Sunday, April 10, 2011

Retreat: Day One


Yesterday was the first day of my artist retreat.  I kept it pretty open, moving from medium to medium.  Just exploring and trying out things.  I have collected quite a few mediums and projects to try over the years and they have sat and waited for a time like this.  It is nice to allow myself to play around a bit!

As I had no specific goals with each project, I did whatever came naturally.  Abstract, expressionist, whatever.  Just let it all go.

First, a watercolor sketch:




Next, sculpting with paperclay:




Paperclay is really fun to work with.  This was my first try and I loved the feel of it.  The clay air dries and it might crack a bit but you can see these are very organic and I don't think cracks will bother me.  The idea here is to fill the bowl with the objects and have it be a changing sculpture (of sorts).  After the clay dries completely, I plan to paint a few of the little balls but leave most of it in the natural white of the clay.

Then I worked on some paintings.  These are from the Lord and Schryver series I mentioned earlier and are all in very early stages:




And finally I worked on monoprinting with Golden Open Acrylics.  I've had these in my cupboard for a couple of years almost unused but I knew I'd come back to them some day.  I don't really have the rest of the tools I think one needs for monoprinting but I made do.  My Dad gave me some leftover paper from a book he is working on and there are about 8 pages the same size and I plan to use them all with the monoprinting and bind them together.  Here's what I did last night:




I need to practice a bit but it was fun.  I made the first page first and then came back to it, layering over the top of the original.  I was much more satisfied with the second page and only added a few details over the top of the first.

And with the leftover paint I did this rough sketch:



I particularly like the image on top:



As for the rest of the day, I looked through an art magazine and books, ate a wonderful meal, vegetarian gumbo, my lovely Mom brought by to help with the retreat (thanks Mom!):




and thought about what I'd like to work on for day 2 (today).  More of the same except I am going to try a little collage with the cover of a vintage book I have and some papers.  I hope to be back to update my retreat each day so I hope you enjoy!  The retreat is 6 days so 5 more (including today) to go.

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