Saturday, December 31, 2011

What's on the easel?

One of my favorite artists is Stephen Quiller. I really love the way he uses transparency, translucency and opacity all in one painting. He also considers himself a "water media" artist and clearly describes the qualities of each medium. His knowledge of the personalities of each medium is so keen that he can pick the right one for the look he is going for. His color schemes are somewhat objective but subjective as well. The colors glow and interplay with each other in such beautiful ways.

Casein is one of his mediums. I love the flat velvety color that it produces. Quiller uses it with transparent acrylic under washes to create stunning results! I have tried some play with casein but feel really inept at this point. This series will be my next attempt to gain some knowledge of this beautiful paint. The series of three yellow scapes are my setup pieces for some play with Casein.

I have also started some different pastel pieces. I did not get in to the PPOM International show last summer. I am determined to create a piece that will make the grade! These pieces are on my favorite paper, Wallis, and have a watercolor underpainting. I use this process often. I enjoy the loose start and lcoking in the basics first.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Two Sons and Gallery 5!

This past weekend I completed a drawing that I have wanted to do for some. A portrait of our sons. This graphite drawing is on a full sheet, 22x30 Lenox Drawing paper.

The image is a compilation of both sons at the time of their Senior year in High School. I'm pretty happy with the outcome. I plan on using this image as an image transfer for a Christmas present. I will print it on fine watercolor paper and mount it on a birch panel.

 I also found out this week that all four of my entries into the MAEA show at Gallery 5 in Leweston were accepted into our juried show! Yeeha! This is what I entered.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What I do with all my time!

This time of year is nearly impossible to get in to my room and work! School is especially difficult this year due to many changes. I decided that I would try to connect my school activity to my professional blog - my way of showing that Im not just slacking off!

Check out what is going on in my class room by visiting the class blog. There are some cool links on the recent post. There is a slide show on the right for our 2011 Camp Sunshine pumpkin installation but you can also go here for the still shots.

For my artist friends, you might enjoy the AP / STUDIO art page. Students will be doing some assemblage collage art with inspiration from Joseph Cornell. This page is the actual lesson that they will work from. Check out the interactive links provided for instruction. Students will also be using some form of image transfer system in this piece. I have a youtube folder with tutorials for them to self direct with.

So - THIS is what I do with my time!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Magic of Haystack

 Two weekends ago I got to have one of my dreams come true. I was honored to have the opportunity to teach fellow artists and teachers. I had 15 fantastic artist / educators in my workshop at Haystack Mountain School and, had the time of my life.

Teaching a group of highly creative and motivated people is like being on some kind of drug. The energy is contagious and the work output is nothing short of spectacular! People worked until after midnight and got up early to work more. One participant even got up at 4am to get to the studio! The whole weekend was magic, even more magic than it always is.

 My mother and two aunts came up to see what I rave about so much. They got to see prints being pulled in the print studio, clay being thrown in the ceramics studio, freshly cast molds in the wood shop, beautiful pastel paintings in the brand new artists studio, movies being created in Gateway and a blacksmith demo in the hot shop.

I was not nervous during my slide show (click here) presentation. It felt great to be there with such inspiring people in such an inspiring place. Check back soon for images. I will be asking my participants to send me at least one photo of work they did in my workshop. This experience will be hard to beat! Thank you Haystack and thank you for the opportunity M.A.E.A. Take a look at the movie (click here) that my Co Worker put together! There is a sound track but for some reason it does not play - we are trying to figure that out!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Summer Work 2011

 Allan and I took short day trips this summer. We explored Lands End on Bailey Island. No luck fishing but the weather was beautiful and we had never been there before. The crib stone bridge is quite a sight and the only one in the US. This is a small pastel that I did for the day.

We took several day trip together this summer. Much enjoyed after the summer spent in the hospital last year. One trip was a particularly beautiful afternoon at Winslow Park in Freeport - again, no fish, but, the light and scenery was fabulous. This is one of our favorite camp spots.

6x9 on Wallis Paper, looking towards the camp sites from the NEW stone pier.

The next outing was a glorious day painting with Pastel Painters of Maine. The weather looked awesome but it was a very hot day. The things I learned that day were amazing and made me long for more time to paint with this group. They are fantastic teachers and very giving. I long for the days when I can join them MOST of the time.

both 6x9 on Wallis Paper, looking out across the water on the bridge before the farm.

The last piece is something I have wanted to do for my self for some time now. This drawing is not complete. It is about 80% done. It is a composite of our sons about the time of graduation. I still have some fine tuning to do and some personality to add but I'm pretty happy with the progress. Have to go for now! First REAL week of school starts tomorrow.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Step by Step Quote Series

Step 4 Quote Commission / Collaboration
This is a step by step documentation, creating a Quote Panel

- another layer of violet washes
- addition of some iridescent pearl acyclic color
- the digital images have been varnished and adhered to the surface
- the quote is printed on vellum, varnished and adhered to the surface
- in this photo, self leveling clear gel is allowed to sit in droplets on the surface....tomorrow, these will retain the circle shape and round dome so that I can add color rings

More later.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Step by Step Quote Series

Even though I am on step three of this commission quote panel I thought I should post the process. When I teach, I can use these posts to support teaching and learning. This work involves two images on the same panel, violet colors and a motherhood quote by Abraham Lincoln.

1. prepare and prime the support by sanding and then coating both sides with gesso
2. print out the images, seal them with varnish and coat the support with requested acrylic this case, acrylic fiber paste (Golden's video library, the fiber paste video is in the second row down)
3. apply the first layer of color using flow release and acrylic colors / the flow release allows the color to really run around fast, just like it does on wet watercolor paper

Watercolor is actually a great medium to learning painting techniques. Many of the same processes used to create a watercolor are used in other kinds of painting processes. This layer has wet into wet, controlled bleeding and a water spritz for added drama. This is just the under layer. More later.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer Moves So Fast!

After two weeks of cleaning my class room, getting it ready for floor scrubbing and a new school year, I could officially start my "Summer Break"

It took a week to complete the MAEA Fall conference at Haystack registration packets. If you click on the link you can see the studio space that I will be teaching Acrylics in for this conference! I'm very excited about this opportunity and already have some products donated by Golden. Fun fun FUN!!!

Next - a photographer pal of mine, Pam Davis asked me if I would be interested in being in the local Community Days. She got a booth and I said sure! Good practice! I prepared 6 new quote series and 8 small (6x9) pastels to have in my booth. I now have fine art card reproductions available and I also got a display tree that I had seen to display my work. Fair booths take a whole lot of work! It ended up being the hottest weekend of the summer! I had a great time and now I know how much I can fit in my car. All in all a good experience. No buyers but lots of interest and many cards passed out. We shall see. Below is a small sample of new work. I tried to keep things $100.00 or under. To see all of the new work click here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Commissions Complete

AC series is now complete! They do look lovely. This is really what I had in mind for my quote series. The client tells me what image they want or gives me a photo and picks out the text then, I combine the parts to create a whole. This was a lot of fun!

JS still life is also now complete. I love working with glazing! I am pretty happy with the color and the symbolizm. I hope the people who are getting these like them!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What's On the Easel

Break is over and my two commisions are about 95% complete. These little 6x6 inch squares don't look like they take a long time but they do. The biggest challenge is to focus on the text and yet allow the visuals take part too. I really love the textural qualities of these. I hope the client likes them.

This piece has a few color layers now. Glazes are so beautiful and rich. I love the way they shimmer with color and allow the under layers to show through. This work will likely be darker around the edges so that the interior glows.

Friday, April 22, 2011

What's On the Easel

AC - Step three. Add the Image and the quote. These look really beautiful together. The hardest one is the Gardenia. White is always hard but this is getting there. Next comes some tweaks. Additions of elements that compliment what I have, lead the viewers eye and adds polish.

JS: Step 3 - another glaze layer. The final colors will not be established until I am pretty happy with the values. For now the layers will remain neutral. Sheer color will be added to the top along with opaque highlights and darks if needed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's On the Easel

Step 2.
These now have two layers of glaze colors. In order, Gardenia, Black Eyed Susan, Lilac. The images and quotes will go on after 4-8 layers of glazed color.
Step 2:
One layer of glazed color to set the drawing and begin the development of 3/D value. I used a polymer medium mixed with gold metallic. This layer mixed a bit with the graphite giving it a rich painterly texture. While this layer was still setting up I used alcohol to rub out and lift light areas. Symbolism: There are 5 objects lined up across the bottom. 4 candles and 1 vase with the Mayflowers. May is the 5th month and the Mayflower has 5 petals. Pretty neat huh! more later.

What's On the Easel

 Seems it's really hard to post with a full time job commitment! This week - April break, and I have two commissions to complete!
One is a series based on my "Quote Series" I'm very excited about this because it will be the first time I get to integrate my quote series idea with the concept of the client. This client wants three! This very cool idea combines three favorite flora with three lines in the Lennon "Imagine" The three flowers are gardenia, lilac and, black eyed susan. All three are 6x6 and the text will be a focus. Color will be decided based on the flowers. I decided to actually purchase a gardenia since I have never seen one in real life. WOW! The smell was intoxicating and I will definitely recall that while I create this piece. Gardenias are kind of flat and very open flowers. The white creamy petals almost don't look real. I wore my gardenia corsage to school on the last day prior to break. It reminded me all day about my commission. Step one - gesso then a textural coat of heavy body titanium white. Each one got a different treatment. More later.


The next commission is for a wedding in May. The painting will have a musical theme and a symbolic mayflower for the month in which they will marry. I love the still shots the client sent me for the composition. I think the interaction of the objects and the symbolic flowers will set up a quite dynamic. During my research I found out that mayflowers are considered endangered! Who knew. I plan on walking down back this week to look for pine tree that are growing near sandy, rocky soil because apparently mayflowers love that. More later.

rough compositional sketch