Here’s my latest art – both traditional and digital.
The other day I found a box of cardboard heat-seal 35mm slide mounts and an old custom built slide mounting press. I wondered if it still worked and if so, how I might put it to good use. It occurred to me that I could do miniature paintings and frame them in slide mounts as a novelty. They might make interesting business cards.
Winter in the Willamette Valley has its own stark beauty – cold and gray. I thought charcoal would be the best medium to express this scene interpreted from a personal photo.
Yachts Trees Final Print
This is a seven color hand-pulled print 6×6 inches (15.2×15.2 cm). There are 10 prints in this edition.
Some projects take a long time to complete. I worked on the first six colors over the course of several weeks last Spring. Then the project sat on the shelf for six months until I figured out how I was going to print the final black layer.
Sun Over Mountain – 6 Color Block Print
This little print (4×6 inches, 10×15 cm) is the culmination of two weeks research and planning and gathering of materials and tools. It is my first attempt at printing in color. It uses six plates to print six colors.
Nikki – Block Print
When I first moved to Oregon and lived out in the country, I got a puppy to keep me company. I called her Nikki (wild dog of the north). She was a Collie / Husky mix – a very smart, sweet dog. I used this photo of her as a reference for this linocut.
Birches Block Print
I made this print from a printing plate made out of card stock. I used scissors and an Xacto knife to cut up card stock and I then glued the pieces to another piece of card stock using Elmer’s white glue and then glued the whole thing to a thin sheet of wood. I sealed the plate by painting it with a thin coat of acrylic gloss medium. Here’s what the plate looked like before I inked it up for printing.
This is my second attempt at block printing. I carved a soft rubber plate (3.75×5.25 inches, 9.5×13 cm) mostly using the smallest V shaped Speedball cutter and an xacto knife.
Almond Orchard – Print 1
I got some Speedball linocut carving tools and a couple of rubber printing plates for Christmas. I’ve never tried relief printing before. I spent about a week researching relief printing techniques and subjects. The toughest part for me was choosing a subject. I’ve been working with a full range of values and colors in watercolor and acrylics. It was hard to switch my thinking to just black and white. I looked through my collection of sketches and photographs, and picked out a few that were high contrast. One was a picture of my father’s almond orchard.
These aspen trees are on the road between Lake Louise and Jasper, Alberta, Canada. I took the reference photo on our honeymoon trip in 1975. I painted two of these for Christmas gifts – one for my wife and one for our daughter.
Acrylic on Gessobord. 6×6 inches (15.2×15.2 cm).
Into the Woods
After doing the comparison of analog vs digital collage, I decided to experiment more with digital collage to see what else was possible. I looked through my image collection for a landscape that was contrasty and had a limited number of colors and found this one that I did a few years ago on my iPod Touch.
I pulled it into a layer in Inkpad, which is a vector based app on the iPad, and outlined the major shapes in another layer. This allowed me to alter the shapes and fill them with colors. I exported the image and modified it using a number of other apps.
iPad 3, Inkpad, Sketch Club, Pixelromatic, iColorama, Image Blender, and Photogene apps.
I’m comparing two very different methods of working. I did this collage the traditional way by cutting out pieces of paper and glueing them down to a piece of of card stock. I’m seeing how this compares to the digital version in the next image done on the iPad. I did this one first.
These four works are the results of experimentation. The first one (Meadowland) was started in Brushes Redux. I then experimented with filters and textures in iColorama. In the second one (Night Walk) I learned how to essentially paint a mask in Sketch Club. It takes two layers. I imported a colored texture into the top layer and set the layer’s blend mode to “On”. Then in the layer below I can paint with any brush to reveal the texture in the layer above. I did this three times (for a total of six layers) using three different colored textures made with NPtR on the iPad – a light blue for the outline of the figures, gray for the moon, and red, yellow and magenta used in the raked lines. Finally, I saved and opened the Sketch Club image in Pixlromatic and added the white noise.
The third image (BIG) was done the same way. I experimented with a variety of brush, text, and opacity settings in the mask layers.
I used Procreate to do something similar in the last image (Dreamscape). I made textured marks with NPtR, opened the image in a layer in Procreate, and set the Blend mode for the layer (Difference) to reveal the marks over a background texture (also made in NPtR) imported into a layer below.
A Blue Day in the City
I’ve been meaning to try this for quite a while. I bought a cheap plastic one inch putty knife with the idea of using it to spread some paint around just to see what kinds of marks it can make. I then used a dip pen to add some detail with acrylic ink.
Acrylic on paper, palette knife and dip pen. 5.5 x 7.5 inches (13.5 x 18.5 cm).
When you truely experiment, the medium sometimes takes you places you had no idea existed. This was the case with this image and I want to show you the journey.
I’m working on the iPad this morning with the iColorama app. Usually I import a photo or another piece of art and alter it, but today I wanted to use the brushes within iColorama to create a new painting from scratch. The program has a wide variety of brushes. I explored only two or three. I then opened the image in Pixlrama and altered the color balance and texture a bit. Finally I sharpened and altered the contrast in Photogene.