Friday, February 28, 2014


Yesterday I attended a wonderful live model session at the Los Altos Hills City Hall.  Karen Druker created the event as a fundraiser and there were 20 artists working in various media with three different modeling stations.  One was a beautiful senior woman, one was a woman doing Yoga poses (it hurt just to see her hold these poses for extended time) and the last was my favorite model, Christina and some handsome dude with gorgeous hair, longer than Christina's.  I can never seem to pass up an opportunity to draw Christina, so I settled in there.  Because this was a very public venue, all the models were clothed.  I was not very inspired by the choice of clothing, so I focused on faces and torsos instead.  I was able to be very close to the models compared to the other drawing venues.  This allowed me to see features much better.  We were even allowed to take photos, so I can finish some of these drawings at my leisure.  These drawings were 5 , 10 and 20 minute poses, not necessarily in the order of appearance.

I decided to just take my iPad and stylus for this session instead of hauling lots of art supplies and easels, etc.  I used the application "Vellum" and had a great time exploring the different settings.  There are 3 different Erase categories.  One is hard erase, one is soft erase (like taking a kneaded eraser and lifting charcoal from the page!) and the last setting titled Erase was like conte crayon in various shades of sanguine and buff, etc.  Way cool!!!!!!  I decided I wanted to "tone" the page first and then draw into it and lift out.  So far, my only frustration with this program is the inability to alter the width of the mark in the "Line" setting.  You can adjust the value of the line but not the width.  At least not that I have discovered.  Maybe my Kickstarter support of the YuFu Stylus will help with that.  This is a pressure sensitive stylus that will vary the line as you work. It has a very fine tip which will make it easy to see exactly where I am placing my mark.  I should received mine by May, I hope!  Now, if someone would just invent a way to eliminate the glare on the iPad screen in sunlight so I could do more sketching outside.  

After the drawing session everyone was invited back to Karen's gorgeous home for a delicious luncheon.  She even made it a little celebration of my AWS signature acceptance.  That was embarrassing but thoughtful. Thank you Karen for a fabulous event.  You are the most remarkable, energetic, dynamic, generous and prolific artist, hostess and philanthropic woman I know!

Saturday, February 15, 2014


texture self portrait stage 2
I spent hours creating line drawings of lots of photos with TRACE yesterday.  By reversing the direction of this image, it seemed to compliment the light/dark pattern .  I hope to keep much of the collage patterns visible in the end.  I will try to play around with painting ideas with a digital program before I actually put paint to paper.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 9, 2014


This is how the painting finished up.  It started out like this

Evolution stage 1

This is acrylic on YUPO.  It might be a finished painting, but it doesn't really speak to me but so much fun exploring with paint.  My idea was to add an image on top.

Evolution stage 2
I made a drawing on parchment paper and then created a continuous line mask with a glue gun.  Laid it down and brayered acrylic over it.  Interesting idea but it has problems.  

Evolution stage 3

Added some collaged papers Starting to look interesting but problems with the white streak on the right side of the face, lost the lines of the fingers.  I laid the glue mask back down and attempted to add more paint.   Messed it up big time. 

Evolution stage 3
I covered over the mess up face with more collage paper.  As I was looking at it, I realized the dark shape in the middle was perfect for a head, so I looked through my photos and found the perfect image!

This is a photo of my son, Bill, taken while we were on Skype.  I just photographed the screen! He thought I was....well, you know,

Evolution line drawing from app TRACE

This is a cool line drawing I created from the above photo with the digital app TRACE.   

Evolution stage 4
I used a sanguine red conte crayon to draw the lines onto the painting so I could wipe away mistakes with a damp paper towel.  Then I used an eye dropper with black acrylic ink and drew over the lines. 

Evolution stage 5 FINISHED
Using the new Golden High Flow Acrylics, I added some color here and there.  These new acrylics are so transparent, they work beautifully as glazes.  I didn't want to loose the patterns of the collage papers or the ink lines.

I can't wait to try this technique again.   

I can't wait to teach this process in my new workshop Texture and Self Portraiture in the Digital Age!

Monday, February 3, 2014



This is the beginning of my next painting.  This is a YUPO surface with acrylic brayered on and then stamped into.  My idea is to add collage and then a drawing or painting on top of that.  I have been having waaaaaay too much fun making mono prints with my new extra large Gelli plate.  I never took a class in printing techniques, except for serigraph (think silk screen printing) which I was terrible at.  I can't get things to register.  The other problem is starting with the finished product in your head and then reverse engineering to have the right steps to get the desired results.  My brain isn't wired that way.  I came across a fabulous artist, Anne Moore, who does these stunning mono prints.  I studied them very carefully to try to determine her sequencing.  I am starting to understand what happens with subsequent layering using masks, stencils, stamps and glaze colors, opaque colors, going from light to dark, dark to light, etc.  I think you just have to do it a lot to understand it.  In the meantime, it is exciting to see what you think you are going to get and what actually shows up!  I did some printing on Tyvek, some on 90lb watercolor paper, but mostly on white tissue paper and deli paper.  The other fascinating thing I was playing with is color and what happens when you layer odd combinations over each other.   Some of the mono prints are just one pull and I decided to leave them that way because I thought it was interesting collage paper.  Some of the papers look like finished abstract paintings to me.  I may stick them down to a sturdy substraight and leave them, or I may tear them up and use sections of them at a time, or use them whole in a painting.  Working this way creates lots of difficult decisions, but sometimes results in very unusual paintings that would NEVER HAVE COME ABOUT if I worked in a predictable, safe and traditional way.  The piece above seems very busy to add collage and then a drawing but most of it will probably be obscured by the time I am done.  One of the things I loved about Anne Moore's paintings is the under layers barely showing through, creating a mystery and history at the same time.  That is what I am attempting to do.  If things don't work out, well, it is only a piece of paper and a little bit of paint. 

Delli paper used to clean brayer

first printing white tissue 

Some overprinting on tissue, for collage
Over printing with stamp, for collage
Three layers,  on tissue paper
Four layers on tissue paper

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