That's right - week 10. The last one. Already. I am changing computers and all my photos are still on the old one. 'nough excuses now.
The topic of the week - make our own topic! Really. We were supposed to create out own assignment, with boundaries and all. I decided to explore pattern, but I did not define the assignment precisely enough. Just that - pattern. Pretty vague indeed. I did not have to time to explore the topic properly and I think it shows in the results. Having precise boundaries helps direct the flow and eliminate distractions. The more options there are, the more paralyzing things can become.
I think I did however came up with a few interesting pieces, worth exploring further.
Speed painting anyone?! This was the assignment of the week - cover the paper with color in 20 sec! Then add scribles and layers with opaque and transparent paints.
Needless to say, 20 sec are very short! In my case, it took about 1 min to cover the paper because of "technical difficulties" with the paint. But it was fun!
More appropriate would be to call them paintings or studies because drawings are not. But I digress...
Topic of the week: layering and line in black and white only. Vary the opacity of the layers. Do not stray into shape or pattern. Vary the lines.
As usual, I find it hard to work monochromatic. It is always a struggle to not drop some color somewhere ...
I tend to gravitate towards continuous lines that flow relatively smoothly. so I had to pay extra attention to make other types of lines.
One of the three works in progress posted here is finished. At lest for now. Here are some of the intermediate steps.
I wasn't happy with how it was turning out, so I covered a big part of it. Jane calls this phase "monkey-ing" the piece. It means covering a chunk of the piece to force it to go in a different direction instead of brooding over something that is not going anywhere.
It might be done now ...
This is the last of the terraskin experiments. I wanted to use dry media on this one - graphite, pan pastels, pencils. I ended up adding some paint and a bit of collage in order to have more tone tone variety. I was not able to achieve the darks I wanted by using only dry media.
In general, I find it is easier to work on terraskin then on yupo even though both papers are synthetic and have no fiber. I do have some scraps of yupo lying around the studio and they are first in line for some experimentation as soon as I find a chunk of time for that.
I am going to look into the possibility of using terraskin to make my own books, but I will need a it more practice with this paper first. The big appeal for me it is that the paper is resistant and I do not have to worry about the grain when I cut it. It also takes ink exceptionally well because it is very smooth.
I wanted to try a watercolor portrait a la Jean before returning her book to the library.
I used a photo found on the net as inspiration and got to work on those washes. I liked the first few layers - all done in one sitting.
I returned to this few days later. Needless to say, I could not find the reference photo anymore. I kept glazing until all the transparency was gone. In retrospect, I should have done two things:
A while back (years), I bought a sheet of terraskin paper and never got around to try it. This is paper made of finely ground stone and should be suitable for all media. Given that It does not tear, it should work fine for collage,
For the first experiment, I started with washes of diluted acrylic paint and then I added more acrylic, collage, ink. I think the main difference I noticed is that it is hard to have opaque shapes, even when using opaque pigment. In the end I decided to use collage to achieve the degree of opacity I was looking for. Other than this, the paint dries relatively fast and if does not lift.
This paper has potential. once one becomes used to it. I don;t see it used in signatures though because it is hard to fold.
What do you think? Have you ever used it and did you like it?
Thanks for reading!
Another exercise from Dean Nimmer's book "Creating abstract art" is the found objects collage.
Instructions are simple: go for a walk, find stuff, make collage. Easier said than done, I might add.
A while back, I did just that. Found objects: a small branch, 2 pieces of rusted metal and a round doodah. Here is the collage:
Pretty boring - I think we all agree.
So I threw some paint at it, turned it around multiple times - here are examples of the steps:
... and the final (I think) piece:
What do you think?
Thanks for reading!
Rewind to the Holbein Art Event in Burlington, Bob Burridge's workshop.
We started a series of three paintings on half sheets on Strathmore 300 lb watercolor paper choosing one of the words from the warm up exercises as subject. I chose claustrophobia.
I then chose the colors - limited palette because I did not have any of my paints with me - and the composition type: cruciform, vertical and horizontal.
The easiest to work with turned out to be the cruciform. The painting was almost done at the end of the workshop; I added some bits of collage, played a bit with the background colors and voila ...
I did a session of 10 5-min paintings on cheap drawing paper 9 x 12.
Parameters set for the session:
I put them aside for now and I will revisit them in few days. So far, there seem to be two that don't inspire me at all (the third and the fifth), but who knows ... things might change.