Sunday, June 29, 2014

Asian Brush Painting Show

I had the pleasure of attending an intimate art show at the Stinson Beach Library, to celebrate the artwork of my friend Sandy.  The show runs though July - so you can make a visit!
 Here she is with some of her beautiful Chinese brush paintings.  She has been studying with the master painter Madeline Fu for several years.
 
Here is a close-up of one of her paintings - so much beautiful detail.  In case you have wondered about the red square stamps on Chinese artwork - it is a custom stamp with Sandy's Chinese name.  All the artists use them. 
We had a lovely drive though the hills and forests of West Marin, and had lunch at the Breakers with some dear friends.  A wonderful way to spend a sunny summer's day in Marin County...thank you Sandy!

Fantasy Landscape Workshop

I took a workshop with Chris Cozen at A Work of Heart in San Jose last weekend with my art buddies Z and S.  it was a long drive - but it was TOTALLY worth it! 
We spent the day in the art filled store and studio space creating two fantasy mixed media collages.
We were asked to bring two images to use as inspiration.  I printed the pic above - showing the famous Faraglioni rocks off the coast of Capri in Italy's Amalfi coast.
We started by identifying the horizon line and copying it to our wrapped canvas with a pencil.  Then add a few key features.  the intent was to be inspired by our image - not to necessarily copy it exactly.
Here is Chris demonstrating how to create a light wash of colour for the background - starting with the earth. She uses all Golden brand paints - which have the intensity to handle being watered down with glazes and mediums and still maintain the vibrant colours.
Here is the little "kit" of Golden paints we were given as part of the class.  Of course we could use any other of the dozens of other paints and supplies to create our artwork.
Here is my first layer of paint - the water around Capri. I mixed assorted blues and aquas with glazing liquid.
Here is after I added some greens and ochres for the islands.
 
then comes the fun part!  we each brought a ziplock bag of paper scraps and ephemera - plus Chris had more to share.  We tore or cut pieces of papers to add colour, texture and interest to the painting.
Here is Chris demonstrating adding collage to one of her dark canvases.
 
Here it mine with more playing around and experimenting with bits of collage. Next step - glue it all down with matte medium.
Here is my second fantasy landscape - a misty image of a Tuscan hill town.
First step, transfer the horizon line and the hills to the canvas with a pencil.
Second step add some paint wet on wet to create a background.
 
 
Then fill in with a little more definition.
 
 
Next comes the scraps and bits of collage.
 
Here is the final outcome!  after all the collage was glued down I added more colour with glazes and finished the sky.
Here are some of my fellow students work - so varied and SOOOO beautiful:





This ethereal tree is by my friend Z.  She wants to add more layers and colour to add depth to the leaves and branches.
this colourful seascape is by my friend S.
and here is S's second landscape - still very much a work in progress - but looking pretty good!
What a fun and creative day we had.  Chris was an excellent teacher who gave us lots of personal attention.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Collage Canvas Play Date

 Our latest play date was all about collage.   We were inspired by a piece in the MOCA museum book art show by Louise Forbush.  I tried to recreate the look of her collage by using assorted pieces of neutral coloured ephemera glued to a 12" square canvas with matte medium.
 
 
I added a row through the middle using blue-ish papers.  I added a light wash of gesso to create more contrast. I wasn't sure what to do next - it still needs something.  so I went ahead and started another.
 For this one I created sections of colour using all vintage papers - blues, pinks and yellows.  I've been "living" with it for a week now, trying to figure out what to do next!
 Here is D's canvas - a work in progress.    She started with a text background and added some buildings to create a skyline.
 Here is S's canvas in progress.   She also started with a text background and is creating a sort of landscape with bits of colourful papers.
This is K's work.  She was inspired by a street scape by the artist  - using  Asian text and handmade papers.
 Here is it one step further along.
And here is Z's collage - she did a smaller layered composition with various papers and added a quote and a piece of found barbed wire!

Altered Book Swap - Cherry Red and Teal


I just finished working in D's latest altered book - Cherry Heaven Teal.  She created a beautiful altered book for our 2014 colour swap using a book titled Cherry Heaven.  She added two vials attached with wires, each filled with colourful beads.

Here is an example of one of her deep and richly textured spreads.  D. really loves texture and colour to create interest in her altered books.
For my first spread I chosen to do an Asian theme.  I dug out my folder filled with Asian themed papers and illustrations and found these ornate gold doors. 
Open the doors and inside are more exuberant Asian interiors.  all featuring the theme colours red and teal.
Here is another portal- using a red chest with an Asian medallion.
Inside is a pretty figurine holding a little butterfly.
Here is another look at the left inside flap - with a collage of origami paper, a Japanese sticker and a bird and cherry blossom branch cut from wrapping paper.
For my second spread I started with a background of a legal stock document with bold red scrollwork.  I added a marble statue face on the left, and a series of renaissance images on the right.  I was playing with profiles.  Four faces - 4 eyes.
The faces flip open to reveal a little red bird atop a pedestal.  I added the words cut from a catalog - "Captivating Curiosity".
 
Here is a shot of the beautiful sign in page D created in the back of her book.  On the right is a niche containing a small religious statue, surrounded by paper flowers.
And finally here is my sign in tag - more Asian papers and another bird!
Check out the other books in this years swap Here:
Pink, Green, Purple and Bling.  We will start over again for the second half of the year.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bling - Altered Book

 This month I had my friend S's book to work in - BLING!  She created a black and white and sparkly book from a binder style bound book with assorted printed pages.  Love the lavish use of stones and metallic.
 We were asked to create spreads using black and white (or cream) and to add some bling - hence the name.  Here are the little sign in cards - we were to decorate and sign a blank card.  I clipped a bunch of black and white graphics from decorating catalogs.
 For my first spread I was drawn to this gentleman with a striped suit.  I thought he should look over his shoulder at some femme fatale. I placed this lady in white beneath a striped tent and glass star lantern.  I stenciled the background with gold ink pad and a stiff brush.  the ruffled ribbon was the perfect striped final touch to add texture! 
For my second spread I found these two ladies in black gowns in a magazine.  I thought they'd look great with a zebra to ride!  I collaged the background with some dictionary text and copper snail tape.  then added some words clipped from a Ralph Lauren ad - a  bit of creative poetry.  I added some black tulle netting to the gowns to add some volume.  and some swirly copper adornments to create bigger headwear.  then some jet black stones to create a yoke and reins for the zebra.

To see the other color themed altered books  from our 2014 round robion swap, click here:
 PINK, GREEN, PURPLE.
Next up - Red and Teal!