Wednesday 20 February 2013

from a human form to....

sorry, this is a lonnnnnnnnng post!

I love this bird!  What I can't quite believe is where he came from.

I've had a fantastic day with Dee in her studio.  Dee is an amazing artist and particularly enjoys painting the human form in oils.  She can produce the most incredible likenesses ...

... as well as exciting, textural, almost abstract imagery ...

section of current work, unfinished

Dee had set up two easels in her studio ... one each!  Now I usually work with my canvas or paper flat down on the floor or table.  I have done some life drawing etc in a previous life, but very little and it's not a favourite subject of mine.  It's a long time since I relied on my paintbrush, and that alone, to make marks on paper or a canvas.  So today was a challenge!  One I was up for though I have to say.

I knew that working alongside Dee would stretch me and make me work outside of my comfort zone.  And that place, although uncomfortable at times, is a place to learn new things.  The first HuGe challenge was to paint an impression of each other - difficult when your subject keeps turning away to work on her own work.

 mine - failing to capture Dee's incredible eyes and looking like a six year old painted it!

Dee's - much more painterly but somehow missing my smile - don't worry, it reappears later!

We then started set a timer and worked on the other person's canvas.  This meant we couldn't get 'precious' about our imagery, and got us responding both to the marks on the canvas, and the model.  

We then returned to our original canvas and again, responded to what was there.

I turned my canvas and worked on the eye with long eyelashes and sweeping hair.

Dee's canvas also had an emphasis on the eyes!  After alternating a few times, the next step was to apply the jet wash's ok, stay with me!...

This strips back some of the layers and adds some gorgeous, gorgeous texture.  One more turn on each other's canvas then back to 'finish' our own.  Dee got out her oil pastels (we'd been working with acrylics) and I loved the contrast of the more 'drawn' marks, and also the yummy drips you can make with white spirit :)

a snippet of some of Dee's marks made with oil pastel and turps 

At this point I relaxed into just responding to the marks on my canvas and after splashing a bit of paint around I discovered a bird shape and started working into it

penultimate layer

I've only used half of the canvas, and am still trying to decide whether to cut out the bird section and remount it, or do 'something' with paint on the other side.

here I've covered part of the canvas with teabag paper to 'frame' the bit I like!

By this time we were relying on electric light in the room so this photo really doesn't do Dee's painting justice ... sorry Dee!

Look carefully and you can see an angel on my shoulder!

What a day!  I've learnt so much - to trust in my own ability, to just 'go with it', to have the confidence to apply layer after layer (it's only paint after all!), to try new materials (I'm now fancying having a play with oils)....  Thank you Dee, it was an amazing experience.....
.... and I LoVe my birds ;)

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Oh happy day!

I have had a wonderful day playing!  I was in the company of two very talented artists, Wendy Rudd and Dee Rollinson, who I've known for a while now through the Arts and Faith network.  We decided to have a play day and they both fancied having a go at art journaling, which we did, at the end of Wendy's garden!

What an amazing studio!  Wendy is a textile artist and I'm afraid I did have studio envy ;) [The house is gorgeous too, everywhere you look there's some yummy, yummy textile art!]

Such a beautiful space to create in; in the garden, but warm and cosy!  (although the sun has been gorgeous today)

We smudged paint around on the page with baby wipes, sprayed through stencils, and added die cut and stamped images to our pages.

Of course we dried some of the baby wipes and Dee used some in her pages and on the cover of her journal  (sorry, forgot to take a piccie!)

I wandered from my art journal page back to the piece of cartridge paper I'd demoed on at the start of the day and ended up creating a little zig zag book featuring my Stampotique toadstools.  It was so nice to get back to playing with stamped images again, I've not done it in aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaages!

Tomorrow is another play day - over at Dee's house.  We're going to paint on canvases - eeek!  [Dee's a real artist!!!]


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