Monday, June 30, 2014

Mixed media bird

I felt like drawing another imaginary bird. Earlier this month I watched a quick video from Carla Sonheim called “Crazy Birds Tutorial”.  Carla has great ideas for getting started and this is a fun one. 

I made a few sketches using the ‘crazy birds’ approach and posted the first bird here a few weeks ago.  This second bird is a mixed media piece:

In the sun's light...

 I used some masking, stippling and sgraffito techniques from Diane Culhane’sPaint Your Garden” workshop, too.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My boy

Remy was waiting for me to put on my sun clobber - we were going to spend a bit of time in the back yard. He's very patient and waits quietly on his rug for me.  This time he closed his eyes and I think he enjoyed the sun on his face:

Sunshine on my face...

Remy loves to roll around on his back, kicking his legs in the air and then snack on bits of grass - all under a beautiful summer sky.  I love to watch his carefree appreciation of the simple things.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Birds, flowers and sheep

Beginning with a surface covered in random colors of paint, I found imaginary flowers – next came birds (a favorite subject) and then, out of the blue, little sheep:

I think it's a happy painting :-)

 Masking, sgraffito, stippling, blown blots techniques, again, from "Paint Your Garden", an online workshop by Diane Culhane.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I prepped a couple of small canvases using techniques from Diane Culhane's online workshop, "Paint Your Garden", the goal being flowers in a garden.  But following where the painting activity led, this particular canvas yielded flowers and trees in a small meadow:

A different look.

Here's a look at the other canvas (in process) with the beginning base layers:

At this point I have no idea of the outcome...

This painting process is exciting because many decisions are made in the moment and in response to something that has just happened.  The outcome may be undesirable and even unsalvageable, because unpredictability is rife; but then again, the results can be surprisingly wonderful and perhaps that is what appeals to me :-)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Dialogue with paint

"Paint Your Garden" had a final assignment which was to put to use the various techniques Diane Culhane taught over six lessons.

Here's what developed for me:

Birds and flowers...springtime.

I say "developed" because the ideas arise from the painting in a free-flowing manner - as the paint is brushed or otherwise applied.  Images appear from between layers or as a result of mark making from sgraffito, stippling, frottage and the other techniques.  I found it key for me to be aware of unfolding possibilities from one brush stoke to the next mark.

I guess it's pretty obvious that I thoroughly enjoyed this class :-)

BTW, Carla Sonheim is re-running her online class, "Imaginary Creatures" beginning next week (!).  I took this class when it first ran and I highly recommend it. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Class is out...

Diane Culhane's online workshop, “Paint Your Garden” that is.  Currently I am working on some assignments that I made up for myself and I will share them upon completion :-)

However, to catch up on what has been going on… I have been working toward my goal of freer expression in this medium, and I have been having fun taking chances, letting go and enjoying the characteristics of the paint. 

One of last week’s assignments was a continuation of creating mostly visual texture by way of frottage, blown blots and splattering - fun and messy.  The different techniques Diane has been teaching build on themselves; the layering, the techniques of masking and sgraffito (love sgraffito) combine with the newer ones and, voilĂ , a menu of texturing options.

Here are the vignettes:

Masking is key.

The triangles at the bottom appeal to me...

A fav -  because of the semi-opaque layers and the dots (!)

This one is different.  I sort of followed the paint.

I love it when I can hardly wait to get into my studio and begin :-)