Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A Fun, Friendly and Fulfilling Workshop

As I said in my last post, recovering from my knee surgery quickly enough to hold my workshop at Oregon Society of Artists was a driving force--and I did it! OSA is really great to work with. My assigned facilitator, Jan Premo, was helpful, energetic and full of good observations. Many thanks, Jan.

"Playing with Patterns" is a pretty broad topic when applied to paintings. I decided to focus on using hand decorated collage materials for my demonstrations. I began working from a photo that I took of my granddaughter while she was listening to music. I was drawn to the intensity of her expression and the back lighting.


Day 1 and 2 Demo

Before pulling my watercolor paper out to work on in Portland, I had drawn the figure. (I still use the old fashioned grid method to enlarge an image.) I also decided on a warm pallet, so I had painted the figure with yellow wash. What I wanted to demonstrate to my participants was not only how to use collage materials, but also how to create a background for the figure after the hard work of getting a good drawing of a person. Over the first day, I not only divided up and painted the background, but began the brainiac struggle to make the painting tell the story of a kid loving music. This is the "what if" method I use in my own work.


The collage pieces I used on the figure were made with my personally crafted stamps on gelli plate then printed on deli paper. (Deli paper is interesting because acrylic paint adheres to it, but the unpainted parts are nearly transparent.)

 This is the first time I've used collage on a relatively realistic face, and I like the interest it creates.



Next I painted musical notes on top of a collage material made with gessoed and stamped newspaper.  I felt lucky to have brought lots of prepared papers with me so I  was always able to find the right color for this painting.

The swallows were created with a hand crafted stamp I made prior to the workshop. I did share "how-to" make this sort of stamp and the materials to do so in this class.






Something the class participants were able to see was my own personal struggle finishing a piece. The bugaboo was the right third of the painting. It went through various colors and ideas before I settled on this striped wallpaper idea. And even as I left the workshop on the third day, I was not satisfied that it was finished.

Just yesterday I taped a few cut up collage notes to break up and perhaps connect the wall to the story a bit more.

Does this do a better job of completing the painting and the story in your eyes?


Day 3 Demo

For the last day I pulled out a painting from years past. I had never tossed it or torn it up. There was something that kept it from destruction. When I saw a painting of a church by Van Gogh in Paris last year, I thought of my poor old painting tucked in a flat file.

Continuing my "what if" thinking, I worked over this painting of an old church in Bellfountain, Oregon. Below is a photo of the church--it is still standing.

Bellfountain Church photo
This is a photo of my inspiration by Van Gogh above the painting I am about to revive.

Beginning the revival

After some time with the paint brush, I was able to add color and brush strokes with acryilic that the painting never had as a pure watercolor. Not that I can compare myself with Van Gogh, but I can say this painting is much livelier.



Sharing My Papers

On the last 2 days I spread out all my collaged papers for the participants to use in their work. I have oodles of papers I've made over the years, and I now have motivation to make more! It was great to see how everyone began to utilize the "zing" of collage and/or patterns in their work.


I get great joy out of teaching and sharing the entire creative environment that builds in a workshop. I never tire of the excitement when inventive ideas are pooled.

I am currently scheduling some future workshops, so if you are interested in adding "what if" in creating art, stay tuned.





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