OBSESSION – Mini Paper Butterflies

If you follow my instagram I’m sure you’ve seen a myriad of pictures showcasing my newest, most favorite toy in my studio: my butterfly paper punch! I bought it on clearance at Michaels and it is by far one of the most satisfying art gadgets I’ve ever purchased.

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The punch has three different shapes built in and with very little effort I can generate hundreds of beautiful one of a kind works of art. Inspired by my purchase I quickly generated a pile of painted papers using slap dash applications of acrylic paint, blended serendipitously with my brayer and gelli plate. Once the paint was dry I punched away and now I have this stunning pile of little gems that I can’t wait to integrate into even more delightful paintings. Stay tuned for even more butterfly madness.

 

Day 8: Mind Map Painting

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I feel like this painting somewhat accurately portrays the clutter of thoughts and emotions in my head right now. Its a little messy in there. The prompt for this painting came from a friend. It read:

“A vortex of blue and turquoise with veins of pink, like if you had a black hole colored in the tones of the ocean and native American jewelry.”

As you can see I interpreted that pretty loosely. I mostly was caught by the idea of an ocean colored black hole. All of the text is from the definitions of Black and Black hole in a really really old dictionary I keep around. Some of the descriptions were very colorful and amusing.

In the end I think it looks more like a map than any phenomena in space. Maybe left brain right brain? or inside vs outside chaos? Other interpretations are welcome.

Day 4: Ink Painting

A long time ago I pulled a bunch of japanese or chinese ink drawings out of a magazine. I pasted them into my sketchbook with the intention of using them as inspiration for some sketches. They seemed like a fitting subject for this painting challenge so I finally pulled out my calligraphy inks and brushes. Here are the results:

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Day 2: Deconstructing Paintings

I did paint today and yesterday but the paint is still drying so I don’t have a picture to post yet for the challenge. What I do have are pictures of my extremely satisfying experiment in deconstruction. I originally painted those 16 watercolors so that I would have something to collage with for 4 more shrines I am working on. I like working in series of 4 cause its lends itself to so many themes: the directions, the elements, the seasons, and so on.

IMG_1912The four shrines that inspired the watercolors.

I want to layer circles onto the shrines to build them up. I don’t know if I will add in figures or leave them pretty abstract. I will have to see what happens with the circles. To make all the circles I splurged and bought new punches. I am SO happy with them!

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I punched lots and lots and lots of circles in the three sizes of punch I bought. It was so satisfying to look at the watercolors from a new perspective, punching out tiny vignettes from within the larger painting. It was also deliciously fun to punch out the shapes. The punches are really powerful, so even though it was cutting through relatively thick paper it made clean shapes. And they flew across the room from the force of it, which was delightful.

IMG_1920Circles!

In the end I not only had plenty of circles to collage with but I also transformed the watercolors into something new and extremely interesting. I’m super excited with the result. They have a really pleasing sense of randomness that I couldn’t have achieved if my eye was trying to create it. I’ve included a slideshow of the best ones. Let me know what you think of my deconstructed watercolor paintings in the comments.

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Stamps, Printmaking, and Primary Colors

I am currently enrolled in an advanced studio course through the Art House. My wonderful instructor Rebecca challenged me to think more seriously about the color palettes I was working with. The pieces I brought in for the midterm critique were half finished and all across the board in terms of size, color, narrative, and so on. There was very little cohesion, except that you could see my hand in all of them. Our small group has an exhibition coming up at the end of June so I wanted to challenge myself to create more cohesion. The pieces I liked most from the critique were blue and yellow. I also had several works with vibrant pink. Primary colors are a tried and true combination for visual impact, so I decided to push that line of thought further. I was curious to see where it would take me.

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Above are the results from tonights exploration into the primary world. After making a lot of mess with water, acrylic paint, linoleum stamps, and different papers I was pretty pleased with the results. The works on the right edge of my desk were from a previous exploration with speedball inks on watercolor paper. I liked the way the watercolor paper affected the texture of the printing. However I wanted to add more color. The acrylic paint reacted in a really interesting way with the speedball. It pulled the speedball away and only printed around it, creating a lot of depth in the prints. Here are more detailed shots:

IMG_1301All of these prints were created with two linoleum stamps that I made myself. The larger stamp is of a larkspur (left), and the smaller is a pair of daffodils (below).  I added a before and after print of the daffodil on some shiny paper. The stamps didn’t print very well on the shiny paper, probably because it was very slick. I didn’t use any black on the shiny paper either to see how the contrast worked.

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Before

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After

The third experiment I did was on rice paper. The results were pretty messy but I still liked how they came out. I started by wetting the paper in water mixed with acrylic. Because acrylic doesn’t mix with water very well it created these interesting splotchy patterns. The rice paper was also slightly waxy so in some places it resisted getting damp. When I printed on the damp paper with patches of paint it created all sorts of different effects. It was really hard to predict what was going to happen. The amount of paint on the stamp, the amount of water on the paper, and the density of the paint already applied in the area all had interesting and unpredictable effects.

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My original intent was to created these images and then deconstruct them for a larger piece on Canvas that I have also started. Unfortunately I quite like the way a lot of them turned out and I’m not sure I could take an Exacto knife to them. I will sleep on it and let you know how things turn out.

And as a bonus to all the cool art I created, I also got a lot of paint in my hair and on my face. I feel like a real artist whenever I get paint all over. It means I really sunk into the process. Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below. I would love feedback on the issue of deconstruction. Thanks!