Friday, June 17, 2011

An Exceptional Artist!

I am always delighted when a very deserving artist gets the recognition that they deserve.  I recently found out that Kathleen Conover (Candy) has received Signature Status in The American Watercolor Society.  She has worked hard at this and she really deserves it!....but the topping on the cake is that she also won The American Watercolor Society Silver Medal of Honor!  Her painting will be traveling to six states this year and I for one cannot wait to see it.  The name of the painting is "Change is in the Air".  To see this painting and her other work visit her website at:  Candy has taught workshops for many years and I have had the good fortune to take one of her earlier classes.  She is a wonderful instructor, right up there with the best.  There is no doubt about it.  Her intention is to help you take your work beyond "really good"...quoting her: "Annie, this is a really fine painting, all the elements are there.  Now what can we do to make it a show stopper?"  Truly, she taught me how to study my work and I have never seen anyone study her work harder or longer that Candy.  Her advice to me?  "Annie, quit noodling!"- this is my never ending mark-making attempts and I so enjoy engaging with them - oh, what would I do if I couldn't embellish?.  Candy, if you get a chance to read this I want you to know that we are all celebrating with you and revel in your success!!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

More on Digital Art

To follow up on my last blog...I wanted to share with all of you the name of two wonderful books by Bonny Pierce Lhotka, Dorothy Simpson Krause and Karin Schminke.  These women are really pioneers in techniques for combining injet printing with traditional art materials.  As a matter of fact , that is the title of their first book.  Techniques for Combining Inkjet Printing with Traditional Art Materials.  The book is manufactured by Watson Guptill.  I have had this book for many years.  Back when I first started using their techniques I could only find the digital coating through a company called INKAID.  They have a wonderful product, and have expanded their line many times to include a host of non-traditional coatings. I am now using Golden's Digital Mediums and experiment all the time to create my own non-traditional digital surface coating using their medium. The second book is new and I haven't read the entire book yet, but both of the books a filled with a wealth of information!  The name of the second book is Digital Alchemy (do I love that name or what?) and the author of this book is Bonny Pierce Lhotka. It is manufactured by New Riders.  you will not be sorry that you added them to your library no matter what type of art you do.  Check-out Bonnie's website.  She also teaches workshops.  Let me share with you just a few things that these books cover.  Non-traditional printing surfaces like foils, cloth and plastic, Underprinting digital images as a base for other media, overprinting digital images on other media, gelatin transfers, dry emulsion transfers to non-absorbent and dimensional surfaces (yeah! that's great news for artists who work three dimensional)!  The illustrations are wonderful and the instructions are easy to follow.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 10, 2011


Alchemy: (al' ke-me)  An seemingly magical power or process of transmuting.

"faux encaustic" with Citra-Solv transfer

flexible transparent skin with injet print
transparent skin with inkjet print

Titanium White acrylic skin with digital art (inkjet)
digital artwork on transparent skin
Yesterday I poured a number of "acrylic skins" to play with. For those not familiar with the term "skins" let me share this exciting technique.  You will need four things:  tape, palette paper or a thick sheet of plastic, acrylic paint (I use Golden for a number of reasons that I will talk about in a future post) and a scraper (like a credit card) or a foam brush works well also. I usually run tape around the edges of the palette paper or plastic so that I can control the flow and thickness of my pour. The acrylic paint is then poured unto the surface and smoothed to the edges of the tape.  Allow 24 hours for the paint to set up and it can then be easily removed from the substrate.  The skins can be used in a variety of ways. A few ideas:   They can be put through your printer by attaching them to a carrier sheet, layered into your paintings to create depth - adding an element of mystery to your work, used as elements in your collages and because they are flexible they can be wrapped around objects and elements in constructions.  I poured a sheet of "faux" encaustic" skin and transferred an image onto it using Citra-Solv solution and a black and white photocopy to demonstrate how easily it will take a transfer.  Citra-Solv is a concentrated cleaner and degreaser.  It can be found in most health food stores. Here is the recipe for mixing acrylic medium to create "faux encaustic":  Golden Fluid Matte Medium and a few drops of Golden Iridescent Bright Gold (Fine)...and Voila! you have a wonderful encaustic looking surface.  This can also be applied directly to your work.  *note:  Fluid Matte Medium is not the same as matte medium.  Golden makes a product that is labeled Fluid Matte Medium.  The product number is #3520-6.  It may need to be ordered through them.  Here are a few examples of my experiemnts using skins. Today I'm using the skins in my vacu-form machine....more on that later.
graffitti photo printed on Titanium white
graffitti photo printed on transparent acrylic skin

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"My Diorama" - Studio

As I mentioned in my Artist Statement my studio is a large diorama of my assemblage work.  I need to see the elements that I use so I decided to make them part of the decor.  It has worked well for me, but I have to say that I still have a very full storage room in my studio, two full sheds and use the third stall of my garage!  The garage is heated and worked well for my studio for a long time.  It is where I keep my full size etching press and I also use that studio to work with encaustics and larger tools that make a huge mess.  I thought it might be fun to share just a few inside photos of my studio .....

Friday, June 3, 2011

Quick Change Artist - Seriously!

Once again I have shifted directions. For the past year I have concentrated on working in metals.  I enjoy working small and working with my hands using different tools so jewelry design and metalsmithing is close to my heart..  But... after returning from France I am anxious to dig out (and I do mean dig out...) all of my canvas' and old wooden boxes to begin to paint and assemble.  I cannot do just one thing (YIKES!) so with that in mind I will paint and as the spirit moves me I will assemble constructions.  I'm posting a few examples  of jewelry that I worked on this winter.  Most of the work is currently at a show at a gallery called "The Twisted Fish" in Elk Rapids, Michigan.

A long time coming!

For a long time my friends have heard me say that there was no way I was going to start "blogging", "Tweeting" or posting on the "Wall"...but here I am in all my glory!  Sometimes it just takes some people a bit longer to get with the program.  I do have an ultimate purpose for doing this blog though.  It occured to me that it would be a lot easier to publish my upcoming workshop dates, new class descriptions, supply lists and answer questions that were frequently asked of me.  Also, I am a person that really enjoys sharing.  I experiment almost everday and sometimes when the results are not completely disastrous this would be a fun avenue to share some exciting discoveries.  This is my first attempt at creating a blog, so please bear with me.  It will improve, I can assure you.  I just returned from the south of France and had the most inspiring time of my life!  I came home ready to create.  Of course right now my "other" life is taking priority-weeding, planting and running all of life's necessary errands.  My studio beckons to me and is eagerly awaiting more paint spills and general "Annie clean-ups".  When I was in France I found the most wonderful cementery in Old Nice and shot about 500 photos within the cementery walls. I am excited about starting a series which I will title "Angels of Nice".  The series will encompass a range of media that includes sculpture, paintings, assemblage (constructions), found object jewelry and whatever else my over-active ADHD mind comes up with!.  I found some unique treasures at a french flea market and did many rubbings both in the city of Nice and the cementery that I will incorporate into my work.  Yum...I can't wait to get started!