Tuesday, November 24, 2009

weekend recovery

Creating a "4"

The letter "Q"

Giving good energy

My body is still aching and moaning from being in class all weekend. I always considered myself somewhat athletic although I am definitely feeling middle aged right now.

I am in a creative movement class and between now and my next weekend of classes (Dec. 11) I have to read several books and write a paper, have to choreograph and dance a "life dance", also have to design a creative movement lesson plan and I admit, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. Tomorrow I am leaving town to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my family in Chicago and I can't even focus on these assignments until I am back.

I have always managed to avoid dance class until now so this truly is a challenge. As a young girl my mother insisted I go to ballet class... I maybe lasted a month or 2 but then hated it with such a passion that I was allowed to quit! As an adult I have found appreciation in several "new age" type dance classes - yoga and zumba were both things I tried but honestly I prefer bicycling or swimming long distances for a workout. Unfortunately, there is no escaping the second weekend of creative movement class and I am going to try to enjoy the holiday only to focus on my assignments when I get back home.

The one comfort I have in the back of my mind is that I will definitely make props, design simple scenery using my artistic skills... I am already thinking about the roll of watercolor paper in my studio, and how I can paint trees or bamboo stalks with ink, then use different colors for background washes... maybe even referring to the 7 stages of creation I wrote about in my last post. For now, I have to sit with all of my post-class ideas until next week.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

making cards and trading

In Jeanne Carbonetti's book, "Making Pearls", she writes about the 7 stages of creation and the colors we associate with each stage. Her way of teaching is to identify the self expression that exists within every individual and then to let our creative muses take over. I decided to make a series of cards as a reminder of my own creative freedom and to conquer my inhibition with human form as subject matter. At some point I will be ready to trade these cards but for now I am "holding" (green stage).

Shown below are just a few of the cards I made over the weekend, most of which have already been traded out! I found traders or they found me from all over the country as well as in Vancouver, Singapore, and Finland.

This card led me to revisiting the Stages of Creation (from Carbonetti's book)

One of the cards I made at last week's watercolor class, a personal favorite

These 2 cards below were traded out as soon as I posted them!

Encaustic card, just dabbling

Since last week I have been rejuvenated with my online card trades and I spent the weekend making new atc's as well as posting and trading on one of my favorite websites, www.atcsforall.com

Trading on the site reminds me of the bartering I do whenever I work at the Paradise City art shows. I used to trade cards with anyone that wanted one of my cards but now I am a bit more selective and initiate trading as well as respond to requests based on what I see that I would like to add to my card collection.

Friday, November 13, 2009

"Blue Sky at the Pond", and other encaustic works

"Blue Sky at the Pond", 8 x 8 encaustic painting, the image was transfered into the wax then I added the colored wax to make it "come alive".

Shown here, the wood board already painted and fused with 3 layers of wax medium, along with the image I will be burnishing into the wax.

The electric griddle is out and my heated palette is back to work, melting pigmented wax as I continue to develop my series of encaustic paintings capturing a year of visits to the bird sanctuary. I knew I wanted to do a 2nd autumn painting in the 8 x 8 size and I have a bunch of cradled elephant board wood panels ready to go. I also still have 6 x 6 panels but I feel I am ready to take on working a bit larger. Having discovered the floating frames, the smaller works do look more complete but I admit I am open to size changes as this series progresses.

I also made several encaustic art cards in between working on the larger landscape painting.

2.5 x 3.5 encaustic card

Seen below, I used sepia ink with watercolor creating an abstract card that I thought could 'stand alone'. After I looked at it a while I realized it needed something more as a focal point and I felt like I could see snakes lurking so I decided to make several marks by following the pattern that was already there and now the card works better, it's called "Snake Eyes".

Card with encaustic highlights, "Snake Eyes"

Card with just sepia ink and watercolor wash

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Encaustic Image Transfers

Floating frame, outer dimensions are 10 x 10

8 x 8 encaustic image transfer, "Autumn Foliage"

Photograph used for image transfer

The watercolor class I teach ended last night and the next session doesn't start until the end of February. The geisha paintings were finished up and there was time left for me to share Artist Trading Cards and explain the benefits of networking with original art cards (rather than printed business cards). I made a few cards but mostly wanted to share my collection of cards from artists I have traded with all over the world!

Next on my creative list - to get back to using the autumn photographs I took to use as encaustic image transfers. I am working in a larger size now, 8 x 8 cradled wood panels, and have found that using floating frames creates a more complete presentation. I only purchased 2 frames because I wanted to make sure I liked the presentation, I think it makes the artwork look more substantial and will need to order more frames.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"Geisha Si-ting"

I introduced ink stamps as a way of creating patterns in watercolor during last night's class. Painting and decorating the kimono fabric lends itself to the use of stamping. I discussed how a purist would not incorporate stamping in a watercolor painting but that as artists we have the right to make art and use mediums in any way we choose. It was important to me to let each of my students understand that if they were to submit their stamped paintings to a watercolor show their painting would not be considered a pure watercolor medium and that if they preferred to hand paint a pattern that was an option (they all plan on using the stamps!)

Next week is the last class and we will finish up the geishas and any other unfinished work. I can not believe how quickly time is passing us by.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All that's left is the "lace" (almost)

I purposely am not finishing this painting right now so that I can show my class on Tuesday night how I will do the final details making corrections to the screen, plant pot and the geisha's hand. I also will be adding the "lace", the things that make the painting come alive. I need to add shading to ground the plant and the geisha. I cant decide if the screen needs to be darker although when I look at it with fresh eyes in a few days I am sure I will know what to do.

I had so much fun using layers of paint in the geisha's kimono although I still want to add patterns to the fabric with my ink stamps. There are only 2 classes left in this 8 week session and I want to save the last class for everyone to work on whatever they need to finish with me available to help them. I can't believe how fast time is flying by.