Day 5: Resolving a stubborn painting.

Ahhh, it feels so good to finally finish this painting and be somewhat happy with it. I’ve been struggling with this canvas for almost 3 years. Thats WAY too long. I started working on this right after I got back from Hawaii. I was inspired by this color palette, and I’m pleased to see that the final painting still has most of those colors.

IMG_2012The painting has gone through so many iterations I can’t even remember them all. Squares are a hard to shape to work on and elements of the painting always seemed unbalanced. The first idea was to collage a carousel scene onto the background I haphazardly painted. I was pretty excited about the layered tissue paper carousel horse I made but it didn’t work with the background. I kept it for posterity.

IMG_2013The second or third attempt to resolve the painting was so pitiful that it didn’t even warrant any photography. With thoughts of Hawaii and beaches on my mind I tried to paint a mermaid into the scene. It ended horribly. Here is the preliminary sketch. It in fact wasn’t too bad, but trust me what made it onto the canvas was terrible.

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With this 30 Day Painting challenge I took it upon myself to finish the painting – No Matter What! I also had no more fresh canvases and it irked me that I had this really nice 10×10 canvas lying around with a mess of paint on it. In a bold move I painted over much of the existing image with white paint, creating a lot of texture to mask what was already there. Sometime when I pretend I have become a household name like Picasso or Van Gogh I imagine what art historians will think of my art, with layers of botched paintings underneath. Its a fun thought experiment. Using remnants from earlier pieces I created this year, I finally finished the piece. Huzzah!

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Title Still Needed: Green and Gold Multimedia

I have finished all the pieces for my art show on the 29th. More on that in tomorrow’s post. This pieces was one of the two that I made as an afterthought, and strangely enough it has risen through the ranks for become one my favorites.

IMG_1365The canvas was originally just kelly green. I had a ton of leftover green paint from another painting and I was loathe to just wash it away so I used it on this canvas. Later I realized that with the right application it could become the perfect backdrop for the green and gold shrine I had created on the left. To tie the canvas and the shrine together I added teal liquid acrylic and gold patterning to the canvas. I also added the dancing figures. I have been wanting to use the image of the dancing figures since I first came across the source material. The shapes, colors, and mood of the piece really evoked a sense of Irish Folklore for me and I felt the dancing woman captured that theme. All and all I’m very happy with the piece.

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Here are some images of my process for those who are curious. And for me to refer to in the future. ^_^ And if you think you have a great title leave it in the comments! Thanks.

 

Finally Finished: Red in the Woods

 

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I can’t believe I finally finished this piece!

It has been floating around in my head unfinished for a very long time. I’ve liked the idea of the little red riding hood story for a long time. Last september after Burning Man at Turning the Wheel’s Sound Dance Workshop I came up with a composition. I pictured three wolves at the top with Red coming towards them. I had two large canvases that I had been holding onto for almost a year that would work well for the piece. However I didn’t start the painting until I moved to Chicago earlier this year. Here are the initial sketches for the painting:

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I followed the steps I outlined in the second sketch pretty closely. I created a background with paint and texture. I painted on my figures, and then I embellished the piece. I struggled a long time with the center of the composition to get it to feel unified. I think I might revisit this idea again in the future and see if I can get something closer to what I originally had in my head. Like the original sketch remarks, I think watercolor may have more of the effect I wanted.

Step 1: Background- Paint, Paper, Texture

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Step 2: Figures- Wolves and Red

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Step 3: Embellish- Create Depth, Add Sparkle

I used this table cloth to create the pattern on Red's cloak

I used this table cloth to create the pattern on Red’s cloak

 

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Everything painted in except the hand and lantern.

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Added more texture, painted lantern, created depth on the wolves.

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Added the lights to the lantern. It really brought the two halves of the painting together.

Deconstructed Flower Collages

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Here are the results from Saturdays exploration with printmaking and stamps. I ended up cutting up and collaging most of what I had created. However the four prints along the bottom were too cool as is and so I left them alone. The two canvases to the left aren’t complete but I’m very happy with the results so far.

Thanks for checking it out!

Shrine Project: Stretching, Striving, Grasping, Reaching, Dreaming

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Shrine Project: Stretching, Striving, Grasping, Reaching, Dreaming

This is my favorite piece from my Shrine Project that I have been working on tirelessly for the past two weeks.

Years ago in the VAC at the University of Colorado I found a small row of fences in a free box. I was immediately drawn to the scale and shape of the fence pieces and made a small set of collages as gifts for my friends at Solstice.

Many moons later I am finally pursuing the project I had in mind more deeply. I have been curious to explore themes of childhood, spirituality, and the goddess. These little shrines have become the perfect vehicle for expressing different emotions I feel toward my own spirituality, especially in relation to soul journey work I have done to delve deeper into my own childhood stories and inner goddess woman. I want to stray away from known goddess images and instead invoke universal themes.

This piece speaks to times of solitude I had as a child and the inspiration that comes from being in that place. It really resonates with me right now, as I am kind of back in that space in my life having just moved to Chicago. I am considering adding text to these works, but at the moment nothing is really coming to me. Every time I put pen to paper to write poetry or verse in relation to the images it feels really forced. I’m going to let it stew around for awhile and see if anything changes.

More to come later !

 

ps. I really need a new camera. The one on my phone is shot, and the little point and shoot I took to BM won’t turn on. >_<

Current Project: The Elements

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Current Project: The Elements

I realize working with the elements is a somewhat cliche thing to do. However, I just needed a series to work through some ideas I’m experimenting with. Right now I’m playing with layers, and manipulating the canvas. These canvases are in the 2nd stage of the process floating around in my head.

The first step was to paint with acrylic the swirled, tie-dye patterns as a base. The silver paint I was using was quite old and mixed with the other acrylic in a really interesting way. I’m not sure how that will affect the longevity of the paintings but they are just experimental right now.

The second step was to apply tissue paper to a small portion of the canvas. I wanted to capture some movement, add depth, and create texture. It also almost acts as the subject of each piece, even though its pretty abstract.

The third step, which I started on the lower left canvas (and will post a picture of later), was to cut out geometrical shapes, leaving a literal empty space in the canvas.

Thats as far as I have gotten, but I know I want to integrate figures into the canvas, and possibly add more layers of paper, tissue, and paint. Or sequins and glitter. Or stencils. Or words. All I know for sure is that these are definitely still works in progress.

Explore: Making Due with What I've Found.

For someone who normally has a lot of art supplies at their disposal it has been quite hard to have ALL of my supplies in storage. For some reason the only things I brought to Chicago for my first two weeks here were two pairs of scissors, various pens and sharpies in my purse, a gluestick (thank goodness!), and my sketchbook. I realize that most of those things can be picked up relatively easy at grocery stores and office supply chains, but I normally don’t leave town without some watercolors or crayons. And if I had the foresight to bring two pairs of scissors, why not a pair of exacto knives?

Regardless, I made due for about two days before feeling the itch for something more complicated and so I struck out to find some more supplies to create with. I stumbled upon Papersource, about two blocks from where I am staying temporarily. It reminds me of Boulder’s local paper shop, Two Hand Paperie, with a little less charm and a little more big chain. I picked up a packet of paper scraps and called it good. With my new paper in hand I set out to add some more art to my sketchbook.

All the supplies I have gathered.

All the supplies I have gathered.My theme for my first month in Chicago is to explore and so I created a collage to manifest my exploration in the city. Here is the result:

My theme for my first month in Chicago is to explore and so I created a collage to manifest my exploration in the city. Here is the result:

The Final Result

The Final Result