freeform printing, stenciled application and more.

©ChristineSauer, Details from paintings from the Collections on this site.

©ChristineSauer, Details from paintings from the Collections on this site.

Exploring multiple approaches to painting energizes the process for me, keeping things fresh and interesting.  I am a perpetual student, always learning and experimenting.  In the studio, there are often several works in process going on simultaneously.  They are not always from the same series or groups. The process is a spiral with exciting tangents developing along the way.  Eventually common threads emerge between artworks and they become a loosely connected collection as presented on this website.

©Christine Sauer, During painting sessions I always offload the leftover paint on my brushes and tools from the main project unto additional surfaces such as paper,  raw canvas, and fabric.   This often yields interesting materials for collage or sometimes they become artworks on their own. 

©Christine Sauer, During painting sessions I always offload the leftover paint on my brushes and tools from the main project unto additional surfaces such as paper,  raw canvas, and fabric.   This often yields interesting materials for collage or sometimes they become artworks on their own. 

Launching the "Earthy Collection"

I'm excited to be launching the the "Earthy" Collection on the blog this month with special introductory pricing (see below).  I grew up in a rural area in upstate New York and spent a lot of time outdoors.  Nature and landscape have always fascinated me so it seems natural that those elements would percolate up in my work though not in a literal way.   These abstract, mixed media collages on paper have a palette of earthy hues and rich surfaces.  The artworks evolved intuitively from arrangements of paper and fabric, drawn from my extensive stash, that were layered with acrylic paint and sometimes with machine stitching.   As the pieces developed they suggested inviting imaginary landscapes, gardens and other elements from the natural world.  

Many of the collages were monoprinted using Gelli Plates with acrylic paint.  This created surprising and unexpected textures and colors. Using a sewing machine as a drawing tool, several collages were also stitched with heavy thread. The resulting line work visually reinforced the overall designs and added a geometric counterpoint to the organic textures.  The collages are dressed up in natural wood frames.  They are also available unframed.  

Earthy Collection
CSauer-PathwayI Stitched