Saturday, August 4, 2018

Making A New Collage, with a Little Video Slideshow

I always like to look at artwork that is a little complicated, that has layers and different techniques and media, things to engage, and to puzzle out. So mixed media collage art almost always draws me.

Although the process was not new, collage got its place of importance in the early 1900's art world from Picasso and George Braque, who coined the term, from the French word, meaning "to glue". Other artists of the era, such as Henri Matisse, an impressionist painter, began working in collage, in works like the famous "Icarus".

Although my recent art focus has been painting, just lately I've worked on a few collages. Not ones with clean, simple lines like this lovely Matisse, but more layered and complex works.

I started this new mixed media collage by first laying down both cut and torn papers, including text from old book pages, prints of some of my photography and acrylic paintings on art paper, onto a wood panel, glued down with Golden semi-gloss gel.

 Acrylic paint, colored pencil, conte crayon (similar to chalk pastels), sprayed layers of fixative, were then layered onto the base layer of papers.

A few more bits of paper collage and a some final subtle mark making were added.

I made a short video slideshow of the making of this collage in the movie making program Open Shot that I am in the process of learning.

The cool music on this movie is called Mirage, and is from the YouTube audio library of free music.

Here are some of the supplies I used to create this collage. Click to see details on Amazon.

 And most important for all the shading:   

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

I have been cheating on you. With another blog.

After my recent trip to Sicily,  I started my new travel blog, at Garden

I'm excited because I love to travel, and wanted a place to ponder and write about travels, adventures, adventures, travel food, food.

I'm still keeping this blog, tho she has been neglected for a while, because it is my "kitchen sink" blog. Where I can come to talk about anything.

And I do have garden posts I am planning in my head, and art and painting posts I want to make.  (Fluid acrylic painting is kind of new, and cool.)

But first let me talk about writing this last Garden Nomad post. Because writing is what this blog is about too. It was brutal.

I started out thinking I was writing an article about arriving in Palermo, with a little history, food, art, and photography thrown in. I was mistaken.

What happened was, all the grief journey and emotional stuff poured in, into my article and into my life.

Well, it is always there, and will always be a part of me. No surprise.

But it was really hard to finish, to blend into a cohesive whole, all of that. And so...I stopped.

Queen of writers, Procrastination, reared her head. I slept too late, played scrabble on my phone, scrubbed the floors, fought with my love. And while I went back into the computer file and sometimes did a little this and that, it was like a cat, hunched over and retching, tortuously retching, trying to get the thick mat of accumulated hair out.

"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible."

Friday, May 18, 2018

How NOT to Exhibit Art in a Show

I'm sure that I am not the only artist that gets a little warm fuzzy feeling upon seeing their work hung in a gallery with other inspiring works of art. After all, not only can you and your friends and family make a night out of going to the opening reception and a yummy restaurant, but you know you will not be showing said friends and family embarrassingly crappy artwork, because someone else has already validated it by choosing it for this exhibit. (Insecure, moi?) For me that process has been on the back burner for a number of years as I dealt with other issues, but earlier this year I started to peruse the call for art listings and chose two local shows I wanted to submit to. One in Dallas and one in my own town of Fort Worth.

So I did the difficult selection process, and the almost as difficult titling and pricing. Only paintings that were already adequately photographed were in the running. Dimensions were recorded, files were renamed, and the submissions with their artful (one hopes) images were sent off into the world of web. (And for those of us who were artists back in the day, isn't that a wonderful step up from having to get slides made and physically mailing them out?)

Then I planned for my trip to visit my friend in California for her birthday, all the while imagining how excited I would be if my paintings were accepted. I may have even mentally composed a FB post announcing my inclusion in the show.

Well.... after a lovely visit, during which, I assure you, I did check my emails and other essential media via my cell phone, I thought, Hmm, let's just check on those art submissions.

Joy! Two of my recent paintings were selected for the FWCAC show. Great news, especially as this is a place Edward and I make a point to visit when we are available for their monthly gallery openings. They have several usually themed rooms, and always have some cool and interesting art. 
Sorrow! Because the intake of the art happened while I was in California, and I totally missed it.

This cringe-causing statement was in the Congratulations! acceptance message, If you do not respond with the information above in a timely fashion, we will assume you will not be able to participate. Sigh.

So, here are the two pieces that would have been in the exhibit.

Swan Lake Haiku   acrylic on canvas

Can you see the swan?

The Drawing of the Moon  acrylic and pen and pencil on canvas

Both of these paintings have as their base a really interesting painting technique that I have been experimenting with for a while, fluid acrylic pour painting. So many marvelous results can be created with this technique, both as final products and as incredible backgrounds for further work.

So, to avoid this kind of disappointment, (because, given the post title, there must be a moral to this story) always read the details carefully, be aware of when the gallery or institution will be making its decision, and aware of when the intake of art will happen.

{In addendum: I want to acknowledge that I did, early this year, have some paintings in an absolutely lovely local gallery, The Grackle, accepted in a less formal way than I have talked about here. More about that later.}

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Focus on Photography: EyeEm

EyeEm is a photo storage and sharing site as well as a micro stock photo outlet.

A couple of months ago, I became interested in editing, sorting, and perhaps marketing my photographs. As I was doing research, I came upon EyeEm. I started uploading some of my photos.

Southern California beach 2015

After a while, I read something disturbing—that some pictures might be chosen for the collection, to be marketed by Getty Images (seemed like a good thing), but that I would lose the rights to my images, and to ANY taken in the same batch (! seemed like a very bad thing). I could sell prints, like at an art fair, but could no longer market them to stock and micro-stock.

As I began to receive emails that some of my photographs had been chosen for the Collection/Getty Images, I felt both pleased (validated?) and conflicted that I would no longer have rights and control of my pictures.

Fall Color Blue Ridge Parkway 2015

Fortunately, not too long after I started placing my pictures on EyeEm, the policy changed. Now the message about the collection says this:

EyeEm Market allows you to offer photos from your profile for sale. Photos you upload to EyeEm attract a lot of interest from global brands, agencies, magazines and other creative industries. 

And this:
Market lets you earn money for doing what you already do best: taking real, authentic photography. Photos are made available through licensing. This means: buyers can use your photos and you keep the copyright and ownership of what you decide to sell. You’re always in control.

My kiddo in the Texas Snow

So, woo-hoo! It's been really nice to go through my photos and reminisce. I have had many "likes" and quite a few "follows", and maybe I will get some sales. Who knows.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Grieving Mom

It has been a really long time since I wrote a blog article.

I thought about sharing all of my thoughts and processes of grief much earlier, both because I heard and read that writing was a very good tool for healing, and because I thought sharing my feelings and experience might help others who had suffered terrible loss.

Obituary for Ian Patrick Barnard Kent

Ian Patrick Barnard Kent, 27, left this world on Saturday, September 27, 2014, in Garland, Texas.

Ian was born on January 14, 1987 in Fort Worth, where he lived most of his life. Ian was beautiful and talented. He had a good ear for music and a lovely singing voice. He played baseball for many years and had a great throwing arm. He was a cub scout and a boy scout. As a child Ian drew pictures and many cards for his parents and drew and wrote comic strips. In middle school his poem about Dr. Martin Luther King was selected for publication. He played the drums as a teenager, rode a skateboard which he continued to enjoy as an adult, and enjoyed playing disc golf. Ian had a kind heart and was a compassionate pet owner. During the below freezing temperatures the past winter, Ian rescued a stray kitten, “Kitty” whom he loved. Ian was an active member of the recovery community in Kerrville, Texas, where he sponsored other young men in their journey to wellness. As a young adult Ian was surprised to discover a passion and talent for dance and choreography. He taught dance to grade school children in an after school program and performed in dance troops in Fort Worth and in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, where he majored in dance at SRU before his back injury. Ian was sensitive and kind, playful and mischievous. He was a loving brother, son and grandson. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen...The BEATLES!

    A couple of years ago, my eldest daughter wanted an original piece of art from me for her birthday. Like all of our family, she loves The Beatles, and her favorite song is "A Day in the Life". I was so excited to find an image of John's hand written manuscript for that song to incorporate into a mixed media collage for my daughter. (Warning, these are not professional quality photos of these pieces, just what I took at home..the lighting is not so great.)

   The next year she expected a new piece in the series. (I didn't know it was a series.) And I did Paul, and found his writing of the lyrics for "Hey Jude", which my daughter and I sang along with him (and thousands of others) a number of years ago at a concert in Dallas when she was about 13.  (My oldest son was also there; he was working the show and had set up, handled Paul's instruments, and sat with us for a while before the show began.) It was awesome; I cried.

The Beatles In Their Own Write Series so far, mixed media collage

This May I did the latest, George, with his handwritten words to "Something", a song that B loves and has often said she wants played at her wedding.

The epilogue to this is that later in the month we took my youngest daughter R on a long (school night) road trip to Tulsa, amid the risk and reality of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, to see Paul McCartney in concert. What a fabulous night!..even if we were soaking wet during the concert...and we were... 

Paul rocked long and hard, sang all the songs you'd want to hear, was charming, energetic, nostalgic, dynamic...and as her first real concert, all the shooting fire and indoor fireworks during "Live and Let Die" really blew my 15 year old away. (You can see pieces of this concert tour at youtube, and even of the Tulsa concert we attended. With the pyrotechnics.) I was so touched and emotional during his tributes to John and to George, and with the lovely Linda moment of "Maybe I'm Amazed", such a wonderful song, but my most emotional and moving moment was during the sing-along portion of "Hey Jude", once again, looking over and seeing R and Edward singing along. I felt teary, exulted, grateful, included in a meaningful community experience, full of love.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On the Dark Path—Out in the World and Available for Purchase

It was a long wait, but last week I mailed the fairy tale anthology to 47 poets, from the US, Canada, Spain and Jamaica  (I was in the post office an hour! I didn't know you had to fill out custom forms for Canada. Also, discovered there is no international Book Rate or as it is known now, Media Mail...not even for Canada. On the upside, I did see two ducks waddling across the PO parking lot in the rain.)

On the Dark Path is also now available from Amazon.