Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Cat Among the Pigeons and Crocodile Tears

Here are two more idiom drawing/paintings from last week:

I mounted them on panels that I'd coated with a deep, dark blue acrylic mix.  Then I glued the paintings onto the panels with matte medium.  Once the matte medium had dried a little, I coated the painting with two coats of a thin, watered-down layer of matte medium.  The matte medium securely fixes the watercolor and gouache, and should give the piece some UV protection as well.  You just have to be very careful to spray fix the painting before you apply that top coat, and then be very, very careful and gentle as you brush the gel on top.  Otherwise the gouache will smear like crazy.  When that happens I just touch up the painting with some acrylic.  

Thursday, August 26, 2010

IF: Atmosphere

A super quick watercolor sketch for this week's theme.  I was musing about medieval and futuristic conceptions of the universe.  Ew, that sounded really pretentious;)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Little Balance Goes a Long Way

I made this guy today.  I'm kind of in love with the way he turned out.  I think he'll look really snazzy once I mount him on a panel.  The boxes that I've been painting for the Teeny Tiny Art Show are more labor intensive than I realized they would be, and I've been fretting about finishing on time.  I've also been feeling a little bit exhausted and icky lately.  So I spent some time last night and this morning regrouping, and trying to think of a way to simultaneously give myself a break and make really good work.  I decided to make a series of simpler, small works on paper to go along with the three boxes I've finished so far.  I let myself (forced myself?) to be a little looser than usual with the ink and paint.  I felt really balanced while I was making this piece–like I was painting skillfully without working myself into a frenzy of crazy perfectionism.  I'm going to try that again tomorrow:)

Here are some shots of the boxes I've finished since my last post:
 Anya guessed the idiom!  That ghostly subtitle at the bottom reads: "The Tale of a Dubious Friendship." It opens up to this:

This next one is super tiny:
And the idiom is harder to guess.  But can you?  I'll give you a hint:  what is the malevolent-looking girl on the left doing?  The word "gesture" in the title is also helpful.  

Friday, August 20, 2010

Slow Lettuce

Last week my stepdad told me this story about a Bonobo named Kanzi, who was taught to understand and identify a limited English vocabulary.   He expresses himself by pointing to words on a chart, creating whole sentences and even forming his own, new "words" by compounding those in his existing vocabulary.  When he didn't have a word for kale, he named it "slow lettuce."  How beautiful is that?

And here's a little peek at some more painting progress:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Idiom Series....in Earnest

I'm back in the studio with a vengeance!  I've finished the first of my Idiom Series for the Teeny Tiny Art Show.  The idea behind this body of work is for each painting to invite physical participation from the viewer.  Each piece will be mounted on the wall like a traditional painting, but with little lids and flaps and such that the viewer can open and close.  The text on the outside of the piece above reads, "Adventure on the High Seas: A Cock and Bull Story."  Here are some side views:
I got started on my next Idiom piece yesterday.  I recorded my progress throughout the day:
This one will have a lot of text.  In case you can't read my messy journal scrawl, this piece will read, "Although he liked them very much, Reginald felt a bit awkward among(st?) his new companions.  Whatever the occasion, he always seemed to be a little overdressed."  I need to refresh my memory when it comes to "among" vs. "amongst."  Can you guess the idiom that sparked the story? 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I've finally finished the inside of this piece.
The outside is still in progress, but I've sketched in the basic idea.
My latest crazy nesting project has been a merciless attack on my home workspace.  In the two years that we've lived here, this little corner has functioned primarily as a sort of office supply and paperwork wasteland.  And of course the place from whence I blog;)  With a tiny baby well on his way (he's technically viable this week!), I've decided to make my home office corner more conducive to art-making.  It's really nice to plunk down and just start painting in the little bits of time that I manage to scavenge before going to work in the morning, while dinner is roasting in the oven, after I brush my teeth at night.  And maybe, come November, between feedings?  

Friday, August 6, 2010

In a Yellow Submarine

I made this Beatles-themed installation with my middle school campers this week.  My own art-making always takes a back seat to my kid-teaching in summer.  And rightly so, I think:)