Thursday, November 29, 2007

Virtues in Rhyme Series: With Peace in Her Heart.

I have started a little series of 4 paintings, mixed media and collage, which when finished, will read as a little poem. Each title will stand on its own but when the four are placed on the wall together, the four titles will complete a poem. I have titled the series, Virtues in Rhyme.

I have been a big fan of Matthew Kelly for years. After finishing his book, Perfectly Yourself, 9 Lesson for Enduring Happiness, I decided to pick some of my favorite virtues and create works around them. The poem idea just sort of happened.

The work is 8 by 10 finished size and the drawing was done on top of the collaged papers. Usually I will draw my work on altered papers and then collage them to a painted background so this is a little different. The title is "With Peace in Her Heart." And the second one in this series is almost completed. I just have to varnish it. The title for that piece will be "Hope in her Soul." These works are for the Raue Center show next May.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Found Art Tuesday: 11/27/07- Woman

My Thanksgiving holiday was filled with familiar smells, relaxation, and being with my family. It was wonderful to have this precious time...the children did not have much homework nor did they have any dance. We just hung out.

On Saturday I had a once in a lifetime experience. My family and I went to see an art exhibit at the Milwaukee Museum of Art The feature exhibition was the work of Martin Ramirez As an artist, I must say next to seeing Picasso's Guernica in Spain, this was the best exhibit I had been to in years. I was so incredibly moved by his work. His history is so sad, but the art he made brought a sort of sanity to his existence. Martin's home was Mexico where he had a wife and 4 children.. He came to America in the 1920s in search of work. For a time he worked on the railroad and then in the fields. Then in 1931 for reasons unknown, he became confused and despondent and was found on a roadside.. He was unable or unwilling to communicate in English so he was committed to a mental hospital. And there he remained for 30 years. Can you imagine, 30 years! To keep patients occupied, nurses and doctors would allow them to color and scribble. While I bet many did not take advantage of that, Martin did. He drew and he drew and he drew with anything he could get his hands on. His substrates included the papers that they used on hospital tables/bed, napkins, paper bags, etc.. His collage work was done using a homemade glue from his saliva and potatoes. He used graphite, crayons, watercolors, pastels to create his drawings. And if you look closely at his work, I swear the guy never erased anything! Tragically, many of his works were lost because the orderlies would throw them out at the end of the day (clutter you know). But many of his works did survive thanks to the psychiatrist that worked with him.

Now that brings me to my found art for this week. The topic was woman and I had planned on something very different. After seeing this exhibit I decided to do something in Martin's style. This is a blatant copy and blend of two of his drawings. There is no originality what so ever, but hopefully I can remedy that. I did a small note card and plan to include a brief explanation of Martin's work and maybe a little about him. I did the drawing in marker and used oil pastels to color. I really can't even begin to say I feel his style. As a native to Mexico, his work drew from his experiences and memories of his homeland, none of which I share. The style of his work is so foreign to me.... Anyway I call this Ode to M.R. and one day I hope to do something a little larger scale that has a little more of me in it. Please take a look at the link above...his work is so worth a look see.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Found Art Tuesday 11-13-07 : Voice

I worked into this piece through a back door. My mind works all the time and it seems, sometimes, that I am wired way different than many of my friends! I am working on a 11 by 14 stretched canvas. And I came across an alcohol reduction method in the current issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. The technique has certainly been around for some time, or at least versions of it. And I have happily been using rubbing alcohol with my acrylics for at least two years. So what makes this method a little different from what I am doing is that the author of the article (Patricia Eggebruch) paints her entire gessoboard with 7 to 10 layers of acrylic paints ,different colors, and then rubs areas of her board with rubbing alcohol to reveal rich colors beneath the top most layers. I thought her work was way cool so I really wanted to try it with my canvas. The canvas piece is in a painful stage right now. I am stuck from a composition view point. And I am nervous about covering up everything. So as I fretted about all this I thought that I should try out this technique on a scrap of Illustration board.

Switch to the found art topic of Voice. I could not get the phrase out of my mind.."And a voice cried out in the dark." Don't know where I heard that or if I read it, or made it up..but that darn phase would not get out of my head. I pictured darkness with words being voiced. So in between waiting for collaged items on my canvas to dry, I picked up a scrap of illustration board and went at it. I now understand why gessoboard or ampersand board is used. You have to have a firm surface to be able to work through the multiple layers of paint. I am still going to try this with my canvas but I am still a little leery because the stretched canvas is flimsy. Oh well at least I am not going into it blind. So my piece is called "Help Me," and it is my "voice" in the dark. Weird huh? The image is about 3 3/4 inches by 6 inches. Acrylics, inks and words from a book were used.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Found Art Tuesday 11-6-07: Book

Better late than never...that is my motto for today. My Found Art this week has to do with a "Book." I settled on a bookmark with a reading theme. The background has torn pages from a variety of books that I keep for art purposes. The art was done on watercolor paper and is mixed media and collage.

For these little projects, I like to start on Tuesday and finish up on Tuesday. When I am doing collage work, I try to let my layers air dry. So this will usually take 3-4 hours to complete even the simplest collage for found art work. I had thought about making a book or altering a small kids board book but unfortunately, I tend to take a long time doing those sorts of projects. It would be hard for me to part with an altered book.

Another Tuesday...come and gone..November marches on...


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Fairy of the Woodland Glade 11-6-07

I final signed sealed and mounted my third fairy in my fairies of the ballet series. She is the third having to do with Sleeping Beauty. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, my children danced in this ballet two years and running. I become so immersed in their performances and would often find myself composing works in my head as I am watching the ballet. Several of the fairies, performed by beautiful young dancers from the Svalander School of Ballet in Crystal Lake, IL, were just waiting for my imagination and some watercolor paper.

This is a mixed media collage work on watercolor paper. Portions of the ballet program were included as they were for my previous two fairies from this ballet. My fairy is a transfer of a clip art image and her dress is a transfer from a photograph. She will take her place next to the other fairies in a gallery show next spring.