Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Making Art While Away From Home

I’m visiting family in Arkansas for the week and making time every day to keep my art practice going. I came prepared.
The view from my brothers backdeck

I packed lots of little bits of tools and supplies... an 8.5 x 11 watercolor block, a 6x6 tablet of watercolor paper, and a small sketchbook to work on/in. To that I added an array of broken-in-half sticks of Neocolor II watercolor crayons, a 6 color set of Golden acrylic tubes of paint, some small brushes, a mister, a cut-in-half credit card for scraping, an assortment of soluble colored and regular pencils, a watercolor palette and water brush, and a chunk of heavy plastic to protect whatever table I found to work on.  All fit in three compact pouches.

The next photo shows some of what I made this week.

This doodle was fun to make using most of the toys I brought with me.

Peacock and Peahen 

My brain was prepared to play. I left behind the notion of making big ART and traveled with a playful spirit.

I arise earlier than anyone else, by a couple of hours, so I set up on the covered deck perched high above the countryside where all I hear is birdsong and a bubbling fountain. Ahhhhh

Some wrens are nesting in two birdhouses on the deck and I’m enjoying watching them swoop in with food for their young. They act like they’re sneaking, as though I can’t see them flit from rail to deck to swing, behind a plant and up to the nest. Silly birds. Each morning a couple of exotic-to-me birds pay a visit... a peacock and a peahen. So beautiful. I wish I could find where they’re nesting and collect some blue feathers.

BTW, my supplies were just right except for wanting a larger brush.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Stalled and Unsure?

Stalled and unsure about what to do next? 

Poppy.1        6"x 6"   on cradled canvas $100
Have you felt this way? Sure you have and that's where I am right now. I'm stalled on a painting, this time an acrylic canvas that was going great guns until life interfered, resulting in a week away from the easel. Now I'm unsure about what to do next.

The story is a familiar one to most artists. I had a painting that simply wasn't ever going to make the grade so I began again by covering the whole thing with gesso except for the sky area which had potential. I grabbed an idea... red poppies... and took off running with brush and paint in hand, remembering a workshop with Jennifer Bowman where she demonstrated painting poppies modeled on dozens of varieties which grow in her backyard. My other poppy painting, In Flanders Field, has brought me great joy and I wanted to do another. 

I began by shaping some individual poppies on small cradled canvases. Those four turned out very well and onward I went.
Poppy.2       6" x 6" $100

This new iteration was well on its way when I was interrupted. Each day as I pass my easel I think about painting, working through ideas and hoping I can make time tomorrow or the next day, and that I'll know what to do. 

Poppy.3         6" x 6"   $100

Poppy.4          6" x 6"   $100

Just Do It

Nike has the solution... Just Do It, proclaimed on millions of tee shirts. Just begin. 

 When you're stalled or uncertain... just begin. Just Do It.

Pick up the brush. Dip it into the paint. Make a mark. Step back and look at what you've done. Repeat, repeat, repeat. There's something in the doing that propels one through the creative process.

I'm Building a Gallery 

Head over to DailyPaintWorks and sign up for daily emails. That's where I post my work along with hundreds of other artists. Click on any image that interests you for more details.  To get to my gallery click on the DPW link below.

Have a great week. I wish you joy.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Making a Stripe Collage

Here's a DIY for making a collage of stripes.

By now you may have figured out that I love pure abstract design:


This month I returned to an earlier exploration of using stripes in collage.  What' Going On, an earlier piece owned by a collector, marked the beginning of my playing around with stripes.
What's Going On? 12 x 35.  Sold
This time I'm taking a more structured approach to the stripes.  Here are a few of the new ones, both studies and more complex works.

Red with Blue and Sand - 6x6" study on paper $65

Red with Blue and Sand 12 x 12" on panel  $275

Sand and Sea - Study 6x6" on panel  $65

Sand and Sea  12 x 12" collage on panel  $275

Sand and Sky - 6x6" study on panel  $65

Sand and Sky 12 x 12" collage on panel  $275

Here's how I'm working with stripes this week, in case you want to try your hand at making something similar. I warn you, it's labor intensive.

  1. Cut strips of heavy paper in a variety of widths from 1" to 5" x 11" or 12" long.
  2. Establish a colorway for the work and choose a variety of papers in these colors.
  3. Cut the papers into narrow strips of varying widths.
  4. Use your favorite adhesive to glue the papers to the heavy paper backing.
  5. Now that you have an assortment of striped papers assemble them into a pleasing composition and glue them to your substrate. I prefer a flat or cradled panel or 300# watercolor paper or museum board.  
  6. After all is dry apply a thin coat of gloss medium to the surface.

If you want to purchase any of my work please send me an email or visit my gallery at Daily Paint Works.  

Your visit to my blog is deeply appreciated.
 Jo Reimer

Monday, February 26, 2018

Joining the Daily Paint Works Tribe

Hey Down There 6" x 6"

Make Four Collages Each Week:

I've set a new goal, to make at least 4 collages every week.  These days One A Day just isn't happening, no matter how strong my early morning intentions. This one is from last week, using some cut out flowers from my image files. I'm keeping most of the little ones fairly simply, doing them as an entering the studio warm-up.  It's such fun to open a box of collage materials, (compost), grab a few papers that interest me in the moment and play around to see what happens. This is about as close as I want to get to creating something like a still life. I find it fun to pore through my magazines and catalogs in the evening while sitting with my husband in front of the television and cut out images that I might use. 

Daily Paintwork Gallery:

The other bit of news is that I've joined the tribe over at Daily Paint Works, the brainchild of David and Carol Marine and friends. I'm in the process of uploading images of my available work and listing it in the Daily Paint Works catalog. If you've had a yen to buy one of my works, there are lots of sale and I'll be adding many more as the weeks progress.  Get to my DPW Gallery by clicking HERE or by tapping the Daily Paint Works slideshow over in the right hand column.  Even if you aren't in the market for more art just now I'd appreciate your stopping by and leaving a comment. It gets a bit lonely in the studio some days.
(Update: I'm no longer posting works to DPW.)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Hillsboro Farmers Market Entry

Hillsboro Farmers Market.  16x20".  Collage
I delivered this piece today, one of the 12 Finalists for Picture Hillsboro.  This is a competition to select one painting to be purchased and reproduced as giclee prints which the mayor will give visiting dignitaries and when he visits foreign governments. 

Boy, do I hope I win! But then, I've already won, haven't I? I'm so very thankful to have made the cut.

All 12 Finalists' paintings will be presented at the Hillsboro City Council meeting on February 6 an the final selection will be presented on March 6.  I plan to attend, yes I do! 


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Artist and Social Media

Disclaimer: I'm no computer expert.
  • I learned to type in a back room behind my high school library on a manual typewriter and at best I hit 46 words/minute and haven't improved. 
  • My fingers work slowly and that's a fact. 
  • I bought my first computer in the late 80's. 
  • My blog is 8 years old. 
  • My Facebook account is about 5.
  • Pinterest is my good friend.
  •  Instagram: whoa, I'm still learning. 
  • My etsy store is empty. 
  • And I don't have a real website and don't plan to change.
What I do know is how to use my computer to learn stuff and share my art and ideas. Self-taught.

I have learned SO much by searching the artistic corners of the internet. There are some amazing sources out there and all one has to do it google a word or phrase or ask a question and you get hundreds of answers.

Here on my blog, over in the right side column, you'll find lists of collections of artists whose work I find helpful and links to their blogs or websites. Painters, sketchers, collage artists... those are my peeps.

I've just spent an hour checking out all the links so that clicking on any of them will take you to a special place and a talented and hard-working artist. Go look.  I plan to add a bunch more, especially in the areas of sketching and collage. There are lots of amazing people that have come to my attention.

Here's one of my daily collages but the disclaimer on this one is that I worked on it over about 4 days time, a bit at a time, because I had little time for art making over the weekend.

SEED PODS. 7.5 square. paper on paper
"Seed Pods" was made with 6 pieces of paper: one photograph, a magazine page where I used solvent to dissolve the ink, text printed backwards, 2 purchased handmade papers, and inked tracing paper.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Collage Plus Photography

Daily Collages:

I've been posting recent daily collages over on Instagram. Hop on over there and follow me if you wish. 

In last week's series I worked on 7 1/2" watercolor paper* starting with a tiny photograph from a grouping I printed at a drugstore where you can print several shots on one print.  I drew a loose grid on the paper, glued a photo where I wanted the center of interest, and proceeded to extend the content of the photograph outwards from there.

This is similar to the photo I chose for "Running Toward Home", a herd of horses in a pasture at SunRiver, Oregon.  And here is the finished collage:

TEARING 7 1/2" SQUARES":Watercolor paper in either 140# or 300# weight is a favorite substrate for my collages. It comes in sheets that measure 21+" x 30". This size can be folded or measured and torn into 7 1/2" squares with no waste. I keep a stack of these squares on hand. 

Here's how I get 12 squares out of one sheet of 22 x 30" paper with no waste...
  • Fold in half along the 30" length and tear or cut along the fold, yielding 2 pieces that are 22 x 15. 
  • Fold each in half and cut along the fold. You'll now have four strips measuring roughly 22 x 7 1/2.
  • Now take each of these strips and measure and mark 7 1/2" and cut off this square.
  • Fold the remaining strip in half and cut along the fold giving you two more 7 1/2" squares of paper. 
  • I know 22 doesn't divide evenly by 3 but for my purposes, it's good enough to fudge a bit.
  • Repeat with all the paper strips and you'll end up with 12 rough-cut squares.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Catching up in the studio

Feathering My Nest

I took an unintended sabbatical from this blog in 2017 but have good intentions to pick up where I left off.

2017 was not a good year in my house, hence little time or inclination to write to all you lovely people. I’ve enjoyed the best health in many years but no so my husband. He’s suffering from several compression fractures in his back and with chronic back problems there’s not much hope for much improvement. We manage, though, and mostly stay upbeat through it all.

Art-making has taken a bit of a back seat but creativity has not. Our September 2016 move into a smaller home sent me into a long period of being creative about how I feathered my new nest.. I dearly love this smaller studio.

As I was downsizing my studio I made some hard decisions. Goodbye to oil paint and bars, encaustic, pastels, and all but the simplest bookmaking. Supplies for knitting, fancy sewing, quilting, crochet, beading, dyeing, screen printing, embroidery, 2/3 of my library, and much more that I don’t want to remember were donated or sold. I decided that since I have many more years behind me than in front of me I will concentrate on my main loves: collage, sketching with ink and watercolor, acrylic painting, and simple sewing. Those choices have proven to be so good, so right.

As I told you, my studio was once a master bedroom. I store large canvases in the soaking tub.

One small closet holds my clothes and shoes and the other one is for storing supplementary art supplies.
Two cabinets contain collage materials with two of the drawers reserved for thread and interfacing.

My old wire basket unit is my colored paper palette and several 12x12 totes house the collage compost. And yes, I set up a reading corner with the bookcase and recliner positioned in a corner window looking out on the backyard.

My corner desk is bracketed by tables, one for sewing and paperwork and the other for drawing and sit-down collage.

 I have a tall Ikea table for collage and for cutting fabric, with a lower pull-out table underneath.

So you see I’m all set.

 During January I plan to make one collage every day. So far so good and here are a couple of the finished ones, both 7.5" square.

MAX tracks at 10th and Morrison

Running For Home
As for my art practice in general, I’m backing off from art as business. All that marketing is in the rear view mirror. That’s not to say that I will say no to opportunities to show or sell my work… not at all! I’ve submitted two large collages to a local competition, have rejoined a local gallery, and am ruminating about ways to sell online. Making a collage every day means the work will stack up and my small house doesn’t have enough wall space for it all. I’ll let you know when I have work to sell.

I'd sure appreciate any comment or hello or feedback you'd like to leave, even if it's just to let me know you're still out there and you care about reading One A Day.


My new Blogger address is  https://joreimer.blogspot.com.
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