Friday, 15 May 2015

Accepting the rough (with the smooth)

After last weeks mixed media demonstration, I had decided to give it a go, however a bad cold and then a trip to Brighton left me totally unprepared - where had I put all the stuff I needed?

So for this week only, it was back to another acrylic landscape - another miniature, I might add and not the wall-sized painting I would have been creating if I had done the mixed media piece. I went about it in my usual way and finished the background with a smile on my face, I really did like the yellow-green foreground, the green rolling hills and the "red" sunset sky. Unfortunately I did not take a photo for posterity, because I think I have totally spoilt it by adding a mass of foliage from the trees which were supposed to have been around the height of the hills - and in the distance!

What went wrong?

Well my best guess is that the ladies at the club, were organising a trip to "Art In Action" and were trying to drum up enough interest to be able to hire a coach for the journey. So much going on, and I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing. Fatal! As I was to find out when I finally managed to stop myself from adding yet more foliage. Here is the result, I have to say I do not like it, I may well paint over it and start again.

Ah well, as I said in the title, you have to take the rough with the smooth - the good with the awful. Some you win and some you lose, this one I feel that I definitely lost with thoughts of a coach trip uppermost in my mind.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Mixed Media Demonstration

I have always enjoyed mixed media work, but last night at our art group, I had an opportunity to see this type of art demonstrated. It really made me want to have a go for myself. It is quite a small group (23 members as of now) and we try to ring the changes with our demos to try and please the largest number of members. This usually means that although subject matter is widely varied, the media are typically the main contenders; water-colour, acrylic and coloured pencils.

This year we have a new organiser for our program and she has taken some different directions. A portrait in oils and this mixed media work are the very different demos that she has arranged.

Fiona Payne was last nights demonstrator, a very active local artist. After starting with a lively white wax layer, she used water colour paints to prepare a background on a heavyweight cartridge paper. And she worked in size A1, I think (A0 is too large - I guess I should have asked) working on 2 paintings at once  to give time for drying between layers. She said that she often worked on several pieces at once in her studio, when time was not limited although after cropping and selection the number coming thru the process was limited.

She added details with media including acrylic inks and solid, water-soluble "acrylic ink sticks" (Inktense) continuing with the layering process layering. All the way thru the process she liberally used a water spray to induce mixing and runs. Of course the resulting abstracts are not completely repeatable but the immediacy can lead to stunning results.

Final details are added using soft pastels, here is an example of her work, titled "Ragley Flowers".

See this and more of Fiona's work on her web site. When she showed us a print of this piece, she was showing how two paintings could be selected from the one work by cropping into approximately two halves; the upper and lower halves of the original, in effect. Selecting the final composition is the final act in the process. In a piece created with such a free process, there are bound to be some areas which you like and some that do not seem so "happy". Make sure that the cropped work meets your highest expectations of good composition and imagery.

Finally, It should be noted that Fional seldom uses brushes ( she claims she only has three) but uses almost anything else that is capable of making a mark. Adding colour direct from the glass droppers from the ink bottles, spreading and making marks with "your flexible friend" (- credit card, etc), she also uses a roller, the wrong end of the brush,etc and more.

I am inspired to "have-a-go" at the next art group meeting, I don't have the acrylic inks but will find a substitute. After all rules are made to be broken. Hope to have something to show you next time.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Surplus Craft Stash - Need to find a new home!

One of the reasons that I combined this blog with my painting blog was that I saw myself spending increasingly little time with art that did not include painting.

I had decided to go thru my stash which I have collected over the past few years and have a clear out. Started throwing out stuff today and after binning large amounts of craft paper and images I had printed out (when it seemed a good idea), plus a fair bit of paper ephemera, I had to stop as I came to the boxes of more interesting stuff.

 I decided that I would try to sift out the crap and bag the rest and offer it to anyone who may be interested. Once I have got myself into some sort of order, I will be photographing the contents of those "bags" and offering them free to anyone who might be able to give them a good home.

I have a button collection which includes items from my mother-in-laws sewing box (she died recently at 102, however no promises about the source of the buttons), also buttons I have collected from clothes being thrown out and even some purchased collections. I have a bag of clock/watch parts, a collection of off-cuts of materials from haberdasheries and around the home. And those bits of ribbons which seem to come on even chocolate boxes and greeting cards. I squirrelled away so much. And don't ask about the watches clocks and keys, etc (steam punk anyone?).

These are typical but not the actual collections - photos to follow soon.

I do not know when the job will be complete but it is likely to be weeks rather than days - so much happening at home at the moment.

Oh yes, lots of rubber stamps; mounted and unmounted and the ink pads which will become redundant.