Friday, February 29, 2008

Polymer Steals or Lifts

During my last year of college, I was made aware that images could be removed from magazine pages. I had only to paint three or four coats of polymer medium on the images I wanted to use. Then the coated image could be removed from the paper after soaking it in warm water. I would be holding a "plastic" film with the image on it - like a transparency.
Then the fun would begin. I decided which images in what combination on what surface. There were a lot of black & white images in magazines in the 60's. I worked on masonite panels.
Below is an example of images put on a panel painted yellow - which show through the transparent images.
I discovered that I could "recycle" paintings that didn't measure up. I put the transparent images on the textured paintings and, using my table saw, cut out the sections that I liked.
Above and below are examples of images added to pieces of my textured paintings.
Unfortunately new magazines are made with new technology and most images cannot be removed this way. I recently made my first purchase on ebay - nine LOOK magazines from the 60's. Since I have quite a few "failed" larger paintings, I should soon have more of these works!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Grand Canyon Photo Club

Last summer I decided to join the Grand Canyon Photo Club in Wellsboro. I have taken photos for many years. Now, with a good digital camera, I take hundreds of photos each year. When I discovered how many professional (5) photographers and friends and acquaintances were in the club, I joined. We meet at the Gmeiner Museum. I have learned much from the programs and from the critiques. For each meeting, we email one photo to be critiqued by the group. The crappie above fit into the category of "things with eyes." For a large group show "Reflections of Wellsboro" I photographed the tracks on the north edge of town. The exhibit is at the Gmeiner and opens March 2, 2008 at 2 pm.
Below, I attempted to arrange my junque that I use to make my textured paintings.
I spent a year photographing the St. James church here in Mansfield so that a seasonal calendar could be printed and sold as a fund raiser. I modified this photograph to fit into the "black & white" category for a critique.
When we had to submit a photo depicting "our favorite thing," I captured my boat in the early evening sunlight - a great time to go fishing!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Chicken Barbeque Success

At 7 am on a cold, February morning, we began lighting the charcoal so that we could barbeque 300 chicken halves.
By using Arnie Brion's secret sauce, we were able to keep a steady flow of smoke following us wherever we stood.
Arnie designed and built the portable grill. The chickens became golden brown after a couple of hours. The chicken wrappers were well prepared to begin wrapping. I know that they will be disappointed that their faces don't show! All the chicken was sold by 11:45 am. I do paint a few signs so it was only natural that I would volunteer to do our fund-raising sign. We did raise $124,000 to renovate the outside of our library. Each year Mary Sirgey volunteers me to paint something to advertise the summer reading program - "Scales and paws, tails and claws" was the theme. This year the theme is "Catch the reading bug at your library." So I have bugs to paint soon!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Settlement House 2

The following is a small display area showing my littlest paintings and some weavings by Ruth Anne Miller.
When you are making things, you never know where the next good idea is going to come from. I think that the trick is to be receptive to new ideas and to be alert!
Connie Sickler of the Settlement House came up with these ideas: 1. horizontal panels that could go over doors and 2. vertical panels that could go between windows or beside doors.
I was quite surprised to discover how well long narrow pieces opened up new design possibilities. All these panels are 31.5" tall or wide and 8.5" wide or tall.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Settlement House 1

The building is located about 15 miles east of Mansfield on Rt. 6 in Sylvania, PA. Connie Sickler's husband Greg originally made this "show house" to advertise his business. He makes post & beam homes and buildings. Connie left her position as an art teacher about six years ago and created the Settlement House - a gallery of many hand-made objects. There are weavings, pottery, carvings, jewelery, baskets, turned wood, quilts, maple syrup, prints, wall hangings and my textured paintings. And probably more things which I can't recall. She represents many craftspeople and artisans in the beautiful setting shown in the following two photographs.
Connie Sickler sells prints of her detailed and complex watercolor paintings. She works from "still lifes" that are set up in the basement room. If you visit, you might get to see a work in progress! The following example is titled "Caged Fears."

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Daffy Duck (the DUCK)

While I was the art teacher in the W.L. Elementary School, I painted Daffy Duck near the front door. It was a "time-out" area for those kids that temporarily forgot how to behave! If you were sent there, you had to stand for five minutes facing the class so that you wouldn't miss any instruction. You also had too listen to me one-on-one:
As you can see, Daffy wasn't very big. I like to think that he helped maintain order in the art room: In one corner, I built an art loft that was used by two students each class. Everyone got a turn. The idea came from Mrs. Dalton's husband who built a reading loft in a second grade classroom: Near the end of the day, I liked to sneak down to Mrs. Nesbit's third grade room so I could listen to her read part of a good book to her kids. James and the Giant Peach & The Rats of Nimh are two that I remember: I missed the first seven weeks of school one year while recouperating from a broken neck. The kids had made many, many footprints for me to follow so that I could find my way back to the art room:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A commercial message

Our annual chicken barbeque to raise money for our town library is a week from Saturday (Feb. 23th). Maybe you are getting a craving for barbeque chicken???

The "studio" and a special Guest Artist!

My "studio" is in the cellar of our home. It is a great space compared to the cellars in our first two houses. My head doesn't hit the rafters and there are three windows. I've built in a lot of the storage space and tool holders (is the TV a tool?):
The following photo shows that I have my work cut out for me. (That's for Andy!) The panels are primed and ready to go: I share the space with the furnace and hot water heater. Here are many framed, smaller works ready for the Athens ARTSfest which is the first weekend every May: My guest artist is named Corey. He was my fishing buddy last summer and now he is my grandson. His mom Lindsay married my son Nate about five weeks ago. In this photo I asked him to look serious! The painting shows Corey and Nate with a phone-like thing to call Lindsay if they need help. The orange bird is ready to catch a worm: Here Corey is sitting on my easy chair where I have been known to sneak a nap. His tongue shows the level of his concentration while he colors a piece of wood. He calls my "studio" the art room:

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"Wedding paintings"

I have called these large paintings "wedding paintings." Many have been given as wedding gifts - hence the nickname. They are 36" wide and 24" tall.

The following painting was done for Mike & Carmen - notice the large 'C' in the upper left corner and the 'M' near the middle -
Brandi and Matt decorated their living room around the requested purple and green of this wedding gift - The following was not given as a wedding gift - Britta's husband Bill liked this painting, so she bought it for him on his birthday - This was a very late wedding gift to my cousin Peter and his wife Peggi - Last summer we traveled to St. Clair (north of Detroit) to see Ryan & Laura married. They wanted lots of blue in their gift -