Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mixed Media demonstration -part 2

Here I am still at the make shapes and values stage. I have added a thin very dark glaze of acrylic, and while it is still wet, I spritz some rubbing alcohol with my handy Chloraseptic bottle (gives spotty spray rather than a fine mist). The rubbing alcohol pushes the dark glaze aside, revealing donut shapes of the lighter under glaze. I also stamped into this glaze with a dry stamp. I have also eliminated any distracting white shapes near the edges of the paper with transparent glazes.

Now I am working upright sometimes, so that I can get back and see what is happenind -trying to remember to get the big shapes right. I have glazed over various parts of the painting with transparent glazes of colour to give a wonderful glow and to link areas together, thereby creating larger shapes. You can still see some of my chalk outlines, which I have now changed since I first put them on. I am trying to play with the illusion of depth, making some of the boxes appear to be in front of others. It's fun to play with depth in an abstract painting, and to flatten the perspective in a realistic one!

Here I have removed the chalk outlines. This is it for the darks, for right now anyway. Up to now I have only been working with transparent layers.

This is the way it was left at the end of class. While working on it I have rotated it around many times and worked in that new orientation for a while, trying to keep my options open. Bad to fall in love too early! At this stage I have begun to add opaque lights into the painting. I am still just using the colours I began with, only this time they are added to gesso (my easy white) to make opaque layers. I have put some on translucently (thined with a bit of water) so that I could do my alcohol trick(see the light blue shape on the upper right edge) -repetition with variation, the key to a successful painting. Light against dark/dark against light. I applied some of the opaques through stencils to create new interesting textures. I really hated to leave it at this stage as I felt it was really beginning to come together. I will try to work on it this week to bring it to a finish -or maybe I will wait and do that so the class can watch next Monday. And thanks to Lindsay for providing the photos :)

Stay tuned for part 3... to come!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Mixed Media demonstration -part 1

This is the end of the first step of the demo that I did on Monday for my Mixed media class. The objective was to make a 'start' using fluid acrylics, stamps and stencils, and then working our way to a finished abstract painting. I began this painting by squeezing Quin Gold, Quin Crimson and Ultramarine blue from the bottles in squirts around the gloss medium coated Aquarius paper, then squirts of Acrylic Glazing Liquid were added on top. Then a scraper was used to squeegie this around the page a bit to make some wonderful stained areas-these are the brilliant colour areas. Very cool as you get very unexpected patterns. The excess was then scraped off, drawn through and played with. Dry stamps were pressed into the wet paint areas to lift the paint, paint was added to stamps and stamped for a positive image, and a rubber shapper was used to draw lines back to the white of the coated paper. Sure enough, we have chaos here, but I have lots of textures and colours to work with.

Here I am hard at work -remember to wash off your scraper between scrapings or else you will end up with mud. I save most of the scrapped paint to use as darks later on. This stage is all about texture and colour.

While the first stage is still wet, I go back with my scraper and begin to define some geometric shapes. I am looking to get a flow between organic shapes in the foreground and geometric shapes in the background.

At this stage I have drawn some shapes with white chalk to suggest a direction I might like to go in. Of course, all this is subject to change as you shall see. I begin to place in some darks to define some of the geometric shapes. I also lift with some rubbing alcohol to get some white paper back. That is the beauty of working on a sealed surface! This stage is all about adding shape and value to the colour and texture we got on step one.

Stay tuned tomorrow for part 2!

Monday, January 25, 2010

More altered book

This really IS a spread by Cheryl! She took off on the image of the bird on the left page, then painted the right hand text page, leaving a section of text about birds, and highlighted blue-paint-blue-Bird from that. Then she cut a window out of that page and inserted a coregated cardboard tag to which she attached some wool. When you pull on the tag, it reveals...
the birds nest! Now how cool is that!

This is my favorite spread done by Lindsay. She took off on the photo of the kangaroo on the right page and made her own page using collage papers cut into neat shapes. Then she painted the boy and dog on separate cardstock, and attached them to the piece of card that says her word JUMP. When you pull up on that tab, the boy and dog rise up on the page! Then to top it off, she has a bit of text above the kangaroo saying "Ummm..not bad for beginners". What a hoot. This really has been the most remarkable project.

I have been asked why I am not posting any paintings lately. The answer is simple, I haven't been doing any! I have been learning photoshop (HUGE!) and how to digitally manipulate images (even huger -is that even a word?) , which I hope will help in my collage and more abstract work. One of my students took some step-by-step photos of a demo I did for my mixed media class, which I shall post soon. Life seems to be extremely busy for me right now, but hopefully things will settle down soon. I still have to read half the library books I posted earlier -sigh -so much to do, so little time.


For more information on this project, feel free to email me!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

More of my altered book

This is one of Sheila's spreads in my book. Actually, in my last book post, I credited Cheryl with the spread FREE, but it was really done by Sheila -sorry about that! The image of the ducks was in the book, and Sheila thought that the negative space between them looked like a heart, which it so does, so she decided to go with a LOVE theme for this spread. She painted on the photo to enhance the heart and then did multiple layers of collage on the other page.
This is another of Lindsay's spreads. Her four letter word was CAKE, and she found this old magazine photo of a homemaker which she collaged on the beautifully feathered bird book photo. She gave the woman a cake hat, and collaged other cake references throughout.
This has really been a memorable project.


For more information on this project, feel free to email me!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Photoshop -What Fun!

I am beginning to have a blast with this Photoshop program! The daffodils are a photo I took in my garden just after a rain, and the children I got who knows where... I had fun tucking them behind the flowers and then creating new leaves to hide them. I had to 'grow' the munchkins with some judicious use of the cloning tool, as the image wasn't long enough. I still want to play with this some more, so you might just see some future versions :)


For more information on this project, feel free to email me!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

new digital homework

This is my latest exercise in my Digital Manipulations and Memories class by DJ Pettit. I followed the exercise until I just got lost, so I did my own thing with it from there. I am pretty amazed how good it turned out, and how good I am getting at Photoshop. This one has about 10 layers, and took several hours to do -of course I should be getting faster from here on in. Only thing is my memory is short, so I have to re-learn so much each time I try to do something. Repetition, repetition, repetition....


For more information on this project, feel free to email me!

Friday, January 15, 2010

More of my Altered Book project

This is another of the spreads that Heidi did in my book. She got the idea because the image in the book that is now underneath the piece of handmade unryu paper is a tree frog. The little envelope has a page with a description of the life of a tree frog. She collaged the tree frog image and painted the leaves and the dots. Lots of four letter words there :)
This is one of Cheryl Quist's spreads. The top half of the spread is the book image, on which Cheryl painted and added more birds (not quite sure how she did that, but she negatively painted the white birds). Then she collaged a wonderfully free woman after painting over the text page, outlined some more gulls in pen and added the four letter word FREE. I love the way that Cheryl used the book pages in this spread.


For more information on this project, feel free to email me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Red In Winter", plein air oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Red In Winter", plein air oil painting, 8 x 6"

This is the second plein air painting I did last Friday. I really like this one- the second painting in a location is often better than the first, as you have absorbed the environment and have familiarized yourself with the lighting conditions -plus you are warmed up! I did this one from the front seat of my car however, because I was cold :)


To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Plein Air Oil Painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"January View", plein air oil painting, 8 x 6"
$325 framed, FREE S&H

I did get out to paint on Friday before the big melt we are now having. This is a spot close to my home on the western edge of the city. I think I am happier with the leafless trees in this attempt. Several cars slowed to see what I was up to, but nobody bothered to get out of their cars to get a closer look. Calgarians are still not used to having plein air painters in their midst.

I spent the weekend cross country skiing into Lake O'Hara with a bunch of new friends. I just love this place, and have only been there in the fall, so was quite excited to see the view in the winter. Unfortunately it was cloud covered the whole weekend, but on the upside, the temps were only around -10C, which made skiing around quite pleasant. You ski up the road for about 14km to get to where we stayed at the Elizabeth Parker hut. I was pretty tired after that, but on Sunday we did a tour of Mary's lake (where we had to break trail) and then around Lake O'Hara itself. I convinced my fellow skiers to climb up to the icefall at the back of the lake. I took some amazing photos, which I hope to paint from one day soon. Would have loved to have had my paints with me then and there. So now I am recuperating :)


To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Listen to the beauty!

Hi all: I have met so many new friends from DJ's class. I was just having a boo at Violet Skiles' lovely blog and found this beautifully sung "The Prayer" by Andrea Ross -one of my favorite songs. My son Evan sung this with his friend Jill in beautiful harmony at a singing recital and I sure wish I had a tape of it -but I have a memory that will last forever.

Please go and check out Violet's amazing romantic watercolours and oils. There is also a link where you can see her fabulous studio her and her hubby designed. The only problem is it is immaculate! Mine always looks like a hurricane has blown through! I will have to remember to take some photos of it to show you one day.


More class work

Ok, I know this doesn't look like much, but it took me 5 HOURS, yes that's FIVE, to do. I started with a simple flower that one of the students put up. Then I put it on a coloured background and erased a lot of the photos actual background. Then I went hunting for some interesting Photoshop brushes, downloaded a bunch, didn't have a clue what they would look like, so it took forever to choose one and then decide how to use it. Then I painted with coloured lines on the flower and wrote the word with a mouse (hard to write well with such a clumsy tool). This isn't totally mine as I got the idea and a tiny bit of a headstart by a wonderful designer Caryl Wyatt. She has an amazing story that you can read if you click her name.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

DJ Pettitt's Digital Manipulations Class is Underway!

Hi all: This is a card that I made from the first exercise we had in the class. The photo was large originally, so we had to drastically crop it, which created a lot of noise. Then we had to get rid of the noise, eliminate some distracting elements and apply some filters. This has been a HUGE undertaking for DJ, and I have been at my computer for the last 3 days. I didn't even get out of my PJ's today! My back is beginning to feel it so I am going to get outside to paint Friday as the temp is supposed to climb to 0C -wahoo! Welcome to winter in Calgary.

To find out more info about the course, or anything, please email me.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Plein Air Painting Is Not Over After All!

It was so beautiful outside yesterday that I decided to go back to some of my favorite painting locations of the year to see what they looked like under a foot of snow. This is beside the spot I painted September Marsh -the actual marsh was quite boring. By the time I found the spot and got out my paints, the sun had crept behind some low clouds, but it was still wonderful. I parked my car on the side of the road and set up my easel. I knew I needed to work fast due to sun and cold -it was -9C.

"Winter Trees", plein air oil painting, 8x6" on birch panel
This is the painting that I did. I am not really happy with the tops of the leafless trees -I will have to figure out a way to portray that more convincingly. Painting wet into wet like this, it is a challenge to keep the colours clean. I am not unhappy with this as I haven't painted in oils in months. It was good to get back at it, and I am encouraged to go back out again when the weather permits.


To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Holiday Reading

Hi again. Lest you think that I have been vegging on the couch and eating bon-bons, here is some of my holiday reading material! What a wealth of knowledge is available from the local library. I have been getting really excited by all the mixed media books that are out there. I have been reading and taking notes, so I can include some of the ideas in my Mixed Media classes. I am particularly interested in the ones on physical photo manipulation. Lots to explore there!

And I have just purchased Photoshop CS4, and there is an enormous learning curve there. I am familiar with the levels, cropping and straightening functions from Photoshop 7, but this new version has SO much more. I was extremely lucky and got the 'educational price' for the software, as I teach in the Calgary Public School System. The program included l month free video training at the excellent school, so I have been spending an inordinate amount of time watching and trying the manipulations. I need a good reference book, so took all these out of the library to try to determine which would best suit my needs, but haven't gotten there yet.

I want to wish you and yours a very happy, healthy and creative New Year!

Love you guys!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

EXCITING new class!

I have just signed up for my second ning workshop! (for those of you who are asking yourselves 'what the heck is a ning site', according to Wickipedia, it is an online platform for people to create their own social networks -for my purposes, it is an online format for taking workshops) This one is "Memories and Manipulations" by DJ Pettitt, and is about digital artmaking. The beautiful images above are by DJ. The online class begins on Monday, and we will be learning all about digital manipulation with Photoshop. You can read all about the class (and sign up, it's not too late!) at DJ's blog. My friend/student Cheryl is taking this class with me, so it will be great to share the fun with her.

Stay tuned for some great new artwork coming up!

Here's the tags

Here are the tags from the PLAY spread in my book, which I posted last. The top left tag (which you can see well due to camera glare) has a photo of ducks on it from a National Geographic. To its right is a tag that I did from a napkin that had corks on it -on the back is a word diagram of the word CORK (I found this cool thing on the net, but can't remember where!-it shows all the associations of a word). Next is a tag by Lindsay of a leaf cutout, complete with leaf charm. Next is one of Heidi's tags -she did a search for four letter words and printed them out. She then collaged a part of the list on the tag, and then made hang tags of all the four letter colour words. On the bottom row at right are two of Sheila's tags, made with magazine images covered with a neat plastic sleeve. Next is the back of the tag that was prominant in the last post -it has embossed music on the bottom, then more stamping and embossing on top. The letters are rub ons. The last tag was also made by Heidi, and ties her book (theme of Hospitali -TEA) to mine. And lastly is my paper doll.


For more information on this project, feel free to email me!