Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summertime Fun: Outdoor Encaustic Studio

Summer can be a long time time coming in the Pacific Northwest, but when it finally arrives, it's nothing short of magical. Last week was especially lovely, so I decided to move my encaustic "studio" outdoors. I hadn't had the time to work on my encaustics in awhile and it felt so great. (If you haven't done encaustics before, you can see that the "palette" is actually a griddle.)
I had started this piece earlier in the year and wasn't happy with it at the time, so I decided to work on it more. I collaged some hand-printed tissue paper toward the top and then added some branch-like lines. I'm calling it "Dancing Under the Moons."
And here are two more pieces I did that also incorporate some hand-printed tissue paper. Tissue paper is a great collage element in encaustic because of its light weight and transparency.
All in all, a productive day! Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm linking this post to Paint Party Friday. Check out all of the wonderful artists who participate and join the fun!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Visual Journal Using Gel Printed Pages

Last spring I was looking forward to all of the time I'd have this summer to work on my art. But here I am in August, still looking forward to that time! It's been a wonderful summer, though, and I have been able to squeeze in some great creative time here and there.

One fun exercise I've done is to make a visual journal to play and practice in. The idea comes from Jane Davies and is basically a variation of a sketch book, or art journal. After watching her video tutorials about using a gel plate, I knew I had to get one. Monoprinting has never been so easy, fast and fun! Here is a view of the cover, and inside cover of my booklet. I used a file folder for the cover; read more about making this kind of booklet here.

Here are some pages before I worked on them:

And here is my favorite before and after result.
If you are interested, you can visit my Flickr photostream to see more of my visual journal pages.

In my journey to develop abstract compositions, I don't often consider the idea of practicing in a sketchbook, the way a representational artist would. The format here is bigger than I often work when doing abstracts, so it's helped me to push past my fear of doing larger compositions. I also used color very freely and in different combinations than I might if I were doing a painting or collage. And let's be honest, a visual journal is also just a lot of fun. There is so much freedom in giving yourself permission to play without focusing too much on results. Since I've made this journal, I often think of it, even when I don't have time to work in it, and feel so happy knowing that I still have some more pages to do.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Colors of the Coast: Collage Seascapes

Yesterday, I returned home after a glorious week of exploring the Oregon coast with my husband. Nature never fails to amaze and refresh the soul, and this week was certainly no exception. I was excited to do some art after my time away, so I got out my collage supplies as soon as the unpacking was (mostly) finished, ahem.
I tried to be more deliberate about background, middle ground, and foreground than I usually am in my collages, though I'm not sure I was entirely successful. I don't tend to be that methodical as I work, but in collage it can be helpful as a way to create interesting layers, depth and clearer focal points in the work.
I like the colors I used here. They are more muted than I often use and seem to be reflecting my time spent at the ocean. Sometimes memories and states of mind are not always expressed in words. I hope I can look at my collages and remember to breathe, relax and enjoy the moment.