Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Framing Your Art: The Devil Is In the Details

My mom recently put on a great show at the Sooke Harbour House. I especially loved how she unified her various styles of artwork by framing them all in the same frames; grey stained wood.

I decided to hit up her carpenter (my dad) for some frames of my own. Luckily for me, my carpenter dad works for home made raisin pie! So one rhubarb crisp and a raisin pie later, I had in my possession 4 new raw wood frames. And my inspiration was barnboard!

I wanted to share with you the process of staining raw wood frames to look like faux weathered barn board.

matte grey stain (I used Varathane "Sunbleached")
matte white paint (I used primer)
matte grey paint (I used primer)
matte black paint (I used left over house paint)
varnish (I use Minwax Polycrylic)

Step 1:
I began by lightly staining the wood a light grey. I used Varathane "Sun Bleached" stain. Paint a generous layer of the stain on, let sit for 15 minutes, then wipe off.

The raw unpainted frame

a layer of grey stain

Step 2:
Using the dry brush method, loosely paint a streaky layer of white primer on top of the grey stain.

white primer
Step 3:
Again using the dry brush method, add another streaky layer of matte grey paint. I just used leftover primers from painting around my house.

light grey matte paint
Step 4 and 5:
Either use a darker grey matte paint or add some black into your light grey paint for this next layer. Dry brush on a coat of the darker grey. Use the matte black paint to splatter paint the frame. Use a rag to rub black paint into knot holes and any imperfections on the wood.
dark grey matte paint and black
Step 5 and 6:
Lightly sand the wood and add a final layer of the original pale grey stain over top of all the other layers. Varnish the wood.
The last layers: grey stain and clear varnish
Here is sample board I created for future reference:
Frankie and Echo want to know, "How do we look in our new frames?"
Echo incognito as "Sidekick"

Frankie is a "Funny Girl".



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wild and Precious

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
Mary Oliver
"Size: Wild and Precious"
30" x 30"
This painting is all about layers. It is actually several paintings, each layered on top of each other.
I began simply by painting ornamental circles.
Then I transferred an image I had sketched on a large piece of paper.
Once I had the image transferred, I began color blocking the second layer of the painting. This included both the figure and repainting new circles on top of the old ones.
 As I continued to paint the figure, I made sure the layers from the previous painting would show through. I love how the circles show through on her arm.
The third layer of the painting involved reclaiming some of the previous background designs by adding detailed white pin stripes.
The final touch: using a subtle and lighter shade of blue to highlight around the design elements.
The final painting shows evidence of four very distinct layers.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Rescued Monsters

"Quickly I turned on the light and caught him sitting at the foot of my bed."
Mason's old sweater "Hugger" on the eve of Mason's birthday.

The year I learned to knit, I hand knit monster sweaters for my two boys and husband for Christmas. They were the first sweaters I made for someone else. And man, were they cute!  Every time my husband wears his, someone asks him where he got it. Recently I found Mason's sweater; too small, cast aside and sporting a hole. And yet, he was completely unwilling to part with it. It was after all the first sweater his mommy had ever knit him. And guess who's birthday was just around the corner? So I patched the hole with a felted heart and gave this monster a new lease on life.

Matty's sweater "Horace" was adopted last year. He really likes his new owner. She probably lets him stay up late watching movies.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Strange Beginnings

Sometimes in creating art, unexpected things happen. Sometimes I like to start out with the unexpected; with strange beginnings. This series began while pondering the dubious parentage of my muse. A pit bull terrier whippet cross named Frankie. Strange beginnings indeed! And our other little mixed rescue... a rat terrier daschound chihuahua cross? Really, it's anyone's guess.

a detail of my Frankie girl

For this series I wanted to start the paintings on materials inspired by my dogs. Materials that had been cast aside and then rescued by me. I painted on used tissue pattern pieces destined for the recycle bin and torn, discarded Japanese tissue papers that I hand painted on top of in a previous project.

Much of the portraits were painted using a palette knife and a toothbrush; scraping, layering, scrubbing and splattering the images on top of the tissue and torn paper bits.
The Final Projects
30" x 40" acrylic on tissue and canvas
"Funny Girl"
30" x 40" acrylic on tissue and canvas