Heading to St. Mary’s for our Spring Retreat.  Something I look forward to, leaving the world behind and emerging in my own art zone. This time my intention was to paint on larger canvasses.  I brought 18″ x 24″, 24″ x 30″  and  36″ x 48″ size canvasses.  Typically I have painted on 8″ x 10″ and 11″ x 14″.  Painting Plein air, outside on site, has restricted me to these sizes which seemed manageable to contend with wind and painting time, how much area can be painted in a few hours.

The other intent was to  be more free, entering into a more abstract or impressionistic arena and using acrylic paint.  I experimented with acrylics last time and the textures, layers and fast drying qualities were intriguing.

So we shall see what happens.

Being here is liberating.  Some how this environment gives you permission to mess around and just play and experiment.  Some how at home that doesn’t happen.  I get into the “produce ” mode. In retrospect allowing myself this freedom I learned a lot and

have had great break-throughs!

First day I stayed in a safe and familiar place.  Getting familiar with the acrylics recreating some smaller figure things I did last time. I learned trying to recreate doesn’t always work.  One can’t always get the same “moment”  when magic happened.


Then I played with painting cardboard.   Some thing I’ve thought about doing for some time.  Cutting it into pieces tearing it up, exposing the inner structure and textures and then and painting it.  The results were fun pieces that looked as if they were metal or wood. This exercise spurred more ideas I will soon do and hope to place a few of these pieces in the UNR exhibit this summer of “Sustainable Art”- art made from repurposed materials.


OK.  This is the day, here I am standing in front of a  a big canvass.  My stomach feels like an empty pit, yes a pit of fear.  Silly, no?  Since it’s just a canvass and paint!

So I jump of the cliff… and my stomach slides up to my throat as it does in a roller coaster as I put on the first few stokes.  But wait. This is FUN! The movement, the freedom just the feel of the thick canvas frame, I am empowered!!  What courage this takes!!!


Golf Pond     AURIEMMA_04.jpeg Desert Range

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