Monday, April 25, 2011

Artfest 2011 - Part 2

More on my adventures at Artfest ... this episode: too much fun with paint!

My first day's class was Roxanne Padgett's Lush Layered Canvas. I'd taken a class with Roxanne at Journalfest, so I had an inkling (paintling?) of what was coming, but I knew I had SO much more to learn from her. Like how not to be so timid with colours. Okay, I'm still timid, but it's not her fault ~ it's just going to take a few more whacks on the brain to make me more adventurous.

The first thing she had us do was paint a colour wheel, and you know in all the exposure I've had to art, art classes, art teachers and art supplies, I've never actually sat down and made a colour wheel before, and I gotta say - it was a treat. Yes, yes, of *course* I know the primaries, and the secondaries and even the tertiaries, and how it only takes a little bit of dark to significantly alter a whole bunch of light, but doing it was very instructive all the same. Roxanne's advice ("How *not* to make mud") was perhaps the most useful of all, since making mud is the thing that usually scares me away from playing with paint in the first place. We also learned about tints, shades and complements - the stuff that we all think we know about ~ and then you sit down and do it and you see it in a fresh way.

We worked on four pieces at once ... canvas, linen, bottom weight (no snickering out there!) and just your average pre-printed cotton. I eschewed the pre-printed cotton (which was too beautiful to paint on ~ sorry, Roxanne!), and opted to make my fourth piece on paper. Funnily enough, I think I like the paper one best of all. Probably because I chose colours near and dear to me (the colour coward wins again!). Anyway, that's the one I've shown you above. Our basic modus operandi was to start with broad strokes on the bottom layer, and work our way up to more and more detailed layers as we went. We moved from piece to piece, letting each successive layer dry as we did so ... by the time I finished layer one on the last piece, the paint on the first piece had dried enough to move on to layer two, etc etc.

I *did* try to coax the colour coward out of the box, but the results were (to my mind) so atrocious it's one of the few times I wished I could turn back time so I could *undo* my work and go back to the step before when I'd really, really, really liked the piece. Oddly enough, this is the piece (other) people seem to respond most positively to, so obviously I am *no* judge of anything. And no, I'm *not* going to show you that one. Well, not right now ... maybe after I stop sulking and trying to turn back time. This negative turn of events made me chicken out of finishing one of the other pieces, since I knew I was on the verge of Doing Something Undoable That I Might Regret to it and I wanted to think about it a bit before I did that. So that's why I'm not showing you that one either.

I blame *none* of this on Roxanne, who is an amazing and generous teacher. When I'd taken her class at Journalfest I spent most of my time muttering things like: brilliant!, why didn't I think of that? and OMG (in a good way). This time I resolved to a) take better notes, and b) take lots of photos, both of which I'm happy to say I did. I came home fired up to cut my own stencils! use paper plate palettes that become art in themselves! and never waste paint!

So far, I cut two stencils in class: an anatomical heart (loosely based on one of Roxanne's own stencils) and a rowboat, and since I got home I've been experimenting with a woodburning knife to *cut* my own stencils in acetate ~ hey, it works! Instead of paper plates, I've opted to use file folders for palettes (I have like 200 of them and they lay flat, and I can use their random painty goodness in future zines!). And I've been smudging, stenciling and stamping my about-to-be-leftover paint onto already-leftover bits of canvas lying about the studio. Cool ~ looks like I actually learned something.

The dress stencil I used on the piece above is one of Roxanne's own multi-step designs, and she has a *wealth* of ideas about stencils ~ commercially-available, cut-your-own, stuff that was never intended to be used as stencils, you name it ... she's made me aware that I should keep my eyes open at *all* times for hidden pattern and texture opportunities. I'd highly recommend anyone interested in this sort of stuff take a class with Roxanne - she's the bomb.


Holly said...

Post more pictures of your art! You are so creative, I wanna see what you did! I have to live viacariously here.

celeste said...

Yes! I want to see more photos too!
One day...I'll take a class from Roxanne too.