Monday, March 10, 2008

Gracious and Victorious

I admire artists who do commission work but I've never enjoyed doing commissions and usually refuse... but right now I find myself working on my own commission: to get all 9 of the current pieces in the sermon notes series done by the end of this week so that they can be printed, mounted and hung in my church by Easter. I've finished 8 and have the design ready in my head for the last one.

The big challenge is that the last two are done without my hearing my pastors sermon or having any notes and I'm hoping I get it right. All I have are the titles Obedient and Victorious, a lot of Bible knowledge and a good dictonary, and a bunch of help from God. Victorious" is already done and I am the one feeling a bit of victory. I did the background for this one for Gracious and when it was finished with it's glorious colors I just knew it was perfect for Victorious.

Then I tackled Gracious and went with greens because my son opined that gracious was a green word. This one is painted. I started by painting my 140# watercolor block with a couple of different yellows... acrylic. Then I worked back on top of the dry paint with several green layers but didn't let them dry before overlaying a large leaf stencil and removing color by scrubbing over the stencil with a damp paper towel, removing much of the greens and leaving a hint of yellow leaves. Because of its simplicity of design and topic it needed a quiet layer of words which I stamped out letter by letter.

Yes, it takes a lot of time to do the work but I so enjoy this quiet time for meditation and prayer and I don't mind the work at all. However, I got so caught up in the lettering for the following piece that I didn't realize that my posture was so bad and gave myself a painful neck ache.

And here is Victorious, the Easter centerpiece.

I have one more to do, Obedient, and I'm excited about the composition I've come up with. It hasn't come together yet but I've been playing with papers and colors. I want the dominant color to be purple with splashes of all the other colors I've used, but when I dipped into my compost I couldn't find enough variety of purple paper, nor could I find the right color of purple paint or ink. However, I had an aging stash of Procion Mx dyes that I once used to dye fabric.

Fabric dyes lose their potency after a couple of years, producing less intense colors, but I had nothing to lose except time. So I pulled out the purple, magenta, and a blue and started playing. I stirred the powder into a small amount of water and poured that onto cartridge paper (standard copy paper) and spread it with a brush and squirted it with a spray bottle of water. Great color! As I continued to play I added a bit of magenta for a different hue, then added blue to more purple for a more blue-violet hue. The colors stayed intense when the papers dried, although I'm wondering whether the colors will run when I apply glue. It can't be much different than watercolor, and I'm not concerned about lightfastness.

After the papers dried I ironed them all, hoping that this was sufficient to heat set the color on the paper as on fabric. I know several watercolor artists who paint with dyes with no discernable problems. Tomorrow I'll tackle the papers and do some experimenting with water and glue and see what I have.

1 comment:

  1. Jo, Your sermaon notes series express a deep faith visually. I like the idea of sharing them with your church members. Paula


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