Land Secrets

 

DSC_1058Here is a close up of a painting that I just completed.  There are so many layers of paint on this canvas, it is unbelievable.   I started by painting loosely and letting my muse out to play.  It sounds fun, and it is, but let me just say once the figure emerged, the design and color scheme became challenging.  It was a constant push and pull of color and shapes, and finding a balance of the two.  There is a small bit of collage that I left without paint, the word earth…and a bit of Hebrew text.  When the shapes began to form, the painting looked like land masses viewed from an airplane window.  I enjoyed the process of letting the painting give me direction, being free to apply paint and then cover it up leaving just a small glimpse of the previous layer.  This created a depth of experience for me as the artist, and also invites the viewer to come closer and see the elements of a hidden layer.  The intent of my painting was to capture the essence of land masses, and the secrets held beneath the top layer. Whether gifts of nature or the work of man, the land beneath our feet is full of secrets.

Art Journal Inspired by Georgia O’Keefe

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Here is the book I re-purposed into an art journal inspired by the artistry of Georgia O’Keefe.  I purchased it from the Friends of the Library District.

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An inscription inside the front cover.  I love how this book has touched many hands and is now taking on a new life as a re-purposed piece of art.

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Using my Gelli plate I made several deli wrap pages inspired by the southwest landscape palette and the blossoms Georgia frequently used in her paints.

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Here is the stack of deli papers.  Several layers of paint applied to each paper, and a final clean of the Gelli plate at the very end.  This is a useful tool for creating one-of-kind collage papers.

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A page taking shape.  First step was to PVA glue pages together, and coat with gesso.  This takes awhile and is labor intensive.  One important piece of this technique is to place waxed paper in between pages to ensure they do not stick together.  Pages with a gesso layer or any mixed media will cause stickiness until a layer of varnish is applied.  I really like to glue and gesso pages all  in one session.  A day in the sunshine helps everything dry quicker so I put waxed paper in between the pages, and bull clip the book closed, set it in the sun, and remember to bring it in before dark or a rainstorm.

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Cutting up the deli papers and beginning to design the page.  Inspired by Georgia’s painting of the Red Hills… 1927, this two page spread consists of acrylic paint and deli paper collage.

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Collage layout…next step is to attach with soft gel medium

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This photo is of the Red Hills painting featured in the book, “Georgia O’Keefe”, by Elizabeth Montgomery. Packed full of color plates of Georgia’s work, this book has been a useful resource for creating the pages of my art journal.  I have used the imagery for inspiration and as my friend Cindy says….”art inspires art”.  Learning from the success of other great painters provides useful tools and techniques for my work.

 

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The mixed media portion of creating is complete.  Lastly, the words begin to swirl around in my mind and they are always the last to appear on the page.  I am thinking a trip to Ghost Ranch is in my midst!  Many getaway trips to Taos through the years have included art workshops, dinner at Grahams Grill, browsing the shops around the plaza, dancing at the Taos Inn, tasty green chile burritos at Michaels Kitchen, hiking, museum visits, and wandering around the Mabel Dodge Lujan house…..but I have yet to visit Georgia’s place at Ghost Ranch.  Hopefully we can find a week-end to check out the place where Georgia lived for the better part of her life and created masterpieces which continue to mesmerize.  The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center will be celebrating the work and spirit of Georgia O’Keefe from June 27 – Sept. 13, 2015.  ELOQUENT OBJECTS will feature an exhibit of her work and the FAC has deemed 2015 as the year of O’Keefe.  If you are planning a vacation to the Rockies and pining for some Colorado fresh air or a unique art adventure, check out the Fine Arts Center this summer.  www.csfineartscenter.org   or 719.634.5581 for more information.  Stay tuned for more pages of mixed media in this art journal dedicated to O’Keefe!!!