Archives for posts with tag: providence artist

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Spring is here and with it comes the start of the May to October art show season. Juices are flowing and I’m alternating between land and sea.

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For the last three years my work has been exclusively collage. Recently, though, I have focused more closely on my old love of landscape with the result that the collage aspect of those paintings has been limited to foreground grasses which do tend to add an element of depth and perspective by creating for the viewer the illusion that he o she is in close proximity to the image looking far into the distance.

Depending on the nature of the scene, however, and the size of the piece I am finding that adding plants is not a requirement to achieve the desired result. Hence my last three small works (the largest is 6″ x 6″)

While I have no intention of abandoning my work in collage, I did enjoy allowing the paintings to stand on their own.

Back at the turn of this new century, I made a big series of large works on canvas that incorporated metal washers. For me, they have passed the test of time so I decided to miniaturize the concept and incorporate my current resin-coated works on wood panel – some with pressed plants and – gasp – some without.

I’ll be showing these this season in a number of venues including the Artist’s Cooperative Gallery of Westerly, the Memorial Day weekend VIRTU Art Festival in Westerly, the Providence Artisan’s Market at Lippett Park, and later in the season at the Wickford Art Festival, the Warren Art Festival, the Strawberry Festival in Newport and more. I also have month-long exhibits scheduled at the Green Marble Coffee Shop in Mystic in June and at the Yellow House Coffee Shop in Stonington in July. Hoping to see lots of old friends.IMG_2264IMG_2270IMG_2278

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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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At the VIRTU Art Festival in Westerly, Rhode Island, last week, my little 4 x 4 landscape was the first to go so I felt emboldened to try my hand at an 8 x 8. The real botanicals in this piece are all in the immediate foreground. I used feathergrass against the white of the reflection in the water, added just the tip of a ginkgo leaf on the lower right, and a few individual sections of a Japanese maple leaf just for some added drama and color. As it turns out, feathergrass tends to lift a little on the first application of resin making it hard to reach a glass-like finish in less than three coats, so I had to wait a full 4 days to see the finished product. I think it was worth it though. Next in line for the resin bath is a farm scene in which I use only my ferns at the edges of a field.

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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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This is the second time I have added a touch of acrylic paint to my printed graphic in order to add depth and contour. Just the sky is left untouched. To bring it to life I added just the top of a pressed ginkgo leaf and a carnation petal as foreground and to lend perspective, I also added some fern ‘trees’ in graduated sizes.

With the start of the show season just weeks away (my first show will be Craftopia at Hope Artistes Village in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on Sunday, April 27) Meanwhile, this one is the latest addition to my Etsy shop.

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It occurs to me that while I often make mention of projects in the works and talk about process, I have never posted a photo of an unfinished piece until now

Today I am working on a companion piece to the scented geranium and fig leaf pairing I posted earlier in the week.

I prefer to begin these paintings by blocking in the negative spaces. Although I did so in this case as well, my plan was to show the geranium, this time, in summer colors rather than in the soft tans it turns to in the pressing process. The variety in my garden is variegated with light yellow to white ruffled edges and I needed to see it on canvas before settling on a final background color. The dark raw umber that I chose after blocking in the leaf will serve well to bring out its contrasting colors.

As the work goes along, I will add layers of pigment gradually reducing the degree of transparency you see both in the background and foreground at this early stage. It seems fitting that the background be the color of the rich soil this plant grows in. When I turn my attention to the space left for the ginko leaf, the background color will now dictate the shades of chartreuse that I choose to represent the spring colors of that lovely tree.