October 6, 2014

Details and Design

Almost done, adding a little more texture to the top 3rd panel :-)
Things are shaping up with some pieces I've been working on.  A commissioned piece is on the edge of being done. At this point I like to put them up where I can see them as I go about my day, it's amazing what I see or notice once they are on a wall that I just don't pick up while they lay flat on my work table.  It's those little details that can effect and improve the overall design or finish with a piece.

It's odd, what this creative process brings out of me that is not really a part of my every day world.  I'm not one to notice a lot of details, most times I'm lost in my own little world of thought and a lot goes unnoticed by me, including people I might pass by!  I've said it so many times already, but truly it's all about the process for me, once I've worked my way through a piece, generally I'm ready to release it and move on to the next.  I love how present I have to be each moment as I create, to see intricate patterns that help form and move the design along.  Perhaps that's why so many artist come back to 'finished' pieces with new insight and then add that missing something or rework it completely.

Hidden Passages Detail
Creating changes you, it works from within.  When I first began this journey 5 years ago, I created an abstracted Joshua Tree, when I looked up some facts about this tree, a unique fact jumped out at me and grabbed hold of my spirit and has become my mantra,  "Joshua trees usually do not branch until after they bloom"  Bloom then Branch feels etched on my soul, just as I've etched it onto my work table, let the creative process have it's way and the branching will come naturally in it's time.

Hidden Passages
Well, I have paintings waiting and I've rambled enough! 

September 28, 2014

Reno and Resistance!

"Moments," it all comes down to the moments where life is truly lived.  I've had a few moments in the studio this week amid the beauty of Fall unfolding and the chaos of house reno!

In the middle of some fall projects, we discovered Hurricane Author had left behind some water damage inside our basement walls.  I'll spare you the details, but it required us moving our bedroom to the main level into what had been the spare room.  By the time we were done, dejunking, packing up the extras, shifting things around there's not a room in the house that has not been effected!  Long way from over on that front, I'm learning to function in chaos for now!

However, I took some time for making progress on a very challenging commissioned piece as well as some others that have been either waiting or giving me trouble!  You know that moment, when a piece turns a corner and you know it's finally coming together?  Well, I've had a few of them this week and it does feel good.

"Resistance is fear...Rationalization is Resistance's spin doctor."
The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield

I'm seeing way too much of 'the spin doc' these days, so like many things in my life, I'm pushing back!  Feels good.   Hope the 'Spin Doctor' isn't giving you a hard too! 

September 3, 2014

Summer Rolls Into Fall

Summer fairs, family fun, grand-daughters visits, it all rolls together to make for wonderful times and memories.

September finds us moving into a new rhythm, schedules change, we re-aline ourselves as best we can!  Like all change, it takes a little getting use to.

A few things on the go, in the design and texturing stages.  See the smaller piece on the floor, that's my Grand-daughter, Grace's latest piece, she has some wonderful textures going on, will be fun to see this one work it's way to completion.  The girls (Grace & Lyvia) and I have had lots of fun in the studio this summer, they created some wonderful pieces and sold a few at the fairs with me along with our fun bookmarks!

This little piece has me puzzling, so I've got it hanging out in my studio until I feel more certain that it's done...funny how some pieces just keep haunting you.

"An insight is a spontaneous realization through the heart, a burst of wisdom that comes directly from intuition. The intelligence of creativity speaks through insights." Point Zero, Michele Cassou

July 11, 2014

Off Grid

Hurricane Artur kept a lot of New Brunswick in the dark and off grid for a number of days, some still are!  Living inland as we do, it caught most of us off guard in that we have never experienced so much damage to trees and therefore multiple power lines down.  Hydro, land lines, cell phone towers all were off grid for a number of days and as I mentioned many more still waiting to be powered up again.  I've seen our communities come together offering assistance however they can and could, even getting news and updates on how projected time lines for re-establishing power in different areas was welcome.  The feeling of isolation from the extended world surprised me, we are use to be connected I guess.

So I'm catching up with the rest of the world and fellow bloggers and the like.  Completed some new pieces and working on others.

Not a great photo, but at least gives you an idea of the finished piece.

Though these next few are far more pastel in colour than I'm use to working with, I have enjoyed the layered complexity of this new 'fluid' painting concept I've come up with.  Multiple layers, with wonderful textures and dimensional look, love it!

#127 Tranquility
 I feel like I'm looking down at the earth from outer space with 'Tranquility.'

#141 Simplicity

#140 Convergence 
Love the ocean and these just remind me of the ocean in many different ways. Hope you have a great weekend!

NOTE: Visit my website or facebook page for details on these pieces

June 17, 2014

Painting Fascinations

I've been channeling wood grains lately, it may be something my Dad passed on to me, this fascination with trees, exterior and interior.
I love the look of them, the smell of them, the feel of their textures, our home is surrounded with them.  Oak, Black Cherry, Butternut...  My father loved working in the woods, he'd come home covered in pitch and the glorious, musky smell of wood.

The above piece reminds me of Teak, it's not far off the mark. I've created several pieces with the look of luminous wood grains. Each piece began with lots of texture elements and under painted in a combo of bronze and gold metallic paint. The finished pieces dance with light and life

This one, the richness of Mahogany with the cracked blue for contrast. 

Love my crackle, though I must say I've been having a terrible time with bottles that won't crackle, I now do a test run on watercolour paper before risking them on my works in progress.
Not sure what's up with Jo Sonja's crackle, I lost 6 bottles this winter due to them getting chilled while waiting in a warehouse for me to pick them up, but two out of four new Spring ordered bottles failed to crackle.  Carefully stored, properly used.  I share this, just so you know sometimes products just don't do what they should, it's not always us that's messing it up :-)

"Intuitive painting stimulates insight...The intelligence of creativity speaks through insights." M Cassou

June 1, 2014

Studio Stall Out

Not much happening in the studio this week, health issues kept me from it, or at least that's what I'm telling myself.  I rather think it has something to do with wanting to work with the same concepts, techniques and colour palette instead of branching out a little in colour choices and things.  It's put me at odds with myself I expect, and closes down the flow of creative energy.  This is all still so new to me, I started painting in 2011, so I wonder does that happen a lot among creatives, you get 'obsessive' about certain looks, colours, techniques that you find it hard to move on to other things?

This morning I started the process of altering a design problem with a piece that's long over due.  Every time I saw it I knew something was off, my focal point was battling with a design element, so I've laid down cover and will paint and blend it in, at least that's the plan!

So I plan on giving into my current obsession so I can get the paint flowing again, it's all I know to do right now, maybe once I explore a few more pieces I'll be able to move on to other things.  We will see.

In the meantime, my Granddaughters spend a weekend with me and Grace, 13, brought her canvases with the hopes of creating something to put in some of my art shows this summer.  Well she fell for my current obsession with metallics and rust so with some guidance on techniques she created this beauty. As she got working with the paint she looked at me and said "Nanny, I see why you love to work with these colours, they work so well together!" My other granddaughter,  Lyvia, 11, her piece is still in process, we ran into some troubles with colour mixing so will be reworking her's down the line.  Always a learning process.

"Creativity's purpose is to stir back to life what has fallen asleep, to cleanse and clear emotional residues, and to open passageways for blocked energy...Inside each of us is a storage of unfinished and repressed feelings accumulated during a lifetime or more..." Point Zero Michele Cassou

May 20, 2014

Creative Explorations!

Spring is lagging behind a little this year, we had an extra long winter with lots of snow so everything is a few weeks behind.  My hubby and his brother went fishing last week and found this running along the shore line!

I think my inner workings has matched itself up with that delayed schedule!  Well, that's my reasoning and I'm sticking to it!

I've been posting to Facebook some of the recent things I've been working on, but thought I'd share them on my blog today as well.   I'm thrilled with how this 24x30" came out!  This was a disaster piece done on cradled wood panel using pouring medium.  My table wasn't totally level and the thick layers and ribbons of colour and medium slide to one side!  One half looked good the other half a complete bust!  For awhile I thought my skilled hubby, was going to have to cut it down the middle and salvage one half of the panel.  It took some time thinking of all manner of ways to 'fix' such a huge area, then I came up with a plan, using  some different mediums and layering in new colour in repeated layerings.  The result thrilled this texture loving artist, and now I have a whole new technique of to explore!  You just never know where time and persistence is going to lead.  It's these kinds of challenges that the creative process does more to alter you as a person than you ever would have thought possible.  I'm not a determined person by nature, in fact among my family I'm known as "the weakest link!"

Speaking of determination, I finally made a decision about how I wanted to paint that big 48x48" not huge by some artists standards but it's a biggie for me.  I don't know about you, but I find myself going through times of wanting to work in a specific style or colour palette, this is one of those times.

I've been drawn to all things luminous and rusty and as the first "Reef" piece indicates oceans and coral.  So I went rustic on the big boy and love how it is shaping up.  Working on accent details now, but here is the basics.

"The continual use of my intuition in painting has taught me to respond to life's demands from a place of feelings and depth rather than from my thinking mind. Intuition has shown me how to respond rather than react."  Michele Cassou

April 29, 2014

Crackling Issues

#128 Ligneus 12x24"
Finalized version. Added some copper embellishments to enhance a few areas, I'm pleased that it can hang vertically and horizontally.  With the bronze underpainting, this piece has luminous aged wood look, thus the name "Ligneus" Latin for Ligneous meaning: wood like

As you can see the big boy (48x48") is textured, dried and waiting for paint. Now for some inspiration of how I want to paint it!

Colour selection can often challenge me and when working at this scale I'm taking probably too much, intimidating time to decide.  It's a lot of paint to waste if I don't like where it goes, so I'm kind of stalled out, or maybe just waiting until my gut tells me I'm ready.

In the meantime this guy is getting decked out and I do know what and how I want to paint him, just waiting on a new shipment of crackle to arrive, which is really what I wanted to share in this post.

As you know I love my crackle and although I use other varieties, like Golden's crackle paste, Ranger's, Jo Sonja's is my go to crackle for most things.  I order in bulk and finally worked through my stash to the new bottles I had ordered in February.  Much to my dismay, none of the bottles would crackle!  Like many things, this product is sensitive to temperature extremes.
On the bottle it warns you to store away from direct sunlight but I'm also discovering that it can't take too cold temperatures either.  Because I ordered this in February to an International Mailbox service where packages are kept in a warehouse until picked up, I'm afraid the snapping cold winter we had resulted in my bottles being affected, results no more crackling.  Needless to say, I'll be stocking up in Spring and early fall from now on!

My loft companion.  She's an old gal (going on 14, NS Duck Toller) and always seems to plant herself where ever I am in the house.  Behind her is an unfinished piece waiting for the arrival of my shipment of crackle, and a nice stack of canvas I invested in @ a great price 3 for the price of 1.  (Wood panels in the big box)  Should keep me busy for a time I'm thinking!

April 23, 2014

Texturing Your Art

On my blog today, I thought I would share a few of my texturing tools and tricks.  This is not a step by step but simply showing you a few things you can do, or use to create some wonderful effects in your paintings.

I use a variety of mediums layered on with a palette knife, each one holds paint differently and adds to the contrast when painting.  Gel mediums for example are smooth and slick when paint is applied, sometimes giving a translucent effect to the paint.  My go to place for gel mediums, texture pastes, course lava gel, gesso is Nova Color  Their prices are excellent and I feel they hold up as well as other Brand names do.  Golden and Matisse are my preference in paint though I do use a few colours from Nova as well. Jerry's Artarama is where I buy my paints, varnish, brushes and well most everything else.

So using this redo piece as my example, lets have a look at some of the things I did. (Be sure to click on the photos to see the details)

One of my fav texturing elements is the simplest, cheese cloth. I buy mine at my grocery store, it's everywhere!  I use it under the gesso and paint here and as a finishing element (in other pieces) I pull and fray it extensively before attaching it with gel or with gesso as I did here as a base texture.  You will notice the wonderful stencil I used by the talented Mary Beth Shaw.  I applied it using Wood Icing my other go to item, both purchased through Mary Beth @StencilGirl

Now here's a simple trick, the wood grainy texture through out this piece was created by using a firm foam brayer.

I use both the hard rubber brayer and this one. Now I know many use the inexpensive foam rollers but I found that for my work they, #1 soaked up one load of my expensive paint and #2 just couldn't handle the multi textured levels of my work, in other words they would get hung up and skid across sections instead of laying down track like you see here.  Just saying, sometimes the right tool is worth the investment.

You could use this to put your layer of gesso on or as in my case, I was doing an under painting in Bronze so I rolled it on achieving the wood grain effect you see here.

In this photo you will see that I used a thin layer of crackle medium by Jo Sonja. This is a one step crackle that dries clear and frequently gets used in my pieces, in this case I applied the crackle over my textured base, let it dry overnight then gessoed the piece.  Love the wonderful aged look it adds.

This is just a sampling of what can be done to create texture, remember this is a redo painting so it has layers of texture paste and wood icing as it's base, I only shared the top layering effects.

From here I am playing with collaging some embellishment items to create a stronger focal point, will let you know how that goes!

April 17, 2014

Process And Productivity

It's a deep freeze out there this morning!

The loft it bright and welcoming though, so all is well in my world.  

Finished this one and am starting the process of textures and layering on the large 48x48" hanging from my bookcase, plus one on the easel.  I made an investment in canvases last week, great sale locally on gallery wrap 3 for the price of 1.  It required some major reorganizing in the loft to make space and to create a workable area for the large sizes.  I now have the tall table set up so I can work from both sides and can now also hang the canvas as I don't have an easel that can handle the large sizes well.

Anyway, love how my medallion like piece turned out, very Mayan/Game of Thrones looking, but do you think I can come up with a name!  I suck at coming up with names, what can I say, have a feel for the piece but names just don't come to me easily.

Also finished this little 12x12"

Something to think about...

"Each of us has our own unique creative time clock.  Some like to work away steadily and neatly from start to finish, while others delay till the last minute and build up energy that essentially blasts them into a tumultuous process of creating. There are also people who plunge into the work at the beginning with large aspirations, and then hit serious obstacles.  No matter what your style may be, impediments are an inevitable part of the creative process. It can be helpful to think of the obstacles as a necessary part of the process rather than as hindrances to it."  Trust The Process, Shaun McNiff
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