Wednesday, July 31, 2013



This one had an interesting progression.  It started out as a very precise shape painting.  I wound up keeping the shapes more distinct in the face but softening the edges as it moves away from the focal area.   The International Society of Experimental Artists (ISEA) International Juried Art Exhibit deadline for entering is tomorrow.  I think I will try my luck with this painting and see what happens.

Sunday, July 28, 2013






I think I am closing in on how I want to paint.  At least for this week!!!  I get bored with doing things the same way every time but I want to do more in this style for awhile at least.  

This is the image we are going to use in the workshop I am giving a week from tomorrow.  I put the photograph through some of the filters in Photoshop Elements and created an image that is elongated  with simplified shapes, soft edges and interesting colors.  That is what I started with.  I like my work to have an element of mystery (how did she do that?) This assumes you didn't read my detailed descriptions of exactly how I did "that".  Using a photo program to manipulate an image should just be the starting point.  If you copy the distortion directly then there is no mystery.  I like to use these technical aides as a way to nudge me in the direction I want to go, help me visualize possibilities and then combine it with other ideas for a finished painting

So, using the photoshop manipulation as my starting point, I blocked in the shapes, values and initial color with traditional brushes onto an old painting that I had covered with gesso and then stamped into the wet surface.  I used the same palette from yesterday's painting and the same tools, mostly a thin wooden coffee stirrer and some finger painting.  I managed to stop before I overworked this piece.  I am happy with the balance of line, broken color, intensity texture, hard and soft edges.  

By photographing this piece at an angle, I was able to create another distortion called parallax which gives me my next variation to try.  

Friday, July 26, 2013


I  am reading a wonderful book by Twyla Tharp, "The Creative Habit".  It is helping me to clarify my direction and get even more focused.  It seems this art thing is never exactly where you want it to be, if you even know where you want it to be!  

I have spent the last two days working on this image.  I covered up a false start and started over.  This is getting closer to what I want.  I used liquid acrylic inks and then building up the opacity with fluid acrylics.  The surface was first textured with gesso and heavy gel that I stamped into.  I drew and painted with a cheap, thin wooden coffee stirrer and lots of finger painting in the final stages!  My nails are a disaster but it was lots of fun with very interesting effects.  If  you haven't tried painting with your hands or fingers.  This is a small square gallery canvas.  I am going to try a similar  painting on watercolor paper.

I like this palette.  Indigo Blue, Magenta, Yellow Ochre, Spectrum Red (red orange) Dark Walnut and Buff Titanium in place of white.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


 I have no idea what was going on, but I had no ability to log on to the internet for a few days.  Anyway, whatever the problem was, it seems to have healed itself.   

I found a new drawing book  "Just Draw It" by Sam Piyasena and Beverly Philp  published by Barron's that has lots of fun ideas, some of which I had not come across before.  Actually, what sold me on the book was a drawing on the first page inside the book.  When I got home and had a chance to sit down and really study the book, that exercise wasn't even in the book!!!!!  It was from someone's sketchbook and there was no actual exercise in the book.  It was a face drawn totally in pen with cross hatched planes.  I was inspired!  I did a few drawings with this style, loved the results, then decided to create a painting of cross hatched lines.  I wanted to create my own "brush" for the project, so I went looking for an old fashioned straw whisk broom.  Funny how you don't think about how materials have been phased out over time until you go looking.  There is very little to no natural straw brooms left!  I found a synthetic brush that had soft, frayed tips that I thought would hold the ink.  I cut some of the strands, stuck them down to a long, thin, piece of cardboard with double stick mounting tape.  I put another piece of the tape on top of the strands, then folded the bottom of the cardboard up and bound the whole thing with masking tape.  I used Acrylic inks in various colors and went to town.  The surface is an old painting on Tyvek covered with gesso that I stamped into.  I am not totally happy with the result but I think the process has potential and I will try it again.

Monday, July 1, 2013




This is Jennifer Stone and one of her fabulous mixed media paintings.  If you would like to see more of her work, you can find her on Facebook.   Jennifer puts on a special watermedia workshop once a year in Watertown, South Dakota.  She does such a fabulous job that there is a waiting list for the next one at least a year in advance.  Jennifer asked me to do the workshop back in 2009!  It took awhile, but we finally got together.  People came as far away as Minnesota and Wisconsin.  I felt very honored to be the teaching artist for this year.

I was a guest at her beautiful home where she saw after my every need.  By the end of the week I felt like a member of the family.

The workshop was attended by a great group of enthusiastic, creative students.  I will post images tomorrow of some of the work that was done during the week.  I love seeing how everyone interprets the common image we all work with for the week.  It is a relaxed atmosphere and everyone had fun with rolling the dice to see what unique combination of elements they had to work with for the day.  

Thank you, Jennifer, for providing such a welcoming atmosphere for myself and all that attended.

I have one more VARIATIONS workshop coming up in August on the beautiful coast of Oregon.  Here is a link where you can check out the venue if you think you might be interested.  Hope to see you there.

Related Posts with Thumbnails