I was driving through a nice afternoon rain shower and noticed how the sky was starting to open up. The sight real caught me as magical, rain was still coming down hard and yet grey grey everywhere except in this small portion of sky. When I see opportunities to observe what nature provides/skies I am usually driving so the overhead lines seem to always seek part of the stage. Darn things seem to always ruin the view…. however this time the contrast between thick and thin lines made the scene complete in my mind’s eye. As is my style the surface has quite a bit of texture, especially since the blues seemed too strong until I covered the whole piece with white tissue paper…got my colors right and got a lot of texture to boot. Not sure I am out of my slow period yet, but this is a nice start.
Every artist has pieces that never work out as well as they want. The masters just painted over them until they liked it enough to keep…I don’t by any stretch compare myself to them, but I am an artist…and I have pieces that don’t appeal to me as well as others…I present you with “5 What”, this has been worked many times until I just stopped..Sorry Mr. Robert Indiana, I couldn’t pull it off. Why show it? Because I think it is important as artist we don’t take ourselves too seriously and keep our ego in check, Besides I did have fun doing this piece.The background is interesting , all lines are actually hundreds and hundreds of fives done in many colors, then a tissue paper over lay. But even tho this piece wouldn’t make my top 10, or 50 or 100…it wasn’t wasted time. We prefect our craft by doing, at an earlier age i might have painted over this or torn it up and used pieces for something else…but this piece holds a more meaningful place among my works…my example/reminder of effort/ not quitting, every effort is worth my time…who knows this might be a perfect fit for Sesame Street ;-)
Here is the more focused and front on picture i promised. I continue to do these and i have in fact finished a 9th, still hasn’t got boring…not sure what that sayes about me…lol I really enjoyed building the texture as this has almost a relief look to it, especially the fingers and oranges. Had to color the hand as white was too dominate, notice the almost tattoed looking arm…don’t ask what the golden mass to right of the can is, I am still tring to figure it out…but it breaks the black up well :-)Click on the art until you get close-up view, I think it is worth seeing on these piece especially.
9×11 mixed media on watercolor paper.
Discovered some watercolor paper I had purchased from a Ben Franklin store in Topeka, most likely early 80’s…figured that based on the price of $2.65 for a pad of 20 sheets of 9×12. 80lb. stock. It is holding up to my techniques pretty well, normally I would prefer a heavier weight. Matters not as it works and having it in my hands I am making art…not sure if the dry streak is totally over, but it is a start…by the way I did do a 8th finger piece, I will save it for a later post.
Why do squirrels lose acorns? I think they are having so much fun gathering them, finding cool hiding places, teasing dogs, chasing other squirrels that once they go to sleep and wake up the next day its like “Groundhog Day”, …but with no recall of yesterday! I guess that’s just a nicer way of saying scientifically they have no memory of their stash, thus they gather hundreds…in hopes of finding dozens.
9×12 in. mixed media. Let me start by saying thank you to everyone, I have hit a milestone I never imagined I would get to…1000 followers!!!!!! … I reached that early today, it is very humbling and at the same time extremely uplifting . THANK YOU ALL
The long winded titled piece was done like some of my bubble tree series, without the trees. I had a preconceived idea about goosebumps…thus the title. It has a different feel than the others like it…but I can sense being in the water for sure. Not many have seen this piece so I will let you guys and gals tell me what you think.
9×12 in. mixed media. The tissue paper is almost not existent in this piece, but believe me the bold pink paper is there under several layers of work. Did quite a bit of sanding and carving through the surface of this piece. I let the finial few layers fill the gouges with their color as the under layers didn’t pop as much as I would like. Might not show very well in the pic but I have a fair amount of fine white and black lines near the surface. The theme in this carries forward my use of circles and angles quite well and with the mix of mat board pieces the texturing is very nice. The title? It is leading towards something and red might be warning as well as orange, where green is off the path…so use caution when stepping down the yellow path laid out…works for me…what do you think?
9×12 in. mixed media. Been working on and off on this one since the last very days of the London Olympics. Should have taking pictures of this as I was going along, I believe it changed at least a dozen times before I could keep my hands off it. Biggest issue was putting names of rail stations in, or not. It is what I envisioned in my head, names and letters, but I never could make it look the way I wanted. So then the challenge became making it work for my eye without. This is another piece that is better appreciated in person, for the coloring and details and texture. By the way Rio has some large shoes to fill, really enjoyed the opening and closing ceremories…plus track and field felt importance again…Mr. Bond and Mr. Bolt, thank you.
9×12 in. mixed media. If it’s too cold to skinney dip, then one can only bask in the warm rays of the mountain highlands by the lake during a full moon. Most likely this would just be slightly better than skinney dipping, goosebumps would be maxed out either way. Title obviously came to me as a continuation to my last BUBBLE TREE piece. Didn’t use as much tissue paper in this and I pulled out a trick I learned many years ago to get the right shading…shoe polish! Prior to that the shading wasn’t right for the feel I wanted…want to say the first time I saw this used was by a fellow student at Ottawa University. Never used it too much, kinda messy and gets on everything…the liquid polish doesn’t work as well as the paste type…rub and remove till you like it, then acrylic sealer. Funny how old studio tricks come back to ya… with this piece I believe I have enough to start a new catagory…Bubble Trees
9×12 in. mixed media. American flags by Jasper Johns are so iconic in modern art and I felt like doing something in that light, but different. Look close enough and you can see actual cornsilk in the piece, thought the name was just a bit of humor only…huh! Love the colors in this and besides using the cornsilk i had, i finally found a good use of my polka-dotted tissue paper. Mixed media artists can be such hoarders, for stuff they think they might need in the future…worked for me this time.
9×12 in. mixed media. From time to time I try to capture the aftermath or the beginning of a forest fire. I think it is because my sister works for the forest service in the western United States. Her dept. works on supplying the monies and resources so these brave people can work on prevention and fighting the fires when needed. Dauntless task, especially after the fire season we are having this year. My artistic visions fall more into the areas after the fires, and I try to create a feel of what was. In this piece the sun is shining brightly through a forest that is just a memory, reflecting off of ghostly trees rooted in bare exposed soil. I know nature has a way to start anew what these fires destroy, however in our lifetime these forest will never grow to be as majestic as they once were. Other mediums might lend themselves to creating this piece better, but I was trying to use the ones I know best…pen, marker, tissue paper, pencil, and acrylic.
11×14 in mixed media. The 3rd and final wave is up and running at the Putnam County Library and this is one of the pieces. Not sure how normal shows go but I was able to provide the public with 27 hand picked works over a 2 month period, 9 at a time. Feedback continues to be very favorable from visitors, which is greatly appreciated. Thanks again to Stacie Johnson.
On to this current piece…nature and the elements, kind of played with a reflective type theme…water, deep and shallow and moonlight…are those snowflakes?…maybe…is that mountains?…possible . The colors and texture have a brisk cool feel to them, and I really enjoyed changing the shades and hues as the trees came thru the piece. I might over-play the white outlining, but at this point I can’t see the work without it. I have used this style and technique on several pieces now, each one creates a different but pleasant mood for me while glazing at them…I hope it catches you in a similar fashion.
11×14 mixed media on bristol board. The title is a statement of fact, I used 42 year old ink. Not sure if that is special or not, but I can tell you it works a lot differently that newer inks I have. Has a nice grainy texture that leaves nice spaces for other colors to layer over it. I must of been a genius to think of that 42 years ago…or a little bit of a hoarding issue when it comes to art supplies. I was watching the London Olympics while doing this, but for the life of me couldn’t come up with a Olympic theme title that felt right…Floor Exercise in Yellow? Opportunity for me, a Olympic inspired piece before they end.
Mixed media 10×14 in. Variation of several ( Between, How Many Trees Make A Forest, The Stage Is Set.) of my other bubbleheaded tree works. At some point I may revisit these and either on a much smaller or much larger scale try to expand upon this. I don’t believe those are the great pyramids so I have added mountains to the mix. :-)
Mixed media 12×18 in. When doing a lot of my work I find working with a colored heavy paper part of the process, this one started as black. (for those that might know him… professor Pal Wright… Mr. Wright, I almost covered the whole sheet.) I did several under-layer imagines before I started covering the paper with tissue paper and then started working on top of that then more tissue paper then line and acrylic work. This was another piece that I let take me where ever it wanted…I just followed with my imagination and colors. When observing after it was completed, I couldn’t help but get a southwestern vibe with the yellows and oranges. The line work made me think about layout drawings or floor plans. I really like how the acrylic colors pull all of the other tissue paper colors into this piece, making them fit. I could get philosophical about the greens and nature, Indian culture and… but that would be BS…the colors work for me and I find this to be pleasing to look at, puts me in a good place. Mission Accomplished!
A 19×24 in. extremely mixed media. Before I get back to my current stuff I thought I might at least show one more, my first mixed media circa 1972. It was during a time when I was trying many different approaches to art and I personally liked Peter Max and the Beatles. (who didn’t at that time) This was about the time I changed majors from architecture to art education. It was also the first time I discovered tissue paper and recycling less liked art, of my own of course. This work uses flour, tissue paper, ink, pen, sand, paper, elmer’s, varnish, and papermate flairs. For being 40 years old it looks brand new, shining just it did then…can ya guess where the recycled art was useful?
Very mixed up 12×18 in. We are all connected in some way today with each other and more importantly the world, more so than any other time in history. Where all of this will take us, only time will tell. From my standpoint seeing art from fellow bloggers on the other side of the world, or sharing data/thoughts/ideas makes this such a wondrous time. I gave this piece some thought as it was developing and the brite circles of colors are ideas, seen through different eyes (the tissue paper) and they are all around us, obviously the white lines are our connections…phone, pictures, tv, computers, snail mail…anything that lets us share. The little silver metal dot is us taking it in, in our own private world (black area). The gold circle is like the potential we have and the black lined area is boundaries that some of us stay within, and others venture outside. This is about as deep as I currently get…been watching too much PBS ;-) By the way I like brite vs. bright in case you haven’t noticed, my rebelliousness to Webster.
Mixed media 9×12 in. Something is ready to happen, but what? Where is this place or where in time is it? This is nature in a pure untainted state ready for the next step/phase/act/scene…but what? Almost a Seuss feel to it without a hint of …whatever is next !!!
Mixed media 12×18 in. Had this piece for awhile and naming it wasn’t easy, kept getting Universe/Space type things in my head…to sci-fi. Then last week my kids were talking about how things today are so much more than what my wife and I had. Then a commercial came on stating how this isn’t your mother’s sedan or something to that nature. BINGO I knew I had a match… funny how that works sometimes ! This piece is heavy with texture for me and I tried using some metal pieces (thank you Fleetguard) I have had staring at me for years on my table. USEme USEme USEme… I like the effect and might have to do a few more incorporating them in my works. I like the way the site lines work in this piece…I wanted a quick but hard edge so I used a ruler. I also tried wax in this in a few key areas, not bad…the rest of the piece is heavy with tissue paper and line work.
Mixed media 12×18. I have done 6 of these trees/water/leaves/reflection type pieces and still find things to do with them. I wanted a lot more of the reflective look on this one thus the moon and the squiggly lines. It made the waves/water more pronounced, I also used more green and brown shades. I have been toying with having some sort of abstract aquatic life near the surface…I promise it won’t be Nessie, but that would be a thought….