Thursday, August 18, 2022

Out of Africa

Yes, I love the movie, but my "Out of Africa" is about my art. I took hundreds of photos on our trip to South Africa so the next step was to think of ways to talk about the amazing trip in my art. 

I did not paint or sketch much while we traveled with one exception. I painted a small portrait of a lovely woman we met at one of our stops on the east coast of South Africa. I left it with her and now regret I did not take a photo of the painting.

How to Begin Talking (through art) about African Animals

But back to my photos and getting home. I started looking through the pictures and chose to use one of my favorite elephant shots. As we were driving through an animal reserve, this lovely beast suddenly appeared out of the brush a few feet from our car, eating away at the thorny 10 foot tall bushes. I took my pens to the paper and drew her then decided that the bushy brush was an important element to the scene and pulled out my collage containers. Pasting down collage papers really finished this piece for me, conveying the African brush pretty well.  Next I drew a small portrait of a giraffe sticking her head out of more brush. These animals are really gigantic, and often have to lean down to eat--even the ten feet tall brush.

Both of these pieces have sold

On to Menucha

I was not home for long before teaching a workshop at Menucha Retreat and Conference Center. This was my first time at the Creative Arts Community event and how happy I was to be included as an instructor. My week long workshop was titled "Playing with Patterns," and what better subject matter could there be than the animals of Africa? Below  are the 3 demos I did using the same fighting zebras which I  embellished with the colors and patterns I saw in Africa.

Besides the opportunity to teach and work with art, Menucha sits on the cliffs of the Columbia Gorge offering spectacular views of the river, the gorge and the city lights of Portland to the west. 

And then there are the participants and fascinating classes offered by the Creative Arts Community. I had such a delightful group taking my workshop. We laughed, played and used our creative juices for five fun-filled days. 

My Own "How To" Comes to the Rescue

Once I settled in back home I had the three fighting zebras to frame. Somehow the mat, frame and plexiglass I typically use didn't seem to fit these pieces, so I ordered cradle boards to mount them on. I haven't done this for some time, so I went back to the "Step-by-step" blog I posted in 2013.  (My own posts can be so handy in such a situation.)

Here are steps #1 and #2. Tomorrow I will paint the cradle edges and move on from there.

Travel, creating, teaching and sharing good times--my life is wonderfully full!!