I am so proud to have won and Honorable Mention in the current Jacksonville Watercolor Society show. It’s my first time entering one of their shows! The work of these talented artists is truly impressive. It is a huge honor to have won in such an august field and has me on an emotional high like never before. Thank you “Poppies”, Italy and Robert Leedy for making it happen. “Poppies” was created from the many reference photos I took while studying with Robert last year.
The desire for Paper Making that is! Why it always seems to be that I get a huge hankering to make paper at this time of year, I don’t know. Something about birthing ? Is Couching birthing? Blending does bring forth a new being. And it is a joy to behold any of it, and all of it. Like my Sumi-e, however, I think I need to go back an learn it properly. I have been so enthralled with that I haven’t slowed down enough to perfect it. I definitely want to learn how to do thinner more delicate and orderly pieces.
These final two pieces from my play date, had me moving in a landscape direction. They aren’t complete, but I’m not in the least bit certain what I will do to them next. I will leave them hanging in my studio some where, so that I can ponder that, and wait for inspiration to strike. Oh and the other good thing about “play dates”? Lots of material for blogging!
After spending hours playing and creating collage worthy papers during our play date last week, I decide it was time to attempt to create at least the beginnings of an art piece. For my first attempts, I simply tried to create a focal point within some of the papers I had already created, using some of the same techniques I used for the “base piece”. Here are, I think, some beautiful results – and one failure.
These are by far my favorite pieces from our Gelli Plate “play date”. I’ve loved printing on black paper since my early monoprinting days. What is it about the palette of the the brown, white and black ones? I think I respond to them in a primal way. Perhaps they evoke primal memories of cave paintings? I will be adding a little something, if only because I have to in order to enter them in a mixed media show.
I’m really excited about these two pieces. For some reason I see myself adding textiles of some kind to these. I love fiber art, but don’t know how to produce it myself. My idea with these is to do some mash up mixed media piece with fabric and threads and yarn and ribbon. Stay tuned for the results!
Some of the pieces I made at last weekends “play date” are likely to be torn up and used for collage. This by no means makes them any lowly than my other results. Far from it. Mixed Media and Collage artists are obsessed with paper. We see beauty in even the simplest pieces. The first piece was a hand out in a workshop. It is full of specs and threads and a beautiful grey. The others are from my pla date.
My third “Play Date” recently was put on by SoMMA (Society of Mixed Media Artists) here in the Jacksonville, FL area. This was facilitated by two wonderful artists, Wendy Sullivan and Christy Hawkins ( a post will follow with some pictures of their work). These women never stop learning and lucky for us they were willing to share some of what they have learned over the years about Gelli Plate printing. This “Play Date” was both energizing and exhausting. It was also very productive in terms of base materials for future work. Some of the papers I created may be torn up and used in collage/mixed media pieces for years to come. Some will hopefully be turned into works in their own right. ALL that I LEARNED and PRACTICED and WORKED on will be used in future work. Here are several pieces from the days work/play. I’ll be posting more about these shortly.
The other recent opportunity to explore was in a paid workshop with Mike Grecian. He is a fun and sharing rep for several art supply companies. The fabulous thing about a workshop with a rep is that almost always get Free Stuff to take home as well as to use in the workshop. Look at all these pieces below, representing lots of different products I got to explore:
I had to reform my opinion of Gouche as a medium after using the luscious and intense Holbeins he provided. It had been close to 40 years since I’d used gouche and had poor opinion of it’s chalky yucky performance. These were nothing like that! I also got to use some papers I’d never tried, one of which, Mineral Paper by Yasumoto, I fell in love with. I will also finally experiment and explore more with the Duralar I’ve had in my studio for years and not used much. I found it’s possibilities for use in mixed media very intriguing. I am always looking for ways to use my watercolors in a mixed media piece.
I hesitate to use the word play when discussing art. Almost all of us are encouraged to play with crayons or pencils or paints at some point in our lives. When later viewing an art exhibit, I fear many picture the artist having way too much fun to warrant the price tag on the piece they are seeing. In their minds Art = Play = Easy. NOT! This equation does not work, because for an artist there is always work involved. The equation is more like this: Play + Education + Pratice + Education + Work + Play + Practice + Life Interruptions + Return to Pratice + Work + Play + Practice + Work = Fine Art
I’ve recently had several Play sessions to hopefully help me improve my art. None were particularly easy. Each had challenges, but also discoveries. The first two were with watermedia; specifically watercolor crystals and then waterbased gouche and colored pencils. I suppose there are some artists out there that are happy to do the same thing over and over using the same media over and over. I haven’t met many of them. My artist friends all like to explore.
Thanks to an invitation from my friend Cynthia Csalovszki, I was able to explore watercolor crystals. There were things I liked about using them, but I doubt I will invest in them myself. Still how could I know that with out having had some one share theirs with me? Yay!
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"Die Kunst ist eine Tochter der Freiheit." - Friedrich Schiller
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