Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Arguing With My Muse

I'm having a hard time getting things completed. The project I was so excited about got put on the back burner for just a minute. I kept sitting down to work on it and the minute I was ready to begin, nothing would happen. The Muse would shut down and refuse to cooperate. She even threw a little tantrum. No, she wanted to work on something else...something I hadn't even planned on tackling right now.

So I tried to reason with her...all it got me was a big mess. I put the pet project away; not out of sight, just to the side. I really want to work on that project. But right now there is this other thing that is screaming to come forth. *sigh*

This is just a check-in to say that it is in progress and I'm not sure what will come of it but the Muse is happy and at least we're on speaking terms now. I have no idea where this came from but it's ... interesting. This one, I HOPE, to have ready by the weekend.

Then, back on track with the other project. At least, that's the deal we made. ;) Stay tuned.

Monday, May 17, 2010


I've been busy re-filling my artistic well. Life gets in the way sometimes and you have to tend to things, despite what you may have planned. But that's not always a bad thing. A little down time gives new perspective and a chance to experiment.

The top piece is a canvas I just finished called, "Life". This was a total experimental piece. I started with the graphite and colored pencil sketch I had in my sketchbook. I adhered that to the canvas and then slathered the entire background with light molding paste. Then I just decided to see where it took me.

I ran into some problems after adhering the image and trying to paint over the molding paste. But I've learned that this is where things can get interesting. Solving the problems that arise can take you in a new direction with your piece; one you might never have thought to go otherwise.

The coloring in her face got all blotchy because I had inadvertently dragged something over the image while painting the background. At first I was horrified. All of the hard work coloring that face wasted! I knew I should have sprayed it with fixative! Ugh! But it only happened to one side...so I plugged in the hot plate and smoothed encaustic medium over the face. It helped a little, giving it a cloudy look. But then it turned some of the colors above one eye a bruised yellow color. That was different.

I sat for awhile thinking. This face is not going to be pretty. So I started to give her a story. OK, she's having a rough time. Just like in life: she's scarred by the things she's experienced. I decided to age her a little more and paint the one "damaged" side of her face with crackle paint. When it dried I liked the aged look. I even liked the bruised look above the eye. Life has started to take a toll on her looks but she's moving on. I put a steel cage around her neck to symbolize the different pressures that have been choking her. Yet she's determined to go forward. The quote is from Dante and I thought it added just the right touch to describe her Life at this point in time.

What could have ended up as a piece to be painted over with Gesso turned out to be a pretty cool mixed media painting! And I learned some lessons along the way. :)

I've been sketching faces every night just to stay in practice. Some are a lot better than others and I won't use all of them in my art. Here's one I scanned into Photoshop after coloring with different brands of colored pencils. I call this one "Dreamer"

I'm working on a really fun project right now that will be ongoing. But it is time consuming. It can be completed in stages and I hope to have the first stage finished by the end of the week. Stay tuned! This one has me pretty excited! Even hubby doesn't know about it! ;)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dreams and Songs

The arrival of Spring and all of the vivid colors outside my studio window have inspired me to change my blog background. I've been wanting to do this for a long time but never knew how. Thanks to my friend, Kimmie, I tried it out and will be experimenting with different backgrounds as I go along. The current one is a CitraSolv page I had scanned and then digitally added lime green paint splats. Vibrant colors, indeed!

All of this energy from Spring's stimuli has renewed my interest in drawing. I've been diligently practicing every night in my sketchbook. Monica Zuniga's classes have been such an inspiration to me. I've learned so much from her! I want to incorporate my drawings into my art more and not just digitally. I'm learning how to paint these faces on a canvas (way outside my comfort zone!) and that's exciting.

Here are a few of my latest drawings that I've put into digital layouts. They have been colored with pencils and then scanned into Photoshop. Oh, I found some awesome colored graphite pencils that I'm loving. Soft pastel graphite! So I've used those, some charcoal pencils, some colored pencils and some ink pencils. I love the softness that they give to the drawings.

The first photo is called "Muse Song". She inspires me by chanting the word "Believe" over and over as I sit down to create. ;)

I call the second photo, "Dream Weaver". She's bringing me such vivid and inspiring dreams lately that it's hard to keep track of them all. I write them down as they come to me. I think of these two as "the sisters" since they look so much alike. The Midsummer Night's Dream elements came from Tangi Baxter's Midsummer Night's Dream kit at Scrapbook Graphics. She does some amazing works and has beautiful digital kits.

I also like to draw more whimsical faces and this next one is an example of that. This is called, "Je t'aime". She's a curious one. I wasn't quite sure what kind of surrounding to put her into. I started experimenting with different colors and themes and this emerged. After I colored her, I named her "attitude girl" in my files. She may show up in some other art down the road.

I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate some of these into an encaustic piece. Still working out the bugs but I'm getting closer. It's always interesting to see what happens when you experiment. What doesn't work can just be painted over. Stay tuned!