Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What I learned today...

Really, that sounds too hilarious....as if I should be writing the september class assignment "what I did during my summer holidays"...anyway, here's what I learned today.
OK, I started off with a monoprint of the coffee cup and the word Java!.  I then wrote onto the page, with permanent pen using words to describe coffees, anywhere I might want a shadow.  Then I wanted to play with matte medium and Yes! paste.  I know that matte medium creates something of a resist, so I painted matte medium everywhere I didn't want the paint to appear, including over some of the wording.  I also stamped here and there with the matte medium.  After that, I affixed some letters, cut out of rice paper, to the page using Yes! paste.  Then I started painting.  Paint on the copy paper (on the left) resisted the medium differently than on the paper of my sketchbook. I think I like the copy paper better, for here, anyway.  Where I had applied the letters with the paste wasn't extremely successful, I don't think, because the paste seemed to re-wet which I didn't like.  (I did discover, as a by-the-way, that Yes! paste is acid-free but not archival, just so you know.)  Here is a close-up of the cup.
All in all, it was a fun day. I suppose tomorrow I should think about housework.  Sometimes thinking can take up a lot of time.  I'll think about that, too. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Time for Tea.

A couple of small successes to celebrate!!! I fussed with monoprinting for a couple of days and did a bunch of reading about the subject.  And then I just tried again!! And it worked this time.  I used far less ink (in this case, acrylic and a retarder) on the plate and applied it with a roller.  And I used a sharper instrument to draw with.  Much better.  I then applied the piece to the page using matte medium and then went over that with clear gesso.  (Thanks, Carissa, I had forgotten that I could paint on top of clear gesso.)  It does leave quite a tooth so I didn't use my good brushes, but I was pleased with the results nonetheless.  Nothing 'melted' under the gesso and it dried quickly.  Such fun.  The bottom of the page is actually pale yellow but it got sort of washed out in the photo.  You'll have to pretend!
The quote here is from a poem by Rupert Brooke called The Old Vicarage, Grantchester.  It fitted the image quite nicely! 
So that's it for today.   Back soon.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Experiments with gouache

This is an experimental page created from a suggestion on the Kemshall website DesignMattersTV (it's great! do check it out, enjoy the free videos and then maybe sign up!).  Following the instructions from Linda Kemshall,  I painted an image in gouache, let it dry, then painted over the whole page with Indian Ink and let that dry.  Then you wash off the page and the gouache, which isn't waterproof, washes off, taking the Indian ink with it.  Voila!  It's a neat technique with a lot of possibilities I think.  I'll play with it some more.  Here I just popped it on to a watercolour-painted page without bothering to integrate it at all. I can't quite decide how I would do that....I'll have to ponder.
In the meantime, the birds are singing outside and the days are getting longer.  And today the sun will be shining.  It's all good!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yes! paste experiments

I'm frustrated that I can't draw or paint with watercolours on top of matte medium once I've affixed something to one of my pages.  So I experimented with Yes! paste.  I used it to paste some tissue paper onto a page (that had not been previously prepared with anything).  I then drew on the page with permanent pens and HB pencil.  I did some shading with the pencil as well.  Then I painted into the page with watercolours.  I tried lifting some of the paint at one point and the permanent pen lifted as well (!!).  Also, where I had done some drawing and shading with the pencil, the watercolour, that is, the water, lifted away all the graphite as well.  Before painting, any graphite marks smudged badly .  I used inktense pencils on the tissue and it seemed to hold.  But it does mean I can paint onto a page once I've affixed something with tissue paper and so far, the edges don't seem to be a problem because I find they sometimes show quite badly with matte medium.  The page might need to be set with a fixative once completed.  So lots more experimenting to do yet.  But I think I will use the Yes! paste again, just keeping all of this in mind.  I still have to try it with a page that is already painted on...I forgot to paint a bit before I started laying on the paste and tissue.  Next time....
 I'd love to hear what experiences you've had with this medium.....any thoughts????

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Crayon rubbing and reading.

We've got lots of snow and ice and temperatures that won't move above zero.  Very unusual for where I live.  And not my favourite, may I say???!!! Almost slipped on the ice when I went out with bird seed this morning.  Oh my goodness.  Makes one want to stay inside and just play.  Or read.  I've been reading, and reading, and reading.  My favourite escape!
This is a piece prepared with crayon-rubbed rice paper inked over with procion.  Two methods I really enjoy.  And colours I really enjoy. 
And I enjoy a cup of rooibos tea.  Good sipping to read by.  Yup, definitely reading.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

X marks the cup.

I messed about with some of my watercolours today and painted this little wobbly picture of my coffee cup.  It was fun.  I'm using Cerulean blue, Aureolin yellow and Genuine Rose Madder.  I like the pastel shades one can get with watercolours.  I think next time I would leave out the shadow under the cup and the handle.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Happy Hour"

Here is my latest, done with hand-made (by me!!!) stamps and painted in quite pale watercolours.  I liked the starkness of the images and didn't want to mess them up with dark colours in the background, but I may have erred on the side of too-pale.  Oh well!!!  I have lots more ideas bustling around about these images and have prepared a page with gesso to begin. 
And once again, whilst I don't usually name my pieces, this one I am calling "Happy Hour".  I'm thinking of doing this one on fabric as well.  So, lots to get at!!! Gotta go!! 
Back soon.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The self portrait.

OMG, this is a difficult thing to do, posting a picture, however changed, of oneself.  And the first ones I posted to the class were like offering up a limb!!!! But anyway, now it is a matter of simply fodder for the lines and shapes.  Such an interesting process, this art-making business.  As I said on the class blog, when you take an art class you bring out so much more than just paint!!! So, anyway, here is my latest take, literally!!  It's about 9 x 12, tissue paper image of moi over a painted background and then with all kinds of painted and stamped tissue paper on top of that.  Whew!
check out Jane's on-line classes.  http://www.janedaviesstudios.com/

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

I cannot believe how quickly the time is passing.  But it struck me again this morning that, now that I'm retired, I can do whatever I want.  It is so incredible and I am so incredibly lucky.  So I have been painting again, and more.  I wanted to use a bit of green in a piece although this is maybe more than a bit!  But the next one I'm working on is also going to have green in it....so perhaps I'm looking forward to spring.   This is another watercolour with altered photos, tissue paper, gesso, pen and oil pastels.  I'll finish up the next one and then it's back to acrylics for a while. 
And one of the Jane Davies' classes I'm taking is about the self-portrait.....and I realized that that means that I have to look at myself to work the pieces.....omg, I didn't think of that!!.....have you read Sylvia Plath's poem 'Mirror'?  So.....I cannot believe how quickly the time is passing.....