Saturday, June 18, 2016

Crackled Earth, Suspended Trees

What a relief it is that our sulky, hot-tempered El Nino has taken his toys and gone home, leaving us waiting for what his sister has in mind for us, the rest of the year. She is more prone to tearful rages, but is often more cool and aloof.  We'll see.  Looks like she has already started her gentle rains in our Pacific Northwest.

I have been playing more seriously with Golden textural mediums, acrylic bases for paintings on hardboard surfaces, lately.  I'm having a lot of fun with the crackle paste, which shrinks a bit as it dries, leaving a crazed surface similar to the glaze at the bottom of a Japanese tea bowl.  I discovered how staining the surface on one side with a diluted mix of water and instant espresso crystals immediately draws the dark liquid across through the cracks in a very dramatic way!  This acrylic painting was inspired by a little sketch I did on a sticky note sheet a number of months ago.  I like it so much, and I take it as a good sign that each time I study it, theme and variations of this image pops into my imagination, wanting to be expressed. SOON!

Cradled hardboard with espresso and acrylic paint, 8" x 10" 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Creative Transparency

Some of my best ideas come either in the shower, or out walking on our property.  Or when the rain is showering me as I walk on our property. Forest and water seem to be great conduits for the Muse, and I'll take all the conductivity I can get.  

Today there were some pretty phenomenal images that passed through my mind, and as usual, about 82% of them were gone by the time I was sitting at my drafting table, but the gist was layers of images painted on transparencies, laid over each other and scanned. I have water media polyester transparency film here in the studio that I've done nothing with but cut stencils out of, so that seemed a good place to start.  Don't believe them when they claim one can watercolor on them.  What a mess! However, some of this image of a woman was watercolor, and when I realized how awful that was, I reinforced with acrylic paint on the back of the film.  Much better!  Still not like paper, but more versatile in that, well, you can layer it over other background stuff! I took some of my Masa Printmaking Paper I have crinkled and done paint spills on in the past, and laid the face over it before scanning.  Even the signature was slipped in at the last minute, white Liquetex Ink on a transparency
bit, like a physical watermark! It's sort of disconcerting I don't have a "hard copy" of this image, but the upside is, I can re-use the bits and pieces over and over, in different ways.  

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Temple Attendants

It's been awhile since I posted here, it seems so easy to get carried away with life, forgetting the priorities and habitual joys that have defined it until, like Wile E. Coyote, I looked down and saw my trajectory had taken me off the cliff and into space. My feet forgot somewhere along the past weeks that they were no longer touching "ground".

On a vacation visit to Lake Crescent, Washington, recently, Jim and I stayed in accommodations near the lake, enjoying a few days of rest.  Jim got some nice photography time in, and I tried out a new sketchbook I'd ordered, designed for wet media.  It sucked.  The sizing on and in the paper was so water-resistant, the watercolors slid around and nearly came off the surface again with each paint stroke. Hmm.  What to do with this book? Oh, yeah, mixed media! Or, whatever wonderful wet media I love to play with.  So this sub-standard book has become a perfect place to practice collage and acrylic painting techniques.  

Or acrylic ink stamping. Or whatever.  I refer to this study as "Temple Attendants".  Not sure what their story is. It's waiting to be written.