Monday, August 31, 2009

New Web Design

I am Happy to announce that thanks to my fantastic husband, I once again have a very cool new web design! Check out how he incorporated collage into the look of the pages. It was Doug's idea to have me collage the "links" so that they better demonstrated my style and use of bold color. I create my collages on the very wood panel that is in the background of the design.

If you have never been to my website, you can see a gallery of work that is regularly updated, print a newsletter, copy of my brochure, newsletter or resume, and check out the art galleries I am associated with. Have a look and let me know what you think. I know you will think I am lucky to have such a talented and generous husband!

Working Nocturnally

My Studio by Night
I work many weeknights after my kids go to bed around 9pm. I generally try to be in by 11pm so that I am not overtired in the morning. Even though my studio offers tons of natural light by day, by night I have to rely on daylight bulbs. Although I really enjoy my Saturday and Sunday morning collage sessions, I don't have a problem working nocturnally. I find that at night, things can be more quiet. There are less distractions, the dogs sleep by my feet, and I do get much accomplished in a shorter amount of time. (look close, you can see the dogs in the window!)

Last night I created a nest collage, and I wondered why I had not thought if it before! After all, the nest goes hand in hand with the birds. Anyone who has purchased a small bird collage from me should consider the nest as a companion piece!

Buy it Now!

Nest Companion for Small Bird Collages
Last night I completed this small nest, which makes a great compliment to the small birds, don't you think? I am not sure why I did not think of it sooner. Nests are great fun because birds weave all kinds of papers, strings and materials into their nest, much in the way I weave all kinds of papers into my collages. I feel that my collage process is kind of like nest building and so another connection to avian art.

Robin's Nest -- unframed

Sunday, August 30, 2009

This Weekend

Amelia Island Artists Workshop
Learn | Create | Make Connections!

This weekend is our Paper Paintings workshop in beautiful Amelia Island, Florida. In this three-day workshop we will cover hand-painting and hand-staining papers for collage, materials to use for ground, glue and varnish, how to make your collages archival, and of course design, composition and color, directional ripping and paper choice. You can still sign up, we start Friday morning.

The Amelia Island Artists Workshop are held in locations around the beautiful town of Fernandina Beach. The Workshop provides you with a welcoming wine and cheese reception the night before, light refreshments all day long and you may purchase lunch catered from one of the many world class restaurants in the area.

November Workshop in DeLand

Museum of Florida Art Presents - Paper Paintings Fall Workshop
Here is the link to their fall workshop schedule. I hope you will consider coming out and trying your hand at collage! In this intensive 2-day workshop I will be teaching my unique figurative collage technique which I call "Paper Painting." Students will learn to use torn bits of hand-painted paper as "brush strokes" and create a painterly image that will have viewers asking, "is it a painting?" Some drawing experience helpful but not imperative, artists of all levels can benefit from this workshop.

November 7, Sat. and November 8, Sun, 10am-4pm
Materials list will be provided

Museum of Florida Art is located at
600 N. Woodland Blvd in DeLand, FL

Leave a comment if you have any questions and I will get back to you!

Friday, August 28, 2009


Summer at the Art Workshop
Over the summer Susan Silverman of the Art Workshop in Longwood, FL asked me if I would come in and teach a collage class to her advanced teenage students. I love opportunities to work with children, especially those who are enrolled in art as an extracurricular activity. I find that kids who are enrolled in art school are just really happy to be there!

To begin, I shared my education and background in art, the fact that I have a Fine Art degree and that I wanted to be an artist since I was in third grade. Next I told them about the art galleries that I have my work in, that art is a business, and about the art licensing opportunities I have been fortunate enough to have. Then we got out the papers and the glue and I demonstrated the technique and answered questions. The neat thing about working with kids is that you don't really hear a lot of "I can't do that!" they really feel like they can do it if they try.

Once I finished with the basics of the demo, the kids hit the ground running! They had painted their own collage papers the day before with Susan, AND she had them start their sketches. I helped the students work on their under-paintings and I reminded them throughout the class that everything they had learned from Susan about composition, color, value (shadow, highlight and mid range), would be applicable in this collage process. They were well versed with shading and the color wheel; they already knew all about opposite and analogous colors - go Art Workshop!

When the kids started working their collage, and really applying their painting techniques to the process, their work really started to shine! I was really proud of how much they already knew, as well as what they learned from my demonstration of the technique.

The photo above shows Jolene with her finished lily collage. I really love how she handled the shading by using analogous colors (yellow, yellow orange, orange) and how she made sure to keep the background green value darker than they yellow flower value, so as to set it apart.

The kids at the Art Workshop were great, and they were well versed with the building blocks of art technique that they needed to experiment with new media!

Monday, August 24, 2009

New Small Bird Collage

Demo from LoPressionism Gallery is Complete
Peeps and Tweets | 12x12 | collage of hand-painted papers on panel

Two weeks ago I did a demonstration of my collage technique in conjunction with my exhibit at LoPressionism gallery in Melbourne, FL. This piece is created from hand-painted collage papers on panel with an underpainting in fluid acrylics over a pencil sketch. I have been experimenting as of late with letting some of the latter show through. I feel like this shows the process and the presence of the artist.

Let me know what you think!

100% Pure Florida Exhibition

Featuring the Work of Florida's Best Artists
The Fifth Avenue Art Gallery in Melbourne presents their fourth annual 100% Pure Florida exhibition, opening September 4, from 5:30-9:00pm. Best of Show award will be presented at this opening reception.

The call for entries was open to artists from Miami to the Panhandle. Ultimately the jury chose 44 artists work to be included. The Gallery is located at 1470 Highland Avenue in Melbourne, it's a beautiful space with great lighting and display walls.

When my collage work won Best of Show there a few years ago, the whole block was full of activity and other gallery openings. The 100% Pure Florida show was so well attended that people were out on the front step waiting for the Best of Show to be announced, it was just too crowded inside!

Paper Painting to be featured:
Slice of Heaven | collage on panel | 17" x 25"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Painting Collage Papers, Part Four

Dry Brushing
This is a nice example of the dry brush technique. First I took this sheet of art paper and dry brushed dark green onto it with a dry brush dipped very lightly in fluid acrylics. I zipped the brush lightly across the sheet without much pressure. The nature of this paper is very absorbent, so the ink sinks right in and does not spread much.

After I let the dry brushing dry in the sun for about 10 minutes, I took the paper back into the studio and mixed up some lime green (analogous color, see older posts) with much water so that it was very translucent. I quickly but completely brushed this color over the top of the dark green dry brushing, to cover all of the art paper.

The effect is a nice green toned paper with much texture that would be very good for grass or tree leaves. I really like the way this sheet came out!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Painting Collage Papers, Part Three

For monoprint, I create a pattern with the brush and heavy body acrylics, painted directly onto the plexiglass/trashbag surface. Then, I press the paper into the paint and pull a print. This process is very good for showing brush texture and interesting patterns. Typically I paint the paper a shade first (in this case the paper is yellow with fluid acrylic), let it dry, and then monoprint a complimentary color in heavy body OR fluid acrylic (in this case ochre in heavy body).

You can also monoprint first on white paper, let that dry, and paint over it with watered down fluid acrylic so that the monoprint shows through. Experimentation is the name of the game, using colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel, or analogous colors, look pleasant together because they are closely related. Orange, yellow-orange, and yellow are an example of analogous colors. Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh is an example of a painting that utilizes this type of color palette.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Art for Autism

A Good Cause to Create and Donate
A fiber artist who found me online and purchased my "A is for Art" postcard has asked me to donate a Paper Painting to Art for Autism. Leah Cottam's blog shows off her fantastic fabric work. She is offering a giveaway of her own work for the entire month of August if you follow some simple steps and consider donating your own art to this wonderful cause.

Having grown up with a handicapped brother, and worked my summers at day camps for handicapped kids and teenagers, I do have experience with children with Autism. My heart has a special place for this fundraiser and I do hope that you will visit Leah's blog to check our her fantastic fiber work, and consider donating a piece of your art to the auction. 

Monday, August 10, 2009

Painting Collage Papers, Part Two

It's all in your technique!
Beyond just loving and using fluid acrylics, I have some interesting techniques when it comes to painting my own collage papers. I don't just paint them solid colors, I spatter, I dry brush, and I monoprint, to name a few. 

Above is a photo of my workspace, I have a table in my studio on which I have a piece of plexiglass covered in a trash bag. I found out the hard way that if I let the painted paper dry directly on the plexi, it sticks! So now I know I have to let it dry on the trashbag if I need to let it dry indoors, then I can peel it off successfully. This time around, I just took them off the plexi and right out on to the grass so they could dry in the sun. That works best. 

I start with Japanese Washi paper (white rice paper, very absorbent) and art store papers. The art store papers offer textures and a variety of thickness. I also often buy art papers with some printing on them (and or glitter in them) that will show through the fluid acrylic application and offers nice texture. I also paint Connor's old workbook pages and book pages from old library books and used book stores.

The sheet of paper above is an example of the blotting technique. This is white Washi paper that I purchased on a roll. I tear off a sheet and keep it on hand to "blot" the excess drips and globs of paint from the trashbag between painting other sheets! Let nothing go to waste, I say. I can also enhance the blotting feeling of this paper by spattering some paint directly on to the trashbag and then blotting the Washi into it. Not only does this technique clean your work surface by sucking up all the leftover paint (remember, very absorbent?) it also makes for some wonderful collage paper when you get the color combinations right!

PS, that wrinkled look you are seeing, is the texture of the trashbag transferred into the paint, a happy accident!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Painting Collage Papers, Part One

Making a Mess!
I spent several hours this morning hand painting papers for future collage work. Every couple of months I pull out the paints and the plexiglass covered in a trash bag, and the brushes and the papers and I make myself a bunch of custom colored papers. It's so messy and time consuming that I only do it when I am really motivated. My friend and fellow collage artist Jo Reimer suggested  that I try fluid acrylics, since they retain their intensity when watered down. I said to her, "Jo, are they REALLY better? Because they are REALLY expensive." Well she said "YES" and I took her advice, guess what? They are REALLY AWESOME! 

You can water down fluid acrylics and spatter and splash and blot into them and they stay very intense in their color. This paper painting session I used them to the full extent! I loved experimenting and seeing what kind of new effects I could achieve.

Today it was really HOT in Florida, with a mild breeze. I knew this was perfect weather for letting the papers dry on the grass outside my backyard studio. My son Connor came out to help me by picking up the dry papers and bringing them in to me, what a help!

Stay tuned for some specific techniques and photos.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Little Something Bakery

A Match Made from Scratch, in Heaven
Celebrations Gallery in Pomfret, CT just informed me that A Little Something Bakery in West Hartford, CT has purchased three of my cupcake collages for their interior d├ęcor! 

Jackie, my artists representative from Celebrations, was convinced that the owner, Beth (shown here in bakery T-shirt), would love my cupcake collages and she was right! Beth purchased all three cupcake collages that Jackie showed her. 

A Little Something Bakery makes all their cookies, cakes and cupcakes from scratch. Sarah (shown here in Newport T-shirt) will attest to that! They also bake muffins, scones and cinnamon rolls. All of this sounds so good, I think I might like to do some sweet small baked goods collages, what do you think?