Saturday, December 22, 2012

Daydreamer

daydream I
Daydreamer I, sumi ink figure painting, collage 6 x 6

This week I started a new series which I'm calling Daydreamer. It's based on a loose pen drawing I did last year. Using sumi ink and a hard bristle sumi brush, I painted the figure on rice paper. I then tore off the rice paper that was not part of the figure drawing and adhered the painting to my watercolor paper. The background is a collage of monoprinted papers. I also added acrylic to the shirt to give it a slight tonal change.

daydream I, lamp light
daydreamer I - room shot


When I need a break from art, I either volunteer at the no-kill cat shelter or go thrift store shopping. This week we had lots of rain and ice, so I didn't drive to see the cats. However, the thrift store is within walking distance and I found a cool ceramic male doll's head. It's now a photo prop!

When I finished this latest mixed media collage, I sat for a few minutes trying to think of a title. I find it hard sometimes to title my art works. With this one, Daydreamer came right to mind. The figure reminded me of being lost in thought, focused yet abstracted. I often daydream while I'm doing my art.

Lately, I've been daydreaming about owning a house and being able to have some kitties and dogs again. That is a long way off. For now, I'm enjoying the daydream and being grateful for the time I have on this beautiful island.

What have you been daydreaming about lately?


Saturday, December 15, 2012

sumi cat, ink line drawing on rice paper

sumi cat III


It's been months seasons, since I've done any cat paintings. Since my muse, Sputnik, crossed that rainbow bridge over a year ago, I've slacked on the cat drawings.

Last weekend that changed as I got a custom request to do an 8 x 10 inch painting of my sumi ink kitty painting. I really enjoyed painting cats with sumi ink on rice paper and did about 15 that day.

Most of them went to the collage pieces pile while others got trashed. Four of them worked out as individual paintings.

Why did some get kicked out? The paper was too thin and ink was too thick so the paper buckled horribly in one painting. On another, even though I sprayed fixative on the painting, the ink smudged as I used too much water to put the backing on. Several got thrown out because the lines were too ragged.

When I work with sumi ink on rice paper, I know that I'm working myself up to that moment when all the variables meet, and the magic happens before my eyes. It reminds me of what my sixth grade teacher would tell me, "If at first you don't succeed, try try again."

Below is a time lapse video I made of one of the paintings which became the collage piece that is at the top of this post. The collage is available in my GalleryJuanaArt etsy. You'll also see the rice paper painting that I painted for the custom request.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Baucis and Philemon, pen ink drawing

oak and linden III, pen drawing on dictionary paper,  work in progress
oak and linden III, pen drawing on dictionary paper, work in progress


When he had spoken briefly with Baucis, Philemon revealed their joint request to the gods. We ask to be priests and watch over your temple, and, since we have lived out harmonious years together, let the same hour take the two of us,...
... as they chanced to be standing by the sacred steps, discussing the subject of their deaths, Baucis saw Philomen put out leaves, and old Philemon saw Baucis put out leaves, and as the tops of the trees grew over their two faces, they exchanged words, while they still could, saying, in the same breath: “Farewell, O dear companion”, as, in the same breath, the bark covered them ... Ovid

My husband and I recently celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary. The drawing that I've used for this Baucis and Philemon series started with a photo of us from "way back when".

I took that photo when my husband and I were traveling through Mexico on a shoestring budget. And I do mean shoestring! I never thought I'd be able to laugh about some of the things that happened on that trip, but I often look back fondly on that adventure.

When I did this drawing in 2010, I came across the story of Baucis and Philemon. It's a beautiful story about an old couple who wished to remain together forever. The Gods granted their wish by making them intertwining trees of oak and linden.

Still a work in progress; this is the third drawing in this series. The first was submitted to the Sketchbook project and the second has sold. I've used gesso to add texture for the trees and archival pen ink and acrylics for the portrait and leaves.


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