Friday, February 17, 2017

Breathing Space

Night Light, acrylic on paper, 11x14"

Sometimes I start with an inspiration or idea before I paint, other times I just like to see what comes out and then I name it after I see it.  This was the latter.  It's interesting to look back on these that I painted a while ago because this has now become one of my favorites, and it wasn't at first.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Do-Your-Own-Thing Collaboration

My art group, Portland Art Collective, is doing a really fun project this year we call the "Do-Your-Own-Thing Collaboration."  About 15 of us are participating.  Each month the 2 people who are up for that month give us all a packet of materials and instructions on what they want us to do.  Sometimes the instructions are very specific, other times it's more wide open to our interpretation.  We've done everything from making quilt blocks, to dressing paper dolls, to doing abstract calligraphy.  Unfortunately, I didn't think to photograph the earlier projects, but here are a few of the recent ones.

Lenall asked us to make a piece 5"x 7" or smaller that contained a heart or hearts and the color red.  I am obsessed with this stitch I saw on Pinterest.  It probably has a name, but I don't know what it is,  just a tight blending of colors into one another.  The piece needed a little batting to take away the poufs, so I ended up making it into a tiny quilted piece.

I used that same stitch when I made Carol's piece.  Carol gave each of us a pennant shaped canvas with grommets in the top.  We each got a letter to include in any way we wanted on the pennant.  Some stitched, some painted, some collaged.   She requested some aqua and teal to tie them together.  She is making a large garland out of them that says, "Celebrate Happy" to hang for special occasions.

 Suzanne gave us each a 6X6" board with the instruction to do a circle within the square using any media we wanted.  I collaged some parts of my rejected paintings on it.  She left the instructions wide open to use any colors.

 This isn't part of our project but is my first attempt at trying that stitch.  It's so fun to use around negative space.

We are all really enjoying this project.  Each month feels like Christmas when we get our new packet of materials.  And it's so much fun to see each artist's different interpretations of the project and how they tie together as a whole piece.  It's a good challenge to be stretched in different directions each month.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Breathing Space--and Not

 Another from my Breathing Space series.  This one is called Traveling Alone.  I've been spending a lot of time traveling with family over the last few years.  It's been wonderful, but I  especially love those moments when I am off by myself and have time to absorb what's around me in silence.

Traveling Alone, acrylic on paper, 11x14"

Last year my paintings were very calm, but that is not the state I'm in right now.  I can't help but notice how much stuff appears as I paint.  Here's one in the early under stages at my easel, maybe things will be calmer by the time it's finished.  We can only hope. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Canvas Pencil Bags

I wanted to make a gift for a friend recently, so I pulled out paints and pencils and made a canvas pencil bag.  I made quite a few for myself a while ago and found that they are really useful for holding pencils, brushes, markers.  I made them in different sizes, tall and short.  The idea came from Elisa Burke's blog and her directions can be found here.

They are always a little funky and lumpy, but I like that.  Elisa rolls her top, but I prefer painting the top black and then leaving the edge raw.

My newly painted gift:

They are full of stuff all over my studio.

Technical details:  I just found older comments that I didn't know how to find earlier.  Thank you for those!  I hope I'm now on top of them.  I also see that when I look at my blog on Feedly, the format is odd and kind of random.  They appear orderly on my blog, so I don't know how to correct that.  If anyone can help, please do.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Breathing Space

I wanted to experiment with opening up the center of a canvas, having lots of quiet space in the middle and pushing the chaotic elements to the edges.

Edge of Tomorrow, acrylic on paper, 11x14"

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2017 Daily Stitch Project

Here's how my brain works:  my 2017 stitch project was inspired by these gorgeous silk threads that I found at an estate sale.  I thought it would be fun to focus almost entirely on stitch and mark making this year for my daily project, not adding too much fabric into the mix.  

But by the time I started stitching, I forgot all about those great silk threads.  I started Jan. by stitching with black and white, adding bits of red fabric here and there.  I'm perfectly happy with that, but I am going to break out the silk threads for Feb.

 Unlike my 2016 project that was done in individual components each day, this one is one continual piece per month.  Each day's stitching will be on a linen background 2"x30", so I estimate I need to fill up roughly an inch a day, not too much.

2016 focused on the shifts in seasons.  For 2017, I want to work intuitively with how each day feels to me, still keeping it abstract.  It might be weather related, but it also might be mood based.  I can see looking back where the especially chaotic, darker moments hit and where I felt more hopeful.

I'm finding some new challenges with this project.  I have to take more of a leap of faith that it will all hold together in the end.  I'm not sure if I want to go back at the end of each month and do a little unifying to make it hold together aesthetically, or just let it remain a random joining of days.  I'm also not sure how well it will hold together as a whole year at the end.  I already want to switch to cool grays, blues, lavendars for Feb, but those seem jarring after Jan.  Do I want to try to integrate them, or not worry about it?  Right now, I'm happily stitching and will see how it evolves.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Breathing Space

I think it's impossible for me not to be influenced by the seasons.  I start every morning with my coffee, looking out on the Portland hills with their classic northwest scenery of evergreens often draped with fog. Even when I'm not thinking about the it, the seasonal shifts in color seem to appear in my paintings. The Breathing Space series was done in spring and those yellowy greens and cool blues were appearing everywhere. This one is called "Spring Breeze" a little look forward on this gray Jan. day.

"Spring Breeze" acrylic on paper, 11x14"