Monday, October 28, 2013

Colored Pencil on Ampersand Pastelbord

Here is my finished piece from the colored pencil and solvent on Pastelbord instructional video I produced for Ampersand. Here is a link to Ampersand's blog post on the two instructional videos. For this piece I worked on 8x10" Gray Pastelbord and not only do I like the textured surface for layering colored pencil but the Gray is my choice of color for many of my drawings. The cool blue/gray toned surface creates a under tone for a warmer colored drawing on top. I've taken art workshops in which instructors have suggested layering warm colors over cool colors, over warms over cools, or vice versa to create vibrant color and color harmonies.

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.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Italy: 800 Photos and Tons of Inspiration

 Here I am in Vicenza on our first night in Italy. Such a beautiful little town, we ate dinner at an outdoor restaurant in the central piazza and just watched everyone going by. Many people came through riding bicycles, some stopped for a glass of wine and/or dinner at the restaurant. Families with children came through the square and stopped to talk while the children ran around giggling. Several couples walked through with dogs that happily sniffed around. I just sat and took in all of the wonderful sights and sounds of this charming town.

 These next several photos are of the 55th Venice Biennale. Our son traveled to Europe shortly after he graduated from college and returned with one request for me; to see the Venice Biennale. So it has been a goal since then. Above pictured is the Korean pavilion exhibit 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.

I was happy to see that realism and detail were featured in the art at the Biennale. I believe this piece was pen and ink or graphite.
This is one of many figures created and on display by Polish artist Pawel Althamer. The faces are of real Venetians, the bodies are made of wire and plastic.

Love and Peace exhibition by Croatian artist Ana Tzarev 

This amazing painting is by Asian artist Chuang Che.

One of the highlights of our trip was hiking in the lower Dolomites, north of Venice. We were about 7000 feet above sea level and the view was spectacular. The hiking trail is along the ridge, if you look closely, one of our group is standing at the edge. Not for the faint of heart!

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.