Thursday, December 30, 2010

52 linear inches

i need 52 linear inches (horizontal) of new art every month for the gallery. i'll have been in for a year now in january, so i suppose i could start rolling things back thru that didn't sell last year, but that seems wrong for a variety of reasons. the only possible exception being putting a bunch of hearts in for february. mostly what i'm selling are 6x6 pieces- but i'd need 8 of those a month just to swap out, not counting selling anything.

then there's the gallery in eagle and a few other opportunities that have come up. so i feel like whenever i have a long weekend or extra time it's a good idea to get as far ahead as i can. i would like to enter a few juried shows, but worry about whether what i'm making is good enough to enter. i guess i'll just jump on it when i can and trust things will work out- which they always do.

anyway- another 6x6 done-

thought i would show the process on this one. it's 14x11 canvas.

i painted the canvas with left over blues & reds and wanted texture (and to hide the staples on the sides) so i added a layer of tissue paper, adhered with gloss gel medium-

after a few washes on top of the tissue, i added the image below,  which is from a photo i took and printed on rice paper. i hoped that the rice paper would be more transparent & show the colors underneath, but it didn't work that way. it looked too separate from the background, so i added a layer of heavy soft gel & stamped into it with bubble wrap for overall texture-

after that step-

i also added fiber paste over the staples ( can you tell i do not want to start buying frames?)

i drizzled carbon black airbrush paint around the photo, and like the way the edges are softened. also painted the fiber paste & outside edges black. then i watered down some cobalt & washed the whole thing to tie it all back together. it might be done now.

that would put me 26.5 inches up for february, unless i sell something (which would be good). halfway there! i have a couple of other pieces working too, so there's a bit of a cushion. whew.

have tomorrow off- hiking with women & dogs in the morning, cooking, cleaning & some creating during the day & then friends over for a late dinner & to ring in the new year. wishing all of you a splendid entry into 2011-

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

preparing for the demo

so after i re-read the letter about the demo i contacted the woman who is organizing things to ask how many people she thought would be there, what the set up is, etc. she said to expect 40 people. now i'm a bit freaked out! that goes from a quick demo at the metal arts guild straight into feeling like teaching a class. yikes!

so i threw together an artist bio, found a fairly recent not too scary photo to include (yeah, i've known about this since august- what's your point?) and put together this outline:

here's what I plan to demonstrate:

• Photo transfers using caulk-
   o inkjet
   o laser or copy

• Create texture with:
   o tissue paper
   o embossed paper
   o applying paper, then tearing back off
   o adhering odds & ends
   o pushing medium through a stencil (examples of glass gel bead, fiber, crackle & light modeling paste)
   o using caulk , extra heavy gesso, heavy soft gel medium, clear tar gel

• How different mediums take acrylic paint

• Ways to add paint to create texture
   o saran wrap
   o paper towels
   o glazes
   o alcohol drops

• Discuss appropriate substrates

• Provide a list of resources

the outline made me more comfortable- obviously i've given this more thought than i realized, though 2 hours is still quite a long time to talk (and demonstrate). anyone have any other ideas? did i miss anything?

here's how the medium examples turned out- plain on the left, paint mixed in in the center & paint on top- both thinned with water & full strength on the right. this was a useful exercise for me too, as i generally apply paint on top- and will probably continue down that road, b/c i do like the effect best, but at least now i know.

i'd love to hear any feedback on my proposed outline- if there's something you've seen me do on the blog that you think is cool & should be included, for example, please let me know. or if anything sounds really geeky. 

i am feeling none too spunky & missed a BOSCO marketing meeting tonight, which i feel bad about, but it was good to make progress on this, and good not to go breathe on people or to have to be out in the cold wet nasty weather. time to down some emergen-c and go to bed.

Monday, December 27, 2010

catching up

revisiting mixed emulsions by angela cartwright. it was one of the first mixed media books i bought, lots of great ideas for incorporating photography into mixed media work, and for altering photos.

the photos below started black & white- the top is a laser print, the other 2 regular inkjet plain paper. all may well find their way into finished pieces in the future. in the meantime, it was fun doodling while watching movies.

i took today off, and got some studio time in this afternoon. this is a photo printed on rice paper with heavy soft gel around the outside. the medium will dry clear. i stamped bubble wrap in for texture.

continuing the photo theme, i cut the windows out of this & glued the door on this piece. trying to figure out where to go from here, but like it so far.

here's the other one that was started last week. i glued pieces of plaster on with light modeling paste- we'll see if it works.

i also got started on the workshop i'm doing next week on texture. the left is the medium plain, in the center with paint added and the right side will be with paint added on top of the medium.

oops- just read what they want me to do, and i missed sending the info last week & it sounds like i need to plan something out to finish in 2 hours, rather than a demo- good thing i looked! these will still come in handy- and i am going to follow up, b/c it is difficult to complete something using various mediums in 2 hrs b/c of drying time. i'll figure something out.....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

a day off

what a nice start to the holidays! took a walk this am and it was beautiful! only 2 women & 4 dogs this time, but a good time was still had by all-

then- grocery store, lunch, couch time, meeting with some folks who are opening an event/meeting/party spot in a building that was formerly an art gallery & who were interested in having some of my art in for sale (yay- so cool when people come to you b/c they have seen your work & like it!),trip to office depot for ink it turned out i didn't need, made dinner, then studio time.

set up the printer. it's like magic- the laptop is networked into the desktop so i can print any one of 9 million photos if i can just find what i want. the printer is wireless, which makes moving the laptop around just that much easier.

plaster experiment coming along wonderfully. love the texture and the gel medium/gac combo has indeed made it less crumbly. the bad part is it's less absorbent too, so the thing is to do anything that wants to soak in before preserving it. also not crazy about shiny, but matte gel will fix that.

this after some titan white on top & some quincedrine nickel azo all over. i really love the way it's headed. didn't mean to be so 50/50 on the colors- i was going to do a tree transfer, but it is too uneven, working on plan b. also need to figure out how to mount & hang.

i also started some new pieces. notice how the birds are running in the lower right corner. i don't happen to mind it here, but am hoping to avoid that in the future by using the laser printer- or the epson which has water resistant ink. that's why i have 4 printers! (ACK!)

this canvas has the dreaded staples instead of being a gallery wrap, so the tissue is wrapped around the edges & there will be more paint & i won't have to frame the damn thing. that's the plan anyway.

posting likely to be sporadic the next few days- wishing you a joyous holiday season-

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

plaster experiments & 2 more done

the plaster of paris that i spread on the board was cracked & loose. the loose part i get- b/c i should have roughed up the particle board or used the rough side. the split, not so much, unless 60 is just too cold, or i didn't have the plaster mixed quite right. i can use parts for texture & experiment with paint & transfers on them, so all is not lost.

the plaster on burlap fared better. i mixed some soft matte gel medium with water 50/50 and added a smidge of raw sienna. thought the mixture was worth a try to keep the plaster from crumbling- it's what i use on crackle gel medium to keep it from flaking. i then went back & added an ochre glaze with some gac 200 mixed in. my hope is that it sinks in, leaving the cracks visible & giving me the ability to glaze & have it sink into them. we'll see.

finished these two. i left this so you can see the edges created by the floor joist. happy with the way that the framing element ended up- i like the spots of color that point to the image and the darker frame on top & bottom.

and a 6x6- thanks anne for suggesting going lighter to knock back the face- between that & my idea of continuing the dot pattern the face receded but is still recognizable.

tomorrow night will be watching boise state's bowl game- not a bcs game, but what the heck. probably be some doodling going on. studio time thursday- we'll see how the plaster evolves!

Monday, December 20, 2010

my 900th post? wow!

hard to believe it's the 900th post- wow. and i have nothing profound, exciting, etc- should've thought about it. oh well, thanks to those of you who check in regularly and provide ideas, encouragement & help.

did a bit more work on these. i'm not crazy about the face in the sky, but not sure how to get out of it...... i may continue the dot pattern in the right corner out across the sky.

i think this is dnd (damn near done). need to figure out how to hang it- it's on a floor joist, so the top & bottom stand out. but it has to work on a wall. i have a few ideas, we'll see what looks best.

this still needs something, but is coming along. also on a floor joist. i think i need to bring some yellow out into the frame. stay tuned!

studio time tomorrow night, maybe i'll have a revelation :)

for those of you missing the music- it'll be back- needed a refresh-

Sunday, December 19, 2010

catching up

we had a great weekend in sun valley with friends

it was beautiful and snowy and really felt like christmas

and the lodge has wonderful heated outdoor pools which are a great treat after skiing

my camera started acting up, so i can't share photos of the swans or the beautiful decorations, but it was just gorgeous. we got to watch sun valley serenade, which plays on a continuous loop on one of the channels in the lodge, ate well & had a fun day skiing.

back today & a little studio time. i made some plaster of paris to experiment with. on the left it's on a board and on the right spread on burlap, so i can crack it, then mount on wood. both have some gesso on them. looking at the monochromatic landscape today punctuated with willow or red twig dogwood gave me some ideas on where to go with these.

did some work on this- another 6x6- which is how many inches i still need new for next month at the gallery-

and mounted this piece- a cyanotype with colored pencil- and will paint in around the background.

short work week- we have thursday & friday off- looking forward to studio time, at least on thursday-

Thursday, December 16, 2010


time of year too busy for much art making. and lots of fun stuff going on, but i am also dying to have studio time. next thurs i have the whole day off and nothing that i HAVE to do (other than walk dogs). studio!

i did manage top get the studio printer out of the box & hooked up tonight- we now have 3 hp printers (photosmart for everyday, all in one for work, & the new laserjet) and 2 epsons ( r2400- awesome! and the 610 workforce below). and they all serve different purposes. the only one that might be extraneous is the studio one, below, but it will be nice to be able to print and scan out there, and it was a great deal for a pigment ink printer.

while hooking up, i took a look around & saw this- which will hopefully morph into some sort of jack of hearts piece.....

and did a smidge of prep work for the next experiment- plaster & transfers- home ec finally comes in handy! the old pull the thread to give yourslef a straight line to cut trick.....

ready to go- i'll have to find time to make the plaster substrate (or a few of them) before next thursday when i plan to play. the idea behind using the burlap is that it can be cracked to add interest. uncharted territories here, but guessing plaster should take transfers like any absorbent surface. we'll see!

off to play in the snow this weekend- hasta!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Shawn Mullins "Beautiful Wreck"

if you're a fan of singer- songwriters & don't know this guy do yourself a favor & check him out. saw him tonight (he's been on my wish list) doing an acoustic performance for a local charity and he put on a great show- powerful voice, killer guitar, and what a storyteller!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


we had a workshop for the emerging artist exhibition tonight where we talked about correct presentation of art and how to frame properly, etc. no sawtooth hangers, no cheap falling apart frames, no scratched plexi- you all know the drill.

it is very cool to see how excited these artists- of all ages, experience and ability levels- are to be in their first juried show. feels odd for me to be the one up there being the "expert"- i am certainly well versed in lots of areas & have plenty of strong opinions in others, but as an artist who is not formally trained i'm not real comfortable jurying or critiquing. so it's a growth experience & i am lucky to have mentors to help me.

one question that came up was "what is selling now- florals, landscapes, animals?" i think we must have looked sort of blank, b/c what followed was an explanation that there was no point in trying to compete with really good botanicals b/c it would take years to get there, but maybe there was another area that would be worth pursuing.

i went down the follow your passion path, while allowing that some people do fine creating for the market most of us do best following our passion and letting the market find us. or not. which got me thinking about the path i've been on- there's certainly a wide variety of work. i do think, though, that all of my work does "hang together" just fine- it all looks like i did it, in one way or another- b/c of color, composition or graphic quality- or maybe i just want to think that!

anyway- it all started with photography-

then, at 40, i decided to see if i could paint-

from landscapes to animals-

still lifes were less successful-

playing with digital photographic possibilities- this part of a series done on scanners-

my first efforts at incorporating photos into mixed media pieces-

miriam tells me about transfers, which opens up a whole new world of photo/ paint possibilities-

the heart monoprint series

and mixed media incorporating a fascination with texture with my photos and other graphic elements

there are a lot of different media here, but i firmly believe that each informs what follows. the work tends to come in series- some want to be explored, some are over quickly. i can't imagine summoning up the energy to paint the 101st barn (or cat or house with a cheery light in the window) because i knew it would sell, not b/c i was excited to see how different i could make number 101.

of course, i am not trying to keep a roof over my head by selling art, and that could change things a bit, but the most successful artists i know keep growing and experimenting and learning, not worrying about whether people are buying landscapes or fruit baskets.

the new studio

click here for a quick you tube studio tour. ignore the yard- now that the studio is up next spring's project is revamping it! and we plan to add planter boxes & maybe a little porch- but the inside is ready to go and i LOVE it!

what a great gift from steve.