Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Confession time: forget shopping for shoes,
I buy art supplies

Like most artists, I'm a supply junkie. Two things touched off a recent shopping spree: 1). I was tearing up art/craft magazines to file ideas, and kept stopping to read about supplies; 2). I was visiting The Kid during her spring break from grad school in Chapel Hill, N.C., which is a short ride from Raleigh, home of Jerry's Artarama. I've ordered online from Jerry's, and couldn't resist visiting the mother store.

Here's a bit about each - along with links to the company web sites. In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I bought them all. That is, nothing was comped or a company freebie (I only wish).

1. Martha Stewart decoupage medium. I know, you are thinking, Martha? WTW? But I came across this on sale, and decided to give it a try. I'm always looking for the perfect sealer for collages. This is fantastic. Really matte, and does not show brush strokes. Is my new go-to sealer.

2. Read a rave review of Liquitex spray paints in one of the magazines, so thought I'd buy a few cans - which are under lock-and-key at every art store I've been too - to try on backgrounds. The colors match Liquitex's regular acrylics, they are low-odor, and are permanent. Using them with stencils.

3. Transparent watercolors are great for glazing over acrylics. I recently bought more, by Holbein, on the recommendation of my friend, landscape painter Lisa Molyneaux.

4. Ah, PanPastels. I've been lusting for them since attending a Jacqueline Sullivan workshop four years ago. They can be pricey, but I liked using them, and with all the backgrounds I've been making lately, thought it was time to spring for some. Also bought some of the spreading/blending tools (though I think there are less expensive options - foam brushes? - in my future).

5. Huge fan of Faber Castell's Pitt Pens. Use them all the time. One great thing is that they do not bleed through most paper, so I've used them to hand-color greeting cards. They also are waterproof, which is great on collages. Jerry's had an incredible array of colors. Since that trip, I found out that the Plaza Art store near the University of Cincinnati, also has a large selection. I'll be heading there soon.

6. I use Ampersand's cradled Claybord panels for the Out on A Limb series of bird collages. They are sturdy, and easy to glue onto. So, I thought I'd try larger ones, for a new series of collages. These pieces will have thickly layered and glazed backgrounds that need more support than the usual mat board.

7. Some new acrylics. The prices were low, so thought I'd try different brands. I've used Golden for quite some time. Love their fluid acrylics for their color intensity and ease of use.

8. Another too-good-to-resist, impulse purchase. We'll see how these Strathmore "mixed-media" papers hold up.

Feel free to add comments on supplies you like, or on any that I've mentioned.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ahhh ... the struggle

I've been looking at one of the most recent Grand Tour collages, Bird's Eye View, above, almost every day for the past few months. It hung directly across the studio from my work tables. So, each time I looked up, I glimpsed it.

After a while, I began to not like it. The dark background didn't allow viewers to see the birds clearly enough. The birds were too close to one another. In short, it needed more air.

Toss it? No. Time to rework it. I popped it out of the frame, which will be put to use another time, and onto the work table. Happily, in order to give it the collage a 3D quality, each piece was not glued down completely. And PVA, which is water soluble, was used as glue on some sections. Even so, it took a few days of tearing, cutting and careful removal, to separate the birds and their passengers from the background. There was only one casualty: the baby's head, which I saved to reattach.

As I soon discovered, all that was the easy part. Below are images of it in progress, including two showing what it might look like if I created two pieces from it. More photos will follow, because it took an odd turn after the bottom one. I set it aside for a few weeks, and, so, it remains a work in progress ...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

They're back: 2014 Open Studios

  Just updated the Open Studios page with this year's dates. Hope to see you!

Meow. A few more kitties to fill out the 2015 calendar

Dove back into the Sweet Petite cat collages this week. Was off for a week. Before leaving, I started another collage, then, left it on the work table. That gave me something to dive right into when I returned. A trick I read about years ago. This way, I didn't have to face the dreaded "blank page."

© Art Patron

 © Fat Cat II

© Studio Cat

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Sweet Petites are purring ...

I've been distracted by issues with a remake of a large collage, so it seemed time to take a break from it.  I turned my attention to having fun. For me, that usually means working on small collages, so that's what I did.

The new Sweet Petites - matted to fit a 5" x 7" frame - began with four 1917 fashion plates, then a group of cats. Last year's cat collages were so popular, that they ended up on their own calendar. Another one is in the works for 2015, and after this week I am well on the way. Take a look … (oh, I will be posting these on the official Sweet Petite page, too).

Sybil Ignores the Man
Behind the Curtain

Claudine Gawks Right Back
at the Gawkers

Isadora Brought Males of Every Age
to Their Knees

Marie Walked As Tall As Any Man

Easily Distracted

Not Intimidated

Fat Cat


Idol Worship