Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Abstract Self Portrait: The Eyes Have It

I recently joined the loving mixed media website which can be found here: Today I tried the Abstract Painting challenge there, to basically take a photograph, cut it apart, rearrange into an interesting composition, and paint it. This is what I ended up with. It was a lot of fun to do! Although I love abstract composition, I'm somewhat intimidated by it and not sure how to create a successful composition. This was a fun exercise and gave me a new way to begin an abstract work. I had already prepared my panel with venetian plaster. I love the interesting textures it created!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Long Ago and Far Away

My husband and I agree that my "dark" pieces seem to be my best so far. I'm not sure why that is, but I'm not going to fight it! Even as a girl, I was drawn toward music in a minor key. This image reminds me of time I've spent in Europe, which sadly has been a quite awhile ago -- a distant and beautiful memory. I'm working to integrate more painting into my collages and here, I had a lot of fun with it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gesso Image Transfer

I love the dreamy color scheme in this painting. I started with a gesso image transfer and then added texture with collage and paint elements. Someday, I will look up the name of this beautiful plant, when I'm not busy working on another collage!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Journaling is the Thing

As I explore the world of mixed media art, I'm learning that journaling is a prominent component. I admit that I've never been consistent with any kind of journaling. Mixed media makes journaling a whole lot more fun! In these examples, I've used a combination of writing, collage, gesso and painting. What value is there in a journal like this? For one thing, it's less intimidating than a canvas or precious piece of watercolor paper. There is no pressure for it to be a finished piece. Rather, it's a place to play and experiment.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Scenes from the Coast

This summer, my family and I have been spending a lot of time at the beach. Here are a few sketches from the beach that I'm going to put into a small booklet. This will be the cover page. We always find a lot of sand dollars on the beach.

I sat on the beach and did this little watercolor. While I was working, the pelicans came and were swooping down to catch fish. It was a fantastic sight to see! In fact, I was afraid to try drawing the birds in, but then I did it, and realized a quick gesture was all I needed to do.

I'm always drawn to the interesting, organic shapes of the seaweed that washes up on shore.

A favorite activity of ours, especially with visitors, is to climb the local lighthouse.

It was fun to practice my watercolor and drawing this way! I need to do this more often.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Deja Vu!

Meadowlark, Fly your Way Down...

This meadowlark might look familiar to those who saw my earlier meadowlark collage this summer. I happened on an extra inkjet printout of it today when I was going through some papers and thought it was too good to waste. Plus, it gave me a chance to try a gel transfer with the gel medium I bought recently. I'm trying to integrate more of my own drawing and painting into my work. In this collage, I scribed leaves into gesso along the lefthand side and aimed for watercolor effects the in the background. I'm pretty happy with it as it is, yet it may be a work in progress, as I look at it and think about whether it needs anything else to feel finished.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Illustration Friday: Imperfect

I gave up perfectionism long ago, so imperfect is practically a motto for me. Almost anything I do would fit this theme! Last week, I spent some time at the beach with my family and found this battered piece of seaweed as I walked along the shore and decided to do a quick watercolor study. It seems like a great example of beauty in the imperfect.