Sunday, April 27, 2008

Golden Acrylic Collage with Gel Transfers Workshop

This weekend it was my great joy to attend a workshop at the Art Store in Des Moines which was taught by Bonnie Cutts, who is one of Golden Acrylics' Working Artists. If you are interested in working with acrylics, doing collage or transfer techniques, I highly recommend attending a workshop. Check out the link to see if there are offerings in your area.

I attended a lecture/demo on Friday night, which was very informative. There were so many sample boards! The Saturday workshop was a lot of fun. I learned more getting to work directly with the wonderful Golden products that were supplied to us. I've posted the collages that I worked on plus a sample board of direct transfer images. Bonnie prepared acrylic "skins" that we could include in our collages. These could be as simple as a textured gel that was tinted with Golden Fluid acrylic and left to dry on releasable surface such as glass. We adhered the skins to our collages using Gloss Soft Gel. We were also provided with transfers that were partially prepared. Clip art that was printed using a copier or laser printer (not regular ink jet) is coated with 4-5 layers of Gloss Soft Gel, drying between layers. Once the gel is thoroughly dry (no longer cloudy), put the image in lukewarm water to soak the paper. Place gel side down on firm surface & rub away the paper. Your image has transferred to the gel & it can be collaged onto your surface once it has dried (lay on a towel so it doesn't stick to surface while drying). Use Gloss Soft Gel to adhere transfer to the collage.
I have made transfers before using Liquitex products with satisfactory results, but I wasn't able to rub away the paper as thoroughly as I could with the Golden product. I think the toner bonded more thoroughly to the Golden film than it did to the Liquitex.
I would like to do more with the collages I started and will add an update when I get to that point.

Bonnie made the workshop a lot of fun as well as informative, and I recommend her very much. She is based out of the Twin Cities area. Check out her web site for workshop opportunities and to see samples of her art.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Follow-up to IF Save WIP

As time permits, I've been working on the graphite portraits I posted for Illustration Friday a couple weeks ago. This is the finished drawing. I learned a few things along the way. I'll work on a toned ground for future portraits which should help with establishing values. My husband was helpful for spotting trouble spots, which helps me develop an eye for ways to improve. I know this isn't perfect, but I decided that it could easily become overworked at this point. I'm happy with my progress, and now it's time to try another.

Illustration Friday - Primitive

Today while reading Fannie's fabulous blog, Imagine Create Inspire, I was reminded of this ACEO I created that fits the IF theme Primitive. The first thought that came to mind for the word Primitive was of naive art created by untrained artists. Then I remembered the art created by The Quiltmakers of Ghee's Bend. In 2003, they were featured on PBS, which is where I first learned of these artists.

Last year I was introduced to ATC's. (Artist Trading Cards) They are 2.5 x 3.5 inches, which is the same as any regular trading card. When they are made for sale, they are called ACEO's. (Art Cards, Editions and Originals)

This card was made using gesso, Liquitex paints, and colored pencil on paper. When I realized my abstract marks looked like a primitive house, I added the canceled postage stamp using acrylic matte medium. It was a nice bit of serendipity to have painted with the same pink as one of the fabrics in the quilt.

You may contact me for purchasing information.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Signs of Spring

Yesterday I took a few minutes to enjoy the sunshine and capture signs of spring. We have a grouping of old fashioned lilac bushes that promise to be loaded with blooms in a few weeks. Seeing the multitude of tight groups of buds was thrilling. The lilacs came from shoots that we harvested from hubby's parents' plants. They had started their lilac hedge from shoots that came from their parents. I love the connection to family in our yard.

Not so thrilling was the realization of how much work awaits me. Our largest perennial bed needs a lot of clean up. I need to make a temporary home for some perennials from a bed next to the house. We'll be replacing siding and windows in a few weeks. I don't want my hostas and siberian irises to be trampled. Several years ago, one of my sisters gave me divisions from her garden. When I think of us moving from this property one day, I have a hard time thinking of leaving my plants behind since the majority have a tie to family.
I'll share more of my treasures in the weeks to come. I also have an update on the graphite portrait to post once I scan it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Illustration Friday - Save

Jesus said, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me." Mark 9:37

Last Sunday at church I was inspired by a group of college students who had spent Spring break working on a mission project near Juarez, Mexico. A slide presentation rolled behind the speakers and one photo especially tugged at my heart. (I was given permission to use Connie's photo as reference for this week's IF.)
The students worked at a center that provides meals and shelter for children who are neglected and would otherwise be playing in the streets while their parents work long hours for little pay in American run factories (maquiladora). The need for everyday necessities is high, but there is another need that is being met when children come to the center. LOVE.

Many have never received hugs, tenderness and care like that which is given by the volunteers!

As for this drawing... one of my goals is to develop my drawing skills, including portraiture. I have very little experience, which is evident. I still need to finish developing this drawing, but I wanted to get it posted for the IF topic Save. (It's amazing what shows up when you scan a drawing.) I welcome constructive critique - please be gentle. :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Illustration Friday - Homage

This pair of tulips is an homage to my husband who is the love of my life. He supports me in so many ways. I have been able to grow as an artist because of his encouragement.
A few years ago we had a pair of white tulips that grew in a similar arrangement to the way I composed this piece. I used bright colors, because Hubby likes them. When we were students, we met at Iowa State University whose colors are cardinal red and gold.

This one's for you, Hubby!

Watercolor Class Preparations

I've been working on making a supply list for the beginners' watercolor class that I'm scheduled to teach at Swinging Bridge Studio beginning April 15th. Follow the link for details on signing up.
The biggest challenge has been to narrow the choices of supplies. Who wants to spend a small fortune to start? I've been reviewing triad color schemes in order to recommend the least amount of paint to get started. That's been fun.
Here's a shot of my palette and some of the supplies that made my list.
Do you have any favorite supplies that you recommend for beginners?