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When Work Becomes a Break

December 1, 2013

It’s been a whirlwind of activity here with family from as far away as Alaska, and more from Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and Alabama, to celebrate my 70th birthday and then have Thanksgiving together the next day. Guests stayed in three different houses, mine included. Overlapping stays here at our house meant ten days of house guests. Two are still here until maybe tomorrow — or could be Tuesday, if the computer problem in their car doesn’t get resolved early in the morning.

The best part for me was sitting just watching and listening to the interaction among the young adults in the family, filled with hair-raising stories and  confessions of risky childhood exploits, causing parents and grandparents to cringe on hearing them for the first time. There was a lot of laughter and a great sense of renewed bonding. Our family is so spread out that we never get together all in one place. I’m just so grateful to them for deciding that my birthday milestone would be a good reason to do it.

Projects in the studio and in my office await my return to work. And I am so ready, refreshed and renewed.

One of my projects involves a demonstration of DecoArt products used with the gelli plate, which will be used on both companies’ websites and facebook pages. I’m halfway through with that, which has an early December deadline.

And there is a painting commission and a digital design project to do as well. Lots of catching up to do.

Here are some examples of collages I’ve been doing as a warm-up for the upcoming DecoArt/gelli plate projects, or as part of the final project, which remains to be seen. These four collages are based on a single DecoArt stencil of pop art flowers. The top one on the left is a background made from the second (negative) print in a green/gold, then collaged on top is a tracing paper piece that was printed with a ghost print from the same stencil, but another inking of the plate. I think the others might be self-explanatory (or not.) Essentially they are just variations of the same stencil, arranged in different configurations and colors, with additional painted papers. The one on the bottom right, across the top, has a loopy line of black silk painting gutta on top of painted paper. The gutta never really dries to a hard finish. It isn’t meant to be used on paper, but I did it anyway. Then overnight it clung to a piece of paper that had been lying on top of it, and when I peeled off the paper that was stuck to my collage, some of the gutta came up. I really like the result.

Loops Series 1-4, collage, each collage 6x6 inches.

Loops Series 1-4, collage, each collage 6×6 inches.


Back to the studio for a much-needed break tomorrow.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. joreimer permalink
    December 1, 2013 8:44 pm

    These four little collages are the best I’ve seen using the gelli plate. Well done, Martha. And happy birthday.

    • December 1, 2013 9:19 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words about these collages, Jo, and for the birthday wish.

  2. December 1, 2013 9:18 pm

    Happy Birthday, belatedly, and best wishes for a good, productive break from all the activity!

  3. December 2, 2013 12:03 am

    What a great set of collages. I love the muted palette.

  4. December 2, 2013 12:39 am

    what city do the Alaskans live in?

    • December 2, 2013 6:12 am

      Sue, they live in Juneau. They left headed back home Saturday morning. It’s my grandson and his girl friend.

  5. December 2, 2013 9:43 am

    Happy Belated B-Day! Sounds like the very best way to celebrate, surrounded by those you love. Wonderful designs in the collages

  6. December 2, 2013 11:51 am

    How wonderful for family to be with you to help celebrate. It is always a surprise to hear some of children’s stories – for the first time. Oh! My gosh! I really like this series. I have actually the gold and black gutta on various pieces including my meditation screens – it does take a long time to dry! I am interested and looking forward to following your ArtDeco work – sounds interesting.

    • December 3, 2013 10:33 am

      Thanks, Shirley. We had such a great time and my sides are sore from laughing. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one using gutta on paper works. I’ll keep you posted on the new projects.

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