After what turned out to be a very depressing week with the election of a highly unqualified person to the highest office in the land, I found I could not concentrate on making art.
I am so glad that I ended up taking a couple of online classes this week which really helped me stay focused even though I did not feel like painting at all. I am just so sad for our country.
I made this small collage in Dar James's online class called "Cut Paper Collage." I also took her short workshop on hand painting paper. I just loved the class. I took it through Carla Sonheim's web site. Honestly of all the online classes I take, Carla's are the most fun and inspiring. All her teachers are amazing and talented. It was just what I needed to help me get through this.
I think if this election isn't over soon I am going to go insane. I try not to watch but I can't help myself. It is like watching a train wreck, It really is.
Thanks goodness I have my artwork to keep me from going completely over the edge. I am having a lot of fun recently with a variety of techniques. Next week I start my online class with Jane Davies so I am very excited about that. I always enjoy her classes and I find that she helps me change things up in my work. Always a good thing!
Here are some smallish ideas from my sketchbook. I love working in my sketchbook. I am much looser when I work in there. I wish somehow I could transfer that feeling of looseness to my larger pieces.
Well, here we are nearing the end of October. Soon all the crazy will be over and we can all get back to our lives hopefully. I know, for me, it cannot come soon enough. So much vitriol everywhere. My head is ready to explode. I can't even stand to go on Facebook any more with all the politics.
Anyway, the art and my swimming keeps me from going completely off the rails.
Speaking of art, the other day while I was hopping around the internet, reading all my blogs (I must subscribe to over 200 of them) but I don't always read all of them. I pick and choose by what grabs my attention. I learned a wonderful new technique from Caterina Giglio. The technique is monoprinting on aluminum foil. It is pretty simple. Just tape foil (the non stick kind) to a piece of cardboard and add some paint and print! You get some amazing patterns! All the papers on these two pieces were done on the foil plate.
It is very different than printing on the gel plate. A nice change really. I like it especially when the foil is new. You get these snowflake patterns where the paint did not adhere to the foil. After a while the paint builds up and you get a different look.
I am also having so much fun with my circle punches! I want them in every size now! Oh dear.....
I have to be honest. Sometimes I am intimidated by color. I don't know why. At those times I revert to black and white with maybe one little spot of color for contrast. Like red. I like red with black and white. It is easy and it always works. And sometimes I need easy.
In a few weeks I start a new online class with Jane Davies, which is about color. It is called Beyond the Color Wheel: Advanced Color Studies. I am looking forward to it as I am hoping it might help me get over some of my color "issues"! That's it for today! Have a great week!
I have been trying out some new color combinations over the past few days. It feels good to change things up sometimes. I used colors such as Paynes Grey, Van Dyke Brown, Transparent Iron Oxide and Titan Buff. I also bought some paper punches. The kind people use for scrapbooking and card making. The are nice for making perfect circles and especially the tiny little circles. When I punched out the smaller circles I thought they looked very much like gears. This piece has an industrial feel which is quite different for me and my usual flower/plant imagery. I have been trying to be more abstract but abstraction does not come easy to me.
Here are a couple others in that same color palette:
Moon Over Cactus
We have a really long weekend coming up. Not sure I like the idea that the kids are out of school for 3 days next week. I get it that they are off on Columbus Day and I get it that they are off for Yom Kippur on Wednesday, but Tuesday also? Are they kidding? I am not too happy about that. Oh well.
Yesterday on Facebook, a friend made a lovely comment about my work. She said that I put joy into my work. I thought that was so nice of her to say that. It is not the first time someone has said that about my work. I never really thought about it like that since I am not always that joyful when I am working. I am glad it comes through that way though.
This week I took a few smallish online classes with Julie Fei Fan Balzer. I just love her method of teaching. She is so funny but you really learn a lot from her. I took a short class on color. As you know I have been painting for many years but this class was a game changer for me. It was a beginner class on color. Of course we made color wheels and value scales as is always the case in learning about color. But here is where the game changing happened for me. When I first began painting in the 1970's I worked only in watercolor. In watercolor there are two colors you never use. Black and white. Yes, I know right? If you want black you mix a rich dark. My favorite go to was alizarin red and viridian green. That made a lovely dark. If you wanted white, you just let the paper color come through. That was it.
When you paint with acrylics, black and white are not only used but they are NEEDED! I have found it a real struggle to use them though.
I have studied how to make tinting scales (adding white to a color) and shading scales (adding black to a color). That helped me somewhat but I was still having trouble making my colors work well together. And then I took her class and I learned about making tonal colors. This is where you add grey to your colors. I wondered how on earth adding grey to a color would work but it does work and really well I might add. Some artists call this using a "mother color". The color you use when added to all your colors makes them work well together.
The cerulean blue in the collage above was created using this "mother color". It just helps take the edge off the colors right out of the tube without creating a muddy mess as sometimes happens when you add complimentary colors.