Friday, December 13, 2013

2013 Christmas Collage

I'm starting a Christmas Collage tradition in my family. This year's piece is really exciting but, a huge challenge. Lately, I've been pushing myself creatively and developing what  I want my art to become. So, I channeled the masters of collage to help create something that captures this year's Christmas. This piece holds a lot of myself and, I think it will end up to be one of my best works to date.

My inspiration was this amazing shot of Jessica Chastain (Vogue Dec. 2013). I mean come on, she looks completely amazing. Vogue styled the lovely actress in looks inspired by great works art. This one is strong and glacial yet warm and inviting. It's the perfect focal point in my snow globe painting. Next, I tore apart the Pottery Barn Christmas flyer and got to work.

Here are a couple of pictures of the process. This piece is still not glued down or finish so wish me luck!

Happy Holiday!


Just starting to play around.

Beautiful Christmas Trees! Thank you Holiday Pottery Barn Catalogue.

Final layout now to glue, paint, and finish.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Decorations

I love Christmas decorations almost as much as I love Christmas! This year we went simple with our decor but, it feels just right. We love a real tree, they're lovely and smell amazing. Escher has a smaller white faux-tree in his room. I put it on a small table behind his glider so he can't destroy the slightly pricey Department 57 ornaments that are covering it's branches. I love the way the house feels when it's decorated for the holiday, it's just so magical. I hope everyone has a beautifully decorated holiday!

The tree. We went with the old-fashioned large lights. They're LED and there's just not quite enough sparkle but, I still love it.

Paper snowflakes down our hallway.

Escher's tree.

Tree close-up.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Collage Puzzle

Today, I wanted to talk a little about my collage process. I think that the finished product means more if you know the story behind it so I just wanted to give you a brief look into my collage construction.

First, I paint the canvas. It's very rare that I have anything in mind other than I'm into a certain color scheme or I have an inspiration. I normally will work on a number of canvases at a time which is why, my pieces often come in series. Most of the time my color scheme is almost a direct reflection of the current fashion color trends. High fashion is my greatest muse and passion. My first coats of paint are strong base coats with Gesso and acrylic paint. The next step is to let the base coat dry. Then over time I paint layers on until I feel the base painting is finished. Sometimes, this takes hours or sometimes this takes weeks of work and drying time. Water color paints are normally faster than acrylic paints.

Next I take the magazine tears that I've recently ripped out of the fashion magazines that month and I choose my inspiration piece. I normally base my choice on an outfit that the model is wearing or the color scheme of the photo shoot I've pulled from. I then pour through magazine after magazine until I find a couple of things that can could work with the inspiration.

Once, I have a good collection of things that I think are going to work together I do a preliminary cut- out. Getting most of the major parts cut down but, saving the detail cutting until the layout phase.

Then, I just start playing with the pieces and seeing what makes sense in the scene I'm starting to create. Sometimes, this comes very easily but sometimes I have to leave a half finished layout for days before everything starts to fall into place.

Finally, I cut out all the detail work and lock down how everything must fit together to get glued. This is what I call the collage puzzle. I mark the pieces with tiny bits of blue painters tape and take off everything but the bottom piece glueing my way up to the top piece of magazine cut-outs. I'm a big fan of spray adhesive for a non-wavy look. The trick is to coat each back in about four light layers of glue, let it congeal (about 5-7 depending on how wet it is) and then lightly tap in with the tip of my finger to carry it over to lay in it's marked spot on the collage. If you try and tap the piece and it doesn't easily stick to your finger then the glue needs more drying time. It's important not to mess up here but, things happen (you rip the fragile magazine paper while trying to get in in the exact right spot). When something go wrong. When "mess" something up; I use it as a sign that I need to add something. Then, I find the missing piece of the puzzle that covers up my mistake.

Finally, when the piece is complete I spray it lightly multiple times with a sealer for protection. If it will be in direct sun and not under UV glass make sure to spray it with a sealer that offers UV protection. Depending on your collage materials different sealers work best. So read your can to see what the sealer works best on (paper, chalk, charcoal, paint). Also, be aware that there are Shiny and Matte finishes so know what end product you are trying to achieve. I use shiny on my pieces with a lot of shimmer, light, or metallic. I like Matte for my matte acrylic paints and to use it in combination with Shinny helping to cut down on the glare.

I hope this gave you a behind the scenes look at how I produce my art. Happy creating my friends!

In "Puzzle" mode. Pre-tape phase.

Finished product.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Postcard Pin-Up Show at Mint Gallery

Word is, this is the seventh year of the Postcard Pin-Up Show. Mike and I both entered four postcards and I'm so pleased with how the our work and the show turned out. A lot of artist participated in this eclectic Pin-Up Show. Each bringing 1-4 small art pieces and pinning them on the walls with clear thumb tacks. Each artist choose how much of their profits they wanted to donate to Mint gallery.

Styles varied and I felt everyone did an amazing job. The art felt special and original. It was interesting to see how each artist worked with the size restraint (no bigger than 5x7) and represented their styles through such small works. Both Mike and I used blank postcards, watercolor paint and mixed media. Mike used his rad graphic skills to create the his eight bit creations. My pieces were created with fashion magazine cut-outs; each piece having at least five-eight layers to add depth to the outdoor "scenes".

Some friends met us for the show and afterward a yummy meal at Cafe 640. It was an amazing and blessed night. A big thank you to everyone who came to the show and supported Mint Gallery (a very cool place). Also, a big shout out to my parents for watching our baby man for the night.

My lovely husband, Mike.

Someone looking at our art. 

My art.

Are art sat next to each other at the show.

Mike's art.
Me and two very talented, artist lady-friends.

Lovely friends who celebrated one year together yesterday.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Work

These are two of a new mini-series I'm working on called "Moving on". These 8x10 collages are gallery wrapped canvas so there's no need for framing. At only $40 I think they'd make great Christmas gifts! Look for them on my Etsy store tomorrow.