New Collage Series

I haven’t posted any artwork in quite a while. This month I haven’t done much with my 6″ square collage a day work, instead I have focused all of my time and energy on this new collage series.

I began with drawings from my Tuesday night life drawing sessions. For these drawings I used oil pastel that is blended with Copal medium. Each drawing began at with a 20 minute pose. I focused on capturing the pose and the proportions of the figure without worrying at all about the background. Once home, I weeded out the less successful drawings and reworked the better ones, finishing the shading and the details. Then I cut the figure out. Working on 14″ x 20″ board, I placed the figure and began working on the collaged background.

10-21-12, “Slippery When Wet”, 20″ x 14″, mixed media on board

The first one I completed was “Slippery When Wet”. I began by collaging cut pieces of found and stained papers for the background. With this pose, the model had a cane in her hand that I didn’t really like, so I replaced it with the purse. The “Slippery When Wet” sign was a photo I had taken 7 years ago in Hawaii, I remembered that I had it and decided that it would work well amid the lush background of the collage. I added the cast shadow and the bird on her shoulder. With this first collage completed, I decided that I wanted to continue including a bird and a photograph in the next 2 collages.

10-25-12, “Remembering the Hills of Cerrillos”, 20″ x 14″, mixed media on board

For this second collage, I knew I wanted the figure to be gazing out a window. The photograph I selected for this was from a trip I took a few weeks ago to Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was taken while I was hiking in the Cerrillos Hills with my daughter, Rainy. To continue the theme of New Mexico, I included a beer glass from a photo I took at the Marble Brewery in downtown Santa fe and a plate of chilies. I added the drapery and, of course, a little bird perched on the window sill. I started to prefer this approach over the background of torn papers used in the first collage.

10-27-12, “Waiting For You”, 14″ x 20″, mixed media on board

This third collage was the last one made from drawings of this particular model. I wanted a boudoir effect, so I started with some scrap booking papers that I had gotten from Britta, a friend of Rainy’s. Again, I wanted a window. The photograph I selected was from one taken in Hawaii. I really liked the surreal look of the plants growing in the meadow. The 2 zebras were a recent find from an old National Geographic magazine and worked nicely to continue the other-world effect I was after. The lace across the top of the window was a last minute edition, but it carries the idea a step further. Of course there is a bird, this time a bit more subtle.

I am really enjoying this collage endeavor and think that each one is better than the next. I have three more oil pastel drawings from this past Tuesday night, this time the model is Eric. I hope to get started on this series this afternoon, though the Copal medium still needs to dry.

Oil Painting Revisited

I am an associate member of the Arizona Artists Guild. To become a juried member, you have to be accepted into 3 of their juried art exhibitions. An associates only juried show is coming up, so to prepare for it, last Monday I attended a session that discussed artwork presentation and included a critique of artwork. I had brought along 2 oil paintings; “Monument Valley” and “Map Reading Gone Wrong”. To make a long story short, in the critique many problems were identified in both paintings along with suggestion for improvement. It was also stated that without making the improvements, the artwork should not even be entered. That left me in a quandary as the artwork was due today and that gave me only 4 days to make corrections on an oil painting, and the paint would need some drying time. I decided to rework “Map Reading Gone Wrong” and just not enter “Monument Valley”. My first step was to tone down the violet shadows with warm tones. I pretty much eliminated the violet hues throughout the painting. Next, I needed to dull the two figures in the painting to make it look more as if they were standing in the shadows of the hillside. The final adjustment was to bring some detail into the foliage that was close to the viewer. I finished these changes over the span of 2 evenings. Next, I bought a frame and today I framed the painting and delivered it to AAG. It felt like a whirlwind this past week! I also matted and framed a pastel drawing from one of my life drawing sessions to enter into the show. Below are images of the before and after “Map Reading Gone Wrong”. What do you think?

3-15-12, “Map Reading Gone Wrong” (original), 24″ x 30″, oil on canvas


9-29-12, “Map Reading Gone Wrong” (revised), 24″ x 30″, oil on canvas

Another Series of Figures in Watercolor

This past Tuesday night, I worked in watercolor at the life drawing session. I did get a bit frustrated as I attempted to work in bolder colors. What I have finally figured out is that a 20 minute pose just isn’t long enough for me as I work at building the layers and therefore the intensity of the colors. What I did figure out is that this week I am not going to work in watercolor, I think I will go back to pastels/charcoal and see what I can make happen.

9-11-12, “Jesse 1″, 12″ x 18”, watercolor

9-11-12, “Jesse 2″, 12″ x 18”, watercolor

9-11-12, “Jesse 3″, 12″ x 18”, watercolor

9-11-12, “Jesse 4″ 12″ x 18”, watercolor

The Figure in Watercolor

I struggle so much with watercolor, yet I like the media and really do want to get better with it. So I keep trying. Last Tuesday night, at my life drawing session, I worked in watercolor. I worked more spontaneously than I usually do, which I liked. My biggest problem was that I felt as if my values were too light; they lacked intensity. This is something that I need to work on. I will most likely take my watercolors with me tomorrow night, this time with a focus on developing intensity.

8-28-12, “Eric 1″, 11″x14”, watercolor on watercolor paper

8-28-12, “Eric 2″, 11″x14”, watercolor on watercolor paper

8-28-12, “Eric 3″, 11″x14”, watercolor on watercolor paper

Self-Portrait

I teach an Advanced Art International Baccalaureate 1-2 class. The class consists primarily of juniors, though I do have 2 seniors. The students just got their sketchbooks last week and their first assignment was to do a self-portrait using graphite pencil on the very first page. Because I do the assignments with them, and it is due on Monday, I just spent a couple of hours drawing my self-portrait. I had them start their book this way for a couple of reasons: first, it serves as a record of who they are as they begin this sketchbook and second, it shows their skill level at the start of the school year. All of my sketchbooks are begun with a self-portrait and I enjoy going back to see how I have visually changed over the years.

8-18-12, Self-Portrait, graphite pencil in sketchbook

Life Drawing

This past Tuesday evening I did go to my life drawing session. Craig was our model; he always takes the most unusual poses. These drawings represent three different 20-minute poses. I worked in graphite pencil in my 11″x14″ sketchbook. I have two more drawings that I started, but I want to come back in and add some more value to them before I post photos. I will try to finish those drawings today, since it is Saturday.