Tuesday, August 19, 2014

VACATION'S OVER!

A STRANGER AMONG US

I took a little vacation from blogging but not from working!  I am getting  ready to share a wonderful teaching experience with Anne Bagby in a few weeks and then I am off to the Florida Watercolor Society conference where I will be giving a workshop, doing a demo and some one on one critiques.  There will be constant activity and events including their annual exhibit,  a trade show, a paint around and a banquet.  I have never been to this type of  conference and it will be exhilarating.  I can't wait!

This painting needs to be framed and shipped before I leave.   It was accepted into the 2014 National Watercolor Society National show.  As ever, I am very excited to be included this year.  With so many excellent artists entering, it is a miracle to be excepted.  It is hard to say what will make the cut.  I was disappointed that I didn't get into the San Diego WCS International show.  All we can do is create a lot of work, set aside those pieces that feel successful  and be willing to take a chance, keeping our fingers crossed. I think I should be doing more of this formatting.  It is not an original concept but creates an interesting dynamic between the nine faces.  

In my next post, I will share some questions to consider when evaluating your painting.  It is helpful as a way to take another look at your work after you have stared at it so long you can no longer be objective.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

ART IN THE VINEYARDS!

JERRY, GESSO TEXTURE DEMO

MORRIS, COLLAGE TEXTURE DEMO
I spent 3 wonderful days giving a Texture Workshop for the Central Coast Watercolor Society in Paso Robles, California.  Everything was perfect....great students, great location, great weather.  This part of the central coast has wonderful wineries. We set up shop at the Castoro Cellars Winery off of highway 46 West.  What a beautiful place, with lunch outside on the patio amidst the grapevines.  I was honored to jury their Aquarius 2014 show which is now on exhibit in the Castoro Cellars Art Gallery through August 30th.   There are lots of talented artists here, so, if you are anywhere near the area, be sure and stop by and see the show, taste some wine, maybe have a picnic and enjoy this wonderful part of California. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

MAKING IT YOUR OWN!





I took a workshop from Derek Gores a while back.  It was lots of fun and I love his work.  The problem for me was to figure out  how to incorporate the ideas from his workshop into my work and not have it look so derivative. I had this imaged started on a nice gallery canvas with the torn magazine collage in black and white.  I had set it aside because I never could decide how to continue.     Yesterday, I was inspired to collage the entire piece with various tissues I had patterned with gesso using my Gelli Plate.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize I had never photographed the image after the initial magazine collage.  So, we have to start with the second step, covered with gesso tissue.  

Today, I took out my liquid watercolors and painted over all the collage papers .  I may play with the shadow pattern a bit but basically, I think it is done.  I think I will do a few more of these with some slight variations.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

2ND DEMO FROM NEW WORKSHOP!

ODE TO A SON

This painting is a combination of old painting partially covered with gesso through a stencil and some collage papers that have been made on the Gelli Plate with tissue, stencils and gesso for paint, then painted with Mahogany, burnt sienna and Ultramarine blue acrylic glazes.  I must have painted out the right eye 8 times before I was satisfied with it.  I may play with the value pattern a little more digitally in the computer and make a few adjustments,  but basically, it feels finished.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

PORTRAITURE IN THE DIGITAL AGE WORKSHOP DEMO: DAY 2

DEMO DAY 2 FAA WORKSHOP

This is the demo I did for the Fremont Art Association workshop.  Day two is all about shape.  Creating a 2 value image in our digital devices is a great way to break the image into large shapes that connect.  Working on YUPO makes it fun and easy to do interesting things in the dark shapes and lift out the light shapes.  Give it a try!  

This Fremont group is a joy to work with.  Everyone is into the process and  having fun keeping up with technology and exploring ways we can use it to enhance our art experience.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

CHAMPAGNE DREAMS

I decided to use the last image I posted and create another painting.  I wanted to use the art program I will be teaching my next workshop and see where it would lead.  

I like to start by covering over a failed painting.  Fortunately, I have lots of these!  Here is the first stage of the new painting.  Using PS Touch, I created a notan (2 value) then, viewing that image in my iPad, I painted over the old painting using just two color.  Some of the previous incarnation showed through but I don't worry about that knowing it would eventually disappear under the additional layers that were coming.  It was, however,  somewhat distracting.  I used a mid value orange instead of a very dark value color as an experiment to see how this would affect the final result.  Working with just two values forces the artist to see and evaluate shapes, angles, distances, relationships rather than seeing "things" i.e nose, lips, glasses etc.  

Notan stage one of CHAMPAGNE DREAMS
The next step was to add transparent or translucent collage over the piece.  Normally, I use hand painted papers.  I am partial to tissue collage for its transparent quality.  I had just saved a piece of printed tissue that was used in a gift basket.  I realized I had two other prints with a circular, dot pattern.  This could be fun!!  

Stage two: Collage Layer for CHAMPAGNE DREAMS

Having the mid value instead of dark value allowed me to more easily make adjustments for a more accurate portrait.  I wasn't looking for a great likeness (irrelevant for my purposes) but getting the mouth aligned better, getting the scale of the eyes and glasses in relation to the rest of the features, etc. are subtle corrections that make a difference in the final piece.

Final solution
Naming the painting can be the most fun of all.  Here are some of my other ideas:  Running Circles around myself.  Running around in Circles, The Circle of Life.  Life has come full circle, Life in a Bubble.  Want to join in the name game?  Feel free to share in the comments section.






Friday, May 9, 2014

BOOK DEDICATION!



1ST PORTRAIT - A SELFIE1

While on Orcas Island off the coast of northwest Washington State,  I looked for another of the handmade watercolor sketch books that I have fallen in love with.  They are made by a resident of the San Juan Islands (Orcas is part of this chain of islands)  My kids insisted on buying it for me for Mother's Day.  I must have done something right to raise such great boys.  

I have decided to dedicate this book to just portraits.  This is the first painting in my new book.  A self portrait seemed most appropriate to start things out with.  I took a chance and drew directly with acrylic ink with a stick.   I like the square format.  I am using the gorgeous new QoR watercolors from Golden.  They sent me some samples to try out and I have been extremely impressed.  They are highly saturated and luxurious feeling.  They take a little longer to dry in the palette but rewet very easily.  

You can see the beautiful end paper to the left of the painting.  Here are two other views of this book.  I love the beautiful red leather exterior and the gold and patterned oriental paper inserts in the front and back of the book.  The spine has wonderful stitching and a hand made button for the closure.  It feels so decadent and luxurious.  The only fear is messing up one of the pages.  


If you would like to inquire about these beautiful books, they are made by Susie Shipman


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