Monday, June 22, 2015
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 on the Lanai
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
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 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
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.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Mixed Media, 16 X 20
This past week end I took a workshop from a Delaware artist, Tara Funk Grim. She's an accomplished painter and collagist. She begins her collages with a light tissue paper background and adds colored tissue and other papers as she goes, using gloss medium to seal the papers to the substrate. This is different from what I've been doing with the hot iron, it is a more traditional collage. After the papers are fixed and dry she starts painting out with acrylic the areas she doesn't like and cleans up the edges of the torn papers. She will also add more papers if needed. Her work is amazing, go to her web site at www.tarafunkgrim.com
Be sure to click on my image to get an enlargement so you can see all the "stuff" in there.
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
Collage 10 X 10
I've been challenging myself to add more detail and interest to my collages. More layers, and more complexity. With that kind of a challenge it's hard to know when to quit. I kept adding and decided that I think it's enough. But I'm still not sure. Maybe there will be more. I like the cascading effect of the pieces coming down. It's all about learning and stretching myself to keep it interesting. I once had a teacher tell me that an artist is in the business of entertaining the viewer. Let me know if you've been entertained.
This collage is made of hand made string paper, painted tissue paper, manufactured paper, and acrylic paint. It is coated with gloss medium and protected with UV varnish.