Sunday, April 28, 2013

Urban Art Show Piece

We're having an 'Urban Art' show soon and I was casting around for what I've got that looks urban.  Put this one together this weekend, and I'm calling it 'My Town,' it being Houston.

Pulling out this flowing background, I turned it to make the colors look like they were rising from the city.  The second step was to go outside and pull out the spray cans.  As I had a hot background, I spurted on some blue paint to tone down a couple places, and also lead the eye up into the sky from the city.

I've been leading some of my classes through mixed media, lately, and pulled together an assortment of things for this piece, lots of colors from a Houston magazine, paper from the Chronicle, a clothing tag, film, pictures and words from theatre and ballet shows downtown, some Picasso advertisements, as they're showing his black and white works right now.  Music is really important to me, so I added some sheet music from a show I played.  I also collaged some fairly thick, dried acrylic paint to it for texture.

Once I had added all this, it was one BRIGHT painting!  Once again, I traipsed outside, and pulled out the black and blue spray cans.  All that required were a few well-aimed shots.  My goal was to tone it down a bit around the bottom and right side to lead the eyes over to the spots that I left brighter.  At that point, all I had to do was dig around for the leaky spray can and carefully spray a few dribbling blobs into particular places.  I just like these for the fast, graffiti feel.

Altogether pleased.  Now, all I have to do is give it one more coat of varnish and I'm ready for the Urban show!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Habitat for Humanity, Artist Auction Bid Board

Here I am in front of the bid board, once the auction was over.  It was a little tense for the artists, and I'm sure everyone, during the bidding.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My TARDIS Auctioned Off! I am with the happy couple that bought my door.  They won the auction bids for it and ended up paying $1,100.00.  They were so thrilled to meet me, it was fun talking with them.  They'd been texting pics of it home to their daughter, since she's a huge Dr. Who fan.  In their texts, they never mentioned that they were actually going to bid on the door, or that they won the bid themselves.  They decided they were going to surprise her!

All twelve artists' doors were moved all around Montgomery County.  One of the sponsors told me they were carrying mine in to a store, and someone screamed 'There's the TARDIS!!'  She said they about dropped the door.  Ha, ha.  Anyway, it was a wonderful gala, a fun filled (and a little tense during the bidding) evening that we all enjoyed.  Our gallery raised a lot of money for Habitat for Humanity that very special evening.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Demo Artist at Waterway Arts Festival is a shot of me at the Waterway Arts Festival.  I gave demos on working with metal embossing.  Here's an unfinished mixed media piece I worked on while there.  Those stupid blow up dancing guys continue on...

First Prize Professional Category
A friend just sent this shot of me and my prize winning fish.  I blue-ribboned in the professional water media category.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Walking in Two Worlds

I wrote this poem out of deep longing for friends unreachable.   Tonight I had a good friend translate it into Spanish for me.  Thank you, Marlon!

Walking in Two Worlds
April 24, 2011

I’m walking in two worlds.
As I walk in my world,
I see you
Walking in yours.
Each day we walk
In two worlds,
Yet…in one.

We’re praying in two worlds.
As I pray for you in my world,
I feel you
Praying for me in yours.
Each day we pray
In two worlds,
Yet…in one.

We hope together in two worlds.
Although far apart,
We hope together in Christ.
Knowing that someday
Through Him,
Our two worlds will be One.

Caminando en Dos Mundos
24 de abril 2011

Estoy caminando en dos mundos.
Mientras camino en mi mundo,
Te veo
Caminar en el tuyo.
Cada día caminamos
En dos mundos,
Sin embargo... en uno.

Estamos orando en dos mundos.
Al orar por ti en mi mundo,
Te siento
Orando por mí en el tuyo.
Cada día oramos
En dos mundos,
Sin embargo... en uno.

Esperamos juntos en dos mundos.
Aunque lejos,
Esperamos en Cristo.
Sabiendo que algún día
A través de él,
Nuestros dos mundos serán uno.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kaleidoscope Remembered

I had actually forgotten about this picture - a man walked into the gallery, walked straight toward it and took it off the wall without hesitation.  I don't think the price was too much of a concern to him - he knew what he wanted!  This one's pretty big.

I've got a fairly bad photo going on here - hey - can't be good at everything! You can see some reflections going on.  Sorry!
This shows a little detail of what's going on all over in the larger painting.  I like to work to get the colours all flowing one into another - it gives a seriously interesting texture and depth that draws the eye in and holds it.

Here's another little cutaway.  Generally when I do paintings like this I use different kinds of inks and paints - solid, opaque colours, inks that are fairly translucent, transparent colors which you can see right through, iridescents and metallics.  Some seem to recede and some come up to the front, giving the painting an unusual feeling of depth.  Photos really can't show that - you have to see it in person!

Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival

This is a pic from the Waterway Arts Festival today.  A lot of work and a lot of fun.  I had to go and fill up ye ol' water buckets for my demo, and as we had our theatre company, CYT, there performing, a lot of the students came over to see me throughout the day.

As for my part, I did demonstrations on all stages of metal embossing.  It kept me so busy that I had to turn my back and walk away now and then to little unimportant things like get a drink!  Fun, extremely busy day.

Altered Book, Student's Work

This is one of my student's pieces that she did in her altered book.  In the beginning of the year, I had them make altered books, and we've spent the rest of the year filling them.

Particularly, I had them gesso some pages and leave partial words peeking through; I think that this adds mystery and whimsey and just enhances the overall look of the work.  Further, we've learned that 'mistakes' in watercolors are really 'happenings,' and you need to go with the flow and let the happy accidents guide you.

Here it looks like the gesso repelled the paint in some places, which I really like.  It gives a really nice, unexpected effect.  Nice work, my young friend.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Stupid Dancing Blow Up Guys, Part 2

I'm actually working backwards on this one - and of course, there's a story behind this.

We finished school on a particular day and Noah and I decided upon one of our favorite haunts - Panera Bread.  Driving up, we parked.  As the car got still, we kind of sank into our seats in the quietness and took a breath.

Sitting there, we looked to the other side of the parking lot where one of those stupid blow up guys was flinging himself around.  Not only that, they'd put him too close to the building, so he was continually throwing himself against the bricks and coming up with all kinds of crazy contortions. 

Noah suggested that we go in, get our lunch (ciabatta with tomato and mozzarella for me, a grilled turkey and cheese for Noah, with caramel frappacinos, no whip, for the both of us. :)

I load stories on my phone, and we are currently listening to the entire Sherlock Holmes library, so
that sounded like a pretty prospect!

So... we got our lunch, came out and had a nice lunch con Sherlock Holmes while watching the stupid blow up guy toss himself about!  It was a very pleasant lunch!

The first half page of pictures above is the first one I did to accompany my digestion.  Just couldn't resist, and as I always carry a small sketchpad and a plethora of drawing paraphernalia, I was ready!
 The first three guys were totally fun to draw, so I flipped and started a new page.  Then I flipped and did another!  Couldn't stop!

I've always thought of these guys as totally dumb but something struck me that day and I enjoyed my little sketching time. 

After that, I showed these pages to a number of people (stupid blow up guys do often come up in casual conversation, you know!)  Each time, we all got a good laugh and I came to enjoy these guys as my friends.

Took a week or two before I had to do a full painting of them.  And that's what you'll find below!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Prize Winning Fish; Blue Ribbon

 Since I won the blue ribbon in the judged show for the professional category of water media, I wanted to give you a glimpse of the prize winning fish.

Here's an early stage.  By the way, the piece is approximately 24x30".  I painted the fish in with Friskit, to save the whites.

Once the Friskit was laid down, I began to paint in washes of color.  I've got at least four layers of washes of different cool and iridescent colors here.  You can barely see the fish emerging.  Scary!

 You can see here where the Frisket has been peeled away.  This is a gummy medium that repels liquids, not unlike rubber cement.

If you look closely, you can see white dots all over the paper; I did that with Friskit as well as I wanted to have the 'hot spots' all over the painting.

Here's a closer look at the pike.  You can see right through him to the water behind; I wanted to do a couple things here - keep the viewers' eyes on the painting while they're trying to figure out how it is you can see through the fish, create areas of interest with the continuing pattern of complimentary colors, and help set the fish firmly in his space.

 Once I got all the Friskit off, I began to paint the fish itself.  This was a time-consuming process, as you can see by the little detail of the tail.  It was a delight, though, because I really love the way the colors compliment each other.  I tell my students that complimentary (opposite) colors do just that.  They sit on one side saying, 'hey, baby, you're looking good tonight!' and 'Wow - you're making ME look good, too!'

So, even though time consuming, I enjoyed it because I loved watching the colors react with and against each other.

You can see a pinky color on the right side here - that's a very pearlescent pink that set off some nice reflections.

 This is a horrible photograph of the colors, but it's close up enough to give you an idea of the illusory depth of the water.

 Okay, ridiculous, but I can't get this photograph to turn around the right way.  I give up!  Turn your head, please!

You may note the numbers over on the, well, bottom.  I used these as a rough guide initially, knowing that the Northern Pike's head is roughly 1/4 of its body length.  And when you take one of these babies off the hook, believe me, you know that!  That 1/4 is packed with very sharp teeth!

After some consideration, I decided I liked the numbers there, and painted 'em in.

Here's a close up shot of part of the fish.  As you can see, the watery background is right there!   A lot of rhythm in the fish as well, to keep viewers' eyes moving throughout.

Because this one ribboned, it'll be going to the next judged show coming up soon.  I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Blue Ribbon Winner - My Pike!

 Today we had a judged show into which I entered my Northern Pike.  I won first place in the professional water media category!  Yay!

These are liquid acrylics on YUPO.  I masked out the fish and painted the background with probably four layers of cool colors.

Once satisfied with the background, I removed the masking (some type of friskit, I forget which one,) and switched to my small brushes.

My fish itself is comprised of pretty hot colors: oranges, reds, quite a lot

of pearlescents.  I left the cool colors on the fish itself to both make the viewer wonder that 1) you could see through the fish, and 2) feel that it's a part of its surroundings.

The last step was to spatter with come bright metallic green - this also helped connect the overall painting because I had a lot of that going on in the background as well.

I'm glad they liked it!  I do.  It will hang now with the other winners, and then all prize winners will be automatically entered into the next, bigger judged show, which is coming up in a couple months.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Stupid Blow Up Dancing Guys

Not long ago my son and I went to Panera Bread to eat.  As I load stories onto my phone, we were listening to Sherlock Holmes.  He suggested we run in and get our food and come out, sit in the car and listen.

Sounded like a good idea.  We ended up with the added bonus and great good fortune of being able to watch one of those stupid blow up dancing guys in front of a business as we ate.  We enjoyed the good fortune of it being set up too closely to the building, so the poor thing was throwing himself against the bricks.

Made for good entertainment!  When I was done with my sandwich, I began to sketch.  (More later, I have six minutes to get ready to leave...)  I'll finish the story about 10:00 p.m......)