Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Index Card Art: For the Birds

There are many wonderful materials  that can be used to make art, but sometimes it's fun to just use humble, inexpensive materials we have on hand to challenge our creativity. That is the spirit behind the index card a day challenge I've joined for June and July. I'm thinking of these little cards as my sketchbook for the moment - perhaps they'll inspire larger, more serious pieces as I go along, or maybe they'll serve as useful practice for drawing and trying out new ideas. Unlike a lovely new sheet of watercolor paper, or new canvas, there is little pressure involved in working on an index card. In these little pieces, I was practicing bird sketches.

I'm finding that these cards are a great way to use up those little bits of leftover collage scraps! If you're interested in joining in the fun, visit the index card challenge for more information.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Where the Wild Flowers Are

Where the Wild Flowers Are
mixed media on 8" x 8" panel

I can't seem to stop painting these crazy flowers. My family and I watched "Where the Wild Things Are" recently and I loved the monsters in the movie. I've always loved Maurice Sendak's illustrations in his beloved children's book. Somehow, my strange flowers here in muted colors remind me a little of those monsters, which is totally weird, I know. But these are not the dainty flowers that beckon you to smell them and cut them for flower arrangements. No, these flowers are different - a little scary, maybe, as if they were from a slightly scary flower nightmare, with a happy ending, of course. Or maybe they're on their way to an audition for "Where the Wild Flowers Are" not coming any time soon to a theater near you!

mixed media on 4" x 6" panel

I don't really know where these flowers are coming from, but they sure are fun to paint! For both of these paintings, I began by adding some collage before gesso and then continuing with watercolor and pencil. I love seeing glimpses of the collage underneath. As I've mentioned in other posts, I learned this technique from Carla Sonheim. It's helped me figure out a way to combine my new love of collage with my old love of drawing, and watercolor. I may have to stop doing these flowers at some point, but I'm sure I'll be exploring this technique for a long time. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

B is for Bowl

B is for Bowl
Mixed Media page in hand made journal

Sometimes pieces come together so quickly. This is a page in my handmade cereal box/junk journal that I made back in January. I loved the background collaged with a variety of hand-panted and scrap papers, but every time I looked through my journal, I wasn't sure what to do with it. The simple bowl shape seemed like a good choice for an otherwise busy page. I chose a muted palette for the bowl, and used a box to make a more interesting and focused composition. The 'B' (upside down at the bottom) just happened to be there -- a happy coincidence.