Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Writing on the Wall... collage

by Jo Reimer
Writing on the Wall
10" x 30" x 1"
Collage on Cradled Canvas

Since I've stockpiled a number of cradled canvases I decided to experiment with presenting collages on the canvas even though I prefer a smooth surface for collage since the papers are more likely to form a strong bond.

The first step was to add a smooth coating of gesso and then a coat of gel medium to prepare the surface. The gel medium ensures that areas which don't immediately bond can be fixed later by ironing that area. The heat melts the medium on the substrate as well as the medium on back of the papers, sealing them together forever. I only needed to do that in one area across the bottom.

I drew the shape of the canvas onto my paint table paper and designed the compositon in that area rather than working directly on top of the canvas.

The paper in the middle area is what I call "writing that can't be read", sort of code writing. This was done by a friend and photocopied onto washi paper.

I love collage!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Magazine + acrylic medium + Nevr-Dull

by Jo Reimer
These are two facing pages from a magazine.
The one on the right is stamped with gel medium.
The one on the left has been rubbed with Nevr-Dull.

I often run out of steam in the evening yet I want to be productive rather than just sit in front of the TV with my mind out of gear. So a couple of nights ago I got out a stack of magazine pages, a can of Nevr-Dull Wadding Polish, some soft gel medium, and a collection of circular things I could use for stamps.  (This is not my invention but is something I saw online and don't remember where.)

I chose magazine pages with lots of visual texture and pattern and stamped overlapping circles using lids, etc. dipped into the gel medium.  After the medium dried I tore off a chunk of the wadding, rubbed the compound across the page, let it sit for a minute or two in order to soften and liquify the ink a bit, and then using quite a bit of elbow grease I smeared and removed the ink, leaving the circles which were protected by the medum.

detail of gel medium stamped onto the page before rubbing
Warning: Nevr-Dull is made of petroleum distilates so take precautions. I wear gloves and of course I don't feed it to small children. There's a definite odor about it.  The product is used for polishing metals including silverware and automotive trim. I bought it years ago in an auto parts store. I forget why!

These were two facing pages from magazine.
Left page is stamped; right page has been rubbed.

Two more pages ready to use in collage.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Inspired by Pinterest

 By Jo Reimer
Batik fabric
While taking a break this morning and browsing pins from some of the boards I follow on Pinterest I spotted a pin from Elvi... a stack of ornate fabrics. 

That sparked an idea that's worth pursuing.

I have LOTS of fabrics and quite a few pieces of old embroideries, hand dyes, and batiks, and my brilliant idea is to scan the best of the fabrics, print them and use the prints in my collages and journals.

I grabbed a few small textiles and scanned them at 300 dpi. I've only printed one, enough to know that this idea is worth some time. The plan is to scan the best of the collection and take the images on a thumb drive to Office Depot or a print shop and have them printed onto a thinnish paper that will be more suitable than the heavy photo paper I have at home... and definitely less expensive than my printer inks, especially when there's a special price on printing.

Sure, I could cut up the actual fabrics and use them but some of these are too valuable to cut, and now I'm thinking of other things to scan:

Piles of jewelry
Pattern envelopes
The list is endless.

I hope this idea has a snowball effect. Why not make painting of textiles? How about gluing embroidered textiles to a canvas, covering it with gesso, and painting over the resulting texture?

Excuse me while I rescue an old embroidered pillowcase from the giveaway pile. What a great edge texture this will make on a painting!

Embroidered Pillowcase, c. 1950
And DRAW the designs from the textiles, further abstracting the images. Create repeat patterns. Make mirror images. See how far you can take the inspiration. Then tell me about what you've done.

Friday, June 15, 2012

...and the Winner is.....

 by Jo Reimer
Preparing a fresh cover for my paint table

I decided to give away both Paint Table Journals and the winners are Ruth Armitage and Susi.  Congratulations! I hope you have a grand time doing whatever you want with these journals. After all, they didn't cost you a thing so it's okay to draw, collage, write, and just make a general artistic mess in your new journal.

I need your address, Susi. I have yours, Ruth. Expect a package very soon.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Another page from my Paint Table Journal

by Jo Reimer
 page in Paint Table Journal-2
 Here's another example of how I'm currently using my paint table journals. I greatly admire the work of printmaker, Anne Moore .  After browsing her website last weekend I made little prints of two pieces of her work and glued them into my journal. As I studied the works I made notes about elements of her work that I might use in my own work. I would not copy Ms. Moore's art for any reason but I might appropriate elements of it, changed to suit my own aesthetic.

For instance, I already have sheets of paper in my stash that look a lot like something in her work so I tore off bits of two papers and glued them to the journal page as a reminded that I have these papers and know where to get more. I suspect that she used this same paper to print the image on the left side of both pieces, but not being a printmaker I'll glue the paper onto a collage or glue a bit to board to create texture and paint over it. I made notes about the look of text, something that's long interested me.

I noted,  "I'm drawn to Anne Moore's work because of the look of text which indicates something deeper happening below the surface." and  "lines across the top; text area on left; written text on top of paint; large circles".  This is one way I learn and advance in my approach to the easel.  As I start working with what I taught myself  on this journal page I know that my work will take on my own style and end up looking nothing like hers.

Remember to leave a comment on yesterdays blog post... or on this one today, especially if you want to win a Paint Table Journal.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Paint Table Journals

by Jo Reimer
Love page in Junk Journal
22" x 8.5 "
collage sketch exploring the use of strips
Thought Catchers
I'm big on the value of keeping studio journals, sketchbooks, art journals, daily pages, or whatever sort of diary/planner that serves the artist in the studio. My journals are the  place where I work out my bright ideas, do all sorts of planning for future work, keep an inventory of completed work,  record quotations, and much more. It's a "thought catcher".

As usual, if you click on a picture you can see more detail.
Page of Jack Portland art cards from Laura Russo Gallery

Art Card Journals
I have several journals in which I keep art cards that I collect at exhibitions, the sort with an image of a work from the exhibit. When I get home I glue the card into my art card journal and write about the exhibit or about this particular work. Sometimes I print a smallish image off a website and do the same thing.  I find that this practice has helped me grow in awareness of what appeals to me about art. If you look in my journals you'll see that I'm attracted to borders, to abstracted landscape, to numbers and lines and math symbols, and blocks of plain color which set off loosely drawn images. You won't find representational paintings unless it's transfers of photographic images. You'll also find lists of titles that appeal to me that might help me generate titles for my own work.

Art Cards from Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson
print of work by Cathy Woo
Paint Table Journals
I've been making my own journals lately, using the "dirty" paper from my big painting table. Two or three times a year I take the old paper off the table and replace it with kraft paper from a large roll. Then I cut up the old paper into 8.5" x 11" sheets, punch holes and coil bind these sheets into journals. These are the journals that I use as my studio reference journals. The page spread above is in one such journal. The color on the page comes from cleaning my brush or testing paints.

Amy's page in a Paint Table Journal

 Paint Table Journals
One of these goes to the luck winner.
Is it you?
Journal Giveaway
The good news is that I made two Paint Table Journals yesterday and I've decided to give one to one of you dear readers as a thank you gift for your loyalty. Some of you are followers; others subscribe by email or reader or RSS feed. You often leave encouraging comments.
 I appreciate every single one of you.

You come back time and again to view my art and photos, to read what I say without negative criticism, and you tell your friends that my One-A-Day blog is an interesting read.  So, today is the start of a DRAWING.  If you want one of my Paint Table Journals put your name in the pot by leaving a comment on THIS post and then Friday at noon, PST, I'll draw a random name and the winner gets the journal.  When I notify the lucky winner I'll ask for a mailing address. It's totally free and I'm not collecting names or addresses for any other purpose.

Inside the Paint Table Journals
Now it's your turn. Go to the Post A Comment section below and leave your name and a comment of any length, perhaps telling us all how you use journals, if you do, and I'll add your name to the drawing.  Thanks a bunch.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

English, Iris

English, Iris. 4.1
12" x 12"
Collage on Board
It's springtime in Oregon and the iris are in bloom. My favorite iris grower is Schreiners Iris Gardens which is located in the valley south of Portland.  This time of year the fields are in colorful bloom and their show gardens are amazing. I love to photograph the iris, the closer the better.

Peter Schutte, a world famous photographer who lives in Portland conducts a photography class called The Fantastic Iris and Other Flowers. If you're local and want to learn more about flower photography hop on over to Peter's website and sign up for one of his classes.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Floating Island

by Jo Reimer
Eastward, from the Rising Sun
Collage on board
12" x 9"
Last week while walking along our pristine northern Oregon beach we came upon a large piece of styrofoam, about 3' x 2' x 2', mangled and battered like much of the flotsam carried to the westernmost shore on the lower 48. But this wasn't an ordinary piece of  junk; we're pretty sure it's the first of the debris from last year's tsunami in Japan. 

Just a couple of days before our beach discovery we watched a news story from Alaska where quite a bit of debris is appearing along their shores, much like this one, and the yellow and white styrofoam was identified as building insulation.  It makes me so sad... to think about what's coming and why.

I wrote the above last night and now this morning there's a newspaper report and photo of an entire floating dock from the Japanese city of Misawa that washed ashore on Agate Beach, in central Oregon...66' x 19' x 7'! The cleanup of beaches along the northern Pacific will be a horrendous task over the next years. There's an enormous island of debris heading our way as well as countless other pieces.

Sometimes we think that what happens in another country isn't important to us, but it so often affects the whole world.  I remember when Mt. St. Helens blew her top in 1980, coating our farm with several inches of ash, turning our part of the world a sad, dead gray.... and then came the incredibly beautiful sunsets all around the world for the next two years because of the ash in the atmosphere.

I had trouble with the title of the above collage until I remembered that Japan is sometimes called the Land of the Rising Sun. The piece is quite sunny except for the "debris island" which floats down the center.
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