Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Staining Tissue Paper to use in Collage

Here is a video I just released demonstrating how to make stained tissue paper in small quantities. In 2011 I did a post about staining tissue papers in much larger quantity, taking up a lot of space to make full sheets. Read it here and find some useful links. This video shows a more compact version.

You need palette paper (or use freezer paper); white tissue paper (I use Blick); fluid acrylic paints - transparent colors give you the best results; water, brushes.... I think that's it.


Stone Stack #6,  9x12"

Stone Stack #7, 9x12"

Stone Stack #8, 9x12"


Stone Stack #9, 9x12"

I used the resulting material in the collages above. These are very simple studies in which I am focusing on scale, value, and arrangement of elements.

You can find the pieces available as prints or products here.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Printmaking at North Country Studio Workshops

I try to take one workshop every year, but it did not happen in 2019 because I was saving it up to take a workshop with Joyce Silverstone at North Country Studio Workshops. NCSW offers about a dozen different workshops, all in the same week, every other year, using the fabulous facilities at Bennington College. Bennington in the winter is not exactly a vacation destination, so you get to focus on studio work and commune with artists in all media from all over the place for a solid five days. It is a beautiful place to be in the winter: peaceful, with gorgeous views and no distractions from the art. Joyce is on the faculty at Zea Mays Printmaking in Northampton, MA.

Here are a few photos from my experience at this workshop:

Putting together a few of my black and white prints

Amy carving a test plate

The beehive of a studio

Another student's work up on the wall

Black and white work of several students

One of my assembled pieces, as hypothesis

Another of my hypothetical assemblages

Ditto the above

And another. This is SO FUN to put pieces of prints together in different ways, and then photo graph them. I did actually put one together more or less permanently.

Here are some more (and better) photos on North Country's Instagram feed. Enjoy!

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.