mushrooms

Golden Mushrooms

These are not chanterelles, but what are they? The bigger ones are about 6 inches across and they don’t look very edible. I keep promising myself to learn my mushrooms! I did try to look these up and in the process discovered that there are a great many different types of mushrooms that are the psychedelic variety, not that I would ever want to explore them without expert guidance!

But equally exciting in my studio garden right now is the exceptionally large return “crop” of pipevine, which is a tangled mass on the iron trellis right now with hundreds of fuzzy buds which will soon pop open with those glorious Dutchmen’s pipes. And then next month, the return of the pipevine swallowtail butterflies to lay their eggs.

But back to mushrooms – I have been recording them in different media for years now. Here’s a couple of earlier posts, featuring crinkled Masa paper and monoprint/collage/stamps: January 2011 and December 2018

Amanita mia!

The Fly Agaric or Amanita mushroom is the flashiest ‘shroom in the fungi world. And I found them growing right next to my driveway this week. Not only are they gorgeous, but they are constantly morphing into a new variation each day. From round topped to flat, and brilliant scarlet to gold, from two inch to seven inches across in a couple days!

But don’t eat them! Although apparently few people die from eating them. Except maybe flies. The term fly- refers not to insects as such but rather the delirium resulting from consumption of the fungus. Now I know it’s become more popular to consume mushrooms lately, especially the psychedelic sort. And the amanita may provide a high, though I wouldn’t recommend it. Flies on the other hand may find the delirium referred to here to be quite a spiritual experience!

Uprising of the Shrooms

You wouldn’t believe me if I told you how this painting started. Somewhere at the beginning was a smoke painting that later got covered up, when the irresistible  mushroom shapes I’d rescued from another painting took over.

shroomrising

smoke, inks, acrylic, collage, acrylic texture on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

the uprising of the ‘shrooms from darkened earth

the lizards and voles and birds

even Phil the cat, in their nature shrine

have grown accustomed to the exotic air

spiced with herbs and decay

while we worship at our manmade temples

and hope for salvation there.

citadel

“The Citadel”, inks on acrylic gel coated w/c paper 10 X 11″

geltexture

inks, acrylics coarse pumice gel on gel coated w/c paper 10 X 11″

All of these are demos in the Monday Muse Group were we experiment with a myriad of mixed media materials and techniques! These last two were from a lesson where we started out with watercolor paper coated with three dry layers of gel medium. The surface becomes more slick so that the paint/ink does unexpected things!

Think you might want to join us? There is one spot left in the session that starts June 4 and runs weekly for the month of June. For more info and to register visit my website!

 

Texture+Paint+Cut+Paste

Sometimes the greatest successes in mixed media painting are repurposed “experiments”.

We were doing the gesso texturing method called “decalcomanie” in Muse Group. Slather gesso on the paper, put another paper over it to “pull” the wet texture out to create a rough painting texture when dry. Then paint wetly over it.

shroomsr2 acrylic over gesso texture with collage on 10 X 11″ watercolor paper

A rush of golden energy punctuated with silver whisperings. It’s not time to lie down. This is the ‘shroom dance of spring, the spores rising and settling in a fine mist. It’s time now to wake early and watch the birthing of these golden days.

This painting was not the beginning. It started with various textures painted on two pieces of paper. The first (below) was a class demo/sampler of different acrylic textures, with pumice and sand and molding paste. It got very confused the more I tried to “finish” it.

shroomsrough

See what I mean? I liked the mushroom (‘shroom) theme and cut this painting up.

Can you find the mushroom (later modified somewhat) that landed in the first painting when this one (above) was cut to pieces?

shroomsr3

Now I have such an abundance of choices to collage into yet another painting in the series.

I also went through my collage file to find other elements that could be added.  Can’t wait to work on this some more. It’s an invitation to “build” another painting with the most interesting materials.

Sugar Plums

sugarplums

acrylic inks and gesso, collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

It’s a Christmas of sorts.  Sugar plums and all the rest. 

“Even though it’s dark and cloudy

Sun may peep through and say. . .howdy. . .”

How do you do?  when the world says CeLeBrAtE! CELEBRATE

when Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays rule

and you just want to take long naps and walk in the rain,

spotting mushrooms and those red hatted peckers.

I actually painted this earlier in the month.  An old songbook provided a collage element and a prompt for the writing.  The year has just tipped past the solstice point when (slowly) days will lengthen again.  Here in California the sun showed up as if on cue.

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Something about this picture, taken under an umbrella outside my studio door, seemed to connect with the above piece.  These mushrooms, large and small have been like sugar plum treats, not to eat!  but to inspire art through that connection with the fruits of the earth.