Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Last part of Lesson 4

These small B/W paint with wash pieces will be used is the next lesson for Jane's Sketchbook Practice. So here are the pieces before I add on to them.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Couple Additional Pieces

I was inspired by another student's work and did a couple of other pieces for Lesson 4. Making progress with color and texture.

Jane Davies' Workshop – Lesson 4

This week's assignments were very fun, very freeing, although I'm pretty sure burned out a little, I got so into it. Wrapping it up today with some 7" x 7" India ink paintings to add to next week. I'll probably wait to post those with Lesson 5. Here is my work and my posts for Lesson 4.

I really got into this and found it hard to stop. I loved painting large–so wonderfully freeing–but I realized that I was ending up with a lot of grey; not enough B/W contrast; need to work on this. And again realizing that it is difficult for me to keep things simple. For this reason I really liked applying the paint with the credit card. Here are the large originals.

I added some white India ink over the paint here

Then I cropped these and found so many great little compositions. But, as I started to add to them, I found it difficult to start; feeling a little too precious about adding anything. I was also finding that I wasn't liking the pieces when I added color or other elements; didn't quite know what to do. Also, I wasn't sure I even liked the little compositions anymore. Then I watched the Working Large video and was so taken with the way Jane worked with such abandon, such freedom (I particularly liked it when you took the sheet of your palette with the leftover paint and just pressed that onto the painting!) that I was inspired to just go for it. So that's what I did. On many of these you can hardly even tell what was underneath; I just kept adding things until the piece looked like something moderately interesting. I became obsessive about this and finally had to stop ( I still have more cropped pieces but will have to save those for another day). I've arranged these as side-by-sides so you can see the before and after.

Added black, white and a dab of red oil pastels

Again oil pastels

Oil pastels and I scribbled with a pointed skewer on right
A combination of Windsor Newton water based inks and oil pastels

Acrylic paint and some sgraffito
Mostly acrylic paint. I really struggled with this one.
Didn't like the colors I started with so I just started  painting.
The texture at the bottom was the imprint left from the paper
towel after I blotted up the white paint.
There's a lot going on here but it's one of my favorites
with all the layering and texture.
Acrylic paint, black conté crayon and collage. I extended this one
to the edges of the sketchbook just for fun.
Black conté crayon, oil pastels and white acrylic paint.



Here was Jane's comment; very insightful and motivating:

FABULOUS job, Arlene! Yes, there is a tendency to go gray if you move black and white paint around too much. Trying to keep some pure black and pure white forces you to be economical in your mark-making. GREAT job on the large pieces and on the cropped pieces! You came up with a beautiful variety of ways to amend the original black and white. SO glad the Working Large video was helpful. It so often happens that we start feeling precious and intimidated when working on a piece. It takes real effort and commitment to let go of that and go for it. The real key is to get in the habit of doing a LOT of work, so that you gain: (1) confidence in the idea that there is always more where this came from, i.e. your well will not dry up, you can always produce more are, and (2) practice making art and resolving pieces. I still have to make that effort to let go and not get precious, but it happens most easily when I am working in quantity, working in series, and see each piece as just another experiment, not A Precious Work Of Art. Noticing that resistance and then making the effort to move through it is a HUGE step. You did an awesome job!

Keep on keeping on; keep on experimenting --just the encouragement I need because I started to get a little frustrated again with the layered contour drawing exercise in this lesson... Here's my post:

I don't feel very successful in my results for this activity. Maybe I'm just expecting too much. I also feel like I am struggling with color. I did have fun doing the wet-on-wet self-portrait but then I don't really like the way the contour drawing on the top looks—too heavy. Although my husband said he likes it. Could just be one of those days...

No comments from Jane yet. I'll update when/if I hear from her on these.

UPDATE: Comments from Jane:

"Arlene, that self-portrait is amazing! I think the layered contours show real exploration. You just begin to get some kind of interesting stuff going on with these - the third and fourth show really nice tension between the washy wet contour and the fine line contour. Then, as I said, the self-portrait is fabulous! Excellent dynamic between the washy wet and the crisp line.

Maybe you were expecting too much from the layered contour. Remember the wet-in-wet and line pieces from Lesson 3? You said you were out of your comfort zone on that one, but you pushed through and came up with great combinations of wet work and line. This is just a more directed version of that. Look back at your Lesson 3 work and see if you can find something that excites you about the pieces you made. Not necessarily as PIECES, as compositions, but as examples of how line and wet-in-wet can create exciting conversations together."

God bless her...

Art Update

It's been several weeks since I last posted. Keeping busy with Jane Davies' workshop and posting work to the class blog. It's quite an adventure. Confronting many demons, slaying many dragons, learning a lot and enjoying the ride. She is a great teacher and I am so looking forward to working with her in person at the end of July.

Here's the work from Lesson 3. Starting with washes of color and adding to the shapes with scribble in different materials.

Definitely out of my comfort  zone here. Not sure what to make of these but here they are. I think I'm finding that I tend to overwork things. Activity 2 definitely helped with that!

I used some Windor Newton inks
I have had for YEARS on the the first three.
Added conté crayon to this one

Added black and white oil pastels to this one

Black and brown India ink with conté crayon
and fine tipped marker

Added white oil pastel and black India ink to this one

Brown India ink with orange WN ink; added lines with
brown India ink using a pen nib and the dropper

India ink with white and black oil
pastel and fine tipped marker

Then we created small compositions (7" x 7") with one painted shape, a shape made from collage paper and a line. Some with painted backgrounds, some on plain paper.

Then pages and pages of thumbnails creating simple compositions with line and shape.

Then we added color to some of the one-line contour drawings we did in Lesson 2.

And finally we did a fun negative space exercise painting the shapes around the object with a brush and India ink.