Friday, January 27, 2012

Wishing You Were Here

Since I've been experimenting with mixed media, I've made a few trips to local thrift and antique stores. One of the stores I visit is well stocked with antique postcards, so I bought some, not sure exactly how I'd be using them. My first experiment using watercolor on one of them didn't work so well, even with a very light touch on the water. Then, I discovered clear gesso and decided to give that a try. Here is my effort painting over the clear gesso. I still used a fairly light touch with the water and paint, but it worked much better. I'm not completely happy with the sand dollar yet -- they're easy to draw, but harder to paint. I want to get the shading right, so you may see an updated version soon.

Happy Paint Party Friday to my PPF friends. Here is the link in case you're interesting in joining this friendly challenge: Paint Party Friday

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Working Even Smaller: ATC's

It's been a fantastic year for me. After many years of dabbling here and there with my art, and not being at all consistent, I've finally broken out of that holding pattern. It feels wonderful to be energized and inspired to create. All of the excuses I used in the past are still true -- I'm busy, I don't have a studio, I'm not sure what I should do, which medium should I use etc.. and etc... Discovering mixed media has been a breakthrough for me. I no longer have to choose just one medium to work in. Since I love drawing, painting, printmaking, and now, collage, I couldn't be happier. I hadn't tried working in the Artist Trading Card size before, but became inspired to try it out as a way to consistently work on collage and art every day.

It's great fun working in this format! It's a wonderful way to use up bits and pieces of papers, and it's extremely motivating to have some finished pieces in a short amount of time.

These pieces all began with a large piece of watercolor paper I'd painted with a blue background. I then did some quick doodling with a soft pencil before I cut the paper into the smaller cards. After that, it was quick, intuitive and fun collage work. Let me know if you're interested in trading a card!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow Daze

We've had a rare week of winter here in the Pacific Northwest and it's been a doozy, complete with ice storm, downed trees (3 in our yard), and kids home from school all week. They've had fun in the snow, though, but now we're ready for the rain to come back and melt all this white wonderland away.

Moving along to painting. I decided to try a larger piece. I began with a 12"X 12" sheet of watercolor paper.

After several layers of paint and collage elements, I decided I wasn't happy with it, so as you can see above, I cut it into 4 smaller pieces and worked more on each one after that.

The sunflower is a gel transfer with pencil sketching. I love the words at the bottom, "Across the heavens, and silent.." Did you hear that, kids?

Happy PPF to my Paint Part Friday friends!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fitting Metaphor: Mixed Media Painting

It seems like it's been weeks since I was able to sit down with my paints and work on some art. Today I finally was able to work on some small collages and paintings. Here is one that I actually started last summer when I was experimenting with paint effects. Gradually I added to it, using collage and stencil, along with more paint, and marker. I can't seem to give up on a piece, even if I set aside for months, and do a little bit here and there with it, I keep hoping that eventually it will evolve into something I'm happy with. The enlarged leafy pattern on the bottom is actually from something I printed on my inkjet printer when it was really low on ink. I love the delicate colors. The words here come from a scrap of paper from some old notes, and a dress pattern. It's fun to see what happens with the words in collage. Sometimes I'm more intentional, and sometimes I just find the words as I look through my papers and scraps in a found poetry way.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What I Remember

It's so satisfying when a composition comes together quickly, but as we all know, this doesn't always happen. Today just happened to be one of those lucky days. I came home from work and had about an hour of free time on my hands. I sat down and briefly planned out my collage, beginning with the image of a prairie landscape as a starting point the overall composition. I kept the whole thing relatively simple and muted, in keeping with the lonely prairiescapes I love so much.

I wanted some poetry or words to go along with my image, and found this lovely poem entitled "Fields" by Daniel S. Barrett. It spoke to my heart and brought so many memories back from my childhood on a farm in North Dakota.


Fields in my youth are
what I remember the most
open, grassy fields
that rose and fell
with the seasons and
changed color
and housed all sorts of
creatures, trails and
football plays
lost baseballs for a time
and golfballs later
but stayed around
as friends
until they got
broken down and
shaved and manicured over with development
which never ends

I love integrating poetry in my work. It's one of the things I really love about mixed media -- being able to combine my love of words and literature with my art.

The button was on my desk, and seemed to be the perfect color, so I decided why not? I also stamped, using one of my homemade stamps to create some depth and texture. By dinner time, my little collage was finished.