Monday, June 17, 2013

Word Stones with my new Gelli Plate

A couple of weeks ago I ordered a new "Gelli Plate" and I'm having a ball playing with it!!  I recently learned how to make monotypes and like the way the ghost images can be used for added texture and shapes for my paintings, but wasn't completely sold on making a lot of them.  That is, until I learned about the Gelli Plate.  Basically the plate reminds me of the stuff we used to use in biology in the Petri's clear and firm and you add paint with a brayer to the surface to make cool designs that are transferred onto Rives BFK paper or tissue paper.  Below are some "word stones" I'm making, using the designs collaged onto 140-lb. watercolor paper.

"Secret Garden" - 6" x 6" mixed media on paper
Here's "Secret Garden" - made with acrylic paints transferred onto thin tissue paper.  I use matte medium to glue the shapes onto the watercolor paper, then add words.

I like the lines and wrinkles in the paper stones -- they add depth and texture to the piece.

It's really difficult for me to stop and these new studies are helping me with my minimalist compositions that I so admire in other artist's work.

Learning how to say "STOP" creatively has evaded me for years and I figured it was time to get serious.

Here's hoping I can find that comfort zone so I can carry this exercise further onto my larger paintings.  It may look easy to some to simply make a few lines on a page and walk away, saying "it's done" - but for me (and a lot of other artists I know!) it really is not that simple.  There's always the desire to keep adding just one more thing, and the next thing I know, the piece is a mess and I pull out the gesso and start over again.  Sometimes I do this a number of times (my secret for added texture) - but after nearly 3 decades of painting, it's time to simplify. 

I'm not ready to give up the bold, vivacious colors quite yet - but I am finding that less is more, and not the other way around.  So it might take awhile to get comfortable with that feeling of angst as I put down the brush and walk away, but I'm hoping the results will be worth it. 

"Pure Harmony" - 6" x 6" mixed media on paper

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Skull Rocks

Art days with my friends Cheryl, Lynn and Di are some of my favorite days on earth.  This time we made painted rock skulls out of stones gathered from The American River in Sacramento.  We started with clean rocks; added a coat of gesso to make sure the acrylic paints would adhere properly; then added our colors and designs.  I think I'm going to finish mine off with a coat or two of UV protective matte varnish before putting them outside in the hot California sun. 

Before I add the final coats though, I want to finish mine off with some more dots and designs (I was on a roll and made 5 rocks - the colorful family at the upper left corner).  When I'm done, they're going to go in my garden in an area I'm creating for a "Day of the Dead" section.  The new area is next to my studio and will add color where my plants seem to refuse to grow.  I can't wait to get started and will look for an "altar" to add next.  I've got a small wood pallet that is calling my name......