Another Wednesday painting result: I made a drawing on watercolor paper of the same view from my window that I did last week. This time I simplified and abstracted the scene. I spent my Wednesday painting time applying color with my Derwent Inktense pencils. Working with one small segment at a time, I applied washes using color pulled from the pencil tip with a wet paintbrush. With the wash still damp, I added textured using either the brush or the tip of the pencil. I am really enjoying the easy portability of this medium and the versatility. Here is Neighbors, Abstracted and the photo of the source scene.
I’ve been painting with a group of local artists on Wednesdays. This week I’m playing with my new Derwent Inktense products, a set of 36 pencils and 36 blocks. I keep Wednesday’s appointment for art time as faithfully as life permits. I’ve discovered that I stay motivated even after our meeting. After both the painting and I rest overnight, I can see the work with a fresh viewpoint. I revise or finish my effort done in the meeting and hope I don’t overwork it. A simple still life was yesterday’s effort. After tinkering with the still life for about an hour, I called it done and signed it. After I photographed it, I tinkered some more. New ideas came to mind. Since I had my supplies out, I taped a small piece of watercolor paper on a clipboard and drew the view from my kitchen window. Another hour of painting and the small work “Neighbors” is the result. I love how concentration on art creation drives all other worries from mind.
source for Neighbors
I had a wonderful but very short trip to Denver recently. The highlight was a full day in the Denver Museum of Art. These two paintings caught my attention because they use a technique a friend of mine is interested in emulating in her fabric art quilts. I’m not sure if the formal term is cubism or some other word. I’m calling the technique fractured planes and Charles Sheeler was a master of it. Here are photos of two paintings and the signage related to them. Can you see how this might translate to the medium of art quilts as seamed pieces of fabric?
Red Against the White
New England Irrelavancies
I tried a new technique at our SAQA OH meeting yesterday. Jacqueline Sullivan, a Golden Products instructor, showed samples of her mixed media art made on fabric by using black gesso, diluted white gesso, light modeling paste with stencils, and gel medium. We did a hands-on session transferring ink jet prints from paper to fabric with acrylic medium. She warned us that we could not paint on these.
So now that my three samples are home, I’m experimenting with coloring them and painting them. The photo is the black and white prints, drawn on with a fine line black Sharpie marker and colored with Derwent Inktense colored pencils. I’ll try painting over these by using an isolation layer. This painting technique is the application of a thin layer of matte gel medium over an image you don’t wish to disturb. Once that layer is dry, you can put additional paint on top.
gel medium transfers
I went to a meeting of Art Quilt Alliance, a group that I joined recently. The presentation, by Beki Test, a mythology/folklore expert, English teacher, and folk singer was wonderful. She spoke about collecting phrases that catch her imagination and working them into her song lyrics. “hair like bone” and “a long exhale” were examples she used. I was nodding in agreement.
I had done that with painting and my fiber art works. I read the phrase “naked stick blues” a year before it emerged as a painting. Another painting is derived from a homophone, “Pear, Pair, Pare”. Word puns were the basis for my fiber art pieces, “Change of Heart” and “Heart Condition”. I have an artwork in-progress based on a phrase with which I comfort myself: “I have everything I need.” It is important to have a way to capture words or phrases so they can incubate and emerge in new creations.
Naked Stick Blues
Change of Heart
Pear, Pair, Pare
I finished quilting the elephant image that I posted about last week. I still need to finish the border, sleeve and label. I commented to my sister, as I showed her the work-in-progress, that a quilted work takes three to five times longer for me to complete than an acrylic painting on primed canvas or hardboard. She responded with a question…”So, is it worth the extra time?” What a good question.
I think the answer is yes IF the image is stronger with the dimension that quilting adds. Quilted art is still unique in a way that watercolor or acrylic painting is not. But some images and ideas are just as effective or more appropriately done in paint alone. So, I’ll continue to both paint and quilt.
I have way too many projects in progress. I think that is a common hazard of all creative people…ideas arising faster than we can put them into tangible form.
1. There is a flush of excitement at a new idea and the flurry of activity to capture it in some form…a note, a sketch, reference clippings, or collection of materials gathered in a box or folder.
2. Incubation follows. Can the idea be refined, embellished, made more universal or more specific? Can it be combined with another concept?
3. Next comes the work. The project changes during construction, with a conversation volleying between art object and creator.
4. Finally comes critical judgement and final tweaks, stepping back with a sigh and calling it done. Sometimes several times.
5. Then… dragging on a bit… the signing, varnishing, labeling, framing, photographing, writing about, cataloguing and sharing or promoting.
I’m actively working on just two things right now, a painting and a quilt. But deadlines loom and five other projects are nudging at my conscience.