Tuesday, November 28, 2017

November Stitching, or lack thereof

I guess I got sidetracked by turkey eating because I forgot to stitch these together this month.  All I have to show today is a big pile ready for some stitching this afternoon.

Friday, November 24, 2017

November Leaves 2

Here is the second in my November Leaves series.  When I started this, my inspiration was a walk through lots of dried leaves. I brought a handful of them inside to draw from for my initial marks. I was seeing all sorts of black, browns and earth tones, thus the constraints for this series. But the super bright yellows and oranges are hanging around this year and look nothing like the earthier colors I'm using.  I may have to retitle these.

November Leaves 2, acrylic on paper, 12x12"

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

November Stitching

I was laying my November 2016 components out to stitch together, and I threw them next to my 2017 project for comparison.   This has been such a bright, cheerful Nov. that I thought they would look drastically different.  They blend pretty well here, but maybe when I join all of Nov. 2016, it will look more dark and somber.  I love rich colors next to dark browns and blacks.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Studio Journeys

I have been taking part in Nancy Hillis's Studio Journeys this month.  It's a monthly program that includes ideas, instructions, and community for abstract painting. Each month she provides an art bundle which gives a focus for the month.  This first one is "work in a series."  I was a little hesitant to join because I already work in series, but I have been fully enjoying it.  I like having an assignment to focus on for the month and some inspiration for doing it.  The Facebook community has about 350 members and has been a fantastic place for seeing a wide range of abstract painting.  Looking at so much work helps me clarify what I do and don't like in abstract painting, and it helps me clarify what  my own style is.

This month we are instructed to brainstorm 10 different series we could explore, then choose one.  We come up with some constraints for our series, make between 5-10 starts, and then choose some to develop fully.

I decided to work with November leaves.  Only in the middle of painting them did I recognize how similar my painting is to my stitching projects.  I can't seem to stay away from subtle shifts in the seasons.  Maybe because I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where our seasons consisted of brown hills or green ones, I am now fascinated by all the shifts in the sky, earth,and plants that occur in Portland, often even in the course of a day!

My constraints for this series are 12" squares and black, white and earth tones.  I started each piece by very roughly drawing leaves I had collected.  They pretty much disappear in the final versions, but provide a little starting energy to get me going.

"November Leaves 1", acrylic on paper, 12"x12"

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

November Stitching

I love black and brown together, so November is a good month for me.  I love the way we see more black branches and limbs and deep brown leaves that make the remaining colors pop.  Here are some of my components from Nov. 2016 that I am now joining together.

I probably shouldn't pick favorites, but this one wows me.  That dark brown and black with a little chartreuse and a pop of hot pink.  Yes!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Dusty Rose

Sometimes when I'm uninspired, I like to browse through SCRAP, our creative recycling center, or the Goodwill Bins and see what jumps out at me.  I was hoping I might find the perfect pile of wool strips to start rughooking, but that was not to be.  Instead I found a pile of cheap, very sturdy, flashcards, unlike the awful new index cards which are about the weight of binder paper.

They are perfect for small collages, and I wanted a quick project.  Recently my 17yo niece said her new favorite color combo. is black, white and dusty rose.  Dusty rose?  I hadn't thought about that since the 80s when all you saw was dusty rose and country blue.  I didn't like it then, so I was curious how I would like it now.

I pulled a bunch of my black and white painted and marked papers, some found papers, and ones in shades of dusty rose, peach, pink.  Not surprisingly, I had almost no dusty rose in my stash.  I challenged myself to work very quickly and intuitively, sometimes pulling papers blindly and trying to make them work together.  It was a lot of fun and got me going again.

Sometimes I let the word on the flashcard show through.

 Sometimes I added paint to try to get more dusty rose.

 And sometimes I liked it just the way it was and couldn't bear to add pink.

I also found this perfect index card holder for $1.  I love the thought of a whole box full of mini collages in different color palettes.

So did I come around to dusty rose?  Blush yes, hot pink yes, but dusty rose--bleh!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

October Stitching Wrap Up

I love October colors, so putting together my bits of stitching from Oct. 2016 made me very happy.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Autumn Inspiration

October is my favorite month, and this one was spectacular.  I did very little artwork, but I absorbed all sorts of new inspiration.  Don't know if any of it will ever appear in my work, but my senses are filled.

I went on a cruise with my mom through New England up to Nova Scotia and Quebec.  I had been to Quebec 30 years ago, but I forgot how beautiful it is.  And how very European.

The countryside around Quebec is equally stunning and colorful.  This was one of my favorite buildings.

We visited the site for Anne of Green Gables while on Prince Edward Island.  I enjoyed those books many years ago with my boys and recently enjoyed Anne With an E on Netflix.  It was exciting to walk down Lovers' Lane or the Haunted Woods from the stories, and a beautiful setting overall.

I was really attracted to the simple house shapes in the fishing villages.  These are from Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia.

I thought I'd get burned out on lighthouses, but we didn't really see that many, and those that we did see were picture perfect.

 And then there were the lobster rolls!  I had 4 of them!


Ever since I saw these great pillows in Halifax, I've been obsessed with rug hooking, at least learning about it.  Wish I got the artist's name.

So lots of beautiful sights throughout the trip, but one of the main reasons we went at this time of year was for the fall color.  There were plenty of golds and oranges, but there has been no frost to turn the maples deep red.  Ironically, I had to come home to Portland to get a good dose of color.  We took a trip up to the Japanese Gardens which are spectacular right now.

Another bit of inspiration came from an artist talk/demo I went to at Multnomah Arts Center.  Elise Wagner is known for her encaustic work.  She has developed a method of printmaking using encaustic collograph plates.

Here is the print she made in the demo along side the ghost print.

And one of the plates she uses.  She etches into acrylic plates, adds encaustic wax, textures into that, then prints.

This is the second of the printmaker demos Multnomah Arts Center has done.  I am fascinated by the process, but also quite certain that printmaking is not for me. In fact, I heard the phrase "don't print like a painter" meaning don't make a big mess when you print.  I know exactly what camp I am in and will stick to my paint covered hands and messy edges.  It is fun to learn about new techniques though.