Tag Archives: acrylics

I Hope

Like a lot of people these days I’ve been doing some cleaning around the house. I had a painting I did on a large cradled board that I’d never been happy with. And oh dear, it was the second painting on that board that I could never come to feel good about.

I was ready to throw out the board, but…it was large and I hated to waste the money. So one afternoon I started painting over the past, as you might say, and ended up with this new direction.

I like it and I think it is the one that will stay.


“I Hope”

24″ x 36″, acrylics on masonite board, June 2020.

 

I Hope 24 x 36 6-20

Mirror Image Women

I made this image as a demonstration for one of my students in the mixed media class I taught in Winter, 2020. I wanted to show an incorporation of stenciling on layers of paint and my explanation in words was not making sense to her.

I cut out a woman figure. Then I painted a piece of watercolor paper (9″ x 12″) in sections of  random color.  Next, I set the stencil on the paper and painted around her; then I flipped her over and painted the other side of the paper in different colors.

The figures protect the original colors so that when the stencil is removed, there it is.

The whole thing took maybe five minutes to do. The student saw the process and I was pleasantly surprised by the results. Sometimes good things happen very fast, and the key is, don’t mess with them just because you think it should have been harder. Sometimes…it is easy!

 

Mirror Image Women 1-2020 8.5 x 10.5003

Light Rain

I took a photo of a street of houses, a car, and a person walking along with an umbrella from an overhead viewpoint, back in January 2020. I used it as a reference for this painting, which I did during the mixed media class I taught in Winter 2020.

The class was working on individual projects and I did not want to be forcing my attention on them without respite, so I gave myself a project to work on, too.

The painting is called “Light Rain”. Acrylics, 20″ x 16″, March 2020.

Light Rain 20 x 16 3-20001

Impromptu Still Life

In the mixed media class I taught from January-March 2020, there came a day when we did mixed media still life.

We set up some objects and the students got to work. To keep myself from hovering over them, I started to work on this piece and finished it later at home.

I’m not very reality-oriented in my rendition. For example, the red circly things at the bottom represent a swath of bubble wrap spread on the table.

Just saying.

“Impromptu Still Life”, acrylics/paper/ink on canvas, 20″ x 16″, 2/2020.

Impromptu Still Life 20 x 16

Let’s Say You Have a Photo and You Want to Make a Collage Image Inspired By It…

I’ve made lots of collages that were based on a photo where I intended the finished image to adhere somewhat faithfully to the photo’s inspiration.

Like these collages below, all made in the early 2000’s from photos I took of actual scenes.

(Painted paper collages, sizes varying from 4″ x 6″ to 18″ x 24″)

Here’s the question this post will answer – if you have an image that requires you to follow a plan, how do you do it?

Here’s how I did it. You need some materials: a photo, pencil, your collage support, tracing paper, a pen.

Tracing Drawing #6 materials 10-192

First step. Using your photo, draw the image on your support. You can do this freehand, or you can use a grid system. In either case, the idea is to make a representation of the masses and shapes of your final collage image. It’s not necessary to fill in details – such as architectural elements or stripes on a person’s shirt. Just stick with the big picture, so to speak.

I often draw the image upside down. It keeps me honest about focusing on shapes and forms rather than drawing what I think I see or what I think might be there.

Tracing Drawing start to draw #1 10-196

Here is your drawing, compared to the photo. I did this one freehand. If it were imperative to have correct proportions, I would have used graph paper or drawn a grid on the paper to follow. Otherwise, I have made editorial decisions here – you can see already what the image will include and what it will not, and that I am not very concerned about perfect scale or perspective. But I do want my finished image to resemble what I have drawn.

Tracing Drawing #2 10-195

Next step. Trace over the lines with a pen. You do this so that you can see the lines very clearly because…

Tracing Drawing #3 ink outline 10-194

the next step is to trace the image on the tracing paper. With the lines on the support outlined in ink, you can see what you are doing very easily.

Tracing Drawing #5 tracing 10-191



 

Now, let’s think about what we are going to be doing to create this collage image.

  • I will take pieces of paper and glue them down.
  • I will work from the back of the image (the sky) to the front (the porch area at the bottom of the picture).
  • I’m going to use this drawing as my guide to know where to glue the papers.

But…as I glue, I will be covering up the lines that I have drawn on my support. And then how will I know if I am following my image’s outlines, etc.? Because if I don’t, it is very likely that among other things, the picture will “drift” – in other words, I will be a little off, and a little off, and then I get to the end of the picture and…wait, what happened to the porch? I don’t have room for it!

So this is why you do this next thing. Set your support, with its sketch, on your worktable. Tape the tracing paper sketch to it, matching it with the one on the support, so that you can flip the tracing paper layer back and off the support.

Tracing Drawing #4 tape 10-193

 

To get to work…Flip the tracing paper back off the support layer. Start working on the sky. As you glue, you will eventually reach the roof area. Keep putting down paper for the sky, letting the sky extend a little over the line into the roof area.

It’s not like in mosaic making where you abut the elements; collage allows you to layer and then cover with another layer to create a division between shapes.

Don’t worry, even though you have just obliterated the line that shows you the extent of the roof against the sky because you have glued papers over it.

Just flip the tracing paper layer back over the support, align it as necessary, and you can see exactly where you need to start the the roof-line. Yes! it is right there on your tracing paper guide.

You may glue a roof into place with confidence. See how it works?



 

You are probably saying- If only I could see the project in process and finished. Well, I cannot show you, because I did not go on to make a collage in this instance. I use this set of materials as a sample for teaching a mixed media class in how to set up a mixed media piece when exactitude is of importance.

Maybe someday I will take this preparation and go on to make a mixed media piece…

*******************

What I can show you is what I did with the photo in real life. I used it as the basis for this painting that I did in 2013. Acrylics, 16 x 20 (I think). The original photo was of row houses in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

City Rows, 2013

City Rows, 2013.

Advice Given and Taken

Telling someone what to do seems to be the theme of these two small mixed media works?

 

December, 2019, 6″ x 6″ – acrylics, acrylic inks, crayons, India ink.

I Stayed Up Late Reading

Acrylics and collage, March 2020, 20″ x 16″.

My husband told me that he interpreted all the patterns in the lady’s clothing and on her head as being the complexity of ideas and color and narrative that she is deriving from her reading. I love that idea.

I read a lot and I have done my share of staying up late to finish a book.

When I was a child, I would turn out my light at my parents’ request. And then I would turn around in bed with my head at the foot of the bed, stretch out on my stomach, with the open book in front of me, so that I could continue to read by the light from the hall that came in through the half-open door.

This lady is not having to make this kind of accommodation. She can stay up and read in comfort as long as she wants.

I Stayed Up Late Reading 20 x 16 3-2020

Flash Fiction February 2020 – “Hey Diddle Diddle”

I continue with my illustrations for Flash Fiction February 2020, twenty-nine days of flash fiction stories at Fictive Dream,  an online fiction magazine featuring short stories.

For the event I created a small abstract painting for each selection – in fact, I did more than one painting per story. I am showing you all the images, day by day, throughout February. I’m also including a short write-up as to how I went about turning the authors’ words into pictorial representations.

I hope you’ll take a look at my art, then go to Fictive Dream, see which image editor Laura Black chose for the magazine, and read the story!

Thank you to Laura for her faith in my work and to the authors for such wonderful material to work with.

Today’s story is:

Hey Diddle Diddle by Frances Gapper. Read it here at Fictive Dream.

Here are the artworks on their own:

and here they are with the banner.

Comments:

This story uses a familiar nursery rhyme motif to explore the idea that lightness and darkness exist in the same space – which one is uppermost depends on perspective. In two of the three pictures I did not use the cow/moon images from the nursery rhyme, focusing instead on the line “Grass vibrant green, sky-blue sky, fluffy white clouds” fading and darkening to contrast the opening with the images brought up by the items in the bargain box and shop annex. In the third image I depicted a more literal interpretation of the nursery rhyme.

Image 43 – I used a horizontal landscape layout with the middle representing the happy scenic pasture for the idealized life. This area is enclosed by a darker sky at the top and a jagged dark field at the bottom, representing the contrasting view of life that is a step removed from the surface.

Image 44 – I used similar colors and theme as for Image 43, but this time I represented it as a progression across the page, with the happy everyday scene fading into the dark, more hidden aspect.

Image 63 – In this picture I showed the cow jumping over the moon as described in the text: “Here I am, jumping over a golden full moon in a navy sky”. This image reflects the tone of the opening section of the story, when the cute, playful aspects of the rhyme are emphasized.

Read the story at Fictive Dream.

Flash Fiction February 2020 – “Longings”

I continue with my illustrations for Flash Fiction February 2020, twenty-nine days of flash fiction stories at Fictive Dream,  an online fiction magazine featuring short stories.

For the event I created a small abstract painting for each selection – in fact, I did more than one painting per story. I am showing you all the images, day by day, throughout February. I’m also including a short write-up as to how I went about turning the authors’ words into pictorial representations.

I hope you’ll take a look at my art, then go to Fictive Dream, see which image editor Laura Black chose for the magazine, and read the story!

Thank you to Laura for her faith in my work and to the authors for such wonderful material to work with.

Today’s story is:

Longings by Eva Eliav.  Read it here at Fictive Dream.

Here are the artworks on their own:

and here they are with the banner.

Comments:

This story concerns memories a woman has of her father and her growing-up years, reflecting on dreams that did not come true and on the life that did occur. The motif of “home” is the thread that ties this story together. Various homes are mentioned: large elaborate houses, a camper, a condo, and the father’s final home after death.

Image 55 – In this image I depicted the daughter’s childhood desired home: the family lives in a large elaborate home but she would prefer a trailer and camping out at night with a campfire. I included the outline of the large house but within it I set the camper with a fire, under the stars.

Image 56 – I focused on the homes as they bound the father and daughter together through life. The first panel depicts the elaborate home that the daughter despises and the father needs. In the next panel I set the camper as the daughter pictured it, cozy at night. I extended the camper into the third frame, symbolizing the actual home the father lived in for the later years of his life as well as being symbolic of his final “home”.

Read the story at Fictive Dream.