Sunday, 13 May 2012

Happy, happy, happy...

Have I told you recently how happy I am these days?  On Mother's Day, I think it's definitely appropriate to do so. Not only do I have the best children in the world (slight bias there), but my husband, extended family children, their spouses and baby girl are totally wonderful too.  Add to that a very sunny day, a lot of play time in the studio, and I'm....well, you guessed it....very happy.

On Friday and Saturday, after recovering from a hectic week, I got to play in the studio - missed the Farmers' Market (sorry, Jen), long walks and all the sun we had, but it was worth it to be back mucking around in our sunny basement, and I've got eight new painting starts on the go (along with three to finish from last month).
Plastic wrap base, packing tape transfer band, overlaid with palette paper transfer
This one looks very pale compared to my usual intense colour so I'm interested to see how it will develop.
Wax paper over wash , over-stamped
 I love the variations created by the plastic wrap technique - they are all so interesting, and each one is unique and uncontrollable (John would say that describes me perfectly!).
Plastic wrap smooshed into wash, dried & lifted
 This is another quiet looking start - want to bet I can ramp up the colour?
Plastic wrap smooshed into wash, partially dried & lifted
 Nothing subtle about this one - in fact, I may have to tone it down to make it usable.
Two layers of  paint washes, both with 99% alcohol dropped in
 This is also something unique for me.  Meg Nicks of Sunny Raven Gallery in Canmore gave me a bottle of  Sludge (not kidding) last weekend when she attended the mixed media workshop in Claresholm.  Sludge is the recycled residue in acrylic paint factories and is very neutral in colour because it's all colours mushed together.  This is a colour I would never use, since I am addicted to clear, vibrant tones.  I can see, though, that it will be working it's way into future paintings, too, as it is such a wonderful background.  Thank you, Meg!
Wax paper squished into heavy body paint and over-stamped
 In my workshops, one of the favourite techniques is the use of cheesecloth to mop up paint.  This start below is a variation of that trick, as the cheese cloth is 'painted' on to the support with a heavy wash of thinned paint, left to dry, and then removed.  The beautiful and 'holey' pattern remains to intrigue the viewer, and one can use the removed cheesecloth in other paintings.
Paper towel pressed base, overlaid by cheesecloth-wash which was dried & removed.
(The cheesecloth is now yummy too, and  can be used elsewhere)
 The two canvases below are waiting to have some colour added, and I can imagine how anxious they feel as they anticipate the application - everything is better with colour.
Doesn't look like much yet, but these two canvases have been painted
 with gloss gel and will be the start of two more techniques
 This past week, there's been an ongoing discussion amongst my artist friends about the tidiness (or not) of their studios as they work.  I thought I'd post a photo here of mine in the throes of all this activity.  If you'd like to share your studio space photo, please send one to me at before the end of May  - I'd be happy to post them all in a June blog post.
My studio this morning
You'll note the paint shirt in the right hand side of the painting.  After viewing some photos of yours truly taken by Alice Saltiel-Marshall  at the workshop, I was appalled to see how boring my paint shirt was looking.  This week, whenever I had leftover paint on my palette, it went on my paint shirt.  It's actually starting to look quite decent, and I look forward to 'finishing' THAT canvas.

Today I'm wishing you happy days, and a life filled with colour.

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