Monday, March 21, 2016

New Work: Puzzled + Product Review

11" x 14" approx
painted acrylic paper on multi media board
The piece above started as a really small experiment. I mentioned in my last post about creativity happening in both small and big steps or leaps. The above is a small step. What I wanted to do was to get away from having a very detailed drawing already on my paper. I wondered if I could just start with a few larger shapes and work my way down to smaller shapes and then to details. No drawing involved and no particular plan. I added pieces via a question and answer kind of format. Something like this:

"OK, now I am going to start with this big cut out red circle shape and see what happens. Now, turn the board in one direction and add that yellow shape. It's longer, smaller and more rectangular and lighter in value. OK, now turn the board and try to extend the painting in another direction-add this orange shape. It's a similar version of that red shape only smaller and going in another direction." It goes on and on like this until I am finished. There are lots of statements such as, "No, that's not right. That shape is the same size as that other shape and much too chromatic. Try a different size and different shape, maybe a pale de saturated green instead." I just keep turning the piece and try to sort out each move and counter move. A new thing I am learning about is visual weight through color, size and shape. I am also learning about balancing shapes next to each other, on top of each other and within the entire piece. There is just a lot so I thought I would describe a little of it.

Other Stuff:

I am testing out something that I just bought at Dick Blick. It's called a Multimedia Artboard. Supposedly it is for all mediums and it is about the thickness of mat board. It actually feels like mat board. In any case, I taped it down to my painting board with contractor's tape, gessoed it, and then applied a layer of white paint. I added the painted papers with glue to that and then applied a final varnish. The board doesn't appear to warp any more than heavy wc paper (I use Strathmore 400 series cold press paper) which is to say that it does warp a bit. When I removed the tape it didn't pull the paper at all. The board was pretty inexpensive and came in a variety of sizes. Certainly not so expensive that it couldn't be tested for fun.

Does everyone know about the art of Nicholas Wilton? The link to his site is here. He is offering a series of free short videos that are really quite fun and helpful. He offers up some basic info on his Art2Life principles. Take a look if you can; he is an engaging man, an experienced teacher and I like his art. That is my testimonial!

OK, happy Monday to everyone. Thanks for reading and commenting.


  1. Colorful and energetic. The more I stared at this one the more I could see it as a mobile. It seems to have a movement about it (might be the stripes.) I can just see it hanging in a very tall room with the parts of the mobile moving. It would be fascinating!

    1. Carol,

      A mobile! That is a very fun idea and very possible. I wonder if people still buy those for their children. I know I would.

      The stripes provided a very surprising and unexpected element of motion. The direction really made a difference as well as whether or not I cut the paper with the stripes on the straight of grain or on the bias, so to speak. It was very interesting.

      Thanks as always for the comments and visit. I appreciate it!

  2. Interesting comment from Carol above, and she put into words what I didn't realize. My eyes were moving all around and I could not focus and it is the movement she is talking about. A mobile... YES!
    I do understand about responding to each step. I do that with paint and it either stays or goes.
    Thanks for the introduction to the series. I am familiar with Wilton's work but not to his free Art2life series.

    1. Julie,

      Yes, the mobile idea was interesting on several levels. I like the analogy as well as the literal idea of the thing.

      I am chewing though on the idea that you couldn't focus on any one spot (it sounds like) and am wondering about that a bit. Thinking things over!:)

      The third video from Nicholas Wilton is coming out today. It is going to cover color and I am anxious to hear what he says. I find myself trying to take what he is suggesting and integrate it with what I am learning. Good stuff!

      Thanks as always for your observations. It helps!


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