Monday, April 28, 2014

Show and Tell at Home

There's a long narrow powder room next to my studio at home which I use as my personal art gallery. I can change out the artwork whenever I get tired of looking at it because the nail holes don't show in the texture of the wall paper. The room has a north-facing skylight so the light in that room is pure and clear, and even at night there's enough light from sconces and the little lamp to see the work. In fact, I've toyed with the idea of setting up an easel under the skylight so I can enjoy better light as I paint.

I've noticed that friends make a point of going to the bathroom whenever they visit, whether they need to or not, and they stay a while longer than one would think.

We like this bright, slightly chaotic room though it might cause an interior designer to shudder.

I'm of the opinion that when one is an artist her own works should be more prominent than works by others, shown without either pretense or shyness. Put it out for others to enjoy. Who know, maybe someone will want to buy a piece. And no, there are no prices displayed.

I have other of my art throughout the house, along with collected originals by other artists. They're sometimes conversation starters and reveal a bit about the people who live here. Even my husband's study is papered with art, though none of mine. He likes realistic works, especially farm scenes so there's lots of scenic watercolors and art he's purchased when he travels, along with his collection of carved birds.

What hangs on your walls?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Haystack Rock and other recent collages

Haystack Rock
Haystack Rock is located off shore of the seaside village of Cannon Beach in NW Oregon. The groupings of rock which commands the attention of visitors is quite accessible at low tide and is a popular attraction for children and their parents who love exploring the tide pools at its base. 

Our family spends lots of time in this lovely spot and images of Haystack fill my photo files. It seemed appropriate to see how I might build a collage that incorporates my photos and uses some of my painted papers. The collage is 9 x 12".

Brother Oak
Brother Oak, 9x12, features my photo of an oak tree that grows alongside a small family cemetery on a hillside outside Magazine, Arkansas. The wintertime photo was a rather blah wintertime photo so I 'colorized' it with a wash of blue and added some green to the grass.

I continue drawing in my sketchbook, motivated by the excellent teachers of the first semester of Sketchbook Skool. It has the result of encouraging me to draw every day, sometimes with tools such as colored pencils that are uncomfortable to me. I'd rather slop around paint than sit tediously layering color with pencils. But I intend to try it all and see what I can add to my skill set, and hope in the process to develop better hand-eye coordination and ability to draw what I see.  Here's today's drawing: 
Morning Coffee

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sketchbook Pages, Week One

 I've drawn in one of my sketchbooks every day this week and I intend to keep it up. It's a bit embarassing to post my wonky drawings but this blog is, in my mind, a way to record my work and progress so it serves my own purpose.

I'm working in an 8" square sketchbook I made. The pages are an assortment of watercolor papers, all shapes, sewn together to make nearly full sized pages. I save all my paper scraps as well as paper samples (waste not, want not) and this seemed to be a good use for them. Some papers work better than other. This first page is 7.5" x 3.5" and is sort of the introduction page.



I did this page yesterday and am NOT happy with it. The pots are okay (I'm working on ellipses which are hard for me) but the pen I used wasn't waterproof so the minute I started adding watercolor the black ink made the page gray preventing me from painting bright colored tulips.

Perhaps you can get a better idea about the sewn together, pieced, pages in this example where the larger but shorter section on the right was zigzag stitched to the narrow piece on the left. I rather like the look.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Sketchbook Skool

I've enrolled in an online workshop series called Sketchbook Skool which was founded by Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene. So far it's great. I hesitated until the day it went online, thinking I didn't really need another drawing class, but I relented when I realized I could use the motivation, the encouragement to draw daily. I've been slacking off on my drawing, so much so that when I pick up a pen to draw it's a real challenge. I want drawing to be easier and I know that with daily practice it gets easier and easier to record what I see more accurately.

My interest is not on being able to draw photorealistically, but to be able to get my lines more or less reasonably placed and to include my emotion about the subject in a drawing. Sometimes I can do it but I'm not consistent. We'll see what comes.

So far I find the first class, taught by Danny Gregory, to be first rate. Danny's the one who got me drawing in the first place with his excellent first book, Everyday Matters, so I know I have nothing to lose by enrolling in his school. There will be other teachers in this six week long session: Roz Stendahl, Koosje Koene, Tommy Kane, Jane LaFazio, and Prashant Miranda, and others in the next sessions.  If you're interested it's not too late to join. Click HERE to learn more.

Here are my first two drawings:

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Dreamtime Garden

Dreamtime Garden by Jo Reimer

Collage Painting. 11 x 14 on cradled panel.

Though I haven't been posting much recently I have been working steadily on a variety of works, mostly collages that I've created using papers I've painted for that purpose. 

I've been thinking a lot about why I find it most comfortable to work this way and have concluded that it has to do with my background in textiles. 
  • I am adapt at cutting fabric and piecing it together to make garments, home decor, and quilts. 
  • I have a strong background in hand and machine embroidery, designing the work and stitching in fine detail. 
  • I've done lots of applique which is defined as stitching small pieces of fabric to larger pieces. 
  • I'm comfortable with moving fabric and paper around, creating pleasing arrangements that can be adjusted before adhering them in place permanently. 
  • It's easy for me to compose with bits and pieces of colored papers but not so easy to arrive at a pleasing painting using only paint and a brush, and at my stage in life I don't want to spend the time and focus that's necessary to develop another skill. 

However, I do love the process of painting, of applying paint to paper with all sorts of applicators such as brush, stick, sponge, cloth, spray, dripping, dyeing and so on. So I spend time now and then painting papers to give it surface texture and pattern and then use the accumulation of papers to make my collage paintings.  This works for me.

How about you? How did you get to where you are? How did your interests form? I'd love to hear.
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