Friday, 28 October 2016

A Couple of Daily Paintings!

After reading yesterday's post - again, and again! I decided to get with it and just paint. Was up at 5:00 (MST) this morning. Okay....I must confess was actually planning on getting up at 6:00 but our lovely yellow lab Cleo had other plans. Painted for a couple of hours then went and fed our horse and mules - lots of snow here today! You can set your watch by them - they wait at the same spot, at the same time daily! I kid you not, anyone who has animals will believe me.

From left to right:
Joker, Sage and Kate

Our lovely yellow lab (and studio muse)

Went back to my studio in the afternoon and painted for another hour and a bit and here are the results. I had put the 'first layer' of paint on a couple of weeks ago and took the opportunity to 'finish' the two today.

Rediscovering 'Still Life' painting. Want to do it my way though. Not sure if this is my way, but consider it a good start. Was never that much into still life but need to get out of my comfort zone.

4 3/4" X 4 3/4"
Acrylic, collage, mixed media
on paper

Our lovely summer 'greens' are but a memory and winter has laid her blanket of white over the trees and meadows.... so this is a little reminder of the summer past.

5 1/4" X 5 1/4"
Acrylic mixed media
on paper

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and have a read - you help inspire me to keep painting and writing! Best wishes to you all for many happy and creative times in your studio!

Thursday, 27 October 2016

The Art Journey & Making Art

It seems like forever since I have posted or painted! Am just getting back into my studio and there seems to be a lot of sitting and 'thinking' and not a lot of painting. Missed almost three weeks of painting this month - for a variety of reason - some out of my control. Have also been spending time looking at artwork on Pinterest and this has me taking a step back and wondering about my painting and where I am going with this 'journey of art making'. I have so many ideas right now, not enough time to try even half of them. Does anyone else go through this? In the meantime I am sticking to things that are simple and doable and trying to squeeze in any time I can experimenting. So I have no artwork to share today, but I do have a lovely altered road sign that I hope you will enjoy as much as I do. The rural community I live in celebrates a Scarecrow festival during the month of October and each year the scarecrows become more and more creative (ie. the benchmark is set higher and higher). I need to get around and take pictures of them and will share with you in the next few days. In the meantime this little gem is one I see whenever I drive to the village to pick up mail or have a coffee with friends - is so creative and always brings a smile to my face!

Altered 'deer crossing' sign!
West Bragg Creek Road, Alberta, Canada

Monday, 10 October 2016

Vancouver Island Art Workshops - Jane Davies - Part 2

Back to the workshop and the final three days.....

Starting day 3 we had a choice of switching to our 'good' paper  (a good printmaking paper) or doing a few more prints with the drawing paper. I choose to switch to my printmaking paper - Stonehenge. I really like the Stonehenge for this type of monoprinting. Jane wanted us to experiment with the techniques we had been using the previous two days - especially the masking of shapes and texturing. It was important not to have a plan and to work more with our intuition and notice things such as similar values, lights/darks, shape size and saturated colour versus neutrals. Once these were dry we added a background ('ground') to the print. Lots of choices to think about here. Do you leave a space between shapes and ground, how will the shapes relate to the ground and what colour for the ground. By putting in the ground it makes it easier to see what you have. We could still print and collage over the ground if we wanted. Painting the ground takes a lot of time and care. I mixed two or three colours for my grounds so I would get some variation in the colour.

There are a lot of things to think about when working on these pieces...
1. Contrast of scale
2. Variation in value
3. Transparency/Opacity
4. How much white space to leave around shapes - thickness and thinness of lines
5. Do you leave white space
6. Placement of shapes - ex. do they go off the edge, overlapping
7. How much do you enhance the shapes - a little or a lot
8. What is the 'top/bottom' of the print. Jane usually decides this earlier on - is intuitive for her.
9. Will your ground be all one colour or one side yellow the other purple

For the remainder of the workshop we worked on the following
1. Printing then collaging, painting the ground and line work
2. Printing grids and then collaging and painting
3. Printing grounds and printing, painting and collaging over them.

These are a couple of printed starts that I am looking forward to working on.

Multiple printings and masking off of parts of plate and masking 
using a shape. Lots to do
with this start!

Rolled titanium white over residue on gelli plate
and printed. You can see previous printed
shapes and colours. Looking forward to working on this one

Printed ground with printed and collaged shapes,
added paint and some line work

Printed grid with collage, added paint,
some stencilling and line work

Started with printed ground using a lot of
layering and masking of the background.
Added collaged shapes and paint

So this is a very brief description of techniques covered in this workshop. For me the gelli plate encourages experimentation and pushing limits as much as you can with this tool. Having spent 5 days 'monoprinting' has inspired me to do some printmaking at home. I am going to 'dust' off my etching press and enjoy experimenting with some monoprinting.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Vancouver Island Art Workshops - Jane Davies Workshop - Part 1

I have just returned home from Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I was attending a 5 day workshop with Jane Davies. The subject of the workshop was 'Monoprint Collage: the Dynamics of Working in Series'. The workshop was organized by Vancouver Island Art Workshops. Mary Stewart and her husband Jim put a tremendous amount of time and effort into this workshop. The facility was well appointed, two big tables for each participant to work on and lots of refreshments and food. Mary also had several prize draws and gave us each a bottle of Dick Blick 'Celadon' acrylic paint (a favourite colour of Jane's) and a tube of acrylic paint from Kroma Artist's Acrylics.

I had purchased some of  Kroma Artist's Acrylics for this workshop. This is the first time I have used this brand of acrylic paint and I really like it. It printed well using the gelli plate and the colours are rich! Have put these on the the 'art supply' wish list.

I had taken Jane's online monoprint workshop so I knew there would be some repetition over the first couple of days and I was looking forward to the idea of working in a series and getting feedback and ideas/suggestions on how to move forward with my work.

Day 1 and 2 were spent making making a variety of collage papers using the GelliArts gel plate. The paper we used is approximately an 80lb  drawing paper. You can get some gorgeous papers layering colour, patterns and textures. We needed a variety of hues, values, high contrast and low contrast papers. We layered tone on tone, pattern on pattern, opaque and transparent. You could go on forever. For texturing - string, corrugated cardboard, texture plates - you are only limited by your imagination! We also started cutting masks and using stencils to create some interesting effects.

The afternoon of day 2 we spent experimenting with printing and collaging on the 80lb drawing paper.

Here is a very small sampling of some of the papers made during day 1 & 2.

Tone on tone

Phthalo turquoise mixed with
glazing medium on plate, rolled out with brayer and printed

Patterned paper made with multiple colours of blue and multiple stencils/masks
Tone on tone paper, using texture plates

Some of my favourite papers were those I used to clean my brayer off on and some rolling titanium white out on the residue left on the plate and then printing.

Using titanium white over residue on plate and
pulling the print. The curved shape had been
printed on the paper first using a mask

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Vancouver Island, BC

I am spending the next 5 days in a workshop with Jane Davies in Saanich, Vancouver Island, BC. Having taken all of Jane's online workshops I wondered if I would ever be able to attend an in-person one. Well, here I am, and yes, very excited and a bit nervous. Came a day early so I could spend a day visiting a couple of favourite spots. Spent the morning at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria. Saw the Mammoths, Giants of the Ice Age exhibit, the First Peoples Gallery, and some of the natural history dioramas. Then on to Butchart Gardens. Over 55 acres of gardens, with beautiful fountains and statuary, a merry-go-round and much, much more. My favourites are the Sunken Garden (an old quarry site), the Japanese Garden and the Florentine bronze statue of Tacca, the boar. It is said if you rub his snout it will bring good luck. And yes I did rub his snout! The workshop starts tomorrow and I hope I will be able to post images over the 5 days. In the meantime happy creating!

Coast Salish Woman
(Photo circa 1918)

Woven Hats

Japanese Garden statuary

Tacca, the boar with his finely
burnished snout!

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Thirty Paintings in 30 Days - Collage

Not quite finished with the 30in30. Here they all are. So interesting to look at them all together - the differences and the similarities. Hadn't picked a theme but ended up with landscapes - hard not to this time of year with all the fall colours - can see so many more 'lines' and shapes. Still can't believe I painted thirty images - although smaller in size is still an accomplishment for me. Next time I think I would do some 'larger' sizes. Love looking at the other participants collages!! Have also decided to offer some for sale - have had some inquiries locally and will see where it goes. Looking forward to the next Thirty Paintings in 30 Days! Best wishes to you all.

30 Paintings in Thirty Days
September 2016