Monday, April 25, 2011

27th & 28th Panels

Ancient History, gouache & acrylic on paper on birch panel, 14" W x 7" H

Another diptych, but this one actually started out as a vertical. I was playing around a lot with this. This was created with dripping a lot of paint onto the paper and then using a hard brayer to move the paint around. There were several iterations of this, each time with a different color, all fairly thinly mixed. Sometimes I would let the paint sit for a bit before I took the brayer to it, other times I'd do it while it was fresh.

I think I turned it horizontal fairly early on though. Having decided that it was a landscape, with a bit of sky showing down the middle. I brought out the land formations. Then the last issue of the Thursday Home & Garden section had a story on peonies. I saved the photos and was doing some drawings based on the photos. Heck, I might as well put the peonies right on the piece...

I was watching a video of another artist working and was inspired to try some of her techniques. She works in encaustics and makes drawings of individual elements and then collage them onto her final piece. I know a lot of artists use this technique, but her work was the first to really knock me over. Her pieces are cohesive, integrated and complex, all the while maintaining that luminous look. (See Lori Field's website.)

Although I don't use encaustics, I figure I'd try out the technique — not sure where I wanted to go with this piece at this point, I made a separate peony drawing on mulberry paper, cut it out, and was playing around with placing it on the image. In the end, the additional peony wasn't doing it for me, and I really wanted to see the land/rock instead.

I considered putting a couple of giant praying mantises on there, but in the end decided on some pre-historic looking ferns. And that's the top photo. If you click on it, you can see the details on the larger version.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thumbtacks...a lot of them!

I have no idea where this came from, but for a couple of weeks, I kept on seeing drawings and paintings of thumbtacks in my head. I tried to ignore them, but I kept on seeing them. I hope I'm not developing something weird. But anyhow, I finally decided that I should just do a drawing of thumbtacks:

Took me over 10 hours to fill up this sheet of 26"x40" Rives Lightweight with little drawings of thumbtacks; they're roughly life sized, although I would not say precise — some of them look just like the letter T, and some look like those tags you find on cloths. The color variations and color shapes are random. I mixed 3 colors: silver with red, silver with turquoise, and then charcoal gray, and just started putting down thumbtacks on paper. Now I suppose I'll have to count to see how many thumbtacks there are.