Thursday, April 28, 2016

Esprit de Collage at Artiscape

I recently invented this class after trying some experiments on my own. I brought many mats with me of varying sizes and openings. Most of them were purchased at second hand art stores. Some I painted with craft paint or Annie Sloan Chalk paint. I challenged (nicely) the students to create a collage the size of the mat opening, rather than create a mat to fit a collage. I had done this on my own with some old mats that I had and found it really fun and educational to create collages in a predetermined size and shape.

The theme of the class was finding inspiration in the look and exuberance of the early 20th century collage makers. The class rose to the challenge and found they found creativity enhanced by the limitations. I brought lots of vintage papers and fabrics and emphasized the use of original rather than commercial materials. We used Ceracolors in addition to collage elements.

When we ran out of mats for the second collages, (this was a big class) students tended to create their own predetermined spaces for their collages (see above.)

Here they are: participant works in the esprit de collage!


To see some splendid work from my "Paper., Oil, and Wax class at Artiscape, visit my other blog, "Cold Wax and More."

Monday, April 4, 2016

Sharon and I Love Ceracolors!

"Fayum Memory"  by Serena
Not long ago I received a call from a talented painter, Sharon, who wanted to create a series of portraits of friends and family in the style of the Greco-Roman-Egyptian painters of the first century BCE to the third century CE. These paintings were discovered centuries later in the Fayum area of Egypt.
Most of these paintings were done during the sitters' lifetimes and then after the person died, were affixed to their mummies. The paintings are done in a variety of styles, but all are haunting in their beauty and in the sense we have of seeing into the face of a real person who could be someone we know. One of the chief characteristics of Fayum paintings is the dark, large eyes of the subject.

I had done several Fayum inspired paintings in encaustic, but I wondered if Ceracolors wouldn't provide more flexibility in painting.  I used a heat tool to fuse and incise in much of the painting to replicate the look of the Fayum paintings. These ancient painters used both encaustic and some form of cold wax. Ceracolors is a water-soluble wax paint which can be used in many ways. 

Below is a still life done with Ceracolors and Ceracolors Fluid Medium. Below the apple you'll see some of my other Fayum experiments.

"Glowing Apple" by Serena
"Ethiopian Girl" by Serena

"Fayum Memory # 2" by Serena

Sharon came to my studio to experiment with Fayum portraits. Her first one was done in encaustic, see below.
Sharon's Encasutic Painting

Sharon used the same heat tool I had with her encaustic painting--you can particularly see it on the hair on this piece.

After the encaustic experiment, Sharon started a series of Ceracolor Fayum portraits.

By Sharon, after Fayum Artist
Sharon really took off with the Ceracolors. When she paints family and friends, the pieces become really alive and individual. 

By Sharon

By Sharon

By Sharon

By Sharon
I find Sharon's Fayum style paintings as hauntingly beautiful as the originals.

Ceracolors can be used for abstract painting as well. My piece below looks much like my oil/cold wax paintings.

"Smuggler's Cove" by Serena

I'll be teaching "Ceracolor Still Lifes" at Artiscape, sponsored by European Papers, in Dublin, OH later this month.