Archive for March 2012

CSA Project started

My friend Kim and I were accepted to a very exciting project with the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell, ME called CSA - Community Supporting Arts.  We were paired with a local farm, Wholesome Holmstead of Winthrop, ME,  and we are going to create a body of work based on our inspirations from the farmland, the farmers, and their community interaction.  We've visited the farm twice so far and have been having an amazing time.

We went back today, hoping to spend all day on the farm painting and taking photographs, but today's temperature and wind was just too much for us to handle!  We literally only lasted 10 or 15 minutes outside. We couldn't feel our fingers after taking our photo adventure.

So we went to the farm stand to purchase some food to take back to my warm studio and ran into our farmer who taught us about cheese making.

Kim's a great fiber artist and recently taught me how to weave. We first bonded with each other about being photographers so we thought this was a great way to combine our interests and connections. The idea is that we'll take tons of photographs over the seasons, focusing on how the farm and farmers are woven into their community. (all puns intended)   Our first joint effort -- a prototype/work-through sketch of a fiber and photography project we have in mind. These are photo transfers of farm images we have taken so far.  

Using Caran d'Arche Neocolor II pastels

Caran d'Arche Neocolor II water soluble wax pastels

I've been asked a few times to explain what these wax pastels are that I've been using lately.  They are Caran d'Arche Neocolor II water soluble wax pastels, also called Aquarelle Artist Pastels.  Now, be sure that you're buying Neocolor II and not I-- Neocolor I pastels are water resistant.  they still do very cool things but under different circumstances and with different media.  I've been using the NII pastels in mixed media pieces, mostly with casein and acrylic paint.  

In the images above, I simply scribbled some NII into the areas that I wanted to use as a thin paint. The pigment in the pastel is so concentrated that it really works well either on its own or blended into other paint.  If you're working on top of casein, the water will reactivate the paint and your colors will blend.  If you are working on top of acrylic, as I am here, then you will make semi-transparent layers of paint on top of your color.  Use it on its own for a nice underlayer of color.

You can also lay down some paint and, while it's wet, use the NII to scratch into the paint to reveal the colors underneath. Vary the heaviness of  your hand to reveal deeper layers.  Things get interesting when the color from your NII is left behind in your marks.  If you want to increase the likelihood of this happening, wet your NII before drawing. 

I like to paint/draw/paintover/draw/paintover/draw/paintover ... until I feel like it's done.  This is the beginning of a small painting I'm working on but thought it was ok enough to share for purposes of explaining the Neocolor II pastels.  

It's hard for me to pass up a colorful art supply I come across-- I'm glad that I picked these up to experiment with!

The Chicken Chick

Ocean Blue and Jeweled Purple scarf

Finished another handwoven scarf!  I really love using my table loom. It's such a great therapy of sorts for me -- when I'm not feeling 100% to work on painting in my studio, I can sit in front of the tv and comfortably weave.

For this scarf, I wove in two threads at a time, mixing the thinner thread to create more depth of color in the stripes.  Experimenting with color blends was so much fun, it was like mixing paint on the palette!

This is the first that I'm listing for sale in my Etsy shop.  Visit the link for more images, info, and close ups of the colors and texture.


No longer Impossible

First couple of shots with the Impossible Film

Ready for some fun!
I must have spent a small fortune on Polaroid film back in the day. But the satisfaction of an instant image spitting out of that camera and knowing that it was the only one of its kind was fantastic.  As a painter, I really enjoy the unexpected color and light that a Polaroid camera and film capture.  I can't tell you how sad I was when they closed their factories and stopped producing film.  But I hung on to most of my Polaroid cameras hoping that the film would make a comeback one day.  Well, that day has come!

The Impossible Project is now producing film to be used in Polaroid cameras.  They purchased an old Polaroid factory in the Netherlands and have resurrected it to make artists like us happy.  You can read all about their story on their website here.

They had an in-person only sample sale of their expired film a little while ago and I begged anyone in the NY area to please stop by their studio and pick me up some....through the fate of "putting it to Facebook," as my family and I now say, my friend happened to be walking down the same street and checking FB from her phone.  So she called me, went in, and mailed me my purchase!!

I've only taken three photos. The first one was a complete dud but the next two came out ok (above.)  This pack had an expiration date of August 2011 so they're not very much past their expiration date yet they had some neat effects. There are some areas of high grain which is pretty interesting.  The brown areas at the top may be from my rollers needing to be cleaned; I'll experiment with that for the next photographs.

I'm very excited to work with this film again-- it handles differently than original Polaroid film so there's going to be a slight learning curve but I'm ready to dive in and see what happens.

New Paintings in February

Despite my camera's best effort to foil my documentation (I completely blame technology, not myself), here are some new paintings from last month...

Backstays; Acrylic, Casein, Graphite, Wax Pastel; 18" x 18"

Let It All Hang Out; Acrylic & Wax Pastel; 18" x 18"

This Is Where I Hide; Acrylic, Casein, & Wax Pastel; 18" x 18"

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