Sunday, August 30, 2009

More Tempera Resist and Thoughts on Sorting

Does anyone else find that when you organize things and give everything a home, a day or two later you can't remember where that home is.  That's what has happened here and it happens so often.  I've put my camera somewhere and right now I have no idea where that somewhere is so I can't show you what my project has been this week... project clear clutter and find homes for the clutter that can't go away and then clean... I'm not done but even with one more surface to tackle it's looking so spiffy.  Now if I could just remember where I put the camera I could take a photo and show you how spiffy.  Oh well.

I did do some more experimenting with the tempera resist in between clearing clutter.  I came across a drawing I had done for a lesson from a Charles Reid book and decided to see how it would work using the tempera resist technique.  Not too bad but not there yet.  Another piece I came across was a drawing of some bottles.  I've used this image a lot and thought it might just work for this technique.  I think it's more successful than the Charles Reid lesson.

tempera resist ala Chas Reid tempera bottls

When I find the camera I'll post my nice spiffy studio...that is if it's still nice and spiffy by the time I find it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

More Tempra Experiments

I'm excited; Lisa Medendorf has been writing a column for the Chronicle about local artists in their studios.  Next week she's coming to interview me. YIKES... I need to get my studio straightened up a bit... well actually a lot.  That's probably a good thing because right now I need to be painting but haven't had time to clear clutter off my easel.

I have had time to do some more experimenting with the tempra resist though.  This time I did some stamping with the tempra before inking.  Step 1 was the stamping and putting a bit of tempra down along with it.  Step 2 was the inking.  Step 3, I drew the pears and added some color to them.  Step 4 was to add liquid frisket (masking gum) to parts of the pears.  Step 6, more tempra.  Step 7, ink again.  Here's the result of that process.

3 pears experiment

The next one was another attempt to add words, this time by stamping.  Here's the result of that

Breathe

I'm quite pleased with how they both came out.  I think I need to hang the breathe sign where it will be visable to me regularly when I'm in my cluttered studio. 

Monday, August 17, 2009

Using a Tempra Resist

Annie's Coffee small
Here I go again, off on another new experiment.  I wonder if it's my ADD.  If I see a new technique I often have to try it.  This is one a friend showed me last week when we were painting together.  I loved the look when it was finished, the look of a woodblock print, so had to try a few more.  I had limited success.  Here are a couple of those.
tempra wine Pear 1
I liked them well enough to give it another try.  I wanted to know if I could get just a wee bit more detail which would mean I may be able to put some words on a piece and actually have it look decent.  This weekend the WetCanvas WDE included a street musician so I tried him with decent results. I think I liked him better before I added the color and I see the tape didn't work well; however,  it's an experiment... Charles Reid says we need to learn to accept our mistakes.
street music tempra step 4 street music tempra step 5

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Painting for a Cause

Evening Race 

This isn't a new piece, it was done last year.  I've donated it to Art Now For Autisum, a worthwhile cause I think.  The painting is one of a few I did following a glorious day sailing on Lake Fenton here in Michigan.  We crewed for a friend on his Lightning and I had Spinnaker duty which meant I only had work to do on one leg of the race.  The rest of the time I could work my camera and got several potential paintings which I worked on the following winter.

Art Now for Autism is a fundraiser, obviously. It's to autism awareness and research.
The Online exhibit and reverse auction is October 1-10, 2009.  Bidding starts at $90 which is less than the painting would normally sell for so I hope someone gets a bargain, it's a worthwhile cause.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Experimenting and Refreshing My Soul

print flea market 2

Flea Market Baskets #1

This is one of the pieces I did when I was experimenting last week.  I've posted more at the end of my blabbering about my week.  You have choices, read about my week or just go straight to the end and see the monoprints I've posted.  I'm offering them for sale at $35.00 ea.  That includes postage if you're in the U.S.  Now about my week....

Last week I traveled north for my annual art retreat with good friend and fellow artist, Terry Brancheau.  We've been doing this for about 15 years give or take.  Just the two of us, our art supplies, some art reading material, our favorite cd's and our bathing suits.  Those are the essentials.  Other things like clothes and food come along but we don't pay a lot of attention to them.  Making art is the priority for both of us; 3 swims daily is also a priority for me.

small bay panorama

I'm a water person and more specifically, an inland lake water person.  I live close to Lake Michigan and it's soothing to hear the waves which are fun to play in and it's a great fun sailing on the big lake. However, it just isn't the same as being able to dive in and feel the water, to be able to actually swim, not just play in the surf.  Being able to do that 3 times a day every day for a week soothes my soul.  I would be willing to give up a lot of things before I'd give up my week at Spider Lake.

Terry and I started doing this after spending a week at Oxbow (summer school for the School at the Art Institute of Chicago.)  It was a good experience and we decided we could do something like that every year if we just got away by ourselves with nothing to do but work on our art... no distractions.  The first year Terry arranged for us to have a cottage on an island in the middle of Lake Fenton.  That's when I determined that adding a swimming to the mix was perfect.  The island cottage was sold that winter but my brother and sister-in-law bought a cottage on Spider Lake that same year.  They offered it to us for the week and we've been going there since. 

Each year we do some experimenting, try some new subjects, techniques or sizes.  I believe trying new things keeps my mind more alive and when I go back to my watercolors it shows.  This year Terry, who usually works very large, worked on postcard size pastels.  I decided to try my hand at watercolor mono-prints.  I'd taken a one day class a few years back and liked the result but never went any further with it.  This year I decided that was what I would experiment with, especially in a small size.  I started doing them the way they were done in the class with so so results, then the experiments started.  I probably did 20 prints and of those I got 7 that are acceptable.  Well actually 9 but one of them is going to my son and his wife... that's this one.

print mf and jamie

And one went to our hosts... that's this one

print woodie

All of them are 4x6 or 4x5 images matted.

Bert's Boat

print berts boat

Tools #5

print create

Pedestrian

print pedestrian

Still Useful

print beths tin cans

Flea Market Baskets #1

print flea market 1

Mission Bells

print bells

Marigolds

print blue pots

It was a great week and I'm enjoyed doing the       mono-prints.  I'll be doing more of these and intend to try the technique using a press too.  If you're interested in one of these prints you can send an e-mail to helensartwork@yahoo.com

 

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

More Flea Market Finds

I'm back, rested, revived.  My week at the lake feeds my soul and this one was especially good because in addition to being able to swim daily and work on my Flea Market Series, I took the time to do some experimenting.  Today I'm posting the Flea Market pieces I finished.  Then I'm going to play a little catch-up.  A couple of weeks I missed posting so this week I'm going to post a couple more times.  My experiments were in watercolor monoprints and as I get them scanned I'll post them.flea market series # 4 baskets flea market series #5 baskets flea market series #6 stools
I also finished another boat.... I seem to be narrowing my boat images down to old rowboats.  I do love them.  This one belonged to a friend and when I saw it I knew I had to paint it.
berts boat
I wonder sometimes after I've painted something like this boat, did I concentrate too hard on the subject and not pay enough attention to the design.  I wonder because I'm so enthralled with my subject that I know that's all I'm thinking about.  I love the water and love to be in it or on it.  And as much as I love going fast on the water (speedboats) I also love the quiet of rowing an old boat or kayaking on calm water.