Thursday, May 31, 2012

Petoskey Gallery Walk

                                                 The Twelfth Annual Gallery Walk (link)

The art world will descend upon Downtown Petoskey for its twelfth annual Gallery Walk. This evening of art and entertainment has definitely become a community tradition.

Participating art galleries will greet guests on the third Thursday in June, June 21, 2012, from 6:00 to 9pm in an open-house format and offer delights for your eyes, ears, and taste buds. Many of the galleries will have the artists present to introduce their works.

Gallery Walk is sponsored by the galleries of Downtown Petoskey with the support of the Downtown Management Board and Crooked Tree Arts Center.  Participating galleries are:  Arlington Jewelers, Art Cats Gallery, Crooked Tree Arts Center, Art Tree Sales Gallery, Hramiec Hoffman Gallery, Luciano's, Mitchell Street Frameworks & Gallery, Northern Michigan Artists Market, Shadetree Stained Glass Studio, Stafford's Gallery of Art and History,  Ward & Eis Gallery, and WARD Gallery at Ciao Bella!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Header

The photo for my new blog header is courtesy of Julie Christiansen, a wonderful local photographer. Thanks, Julie!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Gardener's Cat ~ collage wip 2

Here's a quick update on my first collage. I may have bit off more than I can chew but I'll perservere. It's slow going, though. I'm beginning to question my choice of colors. The cat is starting to get lost in the background. I'll have to figure something out to make it work. Gotta love a challenge!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Gardener's Cat ~ collage wip

I hatched this particular idea because I've always admired the work of really good collage artists. Patty Henderson (check my link list for her work) comes to mind first because she creates the most beautiful collages. Absolutely stunning!

My subject evolved in due part to the many nursery catalogs that appear in my mailbox every year. I thought enough ahead to save many of them as source material. The plan is to use the lovely flower photos in these catalogs to create my cat and it's surroundings. I've never done a serious collage and realize now I wish I had a much smaller pair of sharp scissors and can already see this will push my patience to it's limits.

All I have to share at the moment is my intial sketch of the cat with some garden foliage. I've also begun adding values and have been playing with some different 'palettes' of cut out flower photos. This will not be a quick project but I will update as things develop.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Disposable Palettes

Remember that stack of styrofoam plates I bought to make stamps? Well, I switched to recycled styrofoam meat trays for my stamp making needs because they're thicker. So what to do with all those plates. I found out they make the best disposable palettes! Even better, when leftover paint dries on the plates I can stack them (dried paint and all) out of the way. Whenever I need a color, I can browse through the stack and usually find it. Why didn't I think of this sooner?

Saturday, May 19, 2012


This is another small piece ( 3 1/2" x 5 1/2") that I painted this afternoon. I used black Speedball ink and transparent watercolor on #140 w/c paper. I love the intense stare of this cat. It's definitely in stalker mode.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Experimenting with Watermedia

I truly enjoy mixing it up when it comes to different mediums. In this case, all the mediums used I consider water mediums (meaning they will combine readily with water). There is some debate on what actually constitutes 'watermedia' so I'm using my own understanding of the term.

The right image is black Speedball ink, thinned with a little water and applied onto damp w/c paper. Then gold metallic fluid acrylic was dropped in and allowed to mingle with the wet ink. I did direct some of the metallic acrylic with a bamboo skewer. While the paper was still damp I added some Quin. pink here & there. I dropped a little granulation medium into one of the pink 'runs' just to see what would happen and got some extra texture going.

The left image is phthalo blue fluid acrylic applied to damp paper with the gold metallic fluid acrylic added. This time I let the gold go where it wanted with no coaxing from me.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Painting on Black Paper

I've spent the last few weeks experimenting with all sorts of ideas. Most wound up in the bin but I thought I'd share this one with you. This was painted on black Strathmore Artagain paper with regular watercolor and a little white fluid acrylic. I was pleased with the effect I was able to achieve painting those lovely semi-transparent fins and tails on the black background. This was also a real bugger to photograph. I've found black usually is problematic for the camera, especially for this cameraman/woman.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

An Exploration of Chinese Style Painting

I've always admired the look of the more loose style Chinese painting aka Freehand - Shui-mo (水墨). Last night I again tried my hand at painting fish, this time Black Moors. I love their bug-eyes. Having no rice paper or Chinese ink on hand, I used 110# cardstock and black India ink. For a brush I employed a #4 Kolinsky sable round. I did use photo references but no prior sketches. I'm posting my results above.

I still tend to go too detailed. The art of Shui-mo says that to add more detail is to lose the vitality or life force of the subject. Having never studied art history, it makes me wonder how much impact this philosophy has actually had on Western art, particularly watercolor painting. I enjoy a well done, detailed painting but usually react more positively to something less detailed and more spontaneous. In fact, this is why I took up watercolor in the first loosen up. I wish to strive for more expression, less technique but am continually fighting the urge to focus on unnecessary details. My quest is ongoing.....

I have found a few videos my visitors may find interesting. The first is a demo of fish painting using the art of Shui-mo brushwork on rice paper. The second is how to mount the finished painting onto 300# watercolor paper with silicone release paper .


Saturday, May 05, 2012

Goldfish ~ Oriental Style

I've been browsing through Youtube looking at Japanese and Chinese painters in action. Some very incredible work going on over there! The style is so simple but so effective. There's a real art to keeping things simple. Every line means something and not a one is wasted.

Watching these artists, I was inspired to try my hand at goldfish. I know I keep saying I would love to paint fish but never seem to make it happen. Well, today I painted goldfish. I'm still working in a small format so this one went quick. Little space forced me to keep the detail to a minimum. This is mostly walnut ink with a bit of gouache and transparent watercolor here & there. I actually cropped the painting to include the Chinese word for 'goldfish' in the finished piece but my photo editor would not recognize the symbols. I finally just added it in English.