Wednesday, May 27, 2015

art at the beach

Currently stationed in Nags Head, NC, on the beautiful Outer Banks islands.  Enjoying some time relaxing in the sun, the pool, wading in the shallow waters of the sound near the condo we're renting, visiting the wild waves of the ocean side, hiking the sand dunes, kayaking, bicycling, and just laying around.  During our down times, I'm thankful to have brought along my huge heavy bag of art supplies, which I now have set up on the dining room table for whenever the creative muse inspires me.

My first painting is an exercise from this new book I just bought, entitled 
The Painting Workbook by Alena Hennessy.  

This first exercise is about color pairs.  Limiting your palette to just two colors (along with tints and shades, using white and black), it's a fun way to study colors and the way they interact with one another.  I tried keeping my subject simple, the shape of a seagull I'd seen earlier that morning on the pier:

                  Here he is, in two of my favorite color combinations, turquoise and lemon yellow:

Then I started working in more white and black paint, just playing, just having fun.
Adding the title, "the brave and the free", just because that's what he resembled to me.
2 words that describe what I want to be.

and then i just played around with some fishy stencils i'd brought along, hoping to build on this later.

more later!

Friday, May 15, 2015

good night

                             bottom line: a passionate night of making art you end up hating

                                                                is still better than

                             falling asleep on the couch watching lukewarm meaningless garbage on tv.

                                                              good good night!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

peaceful mind

Art Journal time!

Today I put the finishing touches on this collage spread I'll just call "peaceful mind".  It's a state of mind that I long for, that I remind myself to keep seeking, even in the midst of storms and trials and major changes in my journey.  Unexpected paths I'm not prepared to go down.

Like most of my collage paintings, this one is done in stages: basically i do a bunch of wet stuff, let it dry.  more wet stuff, let it dry.  Repeat.

More specifically, my first stage here was playing with dye ink that I mixed with water and put in little spray bottles, then sprayed it on the pages.  One color, let it dry, then the other color.  Paint some more diluted dye on with a brush.  Ink up a large swirly stamp and stamp some random swirls across the page.  Then stencil on some question marks.

Let dry.

Pencil in a head shape.  Tear up an old vintage romance novel and start glueing the text fragments to the head shape, randomly.  Use plenty of mod podge to preserve and strengthen the surface of the delicate, old pages.  Let dry.

Paint on a light coat of white gesso, some mixed with blue acrylic paint.  Color in a gold-ish background for the hairline using watercolor crayons.  Smudge with water on a brush.

Go through magazines and collect images.  Whatever tells your story.  For me it was the storms outside of me, vs. the peaceful thoughts and things to cherish I can choose to keep inside of me.
Paste these images where they seem to belong, in and around the facial features you also drew in.

Don't forget to also add in words and phrases that speak for your heart.  For me, those were: thoughts and long journey (for the outside, stormy section), "peace", (stenciled in letter  by letter) , Live Your True Self, Life is About Moments, Mindful, a path to lasting peace, joy, and my own lettering of the phrase, "i can still be happy...(sort of)"...and most importantly, a Bible verse that spoke to me recently and encouraged me: "And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:7)

And that's it. 
What I love about doing collages like this is, by using random images that you find elsewhere, you can piece together things that can capture the abstract and surreal feel of a dream, either a daydream or a night dream.  Things that can be just plain ridiculous and fun and that make no sense when you try to explain it to someone, or those other weirdly connected dream stories that somehow make sense to your subconscious mind, like a spirit voice that is speaking to you about things you may need to know in the future, or are summaries of lessons directed to you that you never learned in the daylight hours.  

Or just plain weird stuff.  For example, my daughter just described to me the dream she had last night: She dreamed our family moved to another house, but it was also with another family, and there was another dad and about 20 other kids and she was saying to me, "mommy i don't feel comfortable with all these strangers", (normal for her shy personality) and that i was saying "it's ok, you'll get used to them."  Then she went on to describe how the house was kind of like in a mall, with neighbors all around but the "street" was more like a bouncy playground floor, etc, etc.

Anyway, thanks for letting me share this, and I hope you find a place to share your dreams, as well.  

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Spring update

Happy Spring!!

I haven't posted anything here lately, so I am back to share a few things I've been working on.  The first two are a couple of collage paintings I've mostly finished, just leaving them out on my table for a few more tweaks here and there, until my muse tells me "it is finished".  

I think I titled this first one, "fishing party".
Materials: cardboard, acrylic paint, magazine cut-out images, ink markers, modge podge, oil pastels, watercolor pencils, old book pages, stencils, stamps.

I love using my crazy sense of random humor to put things together collage-style that are totally ironic and unexpected.  Here I'm having fun letting the fish give humans a taste of their own medicine, a little treat at the end of a sharp fish hook, lure in those stupid humans with cupcakes, ha ha!!! (my evil side comes out, muwah-hahahahahahahahaaa!!!)

                                          And my lovely lady dog walker, featured below.
                          (same basic materials as the fish party painting, plus computer printer text.)                                                                   A little she-power here..

                                      These next pieces were pages in my art journal, created on a mermaid theme, a story I've had running through my head, sort of an analogy of some things on my mind lately.  I did these in mostly watercolors and markers.


                          This last art journal spread had a few more added ingredients, such as:
magazine cut-outs: sea life background, sea turtle, also a piece of drywall tape for a fishing net, more acrylic paints, oil pastels, and pearlescent dye inks.

                 And again, this was also a continuation of the mermaid story that's still swimming                                                                        through my brain.

                                     And finally, I decided to do a little rearranging of my "studio" today...
(I love calling this re-purposed dining room "My Studio" sounds so professional-artsy-fartsy!!)

I basically just scooted the long table over a couple feet.. (much harder than it sounds, considering I keep crates filled with stacks and stacks of magazines for cutting up underneath the tables, which I of course had to pull out and move around, too)...and made more room so that my daughter and I can now work side by side on the table, as you can see in our projects below:
                          (she does the cool eyeballs, I do the weird collage paintings.)

                          oh and we must not forget my trusty studio assistant, Malcolm the orange tabby!
He does an excellent job of warming up my chair anytime I get up for a minute.

              My other reason for the move was so that I can now view the tv screen in the next room while doing art at the same time... just in case they're watching something other than Pokemon or Johnny Test or something on PBSKids (though I'm fine with watching all those, too...)

oh and one more thing...thanks to my daughter's advice, I put up a curtain between the family room and my "studio", so that #1.) it sort of sets apart, hides the mass of clutter and mayhem that lies beyond the doorway and #2) it makes me feel sort of "special" to saunter through that curtained doorway, like a royal fat queen, TA-DA!!! into my favorite room of the whole house!!! (and i mean that!!)


 So there you have it.  A little art, a little playing around in my space.  Me and my cluttered little mind and my creative wonderland to play in.  I'll be back soon with more processes and finished work.   bye for now!