Friday, March 30, 2012

In the Picture - March

On the road to 52 self portraits in the year. 

Original encaustic and paper on panel
52 self portraits in Photography that is - but I decided to mix it up a bit and do a self portrait painting for {{In the Picture}} this month.  Also, today is Paint Party Friday and I am trying to do a painting a week for that.  So why not aim high and try for a combo this month!? 
These two goals seem a bit lofty but I am finding that I am managing to stay with them. 
March had been a good month for me. The weather has been unusually wet around here, which would normally weigh me down. However, it has translated to lots of quality indoor time in my studio just happily painting away. It also means that my selfies were indoor ones with the exception of one.
In the Picture
I did actually get a good outdoor photo day.  I took a load of cameras and the dog to the beach and it was challenging to say the least.  There was WAY too much to carry and manage the dog too.  But, in the end - it was good.  And, there was a nice quiet moment when the dog was back in the car.  It was a just end to my day.

Happy Friday everyone!
I'm linking up today with Christy at {{In the Picture}} and with Eva and Kristin at Paint Party Friday.

In The Picture

And, if you are wondering... yes, the opening painting photo is tweaked a little.  But, I liked it better that way.  I have to figure out how to paint like that in its all Pop Art-y goodness.
Here's the original

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Inspiration Today: The Art of Karin Jurick

Women's Lib
by Karin Jurick
The sea is still on my mind and I want to introduce one of the artists that I admire.  Her name is Karin Jurick.  I don't remember exactly when I came across the art of Karin Jurick.  However, I was really interested in her not only because of her style... but she paints a painting a day!  In oils!! 
OK, to me that is admirable, because for me to paint a painting a day is really not going to happen.  I actually have set a personal goal to paint a painting a week so that I can participate in Paint Party Friday this year.  But.. a painting a day? Yeah... no.

Karin Jurick paints many subjects and I hope that you go to her website and have a browse around.  I love them all but I do really love her beach scenes, animals and museum goers.  She has a couple of You Tube videos that I hope you have time to browse. 
The first one is her beach paintings.  See them here ::
Life Should be a Beach by Karin Jurick

The second one is her talking about the palette she uses.  I have been exploring the palette of the sea.  You can see what I put together here.  Its nothing like the palette Karin uses.  It is always interesting to see what other artists have on their palettes.  See her video here::
My Painting Palette by Karin Jurick
I love how she starts out by saying "I sure love a lot of color". 

Then, if you are really loving all this... watch her paint one of her paintings here::
Painting a Scene of a New York City Street by Karin Jurick
What jumps out when watching her paint is that she thinks in shapes of color.   That is pretty obvious as you see the painting develope.  She is not thinking about the subject she is painting... only the shapes and how they combine and work together in color and value.

I have a lot to learn from someone like Karin Jurick.  That is why I shared her work today.  Its always good to keep the artists you admire nearby.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Exchange #3 - Finding Inspiration

Finding Inspiration:: Under the Sea
Its week three of my Sea related adventure with my friend Ingrid. We are partnering over 4 weeks to explore the sea.  I decided to set up a separate page tab to explain the IM Project and show the good things we are creating. 
Where do you look for inspiration when you need it?  Today, I am looking to the Seattle Aquarium to find some sea creatures to inspire subjects for my chart panels.   I did a couple of sea creature paintings (here).  I had so much fun with them that I decided I need to keep going on this idea and see where it takes me.
 Oh my gosh... aren't they beautiful?  So many interesting shapes, sizes and colors.  Incredible, really.
 This is not my best photography, but that is not the point here.  The point is to gather inspiration and then create something from it. 
 I collect tons of photos. I take photos of things that catch my eye because of color, words, shape, shadow - whatever. Thank goodness for digital photography :)  Sometimes I wonder why I even took a photo. Why?
 The reason is that I never know when that will come back around for me - but in the moment, I just knew I had to capture it. These photos actually come from my archives.
 Don't you just love these starfish photos?  Their little toes curl at the ends.  They are just hanging out on a rock under the sea.   Don't they seem to have a people-like quality? 

The anemones - the undersea flowers. Yep, beautiful
 OK, I'm in love with the sea grass in this one.  And, those fishies are pretty sweet.  Especially the one peeking in from the bottom.
And more pink sea anemone love.  So frilly fine.
You see, art has a process and it starts at inspiration.  Now that I have gathered some ideas, I'll head to the studio and see what becomes.  I have two chart panels waiting for a subject.
Head over to Ingrid's blog and see what SEA inspired delights she is bringing today.

Monday, March 26, 2012

FILM26 - G is For..

Its time again to switch letters over at FILM26.  We're moving on.
G is for...

Me and G
 There is a park in Seattle at the north end of Lake Union.  It is an old Gasworks where some of the old structures, pipes, and valves have been saved.  The park has a lovely view to the south of the skyline of Seattle.  Its a nice spot to spend some time on a sunny afternoon. 
the Works at Gasworks
 I heard some cooing and noticed that in one of the open pipes, a pair of pigeons had made a nest.  Mr. was the sentry and watched carefully as Doggie and I stood below. 
 Gentleman Pigeon at Gasworks
 Sure enough, Mrs. Pigeon showed up at the opening after Mr. P decided that Doggie and I were OK.  They were so cute that I couldn't resist a Polaroid shot of the two peering down at me.
Gentleman Pigeon and His Bride at Gasworks


We're taking film photos for a year and following the alphabet for inspiration.  Every two weeks, we share what we find over at FILM26 at Flickr. 
I also want to do a little Monday Shout Out to my friend Justine Gordon over at Justine Gordon Photography.  She has come up with a brilliant idea of Pay It Foward Monday.  Which means that you give a little shout out to a fellow blogger and a *clap~clap* for what they do.  Justine is a fellow film photographer and participant and co-hostess at FILM26.  Head on over to her blog and see what an amazing photographer Justine is.  Also, give pay it forward a try on your blog!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sea Creatures

Holy Mackeral
encaustic and paper on birch panel 5x5
 I was playing around with the creatures of the sea today.  I'm using some of the colors that came about in my Colors of the Sea palette from Tuesday (here).  And... why am I thinking of the Sea?  Its the theme that we have chosen for the IM (Ingrid-Marji) project
I got the idea from seeing black and white photos printed on old book pages.  I just happened to have some old book pages and sheet music so I gave it a try.  I used a photo of a sand dollar and in Photo Shop I extracted the background and isolated the sand dollar.  Then, I ran the book pages and sheet music through the printer in the auto feed tray, printing the sand dollar photo.  They turned out OK... just OK.  It was actually harder than I thought to get a good printing where the photo wasn't too dark or too light - both resulting in lost detail.  However, they seemed like good backgrounds for encaustic paintings.  I used this method to mount the paper on the panels. When the wax hits the paper, the paper becomes more translucent depending on, of course, the paper used.  So my prints lost some of their umph on both of these papers and, anything on the reverse side slightly showed through.  But, as we all know, all is good in art... there really are no mistakes. 
encaustic and paper on birch panel 5x5
I've decided from these two small paintings.. that it would be really kinda fun to try some sea creatures in a larger format.   It made it fun to use my Punchy Sea Color Palette - a little shell green, sea grass yellow, crab and scallop shell.
I'm hooking up with Paint Party Friday today.  I want to say thank you to all of the PPF people who dropped by last week.  I have to say I was impressed by the wonderful enthusiasm everyone shared and the outstanding artwork created by this group.  I felt very welcome for my first ever PPF and I am so looking forward making my way around to see what everyone else is doing.   Thank you again everyone and Happy PPF!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Lucky Find and a How To

 Since I have been thinking about the Sea, I have been thinking about maps and charts.  Yesterday, I had a lucky find.  I popped into a antique store, one that I had been in before but had not had any luck.  However, this time - lucky!  I came across those charts I had been thinking of.  They were right there in a basket waiting for me.  They are dated from the 60's and must have belonged to quite an adventurer.  They mostly were maps of far away places - Hawaii, the Philippines and southwestern coast lines.  Basically - big printed on thick pieces of paper - YAY!  Now what to do with them? 

 Yes, mount them on panels for encaustic paintings.  I'll share my process for mounting paper on panels.  I think its useful for all kinds of applications - collage, encaustic, photographs and watercolor - you name it.  My neighbor is a water colorist and she uses this technique to mount her paintings directly to wood panels.  They look great!  Here's your supply list::
  1. YES! Paste.  I was told its the only one to use
  2. SHARP razor blades.
  3. Brayer
  4. Old credit card or some kind of shim to apply the paste
  5. Boards or cradled panels to mount the paper too.  Smooth.
  6. Your fabulous paper of choice.
 First make sure your surface is smooth and clean.  Then apply a THIN (very important) THIN layer of paste.  I end up scraping most of it off.  Keep the edges clean of any paste overflow.
 Second, have your paper cut to size with a little overhang.  I try to have one edge as my reference and square the paper on the panel using that edge as my guide.  You can see that in the picture above the left edge is pretty flush but the others have an overhang of paper by 1/4 inch or so.  Roll, Roll again and Roll even harder - make sure all corners and edges are rolled and flat.  Be watchful of getting paste on the brayer and spreading it to your paper - don't want to do that - so be watchful.
 Now the cutting.  Use the style of razor blade in the picture - only.  Use two hands, grasping the blade at the top edge of the right side and the top edge of the left side. ( I had to take a photo, so there is only one hand in the photo...)  Position the blade at about a 45 degree angle and ride it against the edge of the panel.  This takes some practice and your blade MUST BE SHARP.  Pull towards you, firmly and in one swoop.  You really only get one chance to get a good cut - going back to "clean up" the edges leaves uneven jaggy gouges that never really look good.  One swoop, one time, sharp blade.  I find that it is VERY helpful to block the panel against my body or something that gives a firm hold to the panel.  For these smaller ones I block one panel against my body and then block the one I am cutting against that one.  A firm foundation is important so your panel doesn't move as you pull the blade.
 I cut in a little tab at the top edge.  That way I'm not trying to get a pull from the corner that may pull the paper up from the board.  I then go back the opposite direction and remove the tab by pushing the blade versus pulling the blade.  Always keeping the 45 degree angle. 
 Go around all the edges.  Each edge I use a fresh area on the blade to ensure that it is sharp as I cut.  The first cut, I use the top of the edge, the second cut, I use the upper middle, then lower middle then lower edge.  That way - always a sharp spot on the blade.  Blades are cheap - toss this one when you are done and use a fresh one for the next project. 
Done!  and now ready to be coated with wax and let the creativity begin!  I'll show you next week what I have done with these panels.
Good luck and remember - SHARP BLADE, only ONE pull, one chance for a clean edge.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday Exchange #2

The Sea is the four week theme of the IM (Ingrid-Marji) Project and this week I've been exploring the colors of the sea  . 
The Punchy Sea Color Palette
I seem to be interested in color these days... how it works together, where it falls on the color wheel, etc.  After last week, I sat down and created a color palette from my photos from my day at the beach. You can see my inspiration photos here.  I came up with a beautiful color palette of neutrals, blues and grays. 
Neutral Colors of the Sea
But I was feeling that I needed a little punch to add to this palette that I created.  So, I spent some time looking through many beach photos to come up with a more punchy color palette.  Now, I stayed true to the pacific northwest and didn't stray from our local beaches in order to find the more vibrant colors.  I realized, that for the most part, I could pretty much create a color wheel from my selection of photos. 
There used to be a show on HGTV that you got to choose from a color wheel that was created from beautiful colorful objects that were in little boxes around the wheel.  Do you like the color of crab shell?  Its complimentary color is plankton.  Or perhaps you prefer an analogous color selection of crab, starfish and sand dollar.  Me... well, I just LOVE all the colors in the Yellow Orange photo :)

Red - starfish
Red Orange - Sand dollar
Orange - Clam Shell

Yellow Orange - Crab Shell

Yellow - Sea Grass

Yellow Green - plankton
Green - Shell

Blue Green - Rope

Blue - Rope

Blue Violet - Scallop Shell

Violet - Crab Claw
Red Violet - Crab
Now that I have my colors and inspiration figured out, I will have to see what I can do in the studio with all of this color inspiration.   Stop by Ingrid's blog and check out her SEA inspired goodness this week.  Our SEA theme is in the second week and most importantly, having a partner to keep my head in the game is really working for me.
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