Thursday, 18 August 2016

Playing, testing, experimenting...

is always my favourite thing to do.  I realise that for me, it's all about the process (which means making deadlines for shows is very stressful).  I'm happiest trying new things, creating new techniques, pushing old ones and going nuts with upcycling.  I thought I'd show you some of them this week.

This particular piece is made from painted dryer sheets .


I started with a stack of them, a bottle of Golden GAC-400 (a fabric stiffener), and a toilet paper roll wrapped in plastic and coated with Vaseline.


Soaking each of the painted sheets in the GAC-400, I placed them around the roll, and secured them with elastics.

Once dried, the gauzy stiffened fabric stands up well - all it needs is a small glass insert to make a gorgeous vase (yes, I know - I should have built around one, rather than the toilet roll cardboard, but it was an experiment after all).  Live and learn, right?


I've been playing in one of my journals (I have several on the go), and as I was feeling grateful for the small town in which we live, I got thinking about how challenging it may be for those who are obliged to live in the city. Hence this spread, Sleeping Tight,was born.


The other page completed was one I started some time ago, playing with patterns.


It's so dense with them it really needs a dozen close-ups.


Tell me, what have you been up to in the studio recently?  Are you a process lover, or a product artist? If the latter, will you send me some of your energy?  With another show to work towards in February, the push is on!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Settling back...

...into a studio that looks like the proverbial bomb hit it has some distinct challenges.  For one thing, there is a space that's about twelve inches square in which to create, since the worktables, floor and even the walls are covered with paintings for the upcoming show at Centre 64 in Kimberley.

I've been hard pressed to find a space to complete the small pieces that have been in the works for the last while, but have managed the minimum at least.  This first one, with a title bearing a very large tongue-in-cheek moniker, was great fun to do.  I'd not played with alcohol inks on canvas before, and it was full of surprises.

Subtle Colour 6" x 6" mixed media on canvas © Win Dinn
This monochromatic piece pleases me, mostly for the bits of the previous surface showing through. I very much enjoy painting over pieces that are less successful and watching them inform the current one.
Hugs and Kisses  6" x 12" mixed media on canvas  © Win Dinn
I like the push/pull of all the layers on this one, and the metallic flakes on top add a dancing dimension to it all.

Time to Tango 8" x 8" mixed media on wood panel © Win Dinn
I can see that the summer heat in the valley is finding its way into the studio...and that's the way it should be.  Hope your creativity is dancing with the fabulous weather too!

Thursday, 4 August 2016

It's been three weeks...

...since I last did a post, and I can't figure out where the time went.  I definitely got lost in the studio as I was prepping for an upcoming show.

I do want you to see some Artist Trading Cards that have been dancing into my snail mail box, though.  They are so unique, so delightful, and such a pleasure to receive that I must share them.

This first one is from Lynne Pfeffer, an artist from Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Don't you love the colour combination and stitchery?


Shirley Deatcher from Ontario, Canada sent this next one.  You might check her blog for some gorgeous cards, tags and all things paper - so fabulous!


Tracy Woodsford sent these next three, all the way from Australia.  I so much enjoy her thoughtful posts and fabulous artwork.  Her blog is always a delight.




The next five cards are from Zsuzsa Karoly-Smith in the UK. Her blog is a fascinating read always, and I know she did a post about creating those cards so do take a peak into her archives to find it.






All of these stunning ATCs were accompanied by cards, found and created papers and other wonderful ephemera.  I so much enjoy sending and receiving these miniature works of art; they are a fabulous visual record of art friends from around the world, and a constant source of inspiration.

Many thanks to those of you who responded to my request for a trade.  I am so grateful that you did.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Summer's the time...

...for friends, fruit, feasting and frivolity.  This week had all of that and more.  A friend, Louise Olinger, came to play in the studio for four days, and we had a blast.

Our studio time was excellent as we worked on paintings in progress,  new ideas and general craziness.


Time on the deck in the hot sunshine was at least that entertaining as cherries arrived on the scene.


Louise takes her passion for colour to an amazing extent.  Not only did she manage to colour coordinate her dress with the house, but she dyed her hands to match as well.


 John, of course, wanted to get in on the colour act, so he quickly improvised a chapeau.


While all this was going on, the dogs (JoJo left and Daisy right) kept guard on the exit to the garden. They're perfectly aware they're meant to stay on the deck if they're off leash, and occasionally provide their own gate to comply.


And just to ensure that the summer colour hit every aspect of our day, the food was ample insurance.


I neglected to get Louise' permission to post her work before she left, but I can certainly show you some of my stencil play (all over really unhappy Gelli prints).  


 They're much improved now, and will make great backgrounds for ATCs or tags.


I love working with acrylics - nothing is ever beyond rescue!


I hope your summer is at least as much fun, and as colourful.  Happy playing, all!

Edited to add some of Louise' work:




Fabulous, right?


Thursday, 30 June 2016

It's so exciting...

...to welcome a new baby into the family, and the arrival this past week of a grand niece was no exception.  Of course, it meant that her first piece of art needed to be created last minute (because that's just the way it goes, right?).

I started with a gessoed 16 x 16" panel, and loosely laid out cheesecloth and dried botanicals to ensure I had room for the photo I wanted to include.


I glued them (and my fingers, toes, armpits and walls) to the panel surface and sides before I put the first coat of gesso over it all.  I always love the look of the technique at this point - the ghostly shadows are so subtle.  Yes, I know that's not my style at all!


It was time for the first coat of colour; using thin washes of quinacridone gold, Van Dyke brown, burnt umber and sap green, I loved watching the paint seep into the crevices created by the cheesecloth and textural organics. 


Before deepening the colours, I added the photo and surrounded it with poppy seed heads, pods, and a variety of other natural dried items.


 Another layer of colour,

and more yet was added before I incorporated some polished stones (created by this sweetie's father when he was a child) to finish the piece.


 I'm so fascinated by the beautiful texture here.






Welcome, Esmae - we're just delighted to have you join our family!  xoxox



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