Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Art Renewal Center, International Salon, 2012 Results Are In!

I'm so pleased to announce that Ode to Melancholy has won a Chairman's Prize in this competition and The Three Fates was named a finalist.

The show is a wonderful collection of realist artists so be prepared to spend a long time enjoying the work on the site! Art Renewal Center International Salon 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Mariner, The Incognito Project

Got a new one finished. This is a painting of my daughter's boyfriend. One of his favorite pieces of literature is the epic poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner written by English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1798.
The Mariner, The Incognito Project, 8x8, oil on panel

Will is a Florida native and loves being near water. He was on a local row crew for years and is restoring an old sailboat. Currently he is a bit of a fish out of water since he is living in Alabama, to be near my daughter, and going to school. But that's what The Incognito Project is all about, revealing or disguising something about the sitter.

I was not familiar with the poem and enjoyed doing a little research about it. There are several sayings in our common speech that come from the poem. When the crew is becalmed:

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

Gustave Dore
As penance for shooting the albatross, (which may or may not have brought the crew good luck followed by bad luck) the Mariner, driven by guilt, is forced to wander the earth, tell his story, and teach a lesson to those he meets:

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.
Gustave Dore
I was enjoying these engravings, by Gustave Dore, that were published in a version of the poem in 1876 according to Wiki. The artists name was familiar to me, finally I realized that he did one of my favorite paintings in The Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA.
Gustave Dore, The Neophyte (First Experience of the Monastery), 1866-1868,  57"x107"
I love this painting! The young boy's haunted face, the lighting and Dore's expressive brush work make this one a show stopper. 

This is the statue of the Ancient Mariner at Watchet, Somerset, England. The statue was unveiled in September 2003, as a tribute to Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The sculptor was Alan B Herriot of Penicuik, Scotland.

And that's how a really quick post to introduce a new painting can result in a couple hours surfing the the internet and finding out cool stuff :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Professor Rattus and Her Royal Court, A New Incognito Project Painting

Sitting all alone in my studio, smiling like crazy, that's what I've been up to as I worked on this painting. It's my daughter's alter-ego personality created for The Incognito Project portrait series. Meet Carly's pet fancy rats, Queenie on the left and Duchess on the right. The costume and personae are her own devices.
Professor Rattus and Her Royal Court, 24x18, oil on panel

This painting reminds me of what I love about this project. All things are possible when we put on different hats, as if we are still trying to decide what we want to be when we grow up. All things are possible in a world of imagination, even one where you have magical devices and adorable furry minions to do your bidding.

Carly is an illustrator, loves furry critters, owning them and drawing them. In fact Queenie and Duchess  came to live with Carly when her previous small, furry critter, a chinese hamster, Sunshine died. Sunshine is the star of Carly's children's book, Sunshine's Night Out

Sunshine's Night Out is available for purchase on Amazon. I think it's only a matter of time till Queenie and Duchess are too immortalized in a children's book.

This painting has a Steampunk attitude about it. Steampunk as an aesthetic movement refers to art, speculative fiction or a certain science fiction, music, or fashion that emphasizes technology from the Victorian era. For it's history think HG Wells, Mark Twain, Mary Shelley and Jules Verne. One of the earliest manifestations was the TV show from the 60's The Wild Wild West.

It's a fantastical view of the world as if the past were imagining a future using technology from the Victorian era. Examples of movies that have a Steampunk attitude are Steamboy, Wild Wild West, City of Lost Children, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

More info about fancy rats, (Rattus Norvegius), and the Steampunk aesthetic, Carly Strickland Art, and Carly's blog where she shares book reviews, views on pop cult and society and her illustration process. Here's a link to previous posts about The Incognito Project.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Against a Sea of Troubles, The Incognito Project

I just finished a new painting for my Incognito Project. We knew all along knew that my son was born to wear armor. As a child he was fascinated with the medieval period and his favorite stories were those involving knights, the chivalric code and King Arthur. At one point his nickname was Sir Kyle of Crocksley, since his favorite stuffed animal was a crocodile named Crock. We called a neighborhood friend Lady Katie,  you get the picture. So it was no surprise when he chose to be a knight for his alter-ego portrait for my Incognito Project. 

When I rented costumes, for the photo shoot for this series, from a local  university theater department, they let me roam the wardrobe rooms to select what I would need. I was thrilled to find this very authentic looking armor, complete with rust and dents, as if it had been through battle. The sword is one from Kyle's personal collection.
"Against a Sea of Troubles, The Incognito Project", 20x16,  oil on panel
"Against a Sea of Troubles, The Incognito Project",  detail
"Against a Sea of Troubles, The Incognito Project",  detail
"Against a Sea of Troubles, The Incognito Project",  detail

Here is a painting I like by Eleanor Fortesque Brickdale, it's an illustration from The Book of Old English Songs and Ballads. She had a career of some breadth as an artist. She was considered a Pre-Raphaelite painter; interesting because she was a woman, and because she came late for the Pre-Raphaelites (she was born in 1872). Hence she is credited with reviving that style in the late 19th century. She had the skill to do large oils (often of medieval or moral themes), colored book illustration, and watercolor. Eventually she even designed for stained glass. She continued working until she had a stroke in 1938, and died in London in 1945.

And while we are on the subject, here are a few Waterhouse paintings that I consider inspirational for your viewing pleasure!
"Dame Sans Merci",  1893

"Lamia", 1905

"Jason and Media", 1907

"Tristan and Isolde",  1916

From Wiki: The legend of Tristan and Isolde is an influential romance and tragedy, retold in numerous sources with as many variations. The tragic story is of the adulterous love between the Cornish knight Tristan (Tristram) and the Irish princess Iseult (Isolde, Yseult, etc.).

The narrative predates and most likely influenced theArthurian romance of Lancelot and Guinevere, and has had a substantial impact onWestern art, the idea of romantic love and literature since it first appeared in the 12th century. While the details of the story differ from one author to another, the overall plot structure remains much the same.

See all posts with The Incognito Project label. The book is available through Amazon.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How to Build a Floating Shadow Box Frame or A Labor of Love - Part 2 of 2

Today's post is part 2 by my guest writer and hubby, Dan, who builds my frames. Enjoy his how-to!

In Part 1, I went over selecting lumber, securing the rails to the sides, cutting, and gluing the whole thing together.

After taking the frame out of the clamps, I sand the corners. How much sanding (planing etc) is necessary depends on how well the gluing went. I level the top and bottom and sand until the two sides meet exactly at the corner. I put a couple of screws in each corner to strengthen the joint. I prefer to screw from the top and bottom, relative to how the frame will hang, so the plugs don't show. I mark my two spots 3/4" from the top and bottom and 5/8" from the corner. I made a pencil jig to speed things up.

Then I pre-drill and countersink. Note that I have the drill at a slight angle because of where the mark is. This is so the screw's further from the corner where there's more wood. I use #6 1 1/4" screws. Countersink deep enough for the plugs to have something to glue to, but not too deep. You might want to practice on some scrap.

I use some scrap from the end of the same board and cut plugs for each hole. Put glue around the end of the plug and tap into place. Remember to use stainable glue if the piece is to be stained. Wipe off the excess glue.

When dry, I cut off the the ends of the plugs with a flush cut saw.

At this point, I pre-mount the canvas or panel so that Terry can start on the piece when she's ready (and make sure it fits. I built one the wrong size once). I wedge the canvas into place, drill through the underside of the rails into the wood of the canvas or panel edge and screw into place with the appropriate length screws. Then take it back out, and mark the canvas and the frame (I notch the frame since paint covers up a pencil mark) so you know which way to put it when mounting the finished piece. Pre-mounting keeps me from having to hold down the freshly finished piece. When the painting is finally ready for mounting I position it carefully and the screws "find" the holes, drawing the canvas down without touching the surface to hold it.

I flip the frame over and spray the back with matte black. Keep the spray can inside the perimeter of the frame. A little over-spray swirls around and gets on the sides but sanding takes it off. If you prefer you can hand paint the back after the varnish.

Now comes lots of sanding... Progressively finer grits: 80, 120, 150, and 220. Don't skip any if you want a nice finish. When I think it's done I take the 220 and round the edges very slightly so they are not so fragile. Clean it up good with a compressor if you have one and a clean cloth with denatured alcohol on it. Wipping with alcohol also gives you an idea what the piece will look like finished and sometimes exposes spots that need more sanding.

I finish with Tung Oil. I use small squares of clean cloth to rub it on and disposable nitrile gloves so there is no clean up. (Just toss the cloth. I hate clean up). After two coats I sand lightly with 320. If you stain the frame use EXTREME caution with the sandpaper. If you sand the stain off a spot or an edge you will be… Annoyed >:/ trust me.

I apply once or twice a day until I like the finish, sanding at least once more before the final coat. Rubbing on the Tung Oil very thinly takes a lot of coats (8-12) to finish but each coat doesn't take long with no clean up and I don't have so much problem with drips on the vertical surfaces like it did with everything else I tried. 

I hand paint the inside with semi-gloss black.

Screw "D" rings to the back and wire with stainless steel mirror wire because they are a bit heavy. Add felt dots to the corners so the black paint does mar the wall.

Example of a Red Oak frame with the painting mounted. Note that with the wire mounted on the recessed rails, the top of the frame does not hang off the wall like most frames.




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...