Friday, May 31, 2013

"En Mi Corazon" (draft 2)

(image 1)

(image 2)

"I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." (Psalm 119: 11) The title of the piece in English is...."In My Heart". Of course I love to write it in Spanish and you can actually see it vaguely written with a pointed brush at the bottom of the piece. You can also see that I have now cropped the piece to an 8" x 8".

It will be presented in a frame with a balsa wood spacer to allow room for the dimensional inclusion of rolled up papers. In fact, all pieces that include handmade papers will look better if there is a spacer in the frame. It is a much better plan than picking out a shadow box that has a 2" depth. This type of presentation is very subtle and allows for a piece that is in between mixed media, collage, and an assemblage.

Since yesterday, I have added in this order....the brush lettering...a thin layer of white gesso...brayering after alcohol was sprayed on the surface....and then an application of dark purple pastel, brown pastel, and black charcoal powder. I also placed the frame around the piece to make sure I had enough brown tones that would also be picked up in the frame.

All of this was then sprayed with spray acrylic coating (2x). I then rolled up some text from the Psalms taken from a very small bible. I then found a piece of interesting yarn in an ecru color and wrapped that around the rolled up text pages. The papers are held in place with a liberal amount of gel matte medium.

The next steps are important so as not to paint yourself into a corner. The handmade paper has not been adhered to the support or the whole piece to a gessobord panel. So today I will be removing the handmade paper and adhering the piece to my panel and weighting it down with wax paper, book, and a rock for the remainder of the day.

I will then prepare the piece to receive lettering and after writing the text, I will spray it again with spray acrylic coating (3x)....drying thoroughly in between. I will finish with one coat of Golden Spray Varnish...dry thoroughly and then attach the handmade paper and allow it to dry overnight.  It will then be ready to go in the frame.  And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Untitled" (draft 1)

(image 1)

(image 2)

This piece is untitled (for now) because I haven't decided what psalm will fit best. And this was one of the things I learned after one year of blogging. My pieces are much more suited to the quote if I do the image first.

This new piece will be cropped by tomorrow, but only after doing some more layers. The finished size will be an 8" x 8", so I obviously have a lot more surface than I need for the finished size. It does, however, give me lots of options.

The first image is a mono print created on 300 lb HP. (I chose the heavier paper because it will not buckle when wet and there will be no need to tape it to a board.) The mono print was created on a glass printing surface with Golden Fluid Acrylics. I simply squeezed some paint onto the glass...sprayed it with water... and rolled it out a bit with a brayer. It was very "sloshy". I then laid the paper into the paint. It was too dark to suit me so I sprayed the paper with water and let some of the pigment drip off. I then wiped the glass off and laid it on the clean plate to mono print over the first one.

While the paper was wet, I wrote into the wet surface with a stylus which created the gestural marks. And this brings me to the point of gestural marks. I have noticed that some students like to create a bit of writing in the middle of the design space. But it is infinitely better to completely divide the space by going edge to edge. Random marks in the middle of the design appear to be floating around and going nowhere. Ground them by going to the edge.

Another thing that makes gestural marks more interesting is to have a variation in height and interval of the marks. Pretend you are writing a word, but vary the height and size of the letters and then have the line continue with no letters before making any more detailed marks. If your marks are all the same size and interval, it looks less spontaneous and interesting.

In the second image, (after drying the paper), I poured some white gesso out on a foam plate and added water (probably a 3 parts gesso to 1 part water ratio). Using a cut up credit card, I laid down some gesso while preserving a window of my most interesting gesture marks. After drying this first layer of gesso, I sprayed it with rubbing alcohol and brayered over it (many times while alternating with spraying and brayering). This removed some of the gesso and evened out the tone in some areas.

And after doing a few more layers, if I want more gesso removed, I will scrub the surface with a stiff brush dipped into alcohol....followed by blotting. The beauty of this type of layering is that I can add more marks and even more color or mono printed rice papers in between the layers of gesso if I like. And tomorrow you will see what I decided to do. In the meantime, you have a few more things to think about.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"Road Tested" (final)


($250.00.....11" x 14".....Mixed Media and Kiln Formed Glass on a Gesso Panel....Presented in a 4" Width Frame)

"Every God direction is road tested. Everyone who runs to him makes it." (Psalm 18: 30...from The Message) Eugene Peterson did an excellent job of writing the Bible in contemporary English. The words bring a lot of visuals to mind. This is the final and will be presented in a 4" width historical looking frame.

Since yesterday and after going to find a frame...I fully realized that black and white combinations (as wonderful as they are) can also be very cold in visual temperature. So I purchased a frame with some of my favorite molding which has a lot of brown.

When I got home, I decided to check out my stash of kiln formed glass and found a piece with lots of black, but also some yellow which looked like raw sienna. That selection sent the entire piece into a different direction.

I took a leap of faith and brushed on several colors of soft pastels over the rice papers. Of course, when you do that, the edges become prominent and the places where the gel matte medium "oozed" out also became prominent. I used brown, raw sienna, and burnt sienna pastels with touches of charcoal powder.

After securing all of that with spray acrylic coating, I added a few more plain pieces of rice papers. You can tell which ones they are because they are much lighter. After drying the new papers,  I also brushed on a bit of color over these papers but just enough to integrate them into the piece.

As I went along, I kept checking how the piece looked in the frame and when I was fully satisfied, I sprayed the entire piece (2x) with spray acrylic coating and let it dry overnight.

This morning I prepared the surface for lettering...practiced for at least 1.50 hours and then wrote the verse on the final. I feel completely at home with this look and since the Psalms make us feel comforted, I especially am pleased to have added lots of warmth to the piece.

The kind of depth in layering is also reminiscent of some of my old work so it all feels good to me. The most important thing I took away from working on this piece was not to be afraid to let the piece "morph" in a different direction. I also learned that soft pastels are a very happy companion to rice paper and add a layer of depth and ethereal qualities that are quite compelling. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"Road Tested" (draft 2)

(draft 2....11" x 14")

In this second draft of "Road Tested", you can see the addition of hand made paper, silver leaf, and a raised inclusion overlaying the silver leaf. The only thing left to do is the lettering.

I created a piece of handmade paper that was dried by laying the wet paper on a texture plate laid on top of a folded towel with a book and a rock on top. It took (2) days to dry. What you are seeing today is a portion of that piece painted with black gesso. I painted it by dabbing it with a sponge brush so as not to tear the paper.

I also cropped the piece to fit an 11" x 14" gessobord panel. At first I had decided to use a glass inclusion, but felt like the silver leaf added a bit of bling and works nicely on top of this "waffle" texture. I sponged on a bit of gel matte medium (straight out of the jar) on select areas and then pressed the silver leaf into the medium. The silver leaf is showing up better on this texture than it would on a flat surface so it is a good technique to use with molded papers.

My inclusion was simply a "cut off" portion from my cropping. I used the rectangular shape as a pattern to cut a piece of 3/8" depth balsa wood. It was cut with a small hack saw and then sanded on the edges. I then painted it with black gesso followed by spray acrylic coating. The mono printed rice paper was then adhered to the balsa wood.

The writing is the only thing left to do. I will write gesturally with a Speedball C-5 nib and Moon Palace Ink, but only after the surface has been sprayed a couple of times with spray acrylic coating and then prepared to receive lettering.

This is a very simple and straight forward approach to using handmade paper as a focal point. There could be many variations on the background. If you want to keep your white or lightly colored paper as is, then you could paint the support black with a few mono printed papers as a support for your handmade paper. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Monday, May 27, 2013

"Road Tested" (draft 1)

(draft 1)

"Every God-direction is road-tested. Everyone who runs toward him makes it." (Psalm 18: 30....The Message) This is the beginning of a new piece. In this first draft, I am setting the stage for an inclusion of handmade paper.

Handmade paper can be cutesy and crafty if it is not presented well. Today I have laid down some mono printed rice papers and plain rice papers to prepare a setting for the handmade paper. I was careful to select a gessoboard panel (14" x 18") that will give me enough margin to showcase the handmade paper well. (You could also use masonite primed with gesso as your support.)

There are several overlapping layers of plain rice paper which cannot be seen very well because I have yet to spray the surface with spray acrylic coating which is what brings out the translucency. This could all have been done on a gessobord panel, but I do like the feel and texture of paper and I also like some "wiggle" room by having a some cropping options. So today I will decide the orientation and the way I want it cropped and then I will mount that on my panel. I will also be deciding on whether or not to paint my handmade paper or leave it white.

This can be tested by turning the handmade paper on the least important side visually and if it works then you can paint the proper side. If I choose painting the paper, I will lose some of the spontaneous bits of papers which have a bit of random specks of color, letters, and numbers. By painting the reverse side and laying it on my support (draft 1), I will immediately be able to make that decision.

There are several other directions an artist can take with the support. You could also place mono printed paper over the entire support. The reason I did not do that is because it would not have created an interesting division of space. By placing the black mono printed papers randomly on just one point of each side, I have created more shapes and more interest. I think it might all depend on what your mono printed paper looks like.

You could also use small rectangular shapes of balsa wood covered in papers and placed around the perimeter to create an interesting support. Another option would be to use overlapping neutral colors applied with a brayer. That will add a lot of energy to your piece.

Tomorrow you will see a big change, but today's draft shows you just one of the ways the piece can begin. I also will be adding lettering on the plain rice papers that you see today and there will be either a repeat of the mono printed rice papers wrapped around a rectangular piece of balsa wood or a piece of glass on the upper center of my handmade paper. We will all know by tomorrow. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

"Psalm 100" (final)


($350.00......18" x 24"......Mixed Media & Kiln Formed Glass on 300 lb. HP....Mounted on a 2" Depth Cradled Board)

This is quite a lengthy psalm to write out completely, but if you click on the image, I am quite sure you can read the entire psalm. You might also notice that I have "weighted" some of the words more heavily and made some of them a bit larger so that the eye falls on those phrases first. It is my experience that not everyone will take the time to stand in front of a piece and read every word so it is prudent to emphasize some words that can be read in a glance.

As a recap, I would like to draw your attention to several things. First of all, the initial underlying bands of color from the first draft are still visible in the piece, except for the areas around the edge where I painted them out with black gesso. What you are seeing is opacity, transparency, and translucency in those bands of color which create an ethereal look. I kept the bright green and parts of the turquoise, and much of the black in its original state.

Some of those areas were diminished a bit by laying down fragments of psalms from old bibles plus some plain rice paper to tone down the very textured monoprinted rice papers that went down in the second and third draft. White and black gesso were also used to tone down and block out certain areas.

Then rubbing alcohol and a stiff brush were used to highlight some of the areas that were covered a bit too much by the dilute white gesso. And in between all of these layers, the paper was sprayed (2x) with spray acrylic coating followed by brushing on 2 parts water to 1 part gel matted medium (3x)....drying in between. It's been over a week since I started and that's the kind of time it takes to create an 18" x 24" piece.

However, the time would have been greatly reduced if I had worked on it all day for several days. The time spent on this piece was (2-3hrs) per day. The piece is finished, but I will spray it once again at the end of today and allow it to dry overnight before I adhere it to a 2" cradled clayboard and leave it to dry under a rock overnight.

I will then install the screw eyes and wire...paint the sides....spray the piece again with spray acrylic coating...dry....and finish with a spray varnish. The last thing will be adhering the piece of glass and then it will be totally done! And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Psalm 100" (draft 6)

(draft 6....18" x 24")

Today I realized that I had forgotten just how much longer it takes to do lettering on a large piece. What you see today is my lines ruled with a white charcoal pencil and the roman versals written in skeletal form with a pointed pen. I need several days to finish due to other obligations so the final will be posted on Saturday (I think!)

You can now see where the piece is headed in the final stage. For my lettering art friends, I always write my versals in a skeletal form first just to make sure it reads and flows well before building them up with a Mitchell #6 nib and also a pointed pen on the smaller letters.

When writing free form letters like this, it really does help to draw in some free flowing lines first. It is also a good way to emphasize some of the words by making the space in between the lines larger. I am pleased with the flow, but the real test is after they're finished.

There is a lot going on in this piece, but I hope you can see how the black areas ground the piece and by adjusting some of the other values and toning down the texture, the piece tells the viewer where to look. The focal area is framed in by a band of textured areas with an outer frame of black, but just on three sides. It's a very interesting division of space.

And for my glass friends, a two layer kiln fired piece of glass is a very nice inclusion in a mixed media piece, especially if a part of the glass is transparent. In the case of the glass made for this piece, there is a totally transparent band in the upper center of the glass that magnifies the lettering from an old bible which says "The Book of Psalms". All of the text pages in the piece are also from the psalms. Keeping the main thing, the main thing keeps confusion out of the eye of the viewer.

There are also many "echoes" in this piece as well as a full range of values.  Another thing to notice is that well placed shapes of black and white plus other colors works every time it's tried. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"Psalm 100" (draft 5)

(draft 5.....18" x 24")

Psalm 100 is back with a new layer. The focal area has been brought back up in value so the Spanish lettering is now visible, but still understated. I also added some more gestural writing with pencil and brush lettering. The other addition is a two layer collage of kiln formed glass. The versals will be added today.

As you can see from all of the postings of this piece that it has been quite the journey! I began the new layer by scrubbing some of the diluted gesso wash over the focal area with a stiff brush and rubbing alcohol and wiping with a kleenex. This technique is very useful in creating depth and adding to the patina. (Of course, if you scrub for too long, the alcohol will eventually get to the Spanish lettering and remove that as well.)

After bringing back some of the values, I sprayed the piece (2x) with acrylic spray coating....drying thoroughly with a hair dryer. I then prepared the surface to receive another layer by brushing on  (2) parts water + (1) part gel matte medium and applying (3) coats of that to the entire surface.

While I was waiting on my glass to get cool enough to take out of the kiln, I practiced brush lettering for about an hour and then added "the psalms" to the piece with gouache (prussian blue + white + a tiny bit of raw sienna.) Of course it was a bit too hard edged to suit me so I blotted the brush lettering with a damp kleenex until I achieved some softer edges and less intense color.  All of that was dried thoroughly and then the entire piece was sprayed (2x) with spray acrylic coating again....followed by preparing the surface to receive the next layer.

I then retrieved my glass from the kiln and placed it into position on top of my piece and then photographed it several times. What you see today is that photograph. The glass has not been permanently fixed to the support yet.

I have also been practicing this psalm in roman versals and I know it will be freely written and flowing from the last portion of the Spanish lettering and over the brush lettering in black ink. Hopefully, you can now see how involved layering in mixed media can be. Not all pieces are quite this complicated, but I am confident that after it gets mounted on a clayboard with all the lettering done and the glass in place, that it will be most of what I hoped for in the beginning. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

"Psalm 100" (draft 4)

(draft 4....18" x 24")

Psalm 100 is a psalm of praise so my idea from the beginning was to have lots of energy, color, and diagonals. Today you see a very changed piece from yesterday. I am almost finished, but need a couple of days to complete the final lettering, and fire a piece of glass. In light of that, I will not be posting again until Tuesday.

Hopefully, you will then see the final. Before I left the studio yesterday, I sprayed the entire piece with spray acrylic coating so it would be very dry this morning. Today I prepared the surface for lettering and then added some dilute white gesso to the focal area. I used a 1.50" broad shaper tool to apply the gesso...sprayed water and blotted some areas, and scraped off the excess gesso. I dried this thoroughly with a hair dryer and then brushed on some light gray pastel. (soft pastel) Of course, I then needed to spray that area again with spray acrylic coating (1x), dry thoroughly, and then again prepare the surface for lettering.

It took me approximately 2 hours to write Psalm 100 in Spanish with a Leonardt Principal Nib in Spencerian Script. After completing that, I then sprayed that area with spray acrylic coating (2x) and then once again prepared the surface for lettering.

Once again I applied dilute white gesso to the same area....followed by blotting, and removing the excess with the shaper tool. (You could also use a piece of mat board or cut up credit card.) This area was dried thoroughly and then again I applied gray soft pastel with a hake brush.

While I was doing this, I was studying the border and my prominent "L" shape and stopped what I was doing to cover up most of the outside area surrounding the "L" shape with black gesso. It immediately change the piece (for the better) and gave the very area around my focal area a chance to be appreciated. I especially like the way the bottom left hand corner shows off the ethereal quality of layered rice papers.

I ended up today with a bit more charcoal powder in the focal area. (The light gray was not completely doing it for me.) Today and tomorrow I will be studying the piece and removing part of the gessoed areas in the focal area to reveal a bit more of the Spanish lettering and the area where the kiln formed glass will go. So I deliberately waited to spray with spray acrylic coating so I could have this option. I will remove parts of the gesso with a stiff brush and rubbing alcohol. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Friday, May 17, 2013

"Psalm 100" (draft 3)

(draft 3)

This is the third draft of Psalm 100. Hopefully, you can see that I've changed the orientation by rotating so that the dark "L" shape containing the darkest colors is now at the bottom. I am completely satisfied with that decision, but still have two days worth of dealing with values and toning down the area where the lettering will be.

Today's posting represents (4) more hours of work. I have cropped the piece to an 18" by 24" size, added several more mono printed sections, some text from an old bible, and a ton of plain rice papers. 

After each layer of papers, I did dry the piece with a hair dryer, spray it with acrylic coating before adding another layer. My main objective in adding some of the psalms from an old bible and especially the part in the upper center which says "The Book of Psalms" was to added mystery and completely let the viewer know that this piece is about the Psalms.  I also added some black papers, some text, and plain rice papers in that area to create a focal point.  I intend to fire a piece of glass the same size of that focal point. That part will be done last.

So you can clearly see that I eliminated a lot of the detail in the black mono printed papers, but still leaving enough behind for interest. The art of laying down rice papers has everything to do with overlapping and also revealing some of the edges from the previous layer. This creates a very ethereal look that also adds depth and almost an encaustic look.

I also added a bit of gestural writing with a charcoal pencil and also brushed on some charcoal powder with a small brush in the areas where I had text pages. Charcoal powder comes in a jar and is very powerful. I would strongly advise experimenting on a scrap piece of paper first. It can be difficult to remove. You could also use soft pastels in a black or dark gray.

If you look closely, you will see that there was method in my madness of where to place the mono printed rice papers. They are placed in such a way to look like they are weaving in and out of the bands of color created with the brayers. So after you have painted your color on with a brayer, you automatically have a "road map" of where to place the papers.

In retrospect, I do think that fewer bands of color and larger bands for larger pieces would be more effective, but I will withhold judgement until I've completed other pieces with these same techniques. Having larger bands and then cropping before adding papers might create a whole different dynamic.

My goal today and tomorrow morning is to tone down significantly the area circumvented by the black bands and containing the focal point. That is where the lettering will go and right now it is way too busy. I will either use rice paper or white gesso to get it all under control. I might even use some soft pastels after spraying the piece and preparing the surface for a new layer. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

"Psalm 100" (draft 2)

(draft 2)

Today's second draft of Psalm 100 reveals the addition of mono printed rice papers. There are more papers to come, but I hope you can see how dramatically it altered the piece from yesterday.

There has been a flurry of activity at Buck Hill Studio today...four hours to be exact. I began by mono printed a few papers in all of the colors represented in the piece. Sounds like that could be knocked out in about 30 min., but "oh contrare"! With a lot of humidity in the air and needing to dry, spray, and dry again took about (2) hours.

The next step was to cut segments of the papers to go in areas that will line up with the brayered lines of color.  This was accomplished by cutting the rice papers right on the support and using a grid ruler when necessary to make sure the pieces lined up.  I am still not satisfied, but ran out of time so I will be looking at this piece either in the studio or on my iphone during the day so I can see where I might want some more texture. In fact, looking at a photo of your piece in progress is always a good idea. It removes you from the studio and the chaos of creating to give you a whole new perspective.

If I realize I need to tone down an area, all I need to do is adhere some plain rice paper over the aggressive area to create a very translucent effect. Today, what you see is a very stark contrast between transparency and texture with saturated color. This is an extreme contrast and my preference is to have a full range of values and different degrees of transparency and translucency represented which is not present yet.

If you try this yourself, you might have some difficulty accepting the look of the mono printed papers being adhered to those light bands of color. It's almost like cold water in your face, but it is very important to keep moving along with the knowledge that gesso or plain rice papers, or soft pastels can mute any area quite nicely. It's just not good to do that until you have all of your mono printed papers adhered.

This is the one obstacle that many artists have with mixed media. The desire is to see the finished outcome before the piece is finished. That's why I am happy to show you the step-by-step process so you can see how it all develops. Today things are a bit "jarring", but they will get much better in the next two postings. 

This piece will probably take until Sunday or Monday to be completely finished. One of the reasons being that I also plan to have one or three glass inclusions. It's all quite fascinating. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"Psalm 100" (draft 1)

(draft 1)

Today's posting is the beginning of Psalm 100. That will remain the title for now, but as in Psalm 103:1, the title changed in the final. The first draft is always exciting because it is a new beginning and even I do not know what the final will look like. I have no preconceived idea so that I can remain open to what I see happening on the paper.

Even though I do not have a preconceived idea, I am thinking about design. Staying true to my artistic voice which is to contrast opacity, translucency, and transparency in my mixed media works, I have begun with transparency. The colors I chose were based on a mexican pot painted with these same colors. And I chose Speedball Printing Ink as my paint and brayers as the way to deliver the paint to the paper which is a full sheet of 300 lb. HP.  (The final will be 18" x 24")

The dark blue was blue mixed with a bit of black. The turquoise was right out of the jar. The yellow green was green plus yellow. The orange was orange plus a bit of the dark blue. I mixed all of these colors on a glass surface with a palette knife and added a lot of water to each pile. To make sure it was well mixed, I sloshed the paint around with my hand (wearing thin latex gloves.)

By diluting the color a great deal, I am insuring the transparency. Using 1.50", 2", and 4" brayers, I began to apply the paint to dry paper. Because of the size of the paper, I did need to make at least 2 applications of color in each stripe. It is easy to do with brayers since you can see exactly how to line it up with the previous application. My desire was to include static and dynamic lines while preserving some white areas. Those white areas will add a lot of sparkle to the piece.

My next step today will be to create some mono printed papers using the same colors you see today. I will also be adding some black mono printed papers. Using black plus white and color and in different saturations will cover almost if not all of the values on the gray scale.

Color may be the most emotional of the design elements, but contrast is the most critical design principal. So today I have introduced a contrast of line (static and dynamic), a contrast of hue (or color), and a small contrast of saturation. Tomorrow, there will be even more contrasts in these same areas with an additional contrast of texture.

Also notice that all of the bands of color go edge to edge which grounds them to the design space and creates many great divisions of space. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"Bless the Lord" (final)

($150.00....6" x 12".....Mixed Media and Kiln Formed Glass ......Mounted on a 2" Depth Clayboard)

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name." (Psalm 103:1...NIV) As you can see, I have finished the piece and made significant changes since yesterday. I am satisfied with the outcome and thank you for sharing in my process.

Since yesterday, I made some value adjustments by adding more plain rice papers...covering up some more of the background text which included some of the brush lettering I did yesterday. I also made use of soft pastels to help integrate the values and create a very neutral background that complements the glass inclusion and provides the perfect background for my expressive lettering.

The soft pastels I chose were Sennelier sticks in a brighter turquoise and a "dirty" gray color. You can see how that gray color integrates the old text pages with the plain rice papers to create an overall "aged" look. I was extremely careful not to cover up key areas that were the perfect translucency and to leave some of the original text which was adhered to the support in the first layer.

The rule of thumb is to always have some of the previous layer showing throughout the piece. Slowing down the process and being careful about which areas to conceal and which ones to reveal is crucial to achieving the rich and deeply textured background. It all adds depth and interest and can never be achieved without layering.

And when you think about it, most art requires layering. To think that one layer of anything will achieve the best result is a serious error. As for the lettering, this was freely written with a Leonardt Principal Nib and Moon Palace Ink. Even though I took great liberties with the form and spacing, there is a very strong Spencerian Script influence in the form of the letters and especially the exit stroke. I chose this style of lettering to mesh with the idea of the sentiment of the verse in "freely blessing the Lord".

I hope that by going back and looking at the (4) drafts, you can see the importance of layering and how to achieve an enriched surface. The last steps are to adhere the support to the 2" depth clayboard (minus the glass) with gel matte medium and then weight it down with wax paper, followed by a book, and ending up with a rock. Let it dry overnight. Spray again with spray acrylic coating several times. Let it dry for (24) hours. Place the screw eyes and wire on the piece. Finish off the sides with black gesso followed by (1) coat of black acrylic. Spray with Golden Spray Acrylic Varnish (2x). Let dry for a few hours. Adhere glass to the finished piece with E6000 and do not touch or move for (24) hours. (It will break the seal if you do.) And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Monday, May 13, 2013

"Psalm 103:1" (draft 4)

I only thought I would be posting the final today. On viewing the piece this morning and also viewing several times during the day yesterday, I realized I would like to push the layering a bit further. The title has also changed slightly to Psalm 103:1...since it is a very long Psalm.

My desire is to improve my skill level in layering letters and incorporating more brush lettering. Brush lettering is very expressive and compelling. This morning I spent 1.50 hours practicing and finally writing a few words on the piece.

One of the best brushes to use for brush lettering is a Pentel Pointed brush that comes with cartridges. I never use the cartridges for fine art pieces since they will fade. After removing the cartridge, I cleaned the brush thoroughly of the cartridge ink and then mixed up some gouache on a paper plate with a palette knife and then dipped the brush in a bit of water and "paletted" the brush in the gouache on the paper plate. The surface of the piece had already been prepared for lettering by brushing on a mixture of (2) parts water to (1) part gel matte medium. I generally apply (3) layers...drying thoroughly in between. This is the same process you would use to apply stamped imagery, graphite, etc. The surface will simply not receive other media because it is too slick from the spray acrylic coating applied to secure the previous layer.

I have already sprayed this surface again with spray acrylic coating. So after I have decided on the finaly lettering placement...I will need to brush on the dilute gel matte medium again to prepare the surface for writing. As of right now, I am strongly considering adding some more plain rice papers and possibly a bit more charcoal pencil sparingly before doing the final lettering. It is all about values and choosing what to conceal and reveal.

When layering lettering or other line work, it is necessary to carefully consider the values of the background letters or line work. The final lettering will be either dark gray or black and will integrate well with the darks of the glass and the slivers of black showing from the base support. For that reason, I did blot my brush lettering with a kleenex dipped in water and squeezed out to push that lettering into the background further.

So you can see that the process really slows down towards the end and more time is needed to process design decisions. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

"Psalm 103" (draft 3)

(image 1)

(image 2...cropped section from image 1)

On this occasion of Mother's Day, you will be blessed by Psalm 103:1. This is the last draft and so I will be posting the final with lettering tomorrow. Enjoy your day!

Since yesterday, I have added more plain rice papers to create some more translucency and transparency. I then sprayed it with spray acrylic coating and decided it needed a touch of color. I chose not to use mono printed rice papers since that would create too much texture and compete with the texture in the glass.

Soft pastels came to my rescue...again. And they really must be soft pastels which contain enough pigment to do something for you. Chalk pastels are cheap and should be thrown in the trash. They are useless. After choosing my color to go with the blue/green in the glass, I used a break off knife to shave some onto a foam disposable plate. Using a hake brush or something akin to a blush brush, I placed the brush in the pastel powder and brushed it onto the rice papers. It was stronger than I wanted so I took a kneaded eraser and removed a lot of it until I had a light tint.

Soft pastels are useful for delivering color to a piece without creating hard lines when you need some color in a particular area. It works with any medium. If your surface is too slick to receive it...sponge on a coat of Liquitex Clear Gesso which creates a textured surface for this very purpose. The last thing I did today was to use a regular .05 mechanical pencil as well as a charcoal pencil to create some erratic line work and a few words. I then smudged the lines with my finger and also used the kneaded eraser to make it a lot more subtle.

And lest you think that you might be copying someone else's style by including these erratic and gestural lines in your work...not to worry. Every mixed media artist on the planet knows how to do this and many make it the hallmark of their work. Katherine Chang Liu....Fred Otnes...Peggy Brown...just to name a few. These lines add energy to the piece and also make connections between the shapes. It's like advanced "scribbling". If you know how to scribble, you can do this. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

"Psalm 103" (draft 2)

(draft 2)

Psalm 103 is still center stage. I am going particularly slow with my steps this time to completely show how to combine elements to create opacity, translucency, and transparency. My love for glass is meshing with my love of mixed media. In just a few weeks, I will have completed 800 postings and what I have learned about my own artistic voice is helping me now to completely focus on the above mentioned elements as the core of all my work.

Yesterday's posting was completely easy to do because very few decisions needed to be made. Today, I have cropped that larger section of 300 lb. HP down to a 6" x 12" size. It has not been adhered to the 2" depth clayboard yet. When there are three dimensional inclusions, it is best not to adhere those to the support until the piece is mounted on the clayboard.

My decisions about where to crop had everything to do with the title of the piece. The glass has areas with no darker powders fused so I was careful to make sure that Psalm 103 could be read through the glass. It was also important to include as many of the tabs which create that half moon shape. (A wonderful thing to look for when purchasing very old bibles for this type of work.) It creates a repetitive shape, which in turn, creates rhythm.

Even though you cannot see it clearly in my posting, I also placed some metallic leaf where the glass will be mounted...being careful not to cover all of the text. I also have a piece of plain rice paper which falls underneath the glass to further heighten the value of some of the letters in the glass. So you can see that the process now slows down a bit and becomes much more deliberate.

There will be more plain rice papers added, but I stopped with the sections of metallic leaf and one layer of rice paper to show you the translucent effect that one single sheet of rice paper creates. (Remember that it will not become translucent until sprayed with Krylon Spray Acrylic Coating.) The metal leaf, of course, is completely opaque and covers up everything.

You will also notice that I overlapped some of the plain rice papers over the metal leaf to create interesting values, shapes, and edges. The choice of placement for the metal leaf was based again on edges. I tend to frame things out with my elements (loosely) unless I choose an all over grid format arrangement. Almost all of the metal leaf is position on an edge of the perimeter.

Even though there were not too many additions today, there were many choices made. As I move forward, I will be choosing what part of the text I want to remain translucent and what part I want to cover up completely. And the choice of transparency has already been made with the glass. One other thing...if you are not into glass fusing, you can also use stained glass. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Psalm 103 (draft 1)

(draft 1)

Today's posting is the first draft which is centered around Psalm 103. The first verse is a well known chorus and sung throughout many churches. It reads....."Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name." I hope you enjoy watching the process of how it comes together.

It still feels very awkward for me to post things that are incomplete, but the response has been enthusiastic and apparently helpful, so I will put aside my feelings and carry on. The truth of the matter is that I cannot create small works for posting and also have the time and energy to do larger pieces as well. Having said that, I have already determined that this piece will be a 6" x 12" with a horizontal orientation. Which means that by tomorrow, you will see a lot of this background cropped. And there will still be some sections left for at least one 6" x 6".

What you see laying on top of the text pages is a 6" length of kiln formed glass with letters fused into the glass. So in this case, the length of the glass determined the size of the piece since I strongly believe that with few exceptions, the glass inclusion needs to go from edge to edge, especially when combined with mixed media. Since the glass has a tremendous amount of detail, my plan is to include plain rice papers and mono printed rice papers that have very little detail or none at all. This will also allow me to layer some lettering in those areas and include some that is free and expressive. It is crucial to keep the areas free of detail when included other elements with tons of detail.

My support for this piece is a section of 300 lb HP Watercolor Paper with (2) coats of black gesso. You can see that I left slivers of the black showing through to create some erratic lines which give rhythm to the piece. The old text pages were then cut or torn and adhered to the support with gel matte medium. By laying the text page on a section of wax paper and applying the medium with a palette knife, you will have less chance of your text adhering to whatever else you might have considered to lay it on. (i.e....Old telephone directories or newspapers have printed matter that could stick to your text page. Wax paper resolves that issue. This is especially important when adhereing rice papers which are much thinner and will stick to other materials.)

So now that the text pages are adhered, I will let it dry thoroughly and at some point during the day, I will add my rice papers. I may even consider added some metallic leaf. My first step, however, will be the decision to crop what you see posted today. Then I will have a better idea of what to do next. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

"Blessed" (Final)

($150.00......10" x 8"....Mixed Media on 140 lb. HP......Mounted on a 2" Depth Clayboard)

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the set of mockers." (Psalm 1:1) This is only one of three verses from Psalm 1, but it is finally finished. It is a timeless message and one of my favorites from The Psalms.

My hope today is that you can see how straight lines of tiny script bring stability and calm to an otherwise overly energetic piece. From the beginning, it was all about values and contrast.

 Black serves as the "grounding neutral" in the piece with "grayed" complementary colors paired together.  Just to recap from yesterday that one of the reasons this combination works well together is because there is very little detail in the colored areas and all of the more textured areas appear in the black mono printed papers.

This gives another option for the myriad uses of mono printed papers. This is definitely not my one and only of this combination of elements. So think along with me as I share a thought or two about where this could go. You will undoubtedly come up with ideas of your own. My next foray into this approach is to go much larger and use 1.50"...2.00"...and 4.00" brayers to deliver the color to the paper.

This might be a good time to do a few thumbnails on how the stripes could be arranged. They could be all horizontal, all vertical, a combination of both, or a few diagonals thrown into the mix. It will also be exciting to play around with space intervals. In other words, they don't all need to be evenly spaced. In fact, they will almost make it look contrived. Syncopated spacing is always a better option to begin with. Many of you who have done mono printing at Buck Hill Studio will have many black papers to play around with. I hope you will give it a try.

Also, check out the erratic line work that other abstract artists use in their work. Carole Pickle is a great one to google. Also look at the work of Katherine Chiang Liu. And don't forget Sue Costa and her magic with her favorite charcoal pencil. All of these artists have different approaches to line work. One more favorite is Juanda Powell's piece in the "Fully Alive" exhibit at Open Doors Gallery at Hill Country Bible Church of Austin. The line work is phenomenal. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"Blessed" (draft 2)

(draft 2....8" x 10")

This piece is all about Psalm 1. The complete text will appear in the final. There is, however, a great deal of text in this second draft which is setting the stage for the final lettering. Tomorrow you will see the power of very straight script written in black and how it calms everything in this piece down without jeopardizing the energy you see now.  I also cropped it to an 8" x 10" size.

There are several reasons why this piece is coming together in a beautiful way. And most of those reasons have to do with contrasts. The first and most obvious contrast is between the textured areas and the non textured areas. When delivering thin paint like this to a surface and with a brayer, there is transparency and hard edges, but very little detail.  When the mono printed black papers were added, complex and compelling texture entered the scene. And remember that black and white plus one or two other colors works every time it's tried.

The next contrast is the color. Not only the colors plus black and white, but the fact that the blue and orange are direct complements on the color wheel. There is also a contrast of saturation of color. By mixing the two complementary colors, some interesting "grayed" down colors (or less intense) appeared. That automatically decreased their saturation and also the addition of white and a lot of water diluted them further. This is a stark contrast to the black color....even though some of those pieces are less saturated as well with a mix of some very dark blacks.

Another strong contrast appears in the static vs. dynamic lines in the piece. Static is either totally horizontal or vertical and dynamic is curved or diagonal. This is easy to achieve with a brayer and it is also easy to achieve in the mono printed papers. There are diagonal and circular lines in several of those pieces. And this is why I suggested you have a combination of both types of printed papers on hand. That circular pattern in the bottom center is crucial to the success of this piece.

Today, I dealt with values and having subtle shifts in the values of my lettering. This layering of letters also adds some subtle detail and marries the colors and shapes together by crossing over them in the same way you might stitch two pieces of fabric together. The choice of color for the brush lettering also breaks up the strong diagonal and softens the blow of such a strong line. (Tomorrow's posting with straight black lines of script will further soften that diagonal.) But that diagonal provides the underlying energy of the piece so I am glad I put it there in the first place.

The other contrasts have to do with the different sizes of lettering and the tools used. There is pencil, brush, and a Mitchell #6 nib. All of that creates a nicely textured and subtle background for my last bit of lettering. If you don't do lettering, consider line work and doodling (much like a zentangle to create some interesting value shifts and detail. (If you don't know what a zentangle is....just google it. Quite fascinating.)   And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"Blessed" (draft 1)

(draft 1)

Today's piece is the beginning of Psalm 1. The text will appear in its entirety in the final. This is a new technique woven together with other techniques to hopefully create a very dynamic piece.

This is a quarter sheet of 140 lb. HP (Arches). It has not been cropped, so I will have many options today as I decide on placement of more papers (or not). The entire text of Psalm I will be written in Spencerian Script and some brush lettering in the background.

The color selection was two complementary colors plus mono printed black papers. The delivery of paint to the paper was done first with a brayer (1.50" and 2.00") This technique can be achieved with most water soluble paints.

In this case I chose Speedball Printing Inks. The challenge was to mix the two complementary colors of blue and orange + white to create a range of grayish colors. The first mixture was equal parts of both colors + white and mixed with a palette knife on a glass printing surface. I also sprayed a lot of water in the mixture. Extreme dilution of most colors will yield a measure of transparency which was the goal here. If I had chosen transparent watercolors, there would have been a much more ethereal and transparent look. Gouache and Fluid Acrylics are also options.

The key is to have the paint very "soupy". The brayer was rolled through this mixture and rolled from edge to edge on dry paper. I created several stripes with my first mixture and then added a bit more blue and more water and did more stripes, followed by adding more of the orange + white and water and doing it again. So it is a very spontaneous process and you can see the shapes that are created and various windows (or openings) created when the paint crosses over previous stripes.

After drying and spraying this sheet of brayered stripes with spray acrylic coating, I began to select some mono printed rice papers to fill up some of the shapes. It is very important to cut these papers on the actual painted stripes and doing it with a clear grid ruler (available at Hobby Lobby) to make sure the papers look as though they are a continuation of the lines already there.

I also wrote into sections of the wet paint with a stylus to create some softly diffused letters and then when all was dry, I did some gestural writing with a pencil. All of this will make a nice backdrop to the final lettering which will be written in black.

And if you're not a lettering artist, simply allow your piece to be totally abstract and perhaps include some old text pages or line engravings, drawings, etc. A small drawing or a fragment of watercoloring would also be nice. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Monday, May 6, 2013

"Mi Camino" (final)

($80.00.......6" x 8".....Mixed Media.....Mounted on a 2" Depth Clayboard)

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." (Psalm 119: 105...NIV) This is a very familiar verse that has been put to song and hidden in a lot of hearts. It's still a favorite and hope you like seeing it in a different way.

The motif of this background was chosen because it implies growth and gives a hint of the pastoral scenes that come to mind with many of the Psalms. And even though I had no idea which verse I was going to do, it became apparent that the black papers with white letters and a hint of the background showing through did visually describe the path being lit.

The layout is fairly traditional, but there are many who still gravitate to this straight forward treatment of the quote. My personal inclination is to be a lot wilder and less readable, but I conceded that point in this piece.

Those of you who are playing around with mono printed rice papers might want to try laying your chosen color(s) out on a table or even the floor and then begin to pair them with some of your black papers or even a darker value of another color. You really will have better success if you have light, medium, and dark values represented.

Your layout can resemble papers laying on top of each other and then cropped or you can work in a more complex way with a horizontal band layout. Parts of old book covers also make a nice inclusion. And I hope you have not forgotten that delivering paint to your surface with a brayer and using one color on top of another is another way to begin your piece. You can then selectively choose some mono printed papers to include in key areas.

The technique of brayering first before adding papers will give you some little windows and areas to showcase a particular image or texture. Perhaps I will do that for tomorrow's posting. Never the less, there are many different ways to design with your papers. And the good news is that everything you're using is archival and well protected with mediums and sprays that contain acrylic emulsions of some sort.

You could also brayer with watercolors if you want more transparency to work with. It's all very exciting so I hope you will be hard at work creating your own pieces. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

"Mi Camino" (draft 2)

Today's quote is the same verse from yesterday. Even though I had hoped to post the final today, I made the decision to give myself some more time to work on the weight and placement of the versals. Psalm 119: 105 is written in Spanish (Spencerian Script). The versals will be in English.

Some mediums require the artist to finish the piece in one sitting such as working alla prima in oils. Being able to pause and allow some time to explore all the options is definitely an advantage with mixed media.

One of the most important processes for me...especially when writing in knowing how to protect the previous layer and prepare the surface to receive more layers. In light of that, there are two products I simply cannot live without. One of them is Gel Matte Medium (Golden). The other one is Krylon Spray Acrylic Coating.

All mono printed rice papers must be sealed before adhering to your support. If there is an exceptionally heavy area of ink, I would spray it 3x and dry in between with a hair dryer. One coat is quite sufficient for lighter applications of ink.

After adhering all of the rice papers and other collage elements, you will need to spray your piece with spray acrylic coating again. This act will cause the rice papers to become translucent where there is little or no ink and will also bring out the patina of old text pages or images.

If you are a lettering artist or if you want to add a drawing directly on your piece with pen and ink (or gouache), you will need to prepare your surface for lettering. Rice paper is very porous and the spray acrylic coating resolves that issue, but then you have the dilemma of trying to write on slick paper. Gouache and ink will not adhere to this type of surface.

You will need to mix up (1) part gel matte medium to (2) parts water by mixing in the water a little bit at a time with a palette knife on a disposable foam plate. You will then brush this over your piece by holding a hair dryer in your left hand and a foam brush in your right hand. This has to be a simultaneously activity (at least for the first coat). The gel medium will not attach to the slick surface without heat...especially if there has been a heavy application of ink or paint in the first layers.

So that is what I did to this piece this morning. After it was prepared for my pointed pen and bleedproof white gouache, I marked my base line in the black area with a sharpened white charcoal pencil. This is the best way to get your guidelines onto a dark surface. When your lettering is totally dry, the charcoal lines can be easily removed with a stiff brush or a kneaded eraser.

One other thing I added this morning was some of the background stamp printed with white Speedball Printing Ink in the black area. To make it more integrated and not so overpowering, I blotted part of the print with a kleenex dipped in a small amount of water. This is much more subtle and creates an echo of that image. The neat thing about trying this is that you will be able to completely wipe it off with water if it doesn't please you.

I ended up my work today by spraying this entire piece with spray acrylic coating (2x) and drying in between. This will ensure that when I prepare it for the remaining lettering, I will be able to completely remove any letters that don't turn out well without disturbing the previous layer. I hope this makes sense. Knowing how to seal a surface and prepare it for the next layer is absolutely critical information for the mixed media artist. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

"Mi Camino" (draft 1)

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." (Psalm 119: 105...NIV) There will be only one draft of this piece. The final will be posted tomorrow with white lettering added.

If you are just now getting into mixed media, please know that this is one of the simplest formats you can use. It is a cruciform format which means that the piece is divided (with an image) from edge to edge...both horizontally and vertically. Indeed I have been stuck on yellow green so here it is in another version.

I stamped the overall pattern over a previously printed color with a stamp that had a fair amount of thick lines. (This does not work well with thin lines.) After drying and spraying this sheet with spray acrylic coating, I dried it again thoroughly and laid it on my clayboard. After positioning the piece, I flipped it over on a cutting board and cut the paper the size of the board (or support). It was then adhered to the board with gel matte medium...followed by placing a sheet of wax paper over it and brayering with a clean brayer. Dry again with a hair dryer.

The black mono printed papers are comprised of three different textures. By choosing black papers that had a completely organic and uneven texture, I established a strong contrast. The black is the unifying factor or common denominator.

You can achieve the "blotchy" application of black  by printing a good print of your choosing, but instead of cleaning off the printing surface, spray with water, and move the paint around by brayering through in different directions.  That action causes the paint to pool in an irregular fashion.

After adhering these papers, drying, and spraying with acrylic coating again, the papers became translucent where the ink was thin and you can see some of the previous layer. You can also see how a bit of gestural mark making or writing adds energy to the piece. (That was created by writing in the ink before printing.)

I will be writing the verse in English and Spanish, using WN Bleedproof White Gouache. If I were not including hand lettering, I would probably print some of the back ground imagery over a portion of the black papers in white Speedball Printing Ink...perhaps over the width of the vertical papers only. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Friday, May 3, 2013

"My Bodyguard"

($80.00.....4" x 6".....Kiln Formed Glass and Mixed Media Mounted on Masonite.... Presented on an Easel)

"Christ is my bodyguard." This quote was inspired by Psalm 18. It was written by King David after God had rescued him from the hands of Saul. It is a Psalm of victory.

This piece was actually created from my "stash". Those who now have their stash of mono printed rice papers and kiln formed glass will appreciate this process. When firing glass, I try to think of sizes, textures, and whatever glass I have on hand to create extra smaller pieces that can be incorporated into mixed media. Such is the case here. It is two layers of glass with spring green powders, glassline paint, and black fine frit used to create the texture and the image of the cross.

However, I was never happy with the piece after firing because the green was too pale. All was resolved, however, when I used a cropped section of yellow green mono printed rice papers to go behind the glass. The first step was to paint a 4" x 6" piece of masonite with white gesso 2x.

I then adhered the mono printed paper onto this support with gel matte medium. I selected a portion of Psalm 18 from an old bible and adhered that on top of the mono printed paper. All of that was dried thoroughly with a hair dryer and sprayed 2x with spray acrylic coating.

I wrote the quote on the glass with a Leonardt Principal nib and tracing black powder plus clove oil. Today I will fire that piece of glass again along with (4) others lined up with the lettering already done....waiting to be fired.

Tomorrow I will adhere this glass on top of the mono printed rice paper with E6000...being careful not to touch or move it for 24 hours. This is just another way rice papers and old book pages can be used. The glass always adds an extra bit of "pizazz" to the piece.

For this type of mixed media...I do think it is best to have a significant amount of transparent glass exposed to reveal the mono print. It all depends out how much you want to reveal. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

"Fearfully and Wonderfully Made" (Final)

($150.00......8" x 10"....Mixed Media....Mounted on a 2" Depth Clayboard)

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (Psalm 139: 14...NIV) So here it is with a few more text pieces, some silver leaf, and the verse. We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made. I deliberately made this piece extremely complex to visually describe the intricate nature of the human body.

Today is a recap of all that has taken place since Monday. Please know that I did not spend hours each day on this piece. Most days, I spent app. (2) hours studying, placing, deciding, and then adhering.

The initial mono printed papers inspired the selection from psalm 139. I learned long ago that it is much easier to be inspired by the image first rather than trying to create a piece based on preconceived concepts. Of course, this is not always possible, but if you can possibly work by allowing the piece to tell you what to do next...I have discovered that it works better, looks less contrived, and I learn a lot from all of the unexpected surprises.

Since yesterday, I added a few more selected verses from Psalm 139, using text from a smaller bible which adds another contrast. Those additional pieces were adhered yesterday afternoon.

This morning, I decided on the placement and size of the text, prepared the surface for lettering, (2 parts water + one part gel matte medium applied 3x) After the lettering was completed, I decided the piece needed some silver leaf.

The beginning decision to have a cut edge and a torn edge on every piece of mono printed paper and then the silver leaf adds unity and rhythm to the piece. Deconstructing the additional colored mono printed papers was also a unifying factor that also contributed to the rhythm. By making these kind of decisions, I have created a piece that looks like a weaving. It reminds me of fiber art and the truth be known...I was probably influenced by the beautiful art quilts I have seen at the International Quilt Show in Houston.

The one thing I did leave alone (almost completely) was the dynamic gestural marks in the top half of the piece. I added just enough elements that were in the bottom half to create an echo, but not too much. All in all, I am happy with the piece. You can look back at the last (3) days of postings and see for yourself if you would have stopped before arriving at the piece you see today. And that is a good thing about photographing a piece after each layer or two. It helps to inform your decisions about future pieces.

Are there things I would have done differently? You bet, and that too, is part of the process. Every artist I know might have (1) out of a 100 pieces that they would not change at all. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"Fearfully and Wonderfully Made" (Draft 3)

This, of course, is the third draft of "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made" from Psalm 139: 14. Tomorrow I will be posting the final.

As you can see, I have added another color. To fully integrate this color into the piece, I used the same textural stamp to create some more mono printed papers. The application of these blue printed pieces was deconstructed by adhering them to the support...waiting a few minutes and then deconstructing them by lifting up an edge and pulling the paper off. This is one of my favorite techniques because the "pulled up" edge becomes very thin and drifst off into nothing, revealing part of the previous layer.

The blue prints were made by pouring a small bit of Cobalt Blue (Fluid Acrylic) onto the printing plate and then spraying with water. This creates a puddle of color which is then suitable to lay the rice paper into. It will take a little while to dry and may be too wet to hang up. This type of printing is best done with a hair dryer. I only use acrylics to get a particular color that I like,  but I always use Speedball Printing Inks for fine printing. You can see the beautiful print this ink makes in the black portion in the top half of the piece.

I also adhered some bits of plain rice paper in areas where I felt like the value was getting too muddy. And then more bits of plain paper were added on top of the previous ones. By allowing the edge of the previous papers to show, you can achieve a gradated effect which appears throughout the piece.

Tomorrow, I will probably adhere a few more bits of the printed text in key areas and then letter the quote in the white area just above center. It will be written in very informal versals with Moon Palace Ink and a Mitchell 6 nib. There have been many changes since the first two layers on Monday. I hope this helps those of you who are tip toeing into the world of mixed media.

This is only one way to work so look at work by other artists working in mixed media and soon you will be finding your own voice in this provocative medium. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.