Painting and mixed media classes start in my studio tonight after a long holiday break. I’ve missed seeing the group on a weekly basis and I expect fun times ahead. That means today I have to spend some time restoring the studio back to a classroom, which won’t take too very long. But it does have my own mess scattered everywhere right now.
The mess I’ve created has to do with lots of experimenting with the gelli plate and creating lots of new collage papers and finished collages. Here is another one.
And I got great news from Michael Murphy Gallery in Tampa that they have sold six of my pieces! These are the ones that have sold, and out of this group, five of them were the newest ones I had sent to the gallery last fall. I’m always grateful for those little surprises.
The painting that I showed at the bottom of my last post has evolved several more times. It has acquired more texture and some collage elements, along with some scribbles and stamped circles. Here is the canvas — I’ve shown it on this blog before, but had forgotten exactly which one it was. I think the title is still “Work in Progress.” It sits in my studio stack at the current and possibly final stage.
Here is a link to a post in which I showed some steps this canvas went through in its previous incarnation.
Trust that little voice in your head that says
‘Wouldn’t it be interesting if…’; And then do it. - Duane Michals
The most exciting thing for me about making abstract art is anticipating what happens next. It’s a little like following an unfamiliar road with lots of twists and turns. I may start with an idea or theme in mind, but rarely does the result turn out to be anything I’d first imagined. Many times I’m surprised by something even more interesting than the original inspiration. The important thing is to start and just see where it goes.
The fun of it all is playing with paper, paint, canvas, and marking tools, and saying “This might be interesting” or “What if I moved this over there?” Sometimes I will lay down a stroke or a line, then cover it up again or wipe part of it away. But a ghost of it might still be there, subtly influencing what comes next.
There is no right or wrong. After all, if the whole thing is deemed a failure in the end, I can learn from it and move on. But if I feel it’s been a success, that’s always a good day.
This collage has some unexpected color combinations. I like to shake things up sometimes.
The serrated paper on the bottom left is a piece of a brown paper bag with a coat of thinned white paint and some quinacridone burnt orange. The pink and blue piece in the center is made up of built up layers of brushstrokes, superimposed with graphite scribbles. To complete this piece, and to repeat the pink and echo the vertical purple strip, I added a tiny geometric printed rectangle from a magazine page. These are crazy colors but I like it.
The past three weeks have been devoted to my little Abby the whippet with her injured leg and the surgery to fix it (details at the bottom of my last post.) Last night was my first night of uninterrupted sleep since she hurt her leg the day after Christmas. I don’t know what it is about animals, but I think it’s their complete dependency on us that makes us tend to treat them like infants. I found myself in a mode of sleeping with one eye and one ear open, or getting up with her to comfort her or to make sure she was warm, or to see if she needed covers or a pill. Many nights I have just sat up in the recliner with my pillow for most of the night, trying to get some proper rest during the day when her Dad could take over. But last night was a turning point, and I feel like a new person. The fog is lifting. She’s healing well, and has even started to put her foot down with the one injured leg. So we’re slowly getting our life back.
Here are two of the newest collages from my session that went so well, which I wrote about in my last post. Maybe today I’ll try to repeat the experience. That would be so nice.
My collection of fabulous papers is growing, thanks to my Gelli plate . . .
. . . not to mention the secondary papers that result from depositing surplus paint from the brayers and brushes. Hint: I sometimes like to use things like old maps, brown paper, and magazine pages for depositing extra paint, to make them more interesting.
Now all I need are the time and energy to play with them.