Sunday, August 9, 2015

New Collages

I go in streaks, painting for a while, then going back to cutting and pasting.  On Friday I drove to Madison to deliver a painting to a WRAP show at the Pyle Center, and took the rest of the morning to visit Artist and Craftsman Supply, and the galleries at the Overture Center and the Chazen.  My favorite show was at the James Watrous Gallery, a retrospective of the work of Madison artist/illustrator David McLimans.  I had never heard of the man, but his collages of animals and insects created from bits of maps spoke directly to my heart.  So much vision vision and skill!  Unfortunately, he died of a heart attack last year.  Why had I missed his work before? Anyway, I wanted very much to clear away the paints for a bits and get out my own papers.

These are three recent collages I did, all from my stashes of found and altered papers. All are six by six inches, on gessoed watercolor paper, designs inspired by examples in a book by Randel Plowman.  Some of my old and now disliked watercolors are hidden underneath. 

Waste not, want not.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Revisiting Vintage Family Photo

12x24 inches, oil and collage on paper

This is a work in progress, something quite different from my usual approach to painting from old candid photos, much brighter, more stylized.  The original photo is of my grandmother, Bernice Tess, and her good friend, Elizabeth Thompson. I have several photos of them and their families together at the beach, hiking, on driving vacations and so on.  But the picture of Liz and Grandma reclining by the shore has always tickled me.  My goal here was to drastically simplify the image, play with patterned paper for their blankets, and use color for decorative effect, rather than try to imagine what the actual scene might have looked like.  I still need to paint over patterned paper at the bottom, and add shadows under the women, and I am still trying to decide whether or not to define their faces more.  Right now their indistinct faces appeal to me.

However it turns out, I'm having fun.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Community Figure Drawing

The one area where I have learned to work a bit larger comfortably is at my summer session of figure drawing.  This summer it seems like nearly every Monday evening featured thunder storms, some of them memorable, so I missed a couple for those, and last week I had a senior moment and drove the twenty or so miles to the session only to discover I had forgotten my drawing materials.  Duh.

But the week the weather was fine, and I loaded the car early in the afternoon so there was no forgetting.  Our model, Will, is very easy going a comfortable, and all went well. 

I usually do ll the shorter poses on Canson "Biggie" sketchpads with charcoal.  I like the short poses, which allow for variety, and lots of practice. Also models can hold more interesting poses for short periods of time, unlike the longer poses which need to be something a person can hold for 20 or more minutes.

The last poses of the evening are a little longer, 20-40 minutes.  I don't especially want to work on this sort of sketch more than twenty minutes, just because by that time I am usually getting tired, and I am not interested in tremendously detailed drawings.  There are a couple artists who campaign for the longer poses, so at the end of the evening I just leave early.  This time I rather liked my pencil drawing of the model, though one hand never was resolved in the time allowed.  Still - I enjoyed the session.