Thursday

Points of Departure






Lightbulb! I am beginning to get the point of studies as a great place to explore an idea before committing to a larger canvas. Although I experiment and play [alot] I rarely use these as reference for larger work-- it just never occured to me. It was like the blank canvas was always a place for something new, open to possibilities. I've never been a planner-- and I accepted a long time ago the consequences of that being work that is strange and surprises me which is good in my world--but with my random approach there are also alot of false starts. But lately I am finding that it is really helping to play with these smaller canvases to find out what might happen if I did this or that before I do it on the larger work. And once I have a study worked out- usually in several different approaches, I am making better decisions about what is going to work or not work... Now when I take on the larger pieces, the studies are points of departure and I can still let the work develop into what it is going to become, instead of copying or repeating larger where I've already been smaller, but it seems like my trust in where I'm going is surer. I am learning so much through theses studies-- I love my job!

Tuesday

Paint Sketching

[acrylic, ink on 8x8 stretched canvas]
I spent most of today working on little paint sketches, trying to work out some ideas about where I'm going. I usually use small canvases for studies, just in case they develop into something interesting. I am largely playing with colour combinations and composition. I am trying to challenge myself with colour still and will often do a base colour in a colour that isn't a favourite and see where I can take it. This one started with a pink base which is peaking through in areas. I am liking the curving shape and the interplay of fogged out areas with the sketchy areas.

Monday

Sanctuary III

Mixed Media on 16x20 stretched canvas.
[acrylic, ink, drawing media]
This series is generating itself-- giving me lots of ideas of where I can go with this theme. I have a couple more in progress-- hoping to get to them soon. I am seeing in alot of ways, these are kind of refining or simplifying things I was playing with in the 'going green' piece I did earlier this year. Variation in the method of getting there, but similar in the mark markings.

Sunday

Sanctuary II

Mixed Media on 20x26 stretched canvas.
[acrylic, ink, drawing media]
A new one in the Sanctuary series. This one is layers of wet into wet washes of acrylic, ink and Inktense pencils on almost raw canvas for staining effects. Then some sharper contrasts put on top once it all dried. I'm starting to realize how my themes are all interconnected. This series as well really seem to be part of my Crossing Place series. Maybe we all have our thematic obsessions and really can't escape them?

Saturday

Sanctuary 1

Mixed media on 20x24 stretched canvas.
[acrylic, ink, drawing media]

I think this is the beginning of a new series-- I have the underpaintings in progress to explore a few more ideas with this theme-- I'm having alot of fun with these paintings-- mixing blending and layers of colours with sketchy forms and shapes. In this one, I love the magenta against orange and red orange.

Thursday

A Good day's Work

Letting in the Light II
Mixed media on 18x18 stretched canvas
3- 12x12 canvases
Letting in the light series

Finally I am getting some focused studio time... and finally starting to feel like I am making some progress. I finished 3- 12x12 canvases in between working on the 18x18 canvas. I am really liking this colour combination-- the lime green/ turquoise with violet red-- and a touch of the quin. gold I've been hoarding. These ones meet my ambiguous 'strange and otherly' criteria and I like looking at them. After monthes of working really hard, these ones came together in the flow of things-- I so wish I could arrange more of those hours/ days.

Wednesday

Anima Animus

Mixed Media on 2- 12x24 stretched canvases.
[acrylic, ink, drawing media]
Sometimes the unconscious is a richer pool for imagery than anything I could ever plan. Most days I try to give my self at least some time to just paint and see what happens-- no plan-- just jump in and follow the brush like meditation. I painted these ones upside down actually [another example of the muse getting my mind out of the way so she can do her thing] When I flipped them to more easily fix something on what I thought was the bottom, I got an uncanny sense of masculine and feminine-- thus anima/ animus. The oddest thing is I have been thinking about figures again-- not sure how they would develop just that they would be different from the handmade paper ones I used to make. But knowing any figures I did would be mythic and archetypal, representative of soul instead of realistic. I'm not sure this is how they will develop-- but I do think it is very interesting to uncover what's on the muses mind.

In Progress

Tuesday

Work in Progress


I am finding that white in addition to being useful for glazing and misting out an area, is very useful for revisions... I've been playing with this one for awhile-- just making marks and reshaping things... it is still too busy, but it gives me a sense of where I'm going... and maybe I don't have to be the gesso queen anymore!

Monday

Looking for advice

Passage 6
Mixed media on 22x30 stretched canvas.
[acrylic, ink, drawing media]
I decided to try the passage theme on stretched canvas. I worked this one wet in wet which is quite possibly my absolute favourite way to work. Because the canvas stays wet and absorbent alot longer than hardboard, I had alot longer time for blending and created some transitions I really like.
So I'm looking for advice-- does anyone know if you can stretch canvas over cradled hardboard? I like the hard surface of the hardboard but the absorbency of the canvas-- I think if I could have both I would have my ideal working surface. Any advice out there vis a vis whether this could be workable? anyone done it? would the canvas eventually be damaged by contact with the hardboard? if I used gesso first on the hardboard would that minimize deterioration? Any input appreciated...

Passage5

Mixed Media on 24x24 cradled hardboard.
[ink, acrylic, rice paper]

Thursday

Passage4

Mixed media on 24x24 cradled hardboard.
I've been trying to push myself out of my colour comfort zone. My usual palette tends toward analgous-- either all warm or all cool. This one was a real stretch-- mixing red and oranges with greens... trying to avoid that xmas look. Again the white glaze comes in handy... I have also been trying to bring in more mark making and symbology.

Monday

Wrinkle in Time2

Mixed media on 24x24 cradled hardboard.
[rice paper, ink, acrylic, monoprinting, collage]
Behind the scenes, I have continued my obsession with rice paper and monoprinting. The lighter central area is several ripped pieces of rice paper that I reverse monoprinted against various plastics. The border area are all monoprints where I used gesso as a resist on my handmade print plates, then washed colour over them. I am considering deepening the border area with a glaze of indigo, but I suspect the monoprints will be pretty much lost which may or may not be a good thing. For now, it is on the long wall of my Now Whats? Any opinions???

Wednesday

Exploring White

Work in progress.

One of the things I love about my work is there still alot to learn and One of the most frustrating things about my work is there is still alot to learn! I've been exploring white lately--- I tended to avoid white-- it was just too overpowering and chalky-- so usually if I wanted lighter areas I tended to use more of a watercolourist approach-- either using the white of the support and working transparently-- or thin it with lots of water so it was more of a wash... which just doesn't work with heavier bodied paint. So I finally figured out to mix it with alot of medium so it is more of a glaze and doesn't kill the colour when I mix it in. I'm sure it's not rocket science for most of you out there-- but sometimes this 'self taught' approach means learning things the hard way and this has been a revelation for me. I think I like white now-- it certainly has it's uses in layering color over colour.

Friday

Earth Forms

Uncharted Territory 8 and 9
Acrylic and inks on 2-12x24 stretched canvas.
I really like these long narrow canvases. These ones kind of painted themselves-- I did an underpainting of warm tones [yellow/ oranges/ red oranges] and let that dry. Then put the paintings on an angle and dripped and poured the cool tones and tints. These ones turned out interesting-- the third one is a mess--- but that's pretty good odds for playing!