Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Disrupting The Logical Mind

It's been an incredibly long time since I've posted here on my blog. No real excuse, just got out of the habit. It feels like one of those panic dreams where you realized you'd left your baby somewhere a couple months ago, and freak out, scrambling to find it again. Wondering if it's gone, or worse. 

I'm sure many others are feeling scrambled by the massive corona blasting us from the sun right now, and for the next several days. For me, I feel a little lost, forgetful, disoriented. Exhausted. But like tonight's posting, some old and cherished stuff is coming back to be attended to, also. I'm missing figurative imagery in my work. Other than my occasional sketches in public, people have mostly been  forgotten as a focus for me. When I sculpted, Human figures were nearly exclusively my favorite expression. 

I've been working on this substrate (board) for a couple weeks, now. I covered it with two coats of Gold Gesso my dear friend, Linda, gave me a sample of. I had a vision of cascading, textured...well, abstract sheets of stuff coming down from above, with abstract figurative images emerging from the shadows beneath, (yet to be painted in). Using Liquitex Modeling Paste, I scraped some onto the gesso with a rubber pottery rib, then impressed it with scrolly-patterned rubber texture sheets I have for printing. When they hardened, I sanded them smooth until the textures felt like polished Ivory or bone. Then I commenced to staining with acrylic inks, wiping back the high points with a damp cloth. When I was done, there was that feeling I had wasted a perfectly good board. I hate that "What was I thinking" feeling while painting.

Pulling out a frame, I slapped it on to give me some perspective. Maybe it wasn't quite so awful. I accidentally set the painting back on the table upside down.

There are my "figures"!  I have a feeling the Universe is having me paint abstracts upside down to disrupt the logical mind. This isn't the first time I turned a painting around and it made more sense than the other way.

Happy Vernal Equinox, everybody!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Sumac, Crocosmia, The Works

A dear artist friend and I have a difficult time getting together often enough to having a sketching date. Sometimes we meet in Port Townsend, which is roughly halfway between her and myself. It's about an hour and a half, give or take a ferry ride, for each of us to get there. Today, she suggested we have a sketch date simultaneously at 10 AM, where she was hiking near her end, and I decided I would go out on my deck and capture some of our garden before the approaching Fall season rewrites the garden's story altogether.  We each pulled our gear out and went to work.

 I have to admit, she had the advantage as far as scenery and solitude. I also had intermittent mist. I struggled with color and paint over the pre-textured background I chose to paint this over, and ended up with half my studio out on the deck. Mine was not as serene and gentle. It was starting to feel like a major project, and indeed it was by the time I took refuge inside to finish it. But I'm happy with it, and do feel like she and I were together on a sketching date! Next time I will leave the house so I'm not so tempted to drag the whole artillery caboodle out from my studio.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Galatea's Gaze

Recently an inspired group of Urban Sketchers descended on downtown Port Townsend, Washington, and spread out to capture their unique view of the town. I marched a couple blocks over to sit just above and behind the Haller fountain, otherwise known as Galatea. Not only was her little bronze tush worthy of rendering on my sketchpad, but I needed to utilize a page with a prior blocked-in square I had pre-textured with diluted acrylic inks and Cling Wrap, a week earlier. This method has been really fun to do, with sketching over the "texture" later.  (See April 28th's "Papaya Woman")

It turned out the way I'd randomly placed the texture was a perfect mystical framework for the view Galatea watched, eternally. As though she could maybe leap into that window and make her way back to the Strait of Juan de Fuca at the edge of town.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Poppies At End Of Day

It's hard to describe how my focus has deepened and widened in recent months regarding my creativity. Particularly my way of painting and sketching. It's rather like the roots of my inspiration have finally broken through the crust of the earth, so to speak, and now draw nourishment from a deep zone there are no words for. Hopefully it will last awhile, and not leave me wondering what the hell happened to the Muse. At any rate, I'm having a great time, and I hope you all enjoy the result with me.

I'd come down to the studio this evening to fling paint and Gelli Plate print up a storm in my sketchbooks. But I got a glimpse of the poppy garden through the glass doors in the fading light, and just had to put them on a previously textured page of one of my books. Someone recently had advised this page would look really nice as a garden or woodland scene. And there you go. No coffee shops and Baristas for this verdant page!

Monday, June 5, 2017

New And Not So New Sketcher Friends

Though I'm not a coffee drinker, coffee shops are still one of my favorite places to sketch, especially with others. It was a particularly pleasant experience being invited to today's little sketch gathering at Hurricane Coffee Company in Sequim, WA, by my friend Gayle.  She and several of her artist friends I hadn't met yet, were joined by me and our mutual friend, Patty. 

I was delighted by the sharing of techniques, stories and tools today, something that has come to be for me the best part of gatherings like this. "Where did you buy that?" "How did you make that?" "Will you send me a link to that?" "I love that bag!" "Are you serious...just add WD40 to the paint?!"

We all come away all the richer for the encounter, our heads bursting with new ideas. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Tuliary In Relief

This week's homework assignment was an opportunity to use one of my imaginary critters from last year, my Segmented Tuliary. This one was from a stencil I cut of the original sketch I'd painted and posted before http://elsbethmcleod.blogspot.com/2016/03/segmented-nocturnal-tuliary.html of the little guy. Laying the stencil on this previously stained page in my mixed media journal, I squeegeed Liquitex Modeling Paste through the openings of the stencil, then carefully lifted it off, leaving the segmented relief of the Tuliary on the page. When dry (the next day), I sanded the raised critter with very fine sand paper and jewelry polishing papers. I re-stained the framed inner square around it, wiping the ink off the raised subject afterward. 

This one isn't iridescent, and maybe not so nocturnal as the last. But still a lot of fun to make!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Papaya Woman

I'm having such fun learning to layer colors, textures and patterns on watercolor paper and sketch journals with these acrylic inks and paints! This was a few lessons worth of layering. The red rectangle was done with a mouth atomizer through heavy plastic (gutter guard) mesh, masked off with tape. The little woman character was from a sketch I did, transferred to printmaking paper and then colored with leftover dabs of diluted ink. Her hat and sandals are painted with gold gesso. The white paint over fleur de lis patterned stencil will receive journaled story or notes later.