I've been playing around. Also, this was tedious and took forever, but it's gorgeous. Inspired by the way the sunset hits the rocks at the beach, I played around with everything but paint. This piece is 9 x 12 on board, and I used molding paste to sculpt the rocks. I then painted them in with ink instead of paint. Then, I used various artistic papers to collage in the water, and the foam of the waves. Finally, I used leftover holographic vinyl to catch the light.
Ink is an interesting medium! I'd never really worked much with it before, aside from a few drawings with pen and ink. I used a brush for this, and I really like the saturated matte effect. This piece was no joke to put together, and I still have a lot of source material, so I'm putting together a few smaller, similar works for Jackalope in Pasadena. I can't wait to share!
Driving back from Tahoe this summer, I decided to do murals in the same general style as my mixed media watercolors. That means I'd be incorporating three different images into one work. A few weeks later I went to see the Sequoias with a friend, and am now obsessed with doing a mural-sized triptych. I'm starting with 6 x 9 watercolors - here's the first one.
Texture: The white lines in the painting are roughly inspired by the bark in this photo.
Color: I used the light hitting this tree for my color inspiration.
Form: I overlayed a to-scale Sequoia out of cut mulberry paper on top. This is the most tedious but most satisfying part! I can't wait to work large.
Mixed media to the max. One of my favorite things about the Getty Center in Los Angeles is its garden. Let that sink in a minute, if you know me. I do not like flowers. They make me sneeze. Even when I paint them, I do it in a hurry and then the entire arrangement is banished to the porch. It's the architecture and sense of space, though, that socks me in the gut in the Getty garden.
The garden architect, Robert Irwin, is (according to the tour) not a plant guy. He isn't coming at this from a horticulture perspective, but from a fine art perspective of composition - color, texture and line. His only objective in picking plants was to fit those rules. I think the garden staff has their hands full keeping it up, but it is definitely worth it, and it changes with the seasons!
One of my favorite things in the garden are the "trees" made out of rebar and capped by bougainvillea. This is where the chairs are, so they provide much-needed shade. If you sit below, look up, and squint - this is what you get.
Also, it's almost bokkeh season, so here you are. This piece is 16 x 20, but I'm making some smaller ones to sell at Jackalope Art Fair in Pasadena in November, stay tuned! Also, I got to use a champagne cork to trace the circles. (Ok, it was cava, but still, #artlifegoals.)
I did a mural! This was one of those serendipitous confluence situations where, on a long drive (as usual), I thought "I'll do murals." And then the next day I vocalized that I was going to do murals. And then the person I told said, "do you want to do a mural?" And here we have a portal in the new location of the Burbank boardgame store Geeky Teas.
Geeky Teas is a great place to not only purchase board games and teas, but also try out different games with your friends in their multiple themed game spaces. The portal mural is in the private game room. When I thought about a portal, A Wrinkle in Time immediately came to mind. I thought about how influential Madeleine L'Engle was on my young reader self, and I had just seen the movie. I love the marriage of science and intuition in her work (I guess that's SciFi, isn't it?), and wanted to make this a Tesseract. After googling "tesseract" I learned it's actually a geometric shape that is comparable to that paper folding game that kids do, and there are a multitude of ways to display it two-dimensionally. I chose one and threw some tumbling tesseracts into the portal.
Want to jump in? See more about how I made this on my Instagram highlights.
The trees in Zion National Park in late winter, heading into early spring, made me think of tinsel. That glint, in addition to the remarkable color of the landscape and the crazy texture of the rock faces, led me to work on a series of mixed media prints. This is the second of three planned pieces, and is available for purchase in my shop.
Texture: I started this piece off with a resist in the form of the texture of this rock face.
Color: The middle ground is a watercolor painting based on the river cutting through the red canyons of Zion.
Overlay/Line: I based my tinsel design on the top of this tree. Can you see it?
I have a new oil painting for you! I hybridized my normal abstract water series in order to try to capture this crazy washed-out (no pun intended) landscape below. I even used brushes for the entire second layer. I'm getting used to my line, gradually switching from knife to brush, and I feel like this piece should be in a children's room or book. What do you think? Does it have a place in your home? It's available here.
I'm still super excited about painting the desert. And, I found a spot without cacti. So, here is my rendering of the Joshua Tree desert scrub landscape in the middle of summer - it was over 100 degrees! The original photo sure looks it. I tried to restore some life to the painted version.
This piece is crazy busy but I do love it. I made it in an original homestead cabin in Joshua Tree, from photos I took in 100 degree heat earlier in the day. The only issue is the mulberry paper I used for the collage is so light it adds depth but it's tough to see! Darnit, I'll have to keep working with this subject matter.
Texture. I was inspired by the endless landscape of spaced trees that you can see from a slightly elevated vantage point in the park.
Color. The vibrancy of this natural landscape, despite the heat, was inspiring. I layered a cropped version of this landscape loosely interpreted with watercolors.
Collage. I like working with overexposures for these mixed media pieces, because they distill the image well. It gives me a clear idea of how my composition will work for the collage portion, and I have them printed onto photo paper so that I can trace the original image. Yes, this is in the piece, but the mulberry paper I used is quite transparent. So, it adds a nice depth but it's less of a compositional element that I had initially thought. I still think it perfectly embodies the desert in all its spirit, though.
Do you like this? It can be yours, here!
I paint with oil. But as I've been experimenting with mixed media on a small scale, primarily with watercolors, I've been introduced to acrylic gel mediums. Also, I have a bunch of pigment from Venice that I'm always looking for a project for. When I was going through my Zion National Park photos, I tried to come up with a way to capture the rock faces and minimal vegetation, and came up with this.
First, I used molding paste and a silicone tool thing that looks like it should be in a kitchen to create the lines in the rock face of the source photo. I used panel for this because I wanted something that could hold a more structural piece. Then, I mixed a drop of water with my raw Venetian pigments and went to town mixing them in with acrylic gel medium to get a paint/glaze on the surface. I had no idea how fun that would be.
I also do not trust those pigments. So I Krylon'd the whole thing with workable fixative as an extra insurance policy. I opted out of tinsel for the trees here and instead used a very light green mulberry paper to add the bushes. Finally, I used pen and ink to add in the trees. This was a very fun process! I'm looking forward to working like this more often.
I bought 1,000 pieces of silver tinsel, and this is what I did with it. A three-part 6 x 9 mixed media piece inspired by Zion National Park, which I am thrilled to send off to its new home with a dear friend. Also, I developed many lessons learned for collaging tinsel, if you ever find yourself in that situation.
Texture. The rock faces at various parts in Zion are crazy. The Earth did that. The first layer of this piece is an oil pastel resist of this rock face's texture.
Color. Zion is famous for the quality of its light. We went in February, which was a surprisingly great idea. The watercolor on this piece is inspired by this mountain river.
Collage. The most striking thing of the whole experience, to me, was how all of the trees looked like shining silver in their February nakedness. They were barely starting to bud, which added to the effect. I've been trying to figure out how to capture this since then, and, well, then came tinsel.