Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 2016 Wrap Up Post

Lyle and Shirley Throw a Party
11" x 14" collage/painted papers

Left Field
11" x 14" Collage/Painted papers
(not available)

What it Takes
20" x 24" collage/painted papers

14" x 18" collage/painted papers
This last month I celebrated my 46th birthday. I am happy to say that I am still here and even happier to say that I have some artwork to share! Here goes!

New Work:

Lyle and Shirley Throw a Party: This piece started out with just one large shape. As I started to add shapes I began to think about a book I had as a child called Lyle and The Birthday Party. Things morphed from there and I hope that the resulting collage gives a sort of playful and festive feeling.

Left Field: April is not only my birthday month but is the start of baseball season. While I am not a big watcher of the game, my husband certainly is. Baseball, at the beginning of the season, always makes me think of green fields, crisp white uniforms, and balls rotating through the air! Inspiration certainly comes from many places.

What it Takes: All things agricultural continue to be of interest to me. For this piece I considered some of the machinery that is associated with water used for irrigation of crops. I also wanted to include some very simple images of buildings and fields. I hope the resulting piece both references agricultural elements and reads as a fun design.

Meander: When I was a kid the color combination of pink and green was very popular. I decided to use those colors for this piece. I hope that the more organic dark pink shapes blend well with the more geometric rectangles and circles.

Collage and Process:

It's good when people are looking out for you! My artist friend Julie Ford Oliver suggested to me that I clarify the type of artwork that I make. Many people may not realize that these pieces are cut paper collages and not traditional paintings. This link here to the work of Henri Matisse provides a great explanation of the materials and the process.

For my work, I start with hand painted papers. I use artist grade acrylic paint to paint sheets of construction paper. Colors are selected to create a feeling that I have about my subject matter. I try for a range of light and dark hues and for colors that are bright and for colors that are a little more subdued. Very often I have no idea how things will turn out! I next begin to cut out my shapes using small, sharp scissors. Using scissors to cut the shapes helps me to get a very "clean" edge which is something that I find incredibly appealing. I then use artist grade glue to apply the paper to the board. The whole process is akin to using a brush to apply paint to a canvas. It's really just like painting. 

The resulting pieces can be considered as collages. Per my friend's great suggestion, I have updated my website to more strongly emphasize the term "collage" in my work. I have also changed the labels for this blog and have updated the language here as well. Thank you Julie!

***artist grade materials are those that are considered to be archival, of the highest quality and consistency, and are recommended for use by professional artists (my definition). I try to make quality work both with my materials and with my presentation. 

New Class:
Lastly I'd like to mention that I will be teaching a new class at ACME Art in Mokelumne Hill, May 13th and 20th. This is an outdoor sketch class designed to help intermediate sketchers get back into the swing of things if they have taken a break from sketching. I have some suggestions for how to add writing to your sketches as well as some basic tips on composition. Please join me for a fun morning if you can by signing up with ACME directly on the link given above.

Thank you to everyone for reading and commenting. I appreciate the continued support. Here is to a great new month!


  1. I love them all...congratulations on teaching, I am sure you will be great and your students will love you. I always get such a "throwback" feeling looking at your art. All so bold and decisive.

    1. Thanks so much Celeste! I think "throwback" is a great description-just what I would like the work to have in the way of feeling. And I will take "bold" and "decisive" any day of the week. Thank you!

      I hope to get some people signed up for the sketch class. I love seeing what others are doing and interacting with them. It's a great way to trade information.

      Thanks again for the visit. I appreciate it.
      PS-And I hope you are fully back in action, painting away!

  2. What a great idea, to do a wrap up for the month of creative output! This, combined with your always instructive thoughts on process, was inspirational to read. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Carol!

      I have been doing these for a couple of years now. It's a good way for someone who doesn't read the blog or who is not a blog reader in general to get a kind of recap. It helps me too to see what I have actually done. So, win-win!

      Thanks for the visit. Hope all is well.

  3. Hi Libby - I want to let you know how much I enjoyed the link you provided to Matisse and his Cut Out period. Fabulous! I had not visited that particular site before so it was a real treat.
    Your monthly wrap up posts are always an excellent way to catch up on anything I may have missed, but linking the month together gives the work a kind of continuity even though each is completely different. Does that make sense? I liked what you said about the clean edge being "incredibly appealing" to you. And I do my best to break up edges in my own work - we are opposite in that regard and yet strongly supportive of each others art. Vive la difference!

    1. Julie,

      I thought that link was pretty good too. I wanted to provide something that would help people to understand about collage. His examples are just the right ones I think.

      Your comments do make sense and point out the benefit of the recap. It's nice to see everything all at once I think. It gives a sense of cohesiveness when it is all in one spot.

      I really hope that I am learning to appreciate all kinds of art. Different genres, different mediums and styles, and different approaches: it's all good stuff as far as I can tell. And I think your approach is very inclusive and since we correspond regularly your attitude has rubbed off on me! See what a positive influence you are?

      Thanks as always for the visit and the comments. Hope that your week gets off to a good start.

  4. Dear Libby each piece is wonderfully done friend. .. Meander is my favorite. ..just love that color combo. The bright pink keeps my eye moving throughout this work. Also wishing you a belated happy birthday. Hope it was a good one. Hugs!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Debbie. That piece is a favorite of mine also-reminds me of that pink and green room that I had!

      And thank you for the birthday wishes. It was really such a nice month long celebration.

      Thanks as always for your visits. I appreciate it. Hope you are doing well.


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