Breathe

detail of "breathe" mixed media wall sculpture © 2011, Lynne Medsker

Today? A new piece of art created as a commission!  Always a fun process with lots of questions and feedback to guide the piece to it’s finished state. So many things to ask – what materials are preferred, colors, shapes, design, textures, size? Where will it be located in the house? Does it need to be flat or dimensional? Once I get a basic feel for where we are going then I can play around with some layouts within those parameters. Here is the very “rough draft” of what I proposed the client:

work in progress, rough draft of design

(I always cross my fingers that they can “see” past what is presented, which was no problem in this instance. If not then I do some computer enhancements to help aid their imagination!) Once I’ve got approval then I move on to actually finishing all the pieces, with this piece we wanted a variety of surface textures so I started with a layer of glue on the background piece that would eventually dry clear and would add a bit of design to the flat, black background without overpowering the rest of the piece.

work in progress - glue design on background

Then on to the smaller pieces!

work in progress - adding surface finishes to detail pieces

The bottom/largest piece was painted black and then sprinkled with black sand when it was still wet. The center piece was painted with copper acrylic and the smallest/top piece was covered in aluminum and colored with inks for a bright splash of color. If you hadn’t figured it out yet, the large circular object attached to the background is an old LP record!

work in progress - starting to assemble finished pieces

I ended up covering it with a very rough texture of aluminum and coloring it with the main color of the piece (a burgundy hue) and some splashes of the apple green. The larger pieces of wood in the composition had more of the burgundy coloring blended onto them, plus I added a bit of green to the grey rock so it would blend with the piece. Here are those pieces drying after being colored:

work in progress - colored wood pieces, etc. drying

The small wood spacers used to vary the height on the different pieces were all painted black to blend into the background piece and finally it was time to put it all together!

"breathe" mixed media wall sculpture on wood, 12x22", SOLD © 2011, Lynne Medsker

After I had assembled all the original pieces I spied a couple of areas that need a little more detail. I found the five large, round, flat beads that seemed to fill in the middle area well and then covered another small wood piece with aluminum and green ink to add a pop of color at the top of the piece.

I’ve emailed an image of the finished piece to my client who replied “It’s perfect!” and is excited for it to arrive later this week so she can see it in person and get it hung in it’s proper place. Which is the exact response I was hoping for!

Happiness all around,

Lynne

Commissioned Photo/Digital Art

I’ve enjoyed having a reason to get creative with some photos during the last week! These images are two possibilities I have presented to a client who commissioned me to create a piece of art commemorating his retirement. We met at the end of January at the Sugar Creek Art Center to discuss what it was he had in mind for this project.  The most important thing was the inclusion of the quote “The Best Part of Life is When Your Family Becomes Your Friends and Your Friends Become Your Family”. Beyond that requirement we brainstormed a bit as we walked around the center looking at colors, styles and subject matter of different art pieces that were on display.  I came away with a list of several things that were important symbols and memories from his life. Although I knew I couldn’t include all of them on a single piece of art it gave me ideas to work with as I began creating.  I gathered up around 20 different images related to what we had discussed and put them in a folder to draw from when I began combining images.  The first image ended up very muted and calm. I added a layer from a printmaking project to give it some extra texture and interest. Although one of his requests was for a stand of trees to be included I still feel like the emphasis of this piece is water…both flowing & still.

version #1 of “The Best Part” photo/digital art (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

I like the way the waterfall flows into the image!

The second piece is a bit bolder and has a definite “ocean” feel to it. The ocean & sea oats were other items mentioned in our talk but I wanted to make sure to include trees and rocks too, as he mentioned those several times. The colors were actually brighter than this to begin with and had lots of bright pinks and peach colors which I toned down or changed before finalizing the piece.  Bright pastel colors weren’t in our discussion!

version #2 of “The Best Part” photo/digital art (c) 2010, Lynne Medsker

I really like the silhouette of the tree(s) in this image!

I’ve e-mailed copies of each of these images to my client and will wait to see what the feedback is. Which one he likes, if he wants any changes to the image, if neither suit him and I start from scratch…all those thoughts whirl through my head. Which would you choose?

Waiting patiently,

Lynne

More Abstract & Mixed

Last month I posted images of a series of abstract mixed media I had just completed and was going to display at an art show.  During the art show I had a potential client admire one of the pieces and talk with me about commissioning a similar, larger, version for her.  She called a few days later to confirm her interest and fill in a few details about what she would like me to create.  The first step in the process was to build the wooden base for the art piece.  I admit I am not an expert woodworker so I called in assistance, in the form of my husband, Mark.  Between the two of us we spent a Saturday getting it built.  Thankfully we work together well and it went smoothly. I so appreciate having someone so handy to help me with projects!  After that I painted the back of the piece and then applied all the aluminum to the front.

Work in Progress - Frame built and aluminum applied

The next step was to beginning drawing the designs into the metal.  I sometimes have trouble being really random in my patterns and markings, I’d like to call my style “orderly abstract”!   After that part had been completed next came the step of applying all the coloring with inks.  This was a much larger piece than the originals, almost 2 foot by 4 foot, so it took quite a while to finish each step.  Finally it was colored to my liking, the hangers were added to the back, and I was ready to add the metal details.

Work in Progress - Ink applied, waiting for metal

After arranging and rearranging the metal pieces and getting all the wire details bent and ready I secured each piece onto the base with a layer of clear acrylic gel.  Then I ever-so-patiently left it alone for two days to make sure it was totally dry and secure.  Once I was sure it was dry I signed the piece, photographed it for my records and wrapped it up securely in bubble wrap and plastic so I could deliver it to it’s new owner.  This was the first piece of custom made art she had ever commissioned and she was thrilled with it.  At some point I am hoping to get a photo of it in it’s new home!  In the meantime, here is the finished product:

"abstract #6" 22x48", sold (c) 2009, Lynne Medsker

Just a reminder to those of you interested in purchasing art – pricing for an original piece art costs no more than the original pieces I sell elsewhere, why not have it created specifically for you? We can work together to create something unique that makes a statement about who you are, the work you do, how you play, where you’ve been, what your passion is. You decide the size, the style, the colors, even words or quotes that please you and let me do the rest!

Creatively yours,

Lynne

Bring on the “mini’s”

In my “mixed media explosion” post this week I showed you one of the new mixed media pieces I created lately.  In addition to that I have finished 30 “mini” mixed media pieces and one larger mixed media piece.  And I’m not done yet!! 🙂 It was just about a year ago when I created the first mini art piece, now I have finished over 50.  One reason for the explosion of small artwork is that I was commissioned to create 20 new pieces.  (Yeah for commissions!) Once I got started on those I just couldn’t stop! 🙂

"mini art #25" mixed media, 5x7", $75 (c) Lynne Medsker
"mini art #26" mixed media, 5x7", $75 (c) Lynne Medsker
"mini art #27" mixed media, 5x7" NFS (c) Lynne Medsker
"mini art #28" mixed media, 5x7" NFS (c) Lynne Medsker
"mini art #29" mixed media, 5x7", NFS (c) Lynne Medsker

As you can tell there is a variety of style & colors in these pieces, some are truly “mini” versions of larger art pieces I’ve made (compare mini #25 with a “River Rocks” piece) and others are just fun, abstract designs. I will feature a few of the new pieces each day for the next week.  I hope you enjoy the preview!

I also wanted to note that this is my 200th blog post!!  My first post was in January of 2008 and I was tentative about starting a blog. I must say, after a few starts & stops, I really enjoy blogging now! Now we’ll see how long it takes for me to post another 200. 🙂

Moving forward,

Lynne

Ink stained fingers

It’s always a good sign when, at the end of the day, I have traces of ink or paint or glue (or whatever I happen to have worked with) still on my hands (or even on my clothes!).  It means I had to opporunity to do what I truly love.  It usually means that ideas have come to life, that new ones are germinating, that progress was made.  Today was one of those days!  I’ve actually spent quite a bit of time working on art this week, it’s been such a refreshing change from the last few weeks where life was more about running errands, to do lists, paperwork and other mundane, everyday items of life. 

I have two pieces of commissioned work that have been my focus the last few days.  Commisssioned work is always interesting to me.  First, it’s a thrill that people request a specific piece of art be made – by ME, no less!  Second, it’s just a totally different thought process.  Not only do I need to be pleased with the outcome, someone else does as well.  Often there are more specifics involved as well – sizes, colors, media.  Although the specifics can feel a bit restrictive I have come to appreciate them as guidelines for me to work within.  I’ve had a few commissions where I was given free reign and I found it difficult to create something for a specific person without some specific guidelines!  These two pieces are based off of pieces I created a few weeks ago, just in a larger format.   I have been having so much fun using the new materials and techniques!  There is a sizable amount of time just doing “prep” work to get the smaller, individual pieces ready to assemble into a larger work of art.  The bonus part is that I can work on them almost anywhere!  I spent the better part of two days just hanging out on the couch in my living room, catching up on the television shows that were overflowing in the DVR while I got things ready.  I won’t tell you I never watch television (although I rarely do during the daytime) but normally I when I am sitting there I feel like I could be doing something creative instead of just staring at the screen like a zombie.  It feels wasteful somehow.  So it was nice to have some guilt-free time to catch up on my favorite programs.  In addition to catching up while being creative I got to put my math skills to use as I enlarged the basic design to fit the new size.  I finished all the smaller pieces for both commissions late last night and today I was able to complete the color work and assembly for one of the two.  I’ve got most of the day tomorrow to get the ink done on the second piece and get it assembled, as long as everything goes well I should have this project finished and delivered early next week. 

Earlier this week I was able to finish five more new pieces for the show in June!  I needed to complete them and get them cleared out of my make-shift workspace before I could start on the two larger, commissioned pieces!  Add the five new pieces to the first five, plus the pieces here at home that I haven’t shown and I think I am all set now.  It feels very odd to be ready for a show almost four weeks ahead of the hanging date.  I tend to be painting, gluing, framing, preparing at the last minute or settling for something less than what I really wanted to present. So I am very pleased to not only have things ready but also that they are things I am also excited for people to see!  I guess I have let a small bit of “preview” out since I will be showing some of the flower/rock pieces that I posted in my last blog entry.  I had them printed on 16 x20 canvases and they turned out wonderfully! 

I had some other things wandering around my brain to share but it’s getting late, I’m getting sleepy and this is getting long!  I read somewhere recently that you should update your blog three times a week.  Holy cow!  I’m feeling good if I can do it once a week.  🙂  So perhaps I’ll remembered the rest of the conversation and share it before another week has passed.  Or perhaps not, we’ll just have to see, won’t we?