Monday, January 9, 2017

process- anatomy of a valentine

i've been thinking about how to keep making art and where to go with it. i want to get back to consistently making bigger pieces and i want to have a place to show them. until my job situation is known, it's hard to say how much time i will have to devote to my art practice, beyond the daily drawing and studio sundays that kept me going in 2016.

one possibility is small works on paper when i travel- daily drawing outside the journal. another is to continue to work toward a show with bigger pieces. we are scheduled for a first thursday in march at sola salons which gives me a goal.

in the meantime, i looked at the calendar on saturday and realized that i will be in town a grand total of 9 days before the annual donation for valentine for aids is due on january 27. decided i'd better get it done this weekend. between shoveling and keeping the floods at bay.

below is the background on 16x12 board. map, mythical creatures, a love song and a warning- seems about right. but where to go from here? i didn't lay this out with thought as to what was going over it- i never do. that meant that i needed to find a vertical image that fit among the bigger elements. i also wanted the background to harmonize better, rather than seeing blocks of brown or white which are visible here.


i added layers of gesso, titanium buff, filled in with markers and used a stencil to bring the background together. then i rubbed it off with alcohol to knock it back some. dug through my photos looking for the right focal piece. googled symbols of love, animal symbols for love, birds symbolizing love. swans and doves. looked through my photos. found one mourning dove and several swans but nothing that worked.

decided that the raven, symbolizing mystery and creation works. plus, with limited time, it's good to be in familiar territory. searched for the original raven photo of the commission i completed a few weeks ago and finally found it. while searching symbols, i came upon apple in one of the lists, symbolizing temptation. perfect.

below, work in progress-


and with the raven added in. raven done using pitt markets, acrylic paint and a white gel pen. the apple is primarily bombay ink but also incorporates pitt makers, paint & stabilo pencils. the pitt markers are india ink, so they are workable when applied but dry permanent, which is great. as for the rest layers of spray varnish will keep things in place.


wanting more unification in the background and a warmer look, i added a later of quinacridone nickel azo gold. better.



after looking at that for a bit, i decided i wanted to bring some of the background elements up a bit and gave her a scrub with rubbing alcohol. and here we are: love and mercy, my 2017 valentine for aids.



last year's donation, all you need, generated $225 for snap. my goal each year has been to raise more money. here's hoping that love & mercy can do that-



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