Monday, June 14, 2010

"Symphony in Orange & Violet" and "Glorious Hydrangeas"

Every 2nd Saturday of the month, we artists at Rail Walk Studios and Gallery in Salisbury, NC, where I have my studio, participate as one of the venues in an art crawl. 17 galleries and studios in downtown Salisbury and nearby Spencer participate. The art crawls started in April of this year. We hope, over time, to draw people from the greater region who don't realize how many galleries and studios there are here. We want Salisbury and Spencer to be destinations for art collectors as well as Civil War buffs, railroad buffs, and history buffs. Salisbury is just five minutes off I-85 at exit 76. It's a straight shot from the exit to downtown. All the galleries downtown are very convenient to get to from I-85, unlike those in Charlotte.

During the art crawls, I take my watercolor painting supplies up to the front of the gallery by the big glass window and our front door and paint while visitors come in and out. I don't paint large works in watercolor very much anymore, mostly because of the high cost of matting and framing them, but I still love watercolor. I paint small pieces during events like the art crawl because I can stop and talk with people without the paint's drying on the brush and palette like it would with acrylics. And, I can mat them and enclose them in clear plastic bags for display and sale.

"Symphony in Orange and Violet" (18"x12"), the first image below, is a watercolor piece I started during our May crawl, but never finished. I had forgotten about it until this past Saturday's art crawl when I opened the cover of my watercolor-paper block with the idea of starting a new painting and saw it in there, waiting to be finished. I was able to finish it this time.

During the art crawls, I tend to paint a lot of little greeting cards in watercolor, which make wonderful, inexpensive gifts (just $10). "Glorious Hydrangeas" (4.75" x 3.5"), below, is one of these paintings, which I did this past Saturday. I paint these on card stock that has a watercolor-paper texture with a deckle edge.

Note: I put a copyright notice on these two images because I uploaded them at a large size. I wanted people to be able to see their detail well, but I don't want the image to be useful for people who would happen across them and perhaps want to use them on an item they intend to sell. I don't think that any of you who come to my blog to see my work would do that, only people who scan the web for art images to appropriate for their own use. Do you find that the copyright notice is intrusive? If so, I won't do it in the future, but will just upload smaller images.)


Friday, June 4, 2010

"Bird Empress"

This painting was an experimental one. I didn't have an image in mind because I started it to show a fellow artist how you can get watercolor effects with acrylic paint. I brushed on different colors of paint thinned with water and Golden's Acrylic Glazing Liquid, just letting it flow and blend on the canvas. My fellow artist quickly got the point, so I set the painting aside for later.

A few days later I came back to it to see what I could do to finish it. I kept some of the watercolor-ish effects, but then started into a completely different direction. As I looked at the shapes, I saw something birdlike on the left and decided to emphasize that idea. I also decided to add mixed-media elements to it to make it more textural. I sprinkled glass beads of different colors in various places, then poured a heavy coating of glossy acrylic medium onto the canvas. I then laid down pieces of flat cut glass and some colored rhinestones for the eyes and for the tops of the head-feathers. I overdid the glossy medium a bit, so it kept oozing off the sides of the canvas. I had to scrape it off as it flowed until it finally set up enough to stay where it was. The rhinestones floated around during that part of the process, so I had to keep moving them back to their positions using tweezers. Even with that bit of difficulty, the piece turned out nicely. The layer of glossy medium is thick and looks glasslike. It's a very unique piece.

"Bird Empress" - 6" x 6" acrylic on canvas with glass, beads, and rhinestones. $100.