Sunday, January 30, 2011

Two Red Flowers

Except for the varnishing, which can't happen until this has cured for a while, I am finished with this painting. It is a small (11x14) mixed media painting and will be place in a gold frame when dry. What doesn't show up well in this photograph is the three dimensional nature of the flower centers and the luminescence of the ribbon, which is done in gold.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Treasures in the Trash

Tomorrow is Australia Day, a bit like the 4th of July but basically a day for the beach and firing up the "barbie". I can't believe the contrast in weather between here and hot here, so cold there. I love keeping up with our group's work on the blog....Cynthia is obviously taking advantage of the indoor time and producing some wonderful new paintings!

My work continues to truck along. I have finished the feathery piece and moved on to another large one. Here' the torn tea bag piece, which is 50" x 39", still in search of a title......

The new one is being assembled on an old rice paper blind that I found in the trash a few years ago. I knew it would eventually come in handy! It is about 72" x 60", so presents some challenges as I put it together. This photo was taken a couple of days ago and I have completed about twice as much as of this afternoon.

My fan has been cranking away and the only problem is the occasional tea bag that goes floating through the air!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Painting Progress

Barbara (lovely art-wise woman) was so dubious that I would actually keep my promise to get back to painting in 2011 that she wanted me to "sign it in blood." Well, I've kept my promise. I've been working on three canvases at the same time (since oil dries so slowly) and am making slow progress. Here's what I have at the moment - all of them unfinished. I tend to go slower as a painting progresses, terrified that, after all the work, I will ruin it by over-painting.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Practice Canvas

I've been working on an oil painting for the past couple of weeks. Since oil is an unfamiliar medium for me (I am used to pen, pencil, watercolor, guache... illustrator mediums) I am going slowly. I've begun a second canvas I call my Practice Painting, where I am simply practicing a grisaille (grey tones) technique while paint on my main canvas dries. In some ways, I like the practice canvas better than the main one. Ha.

I began by using tones of sepia to sketch out various leaves on a light blue canvas.

I then added some blossoms in neutral grays.

Then I experimented with using burnt sienna as my neutral but I didn't like it as much as plain gray.

Now I've begun to practice different flower shapes and play with shading.

Here is the evolution of the practice painting so far:

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's All in the Air

It has been a good week for working, keeping all the windows open to get some air in my warm studio space. The piece I have been working on is more than half finished and I am enjoying the change in process, which involves gluing pieces of torn tea bags onto light weight fabric. Here's a photo taken a couple of days ago:

This close-up gives an idea of the layering that's taking place.

I envision hanging the piece from the ceiling on a rod, probably about 6" from the wall, so it can move freely. It fun to see how the work changes as the breezes pass through our house!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Into the new year

The long trip, Vermont to Sydney, always gives me time to think....not always too clearly, mind you, but the brain does wander as the miles slide by. So I reflected on the work of 2010, which consisted almost entirely of tea bag creations. I am amazed that I am still loving this process and quite captivated by the beauty of the stained paper and what is possible to do with it. Here are some patterns taken from the clothing I've made.

We use my studio in Sydney for storing our personal belongings while we are gone and the house is occupied by others. So to be able to get back to work I have to clear everything motivating for getting the job done quickly! Two days of unpacking and filling the pantry and the house is in order and I am beginning again.

On the plane I thought about layering, lots of layers, almost like feathers on a bird. So the new work will begin with experimenting. Luckily I have hundreds of bags, all emptied and ready, thanks to my dear friends and family back home. Here's my studio, ready for action!