Tuesday, September 29, 2009

class demo in progress, changing plans

after adding fall color to the 2nd layer of washes

class demo, initial wash

I always include a painting demonstration during each of the classes I teach. I think the best way to learn is by watching, then 'doing'. And I always like to start a new class session with a basic landscape painting, covering tips about composition, shapes, and color.

I brought in several photographs I took over the summer thinking I would use one for my demo painting. Once I started using all the different summer greens in the foliage I thought to myself that I had spent the last 2 months working on paintings that were summer scenes; I needed to change my color palette so I could embrace the fall shades that are invading New England this time of year. I found an older landscape photo with autumn colors and even though it wasn't taken in the same exact location it was from the same town in Vermont.

Now I will have to make the fall colors work into what I had already started.

One of the things I like best about being an artist is the artistic freedom to change and do whatever I want in my paintings as long as it works for me visually. I am hoping I can pull this off successfully.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

non-traditional framing

"Yellow Calla Lily", new black matt, frame

In between teaching and working on my class demo from Tuesday night (I will be posting images later) I have been preparing work for upcoming art association shows. Now that my booth artwork has been determined I know what I can submit to October shows. I always try to recycle the frames I own and I had to get a larger matt to fit this painting of the yellow calla lily into my 32 x 26 frame. I ended up doing something I NEVER do - I put a black matt with a yellow edge in this frame! The unspoken (and sometimes spoken) rule with watercolor framing is that the matt should always be a shade of white so that it does not distract from the painting. Many watercolor "societies" will not accept work to their shows unless the work is in a white matt.

I feel the black matt helps to focus on the painting and is actually less distracting than a traditional white matt. The added outline of yellow in the inside of the matt opening felt like a perfect fit to me. If my painting is not accepted to the show I am submitting it to I am going to hope it had nothing to do with the matt but rather was based on the actual painting.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

watercolor classes begin tonight!

Assortment of some of my encaustic cards (unframed)

Encaustic paintings (on elephant board)
Watercolor paintings (unframed)

Up until today, my time has been spent finalizing my new booth setup. I am traveling with fewer display panels and smaller artworks. I always put together thumbnail images of the works for the show and then I spend time deciding if I have the right pieces, the right price ranges too. I usually make changes along the way but I need the visual aids. Seeing the works on paper will let me figure out where to place them when it's time to hang. It's all part of my pre-show preparation process.

I start teaching tonight and look forward to a new demo, a new painting...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

plugging away

Colored photo painted into wax medium, pigmented wax on top

Black and white xerox image transfer burnished into wax medium, also painted with pigmented wax

Still focusing on getting my small works ready for the Columbus Day show - I now have 37 framed pieces with only 13 frames remaining. At this point I feel I have enough to make a strong presentation but I will probably make more cards.

In between the small works, I tried a different encaustic procedure where I mounted a photo into wax medium and then added pigmented wax on top of it; the color remained noticeable. I think it's interesting to compare both works done in 2 different ways using the same image, which do you prefer?

Friday, September 11, 2009

after viewing with fresh eyes...

This morning I felt the trees were too stiff and I added thin branches and a few more greenery details. I also signed my name, which means this is finished now.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

making time for watercolor

painting and photo started during studio residency

The beginning of August was my week long studio residency and when it ended I had several incomplete watercolor paintings. Since then, my focus has definitely been on the encaustics and incorporating pigmented wax into image transfers. I have been an image transfer maniac! So many other things had to get done.. moving to a new studio space was a priority, and getting set with my upcoming Columbus Day weekend show was another priority. I have a class starting tomorrow so today I made time to paint with watercolor in the studio. It's the first painting I have done since the studio move (and I think I finished the painting) although I will need to go back with fresh eyes to be sure.

This painting was inspired from the series of photographs I took earlier this summer. I used many of the photos for my encaustic image transfers but I also wanted to paint from the same photos in watercolor. I may do sumi-e interpretations... my thought being I will have a common theme interpreted in 3 different mediums. In a month when the leaves are turning colors I will go back and take another group of photos to use for another season of colorful artwork all inspired by the same place, at least that's what I am thinking about today.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

even more (smaller) landscapes

Encaustics, 3.5 x 2.5

To date, I have completed framing 24 art cards (getting ready for my October show)... a combination of sumi-e ink, watercolor, and encaustics. I have more encaustic cards ready to frame, things I have done the past few days. I really love the way my handling of the technique has changed. I also have been framing the cards as I do groups of new work, trying to keep up so that in a month when it's time to pack up my show booth I have an entirely new look of smaller framed works combined with my large watercolor landscape paintings and sumi-e ink paintings. In about 2 weeks I will figure out exactly what works will go to the show and I may even do a practice setup at the studio.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

more (smaller) landscapes

I found comfort in making encaustic art cards this afternoon, probably because they are easy and quick and in a way therapeutic for me. Not sure what happened to me wanting to relax into a large watercolor painting but I guess it's not time for me to do that yet.

This morning I had to move my studio space - from large and spacious to condensed and smaller (and less expensive) space. I knew there was no way everything I had would fit into the new space and I know when I have time to figure out a more creative way to store things it will be OK but for now I am 3/4 of the way done with this huge, somewhat chaotic move. So what did I want to do for relaxation when I got home this afternoon? I wanted to make more encaustic art cards! I think I am on to something here; I have my October show in mind. I am making these smaller encaustics to be mounted into the shadowbox frames I picked up this summer. I really want to offer a lower price point at the show, and I definitely want to show my encaustics.

My technique keeps improving too - I first print photos I took in the 3.5 x 2.5 size, then I burnish them into the wax medium on the card. Last thing I do is add colored wax to make the landscape image pop. I have been using mostly photographs I took at the bird sanctuary near my house but I know I have plenty of other photos to go through. I have less than 6 weeks before the show and with school starting (both teaching and being a student) time is going to fly by. Tomorrow, after I finish the studio move, I will frame these new cards. Slowly but surely this fall show will come together for me.