Monday, October 31, 2011

"Orange Steals the Show" ($40.00)

(adjusted price....$40.00)

"Orange steals the show in any landscape." One of the reasons I like fall is because of the pumpkins and gourds that are displayed everywhere. My favorite way to see them is in their original setting in the landscape. Enjoy them today in whatever setting you see them in. The chances are good that everyone will see a pumpkin today.

This piece may look like a monochromatic piece with only one color used in all of its tints and shades. But actually it's a complementary color scheme using orange and blue. The blue is well disguised as a gray, but its presence draws you in like a magnet.

Sometimes complementary color schemes are very obvious and create quite a "stir". But if you want a "quieter", more subdued feeling, mix them together with one of the complements dominating. The reason the pumpkin looks illuminated is the surrounding neutrals created by the "mixed complementary colors". The color of orange was kept more intense for the pumpkin which gives it the "glowing" look.

The importance of complementary colors and being able to take advantage of their power in any kind of artwork cannot be overstated. The orange in this piece would not have been powerful by using black to "gray" it down. Nothing dilutes a color and turns it into a neutral like the complement. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Listen to Your Heart" ($60.00)

(adjusted price....$60.00.....mounted on a 1.50" depth clayboard)

"Listen to your heart and guard it with prayer." This quote expresses the meaning of a verse from Proverbs 4:23...."Guard your heart above all else for out of it flow the wellsprings of life." To put it in even simpler language, for me, it means that I need to pay attention to my internal dialog. Negative thoughts about myself or others will lead down the wrong path.

You might say about this piece...where are the hearts and why did she include a pot and bowl? One reason is that a still life that includes simple and beautiful forms is very meditative and leads me into a prayerful spirit. There is something quite peaceful and settling about a still life arrangement.

So if you already have a somewhat successful division of space and soft colors, you might want to think about creating one or more very simple still life arrangements by carefully selecting some collage elements. Gel matte medium (undiluted) is the adhesive of choice for most artists doing this type of work. And if you have as many old magazines lying around as I do, then you might enjoy spending an afternoon on this type of project. Adding some black gesso plus metallic leaf is also an option. I used GAC 200 to adhere the leaf. Scoring the leaf adds a bit more drama and texture as well. Just something to try or think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Energy" (unavailable)


"Energy is activated by color, passion, and movement." In order to truly understand the power of color, we would need to be in a black and white world momentarily. It is color that acts as a spark plug in our visual world. Add passion and movement to ignite a new level of energy in your daily life.

Green and orange are very powerful split complements. Set them in motion with ribbons of color in a setting of neutral purplish gray to enjoy a delightful arrangement. The technique of playing around with suspended color in Pouring Medium also provides some interesting texture that simply cannot be achieved any other way.

The lettering took on a more active role in this piece, but it was neutralized a bit by mixing the viridian green and orange together plus white. If the background is very intense with a lot of movement, it is best to knock down the intensity of the lettering. It could have been made a bit more satisfying by bringing a bit more of the intense color up into the lettering. However, it never quite works to go back into a piece where pouring medium was the vehicle to try and add something more. It will look contrived and spontaneity goes out the window. So it is what it is and of course, there's always a next time. Just something to think about.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"A Clearer View" ($60.00)

(adjusted price....$60..00....mounted on a 1.50" depth clayboard)

"The arts offer a clearer view of the human soul." The passion and excellence seen or heard when experiencing the arts is phenomenal! It has the power to cross cultural and language barriers like nothing else can. Perhaps you will have an opportunity to plan such an experience about this weekend?

This is my first venture in adding collage to my process since starting my blog. The reason I haven't is because it is a very "risky" medium. It can go wrong very quickly. But yesterday I threw caution to the wind and decided to give it a try. (Actually, it was out of necessity since I was traveling, and could not paint in the car!)

The first layer of this piece was gesso and acrylic paint with a few erratic lines and expressive writing. By using the shapes and lines that were already present, I tore up some segments of a magazine. I do think it works, if the colors and concept have a common denominator. By sticking to the theme of going to the theater, and repeating several colors already present in the background, it works. There is a clear center of interest and definite division of space.  There are also some areas that have very little going on which gives the viewer's eye a rest.

It is a fun process because the collage elements can be moved around endlessly until you're satisfied with the arrangement. (A cameral can help so you can document all of your arrangements. Seeing the different arrangements on camera makes it much easier to compare and contrast before deciding.) Just something to try or think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Between Friends" (sold)


"Encouragement flows freely between the hearts of friends." A friend who always has an open ear for you is a true friend. That kind of friend will always be an encourager. I am personally thankful for all of the friends and family members who are the encouragers in my life. Who are the friends in your life? Together, we can be thankful!

Incorporating diagonals in a piece of art automatically brings on the drama. By manipulating the suspended paint in the pouring medium, the diagonal lines were made even more dramatic. Starting from the red at the bottom and moving upward, the direction of the lines in the marbling increased dramatically.

Playing around with technique and also "thinking" at the same time has many rewards. There is no book you can buy to learn every available technique with a given medium. Those "treasures" are stored up for the artist who experiments. I have now created almost 300 (6 x 6's) and one of the most valuable things I've learned is the many techniques that have emerged from the daily deadline of blogging. No book, workshop, conference, or exhibit has taught me more about process than being in my studio every single day. Within two weeks of this commitment, my internal negative voice began to shut down and all of the cumulative art experience of my life began to emerge.

My advice to anyone wanting to advance artistically at a fairly rapid pace is to embrace a process that gets you into your studio every single day. Sure, you will have days when things don't go as planned, but more often than not, you will surprise yourself with all the insights stored up in your head that you thought you forgot. I am passionate about this and my desire is to convey the confidence that can be yours through blogging or any other process that gets you to your studio daily.   Just something to think about.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Variety and Repetition" ($40.00)

(adjusted price.....$40.00)

"Leaves are a never ending visual of variety and repetition." Trees are everywhere and it seems they provide more variety than any other thing in our created world. Most of us can walk out the front door and see an endless variety and repetition of leaves, especially this time of the year. It is good to enjoy them and be thankful for this never ending visual.

Several weekends ago the first layer of this piece was created in a color workshop with gesso, lines, and lettering. By accentuating some of the shapes with additional color and Liquitex Pouring Medium in the second layer, the form of the piece began to take shape.

The color provided the inspiration to end up with leaf shapes. The only problem with using one color in several tints and saturations is the lack of variety or too much harmony. By adding just one green leaf with the edges beginning to turn, the necessary contrast balanced out the warm red tones.

Complementary colors not only satisfy the eye's search for the complementary, but it also gives the contrast between warm and cool. Remember that the eye is always searching for the complement of any color...even when it is not present. So there is an unsettled feeling that something is missing unless it is included.  It does not always need to be this obvious, but simply mixing a bit of the complement to "gray down" a color will also be pleasing to the viewer. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Divine Design" ($30.00)

(adjusted price....$30.00)

"Divine design includes harmony and contrast in every area of life." There are many comparisons between art and life. This is one of them. In life, just as in art, if everything is too harmonious and no "risks" are ever taken, boredom sets in. Nothing is "noteworthy" or stands out. It is contrast that adds the spice to art and to life.

Some color arrangements can be very compelling, but also a bit chaotic. There may be too much contrast. One way to bring harmony into the picture is to introduce the opposite of whatever is happening with one or more design elements.

In this piece, I decided to bring in a "grid" to counterbalance the irregular shapes. By folding and creasing the piece into equal segments in both directions, the grid was created. Texture and exposing the white of the paper was created by sanding the edges of the folds. White is a calming color so by exposing the white of the paper and writing the text in white, harmony was used to bring everything into balance.

The problem of balancing harmony and contrast can always be resolved by repeating elements of design to create harmony or introducing the opposite characteristic of each design element to create contrast. And, of course, some of these decisions are unique to each individual artist, but both are important in every piece of art. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Santa Fe (3)" ($60.00)

(adjusted price....$60.00....mounted on a 1.50" depth clayboard)

"Turquoise and silver adorn natives of the Southwest." This final piece in my Santa Fe series gives yet one more flavor of this particular part of the Southwest. Referring to a much earlier quote..."We can be transported to another place with texture and color."  Hopefully you have been transported to Santa Fe.

Working in a series is a wonderful way to explore a subject or technique or any element of design.  Such was the case for me in this Santa Fe series. Each is a bit different with the common denominator being texture and color.

Another fun way to create a series is to cut up a larger piece into several segments and then mount them separately, but display them together. I hope I've added "kindling" to your creative fire by posting this series. It is something great to try or think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Hot Commodity" (sold)


(12" x 12")

"Wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her." (Proverbs 3: 14, 15) In today's economic world, gold is considered a "hot commodity". However, in this timely verse from Proverbs, wisdom is considered the "hot commodity". It is a profound comparison and worth thinking about on a deep level.

Creating the intense color of rubies in this piece was dependent on Quinocridone Magenta plus Black over a gesso and unprimed base. Even the acrylic paint was not intense enough to suit me so I applied another layer of Magenta Ink (Bordeaux) plus Higgins Eternal to achieve the brilliance.

The bowl was painted with black gesso, followed by gold leaf and Acryl Orange Gold. Because of the inks and gouache, the surface had to be prepared to receive lettering without disturbing the first layers. Here it is again....after spraying the surface (2x) lightly with Acrylic Spray Coating...mix (2) parts water to (1) part gel matte medium by brushing it on and blowing with a hair dryer simultaneously. The acrylic coating and gesso often cause a "resist" which is the reason heat must be applied while brushing. (It helps to secure your paper to the surface with a removable tab or removable tape so you can use both hands to paint and dry.)

The gel matte medium eventually attaches to the surface and then the lettering can be done. Just something to try or think about.

This piece is currently in an exhibit at "Open Doors Gallery" at Hill Country Bible Church in Austin, Tx.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"True Love" (unavailable)


"True love is fierce and passionate through all the twists and turns of life." Today's posting is dedicated to my niece, Kim, on her wedding day. Early congratulations to her and Larry as they begin their life together. May the "true love" of my other viewers receive a new appreciation as you go about your day.

This is a very contemporary piece using some of the "hottest" color combinations in interior design. The obvious thing would have been to include hearts plus red, white, and black. So this is a great lesson in taking inventory of the different color combinations that have emerged this year and keep coming. It is not necessary to keep doing the obvious things.

One way to develop a piece from a well designed room is to select your favorite magazine with many images to choose from.  Before mixing your paint, make a note of the approximate percentages of space that each color occupies. Then use a very spontaneous technique of applying paint to paper using those same percentages. You will want to do it this way because it is not only the color that's appealing, but also the amount of color revealed that has captured your imagination.

In this piece, Liquitex Pouring Medium plus acrylic paint was used as a means to do the pour and create the shapes. Magenta Quinocridone was used in the background with the neutrals. The lettering was done with Windsor Newton Brilliant Red Violet. Just something to try or think about.

Friday, October 21, 2011

"Santa Fe (2)" ($60.00)

(adjusted price...$60.00...mounted on a 1.50" depth clayboard)

"Santa Fe is painted with a broad brush loaded with burnt sienna." This is my second in a trilogy. If you're like me, you cannot get enough burnt sienna and turquoise. My hope is that you will enjoy just thinking about this "art mecca" of the Southwest. Better yet, you could be inspired to get your paints out this weekend. Whatever you plan, make it fabulous!

This Golden Crackle Medium in this second Santa Fe piece is very pronounced. And if you apply this to a larger piece, you might experience a bit of a wrinkled effect. It's best to use a bit heavier paper than Arches Text Wove. But if it does wrinkle at all, wait until it dries completely and iron it on the back. (I guarantee that if you use 300lb. Hot Press Watercolor Paper, it will not budge!) That would be the answer for a piece larger than a (9" x 12").

Notice that the division of space is basically horizontal bands of color and different texture. Leaving some of the paper free of the crackle medium will give you the contrast of texture. When in doubt about division of space, horizontal bands work every time they're tried.

The beauty of working with acrylics and mediums is that they will do much of the work for you. So if you're feeling adventurous, you might want to try your hand at crackle medium, especially for a stone or rock texture. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Everyone Likes It" ($40.00)

(adjusted price.....$40.00)

"Jazz music is much like gestural writing...everyones seems to like it, but few can figure out how to do it." Some skills in life look very easy, but in reality they require a lot of observation as well as practice. That's exactly what I thought about gestural and even expressive lettering. It looks like something any person off the street could do.  (Oh, contrare!) I think that is true of many skills in life. For instance, the art of conversation and simply getting along with people in general looks so easy, but it requires a lot of wisdom, self control, and simply looking at things from another person's point of view. Perhaps I can get started on that today because it is one of the most necessary skills in living successfully with others.

This piece was whittled down to some very angular shapes by painting over some areas with black gesso and using a commercial stamp and Speedball Printing Ink to add some interest. Black and white can literally anchor any piece and calm down some of the more chaotic parts. Besides, black and white are two colors that come to mind when thinking of any kind of music. Color alone can inspire thoughts in any area when the associations with that color are present. Everything does not have to be literal in abstract art.

Another thing that came to mind as I started thinking about the lettering is whether or not to follow the lines that were already in the piece or make the lettering straight. And then I remembered a great teacher who said to always make the lettering straight in the design space when there is a lot going on in the background. It works. Viewers can only take in so much detail before they get tired and give up looking. As much as we would all like to write expressively and gesturally to the point that it deteriorates into unreadable text, the average person does not want to stand on their head to try to read the text. I believe that a happy compromise is to be as expressive as you like in the background, but keep the main thing the main thing by making it readable to those who expect to read anything that looks like text. Of course, that's only my opinion. But it is something to stop and think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Santa Fe (1)" ($60.00)

(adjusted price.....$60.00....mounted on a 1.50" depth clayboard)

"Burnt Sienna and Turquoise deliver color to rocks, canyons, and rivers." This is the first in a trilogy of pieces describing Santa Fe. There are few colors that are as calming as these two. So if you are going to work today, take a break and imagine yourself in Santa Fe. It's a way of taking a vacation without leaving home.

Golden has a product available called Crackle Medium. It can be applied thick or thin with a palette knife. In this piece I applied the medium on blank printmaking paper, leaving some areas untouched. When dried, it gives the appearance of an erratic "crackle" texture that can be painted. (It might not crackle if medium is applied too thinly.)

From that point, I followed the same procedure with Pouring Medium techniques. By adding more water, I was able to create the saturated color provided by the medium without a heavy application. The original has a "stone" look that is very appealing. Just something to try or think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"The Right Road" ($60.00)

(adjusted price.....$60.00....mounted on a 1.50" depth clayboard)

"Treasures are found on the right road." This quote was inspired by a four stanza poem by Robert Frost. The first stanza appears here. Frost is making a larger point by saying that choosing the path less traveled had made all the difference in the world. So often, any of us can be derailed by neglecting the really important things in life. Choosing the right road is often more difficult, but we can have the very life we long for by making the right decisions day after day. A gourd, very similar to the one in this piece, was a treasure I found by leaving the main road and experiencing a patch of gourds and a lovely view.

Several techniques were combined to create this piece. Lines, lettering, and gesso comprise the first layer, followed by Pouring Medium plus pigment in the second layer. The only problem with applying gesso, followed by paint, is that the gesso shape can be a bit overpowering. To counteract that effect, I decided to add the first stanza of the poem by Robert Frost. Lettering has a miraculous way of stitching areas together that may be awkward. Imagery will also do the same thing.

When cropping from a larger sheet, it is good to have the gesso shape(s) touch at least two sides of the design space. Shapes that are too much the same, too many, or appear to be floating in space are not nearly as effective.

Even the gourd in this piece is placed so that it connects with lettering in the first layer, which then connects to the green color, which in turn connects to the one line quote. If you are unsure where to place lettering or it on Canson Vellum first and them place it where it has the best connection to other elements. It's called being "well connected".   Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Monday, October 17, 2011

"A Silver Lining" ($40.00)

(adjusted price....$40.00)

"Behind every dark spot is a silver lining and a bright color." This is a "take off" on a very familiar quote with a contemporary twist. Life can throw a few curve balls at us, but keeping a positive faith and attitude is the way to see the silver lining and bright color in every situation.

There are always reasons why some pieces work and others don't. That is a true statement even taking into consideration that some people like contemporary art work and others prefer super realism. The same design principles are at work in either case.

The principles of design can be boiled down to two very key factors. One is harmony and the other is contrast. In order to show harmony with all of your design elements, there must be one characteristic of each element dominating. For instance, in this piece, there is a dominance of curved lines. That one fact alone determined my decision to make the lettering straight rather than follow the curve of the color. In doing that, a contrast was created with the element of line. The same is true for the purplish gray color that also bleeds into the white areas. It takes up more space than the green color, creating harmony. But the green is also a split complement of the purple, creating a contrast. And on it goes.

However simplistic this may sound, I still see and even experience in my own artwork, times when I can't seem to think of all these things at once. Sometimes, it's intuitive, but not always. It's in the "not always" times that it is prudent to actually analyze what's going on with each design element. Just a few minor changes will help to make the piece go from "ho hum" to "wow".

Design language is the vocabulary of the visual artist. It is definitely something that needs careful attention. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Surroundings" ($40.00)

(adjusted price....$40.00)

"Color and people are both affected by their surroundings." Placing intense color next to a gray color or next to its complement (or split complement) can vastly affect the way it looks. Likewise, the way people respond to their environment can make them feel peaceful or agitated. Hopefully, you have surrounded yourself with colors and items that make you peaceful.

Orange and Ultramarine Blue were used to achieve this "grayish purple" color. But then I decided not to use the Ultramarine Blue by itself but selected Viridian Green which is a split complement of orange. The darker green color blended with a very dark mixture of the Orange and Ultramarine Blue which caused it to look illuminated where the green was more diluted by water.

So the color moral of this story is to use those complementary colors to produce some wonderful grays that will provide the perfect setting for the more intense color. What is remarkable about the Cadmium Orange is that I really did add some Blue to knock down the intensity, but it still seems quite intense.

Observing color effects in different surroundings is a life time pursuit. Have fun as you try out more combinations. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"Montage" ($30.00)

(adjusted price.....$30.00)

"Everything we do enters the montage of our experiences." A montage is the technique of producing a new composite whole from fragments of pictures, words, music, etc. Once we understand that every decision we make is a "make or break" decision, it is a tremendous motivation to make good ones so that the montage of our life is going in a direction that produces positive and continuous growth.

The process of writing quotes and then matching them to an appropriate image is one of the most satisfying and fascinating things I've done. The cool part is that I can always write a new quote for a piece if I don't have one on my clipboard that works. Yes, I run around with a clipboard everywhere I go because I never know when a good quote will come to mind.

In this case, I had already written the quote and then created a series of abstract pieces with Liquitex Pouring Medium. This one was a "reject" for a good while because there was a big blob of white that landed in my piece which didn't seem to fit. The solution came to mind when I remembered that alcohol breaks up acrylic paint. So I dipped a fairly stiff brush into alcohol and rubbed over the white spot until the color broke up and became diffused and blended into the piece. It is now a contributing factor in the success of the piece and ties into the lettering. So I guess the "rule of thumb" is this....if something is not working, do something to blend it into the piece....paint over it....or make it the focal point.

And even though the division of space and the process created very diffused edges, there is enough interest in the marbelized bits to add enough detail to maintain interest.

Just a few more things to try or think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Friday, October 14, 2011

"Black and White" (unavailable)


"Black and white plus one or two other colors works every time it's tried." The same way this quote works in the realm of color, there are other things that work every time they're tried. For instance...serving an audience of one. People may come and go in our lives and say or do things that please or displease us. But only caring about what God thinks about our behavior works every single time it's tried. More than likely, attitudes that please God will also give you peace with God, yourself, and others.

Horizontal bands of color as a means of dividing up design space is also something that works every time it's tried. Of course, the down side of doing this is too much harmony. That can be alleviated by introducing gestural marks and edges that are not absolutely straight. Erratic lines and "fluid" edges will offer up a strong contrast.

The color choices selected for this piece would have worked with any other two colors placed next to white and black, but it does help the "wow" factor to choose two complementary colors. By choosing complementary colors, the contrast of warm and cool is also settled since warm and cool colors are also opposite colors on the color wheel. In essence, you are "killing two birds with one stone." (so to speak) Just something to think about.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Infinity" ($60.00)

(adjusted price....$60.00....mounted on a 1.50" depth clayboard)

"Stepping into color is like stepping into infinity." Color is a vast subject. So vast that it can take a lifetime to implement and understand all of the nuances it possesses. I like to compare it to spiritual things as well. Knowing God is also a vast subject that will take us into eternity. Both are worth the pursuit.

Besides my continued study and application of Liquitex Pouring Medium, I am learning how to manipulate it more by trying different means of delivery of the paint to paper. It was suggested by another artist to use cake decorating supplies with the special tips. I did try that, but it was less than satisfactory to me because of the characteristics of this medium. It is too "runny", even with no water added. Even though I haven't tried it yet, I believe that bottles with different tips on them would be more adequate. It might also save on product since it could be capped and stored.

At present, I am still mixing it in paper plates, and then bending the plate to make the pour. Keep the paper flat while doing this. Then, it is possible to hold the paper up to direct the direction of the medium. Also, make sure you run your paper under a faucet before beginning. It must be very wet for the paint and medium to move.

One thing I did in this piece was drop water into an area or two where I didn't want as much detail. That worked well. This is just another way of bringing saturated color to artwork. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Simple to Complex" ($30.00)

(adjusted price....$30.00)

"Working from simple to complex is a way of lowering stress levels." I had a very wise lettering instructor who was teaching how to letter on gessoed and primed surfaces. She admonished us from the beginning of any design to keep it simple because it will get more complicated as you go along. That lady was Hazel Dolby. That bit of wisdom has proven to be correct.

When working with moving color by using a pouring medium, most of the edges will be softly diffused. For that reason, it is not a bad idea to add lettering simply as a design element (not meant to be read) or to actually do some hand written lettering . This brings some hard edges to contrast with all of those soft edges.

In this piece, lettering was transferred from a copy out of my ink jet printer. The key is to brush on a bit of pouring medium straight from the bottle (with no color added) on the portion of your piece where you want to transfer. Let it dry a minute or two and then lay the copy down and rub over the paper with the lettering. If some of the paper sticks to the surface, simply dip a brush in water and gently remove it. Spray with acrylic coating.

The transferred print in this piece is a typed version of the quote....only backwards. I guess if you want it to be read, you would need to type it backwards. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Diluted Color" ($30.00)

(adjusted price....$30.00)

"Diluted color transforms tension into calmness." I would guess that most viewers would look at this piece and assume I've lost my mind since the color does not appear to be diluted.  The idea is to draw attention to the fact that color has a hugh impact on our environment. Take time to notice the colors in your life today.

Complementary colors are directly opposite each other on the color wheel. They can be mixed together to the point where gray is achieved. That can be seen in this piece. Each of these two colors can knock down the intensity and fully satisfy the eye that always searches for the complementary color.

The Phthalo Blue (Red Shade) in this piece is very intense. It is a bright, intense blue that's very dark when used thickly. Used as a thin glaze it's very transparent. Mixed with white it's an opaque, beautiful sky blue.

This piece was created with Liquitex Pouring Medium and pigment, but on this occasion, I diluted the mixture a bit more with water which created more blending of the colors together rather than being suspended in the medium. There are many different ways to create with Pouring Medium. Just something else to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Created Form" ($60.00)

(adjusted price.....$60.00.....mounted on a 1.50" depth clayboard)

"Created form emerges from the ground in color that reveals the season." Fall has always been my favorite season and painting images that emerge from the ground in autumn brings me tremendous joy. The minute small decorative gourds appeared in the store, a bag of them came home with there may be a few more postings before I get over this obsession. Of course, I hope it brightens your day!

The first layer of this piece was created in the color workshop this past weekend as I demonstrated Liquitex Pouring Medium. By allowing the results of the medium to speak to you without predetermining what you want to do is another way to achieve spontaneity. What I have been learning about spontaneous creating is that the process itself must be spontaneous. It is very difficult to achieve a look that flows without effort by predetermining everything in advance.

On the other hand, knowing what to do with the elements and principles of design (and color) will also help. So actually, it is a matter of beginning with a process that almost creates itself and then, putting on your "design" hat to figure out what to do next.

If lettering is involved, it also helps to be able to write something that goes with the piece after the piece has been created rather than designing a piece to go with the quote. And if you don't like writing....then you will need an arsenal of quotes at your fingertips (alphabetized, of course) so you can find just the right one.

For those who were in the class, this is an analagous color scheme with a bit of violet on the gourd and in the shadow. And, of course, violet is a direct complement of yellow and a split complement to the yellow-green. The violet used is Perylene Violet (WN)gouache. If you don't have that in your gouache is a good one. Also, the pouring medium resists gouache, so you will need to brush the surface with (2) parts water to (1) part gel matte medium before painting an image or doing lettering.

Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"Worship the King" (unavailable)


"O Worship the King all glorious above. And gratefully sing His wonderful love. Our Shield and Defender the Ancient of Days. Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise."

This is a (12" x 12") exhibit piece I created several years ago. As the rain began to fall early this morning, it seemed appropriate to post this piece which is in my permanent collection.  The drought has been broken!

There is much to notice about the layering of this piece. The first layer gave the appearance of an aged wall. It was create by troweling "patching plaster" over a stretched canvas. Before the plaster dried, I created some gestural marks by writing in the plaster with a stylus. After all of that dried overnight, the surface was lightly sanded and then painted.

The remaining layers were created with bits of collage, drawing, lettering, and a piece of fused glass.

The Cobalt Blue color and refraction of that color through the fused glass is the "wow" factor. Just like we discussed in the Color Workshop yesterday, if you want one color to really take center stage, surround it with neutrals. Keep in mind that a neutral is any color that has been diluted by the addition of white, black, or its complement.

Just something to think about.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"Fluidity" (sold)


"Fluidity is enhanced by the act of observing as you work." Creating a good flow in every area of life is something to be desired. Different things will contribute to the way that process unfolds, but in art as in life, it most often happens by observing the things that move you, that enhance your process, and being self aware.

There are two pigments on the color wheel that are the lightest and darkest on the value scale (or gray scale). Yellow is the lightest and violet is the darkest. These colors are also direct complements. When used together they are highly charged and create a very ethereal look. In some instances, depending on the proportion of space each of them occupies, they can create an "unsettling" and disturbing look.

When I created this piece, I created two in case I didn't like one of them. It was a good thing because the arrangement and flow of the other one is quite disturbing to look at. It gave me the feeling of being "swallowed up". So goes the power of color. These color studies are very instructive on the power of color to affect mood and emotion.

Just something else to think about as you observe while you work.

Friday, October 7, 2011

"Technique" (unavailable)


"Technique determines the outcome in art and in life." Technique is defined as a manner of artistic execution in music, painting, etc...skillfulness or adeptness. It can also be a means of achieving one's purpose skillfully. It all ties in with wisdom and discipline in both areas. What a great thought for Friday!

Color has literally exploded in my studio. This piece was inspired by the colors of a well designed living space. The warm neutrals throughout the room felt very cozy and then there was the brilliant violet accent. Wow! If you truly want a color to be showcased well, just place it in a setting of neutral (diluted) color and "voila"...the piece settles the viewer down into a cozy atmosphere and enjoyment of the vibrant color.

There has long been a tendency to refer to neutrals as white, black, and brown with tints, shades, and tones of those three. Actually, a neutral is any color that has been neutralized by dilution. A color can be diluted with black, white, gray, or its complement. Viridian green is actually the darkest color in this piece, but it was diluted by its complement...Napthol Red + a bit of Raw Umber. I also enjoy Titan Buff which is the cream color. It is a color that could be mixed, but when time is of the essence, I do like to have that color on hand.

The movement of color in this piece was created once again by Liquitex Pouring Medium. Moving color is very exciting and mesmerizing. Those in the color workshop are in for a treat. The is one of the most addictive and therapeutic things I've done in a while. I highly recommend it for stress relief. Just something to think about.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Color Spectrum" ($60.00)

(adjusted price....$60.00...mounted on a 1.50" depth clayboard)

"Color represents the spectrum of emotion." Have your emotions ever been in constant motion like the color appears to be in this piece? If so, stop and realize that emotions can't think. Many times they can lead down the wrong path. They can be as mesmerizing as looking at moving color. Thinking on the truth of a situation is better than following emotions.

This entire piece was created by mixing three acrylic colors with Liquitex Pouring Medium. It was then color at a time...over damp paper. By tilting the paper and combing through the color, a wonderful marbelized effect happens.

The gray at the bottom happened when the black bled into that area at the periphery of the pour. It's a wonderful idea to leave part of the paper that way to show contrast and have a place to do some lettering.

This type of application is "gooey" and thick and requires overnight drying time. Using a hair dryer causes ripples in the pour so let it dry on its own. (To those in my color workshop this Saturday...this is a "sneak preview" of one of the things you will be doing.)

Just something else to try or think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Staging" ($30.00)

(adjusted price....$30.00)

"Contrasting one thing with another could be called the fine art of staging." In today's housing market, it is "trendy" to hire an interior designer to come in and tell you what needs to go and what needs to stay. The goal is to help you receive top dollar for the sale of your house. It's a very descriptive word that has a similar meaning to the word "edit". We can enrich this thought of staging by thinking about other areas of life that need staging. What would you like to "stage" today?

In the first layer of this piece...random lines were placed on blank paper. A few of those lines were created with Moon Palace Ink and a pointed pen. Gesso was applied randomly in different thicknesses. After all of that dried...paint was applied.

At this point, the real creativity begins. Because the colors are so luminous with lots of texture, I made the decision to use the black line from the first layer as a starting point. The black "notan" like flowers and varying lines at the bottom were added. Suddenly, the piece became grounded. The same thing happens when black is added to a very colorful room. It's a grounding color that can be used to stabilize and bring order to a design. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Mood Lifter" ($60.00)

(adjusted price....$60.00....mounted on a 1.50" depth clayboard)

"Simple and beautiful form is a mood lifter." The power of artwork to comfort and bring joy is the best motivation for spending the time, effort, and energy it takes to create it and to continue improving skill levels. When people are in pain, they do not need the "bizarre" that is often seen in the art world. They need beautiful form that communicates...everything will be all right in my life again. It's a stabilizer.

Color is a powerful communicator. And a person does not need to understand it to enjoy its power to transform a mood or living space.

The artist, however, needs to make it a life long study. Even when you do that, there will be deeper levels of understanding on the horizon. In this piece, I had a good background of analogous colors.(next to each other on the color wheel) By using my knowledge of color, I was able to make it more compelling by adding purple which is the complement to yellow. You might be looking closely to even see purple, but it's there. The reason it is not obvious is because it was painted over yellow which "grays" it down into a rich neutral. It is in the darker parts of the background as well as the gourd. The lettering is also done in purple (Perylene Violet Gouache...WN)

This type of color sense is learned by doing . Even if you make a decision to simply paint a color on blank dry paper...allow to dry...glaze over with other diluted color, it is a valuable exercise to expand your knowledge of that particular color. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Monday, October 3, 2011

"Pairings" ($30.00)


"Lemons and limes are cheerful pairings of fruit and color." Colors can evoke an emotion or reference an object without the realistic representation of the object. This goes to the core of abstract painting. Lemons and limes are referenced by the color in this piece.

This is basically a monochromatic piece with yellow / green being the root color. That root color is most obvious in the center of interest where the color has very little dilution.

Color can be diluted several ways. It can be diluted by adding glazing with white graying down with the complement. Dilution affects the intensity of a color by knocking it down. All of these types of dilution are present in this piece.

The first step in really knowing a particular color is being able to identify a color's hue (root color)...its value compared to the gray scale, and its intensity. Having the right information and steps to accessing this skill is a preliminary step to mixing any color you see. Just something to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"First Things First" ($400.00)

"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need." (NLT) This piece was created for "The Open Doors Gallery" at Hill Country Bible Church in Austin, Texas. This outstanding verse from scripture truly is a priority setter. When confusion settles in and wraps its tentacles around us, this one verse sets everything in proper perspective again. The glass is mostly transparent so the text can be read and the light can bounce around and create light patterns over the piece beneath.

This piece was created with  MDF board and a fused glass overlay. (The glass sits 1/2" off of the surface.) The board was primed with (4) coats of gesso and lightly sanded in between. Acrylic paint was applied, followed by gold leaf and then lettering. Surface preparation to write on gold is the same as writing on acrylic. You can also try brushing pumice over the surface. (Click onto surface preparation at the bottom to pull up previous postings with those instructions.)

The glass is a three layer collage. The bands of black on each end were painted and stamped with Glassline Paint with gold mica powder sandwiched between two of the layers. "First things first" was written with a ruling pen and tracing black powder plus clove oil. The secret to fusing lettering on glass is to fully fuse the three layers at a high temp...then do the lettering and fire it again without going over 1250 degrees. This will retain the hairlines.

Just something to see and think about.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Gold vs. Wisdom" (Sold)


"Wisdom weighs more than gold, silver, or rubies, and is far more valuable." Of course, wisdom does not have a measurable weight as gold does, but the value of wisdom cannot be overstated. My favorite definition of wisdom is from J. I. Packer..."Wisdom is the power to see and the inclination to choose the highest and best goal with the surest means of attaining it."

I did not want to be so visually literal by including an actual balancing scale in this piece, but I did try to divide the space up in two distinct divisions to give the idea of a subtle impression of comparing gold to wisdom.

To add a couple more subtle shapes and add more atmosphere to the mood of this piece, I brushed charcoal powder (using a Hake brush) across the top and then removed part of it with an eraser to create a softly diffused line. It's really a neat technique to tone down a particular section.

The bowl was defined with black gesso applied with a small palette knife and then texturized with a comb. Gold orange (Acryl Gouache) was solidly applied over the black, followed by random layering of 22k gold leaf. I then took a small brush dipped in water to removed part of the orange gold and reveal the black underneath. This action also removed the excess gold leaf. Just something to try or think about.