Thursday, January 23, 2020

Radical Layering Workshop at Tanque Verde Ranch

Radical Layering is the name I'm giving to a process of collage and sanding, with layers of paint and drawing. You can see my video post here. I taught this workshop for the first time last week at Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, organized by Madeline Island School of the Arts. They offer workshops at their home campus on Madeline Island (WI), and in the cooler months in Santa Fe and Tucson.

We had a FABULOUS time! What a great group of women - brave, fun, willing to work way outside their comfort zones. And they made gorgeous, surprising art. The ranch was not so shabby either. It borders the Saguaro National Park East, and offers many hiking/riding trails on its own property, as well as great food, two swimming pools and hot tubs (indoors and outdoors), beautiful views, a spa....

Here is a peek at some of the work we made (there is more on Facebook!), along with a few images of the workshop and the environment. Enjoy!

Demo piece, 11"x14"

Demon piece, 11"x14"
Using the brayer to lift paint

The dining room building at dusk, photo by Shelly Campbell 

Eileen taking a walk, photo by Shelly Campbell

Sanding on terrace just outside our classroom, photo by Shelly Campbell

Demonstrating the sanding process, photo by Shelly Campbell

Student work in progress, 11"x14"

Student work, maybe in progress, maybe finished, 11"x14"

Student work, in progress or finished, 11"x14"

Student work, 10"x10" approx

Student work, 10"x10" approx

Student work, texture detail

Student work, 14"x11"

Student work, 10"x10" approx
Thanks for visiting. I will be back at Tanque Verde Ranch in January 2021, and also January 2022. Check MISA's website and my calendar updates.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Amy Stockwell's New Website

Amy has taken quite a few workshops with me over the last ten or so years, and we have taken a few workshops together, notably at North Country Studio Workshops. I have always been a big fan of her work, so I am delighted that Amy now has a web site!

Check it out here, where you can learn more about Amy. Meanwhile, here is a little eye candy. The following are all from Amy's "Patterns of Entanglement" series, each is 15"x11" on paper. See them on her web site for more details.








 Thanks for visiting!!

Friday, January 3, 2020

Building a Textured Ground with Transparent Paints

In this video I am working on a 30"x40" canvas. First I prep the canvas with Hard Molding Paste, let that dry completely, and then layer transparent acrylic colors, some diluted with water. Much of this rich, textured background will get covered in the process of developing the painting, but it provides a counterpoint to the flat colors and different kinds of textures I will layer over it.

The colors I am using include Sap Green Hue, Turquoise Pthalo, Sepia (high flow), Pthalo Blue, and Quinacridone Gold. This is not a formula; try various combinations of transparent/translucent colors.

I am using Fluid Acrylics as well as High Flow. My tools include an off-set spatula type of painting knife and a Catalyst Wedge. You could try different types of squeegees too.

Here is a close-up of the molding paste texture. I recommend you let this dry overnight before applying layers of paint.

This is the first layer of paint: sap green, turquoise, and sepia. I let this dry before adding more layers.

At this point I may let it dry and then apply the coat of matte medium.
 I will post pix of the finished piece or pieces. Try this on paper or panel at a smaller size too.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Radical Layering

Here is a video on a process I'm calling "Radical Layering". It involves many layers of collage and paint, and then sanding down the layers with a power sander.

There are a few spaces available, due to cancellations, in my Radical Layering Workshop in Tucson next month. See details here.

First, some examples of finished pieces made with this process:

11x14

11x14

11x14

12x36

12x12

Friday, December 6, 2019

Wall Collage, or Making Marks

I usually have a bit of a creative slump at this time of year. Perhaps it is because it's the end of my teaching season and the days are short. In any case, it's often a time of year at which I have to dig a little deeper to find inspiration. The Inner Critic seems to like November and December, and she is ready to come into the studio and tell me how bad my work is, and how I may never make another piece of good art again.

This is a good time to dip into Cat Bennett's book, "Making Art a Practice". It was "Practice 5: Loosen Up" that did it this time. It's similar to my 30-minute mark making practice, but without the time frame. She suggests just making marks, with focus on process, not product. Sound familiar? So I decided to prep some newspaper and brown wrapping paper with a coat of white paint, gesso, or matte medium, and then just draw. I made Marks That I Like, marks that I enjoy making, which is a good place to start. Graphite, crayons, marker, pen, paint - all were welcome.

My studio walls are covered in homosote, which takes push pins easily, so I'm pinning my marks up on the wall. Here are a few pix from this week:

I started with just black, white, neutrals, and a tiny bit of color.


Here you see paint, crayon, and graphite on brown wrapping paper.

I added a bit more color - quinacridone gold and a bit of yellow ochre.


And then red. My wall began to 'compose' itself, and I played with moving things around, filling in gaps with smaller pieces of collage paper.

Now I am really seeing this as a kind of 'quilt' - a piecing together of different materials.



I am trying to stay pretty loose here and not overthink it. My only 'finished product' will be whatever documentation I do. My intention is just to play around with marks,  and to arrange and rearrange them on the wall.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Big Fat Art Weekend in Stowe

Last weekend we made a big fat mess at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe, Vermont. This time I approached the workshop a little differently than in the past, based on recent work in my own studio. First we made big fat lines and marks using paint and drawing materials. Then we created some collage fodder in color, including line and and pattern. The Big Fat Art pieces began with either collage (using said fodder) or paint, but ultimately made use of both.

Helen Day Art Center furnishes us with portable walls so that we each have a 4'x8' vertical surface on which to hang work.


A lot of the collage material was painted on gessoed newspaper.


We did some Drips, Drops, and Spatters using Golden High Flow paint.

Big Fat Art in Process (student work)
Here are a few of my own pieces done mostly in the workshop. They are 19"x24" on Bristol.





I don't have a Big Fat Art Weekend scheduled for 2020 yet, but look for it in 2021. Meanwhile, take out your big fat cheap drawing paper and make big marks.

Monday, October 28, 2019

An Interview for Learn To Paint Podcast

Learn to Paint Podcast is the brainchild of Kelly Anne Powers. She interviews artists in order to bring you multiple perspectives on learning to paint. Find the interview here.