Creative Flow

Recent print from my 100 Day project

Recent print from my 100 Day project

This week I thought I would share a recap of some recent projects with links. I love making, experimenting, and learning new things. My regular creative practice includes a lot of experimentation in a range of different media:

Printmaking studio view

Printmaking studio view

Printmaking - I have a small space in my home where I've set up my inks and papers, to do hand printing. I have taught block printing and gelli printing, and made a few short videos on my current work which is a ‘transfer’ monotype using a plastic bag. With this method, I'm completing the 100 Day project with #100daysofprintmaking and really enjoying myself. 

Some links:

·       A quick video of my current process:

·       A short video on Instagram of a recent print

·       Two gelli printing tutorials on the Get Messy free blog: 

 

Painting – I paint using oil paints and cold wax medium, which thickens up the paint and allows for layering and mark making. Some of these pieces are in the portfolio section of my website here.

 

blockprinting meets journaling

blockprinting meets journaling

Collage/Mixed Media Journaling - Collage holds a special space in my daily making. I love experimenting with combining papers, enhancing patterns, and of course using my own stamps and prints in my collages. I find this so relaxing and enjoyable. A few pages have been shared in Brush Magazine, and some are on my website here.

 

Public Art: I also completing a public art project for my church this fall which will be a labyrinth on 12’ x 12’ canvas. During the process I have made a journal about the process and a full size labyrinth out of sticks in my yard. I'm loving this and excited to see where it leads. The end date of this project is October 16 when it will be presented at a community reception.

Buddy with the Labyrinth this Spring

Buddy with the Labyrinth this Spring

Some links:

·       Labyrinth Journal flip thru: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu1RdiWEXKk  

·       Walking the 12’x12’ Stick Labyrinth in my yard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfQtI3_CK_M&t=46s

 

Illustration - Although I am doing less of this at the current moment, this informs my work, my comfort level with color mixing and watercolor. I have some examples of watercolor illustration on my website here.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip through my art making world. Feel free to email me with any questions!

2019 Word of the Year - plus upcoming classes and exhibits!

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Do you choose a word of the year? I did for the first time in 2018 - Flow. I loved the opportunity to set goals for the year ahead and use this word throughout the year in my art.

My 2019 word? FOCUS … I want to:

  • Focus my attention on art and projects that give me joy (and less on distractions)

  • Focus on my health and nurturing my family

  • Focus on going deeper with how spirituality plays a role in my life

  • Focus on connections

Coming up for 2019 I have a few things scheduled already - exhibits, workshops, and more!

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Join me and yogi Elizabeth Brown for a weekend yoga retreat to prepare for the new year. As a part of this retreat, I am teaching a bookbinding class for us to make a journal to prepare for and reflect in throughout 2019. We will use special papers that I have collected (and you can bring meaningful papers from home) to build this special book. I’ll provide the lesson and some time for reflection after one of Elizabeth’s amazing classes. Four yoga classes, chef on site for all meals provided, amazing connections to be made.

Want to come? Email me or Elizabeth@steepedingrace.com directly… it will really be an awesome way to kick off the year!

Plus, I have scheduled four classes in Newburyport at Newburyport Art Association. You can find more about those on my workshop page. Registration is open and I’ve heard people are signing up already, so now is the time to plan this into your schedule! Link to sign up here.

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I will be scheduling other classes this year soon. Join my mailing list to be informed of new class announcements as they come up throughout the year!

I’m also in four planned exhibits and I am working on adding a few more. The details:

Crows, Group Show at Essex Art Center, Lawrence, MA. RECEPTION 1/11 5-7pm

New Members Show 2019 at Newburyport Art Association, Newburyport, MA RECEPTION 1/12 7-9pm

Printmaking Group Show 2019 at Newburyport Art Association, Newburyport, MA June 25 - July 7, 2019.

Three Women, Small Group Show (with my mom and sister!) at Tannery Pond Gallery, North Creek, NY July 27 - August 29, 2019. 

What are your plans for this coming year? I’d love to hear your word of the year! Send me a note!

At the Waters Edge, Cold Wax and Oil Painting

At the Waters Edge, Cold Wax and Oil Painting

Oil Pastel Sketches

You may remember that I mentioned the series of cold wax oil paintings I’m working on in an earlier blog post. They have been sitting in the studio…simmering (thanks to Tiffany Han for the word—simmer—that perfectly describes this phase of a new idea) for a month or more. While they have been on the back burner I have taken a landscape painting class, completed a number of collages based on landscapes, and done a ton of landscape sketches.

Then, last week I got out my oil pastels and sketched out more landscapes on pages in a paper bag journal (that also holds the collages …shared here).

Ohhhh boy…oil pastels are so fun to work with. Each day I was super excited to get back to these. When completed, I covered each page with Matte Varnish and there is a sheet of wax paper between each page as they really stick together.

You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve moved the paintings to the front burner. I shared some process on my Instagram Highlights. But for now, here are a few of my favorite oil pastel sketches from this week! Also, bought some oil sticks… oh I can’t wait to use those!

Using up the paint - Cold Wax Paintings

Last year, my mom gave me a bag of her old oil paints and I started playing with the paints on small canvases and paper. I quickly relalized I needed to learn more about HOW to use oils, so that I could get a flow to the paint and really benefit from the juicy quality of oils that is so different from  acrylics. Right away, the smell of mineral spirits and turpentine really put me off. I am working in my home and found the smell would easily take over the house. So I turned to the internet. I re-discovered Gamblin brand mediums, which are safer than basic mineral sprits and turps. I also came across Cold Wax, and was interested to learn more. Artists Pamela Caughey and Lisa Pressman have wonderful YouTube channels that explain a lot about their working styles. It looked so fun, and really drew me in.  I also discovered the new book: Cold Wax Medium by Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin and promptly added it to my Christmas list (thanks BRY!). 

What appeals to me about cold wax, and what drew me in at first, is the textural, collage quality and working in layers. I have been looking for a way to bring my collages to “life” out of the journal format. What almost put me off is the cost of materials and feeling stingy with paint, canvas space, and wanting something to turn out like a masterpiece the first time around. I know this is impossible, and the free paint, gifted book (and subsequent gift of a few large wood panels - an essential substrate) helped me to break through this barrier that was all in my mind. Of course, I have since ordered more of everything and new colors of paint. Gamblin is the source I am using for cold wax and the less toxic additives and cleaners.  Blick is the cheapest source for wood panels and oil paint (at least compared to Amazon).

So, I now have three ‘series’ of paintings going in the studio in varying stages. I start with acrylic, much like Pamela Caughey shows in her videos. I don’t do quite as much as she does in the surface texture department, but I do layer and scrape into the pieces as I go. Something she said about her process (I’m paraphrasing..) is that each layer is fun, and she wants to have that fun for as long as possible. I am not sure exactly where these are going, but exploring the layers, having fun with the materials, and taking time between layers to let them set up and dry is something I am enjoying. With oil painting (which dries slower than acrylic) and cold wax (which slows the drying process even further) you do have to wait for layers to dry or you will muck up the colors. The paintings have to be walked away from. In life these days, I need more time for the pause, to take a break and intentionally think about where I am going. Most days I am running through my to do list and carpool duties, so the pause of this type of work has drawn me in. I dont know if I’ve fully explored everything there is to know about the cold wax techniques yet, but I am working on it and willing to waste a bit more paint.

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