A friend will help you paint….

… a real friend will help you paint a body.

Read the story of the bodies in this month’s Newsletter.

Riverside Dogs

In September I attended the Riverside Art Museum fundraiser ‘Art Bark in the Park’.  Selected artists had been given a metal dog to paint on and they were auctioned or sponsored as a fundraiser for the museum.

Painted metal dogs

The reception was held in White Park in Downtown Riverside one warm evening.  There were a lot of dogs there.  I was really surprised how many.

Painted metal dogs

All dogs were well behaved!

Jeni with her painted metal dog

Oh look. Jeni and a Beagle. It inevitably has the poem about dogs painted into it.

Painted metal dogs

Some dogs were painted on the back too (mine is the colorful one in the middle)

Painted metal dogs

The crowd matched the amount of dogs

Painted metal dogs

No on had to pick up after their dog!  The perfect pooch.

Painted metal dogs

One up for adoption

Painted metal dogs

None of them used the tree…..

Painted metal dogs

There was a huge variety of decoration


…and they all found a new home…

Green glues.

Three sample glues from Nine Lives Products

Three sample glues from Nine Lives Products

A couple months back I blogged about Nine Lives ProductsKickstarter project.  Nine Lives makes glues from used styrofoam and plant products.  Super eco-friendly, recycled, green, keeps stuff out of landfills, you name it! I was one of the project backers and they were successful, and for my thank you gift I received samples of three glues.

I experimented with the Tile and Ceramic Glue – glued some plastic fork pieces together as I didn’t have anything ceramic that’s broken at the moment that I could work on.  I found this glue worked very well.

I was very interested in the paper-oriented glues as I’m hoping to make my refractured watercolors more eco-friendly.  Over the last 24 hours I’ve been experimenting with two of those glues.  I use glues or glue-type substances in two stages – attaching the paper pieces to the surface, and creating a touchable, splash-proof surface. I prepared some watercolor collages, and in my first experiment was to glue one down with School Glue.  It was easy to work with, spread well, smelled vaguely citrussy and cleaned up nicely with water.  I did find that I needed to go back and peel and re-glue some areas, and weight down the whole collage overnight.  Perhaps this is a side-effect of using 140lb paper, which for those of you who don’t paint watercolor, is like a thin cardboard.

Glu6 as a glaze

Glu6 as a glaze

This afternoon I tried Glu6, which is very thick, and has a strong tangerine scent.  I first used it as a surface glaze on the collage I’d glued the prior afternoon, and then tried it as a glue.  Glu6’s thickness made it harder to brush, though I liked what I first saw in the layer of glaze – the brush marks settled out to a slightly wrinkled surface, almost like undulations on a lake.  I set this aside and went to glue the second collage.  Both collages I’m putting on Ampersand Artist Panels.  Again I find it necessary to weigh it down and at this point, about an hour later, it hasn’t stuck the paper to paper areas, though the papers sticking directly to the gessoed board seem to be well attached.  When I went to clean the brush I found that it’s not a water-cleanup glue – it’s waterproof.  Fortunately I also paint in oils so I had turpentine to hand otherwise I would’ve killed my gluing brush.

Drying to a dull sheen

Drying to a dull sheen

At the time of writing the glazed collage is drying nicely – to a dull finish, but also sinking into the paper more than I had anticipated.  It’s rated for semi-porous surfaces and I think watercolor paper is just too porous for this glue.

Sadly it seems that neither Glu6 nor School Glue would be the best choice for my usage.  School Glue does glue the papers down well, but the need to weight down overnight limits it to small collages, so I will use the sample on those.  Glu6 and Tile and Ceramic Glue will be put to use around the house.

Another sky goes home.

Dawn over Winter Forest

#1055 Dawn over Winter Forest.

Another little watercolor collage skyscape has found it’s new home, having been adopted through the Rochester Contemporary 6×6 fundraiser.

Only four more to go!  And my remaining (anonymous) work is almost getting front page billing as others ahead of them are sold.

You can buy directly from Roco’s website, and all proceeds go to the art center.

Rochester incognito.

Soft Reflections

Soft Reflections. 6×6″ watercolor collage on board. $20.

The last few years I’ve answered the call to artists for Rochester Contemporary Art Center – that’s Rochester, NY – to create a few works 6×6″ for their fundraiser.  It’s a good excuse to doodle and experiment, get a few pieces of my work in front of a whole crowd who otherwise would probably not see it, and support an art center.

The interesting part is that the work is all unsigned on the front of the artwork, so you know the buyers are getting something they actually like, rather than just buying it based on your name.  However there is something to be said for having work that stands out from the crowd, and also getting your submissions in early so that for online browsers, your images don’t get lost in the crowd (not too many pages in on the online display – hint!).

This year was the first year that I overcame the issue of a 6″ square surface that works with ROCO’s pinning requirements, and is sturdy enough to hold a watercolor collage.

Here’s one of the ones that I decided to send next year.  See if you can find the 6 partners.The works are visible online now, and can be purchased for $20 from tomorrow at 10am (Eastern time, I assume) from their website.

The Speed of Light

House - by James Youse - about 8x10, watermedia

House – by James Youse – about 8×10, watermedia

For the last three years I’ve created a painting for Alzheimer’s Association for the fundraising – and one of the interesting aspects of this is that I get to do a painting in response to the painting of an Alzheimer’s patient.  This year I happened to be in San Diego around the time they started this year’s project, so I was able to see all the available patient’s artwork instead of a small selection of images emailed to me because I’m so far away.

Many paintings spoke to me, but one spoke louder.  I am very aware when looking at these pieces of artwork of the decline of life of the artists, and this aspect alone significantly alters my response.  The painting is by James Youse, and is on the right.  It is simply titled ‘House’ – and is on the right above, but the part that struck me was the difference between the house and its reflection in the water.  My initial urge to respond was with a poem, which I did, and then created a refractured watercolor, including the poem on the painting.

    The Speed of Light.

At the edge, after my day is done,
sense of fulfillment resting in my heart,
my body’s atoms coming all apart,
returning to the dirt from where they’ve come
I’ll stop, before I dip these aching toes
into the water of the after life
(my soul arrived before the speed of light –
I don’t know how, but that’s the way it goes),
So I can see the breadth, the depth, the height
I leave behind, before my dive will break
the surface and destroy what others take
to memory, being slower still than light.
The vision in that lake will, by and by
return to stillness, leaving only sky.

The Speed of Light. Refractured watercolor with poem on float panel, 8.5x28.5"

The Speed of Light. Refractured watercolor with poem on float panel, 8.5×28.5″

Hidden skies

"Moreno Valley Morning"  20x24" acrylic on wraparound canvas. $400

“Moreno Valley Morning” 20×24″ acrylic on wraparound canvas. $400

I’m currently working on three collages to submit to a competition for artists who live near to the US/Mexico border.  One of the requirements is that the work submitted initially has not been previously shown elsewhere, even online… so I can’t show you what I’m creating.  Oh well.

The next project will be for the Rochester Contemporary 6x6x2013 fundraiser – I like doing these little studies for possible future paintings, and this year I have decided to work from the photographs one of my fans has been sending me – sunsets rather than dawns.  The only snag is, the work is shown in Rochester anonymously, i.e. only signed on the back…so I can’t show you what I’ve painted.  .

But after the flurry of activity for commissions, I decided I could no longer look at the almost-completed painting that I worked on at the demonstration for Artoberfest in Moreno Valley.  “Moreno Valley Morning” is now complete.

Really, some people will do anything to put off working on taxes…

Happy New Year to you all!