Cheerful and Colorful Paintings

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

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Carol Nelson Workshop ~ " Nancy's Codebreaker" by Texas Daily Painter Nancy Standlee

"Nancy's Codebreaker"
8" x 3/12" acrylic, metals, mixed media

Carol Nelson (she's the small one standing on the box at left!!) and Nancy

I don't remember the exact day I discovered Carol Nelson's work on her blog or her website but I liked her abstract mixed media pieces and knew I wanted to learn more. I tried a triptych last September on my own after a few emails to her and lots of reading on her blog. I decided I needed to go to Denver and use my AA Advantage Miles March 12 and 13 for her "Metals and Mixed Media Workshop". I flew up Thursday, rented a compact Kia, stayed in Wheat Ridge at a Ramada within 5 miles of the workshop in Arvada and flew home after the workshop on Saturday. It was well worth it. I will post some photos and a slide show during the next week about the experience.
I call the above piece I did "Nancy's Codebreaker" because it broke the mystery of how Carol works on her abstracts. No. I can't do it like Carol but I have a better idea of the process.

On Friday morning, Carol brought in 4 huge tubs of supplies, an iron and ironing board. She began to pull out lots of plastic bags full of delicious looking sparkly papers and shiny objects. There were about 18 in the class and we each chose 4 small pieces of MDF board and proceeded to gesso the surface and sand any rough edges. Carol admonished us to take one piece to completion instead of being so scattered and not to include all the techniques in one piece. I almost made it on the above piece. I think I left out the Tyvek. (More on this tomorrow.)
After the gesso was dry, the texturing process was next and she had examples of flexible and non flexible materials to use on canvas or on a hard board like mdf board. I chose a piece of needlepoint canvas to press some modeling paste through the holes for the texture in this piece. I added some copper flashing that Carol provided and shiny paper and painted with fluid acrylics. I added gold leaf on top of the textured pieces, found an "N" in one of Carol's boxes and mounted it on a piece of black suede paper with Yes glue. Later the last step will be a varnish to protect the piece. This one will hang in my studio to help remind me of the Arvada Fine Arts Guild and Carol's workshop.
The fluid acrylics and some other supplies nearly got me in trouble. I like to lock my suitcase with a TSA approved lock for a flight. Some of these locks have a tattletale hole that will turn colors if opened. Why bother? Mine was cut off and discarded completely. When I got into my room at the Ramada I realized my lock had been cut off and my suitcase searched with the "Notice of Baggage Inspection" left on top of my "stuff" stating that an inspection occurred and my bag was searched for prohibited items. When this checked bag passed through the baggage check I was probably thought to be "Jihad Nancy" as I had lots of fluid acrylics packed in a large plastic cake taker with masking tape holding on their tops, an extension cord, scissors, two pairs of needle nosed pliers (one large and one small) and a hammer plus various chargers and plug in devices for laptop and Garmin GPS, pedometer (no I didn't walk), cell phone charger and ear bud stuff and very few clothes.
At the end of the slide show will be some discussion of Tyvek paper which I will explain tomorrow.

Here is a slide show of some of the images from the workshop. Mouse over for the caption.

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Myrna Wacknov said...

Now, I am jealous again! This looks like a FABULOUS workshop, full of exciting ideas and your finished piece is also FABULOUS! I have been following her 100 portraits project, as well. Your slide show was outstanding, as usual. All the details gives me a clear idea of what went on. When do you rest?

Nancy Standlee said...

Well, Myrna, I had anesthesia Monday morning when I had my 2nd cataract a little nap then. lol and now all week I'll have to take it a little easy, no lifting, etc. but do have a one day workshop on Sat.

Connie Michael said...

Nancy, thanks for the great slideshow. The Tyvek technique is something I used recently for another painting and loved it.

Sure wish I could have been there!

Nancy Standlee said...

Connie, you should have just locked up the office and gone with me but I bet we'd been gone longer than 2 days!