Sunday, September 27, 2009

The New Style

Here is a finished version of a piece in my experimental new style. I was feeling quite confined by the technical aspects of the meticulous hard edge pieces and wanted a looser option. In the classes I've been teaching recently at SCAD my students were pushed to play with texture, so naturally it spilled over into my work. I finished this last spring, but haven't really worked on any paintings all summer. Summer is sort of a down time for festivals and with two new jobs, my brother's wedding and learning metalsmithing over the summer, painting sort of took a backseat to life management.

Autumn Fields, 2009 (acrylic on wood) 16" x 20"

Yesterday however, I finally busted out the mini-frames and canvases and got the drawings completed for the next batch of paintings. I got the modeling paste on them as well (although not photographed). The modeling paste is a thick opaque spackle like substance that can be used to create texture and height where acrylic paint cannot. The paste is put down first, allowed to dry and then I paint with acrylic over it, both with watery washes, and thick applications with the palette knife. It is difficult to see the pencil lines in the little frames (if you click to enlarge you can see them better), but I will upload another photo soon of the modeling paste phase that will be easier to see the composition (along with the layer of added texture).

Not sure what to do about the fact that my beloved House of 10,000 Picture Frames has finally closed. After 35+ years in the business, the owner's were ready to retire and could not find a buyer interested in keeping the business alive. In addition to being right around the corner from my house, they were super friendly and willing to let me scrounge through the back room for scrap frame. This warehouse was full of every piece of frame that had ever been cut down, scraps saved no matter the size, and they would put together great frames for very little cost (after I dug them out of the heap). House of 10,000 Picture Frames... you will be missed.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mixed-Media Experimentation Class

Summer at SCAD-Atlanta

In addition to taking classes this summer, I was teaching classes as well. I spent eight weeks with a great group of high school students in a mixed-media experimentation course. We worked in a variety of media, playing with color, texture and layering. It was a very productive summer, each student completed five pieces.

The next two pieces were direct observation studies. India ink was used to gestural lines and while it was still wet we began densely coloring the peppers with oil pastel. The smearing of the ink was worked into the oil pastel and created an interesting texture as one resisted the other.

The next two pieces are inspired by the abstract landscapes of Richard Diebenkorn. His high horizon, color field paintings use line and bold color to indicate the magnificence of the environment in which we live. Students used modeling paste and a palette knife to scrap on a textural undercoating. After the modeling paste dried, watercolor was brushed onto each section separately. After the watercolor was dry acrylic was scrapped across the top edges with a palette knife to pick up a highlight on the ridges. The resulting pieces, while small, were stunning.

Whoa Nelly!

Jewelry Class - Summer 2009
Amalgam Arts

We were asked to find something that interests us as
the inspiration for a few pieces of jewelry.
I chose the Art of Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

These pieces are sterling silver, copper and brass.

It's been a crazy summer, and it turned out to be a true teacher summer for me. I have entered back into the world of public education, accepting a postition at both Norcross High School and Georgia State University.

At Norcross, I am teaching 2-D Design, 3-D Design and Jewelry. I spent a bulk of the summer in a metalsmithing class, brushing up on technique. Turns out it is not like riding a bike. After getting over my initial fear of the acetelyne torch I was able to create a few really nice pieces. Picking the brain of my instructor Wendy Tonsits at Amalgam Arts was my main focus after becoming comfortable with the equipment. I was constantly assessing what we were doing in the small jewelry studio and figuring out how I would accomplish the same thing in an art room with up to 30 teenagers. I had a great time and am looking forward to seeing what I can get my high school students to produce.

There is more to share regarding the position at Georgia State and I will share that in another post.