Getting Material with Play

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.

“Play” part 3

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.

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“Play” part 2

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:

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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.

The Importance of “Play” to improve your Work.

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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A Conundrum, Wrapped in a shift?

So, I found out that a piece I had hoped to enter into the “Fins, Feathers and Fur” show would not be acceptable since it is a nude. I felt pretty clever coming up with an idea that included one of those without being from the animal kingdom (though technically we are from it).  I for one, find it appalling that there are galleries out there that won’t accept nudes. We are talking fine art galleries. I am loath to clothe my angel and she has voiced her objections as well. However, I did find an absolutely perfect piece of Shintoism fabric that I created myself a few years back stashed in my studio closet. The trick will be to make it look like it belongs IN the piece without making it so permanent that I can’t undress her after the show.

Art- for the Love of it

I have many of my small wonders hanging in the Orange Park library. One of the may be the perfect gift for your Valentine. Most of these small pieces are priced quite low, not because they are not worth more. It’s just I went through a very prolific period and need to shed some things from my own walls.

A New Unexpected Feeling

So, I’ve never had this feeling before. When I got my first look at this photo of this piece, it almost made me gasp and i thought “I really really like this piece”. We’ll see how long that feeling lasts. I’m hoping this makes it into the STAAA’s ( St. Augustine Art Association)  “Black & White & Shades of Gray”. I’m pushing the limits with a little bit of color.

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Now Something Way Different

Spent three hours doing something I’ve only done once before – painting a mural. Luckily for the folks in Green Cove Springs, I’m not the only one doing the painting. There are some real experts on the job as well, such as Sophie Dare Dentiste, Beth Haizlip and Kathy Plante. I have an all new increased admiration for these ladies. It was fun – to a point, for me. These ladies actually enjoy it. The Dandelions are my contribution.  This is actually a fundraiser for two fabulous local charities. Hope some of you will contribute to Cove in Bloom

Bitter Sweet Sale

It’s rare that I have even the semblance of regret when I sell a piece. It’s always just so exciting that some one likes it! However, I will miss this small piece. It is one of my favorites from last year and of all time. Since I painted it in June, it hasn’t hung around long enough for me to be tired of it. I was still quite happy to see it daily. I can only hope that the buyer loves it as much as I do. (This is an earlier pic, before the piece was completely finished, bu close enough).  “On the Way to Castaslinna”
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Completion is satisfying

This piece has been in my “to be completed slot” for at least a year, possibly two. Since it only took me about 15 minutes of tweaking I’m not sure why I didn’t do it sooner. Probably the usual reason – I was afraid of ruining it.4F157D2B-0D31-48DC-BEAE-CFD643111F2C

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