Thursday, March 24, 2011

Icon workshop

There has been much ado here in Middle Earth! In reviewing my photos for this blog I realized I have left out so very much that has been happening in the studio. I have totally rearranged my little studio area, attempted to impose some sort of organization on my class materials and, on top of that, been painting madly. It has been a wonderful whirl and I will catch you up over the next few days.

To begin with, last Saturday I taught the Alchemy of Icons class at the St. Louis artists' guild. We had a wonderful time. This first piece is my demo for the class. Start to finish with no additions afterwards. I love how her face developed. The collage layer is pretty wild. You can see some of the paint textures and a dictionary page behind the figure.There is gold gesso both behind and on top of her. What a tale she could tell with her round sun harp and unusual breastplate. Her halo actually started out as a photo of bowl of roses! Her gown is an image of the queen's room at Versailles!

The most important definition of an icon is that it is created as doorway to another world. They were created to amaze and focus our attention and lift us above the everyday to a place of wonderment. The soft and timeless glow of gold underlines the other worldliness of these faces and figures. Our more modern touch is the layering of paint, collage and more paint and maybe even more collage to make an icon for our times and place. Everyone took that inspiration and ran with it to places no one else had ever been to build images no one else has ever seen. ALCHEMY!!!! Turning the everyday into the amazing. A joyful wonderment for me as well as for the artists that joined me that day. We centered ourselves by drawing our way into a labyrinth, a mystical journey to that level of openness and a path to the place where we can find the courage to let loose our visions. What fun!

The above photos are Marsha and her icon beneath. Marsha has never really painted before and I love her colors, her originality, her absolute courage. The details are amazing. Everyone was amazing! You can see Marsha's labyrinth on her worktable. Marsha...paint some more!

This is Mike and his icon. Mike is usually a sculptor who does a lot of work with kids in third world countries. Mike, you have a great future as a painter, collage artist, icon maker and whatever else you want to be. I can't say enough about how wonderful everyone was. I will post more of the work that was done at the workshop. We actually had TWO men participate... both Mikes ! Each work was amazing. Some folks even skipped eating to keep working on their icons. I tried to encourage them to keep up their strength with coffee and time we may need to call out for pizza! I hope everyone was inspired enough to keep on creating their very own icons.
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sleeping on the job

No, I haven't been fact, I have been painting madly, drawing near to my pup and slapping glue where no one would dare.. OK, the last one may be a bit out there. I HAVE been remiss in posting photos and showing new works so I have spent this softly grey day..perfect for photos..doing just that. I started drawing Demi a few months ago and try to get in a few sketches every once in awhile. It was a bit easier when DH built a fire in our fireplace and Demi decided it was the perfect place for a little snooze. she can be a very active model and wants to play more than stand still for something she just doesn't quite get. I can see it in her eyes.."Ms Kathy, just what are you doing with that piece of paper and little stick in your hand and why are you looking at me so funny?...what should I do? roll over? Dance around your feet? Run and get Mr. Steve ?" Hard for a puppy to figure these things out. Hard for me to measure the distance from her eyes to her nose! charcoal works best because it is quick and I can adjust the darks and lights after she has wandered off on me.
She gets disenchanted with me and won't look at me. I drew her anyway. Funny little fuzzy! I really didn't want to work from a photo and though DH would prefer a showdog type piece of artwork, I love these sketches because they are full of life and the things she really does.They seem more alive.
After all that work, we had to classes, new venues, all sorts of fun. I just needed to work with some sunshine colors and do something just a bit silly. It says the word "Celebrate " across the bottom. and "You" on the top, with a tipsy tilted cake in between. I had fun just splashing around, doodling in the details and creating something just for the love of it.
This last little puppy face is still Demi, but very foreshortened in the nose area. She likes to sit at the top of the stairs, Queen of all she surveys, waiting for me to plunk down beside her and tell her what a wonderful fuzzy she is. she is really quite vain and requires this of me at least once a day or she sulks. My funny girl.
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Will you join me?

Would you join me for lunch. It's been a busy day and I could use a break, some conversation, a few giggles. I've made you a nice lunch, some oranges, cheese and wonderful whole grain sourdough bread. The sun is especially nice and warm and I'll open the windows just a bit so we can hear the birds singing and chirping. I think they are building several nests in the trees just outside the dining room window!
I've been busy in the studio all morning, planning a whole new series of Art Journal classes, an Icon workshop, a painting for the St. Louis collectors choice event. In the middle of all that, I am doing some new paintings and sketches. So many things are drying on the floor and table that my poor Demi dog is afraid to come in the door. she comes in a few steps, sniffs a bit then just sighs and looks for a less busy place to take a nap. I love being this creative, trying to figure out how to make my classes fun and informative, how to create new art journal pages and how to take a break for lunch!
I am sooooo excited about the icon class, which is here in St. Louis March 19 at the St. Louis Artists guild. I've got some brand new icons to share as well as few new tricks up my sleeve. Hope some of you can come and join me!
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