Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Australian Birds

Four Bird Series
24x24, collage on four wood panels, framed together

These birds were inspired by my friend Anndella Bond from Australia. She shared with me many books, DVDs and magazines illustrating the beauty and splendor of her country. I was quite taken with all the amazing colorful birds (and you know how much I love color, and apparently birds...) which were so different from what we see here in the South Eastern United States. Anndella even had her Mum send a package of magazines, newspapers and travel literature for me to use in my Australian inspired collage work.

These are four birds native to Australia, I utilized newspaper and magazine clippings, stamps, and even bits of the envelope which they arrived in. From top left: Rainbow Bee Eater, Gouldian Finch, Blue Wren, and Kookaburra.

It is so nice when folks are generous to send books and magazines, hand-painted papers, and stamps they have collected over the years, or lend inspirational literature! I am inspired and motivated by the personal ephemera and generosity of others in my collage work. 

In this piece, I experimented with leaving some of the artistic process in tact. You can see pencil lines and painted areas along with the collage, I decided to allow some of the steps of my process to show through. The branches which the birds are perched upon are bare wood with outline and parts of the background are pure paint and gesso mixtures with dripping and splattered paint. I have always been a fan of pen and ink drawings which are colored in only partially with translucent medium. I am going to further experiment with the concept of letting my steps show through in the finished piece. It can be very difficult to remember not to collage every bit of the piece, as I am usually inclined to do! 

I hope that you will find this to be a refreshing twist on the small bird collages.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Back to the Drawing Bird

Most Recent Small Birds
12x12, collage on wood panel, unframed, available at COMMA Gallery in Orlando

Recently I had been struggling with inspiration when COMMA Gallery contacted me and said that they had sold two of my small bird series, and had collectors interested in Cardinals. Two different collectors said they would buy birds if they were Cardinals. So, I got busy. After all, I am from New England and Cardinals are something we used to get very excited about, especially in the winter when many of the other birds had flown south. I funneled my enthusiasm for colorful birds and cold weather right into my work and came up with four new pieces in my small bird series.

Now I have a plan for my next piece. My friend Anndella Bond from Australia had provided me with material as inspiration for and incorporation with my collage work, her "Mum" even sent over a packet of potential materials from Australia. I have been wondering what type of Aussie specific imagery I could work on with my magazines and newspapers sent half way around the world, in addition to my existing huge collection of Australian stamps from Kaite Matilda. 

I am working on a piece that will be made up of four small birds, 12x12 with a twist. I intend to connect them and put them all in one frame. I also intend to make all four birds Australian birds, AND I plan to leave some of the collage process showing through. What does this mean? Some sketch, some under-painting and some areas of un-finished collage. I want to process to be come clear to the viewer when they spend some time with the birds!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Looking for Inspiration

I think the most work I have done lately was on my Spring Break vacation! this is a photo of me working in the villa we rented in Kona. Since I have been back, I participated in my first Danskin She Rox Triathlon (finished 12 in my age group out of 261 I might add) and played my violin with over 100 other musicians as part of the Maitland Symphony Orchestra's Spring Concert this past weekend, but I have not been doing much artwork!

Time to get motivated, don't you think? I have started a bowl of veggies project, and worked on that last night, but I do need a creative jolt. Anyone got any good ways to get creatively pumped up?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Blueberry Branch–Complete!

Blueberry Branch
24x20, collage on panel

I took advantage of Judith Segall's hand-made papers for the blueberries! Her papers have such amazing texture and color variation, I could not think of any better way to make the blueberries come forward and stand out. I used four different shades of blues, some with white specs and some with glitter. I love this paper! This is the same paper I typically use on the noses of my cows, to give them texture and character and to make them come forward in the composition.

Let me know what you think!

Blueberry Progress

Blueberry Branch
24x20, collage on wood panel, in-progress
Here is the under-painting and the in-progress shot of the blueberries again, in case you missed the under-painting posted earlier. In this in-progress piece you can see that I have started with the background, as usual. All that is left here to be completed is the blueberries themselves. They are the center of focus, so I want the papers that make them up to be overlapping the background. I also want to be sure I use a good textured paper to draw even more attention to them as the point of focus. Stay tuned.