Done! Now titled Elegant Ecosytem, this has been submitted to the Eco Arts Awards contest. It has been quite the challenge for me, but I think it was worth all the effort. Thanks to everyone for your support!
Finally I have finished the heron! I've also done the red-winged blackbird and have started on the cattails. The turtle and frog will be difficult, I think, because of the tiny details. This can be very frustrating, as I learned with the blackbird's eye. I had the tiny circle all cut out to the right size, only to have it fall off the tip of my finger and disappear! This only happened three times before I got it to stick! Anyway, I am going to try and work like a fiend today and get it done. (or at least very close!). I want to get it submitted to the contest, plus I need to get started on a Christmas watercolour commission.
Today I finished my rough underpainting, rough being the operative word. I had to stop myself from putting in too much detail and remember that this is just a guideline and not the finished painting!
In the first photo, the underpainting is done and I have applied one piece of paper. (I forgot to take a picture before I glued it on.)
In the next photo, I've started working on the background. I like how the heron's smooth feathers contrast with the more busy background, so I will try to keep them that way when I collage the papers on to him.
Today I started to block in the colours in the underpainting. As you can see it looks really rough, but it will all be covered in paper eventually. The paint acts as a guide for me and also to test colours and values.
I discovered a great art contest the other day called Eco Arts Awards. I thought it would be a great contest to enter. Artists will submit artwork with their interpretation of the meaning of Ecology.
The first thing that sprang to mind was Wetlands. I love Great Blue Herons, so I thought I'd make one the main focus, and also in keeping with the ecology theme, I'll be using my paper collage process, using primarily papers recycled from old books and magazines if I can.
I found my heron reference from Paint My Photo a great website where photographers can post their photos for artists to use as copyright free reference material. Thanks Tracee Murphy for the great photo!
After doing a couple of thumbnail sketches, I drew my scene onto a 24 X 12" canvas. Since this piece will be fairly complicated I will loosely paint it first with acrylics to give me a guideline while applying the papers.
Here is my drawing so far. I will be fixing that poor dragonfly!
Sorry for the poor quality of the photo, it's very hard to get a good picture of a pencil drawing!
I had decided to try and paint a totally watercolour piece the other weekend. Well....it didn't turn out as planned. Wasn't happy with the colours, composition, and more! So last night I defaced it! LOL I got out some coloured pencils and went to town. I actually kind of like it now, but I think I'll start a new one. Who knows what I'll do to that!
The lady who bought my "Spring Chicken" collage piece asked me if I could do a companion for her. She raises chickens, so I asked her if she had a favourite rooster, and she sent me some great photos of this fellow. He is a "Lakenvelder" rooster, very handsome, and although the hens adored his fancy feathers and ruby comb and wattle, he wasn't up to snuff in the baby chick producing department! He has gone to live at Circle R Ranch near London, Ontario where he will, as my client says, " live a happy long life" Happy Retirement Mr. Rooster!
This weekend I donated a older painting for a raffle being held at the Wallaceburg Antique Motor and Boat Outing (WAMBO). The money raised is for the local Junior C Hockey Team, the Wallaceburg Lakers.
I did this painting a few years ago as part of a "Local Landmark Challenge" at Wetcanvas. It was the first time I had painted a car, and I found it quite the challenge indeed. I took the reference photo at WAMBO a few years ago.
The two paintings in my last post have been sold! I guess they were pretty popular, quite a few people showed a lot of interest in them. Not so interesting to the judges I guess, since they didn't win any prizes, but who cares!
Two of my collage pieces have been accepted into the Desmond Juried Art Exhibition and Sale July 17-July 28th at the Ridgetown Campus, University of Guelph, 120 Main St. E Ridgetown, Ontario.
I'm pretty excited since these are the first collage paintings that I have entered into a show!
The two accepted are:
Bright and Early
and Spring Chicken
I hope you can stop by and take a look if you are in the area.
Yesterday morning, before it got too hot and muggy, I took my watercolours out to the garden and sketched a few tiny paintings. An hour or so and a few mosquito bites later, here's what I came up with:
These little paintings are in ACEO format, which means they are the size of a trading card. (3.5" X 2.5") They are available in my ETSY store right now! Click Here to view store.
Some years, in the field behind our house, the farmer plants wheat. We love to watch the wind blowing across the field creating rolling waves. If you get up close you can see the individual wheat heads dancing in the wind.
This piece is 16" X 12" mixed media/collage on canvas. If you look closely, you will see that each little grain of wheat is a tiny hand painted piece of paper from pages of an old cookbook. I chose the section on bread making!
I was excited a few weeks ago to receive an email from a lady who had found my art on Fine Art America. She was interested in having me paint a full sheet (22" X 30") watercolour similar to my painting "Fiesta!"
Well, it has been a while since I did that painting, so I got to work composing and practising. After two failed paintings, (lets call them practice pieces!) I finally got to one I liked. The client likes it too, so it will soon be heading off to Pickering!
In my last post I mentioned how you can use things around the house or purchased at the dollar store to create texture in watercolour or acrylics.
Here are a few examples of some of the "tools" I use to create texture for my collage papers and for interesting backgrounds.
Here I have some cheesecloth, Halloween spider webbing, and a styrofoam tray that holds test tubes. (I get these from work, we throw them out everyday so if you want some let me know. You'd just have to pay for the shipping!)
The ever popular bubble wrap (also fun to pop while waiting for paint to dry!), the one with the squares is a mat for the sink, and I can't remember what the other thing is!
The white one is for under rugs to keep them from slipping and the green one was for under placemats. The yellow stuff was in the craft section. Not sure what it's called.
This texture was created by first underpainting in fluid acrylic, then applying another wash and placing the green mat above onto the wet paint. I put a heavy book on top and let dry.
This was created using the spider webbing.
Neat texture from the test tube tray. One wash of fluid acrylics, then tray pressed into wet paint.
This was made with the mat for the sink and the one for under a rug. (Technical terms! LOL)
Finally, this one was created using the fibery craft item.
You've heard the expression, "She's no spring chicken!" Well this girl is! Okay, so maybe her comb isn't as grand as the Rooster next door, but she's got attitude and can tiptoe through the tulips with the best of them!
This painting is 14" X 10" and consists of handpainted and found papers applied to gallery wrapped canvas. I discovered that I had almost no rusty brown or gold papers, so had fun making some with various textures. My friend Sue Galos and I spent a fun blizzardy afternoon a couple of years ago in the dollar store picking up things that we thought would make a good texture when pressed on wet painted paper. I made use of a lot of them! Maybe on another post I'll show you some if you'd like.
Okay, I've become obsessed with this technique already! A couple of days ago, I reorganized my studio and obtained a few more storage containers which act almost like a very large pallette. Now I have 3 large containers for the primary colours, red, yellow and blue and 3 for my secondary colour, orange, green and purple. I would really like more, for my warm and cool blues for example, but I'm afraid my room will be taken over by containers!
I've started thinking ahead, and since I always enter the Desmond Juried art show at the Ridgetown Agricultural Collage each summer, I have already finished a piece that I might enter. The theme is always farm and rural living so I think this piece will fit in nicely!
"Time to Wake Up!"
14 X 11" on gallery wrapped canvas
I want to make a companion for this piece but I'm waiting for my canvas order to arrive. In the meantime I thought I'd do one on kind of a similar theme on a tiny 6 X 6" canvas.
"Sunny Side Up"
These were both created by applying hand painted and found papers to a canvas. Sunny side up even has some small scraps from an egg carton in the background.