Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday Paint Out: Community

I'm doing the Holiday Paint Out over at Creative Catalyst Productions, and this is my first entry. The prompt was the word "community" and I thought about Thanksgiving. I was trying to evoke a sense of being around a table but your perspective is up through the flowers. As I learn to draw better hopefully I'll do a better job at capturing gesture and all of that. But until then, basic human shapes it is!

I used a mix of Anne Bagby 2 (Pattern & Form: Advanced Collage Techniques) and Jane Davies (DVD release set 2012) for the papers.

To see the steps, click "read more" down at the bottom.


I started in a totally different direction and when I laid it out something felt really wrong (1). I have trouble with color and values. All the papers I make are in value range 3-5. Good pieces use the whole 9 part value scale. So I did what Donna Zagotta does and created a value thumbnail (2).

With that thumbnail in mind I went to work. I cut up a piece of deli paper into squares and glued it down (3).

Next I cut out my figures, glued them down, and added a lot of white glaze. As I added white glaze, I added a blue glaze over the figures to make them darker (4).

Once I had the background more or less to where I wanted it, I added the foreground (5). In my mind the bouquet was going to be a lot more complicated, but as in real life, I am terrible at arranging flowers. I left it fairly simple.

The point of the Holiday Paint Out is to get what you can in. Thanksgiving was this week, and my husband and I were traveling a fair amount. I wanted to spend more time but in the end couldn't. That is totally fine. I will go back though and try this exactly design again. Play around with values, color, and pattern.

What I learned:
-I make all my Bagby papers the same value. When I sit down to make deli paper, I need to work in value families. For example, I may pull out my tiles and make a bunch of light papers...because I don't have any.

-Thumbnails are great. Even if I don't end up using them, they teach me a lot about value and design.

-I love creating paper bouquets. I'll try more in the weeks ahead.


The Delaney said...

Silhouettes and basic human shapes in art fascinate me, because they tend to say so much with so little. I think it must be because reading body language is such an important, evolved skill in us that we have lots of practice in.

In art though of course you're just creating body language by cutting (painting etc.) shapes and it may be unintentional...and the subtlest of changes can drastically affect meaning.

Looking at your piece (which is of course, my friend, lovely by the way) the first thing my mind, for whatever reason, starts to do is analyze body language, despite the basic forms. The figure in the middle distance is large and most complete, the body shape is strong and appears to be slightly angled left. As if s/he is looking and leaning towards the individual on the far left. Combining that with hir height, and the fact that s/he has two individuals with hir...the whole scene makes me a little uneasy. Of course, like anything else it may be a bit of a rorshach test as well and your mileage may vary. The individual on the left is a little dumpier, and folded in on hirself. Passive. I immediately start worrying for the left-person's safety, rather than thinking of community.

It's the kind of thing you probably really have to be a master to control in art. I know I certainly couldn't do it. And as ever we see things as we are not as they are, so big grain of salt. If helpful good, if not ignore.

Nancy Standlee said...

I love all kinds of paper Anne Bagby makes and that's a good statement about value families. I'll use it in a future workshop I'll teach on "paper making/designing" for collage.

Nancy Standlee said...

I know I HAVE to order the two DVD's you mentioned. I have some of Jane's books. Can't wait. Nice stencil work in your piece.

Kelly said...

@The Delaney (hello Arthur!)

I totally agree about silhouettes. And they are one of those things where people who can really draw can wield a lot of emotion is a subtle shift of line. And I think that's exactly what you're picking up in the dynamics of the figures. I have very poor drawing skills, and I'm constantly amazed at the level of technical ability the really good artists have. They can have a mood in their minds and then because they've been training for years, can match that (at least to some degree) with their line. Like you said, it really is the kind of thing you have to be a master to control in art. So so (sooo) true.

Kelly said...

@ Nancy: Thank you! And yes, I think Jane Davies' DVD is going to be great. Her approach is straightforward and doesn't involve a ton of clean up, which I love. I love that ESPECIALLY at this time of year where I have limited painting time.