Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Brunswick Salt Marsh, Two Ways

This is the first, small oil that became the study for the larger painting I completed last week.  It is quite traditional and peaceful....

"Salt Marsh, New Brunswick"
8" x 10" - oil on canvas

The painting below is based on the same photos of the same marsh.  But it is different in many ways from the study.  I wanted to show the liveliness of the grasses and the light of the day which give a different feel to the experience of viewing the work....

"New Brunswick Marsh Land"
36" x 40" - oil on canvas

I hope I was successful in communicating the brightness and excitement of the natural landscape.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Variations on a Theme

Even though I've been working with tea bags for a couple of months I still feel like I'm just getting started. There are so many ways to push this work, through technique, composition, color, adding different materials, and the scale. I've been processing herbal teas recently and finding that I really like the lighter, more varied and subtle kinds of tones I'm getting.

This group of 12 illustrates some of the variation, depending on the type of tea bags used. I'm also playing with applying light washes to the finished pieces to change the tones.

This triptych uses linear pieces of bags, rather the the recangular shapes and achieves a completely different effect. It would be fun to do this on a larger scale.

Today I began to sew the tea bag strings onto some small finished canvases. I'll continue to explore this over the coming days and see how it goes!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Poppy and Sunflower Linoleum Prints

For a change of pace, I am going back to an old love, printmaking.  The two prints here, the second hand colored, were made awhile ago and my thought is to create a series of floral linoleum prints and maybe turn them into a calendar.

"Poppy and Sunflower"
9" x 12" - lino print

"Poppy and Sunflower"
9" x 12" - hand colored lino print

Wouldn't it be fun to use the calendar as a coloring book?  If the prints for each month were in black and white, everyone could do their own hand colored versions.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tea Boxes

This past week I've been working on a smaller scale with the stained tea bags. The boxes I'm covering are 5 x 5 x 1 1/2 inches and I'm really enjoying the more hands-on approach used in making them. Composition on this scale allows me to see the patterns and colors on the papers in an entirely different way and of course in greater detail.

Work on the larger pieces continues but these smaller 3-dimensional pieces feel more playful and seem to encourage lots of experimentation. Here are a few of them:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Teaming with tea

The obsession with tea bags continues (could this be a life-long mania?). While we were in Queensland last week amid regional flooding (which translates to heavy rain every day we were "vacationing") there were plenty of opportunities to discover some new brands of tea. Such excitement! I brought back two dozen sodden bags, which have since dried out in the blessed Sydney sun.

So more of the same with variations. These pieces are steadily multiplying and will become a series:

I'm also playing with the tags and probably have collected enough to begin assembling them. In the meantime I'm working on a piece constructed on a tea-dyed tea towel that lists many friends over the years with whom I've had the joy of sharing a cup (or perhaps many). This one still needs some work but should be a piece of special meaning:

I'm trying to keep the filter off and be in the flow as much as possible.