Tuesday, September 29, 2015

One More Warm Day on the McKenzie

Here's a post to share with you one of the last warm days to raft the McKenzie River. Enjoy the photos.
Getting ready to launch.

The vine maple and dogwoods are saying fall.

We saw one heron and were followed
down the river by an osprey.

It became harder to see the rocks
as the sun sunk closer to the horizon.

Belknap Covered Bridge--love the shadows.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

More About Mounting on a Cradle: A Precautionary Tale

I often think that mounting on a cradle saves me time and money over the traditional matting and framing with a glass or plexi cover. However, I learned a lesson on this round about carefully following each step. On this piece, I took these steps:

  1. Carefully spray painted the entire wood cradle with a mat black, sanding between coats.
  2. Sprayed my painting with varnish, using several coats to protect it.
  3. Carefully measured and cut the painting in order to apply it to the cradle leaving an even black edge.
  4. Oops!! Missed this one
  5. Applied the appropriate glue to attach the paper to the wood
  6. Used a brayer roller to press down paper firmly, leaving no bubbles
  7. Weighted the entire painting upside down to let dry and adhere completely

So what was step #4? I failed to put tape on the edge of the cradle to prevent the adhesive from oozing out and dribbling down the edge. I had no dribbles, but the smears that occurred were glossy, and I felt a need to make the edges of the cradle as perfect as possible. 

Today I went to town to get more spray paint in black, carefully covered the artwork with freezer paper and frog tape. Then with sanding and a few coats of new spray paint, I think it's ready to sell! 
With luck, I won't forget step #4 again, avoiding steps 8, 9, and 10!

Friday, September 25, 2015

After a White Water Trip, I Got Back Into the Studio

Em rowing her parents, Dave and Cathy
We were so fortunate to have the last truly warm summer days on the Rogue River. It was so pleasant that Mike, Emily (my great-niece) and I slept out under the stars. Each night when I woke up with my normal insomniacal (yes, I know that's not a word) hour or so, I was just entertained by the beauty of the night sky. I would think about my ancestors, the many. many humans through the centuries who spent hours looking at this very sky and imagined scorpions and bears. I felt connected to my species in a way that was both comforting and peaceful. How can I paint that?

Unfortunately, I have a new camera and got very few good photos. I need to spend some time climbing up the learning curve!

My most beloved and reliable rower!
Returning home, I got back to the studio and worked on mounting a couple of my new pieces of art on wooden cradles. Earlier I posted the flowers in a vase. This week I mounted the diptych on a cradle I painted black. I think it is quite dramatic. A title? What do you think about "All About that Vase"?

The other piece I placed on a cradle is this small fish struggling through the rapids. Again, I'm searching for a title. Any ideas?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Something Old, Something New

This week I enjoyed revisiting some of my older posts. I am amazed at the usefulness of this history I have created over my nearly 8 years of blogging. The two posts I sought out in the last few days were one from March 2013 on how to mount a painting on a cradle (because I plan on mounting the floral on a cradle, and a post from March of this year about marbling papers. I also went back to my saved "old desktop" to find one original painting that was brought back to life through marbling and painting over that. All of this searching was to present you, the reader, with as much information as I could about the process, which many people have asked about via facebook.



I have had a bit of an artistic block lately Due to this personal artistic stagnation and frustration, I searched through some "starts" and pulled out my many marbled pieces created in Liz Walker's wonderful workshop back in March. Somehow, a vision of what could be came forward in my brain and I put two marbled pieces on my work surface.

This yellow and purple piece started as a half sheet of watercolor paper, but was cut into two pieces in order to fit into the marbling tray. On Friday I pulled out both pieces and decided to create a floral diptych (two related paintings.

The next painting I worked on was a marbled piece originally painted in 2004. I was a bit "on fire" and easily saw what I could do to turn this into a beautiful landscape.

The piece I finished today was a start from Hawaii in 2007. Below you can see the transitions of this painting.

Here it is as Haukalau Path, the original version.

Then, after it had marbling over the top of the original painting, it looked like this.

The final version, finished today, has an elderly couple walking into a magical place. I added the figures and enhanced, simplified, and reconfigured the space and colors until I was happy with this painting.

My last decision for this is whether to make the couple in the magic by adding a swirl or two over the figures, or to let them be on the outside, entering the magic. So far, opinions have leaned toward keeping it as it is. What is your opinion?