Wednesday, December 10, 2014

recent class work - second directive

These pieces are from the first section of directive 2 of Jane Davies' class on working in a series. This time my series topic was to continue working spontaneously with the leaf prints along with pushing line and mark work, adding direct paint application with washes and then keeping the palette to a more neutral or subdued color range.

At first everything came easily. I loved experimenting with the washes which got me really interested as I dug into the still wet overlays with pencil and mark making. I felt more involved with the surface and loved painting within the collage, bringing a feel of movement and freedom from the restraints of mono printing. Numbers 1 through 6 show this flow as I very gradually brought in darker colors.

Then I decided that if I wanted to really stick to the plan, I'd need to work with a lot less color. So in came more black and less color. Number 6 is the beginning of this change with it's swath of black along with a fair amount of pinky reds. I found this exciting and edgy. 

Wanting to push the black further I went on to nos. 7 and 8 and several others not posted here.These pieces felt heavy and barren and I wasn't sure about continuing at this point. I really wanted to bring in more color but decided to stick with this very narrow range to see how that felt and what might happen.

I'm really glad I did. I decided to see what happened when I brought in a small amount of color, this time a very quiet, soft pink. The pieces still felt quite raw but I was satisfied and curious too. Number 11 is the most surprising and satisfying as I brought more color back in but with a balance of the darks. Very gradually I began to feel okay using this very subdued range. It has a depth, like the quiet of winter which is growing on me. I plan to do more in this vein.

Here are those pieces - all 8.5 x 11.

no 1
no 3
no 4
no 5
no 6
no 7
no 8
no 9
no 10
no 11

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

recent class work - first directive

Here are some pieces of work I did for the online class I'm taking with Jane Davies. It's a self directed class that's organized around the idea of confining yourself in a series to a particular topic or method so that something unexpected can emerge.

For the first segment I decided to push engaging a spontaneous flow in my work process. I'd been feeling stuck in trying to control the outcome of my work, so with this project I wanted to feel how to put a piece together without so much mind influenced decision making. I wanted to feel how to allow a flow and not deliberate over the next move but to quickly respond.

As a starting point I chose collage with mono prints using the Gelli plate and leaves, something I'd been working on all summer. You can see the two pieces I used as starts in an earlier post. Instead of assembling all the parts and then putting it all together, I decided to abandon any kind of planning and only go forward one step at a time with no idea of what would happen next. I also found loads of freedom in not trying to decide whether a piece was finished, something Jane suggested as a way to keep things more open and less influenced by our usual aesthetic or discomfort.

As I kept at it, relying on energetic, intuitive responses, I realized this was something I was teaching my body how to do. There is a special "feel" to relying on a different way of putting things together, a different feel for being in the flow. And I found that meant bypassing the mind and all of it's usual creative dampening assessments. It was a non mental way of making art. Wow!! What freedom.

Here's some of this work from the first segment which is called Direction 1. These aren't necessarily finished pieces, just inspirations for moving on to the next piece. I have some preferences but that feels unimportant to the process.

no 1

no 2

no 3

no 4

no 5

no 6

no 7

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

more monoprinting possibilities with November's Gelli plate class

November's mono printing class at Alexandra Sheldon's studio was some serious fun! Alexandra's studio was full as we had a non-stop afternoon of gelatin/Gelli plate exploration. There were twelve of us and that made for loads of prints going up everywhere we could find an empty wall.

I was really impressed by the range of work and the depth of what was produced. The theme was letting loose and going with a no mind freshness of working. Playful exploration was evident everywhere, for newbees and more seasoned pros alike.

Here are some pics of the day.

Barbara C's early work

Ellen's shape explorations.

More of Ellen's work alongside Barbara F's work.

Kat's work next to her mom's on the left.

Joan's work

More of Joan's work

Some early pieces of Emily's

Barbara F's early work

A later favorite of Barbara F's

An early piece of Andria's

Friday, October 17, 2014

Starting points for further work

I've started an online class with Jane Davies on themes and doing things in series. These two collages will be my starting point as I work on the mountains of quick prints that are gathering on my studio floor. I became obsessed with leaf printing this summer and really want to use all that gorgeous material.

I also want to work more loosely which is what I like about these pieces. I just kind of threw them together. I love working that way but often forget how to do that so this is a return to a free working style.

Time for surprises!!

Sea life and more work of the spring

For the past several years I've been finding images of the sea very compelling. Moving from purely abstract work, I began to include images of whales, fish, shells and sea plants. There was still loads of room for abstraction and I am finding the mixture mysterious, unpredictable and loads of fun. Continuing to work with Gelli plates I also added various drawing media to these collages. This was done with Gelli plate prints, collage and various drawing media. As with each of my different projects of this year I look forward to taking these further. This is what happened so far.

"The Dive"
collage and mixed media

"Sea Frolic"

"The Golden Seas"

"Fabric of the Sea"
mono print with dimensional paint

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Leaf printing obsessions

All of these pieces come from the inspiration I found this spring working with leaf prints using the Gelli plate. I fell in love with the various forms of plant life I'd find on my walks. Carrying around a plastic bag and scissors, I'd gather "specimens" everywhere I went; in the city, the suburbs and the woods. These would then go into my fridge for safe keeping until I could pull them out and play with them!!

I found there was something about using the forms of plants that brought about a feeling of open spaces and architecture. I was inspired to build. So I used the prints as building blocks for collage, just as kids love to builld their own castles and forts. I loved combining familiar elements in not so obvious, almost mysterious ways, bringing a new appreciation for the forms. 

Using both the fast drying, cheap craft paints and then the luscious Golden Open acrylics with their slow drying, fluid and rich colors kept me quite happy. I'd make mountains of simple prints. Each pull always brought surprises and I was hooked. I'd make these in my bits of time during the week and then on the weekends I'd begin to put these together, either as more complex collages or as prints that could stand on their own.

This first set of four is all collage. They came from using the prints as building blocks - cutting them up, not knowing what I'd be doing with them but feeling inspired by particular parts, wanting to combine them with parts from other prints. I played around a lot, moving them this way and that. Lots of fun!

Then I pulled some prints that started to feel they could stand on their own. See them below. They were less about building blocks and more about a mysterious something emerging.

"The Wood is Nourished"
collage on Bristol paper

"Moon Rising"
collage on Bristol paper

"The Path is Laid"
collage on Bristol paper

"Towards the Eve"
collage on Bristol paper

These next pieces are a leap into direct printing of the leaf forms. They are starts in a way. I'm eager to continue.

"The Pairing"
collage on Bristol paper

"Coming Through"
collage on Bristol paper

"Still Form"
collage on Bristol paper

Sunday, October 5, 2014

More fun with mono printing!

I love teaching these classes with loads going on for all! This class was small and kinda quiet, though when we turned on Pink Martini you would have seen us all dancing while the paint flowed! Here are some action shots followed by a few examples of the work. Leaf prints captured most of us with the shapes and details. Both the Gelli plate and the homemade gelatin plate are good forms to work with impressions of leaves.

Christie and Nina playing.
Alexandra running  in the background.

Alexandra caught in the moment

Anne Marie's prints with leaf. Anne Marie is Christie's mom

Anne Marie - she loved working with leaves

More leaf prints from Anne Maria

Christie puts up her work

Leaf prints and more by Christie

Ellen's leaf prints

Many prints by Ellen

Nina's work. Working on newspaper and the grid.