Saturday, January 30, 2016

Watercolor Cat

I haven't had time to do many of the exercises in this on-line watercolor class, but I've really enjoyed watching the videos. In one of the videos, Dawn uses a wet on wet technique to add color, and then paints in the background to highlight the shape. She did this with some leaves with spectacular effect. I thought I'd try the technique on some fur. Here's the result.
Thanks for looking!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Making papers

Today I donned the face mask and took to the garage to spray paint some papers for collage. I used the same stencils I've been using on the Gelli Plate, which I cut on my electronic Silhouette cutter. I still need to learn how to strategize to get patterns where I want them with the spray paint, but I managed to get some prints that I like.

I also did some experiments with one of my face stencils.

I didn't have a goal when I designed the face stencils. I'm hoping to come up with a collage idea in which it makes sense to use them.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, January 17, 2016


Last week, in my continuing effort to squeeze as much art as possible in before school starts, I attended a two-day workshop with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer at Studio CRESCENDOh in Santa Ana.  In it I started two large collage paintings, one of which I finished today. Look how big it is!
Goat! by Florence Turnour
For this canvas, Julie directed us to draw a large half-face, but I decided I'd rather have a half goat face.  She reassured us that almost anything with a mouth and eyes will be recognizable as a face, but it occurred to me about a quarter of the way in that this was not necessarily true for goats.  I used a snapshot from my phone, and worried over the minimal drawing on my canvas for a while before diving in.  (I was finally spurred forward when Julie's mother, Eileen, passed by my table and said, "Oh, a goat." Sometimes even goats need validation.)

I was super excited to learn how to glue.  Collage has always been one of my favorite media, but I was not ever happy with the final glued down version of my plan.  In these projects we used Matte Medium as the adhesive, and painted it on. All the paper in my collage is painted Deli paper that I had made on the Gelli Plate. I love cutting stencils (using my Silhouette electronic cutter, and my computer), and making foam stamps, and have made stacks of I'm-not-sure-what-I'm-going-to-do-with-it painted papers. Now that I know how to glue, I need MORE.

Here are some close-ups from my goat.

And here's the full painting, without my smiling face (and kumquat tree).
Goat! by Florence Turnour
I've long been a fan and follower of Julie's work, and I've taken many of her on-line classes.  Just last week, I did this watercolor from her video in Creative Jumpstart 2016.  I was excited to find Julie's as engaging and friendly and full of information in person as she sounds on her videos. I was also impressed (education junkie that I am) at her strategies to help us learn to improve our artwork over the long run, in addition to learning how to do the project at hand.
I'll be finishing my other canvas next, while the paper scraps are still thick on the floor. It's an abstract, and I've really no idea where I'm going with it. Should be fun!  Thank you again, Julie! I learned tons.  Thanks for looking.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Already a Pterodactyl

For Day 8 of the  Creative Jumpstart (I skipped a few), artist Brigit Koopsen demonstrated a painting in the style of Jean-Michel Basquiat.  I found Basquiat's art grim though fascinating, but I loved how Brigit pulled inspiration from Basquiat while much of the grim behind. I may have taken more inspiration from Brigit than from Basquiat in the end.

I did the drawing and decided I would get the most out of it if I actually tried to take something from Basquiat's work. I chose my colors from the images in the Creative Jumpstart pinterest collection. I also added the scribbled writing as a vague tribute to Basquiat's word-laden imagery.  

Do keep your eyes open, because sometimes there really is already a pterodactyl in the dumptruck  Thank you, Brigit. That was a fun assignment.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Koi Part 2

In the workshop Creative Jumpstart that I am doing, yesterday's lesson involved acrylic spray paint.  Michelle Ward demonstrated spray painting through stencils using layers and masks.  I tried it with spray ink, which was fun, too, but it was much more interesting to work with the opaque spray paints.  I wanted to do it outside, so I had to wait for a break in the rain. It came this afternoon, and I took over the garage floor.

I spent some of the rainy days cutting new pattern stencils on my Sihlouette Cutter. I draw them in Adobe Illustrator and then use a plugin to cut them. The pattern in the images above is my favorite. 
I also painted my hands, just a bit.  About the colors, Michaels had an odd selection of their paints on sale. I bought 7 colors, but they were not the ones I'd have chosen if I had not been trying to be frugal. For example, here's a series in lemon and tomato.

Here's a close-up of the first picture above.
I used a mandala mask to make the white pattern in the close-up above, and then I turned the paint-covered mask over onto the picture to make the orange pattern. I did like the mandala mask shape. I think I will cut some more detailed masks like that, for my collection.
I think I'm going to get some more colors and watch the video a few more times.
Thanks Michelle Ward for such a great lesson.  Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Koi Part 1

In the workshop Creative Jumpstart that I am doing, yesterday's lesson involved acrylic spray paint, which is (no I'm not kidding) an art supply that I didn't own (yes, I got some). The video by Michelle Ward made it look like so much fun, I thought a little spray paint could be fun to own.  It was actually on sale at Michaels; I think they are downsizing since only the weird colors were on sale. I got a few but I haven't used them yet, since, in an odd turn of events, it is raining making my well ventilated (back yard) work area soggy.
In the meantime, I decided to try the activity with Dylusions sprays.  I cut fish stencils out of printer paper and then sprayed them with a waterproof sealant (since I was pretty sure I'd be drowning them in ink).  Some of my prints worked well, without much leakage under the stencil, but I like the bright colors you get by soaking the paper so I chose this one, which was not an excellent print. After writing on it with Permapaque gold markers, they look pretty fishy again though.
I decided that I loved these fish shapes, and before calling it a night, I scanned them into illustrator and cut them out of transparency plastic. So I have reusable fish stencils and masks ready to go when I get to try my sprays. Here's a digital image showing my shapes. This image is a lot closer to the look of Michelle Ward's project from the workshop. I like it and am looking forward to trying the spray.

Hand cutting and then scanning in the shapes is a new process for me. It was quick and easy in Illustrator. I'll definitely be doing that again.  Stay tuned for my adventures in acrylic spray paint. Thanks for looking!

Monday, January 4, 2016


It's day 2 in Creative Jumpstart, the the online workshop I'm taking. Here's my project.
The lesson by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer was to work with watercolor sticks, trying them dry on dry, dry on wet and wet on dry.  In this assignment we chose a painting and copied it using the water color sticks.  I chose the painting by Henri Matisse called Lorette with a Turban and a Yellow Jacket (d'ya think?).
Lorette with Turban, Yellow Jacket
From: The National Gallery of Art

One of the things I really love about Matisse's work is his use of pattern in the fabric and wall paper. The painting of Lorette did not have any such patterns however, so I decided to add my own. I made the background wall paper using one of my foam stamps and Distress ink. I like how the stamped image brought out the texture of the cold-press paper.

Thanks, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, that was fun.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


I signed up for an online workshop called Creative Jumpstart in which 25 artists post technique videos inspired by various artwork. Check out the link to see the class; I recommend it (and though the name had me concerned, it is not a self-help through art thing).
I don't think I'll manage to do a project each day, but at 11pm last night I decided what the heck and dove into the first one. In this project by Rae Missigman, we layered color and white paint to make a background, and dropped acrylic ink into white paint to get texture and color. I enjoyed using the acrylic ink this way.  I'm mentally shopping for more colors as we speak!

I used one of my foam stamps in the background, stamping with white over a colored background.

I'm not sure how the cat feels about having a fishy background. He looks a bit nonplus.
Thanks for looking!