Saturday, May 17, 2008

Spring Inspiration

It seems like everyone I know is bursting with inspiration this spring! I've been working simultaneously on small abstract pieces with acrylic paint, re-inkers, and medium, and on larger pieces for my upcoming show at Onda. I'm also thinking about new workshops I'd like to teach. One I plan to debut in the fall is called, "Tear it Up!" and will involve creating torn paper flower collages. Here's a new one I created with limited supplies available.

Zeitgeist Mixed Media on Wood Panel 8" x 10"

I started this while I was out at PCC Sylvania. I was a guest speaker for a class there and had a couple of hours with nothing to do before I was destined to "go on." I went to the college bookstore for a novel and found little but textbooks. I did find a kind of wood panel that was new to me. They only had a few in this size, so I bought them all. The panel I used in the above photo was made by Art Advantage, a local company that brings us good economy acrylics and canvases. I had never seen their art panels before. They are very sturdy and economical so I'll be investigating where they are sold. (Not online, apparently.) I didn't find the medium I'm used to, but found a Grumbacher gloss medium and varnish. I found two freebie magazines at the bookstore, one newsprint and one glossy. Armed with these items and a newly purchased paintbrush, I decided to see if I could make a torn paper collage.

The first thing I did was glue down a page from the newsprint mag. to use as a background. When a small piece came off, I found that the gloss medium had made a nice transfer, so I took off the paper and used the transfer. The poppy petals were torn from the glossy magazine, as were the stems. I originally had a sentence in Italian taken from the glossy mag. The wood showed through the background. That night, back in the studio, I added bright re-inker color with glaze medium to the background and poppies, took off the text, leaving a nice ghost image, and added a vintage postage stamp from SCRAP.

I love how limits can bestow freedom to experiment!

I'm also thinking about children's classes. My grandson agreed to "play-test" a children's version of my "Not Just a Pretty Face" class. Below is his first portrait painting. He chose to work from a painting by Van Gogh. His attention span was better than I had hoped, and he got into learning to see lights, shadows, color, and shape. He and his grandmother are very proud of his achievement. In the fall, I plan to offer this to more kids!

Portrait of Lt. Milliet, after Van Gogh
by Dexter, age 8

I want to show off some of the exciting work my Art of Life group participants are doing. We have "show n' tell" each week where group members bring pieces they've made outside the group.

Emma has been experimenting with acrylic inks. (I must get some!.) The ink made these crackle lines in this piece on canvas--very cool.

Emma made this collage in group last week. I love the way the art papers, paint, stamps, doily, fabric, and photo work together in "Abrogated Destiny"

Cindy brought this piece for show and tell. She used unexpected colors to show the phases of the moon.

Our brand new group member, Ruth, started an altered book. This is her first-ever visual art! An incredible start!

Cindy did this piece in the group. She had just the background for a while but wanted to add something. Someone suggested a chair. And what a chair! Adding the empty chair makes a totally evocative work.

Jody made this diptych in group. She ransacked the studio and came up with all kinds of elements, including, stamps, matches, various art papers, and a repro. head from one of my paintings. I love how she put it all together.

Hot off the press: I cannot recommend too highly the new book out by Linda Womack and her husband, Bill. This is an expanded version of her previous book and is full of information about exciting encaustic techniques and inspiring examples of work by accomplished encaustic artists. I can't wait to try some of these techniques and spend more time looking at the pictures. Whether you are a beginner or experienced in encaustic, you'll find so much to love in this book. (Linda's site is on the left of the blog--you can order this book from her directly--you'll be glad you did.)


cheekyboots said...

I found these online but they seem to be called "Painting Boards" instead of "Wood Panels". Here is a link to one of the places I found them:

Serena Barton said...

Thanks Emma. The ones I found are cradled, while the ones at fine arts store are flat. I found the cradled ones on the Art Advantage web site. These too, are called "painting boards."
The company, Art Alternatives, with which I often confuse Art Advantage (different companies), will be coming out with new cradled panels which we'll be able to find soon at Muse Art/Design on Hawthorne.

Lots to choose from!