Saturday, October 10, 2015

ceramics, 10-10-2015

Some new hand built ceramic bowls and a tray for some of the up coming shows.  The large bowls are the thinnest I have made to date.  They are becoming more and more egg shell-like.  They are 12" and 15" across and weigh next to nothing.  Very hard to achieve in ceramics.  Hope you like them.

15" hand built ceramic bowl

12" hand built ceramic bowl

7" hand built ceramic bowl

6" hand built ceramic bowl in red clay with white engobe textured on the outside, no glaze.  

8" leaf tray, stained, no glaze, can be used with dry food.

detail of leaf texture on tray

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Walking Stick, cloth wrapped 9-13-15

I am painting the stairs to the basement today so while I was waiting for the paint to dry, I made this walking stick by wrapping it with cloth my mother had from the 1950's.  I have been saving it for over 20 years for something special.  As I don't really sew, I decided that this was a good way to use the fabric.  It is bright and colorful and 'soft'.  This one is for a friend, but I think I will make one for myself, some for the grandchildren, and possibly a couple for sale, if anyone is interested.
Cloth wrapped walking stick

Detail of walking stick.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Cement Table Top Fire Bowls, Aug. 31, 2015

I'm working on a new idea for some up coming craft fairs.....Table Top Fire Bowls!  Some people are unable to have fire pits where they live so how about a miniature fire for your patio table?  Or several of them scattered at the edge of your patio to bring some light and flames while you relax in the evening.  These are just small 'test' pieces to see what works and what doesn't, but I'm liking them....even in their small size.  When I decide what works best, I will make some larger ones to place around the patio when I don't feel like taking time to light a big fire in our fire pit.  I'm really liking this idea.  Hope you do to!  These will be for sale.  Watch for a post in a week or so to see the different sizes, designs and prices.

Plain fire bowl on table top.

Mosaic fire bowl on end table on patio.

Plain and mosaic small fire bowls at edge of steps to patio.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Spirit of the Deep--7-28-15

.I am just at the beginning of a new painting inspired from an incredible root system that was under water at Red Lake in one of the coves last week.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  One little stump, broken off about a foot above water and about the size of my upper arm, had a root system under the water that was about 8-10 feet square!!!!!!!!!  It must have had four or five layers from top to bottom and they all wove in and out of each other up and down and around………….so unusual and incredibly beautiful.  The more I thought about it, the more it seemed that all of our roots of our lives are like this, all interwoven throughout the generations, past and present and future all intertwining and growing outward with each new generation.  So, the beginning of a new painting.  We’ll see where it leads me.  

Remember, it is only a start……MANY layers to go yet.  

Background of 50"x58" raw canvas painting using liquid acrylics on wet canvas in a wet on wet watercolor technique.  There are two layers.  The first layer had three colors of yellows/golds.  I hung it on the line to semi dry and then added my version of burnt sienna, lime and dark green and turquoise in the wet on wet technique.  I hung it on the line to completely dry

When it was completely dry, I drew the details of the roots in white chalk.  I then wet individual sections of the roots with water, colored that section with pastels, then added more water with a soft brush to blend and smooth the pastels.  This also 'sets' the pastel and there will be no powder when it is dry.  Half of the roots are filled in at this point.  

First layer of detailing roots is complete.  

I did not get to work on my painting today as I had to work in my studio on some ceramic commissions I have.  My cat, Tucker, has been on the painting ALL day today.  In fact he was on it when I went to bed last night.  I don't know if he is giving his approval of what I've done so far, or if I'm getting the 'thumb's down' from him!!!!!!!!!!!  What do you think?  :D

Added the under roots in plain pastels, no shading with each of the three layered roots getting thinner and thinner and darker.  

The water surface layer was added on wet canvas in the wet on wet watercolor technique using liquid and watered down acrylics.  This is three layers of dark as I'm being overly cautious of getting it too dark.  I like this and will add, hopefully, only one more layer of a dark color over parts of this.  

At this point, I am thinking of adding the stump coming out of the water with new growth coming out of the top of the stump and the deep shadow of the stump in the water. 

I will continue to post photos as I progress through the layers of this painting.  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Gelli Plate Print Experiments 6-28-2015

I will be giving a demonstration of Gelli Plate Prints at the July meeting of the North Central Kansas Association of Artists.  I thought I would make some samples of various textures, techniques and ink application so I will have them to show the members.  I pulled over 20 prints today, most just examples, and a few that I may use for backgrounds for Spirit paintings.  I also found that the 'clean up sheet' that I used to roll the excess ink from the brayer came out interesting enough that I may use them for backgrounds or collages!  

I watched several videos on Gelli Plate prints last night and found a few new techniques that have come about since I taught at CCCC and last did Gelli prints.  One technique uses packing tape to LIFT a dried design that has been layered on the plate and dried between each layer.  My Spirit paintings are made by layering various medias to create the textures and depth, so I thought I would try this method and see how it comes out.

Here are just a few of the examples I made for the demonstration:

This is a negative print of a mesh bag and water spritzed onto the inked plate.

This is the positive print of the mesh bag and the texture made by rubber brushes.

This is an example of LIFTING the dried residue left on the plate by applying a wet coat of ink over the dried residue and then immediately pulling a print!  For this technique, one needs to do detail work on the plate, let it dry and then apply a uniform coat of ink.  I love this and want to try some more intricate designs.

Here is the process of layering various textures and allowing them to dry between each layer.  Then LIFTING ALL of the layers off with packing tape.  This is my first try at this so we will see if it works as good and easily as the videos made it look!!!  :D

Masked areas of torn paper and flower.  Two pieces of paper mask have already been lifted off the inked surface.

Here the paper mask pieces are on the left with the inked Gelli Plate on the right with the masked areas appearing darker.....they will be CLEAR when the design is lifted with the packing tape.

Here is the inked plate with the masked areas showing clear (plate is on a white sheet of paper.).

Here I have applied seven layers of texture:  1.bubble wrap inked and printed on the dried plate 2.mesh bag printed with dark blue paint 3.purple stamp pad painted and printed 4.dark blue filled in circles printed by dipping the end of a pencil in the paint 5. dark blue open circles made by dipping the end of a straw into the paint 6. texture of the head/seeds of the flower made by dipping the point of a wooden tool into metallic gold paint 7. metallic gold paint splattered on the plate by dipping the end of a tooth brush into the paint and flipping the bristles.

Eighth layer was made by dipping the end of a plastic cup and end of the lid of a medicine bottle into dark blue paint and printing the circles onto the plate.  Ninth layer was made the same way using the cap of the metallic gold paint and dipping it into the paint.

The piece is then allowed to thoroughly dry before applying the tape to the plate to lift the design.  The design will appear EXACTLY as it is right now.  

Lifting the print from the Gelli Plate.  The packing tape was laid down on top of the DRY paint and then rubbed with a rounded, scooped end of a wooden tool (or you can use your thumb, pressing very hard).  Then, simply remove the tape (make sure that your tape is longer on both ends than the Gelli Plate so it can be easily picked up and lifted from the plate.)  by lifting it up off the plate.  IF some of the print does not lift, IMMEDIATELY lay that part of the tape back down and press with the wooden tool again.  It should lift from the plate.  If it does not, it is probably because the paint was not completely dry.

Then lay the tape, sticky side down, on whatever surface you want to use it on.  Here I placed two strips on aluminum foil so that the clear areas (where the masks were) are now metallic silver.

When I cleaned out my mother's house, I found some disposable aprons that are, I think, vellum with a very soft floral print .  My mom used these for fancy parties and they were SO cool and said so much about that era, that I have held on to them, knowing I would use them at some point in my art.  My art is very contemporary, but I thought the soft floral design of the apron, would look nice peeking through the petal of my print.  I am not sure how I will display this one.  I may use it in another piece.  We'll see where it ends up.

This print is placed over part of a newspaper article on a one man show I had in Junction City, KS last October (2014).  

The piece on the left is a full strip of print placed on dark purple card stock.  The piece on the right is the quarter inch strip of ink that is left over from the width of the four strips of tape not quite matching the full width of the Gelli Plate.  I am not one to waste anything, and actually liked this narrow strip.  I will probably use it in another piece.  

I'm not sure how I would use this technique, but it was fun to experiment with it. Hope you enjoyed seeing some of the possibilities of Gelli Plate printing.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Garden Projects for the house 6-2015

I'm taking some time to get some projects done around the house and yard that I have been putting off for much too long.  The main one is painting the faded shutters on the house.  We have a gray house with black shutters and I think it is time to and a little zing to our plain rectangular house.  So bright blue shutters were the first order of business.  Then I took the old wooden bench I picked up at a garage sale for a dollar and painted it blue, and added the same size star on it that has hung on my daddy's barn since before I was born!  I'm now working on an old, old wooden high chair that my mother-in-law gave me years ago.  I'm painting it to go with the bench and shutters.  It will end up in the garden somewhere.

The grands came up a couple weeks ago and we worked on some cement leaves.  We had such fun making them.  They are coming again this weekend and we will decide how to display them around the cherry tree by their Cherry Tree House.  Lots of fun projects to start our summer off just right!  Hope you enjoy.

Blue accents on front door and wooden bench by entrance.

Blue shutters all around.  

Cement leaves with light acrylic washes to add color.

2 more cement leaves, one hollyhock, one rhubarb, with acrylic washes.

2 plain cement leaves in garden with one small cement leaf with acrylic wash on limestone slab.

Grands' HUGE rhubarb cement leaves under cherry tree by the gate to their Cherry Tree House.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Spirit of His Kingdom, Power, and Glory Forever, May, 2015

This is my first major painting in awhile.  It is inspired from my visit to the redwoods on my trip to California in April.  These magnificent trees touched my very was like entering a sacred place, spiritual and magical and awe inspiring.  Some of the trees are over 1000 years old and yet their roots run just under the top of the ground.  It is hard to capture the perspective.  A person standing by this tree would barely come above the round base on the right.  We counted around ten different languages and people of all ages, and yet the quiet was powerful.....everyone spoke barely above a whisper, if at all.....even the children.  The pinecone from these HUGE trees is the actual size of the drawing in the blue square.....extremely small compared to the tree.  May the spirit of this painting touch your soul and allow us all to remember His Kingdom, Power and Glory forever.

Spirit of His Kingdom, Power, and Glory Forever, May, 2015; mixed media--scraped acrylic, acrylic wash, pastel, ink, printing, metallic acrylic, text all on raw canvas.  This will be mounted on a floating frame.  44" tall by 18" wide

Tree top done in cheesecloth

Ink drawing of the pinecone is the actual size of the real pinecone from this HUGE tree.

Lord's Prayer on metallic gold paint

Base of the tree.  A person would come approximately to the top of the round area on the right of the base of the tree, but be dwarfed by the width of that round area.  The dark area was a space that had had fire open wound.