In my continuing attempt to deal with unfinished paintings, I came across one of an amarylis flower from last spring that lacked the energy that I found in that beautiful bloom. I loved the reds and I felt attached to the colours in the painting, but not the outcome. Continue reading
|Rust on linen and photo transfer by Flora Doehler.|
|Iron nails that are more than 100 years old.|
|Rusty nails, hooks and buckles.|
|Rusted pieces laid out on poly cotton and silk.|
|Vinegar dissolves rust.|
|My art room smelled like a fish and chips store for a few days!|
|Thankfully this old stove of ours missed the dumpster.|
| Rust dyed canvas from rusted stove pipe.
Why this experimentation with rust dying? I am working on a piece for a show here called “Pirates and Outcasts”. This art show will be part of a Bear River Winter Carnival event. Both are wonderful opportunities to have fun in February.
I have been working with an image transfer as well. It’s an abstracted photo of young men sailing to this new world in the early 1930s. These men were in their 20s and are probably all dead now. One of them was my father although this isn’t a portrait of him per se. In the piece I create, I want to suggest the impermanence of all our situations as well as suggesting that immigrants are both casting out and are outcasts.
|In the Begonia Garden by Flora Doehler, 2010. 8″ x 8″|
This past weekend I joined over 70 artists to ‘Paint the Town’ in Annapolis Royal. This annual fundraiser for the local Arts Council is a great opportunity for artists to show and sell their work and for collectors to watch artists at work and to buy art at reasonable prices.
|If you are curious about the contents of my painting kit, click on the photo and read the notes at Flickr.|
|The Artist entry fee is $12.|
The first morning I scouted around the park with its ancient trees.
|Surrounded by happy flowers.|
Wonderful until I realized that I’d forgotten to bring containers for my paint water!! I finished my treat and headed for the recyling bin where I found plastic juice containers! My sharp knife soon transformed them into water jars and it was smooth sailing after that.
|This was my largest painting. I used up all my matt medium on it.|
My Sunday problem was that I ran out of matt medium! It’s an essential part of my kit because I use it to get the scratching-in effect in my paintings. I searched out other artists in the park and was given some by artist Shannon Bell and when that ran out, a bottle of the stuff from Louise Baker, an artist with a love of colour who lives in Halifax. Thank you Louise and Shannon!!!
Here are the paintings I did in the Victorian Garden until the sun drove me away. (Click on the images to enlarge them.)
|The challenge here was to edit the elements down to make sense of the scene in a painting.|
They were visiting from Montreal and I told them about the silent auction. They later lost out on the bids for 2 of my pieces, but found their way to our studio the next day where they bought 2 paintings that I had been working on in my garden. Here is one of them:
|Nicotiana in garden chez moi.|
|The Pond sketch on 9″ x 12″ watercolour paper. ( The paper is actually white)|
|Acrylic paint brushed into damp paper.|
It was an exciting weekend on many levels – wonderful to meet painters, wonderful to have such a positive response to my work, wonderful to create in such an inspiring setting. And, wonderful to earn some money too which was just as well because our house water situation was failing while I painted.
See you next year at Paint the Town!
|photo courtesy of Trish Fry, Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens.|
While my main form of artistic expression is painting, working with textiles has a big appeal for me too.
|Playing with fabric and fibres in the studio.|
|Hand woven cotton warp.|
My approach to textile work is very similar to painting. In both cases I use strong colour; I enjoy lots of texture and I use the interplay of light and dark and complementary colors.
|Fabric painted with acrylic, printed with bubble wrap.|
Many, many well-known painters have worked in this medium. Last spring in Los Angeles I saw some beautiful paper appliqués by Matisse in the museum there that inspired me to sew this little bag.
|Cotton, arctic fleece, netting and ribbon.|
My daughter Emily is an animator and I am inspired by how she integrates her animation sensibilities into her sewing.
|Emily designs, sews and paints dolls and creatures.|
Another source of inspiration for me is artist’s blogs and sites on the Internet. I check the daily blog of my friend and fellow painter Barbara Muir. I love her use of colour and we had many shows together in Toronto. Her persistence at writing a daily blog about painting inspires me to create and make better use of all the precious time I have.
|Barbara drew me while we talked on Skype!|
Recently I came across the site of Susan Sorrell, a fiber artist. Her work excites me because of her bold use of color and texture. I signed up for an online class with her called Personal Symbols — who could resist signing up for a course with the name like that!
|Susan Sorrell’s work.|
Susan has been teaching for a number of years and the course comes with PDF handouts with lots of photographs. She has a forum on the Internet for the class where participants can show and tell their progress. I haven’t used the exact materials on her list. I’m adapting what I already have. Susan suggests painting fabric dye on interfacing fiber, but I’m using canvas and watered-down acrylics.
The assignments use a combination of drawing, painting and sewing which is quite exciting for me to combine.
There are at least three assignments connected to each of the six lessos. Ingeniously she had each of us draw and make up some of our own symbols.
In the following image I have cut out and combined some of my symbols. The fabric is cotton and I ironed a stitch witchery product to the back of the cloth before I cut the pieces out. In this way the pieces stuck down when ironed. Then I embellished it with buttons and beads.
I would like to try some of these techniques in acrylic on a large canvas. It’s nice to know that it’s possible to take a course online and to feel so inspired by it and by the links to images and blogs and websites of other participants.
Susan Sorrell offers quite a few different online courses. Her enthusiasm comes across loud and clear and I would recommend any of her courses. She also hosts a monthly chat with people in the creative arts and that is quite inspiring too.
The course is opening a new world for me…a truly virtual community of people combining paint and fabric and a passion for creativity.