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Entries in Quilted Women (3)

Thursday
Jul212016

Motivation

One of the interesting things about making paintings is the emotional response I have to my art.  Different themes flow through my brushes but they are all intimately linked to me as a person. Sometimes it is a quirky little road I've traveled to bring an idea to fruition,  but I get there because the theme speaks to me. Sometimes it is a relentless gnawing that wakes me up from sleep and sometimes it's a rapid fire idea that requires pencil to paper immediately. Eventually I get somewhere with it but I will have you know there are several themes in various stages that you haven't seen yet. Don't you just want to know? Something is always cooking! Some of the themes are very old friends of mine and will always be with me - my love of women's life stories, birds in trees and of course, my Quilted Women series that I'm sharing in this writing.

Beyond working in a theme, each painting requires its own unique story. Even if I have found a new pattern or concept for a painting it still must have a message that is compelling.

 This painting is so large, certainly for me. I spent several weeks making it. I became very emotionally involved with it, saying hello every morning and stopping reluctantly each night. I began by carving a stamp that allowed me to paint blocks of rosettes. After placing the stamped images I needed to find a color story for my painting. That takes me to my close painting girlfriends - The Friday Painters. I really love the pallet of my friend Diane Calkins and thought I would use her colors for a challenge. I started out calling this painting Diane. I painted a few colors in some of my blocks. Each time I mixed a new color I put a stroke of it on the top. Gradually I found my own colors.
 While I'm in the studio I listen to podcasts, books on tape or music. This day I was listening to oldies and a couple of old Todd Rundgren favorites played. While I was making my rosette quilt squares the music was pretty up lifting. And- it was moving my painting along in a beautiful rhythm.  Pretty soon I began to see a story to this particular painting. My Quilted Woman is standing humbly with arms wide open ready to comfort. And then I wrote my title.
That became a mantra while I painted. 
 Throughout the weeks that I have worked on this - LOVE was my underlying theme in each rosette square I painted. Of course I'm still attentive to all of the other things I know must happen in a painting, color transitions, patterns mixed with solids, good value and composition. But with love as my mantra it was easier to shine light on my figure and create a rich glow.
My finished painting - Love Is the Answer, 36 x 48 inches frame added
Stop by my booth, #102 at the Golden Fine Art Festival to see it. 
Saturday
Jul042015

H Squared - Making a print

I have enjoyed  printing multiples so much, I thought I would make an entirely stamped painting. I made a first attempt using my "just go at it" approach and realized it would be hard to make adjustments to the print later. I have discovered when making multiples - if you make a mistake on one (and you know it's a mistake as quickly as you have made it) you have to make the same mistake on all the copies. Then the fix is the same. Since I wanted to make multiples with this project, I made several practice runs to work out the potential errors in advance.

I picked a color story to work with. I love the Color Star. Unfortunately it is out of print, but if you are lucky to have one it is enormously helpful on projects like this. There are many color therory wheels or charts that are helpful with solving color problems in paintings. They are necessary tools to have in your studio. I also made decisions about the pose of my Quilted Woman and the stamp choice. In this project I opted for one square stamp that I carved. It could be turned in any direction to give 4 different looks. And since it was square, it would stack nicely while I built my quilt blocks.

I limited this run to three images. I wanted to follow a cruciform, which I think is fairly uncomplicated. I use it quite a bit in my paintings of Quilted Women. It works well since so many of the QW have arms stretched out. Using the interior, lightest shades on the wheel I built the cruciform composition, gradually building in the darks around warm colors.

Once my blocks were completed, using a timy brush,  I added the brightes hues in the H shapes exposed from stamping. I decide not to fill in the white spaces between some of the blocks. I think it could be done effectively, but because of my natural paper protected around the image, I thought it would be a unifying effect on the print. I liked it once I pulled my tape from around the image.

This is #1 of  my three finished prints. They are all slightly different because each time I placed the stamp I applied a new thin layer of paint to the stamp. I love the exposed paper spaces from the stamping. It shows how each one is different because of color, texture, the way I pressed the stamp and of course the directional turn. I think this project was a lot of fun to make and successful as a finished project. I have to say I slipped in a second stamp at the top. Do you see it?

Things I learned

 

  • Solve the problems before you begin the printing
  • Pick a color story that allows you to tell the best story with your painting
  • Choose an easy composition so that all of the nuance of hand work really shows up
  • One stamp provides many options so don't think you have to have a lot to make beautiful paintings.

 

 What I used

  • Stonehenge printmaking paper
  • Fluid acrylic paint
  • carved rubber stamp
  • removable tape 
  • brayer for paint applcation around the head

 

 

I would love to see what you create so be sure to share with me.
Happy printing!

Cheers, 
Susan

Friday
Jan022015

Happy New Year 2015

That is how I feel today - pretty excited to see the new year start. Last week was not the same. Everyone in this house had a cold. We spent lots of time wrapped in blankets, lying on the couch and sipping tea with old Christmas movies to keep us company. Not a bad way to be sick, although the amount of work pushed aside so we could just be sick was staggering. Now that I'm recovered, I'm running to catch up so that I can be off to Atlanta on Sunday.


This is not a beer, 
but it is my favorite insulated mug filled with steaming hot Earl Grey, honey and lemon. 

 

These little birds were gifts this year but we were too sick to add them to the birdie tree. For now they look pretty sweet keeping my books company. Thank you Betty and Kevin!

 My new Quilted Women series is making lots of people happy. At first they were released as blank cards. I always knew they needed to say something. I must say, I really labored over the sentiments. It was important to me that they conveyed messages as uplifting as the paintings are. Finally, after writes and rewrites,  and finding a few inspirational quotes, they were ready for print. I can't wait for you to read them. I've just added the new greeting cards to my shop on the website and you can read the wonderful messages with them. I'm so pleased to add 9 new cards to my greeting card line. Below is a preview of one I've written for comfort.

Inside greeting: 

Just as quilts are pieced from the worn dresses
and shirts of our relatives, they are evidence of our own history, 
and provide us with soulful comfort.

May you gain strength and comfort from those who love you.

I'll be at the Atlanta Gift Show, America's Mart
Jan 8th through 12th
Building 3, floor 5, booth 1706

All of my new greeting cards, note cards and a few new ladies (shown above) will be in the booth each day. If you are a gift buyer please stop by and say HI! If you are a card fan, please show them to your favorite gift shop and perhaps they will carry the cards so that you can buy them locally. They are always available in the SHOP on my website.

And here is my motto for 2015! Remember reading Ann Lander's column? I started reading it in 7th grade and always looked for her sage wisdom. What a smart clever woman.  I'm going to follow her advise.

Happy New Year girlfriends!