Friday, September 17, 2021

My Usual Morning Ritual In The Studio

It didn't happen today but I'll get to that in a bit.  Usually I start my studio day with a little collage like these two.

I have boxes and baskets of little papers, I'm trying to use them up.  These are small, the largest is 4x5 inches.  I have no idea what I'm going to do with them yet but that hasn't stopped me from making them.  It's the doing that's important.

But something else is important -- feeding my soul.  And that's why this morning instead of going into my studio I went in to our garage and blew up my new inflatable kayak.  This is a replacement.  The first one leaked but that didn't keep me from liking it.  Instead of just sending it back I asked and got a replacement.

When my paintings were realism they were usually boats. I especially love old boats; rowboats and oars had been an ongoing theme.

I love being on or in the water, it feeds my soul.  We sailed for many years but that was a long time ago.  My husband doesn't have the same need for being on the water that I do so for the past several years I've gone on an art retreat at Spider Lake where I get my water fix and do a lot of painting.  

This year that wasn't enough, I needed more time on the water.  I took skulling lessons which had been on my bucket list for more years than I care to admit.  Loved it but -- I don't have a place to keep a skull on the water and haven't seen an inflatable sooooo I bought the kayak.  

While my husband doesn't need the water, he does enjoy being out on it so this afternoon we are headed out to try this new one.  He'll rent, I'll use my own.  He enjoyed it the last time we did it, who knows, he may decide he likes it enough to get one too.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

The Art Of Not Knowing What The %&# Will Be Under There

It's the surprise at the end of the process that makes poured watercolors and gelli printing interesting and fun.

I love my gelli plates, I never know what I'm going to get when I pull the paper off the plate.  Sometimes it's wonderful, sometimes okay and sometimes not so much. That's part of the fun for me. (If you're interested in knowing more about gelli printing here's a link to

It's very much like my poured watercolors one of which is the first picture above.  For poured watercolors instead of an easel my paper is in a jellyroll pan.  I literally pour very wet watercolor paint onto the paper and I don't want it all over my table.  Along with the very wet paint I use a masking fluid that is much like rubber cement in that it protects an area but can be removed. The process is masking, letting the mask dry, then pour the first layer of watercolor. Let it dry. Then add another layer of masking and repeat until only the darkest value is exposed. The rest of the painting is buried under the masking which has to be removed before the painting is revealed.  Like the gelli print, it could be wonderful, sometimes just okay and sometimes not so much.

But with both processes I can keep working on a piece until I'm satisfied, or in the case of the watercolor, use it for collage.  All that excess water in the jellyroll pan makes backs that are wonderful colors blended.

I enjoy the process of pouring but I'm not the most patient person. The pourings require waiting time.  Layers have to dry and sometimes that takes all day.  I use a very heavy watercolor paper. And finally, all that dried masking has to be removed.

Gelli printing dries quickly so the next layer, if needed, can be done almost immediately.  My gelli prints are often collage material but doing them made me realize acrylics and abstract paintings could also be interesting and flexible.  Like watercolor pours and gelli prints that turned out not so well, another layer on an abstract piece that isn't working could make a huge difference.  The layers add texture and another layer of interest.  

So I'm doing lots of experimenting with gelli printing, collage and abstracts and really enjoying the journey.