Using natural pigments to create work is something I’ve experimented with in the past. Pomegranates, blueberries, raspberries – they all have a lovely color that stains paper really nicely. So yesterday, after a friend had left some beets for us, I was excited to create a piece using beet pigment.
Inspired by day 163’s piece in which I created drawings by finding pattern in the paint, I hoped to explore a similar path for yesterday’s work. I started the process by pushing beets onto paper in order to create the initial design. From there, the stains would act as the base on which my ink drawing would build from – working around the stains on the paper. Once the drawing was created, I cut the paper, working within and around the ink drawing. One step in the process therefore directed the next step.
The result is a delicate 11 x 14″ piece whose sequential steps were integral to it’s development as a finished work. On top of that I really like the combination of soft color, hard edged cuts and organic lines.
Goal: To create one piece of art each day for 365 consecutive days
I’ve created a number of these circle paintings over the last few years (some people call them bubble, but I prefer to think they are just circles). I always enjoy the flow and feel of them, and painting them often helps me process a larger idea I have on my mind.
As much as I enjoy the works though, they are also rather time consuming to paint. Typically, as I’m about 3/4 of the way through and I’ve processed what was rolling around in my head, my attention span withers and I find myself wishing I was done. So this time around, I decided I would approach one of these paintings from a direction that would keep me interested and challenge me – even after my thoughts quieted. In order to accomplish this, I decided I would attempt to create form by building up the flat circles and incorporating a bit of color.
The process went something like this:
After creating a background, I loaded up a small brush and began making lots and lots of circles – combining them in a way to create a larger, circular shape. From there I added a layer of blue circles atop the white, and finished up with thinned layers of paint (glaze) to enhance the form.
I’m quite happy with the result and can report I never got bored. Sure this could be due to the fact that I worked on a smaller scale than I typically do. It could also be due to the fact that I had lots on my mind and so probably wouldn’t have tired of it anyway. Either way, I’ll label it a success!
20 x 36 (I think. Need to double check the height when I get back to the studio). Acrylic on canvas
It’s interesting to look back on life and all the things we’ve experienced and chosen to do. Sometimes the direction we take is well thought out and planned. Other times it is spontaneous as we roll with the punches and perks of life. In one step we move left, and in the next right. Some of us know where we are headed. Others of us are simply there to enjoy the ride.
Of the thousands of paths to choose from, somehow we all make our way.
Goal: To create one piece of work each day for 365 consecutive days
It is official. I am lucky enough to have landed some studio space at Rendition Gallery, a local joint here in Ft. Collins! I got all moved in yesterday and am super excited and a wee bit nervous for the opportunity to work and show there.
The downside to this big move is that my time spent working alongside Box (the cat) will be greatly diminished. I do, however, gain significantly more human interaction – with really great artists, no less.
My first official, completed project in the new space was this cut paper design. I feel like choosing to do a cut paper piece was a great decision for yesterday. With nerves being a bit high, it was a good way for me to relax and just enjoy the process of creating.
As for Box; his crying upon us getting home leads me to believe he is not as happy with the situation as I am.
Oh – If you’re in Ft. Collins, CO, over the next six months, stop on in. I’d love to see you!
Years back an acquaintance of mine let me know that my ink drawings reminded him a bit of a fantastic artist named Nikki McClure. While her work was cut paper, I think the style of our lines might have been what made a connection for him. I dug that he likened my work to hers, but had no desire to move in the paper cutting direction.
Since that time I have come upon the work of Beatrice Coron and a few others who happen to be amazingly talented cut paper artists. Inspired by the work they do and knowing that I need to push myself to experiment with new processes; I decided to take a crack it.
My initial attempt on this piece was so-so. I was desperately trying for precise, controlled lines with a big ‘ol box cutter like thing (I don’t recommend this but my exacto blade was dull). But after buying new blades to clean up my initial cuts and adding more detail, I found I loved the process. The challenge of manipulating the paper into intricate designs is fantastic! I’m pretty darned sure there will be more of these to come.
Goal: To create one work of art each day for 365 consecutive days
Three or four years back I started making onesies for some of my preggor friends using iron on paper for the designs. The left over paper often had really great, bright colors and an interesting texture – similar to that of reptile skin. I didn’t throw much of that paper away, thinking it would be nice to use in other projects.
Yesterday I came across some of the fluorescent pink, rectangle filled paper I had kept. As the evening hours rolled in, I sat down and created this piece. I enjoy that the design in very soothing and organic while the color is very bold – almost obnoxious even.
Each square 4.75 x 4.75″ Ink and watercolor on paper. I like the idea of displaying these on the wall w/tacks so they can be easily rearranged and spaced as you like.
I had a lot of energy yesterday. Some of it was anxious – I think due to some lingering projects that just don’t seem to be going away – but a lot of it was a result of an eagerness to figure things out and to create. I have a notion all of the energy kind of balled up, conglomerating and morphing into day 47’s project. I’ve got to say, I’m pretty happy about it.
Starting in on the piece, I didn’t have a vision as to what the finished work would look like, but I did have an approach in mind. Similar to the exploration in some of my other projects, I thought about how pieces and details come together to create a whole. This time, though, instead of keeping the whole intact, I broke up the whole into 12 separate, yet connected pieces. I really dig the result.
~5.5″ cirmcumfrence x 3″ Mixed Media: Seeds, egg shell, ink, paper and lid
It’s funny, the things we get attached to. A lovely blue water bottle whose lid sometimes leaks or an old shirt with holes here and there may seem average, but they are anything but. We worry about them if they are misplaced and are quick to defend their value.
I think for most of us it is not so much the “thing” we get attached to as the memories and feelings we get that are associated with the thing. This, I realize, is why I seem to have become a bit attached to the little seeds I collected weeks ago.
Each time I pull them out to work with I am reminded of the jog we were on when we picked them off the ground. I remember feeling so excited about the prospect of making something from the found little treasures. When I create using the little seeds, I always feel very calm and at ease – enjoying the simple act of building up form.
The seeds are now dwindling. I’ll be able to eke out one more piece if I’m lucky. After that, I’ll have to wait in anticipation for another year to roll around so I can once again collect them.