Hot Press Watercolor Paper

…makes me want to cry.

I’m trying, I really am, but I am not winning at this type of paper.  I’ve read comments and perused tutorials and all of that stuff.  “Don’t soak it”, “Soak it for 15 minutes”, “Gesso the front and back so it doesn’t buckle”, “Only use it for drawing!”, etc…

My first attempt was using watercolor pencils.  I sketched my figure out, did a bit of shading, and liked how it turned out!  Then…I added water.  Mistake.  I only added a little bit of water, not a lot, and it was still a disaster.  So, in an attempt to fix it, I added more paint/water.  Of course, it got worse.  The paper buckled and pilled.  In some sections the paint just lifted right off, leaving my lady speckled.  Frantic, I tossed aside all water-related mediums and attempted to smother her with oil pastels (that I don’t even know how to use).  I was desperate.  Hopeless.  The painting was destroyed.

I started off my second attempt being a little cocky, giving a little sashay in my step.  “I’m going to gesso the shit out of it!” and that I did.  Paper didn’t buckle or pill!  It made the surface a bit rough, and that was okay.  I lightly sketched an image on the paper, using a ruler, gettin’ my perspective right and everything.  Then I added the paint — acrylic this time.  Watered-down acrylic.  It wasn’t the best move.  It didn’t do what I thought it would do.  The paint still sort of lifted off, so I reduced the water and added more paint.  That seemed to help, but the background lost its subtly tinted sky and bare landscape and was replaced by rough spots and brush marks.  I like dry brushing.  I might even say I’m not terrible at it.  But, I didn’t want to dry brush this one.  I wanted it to be smooth, fluid, and pretty.  It, too, is a disaster.  It looks like I squeezed a whole bunch of acrylic paint on my hand and mashed it on the paper in a fit of rage.  It’s terrible.  I threw my brush against the table, took a hot shower and cried while in the shower.

I’m a basket case.  I’m not giving up, though.  Today is a new day!  A new day to completely wreck anything I touch!  A new day to make a zillion more mistakes, possibly cry some more, but also figure out what I did wrong and try something else.  I thought that what I was doing wrong was to even attempt to do any artwork at all, but I need to nudge that out of my head with a hard elbow.  Maybe.  I’m full of self-doubt today.

If you have comments or advice, I’d love to hear them!  In fact, I think I need it.

And it’s done…

I’m not sure how I feel about the finished product. I do know that I’ve fallen in love with Golden soft gel medium, though. So…hooray for love!

I think the bristol was a good idea, along with the canvas. I needed more coats of paint on the bristol, but it seems like it made more sense for the ravens than the canvas did, due to its smooth texture allowing more light to reflect (as with feathers).

I will be doing more work like this. Scissors are hell on my hands, but I like the idea of what could be.  If you have thoughts or ideas, share them!

Ravens1 (Large)

More progress pics…

I’m cutting out my birds. All but one are made out of canvas. Bristol is my go-to for most things, so I decided to try that and see how it matches up with the canvas birds. I’m not sure about it. Initially, after painting it and putting it against the background, I didn’t like it, but 2 coats of paint later, it might be okay. It doesn’t have the texture of canvas, of course, but I kind of like it. Perhaps mixing materials wouldn’t be such a bad thing?  The Bristol bird is the largest one in the last pic.

B1 (Large) B2 (Large)

 B Group (Large)

The progress pics…

My lady underwent some changes. I lost my knife in the move, so used all purpose shears to cut her out. I’m not thrilled, but this is leaning more toward an experiment than anything, so it’s cool.

The background canvas was one of five that I had mass painted prior to moving. I haven’t fulfilled my intentions with them, so I grabbed one to use for this. Eventually I’ll go back to those, but I’ll save that explanation for another post.

So, here they are.  If you have thoughts, share ’em.  Thanks for looking! 

R1 (Large)R2 (Large)Bk1 (Large) Bk2 (Large)  

34 Going On 12

(an immature 12)

One post since 2014. This makes two.

I would say I feel like a failure for not keeping up with this or that, but that’s not entirely right. I’ve been keeping up with other things — taking care of myself and my surroundings. Simply, unwrecking my world.

I moved and that has improved my surroundings. The lull that I’ve entered is delicious. It’s much needed and will allow me to carry on the next time shit gets wrecked. Wouldn’t have it any other way, though. All good is just as bad as all bad, yeah? A different kind of bad, anyway. Like a Michael Jackson kind of bad.

While searching for new digs, one criterion was having a dedicated room for doing art. I’m still unpacking, but my brushes and paints are out. I found scraps of canvas that I cut a while back and have started a painting.

Confession: I have been notoriously careless when it comes to painting (or doing any kind of art). My needs (what I thought) were to simply get out whatever is in my head. I get the image out, but it’s a bastardized version of what I wanted to do. My impatience let the shoddiness slide just so I could move on to whatever was next. And if nothing was next, then I did nothing. Since coming to this shameful realization this year, I have kicked my impatience in the teeth and now it’s in a semi-conscious state and unable to speak.

This painting is taking much longer than normal. It’s not even a quarter of the way done. This is driving me mad, but I need it to drive me mad. It’s good for me! Plus, the more time I take on it, the more I’m spotting these horrendous mistakes that I otherwise wouldn’t have seen/cared about if I was rushing. Intention is good. Discipline and all that.

Now that I’ve embarrassed myself by sharing all that, let me share what I’ve done so far:

wip jul 17 2014

World of Art Showcase: Raleigh

From November 1st to November 3rd Raleigh’s convention center hosted the World of Art Showcase, sponsored by our favorite art store, Jerry’s Artarama.  In trying to think of how to describe the event, all I can hear in my head is “Wow”.  That’s about all I’ve been able to express about it during and after.  It was so awesome that it turned me stupid.

I was initially excited to go, then I hit a couple weeks where my insecurities about my own art and my own life made me rethink my excitement and ask myself “Why even bother?”.  I told Jer, the husband, that I didn’t buy tickets (that I had intended to buy weeks prior) and after a few days’ worth of conversation and his pushing, I bought the tickets and we went.

As you may know from previous posts, he doesn’t consider himself an “art guy”.  Frankly, the art world freaks him out so much so that he thinks of the “art world” as an actual parallel universe that exists in quotations where he would be an alien lost in a group of artists that wear scarves year round, speak only in color, and eat with palette knives.  I’m assuming this is what goes through his head, anyway, as any mention of him being around people that do art causes his eyes to widen and his pulse becomes clearly visible in his temples. Over the course of those 3 days, however, he learned that these people are humans who not only do art, but they also like pizza, action figures, and enjoy dropping f-bombs when appropriate.  This was good for him.

It was great for me, too.  I was exposed to work that I don’t think I ever would have otherwise been exposed to if not for this event.  And as you may know from my history, there are still days where I feel like opening my front door will bring about death and destruction for all of mankind, however I did make it out of the front door, drove all the way into the city for those 3 days, and I talked to people.  ‘Sup.  I kind of feel like I deserve to shout-whisper a “Fuck yeah!” and perhaps shoot my fist into the air.  Only a few times did I have issues with dissociation, so that was pretty sweet too.  Yeah therapy!  WOO!

Within the next couple of days I’m going to get my photos together (I didn’t take nearly enough and am disappointed with myself about that) and get them on here.  Until then, here’s some pizza (it was yum).

pizza

Stu-stu-studio…

Alright, so I have bits of my work area set up and I even started working on doing something with 2 corkboard bulletin things I’ve had for…7 years (“Hello, Hoarders?  This is It. We should talk.”).

At this moment I’m debating whether not I will share photos of the work area considering that it’s still a mess.  Some things are where they belong and others are not.   Such such as cat litter.  Does cat litter belong in my work space?  Of course not, but chronic disorganization is the way in which I roll, people.  There is no hope for me.  Not even the cute Canuck professional organizer with the hot voice can save me (Hellen Buttigieg…look her up and agree with me!  Her first name is spelled with 2 “L”s.  It would be nearly impossible for her to not be attractive!).

Tomorrow I’m leading an Arts and Crafts class at a local nursing home.  I know what you’re thinking: “They’re going to let the nude-loving-disemboweled-viscera-drawing-unstable It near sweet, delicate old people?”  Yes.  Yes, they are.  Keep in mind, however, that along with art, macabre weirdness, words, and anatomy, another favorite thing of mine is chilling with the elderly, yo.  I love it.  It’s preferable to clubbing or…I don’t know- whatever other activities involve very little shiny clothing and large amounts of alcohol.  That’s enjoyable too, but…different.

Before I continue going on and on about nothing, I’m going to affix some pics!  The last one is the Dali door!  My front door is in need of repair, so while I wait, I figured I would do some decorating.

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Illustration Friday: “Explore”

I’ve been ill and I’ve done nothing but lie around, reading Pet Sematary and popping lozenges. SO, I decided to use an older drawing/painting for Illustration Friday’s word, which is “Explore”. I thought this painting (A Head, 2012) was suitable!

Stretching, stretch, stretching…

I missed last week’s I.F. – the word was “Stretch”. This is what I made and wrote.

Spindly with graceless steps, pointed toes, stretching limbs as far as possible, rushing to get off the street, hoping these sentient buildings (it’s in your head, dear) would stop with their imposing posture. Maybe the beginning of capture – “we snack on Marfan”. Maybe a respectful, welcoming gesture – “we mean you no harm as we mean nothing”. Her mind flutters with questions: “Is it a greeting or am I for eating?”

Not afraid of whimsy…

A couple of weeks ago I did two drawing/painting type pictures that Jer insisted had a “Nagel-like quality to them” (Patrick Nagel…oh how I loved him). In addition to that, they are “pretty” and colorful and not typical of what I do. Still, I have to admit that I do like them, especially because they’re out of my norm, and it was really fun to experiment.

As you know from my last entry, I have drawings posted on Etsy and decided to post these as well. While they don’t really fit with everything else in my shop, I don’t care because I don’t really fit with everything else in my head. I suppose that makes it more honest and more…me *smile and wink*. Enjoy. 🙂