So I thought today I’d share a couple recent pieces that I finished and show a bit of the stages it went through along the way. Both these pieces are currently hanging in the gallery at the Blackford County Art Center in Hartford City, Indiana in my show titled “”Cairns & Other Repurposed Treasures” – along with another 26 pieces that are part of my “Wood | Stone | Metal” series. The beginning inspirations were a set of rocks that I painted last month:
In addition to those larger, detailed pieces I also had painted several batches of smaller, colorful, messy, drippy, watercolored stones:
Deciding on the composition is a trial and error process for me, first one layout, then another, tweeking the arrangement and inclusion of stones and material as I progress. This shows an early layout vs. the final version for each of the two pieces.
The third rock in the set is still in the studio, waiting for inspiration to lead me to it’s final destination, who knows where it will end up!
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!
This was a fun project that I started for one reason and finished just because I loved making it. 🙂 Originally thinking I’d enter it into a competition, I didn’t get it finished before the deadline but that didn’t stop me from completing it. The drawing/coloring of all the mandala “leaves” was much more time consuming than what I thought!
After getting them drawn it was on to adding the background paint and then it needed to dry for a while, it had gotten quite saturated!
Once it was dry, the first details I tackled were in the tree trucks.
Then on to the leaves. That was the slowest part of the process.
I used a semi-limited pallet so that the piece would have some continuity, which added to the challenge.
The finished piece is still in the studio as I decide how to frame & display it! I’m also thinking it needs a better title than “Mandala Tree” – what do you think??
As promised in the last post, I’m continuing with artwork created on old LP’s. Today’s piece began as all the others shown here, stacked and waiting for some creativity to find them. It is actually the one on the top of the pile, that’s been spray painted with hammered metal color paint.
Different from the last post, there are no magazine pages. Instead, I began by outlining the record onto a piece of watercolor paper and drawing a mandala with that circle. On one side was the drawing, on the other side I had fun with some abstract painting of watercolors.
Once the paint was dry I began the tedious task of cutting out tiny areas of the mandala so that, once attached, the record would show through. Yes, these images show some pink & brown instead. That’s my pretty cutting board and my work table. 🙂
After all the cutting was done the paper was attached to the record and extra drawing, ink and glass pieces were added to it for some dimension.
The final step creating “Circadian” was to add the mechanism and hands to transform it into a work clock. Viola!
Hmmmm. I wonder what the next piece will look like? You’ll find out in a few days!
Okay, so I know I’ve been trying to catch up with all the upcycled/recycled artwork from last year but in the meantime I’ve been doing some other fun art so I thought I’d take a little “time out” and share something new with you before we finish up with the last half-dozen or so pieces from last year. My obsession with trees continues, both in my art and at home. Both in the form of bonsai trees! I’ve adopted a little juniper bonsai tree and have two other types I’m trying to grow from seed (as I wait impatiently for sprouts!). I’ve always loved the “personality” of trees, how they branch this way and that, twist, lean and each just seem to have a story to tell us if we listen closely enough. With the way bonsai trees are pruned and trained into such interesting shapes I suppose it would be inevitable that I wouldn’t be able to resist them and, after trying for several years, I gave in. My sketch book is slowly filling up with trees from my imagination and now I am producing some in a more presentable manner. The first three started together with a (very) rough outline of the trucks and limbs.
From there I added some softly blended layers of color to the background areas.
After that dried I began adding the areas where the leaves would fill in the image.
I am always amazed at how much difference adding some shading can make in an image. Suddenly the tree has some dimension and looses that flat feeling!
If you know how I like to make art you might have guessed what happened next. Yes. Doodling, Zentangles, whatever you want to call it…lots of tiny detailed patterns!
After the patterns were all added then came the color! I’ve clumped together the rest of the progression shots, you can click on them to enlarge the images and scroll through at your leisure.
All of which leads us up to the finished image:
Since this is the first one that I finished I took lots of progress shots with my camera. When I share the other two finished pieces there is not near as much to see!