Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Some fairly recent art experiments

I did these on our last camping trip at the end of May which I am so glad we got to take. Unknowingly my friends at work were already hearing rumors about the hospital being sold while we were away. They thought about calling me, but decided not to and I'm really glad they didn't. I blindly enjoyed several days of relaxation, resting, reading, and some art. Haven't done anything artistic since then. Just not had the time mainly, but also not really the inclination.

These are an experiment I wanted to do in using a photograph and incororating into a painted background. The inspiration for doing this was Angela Cartwright's technique as published in a recent Somerset publication. If you click on her name that will take you to her blog and here is a link to a piece of her lovely work she has on sale at Etsy, at really reasonable prices I might add. I'm too lazy to go hunt the magazine to scan those, but this one is done similarly. As you can see, her pieces have a simple color-washed background with designs done in the gesso. I started out trying to do this, but couldn't get it to look right. I ended up just working with the colors and backgrounds of the photographs to blend them. These were shots that you might remember me showing before from a trip last fall. The colors are prettier in person than they scanned,not as muddy-looking as they appear above, but still not any that I have in the house anywhere. Since they are lightweight I'm thinking on a way to make wall hangings out of them for the RV which does have this color scheme. As a matter of fact, the upholstery in the camper has a leaf pattern.

The canvases were thrift store purchases and were a pair of farm landscape prints on canvas minus their original frame, but only 50 cents each. Less than the cost of new canvas boards and I like the shape in relation to the photographs once turned up and down instead of sideways. I gessoed over the printed background with white and while it was still wet stamped into it and added texture with my brush. As it started to dry, I added gesso to the back of the photo and squished it into it deliberately so that the gesso covered the edges of the photo some. The color washes followed, but in trying to match to the colors in the photos, somehow I ended up with blah, pukey tones so I kept on working with it until they evolved as shown.

My thinking is maybe to add some wording and make a hanger of twigs to go with the woodsy look embellished with beads, fibers, or whatever strikes my fancy. May even have something hanging off the bottom.

I also did another larger canvas that I had to photograph since it won't fit on my scanner. This was another rescued thrift store canvas but it had an original painting of a really scary-looking face. I gessoed over that with black and then added an acrylic sand texture medium. The picture I chose to use on this one is the closeup I did of a leaf on a rock wall on the same fall trip. The photo is not glued on there crookedly. The photographer is just lousy in cropping her shots! Not finished with this experiment either. I was going to color wash this one, too, to bring the color of the rocks out into the background, but I like the look of the black with the gritty texture medium, so I can't decide. I am going to at least on all three unify the finish overall. On the bottom 2, think I will apply a layer of matte gel medium so the the shiny surface of the photos will be gone. For the top piece, I will most likely go with gloss gel medium.

BTW, do you need any confetti for any upcoming party or event? I have a confetti-maker I will hire out to you cheap! As an added bonus, she is really cute. Heck, some days I might even let you have her for free! Just kidding, we love her, but this is a picture of what the little stinker can do with plastic and paper.


Holly said...

Those are really neat art experiments! I like them a lot! You could let me have one to hang in my house? Just a thought...

Your comments and picture of Maggie made me LMAO! I needed that today. I may even come back to look at it when I am feeling sad. It was really that funny! I wish I had such witty humor to put on my blog. I love you!


Holly said...

Looking at them can let me have the 2nd and 3rd one...thanks in advance :)

Beth said...

Wow Jilly! I absolutely love your new Art! I am going to have to try that technique with some of my flower photos. I appreciate how you told how you did it too. I intend to do some art today after killing myself in the yard and garden yesterday. I am just loving the weather this summer. Its only going to be 79 here saturday and 80 on sunday and no humidity. Wouldn't that be a great week-end to camp. So unusal for this time of year but I am not complaining.
Hope you get to do some more art on your next week off.
Have a great Thursday!

Jeanie said...

Wow -- I'm really impressed with these and will need to visit Angela's spot or find that issue (no doubt the one month I didn't buy Somerset) to try it. Very nice technique.

I'm glad you're making time to do art again -- you have such a gift and Iknow it has been such a tough few months for you. It's nice to see these!

Emmey said...


What would we do without Maggie and Coal? Our lives would not be full of laughter for sure. Although, we might be able to keep somethings in tact, like expensive sets of sheets and pairs of shoes!!!

Love the pics. I think Holly is right; they should be a gift to her! :)

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