Tuesday, March 27, 2018

From Demo to Finished Painting

When I left the workshop in Newport earlier this month, I came home with 2 demonstrations that were not yet complete. As always, I needed some time to look at each of them, and determine what was needed for me to feel they were signature ready.

Demo 1

This first piece was exploring the use of hand made patterns to bring the viewer's eye to the 2 women. The patterns were straight from my head and created from a spontaneous energy. The mosaic wall was an inspiration from Park G├╝ell in Barcelona, Spain where I saw beautiful mosaic walls designed by Gaudi. I chose to limit the color to red only and limited its use, so the 2 women would stand out. I am now experimenting with creating more flat spaces, so the eggplant (aubergine) color on the bottom was created with gouache which kept a flatness I could not achieve with transparent watercolor. Most of the painting is transparent, but I used both watercolor pencils and a black sharpie for line work and defining body shapes.

Once I had the painting at home I was able to make decisions I didn't have time to make at the workshop. The faces were left very plain, but once I had time to get to know these 2 people, I knew they needed more defined faces--expressions even. And as I worked on the faces, I started to see their story. Mother-daughter? Sisters? Cousins? They are not at home, perhaps not even in their native country. They have stopped at a cafe or view point and asked a stranger to take their photo. This is a picture for their album to remember this trip.

Traveling with Mom
mixed media
16" x 12"
My class participants were very interested in one of the pieces I brought from my drawer labeled "patterns and collage." They requested that I do a demonstration that would be similar to how I created "Fascinatin' Rhythm."

Fascinatin' Rhythm
mixed media
22" x 30"
I chose to use the same method to start the demo, protecting the large white shape with contact paper. In the demo, I chose to go for an abstract floral. I used a stamp for the flowers centers that a class participant gave me (a circle cut out from a silicone hot pad.)

By the end of the day, I had begun layering leaf shapes and creating some petals in the flowers. I love the spinning of the paper to use the same colors around the outside. This is a great way to ensure color unity in a piece. I made further progress on the second day I worked on this at the workshop, but it wasn't until I had it home in the studio that I could put on the finishing touches. 

mixed media
15" x 22"

Friday, March 16, 2018

Newport Workshop 2018--Playing with Patterns

Natural light floods the classroom.

Can you imagine a more spectacular spot for a painting workshop? The Newport Visual Arts Center provides a remarkable venue inspiring creative spirits to flow.

A sunset view after a day of creating art.

My workshops are all about sharing some of my techniques to help an artist enhance their own unique work. I try to help someone find their voice and paint from their own experiences. By limiting the class size to 15 participants, everyone had an entire table to work on. This is especially important when you start working with collage materials and stamping papers.

This group of artists arrived with great anticipation and a willingness to try new things. For some this required pushing beyond their comfort zone, but each person found ways to make and use patterns. I really enjoy seeing people's eyes open to new creative avenues!  Here are some of the comments taken from the participants' evaluations.

You freed me!  Theresa

I came away with many ideas for the future.   Sue

Most valuable--how generous you are with your time for each person.  Mary M.

I appreciated being able to follow my own direction with guidance from you when needed.  Dian

I'm sorry I did not get photos of every participant, but I did capture this moment from day 2 when master painter John Bradley sold his painting from day 1.

My two demos are now home and I have finished them in my studio. I'll talk about finishing work in my next post--this is how they looked when I came home with them.

Demo 1
Demo 2