Sunday 30 August 2015

Display Challenges

A few years ago I took a workshop on "Painting on fabric with Dyes". The instructor was a local artist, Eileen Gidman. ( - 
As with all workshops, I had a great time, learned some things and managed to create a number of reasonably decent pieces.
Garden Favorite
My problem was - What do I do with them now? I am not a quilter like Eileen and most of the pieces where the wrong size or shape to make a pillow, so the pieces just sat around.

Recently I decided that I had to do something with these fabric paintings!
 For Garden Favorite I added a border and painted Morning Glories using acrylic paint and fabric medium. Then, I made a pillow using a piece of green fabric for the back.
The colors aren't an exact match but it looks pretty good I think.
Flower Basket
I attached the two larger dye paintings to stretched canvases so they could be hung - gallery wrapped so no frame is needed.
Poplars in Fall
I think this will increase the chances of these pieces being sold because they will actually be seen now that they are hanging on the wall and displayed on the bed.

I had a challenge with how to hang another painting recently. It was a 4 x 6 acrylic on canvas board. Of course, I didn't have a fame that it would fit and it sat on a shelf for a few months before I figured out what to do with it.
Blue Flame
Although the background looks a little purple in the photo it actually matches the painting very well and the red frame really finishes the whole thing.

Although I have a very busy month ahead of me I decided to enter Leslie Saeta's upcoming 30 Paintings in 30 Days challenge for the month of September. Check it out here - 

I hope you will follow along with my progress during the month as I work to improve my skills with pen & ink.

Monday 17 August 2015

Painting Day #2

Last week my friend Linda came over again so we could paint together. When we painted in March, Linda supplied the subject; this time I did. I found a tutorial in an old Watercolor Magic magazine - 'The Elegance of Untouched Paper' by Tony van Hasselt and we both were keen to try the vignette idea.

It doesn't seem to matter that we work from the same instructions when we follow a tutorial -  we always end up with very different paintings.
Linda's Painting
Linda chose to loosely copy the subject from the tutorial while I chose a different building.
My Painting - The Old Red Barn

  Most of the elements are the same in both paintings; a barn type building, a silo, a crooked fence, a few trees and bushes and, of course, the same palette of colors. But, our approaches are quite different. Linda often uses a layering effect with blended washes on top of dried washes while I mostly use wet-in-wet techniques. We did try to follow the guidelines in the tutorial but I am not sure how good a job we did.

Here is a synopsis of the vignette guidelines:
-Between 30 and 40 % of the paper should be untouched
-The painted area should touch the edge in 3 or 4 places but not in a sustained way.
 -The untouched areas should have and interesting, interlocking shape - not proportional or equal
-Hard edges should dominate ( I think Linda was more successful with this aspect than I)

We had just started thinking about doing a second painting when I realized that I needed to start dinner so Linda went ahead and painted a second piece.
Linda's Tree Silhouettes
I think our total painting time that day was about 2 1/2 hours. Between eating lunch, visiting, checking out new home improvements, doing dinner and just talking about our lives we don't have a lot of time before Linda is on the road back home.

It doesn't matter how short or how long the time is, painting with a friend is great and well worthwhile.