Friday, October 31, 2014

A Peek at Process

I am in studio mode again, having finished most of my teaching for the year.  Without any particular direction right now, I am just painting painting painting, putting one brush stroke in front of the other, as it were.  Working on about ten 22"x30" pieces at once (I say "working", but it's really playing, exploring, getting back into a groove).  Here are process shots on just one of the pieces:
The Blank Page on one of my new moveable walls in the studio

I rarely start with collage on pieces this size, so I thought I'd give it a try.

The first layers of paint

More paint

I began adding some drawing and dripping

More collage, more paint, more drawing, finding possible shapes

Trying out some big black lines

And a bit more graphite drawing

...uh...maybe not; let's see what happens when I cover over more of the bright stuff

And then reveal some of it

Now I have no idea where I am or where I'm going, but I sure do have a lot of possibilities, a lot to play with.

Materials and Tools:
  • 300 pound watercolor paper substrate
  • Collage papers, both hand-painted and found
  • Acrylic paints (see Favorite Materials)
  • Graphite, Pitt Pens, and watercolor crayons (ditto)
  • Brushes, palette knives, etc. (ditto)
  • A whole lot of letting go of: attachment to outcome, worrying about "wasting" materials, or any desire to be efficient with my time.
  • Curiosity, a lot of "what if?"
  • Absence of desire to "finish" or to "make it work" or "resolve"; just the question: what next?
This is like a meditation: repeatedly bringing your focus back to the process at hand, and letting go of the kinds of thoughts that get us stuck (see above).  If this one "makes it", I'll post later.  Meanwhile I can keep going, keep painting, keep lots of them in process.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Winner of Stencil Giveaway

And the winner is.....   Helene from Long Island!  Congratulations.  E-mail me with your mailing address so I can get these stencils to you.  Hope you enjoy them!

Here are a few images (can't do a blog post without eye candy) of student work from a workshop I did last week at AVA Gallery in Lebanon, NH.  It was Balancing Opposites: the Yin and Yang of Abstract Composition.
In this and the next two pieces, we're working with pairs of opposite, or complimentary, colors.

In this and the next two images we're working with busy/active areas contrasting with quiet areas.

We put some of our work up on the wall so everyone could see everyone else's work.  And everyone could take pictures.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fun with Stencils and a GIVEAWAY

Who doesn't have fun with stencils?  Here is a technique that I learned somewhere from someone that I can't remember now.  Suffice to say I did not come up with it on my own.  I do use it a lot, though.
You will need:
  • Rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipes
  • Stencils
  • A painting with more than one layer of paint.

Stencil Girl is a great source of artist-designed stencils. Cecilia Swatton was in my workshop at the Book Arts Roundtable, and gave me some of her stencils to offer as a giveaway.  

Look at the Shop By Artist page for a who's who in the stencil design world.

Artistcellar is another excellent source of stencils, stamps, and other art-making tools and materials.

Both Artistcellar and Stencilgirl have provided me with the stencils I share with my workshop participants, as has Julie Fei Fan Balzer.    THANKS!  I love 'em; my students love 'em.

The first demo in the video

The second demo in the video

To enter the drawing for the stencils, just comment on this post, identify yourself uniquely, and be prepared to e-mail me if you are a winner.  You must check back on Wednesday, October 29 to see if you are the winner.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Buy Prints!

As you may know, I offer my work for sale as prints through Fine Art America, on which you can choose from a variety of materials and framing options to get an affordable reproduction of a drawing, painting, or collage.

This is what my "profile" page looks like, though it changes as I add images.

You can scroll through lots and lots of images.

Click on an image and you get this.

Choose from a variety of options, including greeting cards and phone cases!

I've just added over seventy of my 9"x12" paintings from the "100 Drawings" series.  You can read posts about them here, here, here, here, and elsewhere.  I encourage you to try some yourself.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Workshop for the Book Arts Roundtable

I taught a workshop for the Book Arts Roundtable of South Orange, NJ, last week.  It is a group of highly accomplished and talented book artists, most of whom do some other artforms as well.  Printmaking, painting, fiber arts, etc.  Take a look at the gallery on their website for some real eye candy.  Meanwhile here is some student work (which I post anonymously) and a few of the classroom:

Isn't this a great space!  It is at The Baird, which is a fabulous community center in South Orange.

This is me with Benita, who has taken several online workshops with me.  This was our first in-person meeting.

The project we were working on, which theses image represent, was creating abstract compositions in which we pay particular attention to contrasting busy areas with quiet space.  I do this in a number of different workshops, as it presents in interesting lens on composition plus lots of opportunity to teach techniques and compositional phenomena.  How do you create quiet space that is not  boring?  How do you draw the eye to a particular area of a piece?

I am available for this kind of private workshop:  you get the people, the space, and take care of administration; I show up and teach, and you pay me on a per-day plus expenses basis (not per-student).  We can tailor the workshop to your group's needs.  Let me know if you have a group that is interested.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We Have A Winner!

Two, actually.  Our winners are Vickie Turner and Sue Marrazzo.  You two get in touch with me with mailing addresses, and I'll get your books out next week. Congratulations!  Hope you enjoy the book. 

I love doing these giveaways.  If you have suggestions for giveaways, please let me know.  Do you prefer books, art supplies, which kind of art supplies?  Would you be interested in a giveaway of a piece of my art?  An online class?  Any thoughts you have on future giveaways is much appreciated.

Here is what I've been working on in the studio.  Yes, more of the 9"x12" Drawings On Cheap Paper.
This is a whole group I started with bubblegum pink and purple, colors I don't ordinarily use.

Of course, I paint over a lot of the too-sweet colors, and get in some neutrals and clashing colors.

This and the next are just a couple that have developed into finished pieces.

Another thing I'm working on in the studio is cataloging all of these drawings and other works on paper - including lots of the big fat art pieces - in preparation for opening an online gallery from which I can offer my original work for sale.  Currently it is available as prints from Fine Art America, and it will continue to be so after I open the gallery.  Hope to have it up before the end of the year.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

"Automatic" Drawing - and a GIVEAWAY

Try this Timed Drawing, an technique inspired by an exercise called "automatic drawing" in Dean Nimmer's new book "Creating Abstract Art".

This book is from the author of Art From Intuition, which is on my recommended reading list.  Creating Abstract Art offers a broad view of abstract art, not just painting and drawing, with LOADS of thought provoking images.  It includes perspectives from a wide range of contemporary artists and a healthy dose of art history.  The 40 exercises vary from specific instructions (a few at the beginning) to broad suggestions, from which you can make up your own exercises.  In this video I made up a timed drawing exercise from Nimmer's "Automatic Drawing"; I include a couple of techniques that I use often in my 9"x12" Drawings/Paintings on Cheap Paper.  See a few of my previous posts about those here, here, and here.

I am giving away TWO copies of Creating Abstract Art.  To qualify for the random drawing, simply comment on this post and identify yourself with a unique name (not just "Mary", e.g.).  Check the blog on Wednesday, October 15 to see who the winner is.  The winner is responsible for getting in touch with me with a mailing address.

Meanwhile, try this timed drawing exercise.  It's fun, easy, and it gives your Inner Critic a break.  My "100 Drawings on Cheap Paper" online class is full in January, but another one is starting next September, and is open for registration.

Here is the piece as it progresses:
After five minutes of drawing with the various tools

This is after rolling on white paint and then lifting.

A couple of steps later

This is the piece I used to lift paint.
 Materials used in this demo:
Cheap Drawing Paper
Caran d'Ache Neocolor II
Blick Matte Acrylics (white)
A few other things that you probably have on hand.
Find all of these on my Favorite Materials Page.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pictures from Virginia Beach

First, though, here is the link to see the 6"x6" pieces displayed by North Country Studio Workshops.  These pieces are available for $66 each, and many are already sold! See my previous post to view the pieces I donated.  They are both sold.  (YES!!!).

OK, I was teaching at Art and Soul in Virginia Beach last week, where I had a great time connecting with lots of enthusiastic artists.  Here are a few pictures:

Getting ready for gel plate printing

A piece in progress from Masks and Stencils

My piece in progress from Masks and Stencils

From "Art Therapy for your Inner Critic", using colors we don't like

Another version of the above

More from the Inner Critic

Some Big Fat Art (18"x24")

The rest of the photos are from Big Fat Art, one of my favorite classes, and practices.

I love all the layering and juxtaposition of contrasting marks that were achieved in Big Fat Art and other classes.  My next Art and Soul adventure is in March in Portland, Oregon.  I will be teaching:

Big Fat Art
Expressive Mark Making
Stencils and Masks
Layers and Textures
Balancing Opposites: The Yin and Yang of Abstract Composition
Working in Series

See all my workshops here.  See all workshops here.