experimental acrylic painting

Phoenix Rising

The archetype of the phoenix is particularly appealing to those of us in what is officially now known as “fire country”. So it’s no wonder that when I was clearing out old paintings and moving pieces of them to my collage piles, I looked deeply into one and found the suggestion of a baby phoenix.

acrylic on w/c paper

Have you felt the whisper soft breath of the baby phoenix as it rises from the smoke and ashes?   

They say its tears can heal wounds and cure infections. (Viruses too.)

Peer into the smoke, and you may see it rising from its own ashes.

Can you see it? Can you hear its muted cry?

Are you ready to feed and protect it and help it grow strong enough to redeem us all?

Paint the Rhythms

The Tuesday Afternoon Muse Group just started a new 6-week session yesterday after a 2-month break. We really needed a way to get the Muse juices flowing again. So I pulled out a lesson from years ago which I created with inspiration from Gabriella Roth’s 5Rhythms dynamic movement practice, which I have experienced as a powerful and joyful way to tune up the body and mind.

My studio is a tight space so we had to drop the dance part, but we added our acrylic paints and inks, fingers and brushes and scrapers and misters and rollers and etc. and painted to music of the 5Rhythms: Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical, and Stillness. We had about 10min for each of the pieces (I played the music for each rhythm through twice) before moving on to the next. Here are mine:

RythmsFlowing

Flowing

RythmsStaccato

Staccato

Rythmschaos

Chaos

RythmsLyricle

Lyrical

RythmsStillness

and Stillness.

We held up all our paintings from the same rhythm to see how we had embodied the each piece of music in color and movement of line.

Not many surprises there. They were all different, yet with some general predominant color similarities, like blues for flowing and more reds for chaos. Chaos rhythm was a favorite of course. We all love to feel the freedom to pull out all the stops and let our hair down!

 

“Patina” Workshop

Last weekend was the Experimental Mixed Media Painting Workshop: PATINA that I taught at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. Maybe I always feel this way when I spend a whole weekend with people who are excited to be painting and enjoying each others company, but this was a wonderful group that “geled” almost immediately. It was fun to hang out and create with them. The fact that it was a whole weekend made it possible for out of town folks to attend and enjoy our town as well!

patinawkshop6

We started out with acrylic textures on paper and heavy duty foil, then applied acrylic paints wetly to take advantage of the the textural imprints. With the emphasis on patina blends we explored mixes of iridescent pigments with transparent pigments.

patina7

I think my favorite blend of the day was Titan Buff, Micaceous iron Oxide, and Iridescent Bright Gold (Golden fluid acrylics).

keeptheflow

My Demo: acrylic patina mixes on textured paper with textured foil and screen collage

patinawkshop4

the “share” table with stencils, rollers, scrapers, foils, screen, punchanella, color mixes and more.

patinawkshop2

The students’ work was relaxed and free!

patinawkshop3

We all love shiny things and the light was sparkling off the paper!

patinawkshop1

Forest like textures. . .

patinawkshop5

and vibrant designs.  And an invitation to everyone to “steal” ideas from from each other. I always do!

If you wanted to come and weren’t able to, I hope you will make it next time! I’m planning another mixed media workshop at Sebastopol Center for the Arts November 11 and 12th and hope to see some of last weekend’s students back!

Fecundus

fecundus

“Fecundus”, acrylic textures, fluid acrylics, phone book “hair”, 14″ X 18″ on canvas

This painting was one of my demos in the Experimental Painting workshop I taught last month at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts (CA).  I finally had a chance to finish it yesterday.  It’s not so hard to demonstrate these mixed media techniques, like creating textures with acrylic mediums and glazing over them.  The difficult part is finishing the painting, since my style is to take it step by step and wait for the painting to tell me what it wants.  (That’s right, I listen for the faint whisper to come from the paper and spend a great deal of time staring and waiting for the slightest rustling!)

 I started out with the idea of nests and eggs, a common theme for me.  My studio is decorated with real birds’ nests in every corner, and they are all collages of great intricacy and beauty which I try to emulate. Acrylics and collage are such perfect media for this.  My “eggs” here are round because they may also be the fruits or vegetables of harvest. I want them to elicit the sensation of “fecundus” (Latin for fruitfulness) which is my feeling about the act of painting itself.

The Experimental Acrylic and Mixed Media Painting Workshop was so popular that I’ve scheduled another one at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts for January 23-25, 2015.  It will be posted soon and you can sign up by calling the Center.