Saturday, September 28, 2013

Two More Pieces Finished, Oh, And A Commission!

Remember the Pear Whimsy? What!! You don't! Well, here it is again:

Well, I've been asked to do another version of the pears, and I won't tell you anymore than that, but I'm excited about this because it's a commission of something I enjoy doing, rather than having to do something to someone else's specification.

I finished these next two today, and they are listed in my art page at Fine art America, and the originals are for sale as well in my Etsy Shop.

This is done on a 11 x 14 canvas panel, mixed media and collage, with gel medium and a stencil and of course, acrylic paint, and oil pastels.

Done on 12 x 12 wrapped canvas, this is collage, mixed media and dry wall seam tape, for texture, book pages, oil pastels and acrylic paint. After it had cured for a few days, I added natural color beeswax for an encaustic effect on the surface. And yes, I know the middle fish is upside down! This is a picture of an antique plate and the ancient potter made it that way! 

If you have a chance, tell me which ones you like best! I will be sealing them over the next couple of days and then they will be ready to hang in your home or office!
(Today's Tip - the brightly colored flowers are cut from a dried baby wipe which had been saturated in alcohol inks!)

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Have a Little Sake With Your Hake

Well, no, you might really make a mess!

I recently started exploring with encaustic, which is using beeswax. A serious encaustic artist will use beeswax with color in it to create artwork, by fusing each color in layers. So far I am using it as an experiment on acrylic paint. Hake brushes are the best to use, as they are natural animal hair; brushes made from synthetic hairs will usually loose bristles over time and you will be left with a mess. I love these brushes with the bamboo handles and they were very inexpensive. I bought my brushes at Daniel Smith Artist Supplies. There are several other kinds of Hake brushes with long wooden handles, but I enjoy the artistic look of these brushes.

That's the next piece I will be working on, underneath the brushes. 

I have found that A) if the paint has only been dry for a little while, the wax will stretch it and cause it to move apart, creating a worn look on your piece, and B) if you leave the paint to cure on your piece for a few days (and put a layer of Polymer Medium on it), you can paint with the beeswax and the paint will not come up.

I did this the using the A) technique. It's mixed media/collage piece using the cover of a 1931 French magazine, acrylic paint, part of an antique European playing card, an old photo from my stash and a watch face with a large spinner arrow attached. I also used clay beads on the left top. You can see how the beeswax moved the paint. 

One more thing to share with you, if you are interested in learning about encaustic, I found this book the easiest to understand, even though I am not doing it to this degree yet.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Save It For A Desert Day

Any artist knows that sometimes the well is dry when you really want to paint and create - a Desert Day. I found something that helps give me a little push and I'll share it with you.

I have subscriptions to a couple of art magazines with hands-on information in them. As I browse through them, there is always something that triggers the "Hey - I'd like to try that!" response. It's a rare thing that the response coincides with "I have nothing to do and want to create" reality, so I save the magazine. Then I end up with a pile of magazines and can't remember which one held what article and it becomes a frustrating exercise! So, now I keep small Post-it tabs available, or use a scrap of paper to mark my place. I've even improved that with tearing out the article, inserting them in page savers and putting them in the project box. (This only works if there is nothing on the other side of the page that you are interested in, of course!) Or you could copy the pages and put them in page savers.

Now get a shallow box a couple of inches deep (this can be plastic, cardboard, whatever you have on hand, how about the box tops groceries have that they give away for free?) and gather up whatever you already have listed in the article. (The only thing I don't include is paint, because I am not sure when I will get to the project.) If you are missing something, write it where you keep your list of supplies to replenish. Make sure you do get them and add them to the box! These boxes can be stacked on top of one another with a label on a scratch piece of paper on the outside.

Then when you have one of those Desert Days, pull out one of your boxes and work away! I find that many times this starts the creative juices and triggers other ideas for a painting. And don't feel chained to the supply list if you can substitute one thing for another. Recently I pulled out a box where four 6 x 6 canvases had been listed. I didn't have any of those handy when I put together the box, but did have 6 x 6 cradled wood which works just as well for the particular art being illustrated. Just make sure what you want to substitute is not a critical piece of the process (such as beeswax for encaustic work). Otherwise, treat the list like a recipe and make random changes if you want to go on another direction. Or try it their way the first time, and then start changing things around once you have the feel of it. Most of all, have fun!

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Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Do You Twitter?

I just, this very day, started Twittering! I didn't even know you could do it from the computer, which shows how out of my depth I was. If you are wondering why, well, it's for promoting my art. I have been doing a great deal of research on the subject of marketing and was reading up on Twitter. So I opened a discussion thread about it in a group of artists and photographers - pros? cons? The overwhelming choice was YES-TWITTER!! And then they listed all sorts of reasons why, and graciously gave me tips and directions. And, drumroll, I took the step! I now am working on building up my followers. I've even tweeted a couple of times. I know I need to be careful about being hacked, that was one of the cons.

Promotion/marketing does take time and effort, but I will get no where without it, and neither will you. Success is just not going to drop in our laps. It's work, and it takes some organization to apply what you learn yet keep yourself from spending hours on the computer. You need to be fed up with the status quo of your life and push yourself on out there. If you don't start now, when will you start?

Oh yes, my handle on Twitter is @bellesouthart. Send me a tweet, and hop on board to follow me - I promise I'll follow you too!

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Come see my latest postcards I've received on Postcards Buffet!