Cheerful and Colorful Paintings

Cheerful and Colorful Paintings in Oil, Acrylic, Mixed Media and Collage

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Gerald Brommer Workshop ~ Floral Collage ~ Art Journal Pages

Floral Collage
11" x 15"
Gerald Brommer gave instructions that he didn't want to see any pistils or stamens in our floral collages. I got that one covered in my floral painting above but Jerry's florals below are outstanding. I had time to start a second one but it is not finished yet. The muted gray color in the background (the negative shape) was achieved by watercolor with a little white gouache and applying and then dabbing with a Kleenex to give it more texture. We glued the larger pieces down first, tried to have a focal point, and to make an impression of a flower. We used watercolor to edges of flowers to round off some edges and to make interesting marks. Most of the painting is made from collaged pieces of watercolor painted Oriental rice papers or washi.

Click on the images to enlarge.

These two 11" x 15" paintings (above and below) are Jerry's and I love them both, don't you?

I will mention one of the books he has written that he told us about.
He feels that this book is important one to teach art history in the school system.
"Discovering Art History" by Davis. I found a third edition online used and it has 638 pages and about 9" x 12" so this will be enjoyable art tour across centuries for a long time.

Art Journal Page 98 and 99
I didn't make daily entries while I was packing or attending the Gerald Brommer workshop for 2 weeks. The thumbnail drawings at the top of page 99 are similar to Jerry's drawing exercises he does. He has no plans for them (he did make copies and glue some of them in a collage - so did I but that's later). He fills sketchbooks up with these so when it comes time to design a painting it's automatic. He will make these in airports or while waiting somewhere. The week one workshop was "Stained Papers and Collage" and week 2 was "Designing with Watercolor or Acrylics and Collage". I made a small 5" x 5" collage on 140 paper for my journal "Cowboy Kisses" and used wedging to create movement. Someone brought Hershey kisses for snacks one day and since I have a chocolate deficit those little kisses tags were all around my work place and I've found them in pockets and art supplies while unpacking. So why not put one in a collage to remind me of that week where we worked with Mr. Brommer or Dr. Jer and I sometimes called out for help.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jerry Brommer Collage Workshop ~ First Projects

T or Tau Shape Design
7 1/2" x 7 1/2"

7 1/2" x 7 1/2" This was supposed to be a cruciform but after looking at this it needs to go off the top edge. I guess I have 2 T Shapes.

Bridge Design
7 1/2" x 7 1/2"
All were collaged with acrylic matte medium on 300 pound Lana Rough paper. Jerry likes the rough for added texture. Most paintings contain several type designs. We were instructed to make one of each of these designs in a color of our choice of darks and lights. The class didn't just start gluing down various papers and hoping for the best, we did have some guidelines for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and included movement and a focal point. Jerry said "You make the perfect composition. You don't find it."

My nice clean palette before beginning to stain watercolor papers. If I had it to do over, I'd bring some palettes I wanted to clean out and redo. I had 3 that I worked from and someday I think I'll make a cool one, greens and blues, and one warm for reds and yellows, and then I can have a lot more colors. When using white gouache, it is difficult to keep your wells from becoming contaminated. We'd tear off pieces of the Oriental rice papers (washi) and make our colors by splattering and varying colors by adding some white gouache or black. Then we'd turn over our pieces to speed drying. Jerry said he'd set aside a staining day and maybe do reds for 30 minutes and blues for 30 minutes to build up his supply for maybe 6 months. He stores the pieces by color in clear plastic bags for the workshops.
Teaching procedure:
Before we'd begin a collage painting Jerry would show us many examples of the designs cut from art magazines, then he'd show us his own paintings and post them on the wall, then he'd give a demo - all great ways for us to learn. We knew where we needed to go and what to do and if we got lost along the way, Jerry would roam the room giving some hints "make it darker at the edges to keep your eye in" or "Primo. Stop." which was the BEST compliment.
He gave us a great hint for tearing the colored strips into our needed shapes by taking a brush loaded with water and draw with the water. It weakened the area and made it much easier to tear. If we needed straight areas we cut with a razor blade, craft knife or scissors.
Jerry would caution, "Don't fall in love with a part so much you can't change it. Put in the big shapes with reckless abandon. Just cover it. Use different sizes, shapes and values. Watch your negative areas as you want it all different."
American Artist
The June 2009 issue has a six page article written by Jerry, Capture a Sense of Place with on-site Travel Sketches. Without sufficient time to create full-scale paintings on location during a recent trip to Europe, he relied on graphite and ink sketches to capture the essence of the scenes visited and added watercolor washes once back in the studio. If you enjoy sketchbook journaling, you will enjoy this article.
Next post will show a floral and he said if you put in a pistil or stamen you get an F.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Gerald Brommer Workshop ~ Week One ~ Collage

Collage Figure
7" x 11"
Gerald Brommer has presented 2 weeks of workshops at the Artists' Showplace Gallery. I enjoyed the first week so much, Stained Papers and Collage, when an opportunity to take the second week came, Designing with Watercolor or Acrylics and Collage, I jumped at the chance. The above figure was not one of the assignments but by the end of the week I did a figure when we were on our own.
For the first few days we were working with pure collage with our stained watercolor washi papers and later we began adding more paint. We were cautioned against turning these into paintings but let some of the collage show.
We could add anything that would stick to the support, 300 pound watercolor paper, with acrylic mat medium.
Jerry said, "Don't talk to a collage artist about archival. Who cares if it lasts forever and if it starts to fall apart?
Good. It will make it more interesting. Kurt Schwitters (20th century master of collage) used wine labels and newsprint."
We purchased a packet of 20 various
washi papers about letter size and one of the samples had fragments of the Bangkok Daily News in it (certainly not archival). How wonderful and freeing is that. He also stated, "Paint to please yourselves and hope that others like it" and "Don't over think this. There are no mistakes with collage - just add another piece of paper until it gets so heavy you can't lift it."
Radial Design
11" x 11"
Radiating from a central core. One of about 12 designs we studied. I supplemented some of the painted washi papers with some acrylic painted pieces from the Anne Bagby workshop and from the Carrie Burns Brown workshop.
Jerry Brommer
Collage artist, story teller (the Hittite story was memorable) author of books, books, books, 35 plus art books and some are used in high schools and colleges, educator, juror and scholar and a very enthusiastic master of watercolor and collage painting methods. I guess it would be correct to say he wrote the book on it. Check back later for future posts on the workshop. There is great hope in collage that when your children put you in the "home" and you're not allowed to have scissors you can still enjoy collage, just tearing up and gluing it down again.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Visual Expressions Gallery ~ Saladino Art Critique ~ Art Journal Pages

"Lylas" #3 (Love You Like a Sister) 9" x 12"
These are the 3 paintings I will take to the Visual Expressions Gallery for their student art Show May 15 - May 25.
"The Birds of the Air"
30" x 40"

"Glacial Terrain"
24" x 24"

Art Journal Pages
Click on Image to Enlarge
Art Journal Page 94
I don't know why but I have been extremely interested in all the swine flu news.

Art Journal Page 95
Big personal news I've joined Weight Watchers again. I need social contact to lose. Last time I did great on a diet when my CBC sisters threw in $50 each in the pot and the one that lost the most walked away with $500 and that's all I needed to win. I've enjoyed lots of Snickers and Mexican food since then and now it's time again to get on a program and I'm the one making monthly payments. WW's eTools are the easiest way yet to keep track of food points, add recipes and track activities.
More about the flu and I missed the big Cottonwood Art Festival. And I've found a great new TV program for May "Cook Yourself Thin" on Lifetime. There are recipes at MyLifetime.Com.
Art Journal Page 96
Since Bea Arthur died I've been watching the Golden Girls again and I'm loving those programs. I TiVo the afternoon programs and enjoy them when other choices look a little sparse in the evening. Cindy, Betty, Karen, Barbara and I went to pick up paintings at the PCPC show and our special show at La Cima and we were thrilled to find we'd sold "From His Bounty" (pears) at the PCPC show. You can see how we transport our large paintings. Cindy made us sacks with handles from moving blankets and we stack them upright on a dolly. These are large paintings (approximately 35" x 35") and we can take down a show fast.
Art Journal Page 97
So many errands and all on one banana and this is a no-no for a healthy diet. I weighed in and had lost 4.8 pounds my first week. With those kind of results I'll try for week 2 and this week we add some exercise. I found these "old" empty candy wrappers in a pocket.

A slide show from our last Saladino Art Critique. Later Tony is having a one day abstract class in June. There was a new person in class and sorry I called her "newbie" because I didn't write down her name.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Upstairs Gallery Show ~ May 9-23, 2009

The three pieces below photographed together as they might be hung for a grouping. Click on the image for a larger view.



These are acrylic works I completed in the Robert Burridge workshop in April. The 3 6"x 6" (1 1/2" depth) collage mixed media pieces can be purchased separately or as a group. I used acrylic paint, acrylic medium, various papers, and stamping and I was working on all 3 at the same time striving for some continuity. Could I reproduce these again? After looking at them again this morning I kept asking "Now how did I do that?" and "What did I do here?" I see small papers from the Anne Bagby workshop and some stamping with the stamp she awarded for best use of line and some gold paint touches and lots of texture. I think there are a few pieces from the Carrie Burns Brown Workshop in Austin several years ago. That's what I find interesting about discussions about copying others work.. I find it difficult to copy my own.

Indigo Floral #1

Indigo Floral #2

Indigo Floral Duet #1 and #2 12" x 12" (3/4" depth wrapped canvas) Acrylic with some stamping These two are pure Burridge (I painted them but I sure tried to use his methods) from the workshop with lots of negative painting and drawing back into the design with a pencil, a Derwent Sketching Wash 8B, one of his favorites to use. I used some stamping and then brushed back over it to blend some edges and then highlight one flower to stand out and say "look at me." These can be purchased separately or as a pair. J. T. Martin of the Upstairs Gallery has invited all adult students to participate in its annual studio show and sale, May 9-23 and the opening reception will be May 9 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The purpose is to thank the students for their support and to share their artworks with the community. This is a great time to view others work and socialize and see what new foods J.T. creates for the refreshment table. Join us if you're in the area.