Sunday, April 28, 2013

Grinding Fingers

I'm getting started this early Sunday morning on the second half of the mosaic. While I wait for the house to wake up (mosaic making is not a quiet art), I thought I would share the whys and hows of my project.

The issue that I had was the fact that the park is a public space and there is no way I could create the mosaic on site because I would have to leave it unattended for days on in. 

So, with blind faith that this will work, I have devised a method to create here in my studio and then transport the mosaic to the park for installation and grouting. 

The sandwich layers as you see it here from bottom up are: 
  • heavy piece of cardboard  
  • design on white paper
  • covered with clear contact paper
  • topped off with a piece of aluminum window screen
As you can see, the sandwich is held together with tape and clips. Each little piece of tile is glued in place with Weldbond which holds most anything. 

When I get ready to slide this off and into place, the tile and screen will release from the contact paper and WaLa! (hoping with all my might)

OK, the house is awake now. I'm off to smash tile and grind little fingers. By the way, all the hands in the design are from a few of the children who will be playing at this park. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


this is 1/2 of the mosaic
the diameter is approximately 51 inches
A Little Bit of the Story
In late of 2000, Alpha Kappa Sigma headed up a committee of area citizens and was the driving organization for a City of Marlin park improvement project.

Our mission was to build a safe playground and to create an environment where young and old could gather to build sound bodies and enjoy fresh air and sunshine.

Our most urgent need was money. We dreamed of building an incredible play structure with safety surface, adding tables, benches and trash receptacles to the park, and building a walking path with exercise stations.

We branded our committee All

I was co-chairperson for this project and on November 10, 2001, after planning and intense fundraising, 200 volunteers from our community came together for one day and built the dream play structure.
In the spring of 2002, we completed Phase Two which included  swings, tables, benches, and trash receptacles.

We are now in Phase Three with a build day of May 11th.
The exercise equipment was purchased in 2001; however, we were short on funds for the walking path. 
Once again, Alpha Kappa Sigma members will make it happen with a team of community volunteers.
We are installing the walking path, exercise stations, recognition signage, and a flag and hand garden. 

Surrounding the flag pole will be this mosaic, as well as, all of the hand imprints on concrete paving stones that we collected during our fund raising efforts. 

I'm afraid until I finish this mosaic, there will be no painting in my studio. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Painting with tiles

Please allow me to share painting with tiles.

I have a huge project.

Huge-er than I imagined that I will be working on until the May 11, installation date.  

I will be sharing more with you about the whole project.

But for today,
I gotta go break some more tiles. 

Friday, April 05, 2013

Sister Friends

Sister Friends40 x 30
a recap of this painting

One of my paintings from the "sister" series was my inspiration
 Preliminary sketch on the cello wrapping.

 Canvas prep and sketch
Started painting with the first face on the left.
I remember the struggle as it had been two months since I picked up a brush.
Added collage with two tissue patterns and one napkin.
So far, I pretty much was following the original sketch except for some changes in the hands.
And then I could not love the napkin that I used in the center girl. The lines just never set well with me. 
I also knew that the girl in the back would be repainted. 
Never loved her.
At some point, I sunk into the notion that this painting was going to take me a long time and I got comfortable with that knowing there was much for me to learn. 
That was the permission to keep changing stuff.

One of the things I did not like about the girl in the back her face was too small. You can see in the above two photos that I did manage to enlarge her enough to be happy with her. Adding the crown hair did help with the too small problem.
I really liked the center girl's headdress while it was in white. I toyed with the idea of her being different in that way but knew the white headdress would be too different. 
She is the focal (in my opinion) and the white headdress inspired the white flowers. 
This painting took me over a month to paint and I want to share some things I learned, if I can.

  • I always knew this painting was about hands and they would be connected like the inspiration piece. I learned that I could cling to that inspiration and still change anything else.
  • One of the first things I learned was how helpful it was to do a quick preliminary sketch on the cello wrapping. This was helpful with the placement of five faces because the canvas was so large. 
  • About using tissue paper and napkins: Tearing the tissue before gluing it down forces me to repaint over the tissue.  Thereby, making it my design. 
  • I don't like stripes or lines.
  • The scale of the torn/cut tissues informs the size of the flowers.
  • It is helpful to have the tissue collage in the background because you don't have to apply paint everywhere as you would with a black canvas. I like that.
  • I learned to paint these flowers.
  • I used Matisse Background paints and learned to paint the faces with them as well as hands, flowers and the background. I don't know why it never occurred to me that I would do that. I purchased seven more colors last weekend just in time to finish the painting. 
  • I discovered how to distress by scrapping some of the white paper doily off and was so happy with that result. 
  • Hands don't have to be perfect.
  • Changing the scale of the flowers from head to head, as well as, limiting a few of the flowers to only one girl kept them separate. I worried that it would look like all the same gob of flowers across the canvas.
  • The white of their dresses balanced well with the flowers. That was a concern. I knew from the beginning the dresses would be white so the connecting ribbon would be very visible.
  • There were days and days that I did not paint. there were days I painted when I did not want to. There were days I wanted to paint but didn't or couldn't and then in the end, I wanted to paint until it was finished.  I think if I had painted this from beginning to end in a few days or hours, the flow of painting the very next thing I know to paint from impulse to impulse would have been different and therefore the outcome would have been different.
I can't help but wonder how different. For more 

For more of the progression of this painting, the previous 12 post were about this one painting. 

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Girl Number Five

 This one changed immediately from the quick draw on the cello.
I totally forgot starting the flowers in the third pic above with no floral collage under it.
 Then her profile changed and I painted out the flowers.
I think I heard a voice, "you can't paint flowers".
I'm discovering flesh with my new Matisse paints. 
I will share the finished canvas next.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Equal Time for this girl

Just to give equal time to all my girls,
I'm sharing where she came from.
As far as the beginning quick sketch on canvas, 
I think she changed the least. 
I've had to learn to love her big nose 
(compared to the others)
because I just did not want to change it. 
Imagine that. 
Not sure what that means but it it true.

I have finished this canvas and later this week will unveil it and (I hope) some thoughts about this whole process. 
But first, I have one last girl in progression to share.