Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer Dream in the Making

I enjoy challenging myself with a new project. So my latest piece is something different. I was inspired when I took a trip this summer to Cannon Beach, Oregon in June with a very dear friend, Nancy. We had just spent a fantastic week with Sue Scheewe Brown in her watercolor seminar and then took a little weekend jaunt with the Browns up to Cannon Beach.
The day we arrived at Cannon Beach we took a talk along the water's edge, down to Haystack Rock. This place seemed like heaven to Nancy and I because we spend most of our days in the desert of Nevada. It was raining lightly and we had to wear borrowed boots to walk down to the tide pools.

It was really fascinating to see all the life along the rocks. I took several pictures with my camera. You should have seen me trying to balance the umbrella and take pictures while walking in boots two sizes too big.  The starfish and sea urchins seemed like a magical discovery to me.

14 x 18 inch Canvas board
In the center of a canvas board I spread some gesso with a palette knife. Salt was sprinkled here and there too, but that would melt away with the watercolor paint that came in the next step, leaving little pits.  I created shapes in the wet gesso for sea creatures with my palette knife. I do enjoy using a palette knife, as you know. By drizzling String Gel along the sand's edge,  I gave the surface even more dimension. Some details were added with a graphite pencil also.
"Summer Dream"
The blue at the bottom was made by washing blue watercolor along the canvas and then sprinkling in drops of rubbing alcohol. A light coat of fixative was needed to seal the watercolor and pencil lines. I think they look like those sea urchins clinging to the rocks in the tide pools. The piece was mounted to a wood board with brass corners to make it finished in a unique way. 



Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One of my first...

altered canvas paintings is this one called Potter's Shrine. It was a challenge because it contains many different processes. The frame is a faux finish, made to look like a wooden frame with thickly applied gesso and lots of texture. Texture.... one of my favorite elements. It seems the more, the better. The paint is acrylic gouache.  It also contains image transfer, foil lettering, and some rusty metal pieces to give it the altered touch.  It measures 16 x 20 inches.