Thursday, September 22, 2011

Meadowlark Gallery

This is the last weekend for the show at the Meadowlark Gallery in Grant, Nebraska.  The gallery is open Friday and Saturday 6-8pm.  On one wall, there are 24 framed mandalas colored by cancer survivors and family members.  Another wall has sunflower and non-objective art.  In another area, you can see 10 of my postcard sized collage paintings.  It's a great little venue...sure hope you can get there!  And, thanks to all of you who have stopped in already this month.  It's been surprising to those Grant people to have so many visitors from Imperial!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Safari Sunflower

Safari Sunflower
Safari Sunflower #2 happened because a friend saw Safari Sunflower on my website and challenged me to paint another similar, only larger and with different colors. That first painting had been a response to my love of sunflowers, my husband’s love of hunting wild animals, and our recent attendance at the Safari Club International convention.  Part of the challenge in #2 was to limit the cost and weight of such a large painting.  Using canvas on a partial masonite mat addressed both issues, as did eliminating glass.  However, no glass, required less texture because of concerns with dust control.  
My paintings don’t usually start with a particular end in mind, and it was difficult for me to get past the big white canvas!  I took it outside and poured on thinned acrylic.  Then I used a palette knife to apply Liquitex light texture medium into the basic design.  The flexible canvas required a more forgiving texture than the plaster used on the masonite of Safari Sunflower #1. The next step was to paint a base color over the texture of giraffe spots and sunflower, collage in some paper with printed zebra skin designs, and sketch in some possible swirly tendrils.  At this point, the poured background became very distracting.  Using a brush between the textured places and bouncing a sponge across the open spaces, I softened the background and created a wave of blue behind the sunflower.  This color became a bit of a problem as it was too close in value to the brown of the giraffe spots. The spots have many layers of different colors of acrylic put on in an antiquing stain fashion—paint on, wipe off ...lots of rubbing and polishing.  Each color addition changed the balance of other colors in the painting and required multiple adjustments. Notice how the flower center changed from reddish to blue-black...shadows and highlights had to change, too!  

The horizontal stripes are mostly covered with a wonderful red-iron-oxide, hand-painted paper, and further outlined in another of my favorite painted papers made with black gesso on tissue, and wiped with metallic copper paint.
 A couple different rice papers were added in the upper left and lower right with a wash of quinacridone gold to highlight the texture.  Copper mesh is glued and wired onto the flower center and copper wire is actually sewn in a whipstitch along the top line from the left and trailing into the mesh.  This hardly shows, but will be great with good lighting.  Oil pastels and metallic copper acrylic in a liner brush are used to highlight and outline different areas. A pencil is used to create a grid in the flower center, extending to all sides.

Safari Sunflower #2
The “mat” is painted on masonite and attached with screws from the back into the wooden stretcher bars. Pencil lines and sponged wave are extended onto the mat.  The masonite is larger than the dimensions inside the frame rabbet, allowing the painting to be screwed into the frame and the rabbet to create a shadowbox effect at the depth of the canvas. 

This painting can be seen in the September/October issue of Nebraska Life Magazine (p.110) and at the Meadowlark Gallery in Grant, NE through the month of September, every Friday & Saturday 6-8. On Sunday, September 11th, I will be there from 11-3.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sunset at Memorial Stadium

This piece of illustration board had “a pour” of pink, teal, and gold (watered down acrylic) and was waiting patiently for direction.   Cue the window salesmen, hopefully knocking on our door, leaving estimates and advertising magnets after hail damage.  One magnet was a very useful schedule of the Cornhusker’s football season, but I really didn’t want all the advertising and photo taking up fridge real estate.  So, it was chopped off.  The remains were on my painting table when I set out to tackle the next postcard collage.  The colors of the pour jumped out at me as they echoed the colors of the magnet photo.  I sliced the magnet and peeled off the photo strips...can you see the upper press box of the stadium?  Also, notice the shadowy silhouette of the Nebraska State Capitol inspired by graphics on UNL admissions papers from my son’s impending flight from the nest.   Once the jewel-toned image became all about Lincoln, it couldn’t exist without some red, so the corrugated strip from an old American Girl doll box was included—even split and sliced to underline the stadium images.  I really never know what the end result will be when I start painting, but it is a joy to realize the influence of a higher power.  

This little gem and 29 of my other paintings can be seen at the Meadowlark Gallery in Grant, Nebraska throughout the month of September.  Gallery hours are 6-8 every Friday and Saturday, and there will be an open house on Sunday, September 11th.  Also in this show will be over 30 pieces of art created by Imperial's Cancer Survivor's Art Therapy class.  It's a great show!  Hope you can get there to see it!