Winter Trees

I know I should be working on my canvas, and I plan to tomorrow.  Really!  However, today I worked on this piece that has been sitting on my easel for an awfully long time.  It started out as a work on aluminum foil that didn’t work.  Then I painted over it with black and called it Midnight Bloom.  Still, it didn’t seem right.  Eventually I applied white gesso over the surface.  Right around that time I also took pictures of the snow-covered trees outside my window.  I realized that the pictures rather resembled my piece.  So, after a full year (I told you it had been sitting for quite a while!) I sketched on trees in roughly the pattern that they appeared in my picture.  Then I put a wash of acrylic onto them.  It’s just a start but I am happy with the results already.  Now I have two pieces to work on which I think is better.  When one is drying I can move to the other.

Color Blocks

This miniature collage started in one place and ended in another.  Another example of my art telling where it needs to go!  I began by applying a thick layer of gesso to a large postcard.  Once it was dry I drew designs on it with a water-soluble crayon and softened it with water.  Today began using watercolor to add detail to the surface.  But unfortunately I ended up with what looked like a face, and an unhappy one at that.  So, I had some tissue paper close at hand and began applying it in small pieces.  As I went along the pieces grew larger and the result much more compelling.  I love the color blocks in this and the way you can see through the layers.  It was a good start to my day and though I would love to move onto my large canvas  right now the grocery store beckons.  Ugh!

Altered Book Spread 6

Here is the latest installment in my altered book.  I started this spread by gluing down two layers of tracing paper.  This gave me a nice textured surface from which to work.  I next mixed some green watercolor and applied a watery layer of it to the page enjoying the way in settled into the wrinkles on the paper.  Once that had dried I lightly dabbed the surface with gesso and then went further to rub some of the wrinkles with the gesso to pick up the design of the texture.  I added some blue and red watercolor over this but was not thrilled with the result.  Once that had dried a bit I went back over the entire surface with a watery layer of gesso tinted with a bit of watercolor.  I liked the pastel color of the surface after that application.  Today I added the marker designs at the bottoms of the pages.  The green was a bit stronger than I would’ve liked.  However, it does lend some nice contrast.  The pink was just the right intensity for the effect I was seeking.  Overall I am pleased with the result.

Winter Lace

This is a new work that I started today.  It is based off an old piece that I have reworked a couple of times now.  The original piece was started on foil.  I layered it with acrylic, colored over it with crayon, and added a bit of paper along the way.  Yet, I have never felt I achieved a result where I could call it “done”.  Hence, I have pulled it out and started embellishing once again.  I’m sure I am headed the right direction this time as I already like it better than in its last incarnation.  Today I merely added gesso to the surface and stippled it with crumpled wax paper.  The gesso felt too heavy in some areas so I took a wet paper towel and wiped away some gesso away and then stippled it a bit more.  It left this area that looks rather like a portal to me.  My plan was to add a layer of tracing paper and create a piece rather like Winter Ascent.  However, I need to let it sit a bit to decide whether that is the right direction.  Work and wait – work and wait.  Story of my art making!

Rainy Amusement Park

This name comes from the fact that when I look at this piece I see a roller coaster in the upper right corner.  The colors seemed right for an amusement park and I also thought of melted ice cream cones.  This piece had many incarnations as I tried to achieve a finished result with which I could be happy.  There are layers of gesso, watercolor, and cray pas.  I like the line work and decided it was finally done.

It’s Monday and we are drawing close to Christmas.  Usually I have all my shopping done by Thanksgiving, and yet this year I am still not finished.  You would think that would be stressful, but I don’t feel stressed at all.  I’m confident it will get done.  I have been able to do some of the things that I decided at the beginning of the month were most important: getting a Christmas tree, making Biscochito’s, and attending the Messiah performance at my church.  Making Biscochito’s is a tradition that we picked up from my sister-in-law.  They are a state cookie of New Mexico, flavored with anise, and are wonderfully delicious.  I made 6 dozen and I’m SURE they will all get eaten!  Along the way we strung our outside lights, which was important to my daughter, and had fun at the garden center where we got our tree.  I hope that I can retain the peace and joy I feel right now right through the holiday.

Ascent to the Clouds

I thought I would post one of my works in progress for something different.  This piece has undergone so many transitions I can’t keep count.  I’ve never been satisfied so I keep recreating it.  That’s a benefit of collage – you don’t have to be done.  Just add another layer or some more paint!  To be brief about how I got to this state, it has many layers of pictures and tracing paper.  Most recently I added some rectangular grids and then gessoed the entire surface.  While the gesso was still wet I worked over the surface with a crumpled up plastic bag.  I pressed and turned to create a rather stippled surface.  It sat like that for quite a long time.  Sunday I grabbed some blue watercolor and did broad washes of color over the surface.  I liked how the color settled into the gessoed texture.  Today, I have been working to delineate some of the shapes a little so it’s not so amorphous.  In the process I found a figure in the lower left.  He looks rather like a Roman to me and I’m seeing his back somewhat in profile.  Is he ascending into the clouds?  Ascending Mount Olympus?  He hasn’t told me yet.  Looks like there is mist and maybe waterfalls.  I’ll keep you posted as I find out more!

Winter Branches

After very sporadically creating miniatures over the fall, I created four on Sunday.  It felt good to do them and I had a lot of fun.  That got me to thinking.  I think I had become burnt out doing them.  That’s why they trickled to just one here and there.  They became an obligation and weren’t fun.  Sunday they were FUN again!  I think I just needed a breather and I think I have to just do them WHEN it’s fun.  It’s it not fun it’s not worth doing.  Anyway, todays card started with gesso on a postcard.  While it was still wet I sprinkled a bit of water onto it and applied some india ink.  Then I tiled the card this way and that to create a pattern.  As I worked some of the gesso got incorporated into the ink.  It looked rather pretty to me.  I added just a touch of gold glitter (I am glitter crazy lately – must be the season).  When I sat down to post this it made me think of gnarled branches in winter.  What do you see?