Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Bet You Thought I'd Vanished!

I haven't, though my desktop computer (the one I blog on, naturally), took a holiday vacation for more than a week leaving me with nothing to browse the web but my beloved iPad. A fun toy to be sure, but not a gadget you want to rely on for absolutely everything.

But I'm reconnected to the world again, and during my near-total absence from online doings, I got a lot of work done.

As part of my course work for Jane, I've been reading and following along with a book by Rolina van Vliet called Painting Abstracts: Ideas, Projects and Techniques. The book emphasizes painting abstracts in a more structured fashion, something I've never really done before: my abstract painting has always been accomplished by the seat of my pants as I react and respond to the color landing on the substrate. I've never tried to pre-plan my painting, but this book is helping me learn ways to work more deliberately.

Most of the studies I'm doing, based on the suggested lessons in the book, are on heavy watercolor paper (300#).

I've been using all manner of mediums, from acrylic paints, to watercolors, to charcoal and pastels.

I find painting to be a joyful activity, so even though the manner in which these pieces is constructed is totally different from my usual methods, it's no hardship to break out the paints and paper.

And having so much paint on my palette always lends itself to lovely monoprinting.

Last week also saw me playing with this beauty, an antique copper tjap I scored from Dharma Trading a few weeks ago.

They are somewhat rare and somewhat pricey when they do become available, which is why I've never acquired one before. They're also tricky as hell to learn how to use! This tjap alone, measuring about 5" x 3", soaks up so much wax that it wants to flood the fabric the instant it touches down. Still, it produces a beautiful pattern.

The piece above was created on white cotton duck and then painted with Dye-Na-Flow before the wax was removed.

Using another piece of the same duck, I also created this piece, which was likewise painted first with Dye-Na-Flow and then screened with textile paint.

Finally, I thought I'd share some goofy texture sketches I've been doing, also at Jane's direction.

To me, they look like eyes.

This little sketch...

... was inspired by this photo I took while in NJ.

Happy Creating!
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