Friday, February 27, 2009

Hand Painted Papers

Apple Blossoms, 24 x 20, collage of hand painted papers

Finished! I embellished the flowers and added some white square cut papers in the background to complete this piece from my previous post. 90% of the papers in this piece are hand painted or hand stained by myself or by collage artists I've traded with. There is still some Starbucks bags in there, as many of you know I am addicted to them. Also in this piece are stained book pages, an ink stained coffee filter (yes!) and a little bit of maps. The buds are 100% hand painted paper provided by Jo Reimer, her papers are fantastic!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Paper Paintings Skirt

Skirt Deconstructed
I received several comments from folks asking me how I created the paper skirt for the opening of my collage art show in Sarasota. So here goes:
  • First I took my very large digital images of my work (photographed by my husband with his professional camera) and put slivers of them all into one big computer file, with guide lines for the shapes that I would cut out to form the "flaps" all the way around.
  • Next I sent the giant file to Triangle Reprographics, my local service bureau who does a fantastic job with large format color output on ANY material. They suggested vinyl, which would have been more durable, but you know it had to be paper!
  • David Magagni (say: Mah-gag-knee) at Triangle 407-843-1492 is my fantastic contact, he talked to me and helped me figure out what kind of lamination I needed, we decided on a 3mil encapsulated (both sides) laminate to protect my paper.
  • When Triangle delivered the laminated paper to me, I then cut out all my shapes and did some decorative top stitching with my sewing machine, swirls and curls, to dress up the "flaps."
  • I bought a jersey knit skirt at Target for $15 with a roll over waistband, I then sewed the flaps individually to the skirt, underneath the waistband, all the way around. It's important that you sew them individually with a bit of space between them so that the jersey knit can still be stretchy and allow movement and expansion when you put it on.
  • I then rolled the waistband over the top of my "flaps" to cover the evidence of my handy sewing work.
  • I did not drive or sit in my skirt, the paper wants to pull out of the sewing in the back when put under pressure. I think I could have sewed a solid plastic edge along the top to prevent this and to make it more durable. That being said, this was a conversation piece, a way to engage the gallery guests into conversation about my paper artwork.
  • IT WORKED! I spent more time talking about my skirt Friday night than anything else!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sarasota Opening Tonight

Paper Paintings Skirt
Thanks to some tips from the folks at FlashBags, I have created my own paper skirt that I will be wearing to the opening of my long awaited solo exhibition at the Katherine Butler Gallery in Sarasota, FL this evening.

After showing much of the work in progress on the blog, I thought you might like a look into the opening night. I hope to post a few photos from the opening over the weekend.

Ali talked me through making my own wearable paper art, since FlashBags did some dresses for a fund raiser fashion show that really inspired me!

Work In Progress

Think Spring!
Untitled, 24 x 20, collage of hand painted papers on panel
I am working on this piece for Juxtapose Gallery in New Jersey, they are experiencing a harsh winter up there and Gerri and I are thinking that some images of spring would be nice featured in her gallery window next month.

Gerri has just added Robin Maria Pedrero and me to the Juxtapose Gallery website, we are very excited about this new partnership. As many of you already know, Robin and I have shown together in Florida many times, and in addition to Juxtapose, we are also at Celebrations Gallery in CT together. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

NEW Book Published!

New Paper Paintings 2009
available for purchase online

I have just published a 20-page photo quality book, perfect bound, with soft cover. This book has insight into some of the inspiration and technique of many of my newest collages. You may order this book at special promotional pricing - $22.75 through the end of February at My Lulu Store.  Or click the Lulu link to the right.

I am very excited about this new book, the paper quality and printing quality is much better than previous publications, this is a "photo book" quality. I have also taken some time to include more information about the art.

Let me know what you think, you can preview it online.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Citrus Inspiration

Mom's Best Key Lime Pie
20x20, collage of hand painted papers

This piece was started at the New Smyrna Beach Workshop as a demonstration for my collage technique. I worked several more hours on it at home before I got it to where I wanted it. I enjoyed working some pie recipes into the crimped edge of the crust. The meringue looks like you could just dip your finger into it, but the detail is created from very simplified shapes of directional ripping.

The trim of the apron also has some "I will always love you" text in it, which I thought was an appropriate combination along with Mom and her home made pie. (crust included, no Pillsbury here) For me, love has always been intertwined with family and food!

Friday, February 13, 2009

More Workshop Results

The Artists' Workshop, Inc. 
February 7-8, New Smyrna Beach, FL

Here are photos from my weekend with the women from New Smyrna Beach! We had a great time doing collage for two days. The Artists' Workshop, Inc. is an art organization that is in its 51st year! What a wonderful resource for the residents of NSB. They offer classes, workshops, and open studio time in a great big beautiful open (tons of natural light) space in the historic downtown section of New Smyrna Beach. 

I had a great group and they worked really hard to get the basics of figurative collage, all the while enjoying wonderful snacks, coffee, and hospitality of The Artists' Workshop! We had two wonderful monitors, Willadeen and Sallee, who went out of their way to meet our every need.

Workshop Photos

Judy and Susan's Art
Unfortunately the photo I took of Judy making her fabulous fish art, as well as Susan creating her landscape you see here, did not come out. Don't you just have a love/hate relationship with technology? Susan's landscape incorporated photos of mangroves that she took herself and manipulated on her computer, (lower left) which was a very colorful and textural solution! 

Judy's pink fish in a sea of blue and green really stood out nicely with it's stripe of white shine and her texture in the water was rich and full of interesting patterns and text. I hope she will send me a photo of it and I can post it here for you to enjoy.

Scotty Working Hard
Scotty created a small shack out of blues and purples with an orange yellow sky, it was beautiful and very impressionistic. She worked at softening the lines between the house and the background to achieve a more painterly feel. We worked out the perspective of the roof line and it all came together! Scotty also painted and stained some great papers for herself, the newsprint she used to cover the table was BEAUTIFUL! I thought she might leave it behind, but no such luck!

Workshop Photos

Pat's Palms
Working on keeping the sky very light, so that the fronds could be medium and the trunks could be her darkest dark, Pat still has much work cut out for her! She left the workshop feeling really motivated to finish her piece and I hope she does and will send me a photo. I encouraged her to infuse lots of color in the fronds, for fun!

Carol's Rooster
Carol really did a beautiful job with the background on her rooster, keeping the sky and the middle strip of grass in the light value, she kept her green ground in the medium value as well, all to let the rooster dominate as dark. Carol had fun tearing feathers from magazine papers and she incorporated text, images and patterns in her feathers, now she knows why I love roosters! 

Joan's Cat, Giotto
Joan had her work cut out for her with a full face of fur! She had lots of great photos to work from, and the eyes were the best part. Joan stained her own papers to be sure to get a good variety paper types in the yellow color she wanted. We worked on directional ripping and application of the papers to follow the fur, and we worked on shadow and highlight in the eyes for that glassy effect. Joan has her work cut out for her to finish the fur at home, I hope she will send me her results!

Workshop Photos

Kay's Pears
Kay worked really hard on her background for the first day, changing the direction of her tearing and gluing and checking her values. On day two she got to the real fun part, the pears! She did a great job stamping her own papers, and getting creative with the color of the shadows.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How Did I Get Here?

Looking in on Jane, A Portrait of the Artist's Mother
24 x 36, mixed media collage with personal ephemera

I realize that many of my readers may not have been here since the inception of this blog and it was brought to my attention again by a comment made by my friend Mary Elizabeth the other day. She asked me to give a little description of how I became a figurative collage artist. 

It all started out with a scrap box of papers my father gave me about five years ago, he said he had kept them for 30 years and now he was giving them to me. There were cards and notes and papers from all the way back to my mother graduating from nursing school and then giving birth to me. (all seen in the right hand side of the painting, including baby photos of me, and my diaper pin) What does one do with all this "stuff?" Putting the box under my bed seemed anti-climatic, so I tried to think of some way I could use all these papers to create art, something I could enjoy rather than tuck away. 

I went on to create Looking in on Jane, and it won Best of  Show at Orlando Visual Artists League. (My mother is frosting cupcakes in an apron her mother made for her, she was always baking) I was so thrilled with this idea of incorporating papers into paints, that I began expanding and exploring and experimenting until I challenged myself to eliminate the paint, and just create the art with paper. 

My process has been refined as it evolved into the figurative, impressionistic collages I do today. This portrait of my mother, is the original Paper Painting, which plunged me head-first into the pool of possibility that is fine art collage!

Painting Paper for Paper Paintings

Try Saying THAT Five Times Fast
Here are some papers I have been staining and painting with inks and acrylics for future collages. I have been emailing back and forth with Jo Reimer and she has been very generous with her time, tutoring me through her process for painting papers. Jo and I traded papers, she answered my "Calling All Collage Artists" call for paper swap -- she sent me some of the most beautiful papers I have in my collection to date! I have been using her papers and incorporating them into some of my most recent work, including Life's Lemons.

Here are some of the first few papers I have created so far, I really like the blending of the green to yellow and the vibrant orange. You never know what results you will get!

Love Your Blog Award

I have been given my first ever blog award, an "I Love Your Blog" Award by one of my favorite followers, Linda Mahoney. Linda does very cool artwork, on her blog you can see a big image of small yellow birds sitting on a quilt on the clothesline -- precious!

Linda informed me I need to give this award to seven blogs that I enjoy so here goes in no particular order...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sanford Seminole Collage Workshop

Humming Bird
by Sandy Smith
Sandy sent me a photo of her finished collage, and I think she did a fantastic job! Her attention to detail and technique on this piece are really great. Sandy was an excellent student, she followed all my pointers and tried really hard to keep her values simplified so that she could be creative with her collage, and not have all the elements in her composition "competing with each other."

Friday, February 6, 2009

Florida Citrus Inspired

New Work with New Paper
Life's Lemons, 24x20, collage
I traded collage papers with Jo Reimer, a fellow collage artist, some time ago and I used much of what she sent me to build up the blue/purple/green background as well as the lemon leaves in this piece. 

I could not find the right yellows for the lightest parts of the lemons, all the paper I had was more of a golden tone, so I was forced to bring out the washi papers and brushes and make more hand-painted papers. I always dread doing this, as it takes time away from my favorite part, which is the collage process. BUT once I get painting and staining paper, I am always glad I did! Not only did I produce just the right yellow, but I went on to tint myself some dark blues and blacks that I know I will need for the next collage I have sketched up!

I am using Dr. Ph. Martin's lightfast inks to tint this batch of washi paper. I like the intensity of the colors and the fluidity of the medium. Watered down acrylics will also do the job. My challenge will be creating myself some flesh tones..... stay tuned!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sanford Seminole Collage Workshop

Student Works Completed
Go Gators, Fannie Griffin

Here is a fun piece which incorporated some magazine paper, some purchased art papers, some photos and memorabilia. Fannie and her family are big Big BIG Gator fans, so this piece was well received! She worked the art papers to form a really good texture on the gator (and the background), utilizing different shades and values of a color, rather than all one flat color. She also did a great job overlapping art papers on top of the photos, so that they are incorporated into the background rather than just appearing as if pasted on top. This is a very nice piece with personal meaning, one of the most fun aspects of collage!

Sanford Seminole Collage Workshop

Student Works Completed
box with a bow, Patricia Nelson

This piece was particularly difficult due to the values and shiny qualities in the bow, especially. Tricia did a great job simplifying the shapes and using texture in the bow to make it work for collage. She also added a cord to the edges of the bow when she was finished papering, and this really gives it a flowing effect of ribbon. That's resourceful! I love the definitive values in this piece as well, she has her darks, in the blue on the right, her lights in the green on the left in the green and the purple, and her mediums in the bow and box. It's important to establish and simplify values in figurative collage, so that each section stands out.

Sanford Seminole Collage Workshop

Student Works Completed!
pink flamingo, Gail Collins

It's always exciting to see these pieces started in workshops come to completion. Here you can see Gail applying magazine papers to her under painting, which she did on a small canvas. Gail wanted to incorporate patterns and textures of color and ended up using a lot of materials with reference to breast cancer, which she found in her search for pink.  Her variation of blues, lights and darks, in the sky is working very well, her use of smaller, darker pieces toward the bottom and larger "cloud like" pieces at the top, is really working. I am also proud of Gail's "directional ripping" of the paper, she is following the form of the flamingo, for a more dimensional effect. Way to go Gail!