Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Features Within the Shadows

It's been a slow couple of weeks in the studio for me. I haven't been painting much. It is not because I don't have any deadlines, I have a two person show coming up in August with Julie Nester Gallery, and it's definitely not because I lack inspiration. I have three pieces drawn out just waiting to be painted. I guess lately I just haven't been motivated to paint. I realize that motivation can come and go, but for someone like me who always seems to be working on something, this was not something I wanted. I wasn't too worried about it at first since I am supposed to be relaxing more. My stress levels can get pretty high and it has been affecting my health so I have been trying to do more "calming" things like massages, exercise, naps, and reading. But now it has been over two weeks, I'm bored, and I need to get back to work. So how does one motivate onseself to get back "on the saddle again"? I guess for me I need to be a Nike ad and "just do it". I find the hardest part is just getting myself downstairs into my studio. It may seem silly considering my studio is in my house, but sometimes I have to trick or bribe myself to get down there. Once I am there, it's usually pretty easy to get some work done, even if it's for a short while.  Coincidently, Brooke Shaden, a photographer in Southern California, recently wrote a blog post on how to get motivated. Between reading her article, and dragging myself downstairs, I actually got some work done yesterday.

The man looking down on the right has almost no visible details on his face.
My two current pieces that I worked on have a lot of interesting shadows on the subject's face. I love painting high contrast pieces and these, with some of the faces in mostly shadow, were especially fun. One would think that it would be easy to just paint a dark, abstract shape and the face would be taken care of, especially in the case of the first piece where the second man's face really doesn't show much of the features, but there is more too it than just a dark mass. Even when I can't see what is going on, I imagine what shapes are underneath the shadows. I paint slight gradients of the dark color in order to give an impression that there is a face there. Even though you can't see much of the details I am adding, if I didn't do this, the shadow would look flat, as if some 2-dimensional absract object just landed on his face. I'm pretty sure that is not the look I want to achieve. I do this with clothing that looks as if there is not much detail because the fabric is black or in shadow. Sometimes if I squint really hard I can see some gradients in the reference photograph, but more often than not, I have to imagine what is there. This is true for white areas where the sun is bleaching out any details of the subject.

The little girl on the left was fun to paint. I had to get the profile perfect since
once again, there is not much detail in the face.

The two paintings I am working on are still in the very early stages so I still have more details to add in the really dark areas. Once I finish painting and waxing the piece you may not be able to see what I did in those areas but I can guarantee that if I didn't add details there, you would notice the flat objects that mysteriously landed on their faces.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Images from "Storytellers" at Manna Gallery

Friday's opening was a lot of fun. There was over a thousand people who showed up and my work was overwhelmingly appreciated and liked. It was such a great feeling to hear how many people really like my work, especially since this was the first show for this new series. If you missed the first Friday opening, fear not. I will be there for the first Friday reception in May since the show runs through May 11th. Below you will find images of the show before the massive crowds showed up. Ben, my husband, also put a very short video together on his phone while he was at the opening. Poor guy had to hang out with me at the gallery on his birthday.

video


Here's a little review of the show:
Daily Californian article by AJ Kiyoizumi

Oakland revived by Art Murmur

“Storytellers”
If you enjoy people-watching, you will enjoy Jhina Alvarado-Morse’s vintage film-still protagonists in her newest series, “Storytellers,” opening at Manna Gallery on Friday. Our habit of contemplating a person’s life based on a glance causes us to imagine pasts and futures for Alvarado-Morse’s familiar-seeming subjects — and you don’t have to worry about feeling creepy staring at canvases rather than people.

Each subject, paired with minimal surroundings, seems to envisage their futures or desires as realities, causing the viewer to dream for them as well. In “Soaring High,” an aviator rests below a soaring bird. A similarly titled piece, “Flying High,”depicts a handsome man mid-dive with nothing below him save for a shiny thin strip of graphite at the bottom of the canvas. The mid-century styled characters draw faint similarities to John Baldessari’s figures, but instead of amusing or shocking us, they gently endear viewers with their curiosity and earnestness.

The artist, who was named one of San Francisco’s Top 20 Artists by Asterisk San Francisco Magazine, will be present at the gallery from 3 to 6 p.m.

Manna Gallery
473 25th St
Oakland, CA









Paintings by Linn Thygeson



Thursday, April 4, 2013

Review of "Storytellers" in Daily Californian

Daily Californian article by AJ Kiyoizumi

Oakland revived by Art Murmur

“Storytellers”
If you enjoy people-watching, you will enjoy Jhina Alvarado-Morse’s vintage film-still protagonists in her newest series, “Storytellers,” opening at Manna Gallery on Friday. Our habit of contemplating a person’s life based on a glance causes us to imagine pasts and futures for Alvarado-Morse’s familiar-seeming subjects — and you don’t have to worry about feeling creepy staring at canvases rather than people.

Each subject, paired with minimal surroundings, seems to envisage their futures or desires as realities, causing the viewer to dream for them as well. In “Soaring High,” an aviator rests below a soaring bird. A similarly titled piece, “Flying High,”depicts a handsome man mid-dive with nothing below him save for a shiny thin strip of graphite at the bottom of the canvas. The mid-century styled characters draw faint similarities to John Baldessari’s figures, but instead of amusing or shocking us, they gently endear viewers with their curiosity and earnestness.

The artist, who was named one of San Francisco’s Top 20 Artists by Asterisk San Francisco Magazine, will be present at the gallery from 3 to 6 p.m.

Manna Gallery
473 25th St
Oakland, CA