Thursday, November 29, 2012

All Over The Map

Recently, what and how I paint is a reflection of my life, which is scattered all over the place! The mixed media paintings of the past couple of posts have gone to Willowtree Designs.  Please visit my new dedicated mixed media page to see these and other pieces. This iris painting was part of my contribution to the display by Claresholm Art Club members at our local Kinette Christmas Sale.

FANCY DANCER   framed acrylic on MDF panel 10" x 8"  SOLD

Employing the synthetic webbing technique (learned last month) I created the shimmery, iridescent background which was perfect for painting Judy's wild cat on. Blue's features and build are that of an ordinary house cat but he has the exotic, Siamese colouring which is surely random genetics; the result of a farm cat breeding with a Siamese cat!   

BLUE   framed acrylic on MDF panel 8" x 10"   $250.   Available at Willowtree Designs in Claresholm  

In addition to being wildly stimulated by a couple of sets of sleepover guests, we're were away this past weekend and are about to host a Christmas party this coming weekend. Somehow, I will finish a special painting (for a special little someone) before we leave on a short vacation to somewhere new, warm and lovely ... it's in keeping with being all over the map! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Unlock Growth

In New York City this past summer we spent a morning at Hell's Kitchen Flea Market. One of the vendors had a lot of metal pieces including old, rusty keys and this amazing, antique doorplate.   

UNLOCK GROWTH   framed mixed media 16" x 12" $350. available at Willowtreee, Claresholm

In September, at Judy's studio, while my mixed media guru Win Dinn was visiting, I made the piece below. It became the inspiration for Unlock Growth, although, at the time I didn't know it. That's the magic of mixed media, you have no idea how anything will evolve. With acrylics I painted a piece of mat board in gradated greens and using a commercial rubber stamp, with an overall pine needle design, created the underlying patterns. The other gals were running outdoors to grab fresh leaves to use as stamps in acrylic paints, so I followed suit. The irregular, organic patterns of the leaves are delightful. The doorplate looked so well against these colours but it was simply too big for this small piece.

UNLOCK GROWTH study  9.5" x 7.5

The background painting of the larger Unlock Growth flowed effortlessly from the end of my brush. (Oh, why can't all paintings come this way?) With my mind in some imaginary forest, I picked up a fine-tipped rubber pen tool and scraped a steam of semiconscious words into the wet paint on the bottom third of the panel. I don't remember exactly what I wrote. Additional paint layers, the dried leaves and the doorplate obscure parts of the passage so that now only certain words are discernible. I'm all right with that. 

UNLOCK GROWTH before the tendril 

At the stage above I realised I had done exactly what I preach against; floating, unrelated elements! The key and the doorplate needed to be linked. A tendril was suggested, but how to do that? Wondering about piping heavy acrylic medium (using my cake decorating toys) I went to the guru. She answered "Yes. And you can colour the medium first. But, lay a piece of acetate over the painting and pipe the tendril onto it" Good advice, because I was clumsy with the infrequently used implement and wiped off tendril after tendril until one finally satisfied me. Over 24 hours later, when it was dry enough, I affixed it to the work. I am terribly fond of this painting, sigh.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Moulin Rouge

MOULIN ROUGE   mixed media, 12" x 9"

This fun piece was incubated back in June when, on our first visit to Win (and John) in Creston, B.C., she and I went into fits of laughter over finding a package of garters on the notions wall at Gleaners - the coolest of thrift stores. After that we joked about someday making a burlesque piece. On a subsequent visit, we even went back to Gleaners, looking for the garters, but they were gone! Who buys garters these days? Ah well, they were white and too big anyway. 

Having fun at Gleaners

Then, in July, while I was in New York City, I simply had to seek out this tiny, awesome, shop called The Ink Pad. There I found this sensational rubber stamp and I knew I'd have to buy it for Win. 

In September, when I brought it to Creston more laughter ensued. We came to affectionately call the stamp The Tarts. Clearly, both of us had a load of fun colouring it in as we set to making mixed media pieces with it as focal point. When I departed, mine was in the state below. Unhappy with that big black area, I toned it down and added what more I thought the painting needed.  

MOULIN ROUGE in progress

Win's may have been finished ... but then again, she could have played with it some more.  Let's ask her!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Peacock Called Win

Some of you reading this will know that I have a thing both for peacocks and collecting rubber stamps. In my travels I found an amazing overall-patterned peacock feather acrylic stamp measuring almost 5" x 6". By using a cradled panel I could continue the pattern around the edges and the piece can stand as shelf art. To compliment the colour of the peacock head I chose Golden's quinacridone/nickel azo gold for the background.

A PEACOCK CALLED WIN   acrylic painting on a cradled wooden panel 8" x 8" x 2" deep

I use StazOn stamp pad inks because they are acid free, archival, fast drying solvent inks and the only brand which is permanent. They don't smear when made wet, as in painted over with any water media.  I'm not sure if the other colours will do this but the purple bled through the white which I had used to paint over the area that would be the head. It took many, many coats to stop that. For months, I left this background with a ghostly white head but today I finally finished it!

A PEACOCK CALLED WIN   acrylic painting on a cradled wooden panel 8" x 8" x 2" deep

Yesterday, I consigned several of my small gems (oil paintings) and a few mixed media pieces, including the two below, to Galleria Inglewood. I am proud to say that this Calgary store has been carrying my work since 1988. The selection at Galleria is by far the most extensive and unique you'll find simply because they are the largest independently owned retail arts and crafts store in Canada. And now, fully decorated for Christmas, they are a sight to behold. I strongly recommend you pay them a visit!

             FLY AWAY  framed 8" x 6" $100.                                 WE'LL SING IN THE SUNSHINE  framed 12" x 9" $250.