Wednesday, July 30, 2008

SCC Fine Arts Gallery Show Catalog

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

Buy the Book
Robin Maria Pedrero and I have self-published a book for the upcoming SCC show. This 26-page spiral bound color catalog, featuring my unique figurative collage work and Robin's Visual Journey in soft pastel, is available on my Lulu Store along with my original "Paper Paintings" book.

In our collaborative catalog, you get a sneak peak at new works of art that will debut at the Seminole Community College Fine Arts Gallery in September, along with a few pieces from our "Chalk," Paper, Scissors exhibit from last year – and some award-winning favorites.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

SCC Fine Arts Gallery Upcoming Show

More New Work
Moritake Butterfly II (top). I did a version of this on an off-white background (bottom) a few months ago that I just was not happy with. I loved the leaves, I just did not love the off-white background. Several folks told me they really liked the original Moritake Butterfly, which made me want to do it again, only more to my own liking. I am working on wood panel, and a golden glaze of acrylic over the wood, with some metallic glaze layers worked in, is my favorite way to let the wood grain show through, and create a warm and inviting background

By the way, for those of you who are curious...Moritake was a Japanese Haiku master. The poem that this Paper Painting was inspired by goes like this:

The falling flower
I saw drift back to the branch
Was a butterfly.

SCC Fine Arts Gallery Upcoming Show

NEW Work!
That's what all my free time has been about these past few weeks. Creating collages for the upcoming Seminole Community College Fine Arts Gallery at the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus. I am exhibiting in a two-woman show with Robin Maria Pedrero, an amazing pastel artist who creates Luminous Landscapes and Captivating Portraits. Try saying THAT five times fast!

Robin and I have collaborated and exhibited together before, however—this time we were hand picked by the curator from our applications. We had no idea we would be showing our work together! We have published a Show Catalog, available for purchase along with my first book of Paper Paintings.

September 2nd 5-7pm is the opening, show runs September 2-25. Robin and I have both produced many new pieces for this show. Florida Sunshine (above) is one of them

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Collaboration, Coming to a Gallery Near You


Off the Deep End

Another in the Bathing Beauty Series
Despite being composed of fun and lively colors, this new collage represents the feeling of being overwhelmed. This work was inspired by my grandmother who passed away recently just shy of her 90th birthday. My grandmother grew up on a farm in Nova Scotia, Canada. Somehow, Gerri never learned to swim, but that didn't stop her. When she was an adult, after ALL of her eight children were grown, she decided to take swimming lessons at the local YMCA so that she might participate in their synchronized swimming group. My grandmother learned something new every day, she made a point of it. 

There are swimming illustrations from an instructional swimming book in the background which represent the daunting task of learning to swim as an adult. And that colorful orange cap represents synchronized swimming and all the joy it brought my grandmother later in her life.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Collage in 3-Dimension

Talk about a Stiff Neck!
Waaaaaay back when I was in college I decided I wanted to have a mannequin to paint. I had one that a friend got for me from a store closeout in Washington, but she came without the stand that she needed to be upright, and there was something about her laying on the floor in a standing position that just wasn't working for me!

Years later I climbed over and dug through a pile of dismembered mannequins to reassemble one complete sitting female (no stand required!) at a "used store fixtures" shop in Atlanta. I affectionately named her "Moppolin" after a doll my sister had when we were children (I had named that doll too). Moppolin was painted in Art Noveau inspired patterns back in 1991 and she has been keeping me company in my studio for many years. 

A few years ago I decided Moppolin needed a companion and I bought this "MAN" on E-bay. No digging, no climbing, no reassembling, just "click and ship!" The man had sat untouched in my studio with his female companion for quite sometime but something special happened about a month ago.

I had a piece of glue covered paper that I had placed down on my collage and the minute I did, I knew it was all wrong! Working quickly before the glue dried, I tore the paper off but hesitated to throw it into my recently cleaned trash bin, as I knew it would stick to the side and make a mess. So as not to break my collage rhythm, I looked for a quick place to stick this piece of paper. BAM! I stuck it to the mannequin, just to get it out of the way, and then it dawned on me....

More on the Tea Theme

Tea Bag Wrappers Make Great Collage Elements!
Ever since the Scrap Bag Series (see older posts) I have been stuck on the "tea theme" I started collecting tea bag wrappers and tags that I had hoped to incorporate into my work. I added these goodies to my collection of Chinese fortunes. This week I decided to do a collage of bamboo, because I'm tired of tea! (The Scrap Bag series ended up being 12 works in the tea theme all at the size of 12x12.)

I love that I have incorporated a lot of texture and non-local color into the bamboo stalks. I used very long thin torn strips to give the bamboo its texture, in addition to tea bag papers and fortunes, I also used some Chinese paper that I have here with printing on it which is so thin, that the colors below it show through nicely.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Something to Leave Behind

The Completion of the Start to Finish Project
Here it is! 30x20 and completed. A study in blues and peach/pink, cool and warm tones. The challenge, as always, was the shading with the papers. I used many different temperatures of blues and peach, as well as textures and even dug deep into the scrap bag for some colors of paper I had in the past but don't have much left of anymore!

I hope you have enjoyed the process.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Framing by Finn

Finn's Quick Ten of Custom Art Framing Tips
  1. Stay Consistent with Sizing. This will help in so many ways (pricing, ordering, storing, transporting, hanging, etc.)
  2. Search Hard for One, Two, or Three Different Styles of Framing to use. Choose wisely grasshopper.
  3. Disorganized Framing can Lead to a Chaotic Presentation. A consistent look in the frame molding keeps the focus on the art and gives a uniform look to the presentation.
  4. Find a Frame that Can Absorb a Ding. It happens.
  5. When Matting, Use Acid-Free Mats Only. They cost a buck or two extra. Maybe your foamcore isn't acid-free and your glass/plexiglass isn't UV, I may let you slide on that. But, your mats I'm gonna point that out every time.
  6. Consider Having your Canvases Professionally Stretched. We carry 2-inch deep stretcher that offers the art gallery wrap, no framing necessary.
  7. Recycling a Frame Can be Done Effectively.
  8. Quality Framing Does Help Present and Sell the Art.
  9. Consider Consulting a Professional Before Attempting any Stunts.
  10. No Frame is Better than a Bad Frame!
Mike Finnimore
Art Services, Ink.
Orlando, FL 

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Interrupting Start to Finish...

Cows at COMMA
I am interrupting "Start to Finish" to remind you of the "Cows" exhibit at COMMA Gallery in Orlando, FL which will feature Paper Paintings. The opening reception is Tuesday, July 8th from 6:30-9pm. Visit Comma Gallery for more info.

This show has gotten great press! My Collage Cows have been featured in Orlando magazine, Orlando Arts Magazine, and the Orlando Sentinel Calendar Section on July 4th! COMMA made a poster for the show which features "Out to Pasture," a collage which can be seen in "previous posts" section of this blog.

Above is my second collage cow entitled "Bloo Cow" which was created from the same papers and in the same size (20x26) as "Out to Pasture" however this one stands vertical where the other is horizontal. They are both framed in barn wood frames which were custom hand crafted for me by Owen Tomlinson in Kentucky!

This show is a "must see" as there are 10+ local Orlando artists showing many different styles and interpretations of the subject matter. If you get there early, you might just get one of my homemade "cow patty" cookies!

Start to Finish Part Four

A Very Productive Morning
This morning I set my alarm for 5am so that I could start my day with some painting. I know this sounds a little crazy, but I find that I get the most work done when everyone else is sleeping. I brew some coffee, gather up the dog and some water for my brushes, and head out to my backyard studio.

This morning I felt like I was ready to make some serious progress on this piece. Yesterday morning I made a visit to Home Depot to buy some bracing wood for it, lucky for me The Depot opens at 6am! Anytime the size of the piece exceeds 24-inches in any one direction the wood panel wants to warp, if it is not supported. Since this piece is 20x30 inches, I decided that before I made any more progress I needed to get some strips for the back. I cut, glued, and clamped them into place yesterday and let it dry overnight.

The above photo shows my progress from this morning. I am loving the layering of the papers and I am very very happy with the way this piece progressed today. I have worked in personal ephemera from my collector and she told me just yesterday that she was thrilled with the placement of the Sweet-n-Low packet when I ran into her in the grocery store. I just might be finished with this collage in one more session and then we will be ready to talk about framing artwork for galleries with some tips from my framer.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Start to Finish Part Three

Painting with Paper

The paper is now being added on top of the underpainting. Layering, weaving, pushing and pulling the colors, patterns and values. It's like a dance, applying the paper. You go back and forth over the top, underneath, until the rhythm creates something you love, and you leave it like that and move on to the next area. I am working the lights and the shadows at the same time. I have taken many art classes that suggest working from dark to light...but they were in a different medium than collage.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Start to Finish Part Two

The Underpainting
Here is the panel as it stands now with the underpainting for the collage. As you can see, my painting is more of a color study and a map to show me where I am going with the paper. Often times I will allow some of the underpainting to show through, or I may cover it completely. As I write this I am thinking to myself that if I go with blues in this piece as I intended to, it might be nice to have some orange underpainting and let it show through, particularly in the background areas. This painting was done with acrylic paints and white gesso.

This is where we stand on day two, I will evaluate the underpainting again and post another photo if I decide to change it before I start in with the paper application.