Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Like a Hawaiian Sunset

Hibiscus 2


Hibiscus 1

Watercolor each 5.5 X 6

I was in the garden department of the local home improvement store when I saw the most gorgeous hibiscus I had ever seen. I had to have them! I needed to try to capture the brightness and blend of the colors in these flowers. It was so much fun. The first one I think captures it the best because I was just being wet and free with just getting the colors in. I used pigment as full strength as I could. Yes, there were that many layers of color; yellow orange, coral, pink, magenta and a deep almost black red. On the second one I used a black ink pen to define the edges and folds in the flower. I'm hoping the bushes survive our nasty soil, wet summers, and my tendency to over tend. 



Monday, May 02, 2016

Still Life, New Product

Orchid 1
Watercolor 5.5 X 6.5

Orchid 2
Watercolor 4.5 X 6.5

I was so excited that my orchids were blooming for a second time that I just had to try painting it. It's quite tiny, white with purple speckles. I could have protected the white areas and tried to splatter paint from my brush to make the speckles but I thought an easier way would be to use a new product that I recently bought. It's Brusho Crystal Colors. It's a powdered watercolor that comes in little plastic jars. You can punch a hole in the top of the container and shake the pigment out like a salt shaker. So, I wet the area where I wanted the purple and shook a little onto it. Voila! I had my speckled orchids. Then I could go in with my brush and make the petals and the centers. Of course you get a little bit of pigment outside of your wet area which you can blow away or make into a light wash. I did both. The purple pigment was a combination of red and blue so it made a nice range of color in the flower. The yellow in the top painting was from a spray bottle with a little powdered yellow pigment and water. Like instant sunshine. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

More From the Workshop

All Hands on Deck
Collage 5 X 6

I started this at the workshop I attended and finished it last week. It's an example of what can be added to a collage for embellishments. On this one I added some stamping, hand, circle and squiggle punch outs, brads, heat set silver foil and finally a heart shaped bead. It's a sampler of embellishments, not meant to be a serious work but mostly play. It's mounted raised on mat board.  Play is good!  

Friday, April 15, 2016

Collage Workshop Week End

Red Roof House of Music
5 X 7 Floating collage


Last week end I was at the Naperville Art League attending a workshop with Laura Lein-Svensner. It was a floating collage workshop. The pieces of collage are mounted on foam core so that they are raised up from the surface of the mat board on which they are mounted. For the first project of the class we all made a little house with a red roof. We were to have earth and sky background, a house with windows and a door and a red roof. The rest of the design was up to us. We had a wonderful variety of red roof houses. Mine has sheet music for the house, a treble clef for the chimney and notes on the red roof with a night sky. 


Ancestors
Floating collage, 12 X 12

The next day we worked on a larger project for which we made our own papers (first day) and included some of our own photos. This collage has a picture of my parents; the map in the background is of South Dakota where they were born. This collage is a keeper for me. 






Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Abstract Collage

Abstract Collage 1
8 X 8

The collage class is going well, the students are learning a lot about making papers, choosing colors and color combinations and putting together their collages. They look simple but abstracts are much more difficult than they appear. It's hard to get that look that you are going for. It takes lots of practice. It's so much easier, in my estimation, to do pieces with objects or subject matter. I like the challenge of abstract or non-objective work even if it is frustrating at times. Even if I start out with a plan I often don't stay with it. I get lured away by a pattern or piece of of paper that I just have to use, then I just go from there. I think this one tied together pretty well. I will use it to show my class how to heat fuse it to a wood panel. Then it will be ready to show or sell. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Collage Class Demo

America!
Collage, acrylic 6 X 6

I made this little collage as a demonstration piece for a collage class I've been teaching. Where do you start? For this piece it was the paper with the flag that got me started. What would make a good background for it? I searched the paper box for compatible red and blue and some neutral tone as well. Then I began piecing it together, sealing it down with a hot iron while protecting it with a piece of non-stick paper. Then the flag was added and then the paper with the words and, finally, I punched stars out of gold paper to add. The torn edges were sealed with burnt umber acrylic which was carefully wiped away so just the edges were stained. Then it's given a coat of acrylic gloss medium. The last steps will be to adhere it to a gallery wrapped canvas and give it a couple of coats of UV varnish. 
America's prayers go out to the people of Belgium and may God protect traveler's everywhere. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Getting Ready for Class

 Skinny Collage
3 X 9

Aquarium 
Collage, 3.5 X 10.5

I like the challenge of doing a composition on an irregular shape, in this case long and narrow. I did Skinny with odd pieces of this and that and then added the transfer at the end. 
I thought the painted tissue lent itself to a water like texture so I made the aquarium piece out of scraps of that. I may put this on a long skinny wrapped canvas that I have. 
I don't start out with a design in mind when I start these practice collages, I just pick the colors and papers that I want to use and let it build itself from there. It's very much like play and is very relaxing and freeing way to work. 
My collage class was supposed to start this week but a family emergency put it on hold for a week. Now I'm busy getting ready for the first class on Monday. 

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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.