Friday, January 31, 2014

Love that Hair

When you've given yourself a goal to paint 100 of anything, you have room to try crazy things. As I make my way through 100 faces, I get a little creative with hair color.

If Kelly Osborne can do lavender hair, then why not one of my girls? I like the background color with her hair too. Sometimes I'm just making a background to make a background, and it doesn't really go with the face. I like the tilt of her head here. Or maybe it's just the way the eyes are looking to the side. You can see that I'm experimenting with different eye colors too.

This one has quite a "hairdo" as they used to say. I think it gives her a lot of personality. I think she's a powerful corporate woman who gets things done. But oh my, what a neck. I should have given her some shoulders.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Continuum -- More Art to See

In my last post, I didn't mention what my role was with Continuum. I helped to jury in the art, helped on the printed program with an artist statement from every artist, and helped to place the art. Then once all the fun events started, I greeted people, answered any questions, and helped where ever was needed during the events. Then after each event, of course, we swept and mopped and cleaned up the space. Sorry to burst your bubble, but yes, sweeping and mopping is included when you run a gallery. Here are a few more photos of the events.

The best part about working at a gallery is inviting your friends and seeing them there!

We work hard, and we play hard!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Pop-up Art Gallery: Continuum

Have you ever heard of this concept? A pop-up art gallery is one that only exists for a short period of time. Often it is set up in an unused storefront. The owner usually provides the space for free. He receives lots of foot traffic and notice to his space. And the neighboring businesses benefit as well. We have a business district in West Palm Beach on Clematis St. The street is filled with restaurants and clubs, and some retail spaces. It's very busy every day, not just weekends.

A new group called ArtSynergy formed a few months ago to bring people to local art. As part of their plan, they opened up a pop-up gallery right on Clematis called Continuum. They filled it with art from local artists, and hosted a great event four nights in a row plus Sunday.

The first night was a black tie event. Black tie and sneakers, to be exact. The admission to the event was a new pair of children's sneakers, so that set the theme. Everyone pulled out their best outfits, and then got really comfortable with their sneakers. Here I am in all my finery.

I even made a new necklace for the occasion. The silver chain is purchased, but I added rings and abalone dangles to it.

The gallery held 71 pieces of art from 28 artists. A variety of media and styles was represented. I'll list some of the artists so you can look up their artwork if you'd like. Just click on their name and it will take you to their website.

Anthony Burks uses colored pencils to make his beautiful, exquisite birds. He painted the long canvas on the right, then attached a group of birds that he did on wood.

Caron Bowman made the art quilt on the right and the one framed on the left. This is how she describes her artwork on her website: My art work is a combination of surrealism, pop art, and graffiti Moreover, my artwork is about intensity of color, curved lines, and daring patterns unified into one language. 

Helen Kagan made the two pieces on the left.

Craig McInnis made the two acrylic paintings on the far right and second from left.

Craig, Anthony Burks, and Trina Slade-Burks are the trio that envisioned the Continuum gallery and made it all happen. They juried in the artwork, curated the show, and planned all of the social events. They also hit it hard with the marketing and publicity. All this was free to the artists and an incredible opportunity.

Craig McInnis.

And here are Craig, Anthony and Trina, and their son.

Stop by this blog later for more posts about Continuum.

Friday, January 24, 2014

What are My Materials?

You've seen a few of my Friday Faces now, so I realized I should tell you what materials I am using.

I am using 140 lb. watercolor paper. Remember that I am making these faces to practice. They are not being shown or sold. I want a nice surface, but I don't want to spend a lot of money. I buy the paper at craft stores when it is on sale or I have a coupon. I prefer the paper in pads rather than in a spiral notebook, because I like to spread the pages out and work on a few at a time. I can paint the background of one, and while that is drying, I can make the background of another.

I'm using Golden acrylic paints, About 95% of the paint I use is Golden. Sometimes I've gotten others just because I want another color, such as a neon. I like the way the Golden paints cover and have some light to them when they dry. I use both fluid and thick paints, but mostly fluid for these faces. 

I use an old gift card to smear the paint around the page when I'm doing a background. Or not. Sometimes I use a paint brush or a sponge brush. I use acquarellable stabilo pencils to initially draw the face, as Dina uses in her class. These are grease-type pencils that can also write on photos or glass. They will smear with your finger or water, which is the point of using them here. They create a nice shadow effect on the lines.

When I don't want that smear, I experiment with other pencils. I like farb-riese color-giant by Lyra, and I like charcoal pencils.

Sometimes I use a spray bottle with water to create the backgrounds. Not that often with these, though, because then I have to wait for the paper to dry before I keep going. I don't like waiting. Usually I work on 3-5 faces at once, so when you can go from painting to painting, then you don't have to wait.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Winter Artist Trading Cards

While the rest of the United States has been hammered by one winter storm after the other, we in Florida have had a beautiful, mild winter. In fact, for many weeks it's been downright summer-like. We've had many 80-degree days. Sorry, I don't mean to be rubbing it in. But we do dream of snowy days, and I recently put that into some artwork when I participated in a Winter-themed artist trading card swap.

I painted a background on canvas paper. Then I cut it into ATC-size, which is 3 1/2" x 2 1/2". I added a snowflake rubber stamp, which I embossed, and a forest stamp at the bottom.

I always make each of my ATCs slightly different. 

What I love about artist trading cards is that everyone does something very different. These are collaged with inspiring sayings.

This artist carved a snowman stamp to make her cards.

These were done with the giving theme of the winter holidays.

 These had quite a few 3D elements, and all were very different.

These are done in an encaustic technique.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Start with a Background

In Dina Wakley's face painting class, she always starts with a painted background. She's painting right in an art journal, whereas I'm painting on watercolor paper. It doesn't matter. The background comes first.

We're using acrylic paints, and often she will just squeeze paint right onto the page, then scrape it around with an old gift card. Here are the next two faces I painted.

I've managed to put the smiles back on their faces. I think the angriness of my previous two had to do with their severe eyebrows. As you can see on this second one, the background is a bit busy and it matches her hair. That's not a good idea, but remember that all this is experimentation, and getting my experience as I creep toward that 100 face mark.

Each time I make a face, I try something new. A different shaped face, different expressions, different colors. Speaking of shape, my, look at the neck on that first one! Sometimes I'm just so focused on the face that I forget that there should be something below it.

Friday, January 10, 2014

And Then They Became Angry

After my initial success of my first two faces from Dina Wakley's class, I was so excited that I immediately came home to paint more. What also helped was Dina's comment about expecting your faces to be good on the first try. She says, make 100 faces, then you can judge your work. Before that, it's just practice. Well, I took that to heart. My son has spent hours drawing creatures over the years. As he's grown up, I've seen the creature become more elaborate and more distinct. That is a prime example of what practice can do. My daughter, who is 8 years younger, swears that she can't draw. I use her brother as an example of what you can do if you just keep trying. Since I'm talking about his drawings, I'll show you some here:

He's away at college now, but has left files of hundreds of drawings. In that respect, and because of Dina's encouragement, I have decided to make 100 faces. I don't know how long it will take, but I'm certainly enjoying doing it. Here you have my next attempts, the first ones at home without Dina's suggestions in my ear. In trying to convey a lively expression, I think they have come out a bit angry. What do you think?

They certainly show some character. I went a little weird on their plucked eyebrows. I do like the idea of trying unusual hair colors. That's kind of fun, and it's not a risk when it isn't me! Stay tuned each Friday while I post more of my "painted faces."

Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday Faces

I'm starting a new series on my blog called "Friday Faces." This came about when I took a face painting class with Dina Wakley back in October. When I say "face painting," I do not mean painting on your face, like kids will have done at festivals or parties. I'm talking about painting a face on canvas or paper. Since I've been an abstract kind of painter, the painting of a realistic, or even a whimsical face is new to me. Let me tell you, I loved her class! Before I go any farther, let me give you a link to her website so you can see what she's all about. See Dina Wakley's website here. Dina taught this 3-hour class at our local scrapbook store. I enjoyed the class so much, that I've decided painting faces is something I'd like to develop more. I know that I'll only get better through practice, so I am dedicating myself to painting 100 faces. I'm going to post some each Friday in my Friday Faces post.

Dina uses acrylic paints, inks, and pencil, on paper, to create her magic. We started out by using our pencil and drawing our first "before" face. I won't even show you that here. Then we used spray inks and stencils to create a background on watercolor paper. This first face is an outline using pencil on the background. I think it's a pretty good start.

You can see my horizontal and vertical lines that were a guide for getting the locations of the features right. The hair line is a bit high, but you'll see how that changes as I make more faces.

Here's my next one, which is painted.

I've since painted many faces, and this is still one of my favorites. One of the interesting things about this face is the eye "makeup" that you see here. I don't wear makeup very often, but I find myself enjoying adding makeup-type colors to the faces. I do wear jewelry every day, so I added an earring for her. For future faces, you'll see how I've experienced with different hair colors and skin tones.

Stay tuned to this blog, and check out my other faces on future Friday Faces.