Saturday, November 22, 2008

November Virtual Sketch Date


6x8 inches, acrylic, with collage elements

This autumn tree, dappled with sunlight and shadow, is my second effort for the Virtual Sketch Date.  It started out to be a regular acrylic painting, but along the way it became something a little different.  My usual medium is watercolor, but I had an urge to try acrylic, because I wanted rich color and texture.  My skills with acrylic aren't wonderful, and it took me lots of adjusting to get the balance of lights and darks right.  Even then, there was too much fussy detail in the background.  So I tried something I'd heard of, but never tried.  I took out an envelope of tissue paper that I had previously coated with matt gel varnish and thinned down acrylics, intended for a different collage project, and I attached them to areas of this painting with gel medium.  This had the effect of both simplifying the background and adding texture. I also added a few leaves made from  torn paper.  Since that color had never been mixed, it was bright, and made some interesting shapes in the foliage.  I was happy with this technique, and will try it again.

If you'd like to see the original reference photo, go to the Virtual Sketch Date site.  Tomorrow there will be links to other people's interpretation of the tree.  It's interesting to me to see all the ways artists approach a challenge like this. http://virtualsketchdate.blogspot.com/

I can't let November 22nd pass without a quick thought about this being the anniversary of President Kennedy's death.  It's strange to me that I need to check my scrapbooks to verify the exact day my parents or grandparents died (late in March, some time in July), but this date arrives each year with an imaginary black border around it.  Of course when my friends and loved ones pass it doesn't make screaming headlines, school isn't dismissed, television doesn't cover it all day for a week.  It was cold in 1963.  My dad had gone north to hunt deer with his high school buddies, and Mom was planning to take me and my younger sisters and brother out to the Traveler Restaurant for a rare meal away from home.  I was in seventh grade, in Elsie Cooper's math class when the announcement came over the PA system, and we all were released home for the day.  Mother picked me up from the 1887 building that housed our junior high, and we drove straight to my grandparents' house to watch the news on their black and white television. We all cried, and when we went out that night for our special restaurant night, the hot beef sandwich was dust in my mouth.  Dad came home without a deer.  I'm not sure why this seems so important today.  There have been other assassinations, other screaming headlines that filled the country with horror, but that day was the one that made me truly aware of a larger world outside my small sphere.  May it never happen again.



30 comments:

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

What a wonderful effect! It's lovely...has that shimmer of fall leaves and a terrific sense of light.

winna said...

I like this look--I would imagine that your liking to do it has a lot to do with it looking so good. That's the 'you' in it..

Brenda Yarborough said...

Terrific job!! Excellent idea for the bg -- I found this ref photo to be difficult and absolutely love what you've done.
I, too, remember the date. . . the teacher announcing to the class, school being let out, the news coverage. I still get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes remembering John-John's salute to his Daddy's coffin.

Lisa Reed said...

Sherry-you should be very proud of this--it is gorgeous! Thanks for the tribute to John Kennedy. I lived in Dallas at the time and can still feel the sadness.

Angie in AZ said...

Your tree turned out beautiful! I love all the color and texture!

mARTa said...

I'd like to hear more about your tissue technique! This piece just vibrates with color! Really lovely!

Christie said...

Wonderful, and I really appreciate your explanation of the technique. This is one shimmering tree!

Trish said...

Oh! the shading, and shimmer is lovely. so glad you shared this with us.

Margaret Ann said...

This is outstanding...in many ways reminding me of a batik...Gorgeous color! :)

Carolyn said...

I just love this. I love how soft it looks and how you blended the colors.

Stacy said...

I am so glad you mentioned the collage technique. I knew this had a unique look but didn't know why. After reading about the collage I clicked to get the bigger picture - so glad I didn't miss out on that! Great texture and colors! Really lovely!

Col said...

I swear Sherry, you are brilliant.

shicat said...

What a great painting. The tissue really gives it a great effect.

Shirley said...

Gorgeous and such an interesting technique - I'm not sure I followed it exactly, but the values you achieved in the finished piece is lovely.

Andy said...

Hi, really like your painting and the collage element works very well. Very effective.

Paulette said...

This has a great look to it. Wonderful shading!
Amen, to the never again!

rrARTz said...

this looks so great! what a fun idea! the colors are beautiful.

christine said...

The collage elements give your painting such a rich depth and beauty. What a great result!

laura said...

This is really beautiful! The light, the color ... Having painted from this reference photo myself, I have to applaud the way you've handled the background too!!

Sharon said...

Wonderful texture and color on this painting, Sherry.
(And I also remember that day at school vividly. So many assasinations over a ten year period. It was a sad time.)

virtualsketchdate said...

Fabulous piece. I love the colours in this.

And a new technique....to me anyway. :)

Ann said...

Brilliant painting!

Regina Calton Burchett said...

This is beautiful - wonderful colors and shadows, and what an interesting combination of techniques!

MaryAnn Cleary said...

I love what you did with this. It was a difficult subject and your interpretation is wonderful - the effects are great!

freebird said...

Your tree is wonderful. I think you were very clever to turn it into a collage.

Joan Sandford-Cook said...

Hi Sherry - really love your tree study in acrylic and the addition of tissue collage brings it all to life. Although over here in England, I too will always remember where I was when Kennedy was killed. We felt over here that he was going to change the greedy commercialised world and wished he was our leader. We now put this onerous task onto Obama's shoulders and are so pleased the American people chose this upstanding man.

Liz Steel said...

Hi Sherry! This is wonderful!

Jennifer Lawson said...

Sherry, this is just wonderful. Great colors and I love the added collage effects. It makes me miss home

SYLVIANE said...

Wonderful,Sherry, I love your painting and collage..

Jo Castillo said...

Love the fall colors. Very beautiful.