I'm newly in love with the following items:
1. Molding Paste. I'm not an acrylic artist, so adding texture is new to me. In order to capture the sculpturalness of rebar in the Robert Irwin Getty Garden bougainvillea "trees," I basically took this thing the consistency of frosting and frosted the panel using a special tool.
2. Pigment. Some say it's toxic to breathe. The Italian guy I bought it from in Venice assured me I could just add water and it would magically function like totally safe paint. I add acrylic gel medium because I have zero faith that that is true. And I am very careful with it! I used a burnt red, light yellow, and dark green to capture the colors/light of my source photo, and I really love how those colors mixed.
3. Artisanal Papers. Blick (formerly Utrecht), the art store, sells these packets of artisanal paper scraps for about $3 a pop, and I pick one up almost every time I go. For this piece, I cut out leaves from one type of paper, and mulberry paper dogs to capture the bokkeh. How did I make those perfect circles with limited resources in my Airbnb? A wine cork, of course!
Can you see how I got the final piece out of this source photo?
2019 kicked off with a one-two punch of Bachelorette Party and Joshua Tree art retreat/vacation in one long weekend. I loved connecting with old friends and meeting new ones at my friend Tiara's Bachelorette in LA, andI loved how the weekend incorporated wellness in a very Tiara way. We were all introduced to Sound Bath meditation at Unplug Meditation in West Hollywood.
I have never been one to meditate. Even with a dad who used meditation techniques to great effect on my classmates and friends, my brain could never quite buy in. I couldn't believe it when my friends assumed it would be right up my alley. However, they were right! Isn't it funny how sometimes your friends see things about you that you're somehow blind to? Anyway, yes, I love meditation now. I'm obsessed. I booked a sound bath at the Integratron, which was built to contact aliens. And I'm bringing my dad.
We did our sound bath right before I drove off to the desert, and one of the visualizations was a peaceful river. This is what I envisioned during that portion of the meditation, and it's the first thing I made on my art retreat. What a cool process - I should reference this when I get stressed out.
At the end of 2018, I took a chance on some new media and ideas. Instead of working from photographs to create an abstract composition, I tried working from inside myself - only. I came up with a few themes and designs based on those, then switched my media to ink. I tried to keep my typical layered approach by experimenting with resists and brushes and printing. Ultimately, I found that the process of each piece gave me an idea for a new piece. I ended up with this Typecase block printed Audre Lorde line of poetry on spilled water and ink.
Here I wanted to create a bubble effect, so I used a gel medium resist for circles. My earlier experiments yielded awkward results, so I did use a photograph for the composition - light on water (who is surprised) - which gave me a direction for those brush strokes that keep ending up in my finished ink product. Then, I overlayed the prime design with paper.
Here I embraced the brush stroke and stuck with the overlay, but ditched the resist.
My first two attempts are above and below. Below, I ran headlong into brush stroke issues. Ultimately, using seashells to add block printing over the top more or less saved it... yes? Above, I tried to get a more fluid look by adding ink to washes. It all kinda congregated in a mass in the middle, because I didn't let each layer dry in between (as in the Audre Lorde piece). So I tried to save it with charcoal and shell printing.