For 2015, my word was FOCUS. It didn't quite meet what I had in mind. Instead of honing in on what I thought would be my art path this past year, the FOCUS turned inward and ended up meaning something quite different. Somewhere about the middle of the year I had a change of course and seemed to do anything but what I thought I was supposed to do. Tried new classes in unfamiliar techniques and liked it! Seems my art approach is going through a bit of a transition and I am not quite sure where it is taking me right now. Wherever this is leading it should be an interesting adventure. Why not come along and see where my journey leads???? See you next year!
Creating mixed media art is sometimes a messy business and there always seems to be scraps and leftovers still sitting on the table. It's always a nice feeling to use these leftovers and turn them into something usable. This piece incorporates the positive & negative flower shapes, leftover ginwashi scraps and paper weaving from altered papers.
My last show of the year is about a month away and I realized there are a few pieces that needed to be photographed before they "hopefully" left home for good. Part of my sale pieces are unfinished class samples - pieces I have painted while teaching but probably didn't get finished during class for whatever reason. The wonderful thing about watercolor batik is the colors always come out just a bit different. I try to finish each piece by pulling out some unique aspect to change it up just a bit. This particular painting had more of a warm brownish cast to it and I happened to get a really nice dark linen mat board in a mixed board stack. It worked perfectly with this particular painting and turned out quite elegant. Now to find a good home for it!
One of the fun things about creating the altered papers is the serendipity of the results. This particular paper leached out some of the color s surrounding this figure but left an interesting outline. What better place to start creating? I have also cut several tree stamps to work with a purchased stamp to help change things up a bit. This piece uses one of my stamps.
This altered paper had the lovely greens just wanting to be some type of sky so I took advantage of the serendipity. It has a bit of land to anchor the scene but it is mostly sky and that moon. There was a bit of a blobby thing happening with the gold pen so I used it to advantage to create some interest. This is definitely a OOAK!
This eye appeared on the page and looked like an interesting place to start. A regular moon didn't look right but adding the crescent moon gave the eye an eyebrow, further enhancing the effect. Here's looking at you!
Do you see it? The cliff on the left looks like one of the moai - the monumental statues on Easter Island. This was a happy accident when the pages were pulled apart. I even have a mirror image for another piece of art. He is staring up at the moon - maybe dreaming of - what?
Two more additions to my growing collection of collage worlds. Half the fun is finding a starting point and watching the scenery build from there. Usually there is one area of a paper that suggests something - a moon, horizon, neat sky features, landscape, seascape - and that is my starting point. Both of these were pretty much complete as a whole and didn't really need much to complete the scene.
This is another one of my small world creations. After I assembled the pieces and took the first photo it was just a bit bland - lots of color and pattern but no real focus. I added a much larger moon and decided to go with the tree theme since I had used the trees stamp and add just one large tree top to bottom, front and center. It is almost as if you are approaching this large tree and looking out onto the landscape - at least that is what I hope is happening!
This is another Storyteller and her name is Calliope. She reminds me of the circus - colorful, happy and busy! She is my first glass creation that combines mixed media elements - silk, fibers, wire & bead. Surely you can here the circus music playing and the promise of wonderful surprises that await!
This is my first Story Teller creation. There are so many elements to her. There is an old watercolor batik painting that I ripped up for the robe, sari waste was hand dyed for the shawl. There are paper beads on the shawl ends made by another art friend. The face is paper clay made from a mold. All kinds of embellishments and techniques inspired from a workshop. What do you think?
Traveling to a convention didn't seem to be in the cards this year so I am taking some online classes. Stretching into new ideas about art was top of the list when it came time to choose classes. This is scary territory - it is soooo much easier to do safe & happy! But stepping outside that safe & happy space can lead to some real art growth sometimes. And I have really stepped off into the unknown!! One of my classes is called Small Worlds and consists of creating very small landscapes with torn and altered papers. These photos are what I have so far and were created with old National Geographic magazines and CitraSolv. I have seen this technique used by numerous artists but was never brave enough to give it a try. Not anymore! I think I over saturated this batch a bit. They are drying now and some have some lovely passages of color but I need just a bit more movement. Stay tuned to see what comes next! If you are interested in checking out the class go to http://www.artfulgatheringevents.com. I am taking Small Worlds by Lyn Belisle. Session two has just started and there is still time to sign up!
Abstract imagery isn't my usual starting point when it comes to making art but several recent experiences have encouraged me to take a closer look. First, I took a design class from Kelly Hoernig and one of the class exercises was to cut out different shapes and arrange them into a painting layout. For some reason that was really hard! Static shapes really did nothing for me and I realized that the actual object informed my design choices more than I thought. Still, designing with shape intrigued me. The second experience was taking my first stained glass class. Choosing glass and placing the pattern pieces was more challenging than I thought! Again, there was that line/shape connection. Third - Carol Spohn's class came up in Art Play Date. Carol is a great watercolor/mixed media artist and she had some really interesting techniques for adding line & color in her paintings. And what is this charcoal business? Gotta try that!! Watching her play with lines within the design was really intriguing. Could I do something with that? Next came lots of time spent on Pinterest wasting time researching line & shape & color - oh my! So I pulled out some watercolor paper and tried the charcoal treatment on several. Got one that I liked and set it aside. The others are experiment surfaces. I drew on some lines and a circle, tossed on some paint (& salt), tossed on some more paint. Decided I didn't like using every color in the rainbow so moved into Paynes Grey. OK - this is harder than it looks!! More paint & more salt. And now most of the paper is really dark! Not what I was going for. Wait - I have bags of watercolor batik scraps! Skinny little colored strips torn & glued on might help. OK, bigger pieces might help too! Still needs more texture/pattern. Stencils to the rescue! A bit more shine/sparkle was needed. Pulled out my 1/4" double sided tape and placed one line in the empty space through the circle. Varigated leaf pulled in a bit more blue & copper with the gold. This definitely needs to be cropped to rebalance the weight though! Lessons learned??? Working this way is harder than it looks. Balancing line & color is not easy in the abstract as there are no recognizable objects to inform the viewer. Cropping is my friend. And I definitely want to do more!!!
I have been taking a design class called Concept 2 Completion created by Kelly Hoernig. Kelly is one of the most innovative and creative people I know and she is incredibly fun to take shopping when searching for "art" treasures! The whole class was about challenging yourself to step outside the box and approach design in a whole new way. Such fun!
This is what I have been up to lately! My painting chapter had the annual Spring Fling luncheon a couple of weeks ago and this was one of the tables. This is my Rose Romance table. It featured mixed media rose sketchbooks for everyone and the centerpiece was a custom made footed tray with vintage glass handles. Roses for all!!
Even though I spent 15 years living in LA, somehow we never made it up to San Francisco to see the sights. Larry was attending a conference in the city and I flew out to meet him for a long weekend of sightseeing & visiting some northern friends & family. The weather was postcard perfect - clear blue skies & warmish weather - certainly not the norm for SF! We rode the cable car from downtown, toured Ghiradelli & ate chocolate, walked Fisherman's Wharf & had crab & chowder & sourdough bread. Then we took the cable car back as far as we could. It stopped short of its usual destination because of the annual Chinese new year parade. Found the Chinese version of Zoltar and didn't realize until the next night that Zoltar was just across the street! We found a sidewalk perch and watched the parade go by - quite the spectacle! The next day we picked up a rental car and started our journey north toward Napa. Crossed the Golden Gate bridge. Visited one of Larry's gradeshool friends in Benicia and had a lovely brunch on the water up there. The rock heart was from there - found it at low tide during a stretch of the legs. Then on up to Napa for a couple of days of wine "therapy." Thanks to friends for some great winery suggestions! This being the off season, most of the wineries weren't very busy and we were able to chat with most of the wine peeps. We ended up trying extra wines we probably wouldn't have been offered - big bonus! Met up with one of Larry's long lost cousins who lives in Napa. Got an In N Out fix - so good! Napa really is an incredibly lovely place - looking forward to returning some day!
My workshop on painting acrylic stroke roses is ready to launch in just a few weeks at Acrylic Painting Club. Not only do you get my workshop but lots of other fun classes from some really great teachers. Don't miss out!!