Archives for posts with tag: stonington artist

This month I have strayed a bit from my usual small format panels and completed an 18 x 24 landscape which I then highlighted with some careful scribbling in graphite. Normally, I continue my images on the top and sides of my panels and coat the images in resin. This time, my plan is to frame. Because I am concerned that a resin coating might fight the effect of the frame, I am deciding to leave this one au naturale

Next, I went back into small format for a little landscape which I think  prefer to show unframed.  Still I don’t think I can resist a shiny coating on this one.  It will pop.

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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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Until now I’ve mastered my resin-pouring skills on little wood panels ranging in size from 4″x4″ to 8″x8″ and I’ve learned a lot. Enough to brave a large 16″16 piece. Not exactly a piece of cake, but in the end it worked. For future pieces this size I may make life easier by using a larger squeegee tool than the playing cards I set out when I resin groups of smaller pieces. Maybe a deck of kid-sized Go Fish cards from the toy department will do the trick. Inexpensive sponge paintbrushes work well for smoothing out the drips on the sides of the panels in the first hour of drying. By then the resin has set enough to stay put during the rest of the cure time.

I made this background wash by dropping well-diluted acrylic paints into a thick wash of water. I allowed most of it to dry at it’s own rate but created some interest at the corners by blowing stronger colors toward the center with a drinking straw. I tried out a burst of dramatic papyrus but, in the end, settled on the smooth curves on nasturtium leaves which nestled naturally into pools of color. These washes are a test for my patience as I have learned that only slow unaided drying of pooled water yields the thin filaments of deep color that I love against the transparencies.

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The holiday art and craft show season is upon us and I am getting ready for four of them. On December 7 and 8 I’ll be at Briggs Nursery in North Attleboro Massachusetts. If you haven’t been to this fabulous venue you should make a day of it. It’s that good!

After that, on Sunday, December 14, I’ll be at the indoor Providence Flea whose founders have just been recognized among he best entrepeneurs of the year!
Meanwhile, I’m working on pieces for two season-long shows in Rhode Island. One is at Chapel View, Rhode Islands’s newest high-end gallery. The Chapel View complex is adjacent to Garden City in Cranston.
The second, Peckham’s Greenhouse Local Handmade Holiday Show, begins November 18 and runs through Christmas at Peckhams’s Greenhouse in Little Cranston, Rhode Island. features the work of some 20 Rhode Island and New England artists and artisans.

Once the season is over, I’ll be free turn my attention to new work for May. Meanwhile, hope to keep in touch through this blog and through my Etsy shop. Happy Holidays everyone!!

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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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Yesterday was a perfect spring day in southern New England, so my husband and I paid a visit to our favorite garden center – The Farmer’s Daughter in South Kingston, Rhode Island. This collection of spiky papyrus, ruffled coleus, scented geranium and abutilon will spend the summer in a great planter on my deck and supply me with terrific foliage for my pressed botanicals. Meanwhile, in the garden, my ferns, miniature ivy, yellow archangel, and fringed bleeding heart have all come to life and are ready for a judicious harvest.

Meanwhile, work continues on my new project – pressed botanicals on acrylic backgrounds. For these I use wood panels as supports, and encase the finished work in two or three coats of two-part resin. This one features a single feathery Japanese maple leaf and awaits its second coat of resin. Out with the gas mask…

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Having a great time with my new project but there’s a lot to protect. Note the latex gloves, and the waxed paper to protect my counter. Then there is the issue of my lungs. Need to upgrade to a full-on gas mask even though there are hardly any noticable fumes from the Envirotex two-part resin system I use. Better safe than sorry and I’m so happy with the process and results that I plan to gear up for a full series. This little guys are just 4″ x 4″. The abstract features azalea leaves and carnation petals, while the little landscape sticks to tried-and-true ferns. My next piece will be a boat at sea. Haven’t settled on what plant to use to represent land flora and sails. Last season, raspberry leaves made great sails, but, alas, my raspberry bush is not yet prepared to supply me with more.

I’ll be showing these at Lippett Park in Providence on May 17th, weather permitting, and at the big VIRTU art festival in Wilcox Park in Westerly, Rhode Island on Memorial Day weekend. Meanwhile they’ll be in my Etsy shop.

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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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My daughter, Emma and her boyfriend, Nick recently brought me some lovely flowers including some brightly colored carnations. I thought they were perfect for a trial run with my new microwave flower press — a gift from my other daughter, Shelley. The press yielded great results right out of the gate and will allow me to use more flowers in my work. ! I’m sure I will find inspiration for many designs with these pretty petals but this one was irresistible.

This piece is also a departure in that it combines computer graphics with acrylic painting for the background. I used a deep brownish yellow printed foreground to support painted grasses. The plants other than carnations are fern and ginkgo. As always, I varied the size of the fronds to create depth of field.