In my other life, I have an art blog and work in the art sector. This means that I have spent the past few years being practically submerged in the art world, learning about it and how people find, engage with and collect art. I don’t really mix the two streams because I am not looking to be a professional artist in that respect. I am happy to work to help others engage with and discover art, and keep mine just for fun with the occasional transaction.
With that said, sometimes the inspiration does overlap. Particularly when I see a beautiful piece hung on the wall and think how it might work in a different way.
These thoughts have inspired what I call the “Gallerinas.” They’re mixed-media pieces that incorporate fine art pieces as collage, either repurposed or just reused. I take the images from magazines, ads or promotional brochures and cut them up to form new shapes.
Here’s the first “Gallerina.” If you look closely, her dress is a collage of David Park paintings. I saw Park’s retrospective at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth earlier this summer and loved it. (It’s up until Sept. 22 if you’re near D/FW or can get here.)
I don’t have a lot of time this week, but it’s important to commit to at least a few hours in the studio, both as a commitment to my art, and a way to make sure I prioritize something important to me. So, yesterday afternoon, I took out my Gelli plate and made some quick prints. I’m still learning this method and I really love it! It’s great for making quick pieces and having the validation of finishing something while taking my time with other things in the background.
I started with a few colors. Payne’s Gray is my all-time favorite color. I believe I have it in every medium – it’s just so versatile. Sometimes it looks blue, other times gray…it’s a good way to paint something “black” and still keep some nuance in the shade. I also used gold and a pale lilac. I use a mix of block print ink and acrylic paints, because I didn’t want to invest too much into the inks right away. As far as I know, they both work fine – I’m happy with my finished pieces, and both mediums wash easily off the plate.
Next, I take a small brayer and spread the colors. As you can see, a little goes a long way.
This is the first print. Pretty Straightforward.
One thing I really appreciate about this type of art, is that I can make many different pieces from the same paint spreads, and each looks a little different. (I could also have done more pulls of the first print for more similarity or a series.) Nothing is wasted. Here, I’ve laid out paper of different sizes, just to see what comes out of the process.
Before I placed the paper, I scratched some designs into the color. While I am sure there are specific tools or methods for this, I just used a plain palette knife, very gently.
Pretty cool. I like how, similar to clouds or ink blots, there are a lot of things to discover in these abstract shapes.
For example, I see a lot of city scapes or even highways here. The middle two remind me of a city and mountains. Maybe because I’ve had the Pacific NW on my mind. (I live in Texas – great barbecue, no mountains haha.)
I used a white gel pen to add in the smallest of details to guide the eye into seeing what I see here.
By now, the plate is pretty faded. But there’s still enough for one more pull. I use plain craft paper for the final print each time. Eventually, there will be enough to look like a series of abstracts that would look good displayed together.
All of this, plus cleaning the plate and tidying my materials took roughly an hour. While my heart will always be in figures and more narrative work, this was a great way to spend an afternoon, and got my wheels turning on how I can start selling art again without making it a whole “big thing” as they say. Stay tuned…
“You have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.” – Miles Davis
Miles Davis was a musician, but his quote can be applied to any creative endeavor. It takes a while to get the basics right before a real sense of style and individuality comes through.
I’ve been a “practicing” artist coming up on three years in July. That seems like a long time, but I’ve needed every one of those years to evolve, first looking to others for inspiration and learning different techniques, tools and processes, and then using that knowledge to communicate my own message.
When I started writing Pine Curtain Stories, I identified a story I wanted to tell. The more I write it, the more I want to refine my art to support those stories and say exactly what I want to with the images and not just with the words. So, I’ve started taking more time with my art, both physical (time in the studio) and mental (time with my thoughts and intentions.) It makes for a longer road, but rather than being disheartening, it’s actually very exciting.
Earlier this week, I dug into my supply box and found all sorts of things I used in the beginning of this journey and hadn’t found a way to incorporate lately. I had a great time with it all, and I’m so pleased that nothing has gone to waste.
I’m incorporating more collage into my work, and I’m happy with the results. I’ve used packing tape collages, tape transfer methods and plain-old cut paper and glue/gloss gel methods to achieve the look I want. As a bonus, it’s also motivated me to find new resources, so on Friday I took myself on a field trip to Paper Arts and disappeared into its wonderful stacks for a half-hour or so.
Here’s my first “patchwork” piece. I’m happy with the way it turned out, and look forward to creating more.
In the spirit of consolidating and simplifying my digital platforms, I’ve moved my “Have Paintbrush Will Travel” content to this site. Click here to see past posts, and stay tuned for new travel content as our travel season picks up again. We do most of our traveling from April – December, to coincide with James’ work travel schedule and tag on sightseeing to the places he goes. On the 2019 agenda so far: Houston, New York City, Palm Springs (Fingers Crossed!) and Washington, DC.
Trying some fun new supplies this week! They’re metallic Brea Reese Watercolor Creams, a water soluble medium similar to oil pastels. I found them at Target here in Dallas.
The first swatch is an opaque square that I colored in and then painted over. The middle square is an opaque frame that I painted over and used the remaining color on my brush to fill in the middle. The third square is just color that my brush picked up from the other swatches, for a watercolor effect.
The figure was painted by loading color onto a wet brush directly from the stick.
These are pretty cool and while there are higher end items that are similar (Caran D’ache Neocolor II) these are the first metallic options I’ve seen. This was just one of several new items I saw in Target’s art supply aisle. I love that cool supplies like these are becoming more accessible in price and location, and that the quality is good! The more people are able to make art, the more art we will have in the world!