Friday, May 28, 2010

Inspired Work

©2010 Kimberly Santini

Kimberly Santini was inspired by Paper Paintings and she took it and ran with it. You can see that Kimberly has adapted her own "look" and created this fantastic colorful dog. Boy do I love color!

Kimberly toasted me with her OJ this morning because she just recently won the Mutt Lunch Winery label contest with this dog! How great is that, worth an OJ toast indeed.

Kimberly told me she's been following my blog and putting links on her blog as well as her FaceBook about my work. She thanked me for my regular inspiration and said she hopes to come to a workshop soon with a girlfriend. I'd love to meet her and thanks for the good press!

Kimberly does a dog a day, can you stand it? Come this summer, 2010, she will have painted her 1000th daily painting. Wow.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Asheville Apple

©St.Hilaire Nelson 2010

Every now and then, I put an original up for grabs on the blog. Here is your chance! This is an 10x10 demo piece that I did while in Asheville, teaching. This collage is on a gallery boxed wood panel, 5/8 inch deep with natural wood edges.

Asheville Apple

Asheville Workshop Photos

Pictured: Sharon, Emily, Suzy, Joan, Yours Truly, Betsy, Karla

The Asheville Workshop and featured artist exhibition at the Grand Bohemian Gallery, in the Grand Bohemian Hotel was a big success last weekend. What a great group of people we had for two full days of Paper Painting. Everyone enjoyed the process and the atmosphere within the gallery was inspirational.

We enjoyed lunch both days at the Red Stag Grill which offered an amazing array of fantastic food! Chef Adam really knows his stuff! The Kessler Calamari was my favorite.

I was tickled to have a room key with my artwork on it! The general manager John Luckett could not have been more accommodating, as was his amazing staff. Constance in the gallery is a joy to work with. If you find yourself in Asheville, NC anytime soon, stop in and say hello!

Paper Paintings Featured in New Book

©Gretchen Bierbaum 2010

The president of the National Collage Society has written a few books about collage. In her most recent one, she asked me to be included. I have a full page spread about my figurative collage process, and a sliver of my rooster tail is featured on the left hand side of the cover!

This book is available via PDF download. The National Collage Society has applied for a grant to print the book, but the grant process is still in progress, so for now the PDF download is available for $12.99. The book is 68 pages and features the work of over 20 artists. There are many unique collage and assemblage techniques in this book.

Here are the instructions provided to me by Gretchen for printing  and viewing the download:

The PDF e-book is set up in single pages for ease of printing your own personal copy. To view it like a book follow these steps:
  • Open the pdf
  • In the main menu select View>Pge Layout (PC) or Page Display (Mac)>Facing Pages (PC) or Two-Up (Mac)
  • Go back to View>Page Display>Show Cover Page During Two-Up (Mac only)
This should allow you to view the Cover as a single page and the rest of the pages next to each other as they would be seen in a printed book.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Thank You Kelly Rae!

Taking Flight ©Kelly Rae Roberts

Kelly Rae Roberts published an art book meant to creatively inspire and motivate artists. As a result, she had some issues with artist copying her style in a manner that was "too close for comfort"

Kelly wanted to clarify things, so she wrote a blog post where she talked about what is and is not "OK" in terms of inspiration. I think that if you have a moment it's well worth reading.

"i would encourage you to consider not selling any projects or paintings that were created by following my instructions as outlined in the book or in the articles unless it clearly deviates from my style. it's one thing to be inspired and to use the techniques in your work, but it's another to copy and then to sell/publish. your heart knows the difference. listen to it." –Kelly Rae Roberts

Of course no one can stake personal claim to the collage process, it's been around since Picasso glued a patterned cloth into one of his paintings in 1912 and created Still Life with Chair Caning. Both Picasso and his partner in cubism Georges Braque are credited with making collage a 20th century art form. It's more about copying published marketing photos, verbiage and terminology from an instructional DVD, compositions, and specific technique right down to the types of papers used to create a specific subject matter. Kelly says it best "your heart knows the difference."

Kelly Rae Robert's art inspiration book Taking Flight can be purchased on her website.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Most Sincere Form of Flattery

It has been said that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. As it turns out, I'm being flattered!

Wanda Edwards followed my blog and purchased my DVD. You may even remember that she attended my opening at NAVIO in New Bedford, MA and introduced herself to me.

Wanda used to be a water color artist until she found my work. I am glad that she is so inspired by my work that she has chosen to create her black and white cows like my black and white cows that won the Artist's Magazine Competition (scroll down) and her cupcakes just like my cupcakescupcakes with cherries on top, her beach scenes just like the one above, and a few other images that may seem familiar to you. She has obviously been inspired and I am flattered.

Wanda recently put together a face book page with photos of her art papers drying in the grass, they look just like the one above from my Hardcover Book and on my blog and this photo from last summer!

I am sincerely flattered when Wanda uses terms in her blog and facebook page like "paper palette" and "torn paper paintings." I'm even happy she's painting rice paper and book pages too. These are excellent techniques that will help to improve the painterly feeling of her work.

Wanda is gaining publicity! She even had a local newspaper article written about her technique. This is fantastic, all press is good press. In her article she says "I don't cut, I tear" Something I stressed in my DVD and on my blog. She even specifically quotes my term "directional ripping" a phrase I came up with to describe a technique I spent a lot of time covering on the Collage Overview DVD and in my Hardcover Book. It would have loved it if after Wanda quoted me, she would have mentioned my DVD and book in her article.

Of course there are many people who have purchased my DVD and taken my classes who now have learned my collage technique. I have posted their work many times on my blog. I am happy to inspire folks, and I just LOVE it when they take the technique and run in their own direction with it. Aurore Brunet did an amazing job incorporating the Paper Painting technique into her own style and her own imagery.

I wish Wanda success with her Torn Paper Paintings in MA and beyond!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Over The Moon Notecards

Over The Moon | 20x24 | collage on panel | SOLD | ©St. Hilaire Nelson

New note cards are now available in my midnight cow image. Glossy cards on heavy stock with high quality envelopes are 4x6 and boxed in a clear plastic box with a silver stretchy ribbon. These cards make a nice gift for a friend or yourself!

Music Collages

©St.Hilaire Nelson

Carnival of the Animals is musical suite of fourteen movements by the French Romantic composer Saint-Saëns. It was composed in 1886 while Saint-Saëns was vacationing in a small Austrian village. It was originally scored for a chamber group of flute/piccolo, clarinet, two pianos, glass harmonica, xylophone, two violins, viola, cello and double bass, but it is usually performed today with a full orchestra of strings.

Saint-Saëns, concerned that the piece was too frivolous and likely to harm his reputation as a serious composer, supressed performances of it and only allowed one movelent, Le cygne (The Swan) to be published in his lifetime. Only small private performances were given for close friends.

Saint-Saëns did include a provision which allowed the suite to be published after his death, and it has since become one of his most popular works. It is a favorite of music teachers and young children.

As the title suggests, the work follows a zoological program and progresses from the first movement, Intruduction et marche royale du lion, through portraits of elephants and donkeys to a finale reprising many of the earlier motifs. Several of the movements are of humorous intent.

I was sitting in orchestra rehearsal one night thinking about representing music through visual art when all of a sudden it came to me. Carnival of the Animals would make a great collage series! We had been rehearsing the music for months in preparation for our spring concert, but it took a while to hit me.

There are some wonderfully whimsical poems written by Bruce Adolphe which I will display with each piece of art from each movement of the suite. They will help to tie in the humorous music with the whimsical collage art.

Jacksonville Workshop

©Aurore Brunet
Here is a wonderful piece completed at the Jacksonville Society of Mixed Media Artists Workshop I recently had the pleasure of teaching. Aurore Brunet is actually from the Orlando area, but I had never met her or her friend Clair who also took the workshop.

We had a nice time hanging out and having dinner on Saturday night!

Aurore's collage work really matches her mixed media style of work on her website, and she had hoped to avoid that! She wanted to try "Paper Painting" and come out with something totally different than her own style. It's hard to fight your heart and I told her that it's OK, go with it, embrace it. Why try to be something you are not?

Aurore is doing new work with encaustic now, and she and I both are trying to modify our color palette based on some 2011 design trends. Aurore said "I'm sick of my colors!" Ha ha, and I feel the same way.

I love this piece that she created!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Inspiration From Farm Animals

People here in Florida often ask me "What is your inspiration for the cows and the roosters?" I usually tell them that I grew up in rural New England and leave it at that.

Lately I've been remembering the times my family used to pack up all the stale bread and "heels" and head to Southampton, MA to feed the farm animals at the side of the road. We went in all seasons, even in the snow! This was regular entertainment for us as children, a fun family outing.

I probably never thought that trips to feed the farm animals who RAN to the fence to greet us would stay with me into adulthood and provide inspiration for my collage art. I guess you never know what will stay with you from your childhood. Our parents tried to do things with us that we would enjoy in the moment, maybe never realizing the impact they would have. Although, I'm not sure my brothers are particularly fond of farm animals....

Pictured above, my brother Joe as a baby with my mother, Joe is now 25. The little guy at the fence is my brother Chris who is now 30! These photos were taken in 1985. Part of that proverbial "personal effects box" my father gave me a few years back... he keeps adding to it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Coq of the Walk Notecards

Coq of the Walk, 24x20, collage on panel ©St.Hilaire Nelson
Currently on display at the Navio Artisans Collective in New Bedford, MA

The rooster series has been a lot of fun and very popular! Glossy cards on heavy stock with high quality envelopes are 4x6 and boxed in a clear plastic box with silver stretchy ribbon. These cards make a nice gift for a friend or yourself!

Jacksonville Workshop

A few photos from the SOMMA Workshop in Jacksonville. The president of SOMMA (Society of Mixed Media Artists) Francesca was very gracious to open her home for our workshop. Everyone that attended enjoyed lunch together, which gave us an opportunity to socialize and learn a little bit about each other.

Thanks Francesca, for the photos!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Resting up to Race

Gouldian Finch, in progress ©St. Hilaire Nelson
The day before the race, I tried to relax and not exert myself in the FL heat! I walked the dogs a few times in the morning, but in the afternoon I settled in to the small table top in our RV and worked on a bird for my Carnival of the Animals series.

I packed my portable art bag, the very same one I took to the dance competition. I also packed a 12x12 bird, which was pre sketched and painted on an American Easel Wood Painting Panel, which I primed with clear gesso so that I could leave the wood grain showing.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Triathlon Results

For any of you who were wondering how it went on Mother's Day morning for me as a participant in the Danskin Women's Triathlon Series race here in Orlando, here are my results!

Friday, May 7, 2010

in Addition To Art

Another thing I like to do in my free time is play the violin. I have been playing since I was in the third grade at Moseley Elementary School in Massachusetts.

This is where the idea of my "Music" themed solo show came from. The town where the art center is: Maitland Art Center, is also the town with the symphony I play in: The Maitland Symphony Orchestra, so the tie-in seemed fitting.... Art and Music.

We have our annual Spring Concert coming up next weekend!

For any of my followers who live near Maitland, Fl Here are the details:
Maitland Symphony Orchestra
Sponsored by the Performing Arts of Maitland
Constellations - Far Away Places and Rising Stars
May 16th at 7:30pm (doors @7pm)
First Presbyterian Church of Maitland

See you there, I'll be playing my heart out in the second violin section!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lazy Afternoon Note Cards

Lazy Afternoon, 24x20, collage on panel ©St.Hilaire Nelson
This is one of my most recent and favorite cows! Currently on display at the Katharine Butler Gallery in Sarasota, the original is framed in reclaimed barn wood.

These cards are in a clear box with a stretchy silver ribbon/tie, they make a nice gift for yourself or a friend!

In Addition To Art

In case you ever wondered what I do in my "spare time" I have been training for the Danskin Women's Triathlon for the past 11 weeks, and Sunday is the day! This Mother's day morning race will be the second year I have participated, I hope to beat my time this year. The race takes place at Disney's Fort Wilderness Camp Grounds here in Florida.

This sprint triathlon is a half mile swim, a 12 mile bike ride, and a 5K run (3.1 miles). The race starts at 7am on Sunday and participants are sent out in "waves." Typically they start with elite and pro athletes first, and then by age group, so I may be hitting the water around 7:15-7:30 if you want to send good thoughts my way.

My favorite color in art and life is purple, and you can see that's the color of my tri-suit.  Last year my age group had purple swim caps and I took this as a good sign. After all, what woman does not want to be fashionably color coordinated??

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Jacksonville Workshop

Jami's Portrait ©Jami Childers
This past weekend we had tons of fun at the home of Francesca Tabor-Miolla in Jacksonville with the Society of Mixed Media Artists. Fourteen students came to learn the art of Paper Painting with me. What a great group. We even had two women from the Orlando area, Aurore and Clair, who I actually did not know previously!

Jami did a terrific job with the hair, flowing and patterned just the right amount. She took my advice and made the skin tones a more restful area, which really allows the hair to stand out. Her eyes look so real, she used multiple greens within them and the perfect highlight on each. Jami got these great skin tones by ripping up some watercolor portraits she had done, but was unhappy with. Repurposed art! I love her use of purple in the hair and in the shadows of the face, the salmon color ties in really nice in contrast with the purple, in the lips and hair and corners of the eyes.

Jami is a wonderful portrait artist and she was eager to finish her piece, she went home and worked on this so she could send me a photo to share. Now she says she is hooked.

Check out Jami's other portrait work on her website