Sunday, August 09, 2015

Finally Finished!

Elephant on Masa paper
Watercolor 28 X 20

I've been working on this for a long time. Full sheet paintings take me a little longer and I wanted to take my time enjoy the process, and watch what happened as I added color to the slight texture of the Masa paper. I had very little wrinkling in it when I applied it to the watercolor paper and I liked working on it a lot. I used several references in order to get the detail in the eyes and the rest of the body. I wanted to emphasize the head and let the body just fade into soft edges. 
I haven't come up with a good title for it yet. If you have any suggestions please write them in the comments. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Summertime Slow Down

Matlacha Mangroves
Watercolor on Masa paper, 10 X 14

It's hot, it's rainy, it's summertime in Florida. It's a good time to slow down and take it easy. A time to travel to cooler places and it you can't do that, you stay inside and read, play on the internet and maybe paint a little. I've been doing very little painting but the elephant painting is coming along. I'm taking my time with it and enjoying the process. There is no pressure of a deadline of a show to enter. 
I enjoy working on the Masa paper because sometimes the painting just seems to paint itself, especially if you do a landscape. You wet the paper and then crinkle it leaving a little space that's not crinkled; then you smooth it on an absorbent surface like a towel or piece of felt. The next step is to lightly wash over the wrinkled areas with a soft brush and India ink, black, brown or both as I did. It's glued to watercolor paper using a special flour based wallpaper paste and a brayer to get a good adhesion. At this point I let it dry, but you could continue to work on it. I wasn't going for mangroves but that's what appeared when I started to add color. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Painting

Elephant Herd 
Watercolor 4 X 6

This summer I've been taking a watercolor class that had me out of my comfort zone for the month of May. We were working on a still life set up which is not one of my favorite things to paint, unless it's something I'm particularly fond of. It was a struggle, I learned some things and my paintings ended up in the trash. I think I still have one unfinished one lurking somewhere. 
This month we were supposed to start on something of our own choosing. The instructor probably got tired of the whining about the still life. Since summer time is a good time to tackle a project that has been on the back of my brain for awhile, I decided to do a full sheet elephant painting on a Masa paper covered sheet of 140 pound paper. The Masa paper technique I learned a long time ago in a workshop with Chen-Khee Chee. I love the crinkled paper to work on and thought it would lend itself well to painting an elephant. 
The first thing I had to do was find some reference material and do some sketches and small color studies of elephants. This is also a way to procrastinate getting to the larger painting. The painting above is one of my practice paintings that I actually liked. I have started on the full sheet painting. I don't have a scary blank sheet anymore, but I'm taking my time and hope that it will be "blog worthy" in a week or two.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Still Life

Still Life on the Lanai
Mixed media/collage 
16 X 16 Gallery Wrap Canvas

A still life; a moment in time captured in a painting. Our workshop with Tara Funk Grim was held on a lanai (a screened outdoor room) on the lovely island of Sanibel Florida. We were surrounded by trees, and a courtyard with birds singing and flitting about. We were visited and serenaded everyday by a cardinal. Our last day we had a set up of fruit for our still life which we could "paint" with our colored tissue in any arrangement. It was far from complete when we left class on the last day. I've been working on it, off and on, ever since. Now, I think I'm finished. The yellow table is laden with fruit with a view to the world outside. I think I can still hear the cardinal!

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Ooops, Wrong Way!

1. Collage beginning

On the first day of the Tara Grim workshop we started with 3 colors of tissue paper, the first layer was the light blue, the second layer was the yellow connecting the light blue and the third layer was the mid-tone blue.  We were to try to make our torn tissues different sizes and shapes. I found it difficult to tear tissue in different shapes because it wants to tear with the "grain" of the paper into rectangles, cutting was the only option for me in that regard. The papers were attached to our substrates with gloss medium.

 2. Adding stamping

We carved out own stamps from a soft flexible material while the collage dried. Then we mixed up some acrylic paint and stamped over our collage. 

 3. Add contrasting elements

OK, this was the part where things started to go in the wrong direction. We were to add some contrasting elements to our collage. Granted, this was just supposed to be a fun, getting started piece, not something serious but I really didn't like my results. I needed to do something with it, I just couldn't let it sit around. So, the following week...

4. Ooops, Wrong Way!

I covered most of it over with acrylic paint and used cut out stencils to mask out the fish so that the under painting would show. I also used a shaper tool to remove the wet acrylic to make the seaweed. You can still see a lot of texture under the acrylic paint from the tissue and paper collage. I think the fish are varied and interesting from the under painting. One fish is traveling right and all the others left, which is why I named it what I did. Also because the painting took a "wrong" turn at the third step and needed a do-over. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Collage On a Bag II, Courageous

Collage on a paper bag

I have a special friend who is very courageous to my estimation. She has a genetic disease called CMT which is hard to pronounce and even harder to understand. It causes nerve degeneration and can progress differently in each person. My friend has been having a hard time walking the last couple of years. She has shown a lot of courage just learning to cope with her increasing disability. Everyday things which most people don't even think about, like sweeping a floor or going to the grocery store are 
major feats to her. So this is for you, Ellen, my courageous friend. (Click on the picture to enlarge the details). 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Collage On a Paper Bag

Paper Bag Collage 1
13 3/4 X 11

I love watching Laura Lein-Svencner's videos she posts on You-tube. I watched one where she cut apart a Trader Joe shopping bag and collaged on the unprinted inside. I happened to have a bag and decided to try it myself. You have to be careful to have nice straight edges if you want your margins to look good. Otherwise, the process is the same with coating the bag with gloss medium and using a tack iron to fuse the papers to the bag. If I wish to display it, I'll need to float it in a frame. For now it's an unframed piece. 


About Me

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I started watercolor painting earnestly in 1991 after I moved to Florida. My husband and I are retired, and we are both artists. We both have works displayed  at the Wildchild Gallery in Matlacha Florida.