Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Spontaneous Haiku Painting

I ventured outside of my norm, and took a painting class at Portland Art & Soul. I've done a lot of painting, but haven't had much instruction. Spontaneous Haiku Painting was taught by the wonderful Katie Kendrick. She's a very talented artist from Washington. You can check out her blog, which she calls Joyously Becoming. We were making a book from eight paintings, each painting accompanied by a haiku. Katie said that in the past, her students got so caught up with the painting, that they wouldn't have time to write the haikus. So this class we did it a little differently: for the first thirty minutes, we had the mission of writing eight haiku poems, one for each painting. I used to write poetry when I was in high school, so I guess it was like riding a bike for me. I cranked out eight poems easily. I don't know why I don't occasionally write poetry now. Maybe this will get me going again!

I wrote all my haiku around a beach theme, so I knew the color palette I'd be using for my paintings. The idea was to thin acrylic paint (Golden fluid acrylics) with water so you could drip, spatter, and flow the paint on your wet watercolor paper. I love the randomness and freedom of this technique. Since I mostly do abstracts, this was right up my alley.

After you paint the pages and let them dry, you take a look at them. What do you see? Any shapes or designs pop out at you? Katie sees a lot of animals in hers. I was all about the beach, so that's what I was seeing in mine.

I was going with a blue, sand, coral, palette, like you'd see at the beach or underwater. But after looking at a few paintings I had done, I thought it looked too pastel-ly. I pumped up the color levels with this one on the left. The haiku refers to an experience we've had in Siesta Key, Florida. Our family visits there for a week every summer. The residents (and tourists) celebrate the sunset every night. A group of locals come out to a specific corner, and as the sun is setting, they play drums and one woman plays the trumpet. They play the sun down.
The last painting in the book is the sun setting down.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Art & Soul

I finally feel my head is above water after returning from Portland Art & Soul. My cross-country trip left me in Portland time for a few days. But boy, was it worth it! This was my third trip to Portland for Art & Soul. Half the fun was visiting with friends I've met in the last two years, a lot of which I've swapped with throughout the year. You can feel very close to someone if you've exchanged emails all year, but it's fun to meet them or see them again.

About 16 members of our Charmsters group attended. I met up with most of them Saturday night during dinner. Here's a photo of some of them:

My Saturday class was Copper Enameling with Richard Salley. If you ever have an opportunity to take a class from Richard, you should make every attempt to do so. He makes bold, tribal-like pendants (or should they be called talismans?), and he is a generous, patient instructor. We saw his patience first-hand when a student laid a lit torch on the table and caught it on fire!

We learned to apply enamel to copper pieces. The class samples were leaves. I made my own leaf shape, rather like a heart. But I just couldn't get into using the red, orange and yellow colors of Fall, despite the beauty of the other students' leaves. I guess the Floridian in me, who never gets to see leaves change color, decided to gravitate toward blue. O.K., so these would never be found in nature. I like them anyway.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Jewelry of the Week

I made this pendant before I left for Portland.

The base is a strip of copper sheet. I torched the copper to give it a little color. I used cold connections to attach the copper wire and beads. I strung this on a simple black cord, rather than adding more beads. Sometimes pendants are stunning when just left as is.