Tuesday, October 1, 2013

2013 Mural Project: The Final Image

It's A Beautiful Day
12'X3'  4 canvas panels
Click on Image to Enlarge
copyright KKMarino, 2013

Here is the final image of the mural. We had a terrific opening and a great time was had by all. This project has been all that I hoped for. Wonderful. Thanks to indi go gallery for hosting me.

Friday, September 27, 2013

2013 Mural Project: Day Six, Seven and Eight

Detail Mural Project
copyright KKMarino 2013

I can hardly believe that I have not posted since Monday! I have been immersed in this project, to the point that I have completely forgotten to take any photos. The past 3 days I have painted about 25 hours total, including 13 hours on Wednesday. This is a new record for me.

The photo above is detail of the painting at the step on on Monday. I am very pleased with the final painting and look forward to everyone coming out to indi go gallery in Champaign tonight at 6:00 pm.

I will be posting final photos in the next few days.

Monday, September 23, 2013

2013 Mural Project-Day Five & Six

Mural- Day 6

Time is flying by! Only 4 days until the opening. I'm in the gallery 8-9 hours a day right now. Still much to do. Tomorrow the real colors come on board.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

2013 Mural Project: Day Four

“If you have only two pennies, 
spend the first on bread and the other on hyacinths for your soul.”
–Arab Proverb
Day four went very well. Color has arrived at last! 
Today I was thinking about how making art creates community. Art is a jumping off point in any conversation. Agreement is not needed, just a desire to share your experience as a viewer. 
I spent time with several people I did not know and very much enjoyed engaging them in conversation about art. 
It was not required that they liked my work. I appreciated that they enjoyed art.

Friday, September 20, 2013

2013 Mural Project- Day Three

No painting today, the under painting was still too wet. Very humid again today, but tomorrow color for sure. Here is the palette I am thinking about. A friend of mine gave me this paint color swatch a few years ago and it has proven to be so valuable. I can look at color families instead of just a single color.

Quiet, peaceful day at the gallery. Had several good visits. One week from now is the opening. Much work to do.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

2013 Mural Project: Day Two

Mural Project  Underpainting
copyright KKMarino 2013

Day Two of the project went well. I completed the under painting of the mural. I now have a feel for the values in the piece. I planned on starting color tomorrow but it has turned very humid which is having an effect on the paint drying time. So we will see what tomorrow brings. I have another painting in mind so if you drop by you may find me working on something else if the mural is too wet to continue on.

I find it very relaxing working on this piece. I painted 7 hours today which was terrific, though I am a bit out of shape for standing that long. But the peacefulness of just me, a little music and the work is great.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

2013 Mural Project: Day One

indi go gallery, champaign, illinois-upper level
click to enlarge, refresh to return

indi go gallery, champaign, illinois-lower level
click to enlarge, refresh to return

indi go gallery, champaign, illinois-lower level west
click to enlarge, refresh to return

I am settling in nicely at the gallery. I'm excited about the project now that the prep work is complete and painting is imminent

I am happy with the Exhibit of my Recent Work that went up last night.  

I completed the mural pencil drawing and the glue drawing prior to my arrival at the gallery. I am ready for the under painting-a step that I enjoy very much. It allows me to get acquainted with the painting as I work through and make decisions about the values, shading and overall composition. 

To visitors, it is an unexpected step and they wonder "where is the color anyway?"

But, a very relaxing step for me, a good place to be on day one.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

2013 Mural Project: Providing Balance

"Providing Balance" 8"x 8"
Copyright KKMarino 2013
click to inlarge "refresh" to return

Here is a small painting that I recently finished for the show. I am excited about this color combination. I prefer unusual color schemes. My grandmother was a quilter and she had a keen sense of color. Her combinations always worked, but were at times most unexpected. I learned from her to take a chance, try new ideas with color.

Two days until I move the work to the gallery. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

2013 Mural Project: A Torrent of Visual "What-ifs"

Untitled, detail.
copyright KKMarino 2013
click to enlarge, refresh to return

"Drawing is the artist's most direct and spontaneous expression, a species of writing: 
it reveals, better than does painting, 
his true personality."

Edgar Degas-

I am doing preliminary work for the mural and should be ready to make the drawing on canvas this weekend. 

A big step. 

I always feel hesitant to make the first mark. Of course pencil is easily erased, but for me the first marks on a canvas are important and set the tone for the entire piece. 

I do not work out the entire painting before hand and then transfer the image to canvas. That would be nice, but its not my way. My process involves "intuitive drawing."

Most of my preliminary work is mental. I work through images for weeks or months in my mind--thinking and comparing, imagining and discarding ideas and marks, reworking and formulating. 

A torrent of visual "what-ifs". 

I tend to write more than draw as I get close to starting a piece- my line drawings are kin to writing. Letters and words give us the image instantly, my lines demand more. 

When I do start the drawing on canvas it is a flurry of action: 
a watch-out, get-out-of-my-way type event.

One motion. 

Then I see the image for the first time, all the pieces and parts that I have been imaging are now made real.

If Degas is correct in his assertion that the drawing reveals the artist's most direct expression, his true personality, then what does my drawing say about me?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

2013 Mural Project: Once Again with Feeling

"Once Again, With Feeling" detail.
copyright 2013 KK Marino
(Click image to enlarge, hit refresh to return)

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning do to do afterward.” 

I'm not sure I have ever had an art exhibit without a little bit of Drama leading up to the show. I am not by nature a "dramatic" person, though I certainly have exercised my right to pure self-indulgence in the art of drama in my younger days.

Right now I just don't have the time for it.

So I am now in the last week, the runway up to the exhibit and the mural project. 

And it begins. 

Just when I thought I had my schedule worked out, here comes life: the final frontier. A Big Roadblock, not a little stumble, a significant crack in my well made plans. So I readjust my schedule and replan my time again and move forward.

I am by nature an organized person. My lists have sublists and I have even resorted to little check box squares by my tasks to give myself a reward for having completed something. But sometimes I can't find my lists, so I am a true contradiction in organization. 

Sad right? Probably.

So I paint and plan and plan and paint and rewrite my lists.

I am looking forward to the laughing phase which is undoubtedly coming later this week, when I just throw up my hands and say "Okay,okay I got it-I need to work harder to make this happen".

And then I do.

Friday, September 6, 2013

2013 Mural Project: Clarity at Last

I decided to paint, and paint and paint and paint
copyright KKMarino, 2013
(to enlarge click on image, hit refresh to return to post)

I am very excited about this mural project as it has been on my mental radar for over two years. As an artist I find that one of my biggest challenges is patience. (possibly in life too).

My conceptual process involves "waiting" which I am very bad at. I'm not patience, whether in the grocery line, an appointment , in traffic or when I am problem solving. Especially when it comes to my work.

I want all the ideas now, totally resolved or even yesterday would be better.

This mural has been a blank canvas, just fragments of ideas, thoughts, lines and desires. Now is the time that I need the image. So I am impatience.

Since I am not new to the business of  being an artist I have learned that I need to get out of my own way on the creative process.

And so I did.

I decided to paint, and paint and paint and paint and to let the pressure of the mural image go. Give it up and just do the work, day after day after day.

And sure enough this morning 4:00 a.m. there it was. I woke up and the concept was there, the image was emerging and even the title!

Now the real fun begins!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

2013 Mural Project: About Being a Painter

Work Table 9/4/2013
Click to enlarge, hit Refresh to return

I have always been a painter, but not always a practicing painter or even a happy painter.

As a kid I loved drawing, it was a way that I could create my own world. I was the "arty" one, the different one.  Kids don't see the world like we adults do. There are no limitations on creativity until someone puts it there-even a small helpful correction from an adult can turn the tide, stifle a thought or stop a direction.

I was trained in watercolor. At the time I detested oil paints. I tried oil, but it was laborious, hard and unforgiving. Watercolor was fluid, fun and lovely.(cue the music) Like a walk on a spring day, but oil was the coldest of hard winters freezing me out. Locking me down, stopping me in my tracks.

Now many years later I am in love again, but this time with oil. Its buttery consistency and wonderful blending capabilities thrill me. And it is patient, dries ever so slowly or at the rate that I determine. When I returned to painting three years ago I knew I wanted to conquer oil painting. My old nemesis.

So I set out to learn. I taught myself. Early attempts...well, not so pretty, but eventually I began to figure it out.

Seems I should  I should write something lovely here like: "Oil Painting fulfills me, it inspires me to be a better person or it allows me to express my view of the world".

Well, Okay. But, not really.

Its actually very simple.

I am an Artist. I Create. Painting is just along for the ride.

Monday, September 2, 2013

2013 Mural Project: And so it begins...

On-Site Mural Painting Project
September 18- September 30, 2013
Artist on-site Daily (Sept 18-27)  9:00-3:00 pm
indi go gallery
9 E. University Ave. Champaign, Illinois 61820

September 2, 2013.

I have 17 days of preparation left for my On-Site Mural Project and Solo Exhibit at indi-go gallery in Champaign, Illinois.

For two years I have been contemplating this project. It is one of those "Go Big or Go Home" adventures for me.

In the past few years I have enjoyed interaction with viewers of my work during exhibits. In many ways the work is not truly complete for me until it is seen.

Otherwise it is just me and the art-which is a bit self-involved.

So here's the plan:

10 Days: Sept. 18-27th I will be painting a 3' X 12' mural on-site at the gallery.

Solo Exhibit will be up
Music playing
Art making will be happening
A mini-residency of sorts for me
A goal will be accomplished

On Friday, September 27, 2013 at 6:00 pm there will be an opening for the Mural and the Solo Exhibit. Exhibit will come down on October 1, 2013.

Now blogging again.
Blogging art projects for me is like creating an online work plan + performance art via in the internet. I enjoy the discipline of the day to day documentation of a work. It keeps me on task and since I am not a performer by nature it allows me to be one. Sort of.

So I begin...I have been painting furiously completing work for the accompanying Solo Exhibit. I have a terrific collector who is encouraging and nudging me along the way. We had a studio visit this week and his enthusiasm was greatly appreciated.

Seen above is the promotion photo that will be used for the project. Much work to do to get all the pieces together.

So I end this entry with my plan for the day:

“The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today.”Elbert Hubbard, American Writer
And So it begins...

Monday, February 4, 2013

At Long Last

"Two a Day" 6" x 6" oil/glue, 2012

"One a Day" 6" x 6" oil/glue, 2012

At long last I have secured a space to create my mural. For two years I have been envisioning this piece and now it is going to happen. 

On September 18- 27, 2013 I will be working on-site at the indi go gallery in Champaign, Illinois. Running concurrently with my on-site work will be a solo exhibit of my Language of the Line Series.

The mural will be a 4 panel canvas work measuring 3' x 12' when completed. 

During the same time I will part of a group show at the Art Coop in Urbana. Illinois This show will feature the regional artists who participated in the Creative Capital Professional Workshop last Spring. 

It's All Good Today!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"Not This Day"

"Not This Day" 18"x18" Oil/Glue
Click to enlarge, hit Refresh to return
copyright KKMarino, 2012

This painting was created the end of 2012 and has been on exhibit at The Prairie Center of the Arts in a group show. I typically focus on comic or fun themes, but this piece is more contemplative and thoughtful.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New Work: Chat Time

"Chat Time", 2012 Oil/Glue on Canvas 30'x30"
copyright Kim Kissinger Marino

(Click on painting to view larger, then hit Refresh button to return to post)

This Painting will be part of an Exhibit at the Prairie Center of the Arts in Peoria, Illinois. The show opens December 7, 2012, 5-7:30 pm.

Also Opening December 7, 2012 in Urbana, Illinois: Art Coop Gallery's Annual Fundraiser for The Champaign County Humane Society. I will have three new paintings on exhibit.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Art Coop Art Show

I will have 2 new paintings in this show that Opens Dec. 7th at the Art Coop in Urbana, Illinois.  The work in the show is always terrific and provides a great opportunity to buy great work and support a good cause.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

There are times in an Artist's life...

Note to myself from the paper covering my painting table, October, 2012

“There are times in an artist’s life that are life-changing. Some are mere moments and others more significant. Regardless of the rest of my journey, my time at PrairieCenter of the Arts will stand as a unique gift that greatly impacted me as an artist and the course of my work.”

Kim Kissinger Marino, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Distraction by Definition


1. The act of distracting or the condition of being distracted. (See going to work at the business and not doing Artwork)

2. Something, especially an amusement, that distracts. 
(see #1)

3Extreme mental or emotional disturbance; obsession: loved the puppy to distraction. (Not there yet, let's hope it doesn't come to that!).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Studio Landing-At Last!

At last, I have landed into a space I can use. After hours of cleaning, sorting and throwing away I cleared this space. It's tight for larger canvases and I will still have those pesky office distractions but that is OK-I have a home!

Now back to work. I should finish the residency paintings next week.

Monday, November 5, 2012

O Studio, Studio! Wherefore Art Thou Studio?

"When are you going to get to work?"
Zoe, Studio Dog Extraordinaire

As you can see this is not a photo of the finished painting from the residency that I have been promising for several days. It is instead the boxes of supplies and gear from the residency, that remain unpacked.

So what gives?

I was spoiled by my residency studio. It was large and airy with good company:
"The Caribbean Vacation of Studios". 

Now I feel closed in and uncertain about where to land.

I have this space which includes my office and those naggy life things like files and bills and other major distractions. Or I have an unfinished location above the garage where the temperature is now a balmy 32 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Humm. My plan is to land here in the office/studio and then plan my next move....as you can see my faithful "Studio Dog" Grandma Zoe doesn't really care as long as "her" chair is part of the mix.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Arrived home Wednesday.

It is amazing how quickly you return to the push and pull of life. In short order I began making lists, handling work questions and headed down the slippery slope of
life over-consumption.

My fine diet of art, art, art the last 30 days has opened my eyes to the negative sources in my life- those life draining situations that zap your creative and spiritual energy.

Its "house-cleaning" time for me both figuratively and literally.

I will publish my final residency painting in the next few days when it is complete.

Until then:

"What we think, we become." 
- Buddha

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Residency-Last Day in the Studio

Prairie Center of the Arts-Last Day in Studio, 2012

Today is my last day of residency at The Prairie Center of the Arts
This blog will continue but the residency is complete.

I can think of many things to say, but none that accurately describe this experience. 

So I will default to a word list:


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lee Krasner Quote

"All my work keeps going like a pendulum; it seems to swing back to something I was involved with earlier, or it moves between horizontality and verticality, circularlity, or a composite of them. 

For me, I suppose, that change is the only constant."

Monday, October 29, 2012

New Work-Last Days of Residency

Untitled 14"x14" (Studio photo)
Copyright KK Marino, 2012

Here is a painting I finished in the past week. The new figures and old figures are now interacting. I am focused on the "push & pull" of that new dynamic.

Two days to go in the residency. I am busy completing my largest character painting of the residency. 30" x 30".

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Prairie Center of the Arts-Resident's Art

Here is the work of 4 of my fellow residents at the Prairie Center of the Arts
It's been my privilege to have shared space with them.
I hope you enjoy their work and websites

Copyright Mike Yager


Copyright Rose Khor

Copyright Jenny Wu

Copyright Chika Matsuda

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Fellow Residents

Prairie Center of the Arts Residents At Krannert Art Museum
from L-R, Jenny, Chika, Rose, Me and Mike

As my residency comes to a close I thought it would be fun to highlight my fellow resident's work. So in the next few days I will be posting some of their work and their websites. 

I will be continuing the blog after the residency, so I will be including more of my  art in the coming days.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 25

It is hard for me to believe that there are only 6 days left in my residency. I am currently in heavy production mode. It feels good to be painting strong and steady.

I like both studio stages of making art: the thinking/conceptualizing stage and the production. I find satisfaction in both. If I "do my time" on the planning stage the production of course goes much easier.

But, I also enjoy skipping the first part completely and jumping in the deep end of production without a plan to see what will happen.

Tomorrow we are going on a Field Trip...Home for me!

We are going to visit The Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois. There are several exciting exhibits including an installation I am very anxious to see called:

Fields of Indigo: Installation by Rowland Ricketts with Sound by Norbert Herber

We are very fortunate in Champaign-Urbana to have such a wonderful facility. I am looking forward to sharing it with my fellow artists.

Here is a new video from the College of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Illinois-Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012



"Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, 
it makes us see."

4" X 4" Drawing: "Together" (Shown 2 ways)
Copyright KK Marino, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Work-First Series

Blue Dream 18"x18" Oil/Glue
copyright KK Marino , 2012

New Work-Second Series

Another Day 12"x12" Oil/Glue
Copyright KK Marino, 2012

Another Day - Side View
Copyright KK Marino, 2012
This painting is made first with a glue drawing followed by paint. The lines are actually raised off of the surface of the canvas.

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Work- Second Residency Series

Play Together 6"x6" Oil on canvas
copyright KK Marino, 2012

Play Together-side view
copyright KK Marino, 2012

Here is a painting from my second series from the residency. I am using the same technique I used in the Yellow Waterfall painting a few days ago. In this series I am developing my imagery or line language.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Its all Gravy-Italian Night

The residents house and studio is growing full which is great fun! Our group is very diverse including artists from Japan, China, and California. 

Tonight is Italian night. My husband has a rich Italian heritage and after 21 years of marriage I've learned to cook real Italian. My house-studio mates asked me to cook Italian, so tonight there will 8-10 of us for dinner.

The menu includes: Meatballs, Gravy (Spaghetti sauce), homemade Manicotti, Italian green beans, salad, bread , Tiramisu and Nonna's cookies. Yummo!

I will work in the studio this morning, then back in the kitchen this afternoon.

Tomorrow Back to Art!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Completed New Work-Yellow Waterfall

Yellow Waterfall
18" x 18 " Oil
copyright KK Marino, 2012

Click photo to enlarge, hit refresh button to return to blog

Here is the final on Yellow Waterfall. As you can see the addition of the black lines change the piece completely.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Work

Yellow Waterfall 18" x 18"
copyright KK Marino, 2012

(Click image to enlarge, then hit reload arrow to
return to blog)

I am working on two painting series right now.  In this series I use my raised pattern/texture in an abstract way. This painting is an 18" x 18" oil. The pattern carries over to the sides of the canvas.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Being an Artist


There are times when I am stuck-solid.

The past few days have been like that.

The more I thought, the less I knew.

The more I pushed the less I moved.

A wise person told me that if you just stretch out on your bed and don't get up until you have made a decision about your problem, then you can move forward.

Even though I did not physically do the exercise, I mentally did. That is, I thought about my creative blankness from that point of view and it worked!

I made a decision that allowed me to move forward.

The goal is to always move the work forward, deciding how is the hard part.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


A studio mate of mine mentioned Morris Code the other day while looking at my work and I thought it would be fun to play with it a bit, since
I am a dot-a-holic!

Here is the word A-R-T

A very visually interesting language.

Orange Riot

This is the view from my window. I actually don't care for the color orange but this riot of color is making its way into my work.

I find myself drawn to yellows, golds and oranges-colors that have never been in my work before. It is amazing how an environment can influence you.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

New Drawing 10-10-12

Drawing 10-10-12
copyright KK Marino , 2012

Here is a new drawing from this week. I am moving the work forward in this direction. Drawing is rendered in marker and colored pencils.