Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Isn't that the noise cartoonists used to use to signify indignation, etc.? Well, here's me going HARUMP!

I really like working with a painting, having it indicate to me where it wants to go - - but, this one has become really opinionated! And, I'm not too happy about it all!

Anyway, I've added quite a bit more paint, still acrylic, but thinned out some now. The parts that insisted on being fallen trees look suspiciously like shadows of standing trees. So, I'll be needing to work on that. And, I simply can't catch in a photograph how the different papers and paints play together. The piece does look much better in person than when photo'd, something to do with how some of the papers reflect. More work to do.

When I'm taking a break from that particular frustration, I turn to what I'm calling "the little guys" - a series of 4 x 6 pastels in museum type matting but w/o frames. For reasons unknown to me they all want to be organic. These two, an extreme close up of leaf veining, and a sprig of manzanita are joined by one depicting lichen on a chunk of granite. Lots of greens running around in my brain. Hmmmm. . . could that mean lots of money on its way? Could be!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Changes in Edges

One of the things I like about mixed media, especially working with mixed papers, is that it reminds me to allow the painting to have a say in where it wants to go. In watercolor, surprisingly, I can be too controlled.

Anyway, I went in to this painting and added quite a bit of heavy bodied acrylic on top of the various papers. Then I stepped back and looked at it. . . .

Well, I lost too much of the effect I wanted from the paper. And those scrunchy areas that I had in mind to be brush seemed to want to be roots. And, when you get to know the Sequoias you learn that some must die in order that others may live (hmmm, kinda like humanity) and that fallen trees always exist in an undisturbed areas of Sequoias.

So, I went back with more paper on top of the paint. I added some golden browns for the fallen trees and part of the tree trunks. The center tree reminded me that older Sequoias nearly always have long, long trunks with the branches toward the top. The really ancient ones have only a top knot.

We'll see where this takes me tomorrow!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another Edge happenin'

OK, I started yesterday with a bunch of tissue paper and rice paper adhered to a canvas. I'll be going for Edge of the Trees (thinking of the big Sequoias near us). So, blue papers, green papers, tree shapes, a bit of cloud. And then some drying time. . . .

I'm not ready for paint yet. So, I went in and added more paper, crumbled shapes for brush, spikey shapes for grasses, highlights and lowlights on trees, etc. A bit of darkening areas of sky. All still with paper.

Once this dries, I'll be ready for paint. I don't think I want any watercolor in this one. I'm going for a heavier look so I'll probably use undiluted acrylics. Of course, I change my mind all the time, so who knows. . . . Check back later.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Finished Edge of the Lake

OK, I just couldn't help myself. I did go in with just a few touches of pastel - can you find them?
I love how the purity of pastel adds a touch of brightness here and there.

So, it's time to move on. Maybe Edge of the Forest will be next. . . .

Saturday, February 13, 2010

And Then. . . .

Today found me adding acrylic on top of the watercolor on top of the mixed papers. I'm liking the way it's shaping up. Now, I need to let it sit, let both the image and my mind gel, before I decide about adding pastels too.
See ya later.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Continuing. . . .

Today I've been adding in watercolors and a tiny bit of gesso. It's always interesting how the different papers take the watercolor - some absorb a lot, some don't; with some the base color really shows through, in others not so much.
Tomorrow will probably be acrylics. With their heavier body and more dense color, I'll be able to refine areas I'm not happy with - especially the three canoes pulled up on their sides. They look way too flat. Once the acrylic goes on and has time to dry and allow me to see what the colors really plan to do I'll know if I want to add some pastels. I like the look of pastel as a finishing touch 'cuz their colors are so pure. We'll see. Still a work in progress.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Work in Progress

I'm working on a new mixed media piece done with the type of process that I used for Splish. So far I've put down layers upon layers of tissue papers to create shapes and textures. Tomorrow I'll go in with paint to refine shapes, etc.

This will be Edge of the Lake. Yet to come:
Edge of the Forest
Edge of the Storm
Fountain's Edge
Petal's Edge
Edge of the Road
And. . . various other edges.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Edge of Dawn

Living where I do, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, I wake up to beautiful sunrises. My studio window looks up toward peaks and a bit of a bowl shape. When the sun comes up behind the peaks some areas glow while others remain in deep shadow; big old oaks, naked of their leaves for winter, take on a ghostly look with branches appearing silver; distances are confused; and the sky has a brief moment of appearing to have been painted. Then, blink, it's gone, and the light eases toward daylight.