Saturday, January 12, 2008

Who Are You?

When I began this blog my intention was to post once or twice each week and show you some of my weeks worth of work. I'm finding that's easier said than done. I've been IN the studio, working quite often, but most of the results aren't what I want to show the world, but I'll show you a couple of works.

Blue Door is more realistic than I usually paint but I had a photo I liked and gave it a try. I like doing little watercolors like this in my sketchbooks or journals but as an acrylic painting it just doesn't work for me. I'd like to be more abstract but this is what came out that day. Mother would like it! I didn't; so I quit trying and we took off for a couple of vacation days the beach where I played with my collage papers and had some fun. I turned one of the collages into an illustration that fits into a continuing series which I call Sermon Notes. Here's Who Are You?

I usually take copious notes during the sermon on Sunday mornings because our pastors' messages often speak directly to my heart. Some time back I decided to turn these notes into art. This is number 32. All are done on a 9" X 12" 140# block of smooth watercolor paper. I use a block for a substrate for this series because it stays nice and tight while I add the layers of paper, glue, paint,ink, stenciling, stamps, and lettering. Otherwise a loose sheet of paper would buckle with the glue and water and because of the tension exerted by the papers as they dry. When I cut the finished piece off the block my rough edges are preserved and the finished piece is flat. Of course this means that I had to buy several blocks so that I can have more than one collage going at once. That's just for the Sermon Notes; other times I work on stretched canvas, board, or heavier watercolor paper.

I prepare collage papers ahead of time, often during dry spells when I feel uninspired to work on a specific project, or in the evening when my energy lags, or even when I'm working in a room with other people and can't concentrate on making art. I use all sorts of paper for collage: art tissue, text-weight paper, various washi (Japanese rice paper), unwaxed sandwich paper, or other relatively thin papers. Color is added to the paper in many forms: fabric dye and paint, acrylic paint for crafts and artist grade, watercolor, ink, pastels, watercolor crayons and pencils, and anything else that has color.

I keep my papers in drawers and in portable tubs and refer to them as my Compost. I continually stir the pile of papers, tear them into pieces, and generally keep them well mixed because the juxtapositioning of color against color often suggests a new direction and feeds the growth of my work.

My favorite adhesive is acrylic medium mixed with PVA applied with a plastic palette knife. The finished work gets a finish coat of acrylic medium and acrylic varnish.

1 comment:

  1. What great work, Jo! I love the idea of the Sermon Notes. I'm also thrilled with what you wrote about your Compost. It's inspired me to stir around my collage papers and see what rises to the surface.


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