Thursday, September 25, 2008
I am still practicing with it but I did a portrait of my daughter that I'm pretty happy with. I used the water soluble formula, but you can also get it in permanent. Because I tend to do over a lot, I also used titian buff acrylic. I used Claybord for the support. I plan to continue to experiment with Liquid Pencil to see what else it and I can do.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I just got the news from Becky Bilyeu, photographer and crafter extraordinaire, that the first ever Portland Craft Mafia Show is this coming Saturday night. I plan to be there for this historic event and hope you will also!
In these challenging times it is so important to support our own and others' commitment to the joys of the creative life. "Craft Mafia", "Secret Society Ballroom"--what's not to like?
I'm busy this week getting ready for my four credit PSU class that starts next week: Women, Creativity, and Healing. Jane Kearney and I are also getting ready for Art and Soul Retreat and the retreat's much-awaited Vendor Night (October 4.) Jane and I will have a mother and daughter booth there filled with exciting stuff. I'm pretty excited about meeting some of my favorite artists who will be there, waving to vendor friends across the room, and about working with my wonderful artist daughter.
I'll have original art work, large and small reproductions, mini-collages, assemblages, journals, vintage sheet music, magazine pages, and book pages, collage sheets, reproductions of vintage postcards, and more. I will also have hard cover and soft cover copies of my book available.
Mini Collage: St. Margaret 2.5" square
A Merry Dance 3.5" x 2.5"
Jane the Queen Acrylic/Collage 6" x 4"
Grail Collage/Acrylic 5" square
Monday, September 22, 2008
The goal of the workshop was to create two or more torn paper flower collages. The participants started each collage by creating backgrounds with papers that appealed to them. They used magazine pages, collage sheets, text, tissue paper, old dress patterns, and more.
Sally chose a pink collage sheet for her "feminine" background. She used fragile tissue for the beautiful image on the left of her background. Sally teaches in the PSU Women's Studies Department. (To her I owe my involvement there.) She used anti-feminist text that she found in my collection (left over from an altered book group, I hasten to say.) This gave her "girly" collage a subtle twist.
A feminist collage develops
Sally spent a lot of time on the background for her second collage. She chose small, carefully placed papers and collage elements, then unified them with a blue glaze.
I'm disappointed that the only picture I got of her finished collage # 2 is blurred. This is such a vibrant and unusual piece. Sally and I initially thought she needed a large central image, but then agreed she didn't and that the proportions of the collage were perfect as they were.
Jan had so much success with her first 3-D flower, that she made another fascinating 3-D plant.
Nicole used a monochromatic background of neutral and beige colors. She then put tissue over the background creating an even more subtle, aged effect. The tissue layer included pieces of a vintage dress pattern. Nicole then set off the background with a bright blue daisy. Note all the different shades that make up the daisy for an effect of light and shade.
Though Francoise was new to collage, she enthusiastically layered a rich background with predominately blue tones. She then glazed the background with ultramarine and lots of glaze medium. She created a bright 3-D poppy and stem which pop right out of the picture.
Francoise makes her first collage background
Francoise's completed collage with 3-D poppy
Francoise created irises for her second piece. They are 3-D as are the stems, which she rolled out of green Chinese paper. Here's her completed piece:
Monday, September 15, 2008
Yesterday I had an extraordinary experience! I've heard it said that significant art is that which changes us because of our exposure to it. City Dance, part of PICA's Time Based Art event, fits this definition for me. It will be difficult to put it into words, but I'll give it a try.
From the Oregonian:
In the late 1950s and early '60s, postmodern dance pioneer Anna Halprin and her husband, landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, formed an influential collaboration: taking inspiration from each other, she re-imagined the movement of people in space, while he rethought spaces for people to move in.
The Halprins also had a connection to a groundbreaking collective: her San Francisco Dancers' Workshop was in the same building as the avant-garde San Francisco Tape Music Center (SFTMC), where electronics and found sound were altering music.
The huge audience of Portlanders and visitors of all ages watched dancers cavort in and around Keller Fountain yesterday at the beginning of the performance. Lively "experimental" music issued from the visible musicians.
At the Keller fountain in the beginning I was having a hard time seeing around people. The sun was beating down on me and I dearly wished I could be in the cool water with the dancers. (I've always had some trouble being part of the audience instead of the performance, from the time I saw my first parade and cried because I wanted to be in it.)
After the first section at the Keller, we then followed the dancers to another fountain, part of Halprin's open spaces designed for Portland.
The moving as part of the crowd from one space to another and being part of the excitement catapulted me into a realization: we were all part of the City Dance! I felt my heart open and felt a strong sense of alert, peaceful, anticipation.
The dancers wore colors that I remember from the exciting period of the early 60's when artists like the Halprins were opening up the world from the stuffy fifties, filling it with new color, images, and sounds.
One space sported a piano in the fountain. It looked so lovely that I stared and stared at it. It looked magical, and yet, right. I continued to be transported to the vivid world the Halprins helped create in the past and at the same time I was also fully present in the moment. Everyone in the crowd was smiling and we acknowledged the wonder of the spectacle and of each other and of our combined experience. There were no crying children, though lots of children were there. I didn't hear any annoying yelling or see any drunken or drugged behaviors. We all just basked in being together.
At the last space I was unable to see anything or hear what a speaker was saying. It didn't really matter. I just watched the crowd and inhaled the delicious scent from the trees. I was amazed at the discovery of these hidden open spaces in the heart of the city. I've lived in Portland so long and didn't know they were there. I wondered what more discoveries I could make in the city to open up my own world.
Soon the speech was finished. We all held hands and walked (danced) single file out of the space. At the end of the park, we were each handed a button that said "PLAY."
After the event, adults and children played in the fountains we'd visited. I rolled up my pants and went in--cool and delicious.
What a gift, to have such an experience. I know my words can't convey what it was like, but I hope we all will go out and experience more--hidden open spaces, plays, art, talks, walks, new food--the wondrous world.
Thanks to the choreographers, dancers, musicians, staff, and volunteers for this event!
This unites a found image, faux gold leaf, acrylic ink, and acrylic medium.
A vintage image of the Eiffel Tower, a copy of my lemon painting, found papers, text, paint and a vintage fragment which gives the piece its title.
Acrylic ink and paint on panel
I used acrylic reinker first and scratched into the surface. The paint was added later, then additional ink for more saturated color.
I used found images from an old piano book of Shakespearean songs, an image from an old textbook on Shakespeare that I found at the Dollar Scholar, faux gold leaf, pen and ink, found papers, and acrylic ink.
The book on Shakespeare has wonderful images. It also looks quite interesting and I vow to read it before I cut it up any more!
Sunday, September 28: "Mind Your Own Beeswax" Encaustic Workshop. See past post or email me for more information.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
I created "Simplify" using encaustic paint, a fragment of a letter found in a used book, and a reproduction of a page from my journal. I'll be teaching these and more techniques at my next encaustic workshop:
Mind Your Own Beeswax!
This is your chance to fall in love with the aromatic, luminous, and versatile properties of beeswax in the form of encaustic painting! We’ll cover basic techniques such as building up layers, fusing the wax layers, adding color, collage elements, and incising. We’ll explore various heat tools and many design elements. No previous art experience needed—just lively curiosity and a willingness to risk addiction to painting with wax!
Tuition: 90. Includes supplies
Kimberly Kent, Linda Womack and I had a blast last night demonstrating encaustic at the First Thursday Opening at the PosterGarden in NW Portland. We took turns with the demos and were again amazed at how differently we use the materials. Lots of the folks at the show had never seen encaustic work, let alone seen the process done.
I took pictures of all our work on the wall, but my hand was not too steady (no, I just had a little white wine) so some were blurry. Mine, of course. I do have a piece I created during my demo, with advice from a delightful ten year old artist.
Despite the lack of photographic expertise on my part, the show itself was arranged beautifully. Thanks to Julie Landau of PosterGarden for inviting the three of us to this lively, fun event!
I've had a mixed relationship with etsy. I love this site that showcases and sells handmade art and craft as well as vintage materials. I've found it hard to find time to promote my etsy shop, artbyserena, but have decided to give it another go. I'll be restocking my shop daily for the next week with Affordable Art. Hope you'll visit and see what's new! My grandson has a shop that he has been neglecting also, but he's lately expressed some interest in restocking his shop also. I'll keep you posted.