Monday, December 29, 2008

Winter in Color and Texture


Oh my gosh, I'm so pleased with this piece and how it turned out. Actually more than pleased....I'm somewhat shocked that this came from me, and that I made it. More so knowing that it was a very easy, simple piece to make. I don't know, perhaps sometimes the simplest pieces of art can turn out the best. I've never been a big believer in "less is more" with my art, but now I'm inclined to believe that can be true in some cases.

This is a piece I made two days ago. In the span of a few hours. No pain, no angst, no false starts. And no, I didn't fly by the seat of my pants on this one. This one was planned ahead of time for entry into an art contest on a cool art website I signed up on recently. The theme of this particular contest is "Let it Snow". I looked at all the entries so far just to get an idea of what was being entered, and discovered the theme is wide open in how it can be interpreted. I was happy to learn that. So I knew I wanted to enter this online contest, and just sat back and let some ideas percolate in my mind for a few days until I had an idea I could start with.

I thought well, I should have some white in this piece, but it doesn't have to be all white or only white. It mainly has to evoke the idea of winter in some way. Then I thought, what evokes winter but bare trees? Trees with no leaves on them. So I cut some twigs off a tree in my yard. Then I thought I should paint them white. Regarding the background, I thought of using caulk, since it's white to start with, and I wanted lots of texture on this piece. (Well like duh....when do I not want lots of texture in my art?)

I always get excited when I use caulk in my art. It's one of my favorite media to use. So I spread wonderful caulk over this 5x7 inch piece with abandon. The base here is chip board. I used a vintage butter knife (with no serrations) to spread the caulk to get the kind of texture I wanted. That was easy enough and only took a few minutes to accomplish. The hard part was waiting for the caulk to dry, which I helped along with my hair dryer. I waited a few hours, and then proceeded.

Then I thought about painting it, and the colors I wanted to use. My first thought was using blue (acrylic) paint, because to me, blue is a winter color. Then it occurred to me to dilute the paint with water, to make it thin enough to run over the textured caulk in a totally random manner. It was fun to watch it run down this piece, to see the effect of randomness. I liked the way it looked with just the blue and white at that point. I had some cheese cloth dyed blue, so I glued that over the piece on which the twigs are glued. After I glued down the cheese cloth, I painted Matte Mod Podge on and sprinkled with very, very fine purple glitter. I wanted even more texture on the base piece, so I glued down some white and blue synthetic fibers I had. They were in a package I had bought a long time ago, and totally forgot about, but happened upon for this piece.

I liked it, but felt it needed another color, and purple is one of my favorite colors. I also felt it needed more white, but chose to use metallic platinum instead, and also metallic purple. I diluted those with glaze, and once again let them run down the piece. With the fibers on there, the diluted paint ran even more randomly. Then I glued on the twig piece, and outlined it with permanent blue marker. And voila, it was done and finished.

A part of me started thinking maybe I could add something more, but my muse adamantly put her foot down, and said NO, this piece is done!!! I had to agree with her, because I wanted this piece to be simple and organic. And I felt adding anything more would be too much, and ruin the organic effect. And I'm so glad I listened to my muse, and didn't argue. I'm not always that cooperative with my muse.

I haven't used caulk in my art for quite a while, and now I realize I've missed using it. It provides such fantastic texture, and is so easy to use, and what makes it even better is how cheap and accessible it is!!!

So in closing, I'm VERY happy with how this piece turned out, it's like how I pictured it in my mind when I started. And believe me, not much of my art turns out how I envision it when I start. Which is fine and okay, different approaches at different times to different pieces of art is okay, it's the "artist's way" I believe. For most of my art, I have no plans and fly by the seat of my pants. But sometimes, I settle down with a plan, and actually make it happen. I like making art both ways, and don't necessarily think one way is better than the other.

As an addendum here, I'm submitting this piece to the Mixed Media Monday (MMM) challenge. Here's the link.
http://mixedmediamonday.wordpress.com/

28 comments:

Christy said...

I would title this piece
"Winter Twee"
What a wonderful, colorful piece. Perfect for the new year too!

Zeborah Loray said...

Good composition on this. Very efective piece.
I always love the textures you add.

Brenda said...

I love this piece, it is really stunning.

Teri said...

Very beautiful, Val! I thought it was interesting that the challenge is called Let it Snow...when I just made a pillow of that title! My pillow is very different...more old-fashioned, but it was funny to see that on your blog when I just posted Let it Snow on *my* blog! :)
Anyway, beautiful work, as usual.
You inspire me to let myself play with paints....which I never do! It might be my only NY's resolution....to play with and DO mixed-media art instead of just looking at everyone else's and drooling! :)
Happy New Year to you!
Teri

Eileen said...

Val, this is wonderful. I just love it. Way ta go gal.....

Eileen

Michelle said...

Val, this is beyond stunning. It's just amazing. I love it. It took my breath away!

Anonymous said...

Very nice! The colors really do spell w-i-n-t-e-r! Makes me want to run to Walmart to go buy some caulk!! Di ;)

Dawn said...

Val you are so right when you say less is more in this piece -it is perfect and I am glad you listened to your muse...
It really does evoke winter :-)

Iowa Sunshine said...

Val this is just a wonderful piece! I really love it. It's simple but spectacular in it's own way. Great work. It definately looks "wintery". =) HUGS

akatrix said...

Val, that is one of the best things you've ever done! It is simple beauty at it's finest. You rock, girl!
Pat xoxoxo
PS: Ooooh, I want to touch it. Could you send it to me? Thanks!

Sharon House said...

Val this is a marvelous piece! Love the colours, the composition and the texture! It's a winner in my books...

Sharon
http://www.mystoryart.com

Heather Robinson said...

Can you hear me whooping...even though I'm at work...in a library! This is stunning, my friend! I love the starkness that you've captured in it. It's one of the reasons I love winter so much because I admire its simplicity. Bravo!!

darlene aKa HugGeR said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm Val love the colors and just how eveything comes together.

Hermine said...

ABsolutely gorgeous.

Laura Kay said...

The mix of colors is beautiful. Good Luck!

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Great colors and amazing textures you've got going on there!
Happy New Year!

Michi, Orange County, CA said...

This is a WONDERFUL piece of art, Val . . . I love it, too!!!! I love the textures, colors, embellishments!!! Good luck on the contest!!!!

Faye said...

Wow, this is really fabulous. I think it really says Winter with a capital W. Beautiful blue. Wonderful caulk.

Arteefaque: (är'tə-fākt') * said...

This is a lovely piece which goes to show all and sudnr watercolour and textures does indeed go together very well indeed!

J and Z said...

I love the contrast of the blues/purples and the white...lovely!

Pearl Maple said...

Followed your link from Mixed Media Monday, what a fabulous peice full of colour and interesting textures.

Nicki said...

Val - This is what winter is like where I live. I love the texture, the colors, everything about this piece. Please keep us informed as to how you do in the contest.

Beth said...

The colors and the layout are just beautiful, and I do love the texture. I have never used caulk on a piece before, but if it can create texture like this, I must give it a try. Thank you for sharing.

Marilyn said...

Val, you are right - this piece is very simple and organic. I like the texture and the cool colors - twigs look very wintry!

nancy said...

It is a beautiful piece, in every way. composition, color, texture (love the touch of the fibers) and the white twigs are genius!
Nancy

Sandy said...

"I can't believe I made it! " - what a wonderful feeling that is! Congratulations!

This is indeed very beautiful.

Michakewa Lady said...

Val, Your artwork is gorgeous - quite inspired. But what I also appreciate so much is how you WROTE about it. I really enjoyed reading the process and felt like I was right along beside you watching you work. It was very good for me to read, since I am always second-guessing how I do things. I also appreciate that you commented on my blog. That rarely happens - : ). It has just taken me awhile to get back to things with Christmas and all. Anyway, Happy New Year and good luck in the contest. I think it would be really fun to win something like that - quite a confidence booster, I expect. Keep up the beautiful art!

Linda East said...

Oh Val...burrrr...what a wonderful, wintery piece...I love it...