Sunday, March 9, 2014
Here is Tye's finished portrait, size 12x12". His owner Matt took the nicest picture of Tye sitting in the snow and looking upward. I worked this piece in Prismacolor pencil on Stonehenge paper. I used a small flat bristle brush to burnish the pencil where I wanted solid areas of the fur with no texture from the paper showing through.
I created the shadows in the snow by using cool blues over warm blues and purples, then another warm blue over the top. Experiment layering warm-cool-warm-cool (or vice versa) to make colors sing.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Saturday, February 8, 2014
These are two of my book sculptures which I have entered into an open exhibit at Imago Gallery in Warren, RI. The pieces are hung quite high on the wall but still can be viewed well enough from below. I went to the opening wondering what kind of reactions I would get from people because I think they're just fun and different but as an artist, we never know how our work will be received. I was especially happy because the piece on the right in which I titled Flying Away was sold during the opening. The buyer introduced herself to me and told me she loved the piece and had exactly the right spot in her office for it. For me, to make people happy with my art is the greatest reward.
This collection of small drawings are being made into an accordion style handmade book. When I teach colored pencil to my students, I usually draw along with them. I will pick one subject from our still life and work on my drawing while I help them to work on theirs. I have quite a collection of these small drawings so I have decided to put several together into a handmade book which can be displayed. I am part of an upcoming student/mentor exhibit at Spring Bull Gallery in Newport, RI and I plan for my book to be included in the exhibit.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
After that was finished, I tore multiple pages out of another old book and hand colored them with watercolors, letting the two or three colors on each piece to flow and mingle together. My first attempts at watercolor were too muted, so I chose to use the brightest colors. The next step was to find and cut out butterfly, dragonfly and bug patterns in workable sizes and interesting shapes. I have to admit I spent two days cutting bugs and butterflies out of my watercolored pages. I found that too many legs or antennas could easily tear and larger bold shapes worked better. In all honesty, I have many unused bugs waiting for my next project.
I attached the butterflies to colored jewelry wire by making holes in the bodies with a small awl and weaving the wire through. Next I attached the wired butterflies to the book so they could "float" or "fly" above the book. Others I just glued to the pages of the book.
I am really enjoying this creative hiatus from my colored pencil drawings. I believe that each and every medium and art project influences another. To work in another form of art and especially in sculpture is a learning and growing experience.
Friday, January 24, 2014
Thursday, January 9, 2014
I've mentioned in a previous post that I am cleaning out my parents' house (the big dig) and finding all kinds of wonderful old items that have inspired me to put them into a form of artwork. It's been cold and dreary in January but I am having fun in my studio, I've laid out all of my treasures on my work tables. Some of my treasures include old magazines, stamps, my mother's childhood piano music book and of course lots of old photos. Other than the stamps, I am using photocopies of everything in my collages so I don't ruin the original treasures.
Here is another view of my work tables and I'm also playing with folding the pages of books, two are shown on the left. Still deciding if I would consider them finished or add something to them, for now they sit and wait.
Friday, December 27, 2013
It's taken me a little while to get back to work and get back in the momentum of drawing and creating. I have the tasks of taking care of my dad's estate (other side of the brain!) and cleaning out my parents' house which is bringing back many memories but also giving me more ideas for future artwork. And then the holidays came along so I have literally been working on this piece at a snail's pace. I finally have enough done to post my progress here.
The idea came from a photo I took while in Kozseg, Hungary in May of 2012. I have been thinking about this drawing and composition since that trip because I am intrigued with the different window panes and looking through the panes of glass or broken glass. I tossed around the ideas of adding objects inside such as a bird or a nest but then decided my piece might just bee too busy or cluttered. I chose to let the shapes speak for themselves.
I am working on UArt 800 grit paper. My first layer of color is gently applied with Caran d'Ache Supracolor and Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils and a little bit of water. First I laid on the watercolor pencil dry then added water with a brush to blend colors together to create an underpainting. I chose this method because the UArt paper is textured and I didn't want any of the paper showing through, especially in the very dark areas. The top two small panes and just the watercolor pencil underpainting. In the lower part of the drawing, I have added regular colored pencil on top of the watercolor pencil. I like putting grays over bright colors and light colors over dark colors, because the pencil is translucent, colors will show through one another and I am able to achieve the look I want to for the weathered and peeling paint.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Thank you for reading my blog. Unfortunately, this has been a somewhat unproductive year. It has been a year of change and challenges. I have been managing my dad's care for the past several years and during this past year he was hospitalized four times, in a nursing home for two months and then home again with round-the-clock care. Most recently it had been a struggle to get him to eat or take his medication and one month ago he died. Since that time, I have been reflecting on his life and my life, thinking about life growing up with both of my parents (my mother passed away 17 years ago) and now cleaning out the house and finding so many memories. Thinking of how I can incorporate those memories into my artwork. It is bittersweet.
Monday, November 4, 2013
Monday, October 28, 2013
After I chose the vibrant red pitcher to demo for Ampersand, I tried several pieces of fabric behind the pitcher to see what worked best for the background. I chose this one with the intricate leave patterns because I was attracted to the organic shapes of the leaves contrasted with the round, smoothness of the pitcher. I also like the contrast in the grays and blues of the leaves against the bright red and especially the movement of the background shapes which complete the composition.
I finished the piece by spraying it with two coats of Krylon UV Resistant Clear and then four coats of Krylon Kamar Varnish, letting each coat of the varnish dry at least 30 minutes before adding spraying again. This way I won't have to frame the piece under glass.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Who is Alice? I saw this suspended sculpture The Wing by Xoo-ang Choi on line and just had to view it in person. I was just amazed at the contrasts in the materials used, the organicly sculptured hands shaped like wings against the metal hanging supports.
Pawel Althamer. The faces are of real Venetians, the bodies are made of wire and plastic.
This amazing painting is by Asian artist Chuang Che.
A typical view of Venice. When I told people I was going on a trip to Venice, I heard so many comments, positive and negative. Positive: "it's so quiet because there is no traffic, only the sound of water". "It's such a beautiful, romantic city".
Negative: "The water is moldy and stinks". "The gasoline from the motorboats stinks". "The motorboats are loud".
It is all in the eye of the beholder. I believe the positive comments, it is very quiet and it is romantic. I don't believe the the negative comments, I never smelled any mold and the motor boats are quieter than car and truck traffic. One has to walk everywhere, bicycles cannot even maneuver the sidewalks and steps. The only negative aspects, and the Venetians will agree, are all of the cruise ships descending upon Venice, displacing water and disrupting the environment.
It was a wonderful trip so full of inspiration. Now I am slowly getting back to work.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Started practicing using Caran D'Arche Supracolor watercolor pencils and water on 5x7" white Ampersand Pastelbord as an underpainting for colored pencil. I started with a simple line drawing, then added the watercolor pencil dry. Next step, I wet the pencil with water and brush and dissolved the pencil flowing it around the surface as a wash. I'm experimenting a little with what colors I would use for my underpainting. I found that when I started working in regular colored pencil over the watercolor washes, I liked having darker background colors. I finished the piece with Prismacolor colored pencils, softening edges and colors.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Over the years and through my travels in different parts of the world, I've taken photos of windows. I've been collecting photos and thinking of what I would do with the images or how I would present them in a piece of art. Earlier this year I took a book making class and decided to make my own book and incorporate some of my window drawings. I selected 14 images and drew them out in colored pencil, some with the image transfer technique first. I've been intrigued with the accordion style of book that opens into a star shape so I decided to try to put one together. It's a small book, just 6x6". Top photo shows my drawings before I glue them onto the backing pages. The bottom photo is the book almost finished, my next step is to find a decorative paper to use for the cover and put the cover together. It's great fun to find a challenging project, something using my hands besides just drawing.