Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Nebraska Junk Jaunt

This past weekend was the Nebraska Junk Jaunt, which is a loop on some scenic byways with lots of garage sales, antique shops, and community sales over a three day weekend.

I went to a couple towns on Saturday afternoon, and another on Sunday.

I love junk. I love refinishing/painting furniture. I love using rusty things, old toys, old tools, and vintage-y things in my art.  I often have a booth at a modernism show and I am always on the hunt for mid-century items. That said, I didn't find much of interest. I was looking for some small furniture pieces and didn't find any of what I was looking for (nightstands, and a small round breakfast table). I didn't even find much good small arty junk, although I do already own a lot of junk and passed on stuff I already had or have had.

I did buy some embroidered linens and doilies: (I love the bucking bronco)

Some old toys:

 A frame (which was free):

And also, a portable clothes rack to use at future weekend fairs I may do, for hanging my dyed T-shirts. (No picture, it's already stored in the garage, and it was only $5).

Then I bought this small box. I want to paint and collage on it, and use it to store art supplies I use often.  Sorry, the Michael Jackson stickers will have to go. The box is cardboard, so it's nice a light, which is nice. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Life Drawing

I am taking an uninstructed life drawing class at the local museum on Saturdays. It's been a long while since I've done any figure drawing, probably five years.  I did have a class on figure drawing when I was in college, 20 plus years ago. Since then, I would sometimes go to a uninstructed class at the Art Students League in Denver. But again, it's been at least five years.  So I'm a little rusty. I was never super great at shading, so the first few weeks I am concentrating on proportion and getting the model's form correct.

Here is a piece from the first two weeks. I don't think it is half bad since it's been so long since I've done life drawing. I figure it will probably take the whole eight week session to feel like I'm getting comfortable again, and happy with my drawings. (This is the best one so far).

Monday, September 22, 2014

Painting Big

I signed up for an online workshop with Alisa Burke, "Larger than Life", about painting large.  It is not a live class, but includes a lot of videos. I found it interesting and motivating.  Some of it isn't really my style. She uses words and phrases in some of her layers, which is something I typically don't do (on purpose).

I did start two paintings this weekend. There is still a lot of painting and layers that needs to be done, but I thought it was a good start. I do have an idea for a different kind of painting. I will probably work on it, while I am adding more to these.

I do highly recommend Alisa's class. It has lots of info and videos, and it is good motivation to jump in and get painting. I felt like I definitely got my money's worth, and I can go back and review the lessons and watch the videos any time.

These are about 2 'x 3', which is big for me, but I want to go bigger. It only took me about an hour to do both of these.   I really should have ironed these before I painted them. One is canvas, the other is a somewhat heavy muslin, both had been washed because I was originally going to dye them, so they were somewhat wrinkly.

I hope to find time to work on these this week. Last week was a bit of a battle, my hours have been increased at work, and I had a cold, so I lost all motivation. But I'm raring to go this week!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Art Experiment: Dy-na-flow and Textile Color on silk

Art Experiment is a a series of posts using supplies which I own but have rarely (or never) used. Failure or success is not important, it is trying something different and seeing what can come from it.  There are three goals: try something new, use something in my supply stash, and have fun/experiment in the studio.

I have a trial size set of Dy-na-flow paints and Jacquard Textile Colors paints.  I have heard that Dy-na-flow works great on silk, so -darn- I had to buy some silk. I did not water down the Dy-na-flow, but did water down the textile colors by about 25%.

I put my paints in cups so I could use a brush to apply it to the fabric. I labeled the cups with the paint type and color name.

I decided to try some sun printing because I love it so much.

Here is my fabric (an opaque white silk with silk organza over the top). I wet the fabrics, and painted different colors on top, laid down the stencils (and pinned them so they would not blow away), and set it out in the sun.

This sun print came out beautifully. The colors are very bold, so I may water down the paints if I use them again in the future.
 Here you can see the sheer folded back on the right, and the opaque fabric on the left.

I always love the print I get from this wood bead placemat.

Here is my layout using the Textile Color paints.

The sun print is very soft and not very detailed. This may be because I watered down these paints, or because it was late in the day and the sun wasn't very strong. My gut feeling is that regardless of these things, the Dy-na-flow is definitely the better paint than the Textile color for sun printing.
 Sheer folded back on the right, opaque fabric on the left.  The paint did not seep through to the lower layer as well as it did with the Dy-na-flow.

I also painted (both types of paint) onto silk dupioni and then sprinkled Jacquard Silk Salt on it. I thought the salt marks were too distinctive and the colors didn't blend much.

I had a bit of paint remaining, so I decided to do puddle painting. (I have a separate post on this using Setacolor paints).  This is roughly an 18" x 20" piece of cotton velvet.  I used the Dy-na-flow paints, and there was a lot of black left, which overpowered the other colors. I put down some stencils and plastic leaves for sun printing.

This turned out better than expected since it looked so black before sun printing!

For the Textile paints, I also did puddle painting as well, on silk dupioni.

Overall, I thought the Dy-na-flow worked great and was very vibrant.  I definitely would consider using it again, especially on a silk project.  For the Textile Color, I would not use it to sun print, but it may be good for painting specific designs on fabric, or applying it through a stencil or with a stamp?

I do love my Setacolors, and I think the hand of the fabric is the same with Dy-na-flow or Setacolor. The Dy-na-flow colors seem more vibrant to me, but that may be because I was working on silk.  So I may need to try Setacolors on silk as well.  I do feel like the Dy-na-flow and Textile Color definitely need to be heat set.  The paints easily washed off my hands.  The Setacolor paints seem more permanent prior to heat setting.  When I used Setacolor Transparent paints on my foam backer board, it always dries and never transfers to my next project. With these other paints, I feel like I need to hose down my boards to prevent any leftover paint from re-activating the next time I use my boards.

I have had a lot of fun with my recent Art Experiments. My next project will have the salt patterned dupioni as a background layer.  I hope to complete it by next week!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Art with gelli prints on deli paper and interfacing

I really loved the translucent quality of gelli prints on interfacing, and wanted to layer them with some paper prints. Here is a detail of the final piece.

To create this, I took this gelli print on interfacing (this piece was lying on a table, so the picture is from an angle).
 And this gelli print on deli paper

And I hand stitched around the figures to attach them to one another.
It looked pretty cool, but most of the deli paper print is obscured.

So I took out my trusty embossing gun (outside for good ventilation and on concrete so I didn't catch anything else on fire, with a tub of water at the ready just in case) and melted away some of the interfacing.  I love how it looks!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Visit to MONA, Museum of Nebraska Art

I signed up for a life drawing class today at MONA (Museum of Nebraska Art) that starts tomorrow.  It is always enjoyable to do life drawing from models, but it's been a while, so I am sure that I am a bit rusty.  It will also be nice to meet some more local artists.

When I went to sign up at the museum, I had time to walk through their current exhibits.  They seem to rotate their art often, so there were quite a few new pieces up that I hadn't seen. 

They currently have an exhibit: Pté Oyate From the Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School, Pine Ridge, SD. I thought that all the pieces were very good and had a voice. (This is something I often consider when looking at art, is it "speaking" to me? Does it have something to say?  It can be a painting of a field of flowers, but does it grab me and make me want to spend time looking at it?)
Keith Braveheart

I really liked these constructed buffalo sculptures quite a bit.
Michael James Two Bulls

They have quite a few pieces of Myra Biggerstaff's.  I really enjoyed this painting of birds, which had an abstract rectilinear feel.
Myra Biggerstaff
I thought this was encaustic when I was standing across the room.  It has that depth and warmth that encaustics can have, but it is actually oil on vellum, which was then wrapped over a mirror.  It really was wonderful and I felt the somber winteriness of it.
Maggie Tobin

An art quilt! I rarely see these unless it's specifically a quilt or fiber show. Up close it was really interesting. It included photos printed on fabric.
Michael James

Close up
 This was an enjoyable way to spend some time in downtown Kearney.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Art Experiment, Pebeo Prisme and jewelry blanks

Art Experiment is a a series of posts using supplies which I own but have rarely (or never) used. Failure or success is not important, it is trying something different and seeing what can come from it.  There are three goals: try something new, use something in my supply stash, and have fun/experiment in the studio.

Technically, I just bought this Pebeo product last week, which would not count as using something in my stash, but I did use jewelry blanks, glass squares, and vintage baking tins from my stash so it does qualify for my "art experiment" series.  I used all my jewelry blanks.  I am going to see how the glass squares look before making more.

Here is a picture of my jewelry blanks, my glass squares, and my Pebeo Fantasy Prisme discovery set. I wrapped the edges of the glass with blue painters tape to create a well for the Prisme paint.

I typically dropped three colors in each piece.  The videos on YouTube show them using a pipette to put the Prisme paint into the blanks. I own pipettes but did not want to have to clean them with rubbing alcohol afterwards (Prisme paints are solvent based) or throw them away, so I just used a popsicle stick to dribble it in. I found it best to hold the paint container over the piece I was working on, so the paint wouldn't dribble on my work surface or the jewelry blank's edges.

Watching the effects and colors merge and blend and make this sort of snakeskin or opal look was very interesting. Here are some of my pieces in the process of drying.

I decided to make a larger piece and scrounged around and find this metal "frame". I also found some vintage tins which I already had poked holes in to use for Christmas ornaments years ago (that never got made).  I decided to try adding dripped nail polish in the large piece (the white, and the gold glitter), since they are solvent based as well and I wanted to add another type of texture/color.

Here you can see how the patterns and colors change as they dry.
 About an hour
Completely dry.

I thought these four pendants looked kind of sad after drying. The paint shrinks as it dries and this left enough room to add another coat.
After adding another coat, completely dry. The paint is opaque, so it completely covered the first layer.

While I was at it, I thought I'd try this paint on some light switch covers I didn't like.

I put blue tape around the edge to make a well for the paint.  I also taped freezer paper behind the holes in the covers.
I didn't like how the red and purple one turned out, so I put a green/purple coat over it (which matches my funky green wallpaper much better). After they were dry, I did remove any excess paint around the edges with an Xacto knife.

I liked making all of these and they were super easy.  It takes a while for the colors to finish moving around (at least 6 hours is recommended) and 72 hours to dry completely.  I plan to add a clear coat to these so they will be convex instead of concave. I may try Diamond Glaze for this, so I don't have to mix any resin. Now I have some nice stocking stuffers for Christmas (and artsy light switch covers).

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Nebraska State Fair

Allen and I spent a lovely day at the Nebraska State Fair on Labor Day.  We walked around looking at the animals, listening to a band, and eating corn dogs and funnel cake. They had all kinds of rides, freak shows (really?), and deep fried foods.