This is the second piece I created in Eva Deutsch Costabel's workshop, The Healing Power of Painting at The Creative Center in New York. The pieces in the blog post below were the first ones I painted. I had to get the frustration out in the first works by using lots of bright colors, thick paint and black line to get to this more meditative state. I call this piece "Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines". I created it on canvas board using pencil with acrylic paint wash. When I sit down to create I never know what is going to come out, it's a wonderful adventure! I've never done any work like this before and I felt like I was exploring a whole new world without ever leaving my studio.
I think this image of a 60s surfer girl totally rocks. It's a terrific photo with all the splashy ocean spray, her bathing suit is pretty cute, and the colors are lovely. What I like the best about this photo is her pose. She looks like a still image from a Bob Fosse show, yet on a surfboard. Totally amazing!
Although I've lived only a mile away from the ocean for most of my life I'm a terrible swimmer. Boogie boarding in the little kids area is as close as I get to real surfing (but it's great fun and I can totally pretend that I am really surfing, just like the little kids).
Still, I really identified with the image of this surfer girl. I mean, who wouldn't want to be her? I decided to place her on top of a cascading pile of layered vintage papers. Now she's in my element, collage. What's your element?
"Chine Colle" basically translates to "thin paper collage" in French. It is done with a printmaking press, and most often used to print on paper that is too thin and delicate to go through the press on its own, and to add texture and color to etchings. I decided to try this technique to create transparent/translucent layers using collage elements.
I used powdered methyl cellulose, a traditional bookbinding adhesive as my glue. Because I loved the look of Chine Colle (but am not a printmaker) I "cheated" by drawing on tracing paper and using these pieces as collage elements.
I love the way the collage papers seems to really bond with the background paper. (I used Rives BFK.) Loved the Rives paper, it's not just for printmaking. Also, combining drawing with collage is something I'm now very interested in exploring.
What didn't work so well: When the paper came out of the press is was completely flat, and very damp. I placed each collage on layers of clean newsprint, covered with a sheet of freezer paper (face down to prevent sticking) and put my collage sandwich under a heavy stack of books. At first it was completely dry, or so I thought. After a few days the paper started to curl ... alot! In the future I'm going to change the newsprint and leave the collage under the books for at least a week.
When is a piece of art successful? It could be successful if it sells, is shown in a gallery or gets a ton of hearts on Instagram. Art for me is more about how it feels than how it looks. It doesn't need to look right in terms of composition or other formal elements. If it helps me "move"move emotions that have been stuck inside for a long time then it really is an important piece, regardless of whether it looks good or even connects with other people.
I've started seeing a new therapist so I've had to talk about my childhood a lot. Ugh, this was really difficult because even after so many years many of the memories are still very raw. I did this piece about the intersection of the world of childhood and the incomprehensible grown up world where really terrible things can happen. (My dad was very ill and died when I was six.) I feel like I've finally made a bit of progress by connecting with the feelings and translating them into images I put on paper, owning them and honoring them.
When you work in your art journal what makes a "successful" page?
Why not make a necklace with a fully functional can opener as a pendant? This can opener has been in the kitchen drawer for a very long time but recently I noticed its potential as a base for a resin pendant. I used an image of a retro gal on a swing with clouds in the background, ice resin, and added a few rhinestones to fancy it up. I mixed it up with a piece of a rosary with beads and charms I had in my stash.
Yes! It really does still open a beer quite effectively and it quite a hit at parties. Creating a piece of jewelry using a digital keychain breathalyzer would also be a hit at parties but much, much more challenging aesthetically.
When I was a child I overheard relatives talking about wild times in Cuba the 50s and it sounded really glamorous and exotic. I've always answered the question "Where would you most like to visit?" with "Cuba!"
Even though travel restrictions have lifted a bit my budgetary restrictions have not, so my son gave the the beautiful book "I Was Cuba" for Christmas this year. The bottom image is a photo from the book, copied on a color laser printer and transferred onto wood. The rest is the Cuba of my imagination. I've had lots of time to create my imaginary "Cuba" and really hope to visit the real Cuba someday soon.
I usually steer clear of recognizable & cute images but today I just gave in to it. All of a sudden I had a cup with the word ocean written on it, and in a way there is ocean in my metaphorical cup. My life is filled with solitary beach walks this time of year along with solitary studio time (ocean and paint). As much as I love the beach I'd like to see some people and cold cash showing up in my cup as well. Hmmmmm ... maybe I should paint them in?
I have a large supply of brown paper bags because plastic shopping bags are illegal in my town and I'm always forgetting to bring the reusable ones. I find that painting on the brown bags and other "trash" is a great way to loosen up and get into the process not the finished product. For this piece I started taping bags together to make a 2 x 3 ft surface, then used 5 different kinds of tape, collage and paint.
One of the most fun things about this collage was the lively comment thread on FB after I asked for title suggestions. Titles included "50 shades of Mouse" (several people saw mice, I don't see them, do you?), "Got My Brown Paper Bag and My Take Home Pay", "Sacked" and my favorite, "Scraps of Life".
I For my latest "creative experiment" I used raw canvas, lightly primed with white gesso as my surface.
I used a variety of charcoal, pastels and pencils in black, white to make marks, along with more white gesso and a spray bottle with a rag as erasing tools.
I made random mark making then defined shapes that "spoke" to me and "erased" the areas that I found distracting with white gesso.
My ah-ha moment came when I saw a mid century upholstered chair in the lower right area. I do love mid century chairs! I gave it a home, a lamp and a friend.
This experiment was really freeing because I never, ever draw and have long considered it something I just couldn't do. (Like driving in NYC or surfing). The selection of drawing tools were left here by my ex 15 years ago, and being a packrat I held on to them and even remembered where I put them.