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:






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.

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.