Archives for category: multi media

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Suddenly, the signs of spring I have been looking for. Yes, the snow is melting and the days are longer but more importantly, Im feeling the energy that flows when my email starts filling up with show invitations. Today I had my first meeting with the president of the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly which I was recently juried into. Their next scheduled show is themed “Views from the Street” so my landscapes will work there.

Meanwhile my daughter, Shelley who is a talented photographer with a studio at a nearby converted velvet mill, has invited me to join her for a pop up show at her studio in two weeks. She has chosen some of my abstract botanials for that.

Finally, I plan to introduce a new series of abstract paintings featuring various sizes of metal washers (no plants) and want to produce enough pieces for a meaningful launch of the series at the spring shows.

That means multi-tasking. This week, these are three of five pieces that are in the middle of the process of soaking up their resin baths. By the time they are cured and ready to show, I hope to have many more of all three series waiting for their resin treatments as well. Somehow I’ll have to make time to produce more plants, but with a good foot or more of snow still on the ground, I’m guessing I have some leeway there.

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This 12″ x 6″ resin-coated piece features several plants I’ve used before and one I haven’t — bald cedar. The long cedar leaf spans all three of the rectangles in the painting and ties the whole thing together, I think. Compositionally, it serves almost the same purpose as the garden asparagus I’ve used in some of my works on paper, but is sturdier and easier to deal with at the stage of adhering the plant to the support. Once the resin is poured, any leaf or part of a leaf that is not firmly attached to the wood panel tends to float to and through the surface–a problem that no amount of poking with a toothpick is likely to fix — so proper attachment is critically important.

When using white backgrounds, I don’t always leave the cradle sides white as well, but it works well in this case.

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This week I’m feeling confident in my resining techniques and comfortable with my full-sized propane torch, so I’m trying my hand at some larger pieces. This one measures 6″ x 12″. If that doesn’t sound large, try a few steps of the resin dance yourself and you’ll see it my way. The working window is only about 20 minutes from the first pour to removal of the last bubble and I work with up to six pieces at a time. Still, I’m on the march and have larger panels waiting in the wings.

For the real plants in the foreground, I chose a mix of weeds and garden plants — wild grass seed heads, a piece of Japanese maple, and a little leaf of curly coleus.

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Resin is a wonderful way to preserve and enhance real botanicals, so I decided to try a few pieces on wood panel in order to provide the best possible surface for the ice-smooth resin coating. First, I painted my background on a 5″x 5″ panel. Then, I chose a plain mustard yellow for the 7/8″ sides of the cradle, and mounted my two sweet ivy leaves. Before coating the work with resin, I couldn’t resist adding a tiny ‘droplet’ of water on one of the leaves using more acrylic and a tiny signature brush.

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As winter sets in, I’m going back and forth between creating new graphics for my sizeable harvest of ivy, ginkgo, and dozens of other plants, and using those same leaves as inspiration for a new series of acrylic paintings that mirrors my pressed botanical compositions. I love the freedom of choosing color schemes and degree of detail in the paintngs. I’ll bring about ten of them to the Velvet Mill in Stonington on December 28 and January 4th. Hope to see some familiar faces there. Others will pop up on Etsy soon or on request.

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This is the first of a series of small works that will highlight tiny foliage. I started with miniature ivy but plan to move on to raspberry, scented geranium shoots and other shapely miniatures. This will be a month-long project since most of these have yet to be harvested. I look forward to see them hung in a tight grouping of nine.

Meanwhile I’ll work on some graphics to highlight some large, dramatic and graceful sensitive ferns I have waiting in the hopper.

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I love what these undulating lines do to the look of the foliage I use. In previous versions of this basic design I’ve used feathery ferns and, in one case nothing but very tiny individual fronds. While this piece uses some ordinary ferns to balance the composition, the real stars of the show are the bold Sensitive Fern at the bottom center and individual leaf clusters from my Fringed Bleeding Heart.

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After making the larger version of this seafaring image, I changed a few details and then re-cropped it for a smaller mat. For the smaller piece I also used smaller-scale foliage and added a touch of pastel on the Yellow Archangel at the bottom of the image while leaving the same foliage in its natural state above. Swapping out the standard Bleeding Heart leaf for a smaller Fringed Bleeding Heart worked well.

Both of these are now listed in my Etsy shop.

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This simple composition consists of three leaves — scented geranium, ivy, and sweet potato vine — surrounded by a faux double mat. Sometimes simple is best.

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I owe the idea for these two scenes to a lovely woman I met at the Artisan’s Market in Providence two weeks ago. She asked me if I agreed that ferns could be used to suggest sails in a nautically themed piece.

Once I put the graphic together I experimented with foliage and found that rose leaves worked well so I used them in the night-time vignette.

For daytime I kept the plant life in the foreground.