Thursday, March 6, 2014


Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to present a demo to the Fremont Art Association.  They are fortunate to have a "home" with a gallery, meeting space and workshop space in the heart of old town Niles.  They honored me with a large turn out and we had a great time.  Everyone was very friendly and receptive.  I am hoping to come back and present this workshop sometime in the near future.

This was the first time I have had the opportunity to give this new presentation which is part of my new workshop.  I took a failed painting out of the growing stack! and covered it with collage paper earlier in the day.  This was the base for my new painting.

I talked about using the iPad or similar device to break down an image into 3 values.  Using that image, I drew the darkest value shapes in with a charcoal pencil, then added the lightest values with a white hard pastel.  Here is the photo I took at that state.  I was holding the camera up high and was on tiptoes, so there was some distortion, but you get the idea.

Then using acrylic inks in deep blue and burnt sienna plus an opaque acrylic white, I proceeded to fill in the painting.  Normally I would have sprayed the charcoal and pastel first but I didn't want to asphyxiate the crowd, so I just painted directly on top.  

Now that I have had time to evaluate the painting, I will finish it up.  It is always a good idea to ruminate on a piece you are working on.  It creates a little distance and different perspective.

Saturday, March 1, 2014



Yesterday I decided I wanted to do some string drawings.  If you missed my post on this fun way to draw, you take a long mop string, dip one end into a bottle of ink and then try to draw with this dangling, limp noodle.  Very interesting drawings result.  I have a large supply of blank newsprint paper that I usually use for this exercise.  Here is the drawing I created.


I must have attempted 5 or 6 images.  This is the only one I liked.  Next I decided to see how newsprint would take to mono printing with my large Gelli Plate.  When you add acrylic to even the cheapest  paper, it adds stability and functionality.  I thought I could practice mono printing ideas on the paper I just drew on.  Here is the drawing after I covered it with multiple mono printing passes.


The original drawing was pretty much obscured by the printing, so I wanted to see if I could paint a decent painting on this low grade paper.  I spread acrylic gel over an old unsuccessful painting that had collage on it and bonded the mono print on top.  

Today I painted on top with heavy acrylic using a credit card and a coffee stirrer like a palette knife.  The collage under the paper gave the surface a rough texture so the paint went on very brokenly when scraped across.


When I got it this far I was unhappy with the right eye and I needed to make further adjustments to the shape of his face.    Here is the final result with a few details.  Surprisingly, I can use this paper to do finished paintings on.  Wahoo!

So, here's the question:  Would this painting be considered a collage since it is painted on a single sheet of paper with nothing glued on top?

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