Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Demos and New Work

A few weekends ago, I spent three days at the International Quilt Show here in Houston demo'ing some fun art techniques. First up was monoprinting with the gel plate, and then I demonstrated stamp making, and finally, bead and button making. It's always so much fun to go to the shows and spend time with my tribe. Seeing old friends, catching up, and getting hugs is a huge part of the enjoyment for me, and will keep me coming back year after year!

Not a lot of "art" got made during the weeks leading up to the show, though, because prep and practice time took precedence. I spent about a week recovering from the experience, and then pulled myself together for some art supply shopping and a thorough studio cleaning and reorganizing.

I've decided that to decompress for the rest of the year, I'm going to do some book binding and journal-making, an old passion of mine that I haven't played with in a long while. I purchased binders' needles and thread so I can teach myself coptic bindings, and I've been happily creating covers and folding paper into signatures. Tomorrow, I will sit with my iPad and a few excellent videos and begin stitching. I'll show my results in a later blog post. Wish me luck!

In the meantime, I tossed another lovely cradled gessobord up onto the painting wall and played with a new (to me) color palette.


If you think you see something under a layer of gesso on this board, you're correct... I started with a failed painting, knowing that no traces of it would show up in the new piece. Using some charcoal and water-soluable pencils, I began scribbling on the surface.


To keep the pencil marks from smearing into subsequent layers of paint, I brayered on a heavy layer of matte medium to set the pencil marks, and then let it dry over night. Then I went at it with paint.

 

I kept myself to a very limited color palette, using only three neutral colors plus titanium buff- a warm white- and the pencils.


I layered paints, smudging them with my fingers, looking for the composition lurking somewhere inside the piece.

 
I knocked back sharper edges as I went, and began seeing leaf-like shapes. I used pencil to define them and sealed the marks with more matte medium.


Finally, I created one more leaf shape and accented the colors with a hint of blue.


I have no idea if this piece is finished, but whether it is or not- whether it'll ever be finished or not- it felt good to be painting again.

Until next time!
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