Friday, August 16, 2013

Neck and Nest

Neck and Nest 20x54 / ©St. Hilaire Nelson (click to enlarge)

This piece is the first of the Preparing for the Flood Series, a whimsical take on my Noah's Ark Series from a few years ago. Preparing for the Flood was inspired by the fish prints that I received from Chuck Seaman, and artist I met in Key West, FL two years ago. Chuck provided me with his cast-aways and experimental fish prints, the ones he cannot keep for perfect. 

The Sketch on wood panel, in my studio (click to enlarge)

I start each collage with a sketch in pencil on my wood panel. 

I have been really enjoying the challenge of working oversized lately. For this series I will have to create all pretty large pieces because the fish prints are from ocean fish, and they are BIG. I do have another artist I work with who provides smaller, fresh water fish as well, but I'm out of stock. Do you hear that Raejean? :)

Sketch and gesso background effect (click to enlarge)

I prime my wood with a variety of acrylic gesso.

On this piece I primed with a combination of clear, white, and black gesso. in the background of the giraffe, I used multiple layers of white gesso to build up a texture than I then glazed over with multiple yellow and gold translucent paint layers. 

The completed underpainting (click to enlarge)

I under-paint with acrylic paints

I paint in an under-painting for my collage to be glued on top of, this painting serves as a road map for where I am going, what colors I am using, and what values give the illusion of volume in the piece. Here I have applied the Gyotaku prints along the bottom and have added effects with the paint to make them appear in the water rather than on top.

Detail of collage application on the nest (click to enlarge)

I collage on top with a variety of hand-painted papers.

I hand-paint all of my own collage papers, utilizing hand carved stamps, splattering, texture rubbing, dry brushing, layering, etc. The more layers of texture on the paper, the better. This part of the process is the most relaxing and therapeutic, I could paint papers all day long. 

Detail of collage application on the giraffe (click to enlarge)

A picture tells a thousand words, this detail (click to soon) is really what the collage is all about. The wide variety of colors, textures and patterns is due to my inventory of hand-painted papers. I love using handwriting in my work. 

thank you
for being a part of my 
Art Journey,