I’ve been working on two large pieces of art featuring butterflies. Today as I was waiting for some of the layers to dry on those two pieces I took time to create three smaller butterfly pieces. Using the batik style I’ve been fond of lately I started by drawing them with a Sharpie on some hand made paper.
After the outlines were down I added color with my Pitt pens that are full of india ink. Love me some Pitt pens!!
The next couple of steps involve wax being applied on the surface to make a resist when I spray liquid watercolor onto the paper. The first layer of wax just covers the part of the the drawings I don’t want to blend with the background color. After that has been sprayed on and dried I cover the entire piece with wax. Then comes the part that continues to make me nervous – wadding up the paper into a tight little ball to crack the wax in a random kind of way. Then (gently) unfolding it and spraying the piece again, this time with a contrast color to make random lines throughout the piece. I used black watercolor on these pieces but have some white ink on order than I’m anxious to try for a different result.
The final step is to place the waxy art between sheets of newspaper and iron it with a hot iron, which pulls the wax out of the art and leaves it on the newspaper. Sometimes this takes a few ironings before it’s totally wax free. Ta-da! Art! Well, okay, I did go back in with some gel pens and add a few details. Then the ta-da happened. 🙂
Rather amusing is that these quick little pieces are more exciting to me than the larger ones are right now! Go figure. I’ve added these three to the “Giftables” page on my website so go pick out your favorite and give it a home!
Getting back to sharing the process images of the artwork I created for last November’s show at ArtSplash Gallery in Carmel, Indiana.
All the pieces had materials and inspiration drawn from nature, this particular piece started as a fallen branch that my grandson found for me while he was playing back in our woods. I was given instructions to “make some art” with it, so that’s what I did.
Most of the bark had fallen off, whatever hadn’t I striped and then smoothed off any rough spots. The very bottom of the branch was split so I ended up cutting that portion off. I still ended up being four foot in length! After it was cleaned up I began adding designs to it in black.
Once the entire piece was covered then it was time to fill in the designs. Much of it was done using Pitt Artist markers, which lay a nice layer of India ink into tiny places. The black & white areas were painted with F&W artist acrylic inks with designs added on top of the white sections with Gelli glaze pens.
After the painting was done it was looking pretty good but I just felt like it was too tall & skinny and needed a little variety to it, width wise. Out came the drill and I (carefully!!) drilled holes in it, gradually using larger bits until I could fit this aluminum wire through, bending and curling it in different directions until I was happy with it.
Ta-da! This is one of several “branch” pieces in the body of work. I’ll be posting more down the line.
The wood bases that hold these stones were shaped and carved from balsa wood, making them much lighter than they look.
The stones were arranged and more cutting/sculpting done for them to fit snuggly in the center of the wood. (Okay, yes, they were also glued quite well in one of the final steps, I’m not that talented with wood working yet!)
As you can tell, the stones and were rearranged quite a bit before the final steps were taken.
I decided to use stones that had been colored with ink as the accent stone for each of the sculptures, from this selection:
Once the wood pieces were carved they were sanded, sealed and then colored with inks to get their patina. The center of each piece was painted black and then the stones were all glued into place. Here are two more images of the finished pieces from a different angle:
I really enjoyed working with wood again to created these, and discovering the right sizes and pattern for the stones was quite a challenge. I hope you enjoyed the peak at their creation!
It seems like the prep and creativity for the new show in November centered around rocks! I’ve had a blast exploring on the different ways they can be painted, colored and incorporated into artwork. Here are a few images of my explorations, I’ve left a pencil in the photo of several to give you a gauge of the sizes.
How I’m incorporating these into my artwork? Aaaah, well, you’ll just have to wait and see. 🙂 In the meantime I can tell you that, after some requests, I’ll be scheduling a couple of workshop in the next month or two so YOU can create your own art on stones. Look for those to be posted soon!
This piece was created last winter/spring and never made it to the blog. So, belatedly, may I present “Monocromatic”! Creating using a mixture of markers, charcoal and ink here are images of the piece in progress:
Original outline drawing
As you can tell I was busy creating instead of taking photos of my process. It happens sometimes!
Next post will be another tree from winter/spring, this one with a tropical feel. Look for it soon.