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Sunday
Aug102014

Quilted Women series

I am just beside myself with pleasure over these new greeting cards. I've been working on this series of paintings for a very long time. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted to present women in an artful and joyful way. Actually I made lots of written notes with my early sketches. Women as icon was writen on the first joural sketch. So many cultures have celebrated women in iconic styles that everyone is familiar with them: 

  • Goddess in flowing Grecian gowns
  • Native American women wrapped in tribal blankets
  • Japanese women in beautifully embroidered robes
  • Gustav Klimt's exquisitely patterend Venetian women in his paintings

 All of these images represent a reverence for women through culture, and give the artist an opportunity to create beautiful design in the garment.  I truely believe you must paint what you know and therefore I needed to make more a contemporary presentation. If you read my blog or follow my art, its pretty clear hown much I love color and pattern. Because I have quilted a little bit, I am always happy to cut patterns up and reassemble them. I do it with my paintings all the time, always thinking the reassembly is exactly like making a quilt. 

THIS IS A SWEET LITTLE PAINTING THAT IS A REASSEMBLE FROM A MUCH LARGER WORK CUT UP IN TO 3 INCH SQUARES.

The quilts from my family are assemblages that represent the women who made them. They have bits of older dresses, or beautifully embroidered squares incorporated into them They are made with care and love of fabric, and they are a pleasure to hold. I just can't imagine how anyone could not feel the love and connection to the quilter when presented with one of these beautiful treasures.  I wrote about them in one of my first blog entries when I began my series series Women I Might Have Known here 

THIS IS A CLOSE UP OF MY BEAUTIFUL QUILT MADE BY ONE OF MY GRANDMOTHERS

Once I was certain I would be using the quilt, I had an image in mind right away. One of my favorite "quilt" books I have read is How to Make An American Quilt by Whitney Otto. It is about the quilters who assemble to make a wedding quilt. I remembered the young bride walked in the early morning wrapped in the finished quilt, enveloped in the love and comfort of others. It was an image that returned to me when I started the sketches in my journal. 

There are many more images of women seeking comfort, warmth, and protection that came to mind and filled my sketch books. All of them featuring interesting patterns and layers of color. I made lots of petite paintings from these ideas. LOTS OF THEM! I made bigger paintings and picked 5 of my favorites to feature as greeting cards.

And here they are, girlfriends! TA DA!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did making them. 

They are all 5 in my shop right now where you can order them. 

Susan

 

Sunday
May042014

Butterflies, a tutorial 

I used to write a painting blog, The SMALL Art Project, but I have found that it is too hard to have multiple places I post art. So over time I'll be incorporating a lot of the previous entries into this blog and the will be found in my blog roll under ART TUTORIALS. I really enjoy sharing my painting process. Always at the end of my tutorials are a list of discoveries.

Butterflies

What do you do with paintings gone bad? I am an advocate of cutting things up, and in this case, I think the project is so much fun that you might be inspired to make a painting TO cut up!

My painting started out on 90 pound cold press watercolor paper. It was a painting of poppies. I was so terribly disappointed in the painting I decided to just have a bit of fun with it. I added more watercolor and acrylic in bright colors. I painted swirls,  dots, and stamped small images across the surface making sure everything was covered. Don't forget paints like Lumiere or other beautiful metallics to add rich layering and a light catching elements.  I turned the painting over and cut it into squares about 3x3 inches square with my straight edge. I always do this from the back to ensure the randomness of my final image.

Aren't these pretty! I flipped all of my images over. I think you can see a few of the poppies. I was still thinking I might reassemble this painting into a collage however, I'd been thinking about butterflies.

I drew only half of a great butterfly, and cut it from fairly stiff card stock. Although I like to work from the back so that I am surprised by my results and I can see my pencil lines better, I've done this from the front to help you see the method. One side of the butterfly is outlined. Flip it over lining up the end points from the first drawing and outline the other half of the butterfly. Cut your butterfly out. Bend the wings up along the length of each side of the body.

Don't throw the scraps away because there is always a new perfect something to use them for!

I've popped stacks of butterflies and glue dots into envelopes and mailed them to friends for celebrations. I've covered gift boxes with them. I pasted them all over the walls in my studio to help think of Spring. And I would love to see  your butterflies.

  • Discovery:
  • No painting is a waste. And no art supply is a waste.
  • Tiny images in mass can be really beautiful art
  • "Everything looks better with Lumiere. "quote from my sister, fiber artist, Nancy Shriber

Enjoy!

Susan

 

Wednesday
Apr302014

An Assembly of Women

I have to say, over and above everything else I paint - women are my favorite. I think the dresses are deeply rooted in my love of all things paper doll. High Fashion, when I was little, consisted of cutting out the dresses from J.C.Penny and Sears catelogs. Eventually I was designing and drawing my own dresses on onion skin typing paper my dad used to bring home. So here are a few of my recent women. They are all SMALL Art paintings, for sale in my etsy shop through May 12, and will eventually become greeting cards.                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                   Enjoy!   

                                                                                                                                                   Susan

Tuesday
Apr292014

The Small Art paintings

I make a lot of small paintings. They are mostly experiments to try out new techniques, compositions  and themes for new larger works. I usually make 3 or 4 at one time and discard those paintings that don't work as I had hoped. From those images I often build my larger paintings. In the future months, I plan to be sharing more of the SMALL Art Project paintings and methods so that you can try these techniques yourself.

I've posted 20 of my favorites on my etsy shop and am selling them for $20.00 each. I like to keep them inexpensive so that you can buy more than one and hang in a group. They all fit standard 5 x 7 ready made frames, or you could add a pretty mat and larger frame. The etsy shop will be open for a few weeks. So if you would like to look at small art paintings, get ideas for your own art, or purchase original art at great prices take a look. They are all originals so there is only one of each.

Below are just a few great collections of SMALL Art

I hope you enjoy looking, and certainly email me if you have any questions.

                                                     Susan

Saturday
Apr192014

Trying on Hats

Today we shopped in the Brass Armadillo, a giant antique mall in the northwest end of Denver. I love to walk through the isles looking at  the different ways people have assembled little bits of history. One booth will be filled with delicate china and lace, and the very next booth might be filled with bright red Coca-Cola, or Elvis, or 1950's kitch, or vintage toys. It's that varied and almost overwhelming. Years ago when I started walking through the big antique malls with my sister-in-law I decided the thing to do was play a game. Pick something and look for it over and over again. Notice the pricing, the number of colors it comes in, or stlyes. It is a great way to occupy little kids on a rainy afternoon. Or even yourself. We've hunted the mall for square lidded pyrex dishes, hammered aluminum platters, santa head mugs: you get the idea. We have spent many afternoons taking a trip through history.

This is Easter weekend so why not look for-                                                                                   

Vintage Easter Bonnets!

We walked the isles looking at all the old hats. We found dozens but some where too stern, and others to western to be Easter Bonnets. Finally I found this hat booth. Jackpot!!

And then I tried on a few hats, because I needed a model. Talk about silly selfies!

Well - I certainly don't wear a hat like my mother-in-law or my sister-in-law.

Jane on the left, me in the middle and Lynn on the right. 1977

I am flanked by tall, stylish women in hats!

We had a good time taking the trip down memory lane. Make sure you add a trip to an antique mall on your list. You will find wonderful collections of history, and it's free to walk through! You might see your favorite toys from your childhood, or your prom dress, or even your Mom's kitchen table and chairs. It's all there waiting for you to visit.

And here is my Easter card to you!