Saturday, September 29, 2012

Subtractive Method

As a painter, I'm always adding layers of paint to my canvases. I haven't done a lot of experimenting with subtractive techniques. So this week I thought our art prompt would be to work using a subtractive technique; anything from carving to erasing. You could carve a lino block for print making or carve soap stone. You could try erasing charcoal. Basically, try any technique where you take away material from your project. I chose to carve acrylic paint layers.

I began this project by painting 15 layers of thick paint onto small blocks. Each layer dried over night. Then I grabbed some smaller wood carving gouges and began carving away layers of paint.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Altered Puzzles

Every family has to set it's limits on something. And for my family, it's that I'm only allowed to do one jigsaw puzzle a year (usually at Christmas). I love puzzles! Big, wonderful, and here's the clincher... time consuming 1500 piece jigsaw puzzles. I've been known to sit obsessively for 7 hours straight muttering the mantra "Just one more piece, just one more piece." So imagine how much fun I had coming up with this week's art prompt: the altered puzzle.

"All Roads Lead Home"
I started with a 24 piece child's puzzle from a thrift store ($2). Children's puzzles are great for this project because the pieces are over sized and thick. I randomly grabbed pieces out of the box and covered them in Japanese papers, maps, white paint and thread.
A collage of Japanese papers that have been hand painted were lucky enough to belong to the same corner of the puzzle.
Thick pieces of acrylic paint skins are fitted together here.
Maps became the unifying theme as I added roads to tie all the pieces together on the finished puzzle.
I'm starting to piece the puzzle together here. I love the red piece above, which was created using thick tangles of red thread. Several more white pieces were created using white thread.
What a fun project for people of all ages. Imagine doing this with a group of children (or adults for that matter) using a giant floor puzzle! Each person would get their own large puzzle piece to decorate. I feel a workshop coming on!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Create a postcard

Life has a way of getting busy. I know! Last week I even missed sending you out an art prompt as I was busy gearing up for another creative and fun filled homeschooling year with my kids. When I get super busy I like reminders to slow down. I often spend entire days on the computer. I may receive 50 plus emails in an afternoon. So when a fellow artist friend sent me a hand painted postcard in the mail, I stopped what I was doing, boiled the kettle, made a cup of tea and sat down to enjoy this little treasure. We don't send enough thoughtful mail these days. So this week, create an original postcard and send it to someone.

Here's a second art prompt for the week (to make up for last week). Visit your library and find some old books. I'm lucky enough to own 7 bookshelves full of favorite old books, so I didn't need to go far.
I still read "Frog and Toad"!
Grab a sketchbook and start drawing bits and pieces of interesting parts. I created my postcard on top of a photocopy of a page of text. The tree comes from a sketch I did from a favorite Steinbeck novel I just finished reading. I also added bits of string and acrylic skins my mom removed from an old plaster painting of hers. 
cast-off acrylic skins from my mom, Bonnie Coulter.
The finished product is a whimsical multi medium art piece that can get dropped in the mail and sent along. And maybe when the friend on the other end receives it, they will make a pot of tea, slow down and enjoy some quiet time too.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Mason Menzies
"The Bees Knees"
Matty Menzies
"The Forge"

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Drawing with your non-dominant hand

I've recently started a new series and got the ball rolling today with a small mock-up painting.
"Size: Laughter"

I often desire my paintings to have a loose feeling to them, and just as often my O.C.D tendencies struggle with this. A friend of mine who is a fabulous, intuitive, abstract painter suggested I try drawing with my left hand, so try this as your next art prompt.

Here's what the non-dominant hand drawing looked like. I forced myself to draw it in ink so I wouldn't be tempted to erase lines and clean them up. It was challenging and took WAY longer than a normal quick sketch would. In the end, I really liked it.
This series is entitled "Sizes". I want women to stop worrying about their dress size, but rather to focus on their other wonderful qualities. I have a friend who has a killer smile and infectious laugh. It was the first thing I noticed about her. Every time I'm around her I hope she knows this about her self. She inspired this painting, entitled "Size: Laughter". If you'd like to be a part of this series, tell me what your size is. Me? I'm size bookworm. Better yet, book a modelling session in my studio to become one of the paintings!