Monday, May 20, 2019

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Watercolor and Charcoal 9 X 15

I can't remember if I posted this before but I couldn't find a picture for it in my files so I think maybe I didn't. It received an Honorable Mention in a local show this year and the judge said some interesting things about it. 
"Canvas divided in quarters for focal area, high marks for design, e.g. diagonal line leading the eye, variety of rectangular shapes, skill turning charcoal into watercolor, with much diversity of shapes, feeling of balance, lots of variety yet coherent movement of the eye in the work, excellent feeling of childlike execution in small areas. Picasso said, "It took me four years to learn how to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child."
I guess I can take that as a compliment! 
Painting on a charcoal pour is a technique I learned from Karen Knutson in a workshop a few years ago. I do it when I want to get some challenge and diversity in my paintings. 

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Abstract Painting

Out On A Limb
Acrylic and collage on paper 22 X 30

Every once in awhile I have to challenge myself so I started taking an abstract class in April. The second challenge was to paint larger, so I started a full sheet of watercolor paper. With acrylics I use Fabriano Artistico II, 90#. It seems to hold up well to the scraping and multiple layers that I use in my process and doesn't buckle. I rarely start with an idea in mind, I just play with mark making and texture in the beginning; it's very intuitive. There is a lot of "what if" and "what would happen if..." going on. That's when I started adding my collage of ladies in old fashioned dresses. Finally I had to tie it together so I used a stencil to put in the large tree. It worked! Yay! I have other works in progress. The fun part about acrylics is that you can gesso over the whole thing and start over. In golf it would be a "mulligan". I may have to name one or two that! 

Friday, April 05, 2019

Artists of the Month

Nancy and I with our collage wall.

My Collage Wall

My friend and mentor, Nancy and I were asked to be artists of the month at our local art league. She taught me the heat sealed (John Talbot) method of collage and then we taught it to interested students. The most fun of the class is not that the collages are heat sealed but in all the different ways that we make our own collage papers. We use a lot of old National Geographic magazines because of the quality of the ink and paper. We hit these colorful photos with various chemicals, sandpaper, paint, ink, whatever we can find. We also paint our own papers from craft tissue, paper bags, maps, book pages, music, wrapping paper, etc so that each collage is unique and can't be copied. Our students become so free and creative we learn from them too. 
Our work will be hanging in the studio for the month of April.   

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Hope of Spring
Collage, 8 X 8

It maybe looks wintery, but it's that period of time in the snow belt when most of the snow is gone, there are signs of life and color but the trees are still bare. Some  are going through that right now and some places the blossoms have already opened. I saw the cherry blossoms in Washington D. C. on television and they looked glorious! We have spring in Florida, too, we even have bare trees! The weather is warm and dry and there are certain trees that blossom only this time of year. My early mango has set fruit that are the size of large walnuts. 
This piece was made from faded tissue, tissue with script, painted paper with marbling spray, printed paper and an acrylic transfer. All papers are coated with polymer gloss medium and heat sealed to a paper backing. It's coated with UV varnish. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

I Love Dragonflies

Flight of the Dragonfly
Collage, 6.5 X 11.5

Dragonflies are wonderful creatures! They eat mosquitoes for one thing and that makes them very useful; they are fun to watch and they have such varied bodies, from large to small and every color of the rainbow, often iridescent. One time, up north after a rainy day, the sun came out and there were literally thousands of dragonflies. It was magical! How and why they appeared after the rain I don't know. 
This collage was done in the traditional manner by gluing (with matte medium) paper onto a backing which was mat board. The papers were hand painted craft tissue, the dragonfly was an acrylic transfer which I applied using the heat method. The "flight path" is an acrylic string. Acrylic string is made by squirting a fine stream of acrylic paint onto a nonstick surface like oven parchment. It is allowed to dry and is fastened to the desired surface with matte or gloss medium. Please put in a comment if you have any questions about the process. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Dreaming of Paris

Old Paris
Mixed Media 15 X 15

Using old postcard pictures of Paris as an inspiration I started layering pictures and paint, along with old clock faces and script. Finally I finished it with a stylized Eiffel Tower. At least I think I'm finished. We will see, it's not in a frame yet. If you click on it to make it bigger you can see all the texture and details. 

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Painting With a Celebrity

Leoma's Seahorse
Acrylic, 12 X 16

Yes, this is quite a departure for me but it made for a fun afternoon. We have a local celebrity artist whose name is Leoma Lovegrove (yes, that's her real name).  She has quite a following and is known all over the world for her colorful, tropical paintings. She was commissioned to have her paintings on clothing, accessories, household items like pillows, dishes, and you name it, for a Florida department store, Bealls. She graciously has been helping our art league to raise money to pay for our new, very expensive roof by attending an afternoon painting party. We choose one of her designs, invite the public, offer wine and snacks for a fee of course, and have an afternoon paint-along party. Afterwards, she signs the back of every painting. She is so generous! Here's the link to our art league, click on events to see the pictures from our fund raiser. Also you can find Leoma on Facebook and   at