Monday, July 10, 2017

Arctic Watercolors Derived from Collages in Previous Post

Arctic 2 with Monolith
Arctic 1 with Seal Hunters

Monday, July 3, 2017

Arctic Collage

We recently returned from Alaska, where we visited Barrow in the the high Arctic. The expansive landscape, clean air, and sparkling sea ice were beautiful. I kept thinking about how I could try to capture the "feeling" of the Arctic in an abstract painting. Today I thought, "Hey, that collage mini-journal would be a quick way to try out some ideas, since it is so small." It got to be so much fun that I just kept going for five hours. Then I thought, "Hey, I could have done a whole painting in that time!" Anyway, here are three photos of the Barrow landscape, so you can see what inspired me:

Apparently the Arctic had been in my mind, because I realized that a couple of mini-journal collages I made before the trip were very Arctic-like. This one has the "feeling" of the Arctic tundra from the air:

And this one looks like an Arctic sea with iceberg and the Aurora Borealis:

Here are the journal pages with my efforts to "capture" the high Arctic:

I think these two have the potential to become paintings:

And since I was on a roll, I finished up some faces I had begun before we left:

Sunday, June 11, 2017

And Now for a Little Collage

Recently, I took a workshop with Jacki Long, and she showed us numerous methods and ideas for creating a mini-journal with collage, using glue sticks and all sorts of other materials. It was enormous fun! You can see her charming, funny, and informative blog at and be impressed that she has been doing this every single day for over four years. After the workshop, I got home and couldn't stop. I am usually a neatnik, so using a glue stick instead of matte medium or liquid glue, which get all over me, made it feasible for me to work this way. Here's what I made.

Jacki demonstrating collaging in mini-journal
Inside cover -- we pasted envelopes to hold college pieces
First page of journal, all the rest in order, each a method she demonstrated for us

Jacki taught us an excellent method for sticking glue on the back of a collage piece. She used an old telephone book (I used an old magazine). She said to put a collage piece face-down on one of the pages, hold it down with one finger in the middle, run the glue stick from the middle to the edge all around the piece, and last, remove your finger and put the glue stick down in the middle spot and it will lift the collage piece. Put it where you want it in the collage, and then smooth it with a brayer (I used an ivory stick I use for folding). Cool!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Half a Year Later

The last half year has been challenging, with only a few stabs at trying to create art here and there. Thinking a workshop would jump start my motivation, I signed up for the Art League's recent one-day class with Joseph Stoddard on ink and watercolor. He suggested we try to replicate one of his works in order to learn his methods, and since I think that's a very worthwhile learning experience, I did so. And it WAS -- I re-learned that I'm not good at or inspired by paintings of buildings. But I also learned I enjoyed working with ink lines. It was such a good learning experience, I decided to try to copy another artist's work. 

Linda Kemp works 100% with "negative painting," and she creates gorgeous organic paintings. There's a demo of her working in acrylic ( and watching it inspired me. Trying to copy one of her works is a fun and difficult puzzle, since I have to study certain parts for quite a while in order to figure out how she did it with only negative painting. It really works the spatial relations part of the brain! Anyway, it was a great deal of fun, and the end result was quite satisfying. Doing this also gave me several ideas for future paintings of my own. 

Here are the two lessons:

Vignette by Joseph Stoddard
My replica of the vignette

Acrylic demo painting by Linda Kemp
My Kemp Copy in Watercolor