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.


Friday, October 25, 2019

Studio Walls

It is really FUN to pin up works-in-progress and big fat lines to use as  collage paper right on the studio wall. Check this out:
A rearrangement of my Wall from the other day, which you can see in the previous post.

Another view of the above. I included some Big Fat Art in process, to which I've added some collage papers from my Big Fat Lines.

Four works in process, each 19"x24", which include some of the Big Fat Lines as collage elements.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Big Fat Lines

This has been SO FUN! I'm making big fat lines on big fat paper. 18x24" cheap drawing paper, as well as full sheets of Chinese newspaper sent by a friend. On the newspaper, I am first painting it with slightly watered down white and off-white acrylic using a cheap hardware store bristle brush. LOVE the texture that makes! For the lines I am mostly using a mop brush and high-flow paint.




This is the view from my office/yoga space, in the loft of my studio.

See that spiral piece lower center? That is on deli paper, painted first with the white.
Here are a couple of collage-paintings I've made from big fat line work. These are both on 19"x24" bristol. The Blick Bristol is super smooth and durable, perfect for this kind of thing.

This one includes some cut-up Big Fat Art

The pink and green on the lower left are house paint scribbles.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Kitchen Table Art WORKSHOP!

Coming up, on October 5, I am teaching a one-day workshop on Kitchen Table Art. You can see a previous post about Kitchen Table Art here. It's basically art that you can do at the kitchen table, or in a café, or at the beach, or a picnic table, or in your hotel room. No wet paint or brushes to clean up. It's like drawing with dry media, but there are so many more options.

You can see details about the workshop here. It is in Dorset, Vermont, offered by Green Mountain Academy of Lifelong Learning.

Here is a new video on Kitchen Table Art:

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Another Thirty Minutes

I started another Art on a Roll, but this time the roll is smaller - 24" high and only six yards long - and it is canvas. You can find it here. Here is a time-lapse of a thirty-minute session:


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Extreme Layering - collage, paint, sanding

These photos show a sequence of progress on one of my 24"x24" panels. They begin with loads of collage, carefully applied so that everything lies flat. Then they get painted, sanded, painted, collaged again, etc. in no particular order. In the video I'm doing a little hand-sanding.
This is a few layers of collage.

then paint

After a good sanding with the power sander

More paint...

more of everything...

some linework

lots of veiling and more line work...

And then some "reverse collage": I collage painted papers with the paint side down. When it's dry, I sand away some of the paper, and the paint shows through. Such surprises!  This definitely takes you out of your "planning" mode. You can't possibly know what happens next.

More sanding

More painting. Here it begins to take on a clear direction. I consider this a "possibility", not a mandate. So I will go down this road a ways and see if it sticks, but I end up in the weeds, another possibility will be evident, I'm sure.

This is where the piece is at this point. I'll futz with it a bit and look again.
Hand sanding gives you more control over how much material you remove, so it's good for getting into smaller areas. Here is a video of me working on two different pieces:


Friday, June 21, 2019

Crazy Crayon Characters

Having a little "Paint and Sip" with my friend Lucie Duclos, we painted funny characters, cut them apart, and then reassembled them. Lucie's husband participated as well, which made it even more fun because he does not draw or paint usually.

I think this would be REALLY FUN in a larger group including those who do art on a regular basis, and those who do not. We used cheap oil pastels, a set of pan watercolors with a water brush, some kids' markers, and ordinary pencils - nothing special, no professional "art supplies". You could also include glue-stick collage!






Can you think of other ways to use this process? Maybe life-size figures tacked to the studio wall, or imaginary plants (roots, stems, leaves, flowers) that could be assembled in different ways? Let me know your thoughts.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Unrolling the Art on a Roll

I finally was able to unroll my 42"x10 yard painting, while I had several other people working in the studio. Here is a post I did that explains the process. My next Roll is a 24" wide primed canvas. I am going to work on a table this time, see how that goes.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Five Day Art Retreat

If you were to give yourself a five-day art retreat, during which you had no other responsibilities, what would you do?
  • Would you prefer to have a studio all to yourself, or be in a large group studio with a handful of other artists, but have your own designated space?
  • Would you prefer working alongside a mentor in this group, or not?
  • What would be your expectations in terms of your own work?
  • Do you imagine focusing on one series, or creating a body of work for a show?
  • Would you prefer to leave the goals open ended and just work?
  • Is such a retreat possible at home or in your own studio? 
  • Is five days enough?
Mentoring workshop at ACA in Florida, 2018


Me working on the wall.
 Lorraine Glessner has written an "Art Bite" series on a self-made artist's residency. Read it here. Let me know your thoughts on all of the above.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Body of Work

From the previous post you will see that several people expressed the need for more focus. They feel like they are all over the map, artistically, and have a hard time deciding on a direction. In my workshop "The Body of Work: Freedom and Focus",  I am addressing this exact issue. I think many of us feel like we get pulled from one medium or type of imagery to another to another, and we feel like we "should" settle down and focus. Me too. All the time.

Look at this more-or-less random selection of my work from the past few years:
These are all different sizes, from 10"x10" to 36"x36". I just re-sized them for ease of layout in Photoshop. To me, these are all over the map, and each one is part of a different series. What do you see? I also work in encaustic occasionally, and dip into oil media as well, so that takes the work in yet more directions.

I think as artists we NEED the freedom to explore broadly. I also think there is a time and a method to focus and go more deeply into a particular exploration. There are just a few spaces available in my workshop at Madeline Island School of the Arts in July, where we will tackle this issue and move more easily towards building bodies of work.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Selected Comments from the Art Practice Survey

It has been fascinating to read the results of my survey. There was some overwhelming consistency in some of the answers (most of you who answered have been practicing art for more than five years, e.g.), there were some comments that varied quite a bit. I am posting a selection of comments that have a common theme, but I'll post other selections on other themes as well.

Here is the first selection:

I have lots of ideas. But I need help developing a practice that will make me more productive, more of a risk taker and more confident in my abilities to make work that has something to say. I tend to sit in the shallows of my creativity and am looking for someone who will push me beyond what I think I am currently capable of.

I guess really learning how to stay with one trying and go deep. I’m all over the place but maybe I just have to accept that that’s me.

Developing a daily (or at least weekly) routine of setting a goal, then working toward that goal.

I have a hard time narrowing down what type of art I want to make. I lack confidence and often feel overwhelmed by the possibilities .. so many techniques, mediums, subjects, etc. that I don't even start, or I just end up exactly copying the style of whatever workshop I'm following. When the workshop ends, I don't continue experimenting on my own even though I want to.

I seem to get side tracked in trying different subject matter and techniques and even though I know I should work in a series I find it hard to stay committed. I find doing your workshops a great way to keep focused except they stop and then so do I.I am not disciplined it seems.

High on my priority list is finding my artistic voice and developing a body of work.

having trouble finishing things to point they would be sellable--jump around too much (experimenting and then experimenting on something with different materials)
Does this sound like you? Do you feel you need to push yourself to go more deeply into each exploration? Is jumping around "too much" something you struggle with?



Friday, May 10, 2019

What Do You Want in a Workshop?

Describe your art practice and tell me what you most want in workshops, videos, books, and other content. I have created a survey with twelve questions and optional comments where you can let me know about yourself as an artist, and how I might address your most pressing issues.


There is a little Thank You gift at the end of the survey, which you can download and print.

Thanks for making me laugh!

You can tell I love teaching by the heart on my shirt, if not by the look on my face.

I would love to get your ideas for a caption on this one.

Hudson River Valley Art Workshops, 2017

Fabulous group in Arizona a couple years back.
Thanks in advance for taking my survey. I hope it helps you clarify your own art goals or art practice as much as it helps me decide which new workshops to develop.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

A Few Hearts from Collage Challenge #4

Check out the Heart Collages on our Flickr Group here. I have added a few of my own. See the challenge in the previous post, and please participate if it sounds like fun.

Here are a few from the group. As you can see, some of them made use of the collage papers I made available for download (which you can do here), and some did just fine without.






Here are a few heart collages I did on Friday:

This is the only one in my group in which I make the heart the center image. In the others, the heart is simply part of a larger collage. I like playing with both approaches.




This one came out of left field. End of day, fooling around, did not even expect to put a heart in this one. Maybe it's a heart perched on an outhouse.

Even if hearts are not your thing, I hope you will find inspiration in the work posted on Flickr.