Sunday, May 26, 2013

The forest through the trees

One on the other wonderful techniques we did in the Workshop was an excercise in contrast and building.  Carol does wonderful tree collages and she shared this technique with us.  It sounds oh so easy but it isn't.  It takes some planning, manuvering and practice but I think that is the whole idea of Carol's workshop and her art.  Try things, don't be afraid to experiment and remember it is only paint and paper.
When you are doing the trees work from back to front and it is an excercise in contrast.  Be sure to bring the trunks all the way to the top if you don't use foliage.

Here are a few of the trees collages from the class:

Trees with added texture

Tree with foliage

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Well, we are back from Louisiana tired but happy. We learned so much from this workshop, not only about new techniques but about experimenting and trying new things. Carol uses mostly Golden products but because she uses so much product she has learned how to substitute what comes in those little jars for artists with products that come in larger quantities from her favorite store Home Depot. We used MDF board as supports, Tyvek paper, Red Rosin paper, Elastometic Custom patch, Stucco patch and MM metal paint to name a few.

My head is spinning with all that we did. We slathered, painted, cut, pasted, glued, ironed and banged. It won't be until I review my notes that I remember what we used different materials for but one technique I do remember was easy and fun. We made our own marbleized paper with shaving cream.
All you need is some shaving cream, a foam plate, acrylic paints and some paper. Carol uses copy paper or deli paper that is waxed on one side, anything really. You can use the paper for a collage you are doing or to wrap a little present or just to see how wonderful the colors look together. This will make you smile and say Ahhhh! guaranteed.
Fill the foam plate with shaving cream about 1/2" thick and then smooth it over. Just like frosting a cake.

Choose two or three colors you would like to see together and put about four drops of each on the shaving cream. Space the drops out. Use the wooden end of a thin brush or something thin and tapered to swirl a pattern in the shaving cream.

Place a sheet of paper over the shaving cream and press gently all around and smooth it with your hands. Do this for about 30-60 seconds and peel paper off.

Ahhh!! You have your own marbleized paper.

Enjoy and have fun!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Workshop Day 1

On Monday we started our four day workshop, the real reason we are in New Orleans this week. (The gumbo and Po' Boys were just a bonus.) Carol Nelson is an talented, innovative artist who is always trying and sharing new techniques and to be in one of her workshops is sheer pleasure.

Day One we did a great piece using Styrofoam plates and supports. Carol came across this method when she discovered that she really liked her mixing palette at the end of the day and tried to think of ways to incorporate it into a piece.

This is one Carol did to demonstrate her technique to the class.

Of course there is a lot more to it than that but it shows you what an innovative thinker she is and what a great sense of color and proportion she has.

Day Two was sort of "found objects" and collage day. Carol makes beautiful collages, specializing
in metal finishes, with an almost industrial feel.

This is one of her metal looking pieces with objects, metal finish, and stamping on it. She uses anything from buttons to bottle caps.

Monday, May 6, 2013

New Orleans

Saturday was our first full day in New Orleans. We celebrated by doing a tour of a few plantations. Our favorite was a Creole plantation named Laura. We had an excellent guide, Jacquline, who knew a lot about the plantation, how it was run, the family and even the building itself. We found out that Cajun women had the right to inherit so this plantation was run by the women in the family for three generations. Not only did the first of these women turn it into one of the most profitable sugar plantations in the South, she married a nobleman right off the boat from France, got him to sign over his chateau and winery to her and made him sign a pre-nup too!!! What a woman. After the tour we were directed to a local restaurant for lunch and had some great Cajun food with some interesting stuffed alligators looking on.

          Laura Plantation - built in the Creole style

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

NOLA bound

On Friday fellow Pieces, Carol Schiff and I are leaving for New Orleans to attend a Carol Nelson workshop.  Getting ready for a workshop is an exciting thing.  There is the anticipation of starting a new adventure. The promise of learning.  Learning about new techniques, new mediums, new people, new processes and maybe new beginnings.  It is a jumping off point if your are in a rut or an extension if you are in the groove.
There is also the practical side.  Getting ready.  There is always a list of supplies and no matter how much "stuff" you have your will always need something, which is half the fun of getting ready.  There are usually trips to an art supply house, decisions on what you might need that's not of the list but looks too interesting to pass up. Of course once you get everything plus the little extras you might need there is the final decision of how much you can practically take.  This is the hardest part and every time I pack to go somewhere I think about all those pioneer women and how did they get everything they needed into those covered wagons?
Here is a photo of my supplies for the workshop and I am very, very proud of myself.