Monday, March 26, 2012

Seahorse Part 4, the Continuing Saga

Finally got the Friskit off tonight.  This turned out to be a difficult process because in the darks I laid down some pretty heavy ink and the stuff didn't want to come off.  Anyway, here it is.
Well, I'll be teaching all day tomorrow, but hopefully Wednesday afternoon I'll be able to begin laying in the seahorse colors.

Seahorse Painting Part 3 - Video

Here is a little video that shows my use of Friskit.  Friskit is used to preserve the white of the paper.  In my work, I often use it to preserve the subject, as I have here, so I can paint in a background that's cohesive, and which flows, regardless of the subject.  Once I'm finished painting my layers, I have to let it dry for a couple days, then I can peel the Friskit up, as you see here.  THEN I can go in and paint the subject.  In this case, I'll be using colors which are complimentary to the background, which changes from top left to bottom right.  It's going to be a VERY colorful painting; I'll leave those limited palettes to some other artist for a while.  video

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Seahorse Painting Part 2

 Okay, I drew the seahorse out.  Of all things, for some reason it gave me trouble.  I can draw human faces without erasing, but the crazy seahorse I had to redraw four times!  I guess it's because I know if you're going to put a lot of work into a picture, the most important thing is right in the beginning - composition.  Both subject and background.

At this point, I've lightly drawn the seahorse and its kelp, and painted it all in with Friskit.  Then I laid down layers of inks, being careful to let each layer dry absolutely before adding another.

You can see the seahorse image barely showing through.  Once I get another coat of inks layered over this one, I'll let it dry and take the friskit off.  What it does is preserves the white of the paper.  I'll then go back in and paint complimentary colors.

Here's part of it down in the lower section of the paper.  Love the colors already!
This is not what you'd call a limited palette.  And this is only the background!  I'll have a bevy of  complimentary colors to paint directly onto the seahorse once these first layers get painted and dried, and once I've removed the Friskit.  The stuff is similar to rubber cement, except thinner so you can paint it on.

No limited palettes for me!  Stay tuned for a video I just made which should help you understand how Friskit works.

Friday, March 23, 2012

New Painting; Seahorse Part 1

 Well, I like my Northern Pike painting so much that I decided to do a seahorse in the same manner.  My first step was to realize I had no idea what a seahorse looked like, and to wander down to our library.

After checking out three books and closely perusing them, I began to sketch.  There are a number of seahorse species, all with different features.  I had to work out exactly what I wanted in my painting.

Here are some preliminary sketches.


The teal seahorse is painted in fingernail polish.  Just had it sitting there and couldn't resist...

I liked this guy with the trees growing out of his head...

And note the snout.  They don't have teeth, they just snap the snout shut to trap their prey.


The one in the top right hand corner is an x-ray of a seahorse.  They don't have an exoskeleton because there's skin stretched over all, but this is their basic bone structure.


I liked the fat dude a lot, too, but nixed him as my subject.
 I thought these little guys were cool.  They were just hanging around with their bulging eyes and floating, ghostly 'hair.'

Well, I ended up with a choice, and I didn't put it online because I don't want to go upstairs again.  It's up there by my newly-begun painting.

This was my last sketch before beginning to paint.  I had to work out the color scheme and make sure everything was balanced before beginning.  Bad composition - no need to even bother.  And yeah, I know this sketch is weird, but I only spent probably two minutes on it.  The drawing wasn't my concern, the layout was.

Tonight I painted the entire seahorse and kelp in friskit.  Have to let it dry overnight before going further.  I'll take a pic and show you that one tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Me in my Studio

Here's a pic of me in my studio.  Pretty typical.  My noise cancelling headphones to block out the world, and my glasses so I can see the fine details of my work.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Anthropologie Does it Again

 The windows of the store, Anthropologie always draw me in.  I don't know who the artists are that come up with all the wonderful ideas that flesh out into these great displays, but sometimes I'd like to be one of them.

This season they've got a huge display of... yes... paint sticks.  Painted paint sticks.  Paint stirrers to be exact.  They're all hanging on differing lengths of string to comprise a huge, probably twelve foot long display in the front window, and probably eight feet or so high.  It would have been fun to have been the ones to have painted them - they show joy!

Gets me excited for my 'messy painting day' which I'm planning for my classes in two weeks.  Yaaaay!  There is not much more fun in life than throwing a lot of paint around with kids - sometimes on ourselves and on each other!  Can't wait!

Scroll down and look at these great Anthropologie window pics.  The last one is different, the threw paint down and made a 'skin.'  A skin is when you get layers of, say, acrylic paint, and you can literally peel it up and do all kinds of things with it.  Of course, their skin they did photos of so they could create these window peels that the employees simply stick up, but you get the message.  Love, love them all.





Sunday, March 11, 2012

Upcoming Classes taught by Yours Truly

Okay, all of you who have asked me to teach summer classes over the years - here's your chance! I'm going to be teaching metal embossing at The Woodlands League Art Gallery this June. This is a great, fun class even for non-artists.
This picture is part of three peonies I did, in its first stages.
 Here's the lowdown:  Metal Embossing Fun for kids ages 8-11, Tuesday and Thursday, June 12 & 14, 3:30-5:30.  $60.00.  I purchase supplies.  This is a class that’s so fun and relaxing, it’s hard to stop the kids when class is over!  Students will love learning how to emboss metal and create some truly nice, original pieces.  With some of their work, they will learn how to antique.  This is a class that is satisfying and fun.  Even non-artists can take home a variety of beautiful art of which they can be proud.
Metal Embossing for kids 12-adult :) This is a great chance for moms to take a class with their kids. This will be more intense and will cover Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 19,21, 26 and 28 from 3:30-5:30.  $120.00 for all four days.  I purchase supplies.  Students will enjoy learning the basics of embossing metal and will create a number of beautiful, finished pieces.  For their final piece, they will emboss a larger sheet of metal, gesso it to a board, prepare the metal to accept paint.  Once dry, they will be able to paint and finish it.  This will become a lovely, colorful piece of art with the metal glowing through the paint.  It’s a very satisfying medium that will leave you relaxed and ready for more.  I have taught this class many times and seen truly beautiful work come from non-artistic students.  Lots of fun for all ages; adults are encouraged to join in the fun, too!

 In both classes we'll be producing some seriously nice work for you to keep. Let me know if you have questions. If you want to sign up, let me know, or contact the Woodlands Art League Art Gallery, www.woodlandsartleague.org. 
For this piece, I first embossed the metal, then gessoed it to a board.  I then prepared the surface to accept paint.  Once it was dry, I was able to paint onto the metal, rubbing off portions to let the metal glow through.


It's going to be a really fun ride!

Friday, March 9, 2012

An Inside Tatoo - Update on the Dangerous Sport of Art

Well, it's just outside of two months since I skewered my leg on a sharp bamboo pen.  Looking down at my blog, I noted that the last time I wrote about it was one week out so I thought I'd give you an update.  It got much worse after that.  Because it went so deep, an infection set in and it turned into staph.  My skin also reacted, and my leg doubled in size from toes to knee, and toward the end it was getting really difficult to walk.  It took a tetanus shot, an emergency room visit, seriously hard antibiotics and three doctors' visits to finally heal my leg.  Oh, thank you, Lord!