Tag Archives: collage

Tuesday, 4/25/11: Liz Walker

Liz Walker brought her creative energy to Muse today to work on an acrylic painting with elements of printmaking and collage.   Liz likes to bring a lot of pattern and texture into her paintings and tries to avoid large areas of plain solid colors.  Along with her paints and brushes, Liz brought some paper scraps and wallpaper and fabric swatches with her.  She cut and painted small pieces of paper and collaged them into her painting to add a bit of texture and dimension to the pillows on the couch.  She used the texture of the wallpaper and fabric pieces to print and stamp patterns onto her painting with contrasting colors of paint.  To get the blended and scumbled look she likes, Liz says she’s also been incorporating more gray tones and neutrals into her paintings and juxtaposing them against brighter colors.

Liz enjoys painting figures in everyday settings.  The shapes and colors she chooses give her  scenes balance, order, and visual interest that would work equally well as abstract compositions.  “I work from chaos to order,” Liz says as she builds the layers of her painting.  She finds that getting started with a painting is the easy part, but proceeding to the point of knowing when and how to finish is the real challenge.

Liz teaches beginning watercolor painting as well as acrylic monotype at Multnomah Arts Center and Village Gallery of Arts.  In addition to the An Artist A Day event this month, she is participating in an upcoming show at the Village Gallery of Arts in which 100 artists will exhibit four 6×6 paintings.  More of her work can be seen on her website, lizwalkerart.com.

Click on thumbnails to see larger pictures.

Monday, 4/11/11: Stephen Welch

Steve Welch is an artist and designer who creates mixed-media collage-and-acrylic pieces and also works professionally in digital media.  He says he follows a similar process no matter what type of project he’s working on.  He starts with a lot of sketching to generate and explore ideas, then he starts developing his ideas with a certain visual goal in mind.  As he proceeds, he allows new ideas and discoveries to influence his path along the way until his series of artistic decisions sets a definite direction.

Like many artists who have a background in design, Steve finds inspiration from wide-ranging and diverse visual sources.  Steve has a three-year-old daughter and has been inspired a lot lately by the art in children’s books.  He sometimes finds children’s books that might be more advanced than his daughter is ready for, but that he picks up because of the ideas he gets from the subjects and style of the illustrations.  His piece today was partly inspired by illustrations in a book he found recently, and partly grew out of sketches from projects he’d done in the past — labels he designed for a line of biscuits for horses, and flowers from a collaboration on a book project.  Steve likes to save sketches and ideas that he’s worked on before to adapt and re-use in new ways. Collage is an art form that allows an artist to bring a lot of different ideas together in one piece and also lends itself to a very fluid, intuitive process of development.  These characteristics fit Steve’s style and creative process very well.

The  last picture below shows Steve’s mixed-media painting at the end of the day Tuesday.  We’ll post an update with a picture of his finished piece. UPDATE:  The final picture show Steve’s finished piece.

Click on thumbnails below to see larger pictures.

5/7/10, Our final artist: Vanessa Crouch

Today we added a striking piece in acrylic with collage to the “An Artist A Day” exhibit.  Vanessa Crouch was unable to paint at Muse last Friday, April 30 due to a family emergency.  She picked up a canvas this week though, and completed the piece that she brought in today.  Vanessa works in a bold, graphic style with clean lines, contrasting colors and strong composition.  Below is the piece she made for “An Artist A Day”

One more finished piece came in today as well — Shanon Playford’s “big hair” portrait in oils — with a lot of detail since we last saw it! Check it out at the end of the blog post for 4/15 . . .

5/2/10 update: new art daily!

Several of our daily artists are still working on their pieces and will be bringing them to Muse as they finish.  This weekend, two more finished pieces have joined the exhibit.  A detail pen-and-ink drawing by Jillian Doughty, and an acrylic painting/collage by Stephen Welch.  Check out pictures of their finished work in the updates their blog postings. (click on names in the previous sentence.)  Or visit the “exhibit” page at AnArtistADay.com to see all the works so far.

The texture, depth and detail in these two pieces, like all the rest, cannot be truly captured in small webpage photos, so be sure to come see the exhibit in person now through May 13 at Muse Art and Design, 4224 SE Hawthorne (11am-6pm M-Sat, noon-5pm Sun)

Wednesday, 4/21/10: Bridget Benton

Thanks to guest writer Sally Murdoch King for today’s post

Bridget Benton started today with an image that was floating around in one of her many sketchbooks. This image was a pen and ink drawing of a heart superimposed with a beehive. Bridget also came armed with at least 2 dozen brushes of all sizes and a new caddy/holster torch system attached to her hip which was quite impressive to a number of passers-by. This new system allowed her to move freely, lay down between 20 and 30 layers of wax and sketches, and talk articulately about her craft.

The first few layers of her encaustic assemblage work, she explains, need to be very smooth, and she will add in texture later. When I mentioned her rib-cage torso encaustic piece with bone (pictured on Bridget’s artist page at AnArtistADay.com), she said she liked incorporating 3D elements in her work (one of her influences is shadow box pioneer Joseph Cornell), and in this case was a weasel bone.

In 1992 Bridget moved to Portland after completing her undergrad at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, home to where she draws her inspiration of color. The natural orange or clay color of the famed Garden of the Gods, frozen lava that juts 10 stories in the foothills of the Rockies and Pikes Peak have a disctinct lichen upon them. The lichen is often a spring green, and this color scheme of bright green and orange is often repeated in her works.

Bridget began working with encaustics in 2003 after she took a beeswax collage class in Portland. While she enjoyed it, the practice really took hold while taking an encaustics class with Linda Womack. For Bridget, doing encaustics is combining many of her loves. She says, “I can still do assemblage work but get the subtleties and luminosity qualities that traditionally are only found in working with acrylics.”

Bridget is a self-described process girl and she finds fusing the many layers of wax to be meditative, similar to her work with fibers in batik. She says she likes the surprises that the process of both methods present, as well as the effects that happen as she creates dialog with each piece. She loves watching the effects unfold as they form the next step. “I love not being completely in control,” she says.

As she layers today’s pieces in wax and paints the oranges and greens ,small pops of red also begin to peek through. She loves to see the orange and the green interact with each other. After a solid base of wax, then paints, she lays down sewing patterns. Oddly enough, the word BODICE shows under her piece, which she then covers with a sketch of arteries and the heart on rice paper.

Bridget teaches mixed media art classes, encaustics and she works in the small business development center at PCC. She attained her Masters in Creative Studies from SUNY which she harkens on a regular basis in helping entrepreneurs with creative problem solving.

A number of people come in as she works, fellow encaustics rock stars, former and future students as well as fellow board members of Portland Open Studios. One comments that she loves her website name: EyesAflame.com, which Bridget explains captures that glow students get when they see their finished artwork and their eyes light up.

The last image shows Bridget’s piece at the end of the day Wednesday.  We will post an update with a picture of the finished piece.

Tuesday, 4/20/10: Stephen Welch

Thanks to guest writer Kinoko for today’s post

Speaking with Stephen Welch in person, he is friendly and happy to be painting on what he considers a “personal” project in the storefront of Muse Art and Design.

With a full cart of art supplies, Sharpie paint pens and acrylic paints are his choice tools. Line matters to Stephen. Graphic, bright color defines his work. He is a natural visual communicator with a professional background in software graphics and a love for painted illustration.
A Seattle transplant now living in Portland, he “moved out when Seattle was getting too big,” he explains. That was twelve years ago and today he paints and collages the image of a bamboo chair onto a primed wooden panel. As a designer, he has worked since the nineties. He works for himself as a painter. Welch is clear on his identity, separating design work from the “personal” work he does as a fine artist.  “’Steve’, that’s what my friends call me. ‘Stephen’ is the name on my bank statement.” This reiterates for me that he knows when he is creating for himself and when he is designing for the needs of others. Looking through his work online, it’s clear to see that he excels at both icon and image. The paintings he creates are illustrative, simple and informative. He uses familiar objects and active, textured marks in paintings that are friendly and fun.

“I’m trying a new technique,” he explains. By painting with Golden soft gel (semi-gloss) over a Xerox of his original line art, he attempts to make a type of transfer. Eventually, he lays the copy onto the paint board and fills the black and white page with acrylic, never actually transferring the toner. It seems as though the process and the exploration of this work are just as enjoyable as what the result needs to be. Capturing the original line work is obtainable by painting enlarged photocopy of small sketches onto the canvas and he delights in building layers of arranged copy and cut. Yet, as in this piece, the strong image of the bamboo chair is never lost, but illuminated and rephrased.

Stephen Welch’s work can be viewed at swell-graphics.com/friends.html and his original painted works will be on display June 2010 at Portland’s North East Community Center necommunitycenter.org

Several artists have included signatures, titles or notes on the backs of their works.  The last photo shows the back side of Steve’s panel — a miniature work of art in itself!


Friday, 4/16/10: Amy Stoner

Thanks to guest writer Sally Murdoch King for today’s posting

Watching an encaustic artist work is almost like viewing a performance; there are all sorts of layers and vignettes that keep the process moving in bite-sized episodes. A few minutes of drying here, some scraping there, and you’ve got great entertainment. Watching someone as talented and patient as Amy Stoner is no exception. It’s easy to spot her predilection for teaching, too. On her afternoon of working the wax, she had a nice steady stream of spectators both inside and out. Each one who ventured inside asked questions, many jotted notes, and Amy answered with enthusiastic and articulate explanations.

Amy began her encaustic adventure 4 years ago. A printmaker with plentiful woodblock printmaking experience, she became tired of the regimentation of the process and editions. One day she took one of her woodblock prints and covered it with a clear wax. She immediately liked the effects the wax had over her acrylic paintings and woodblocks and began using pigmented waxes. Today, encaustic is her favorite medium because she can still make use of her first love: drawing, painting and prints. “I love working with all the art supplies,” she says while scraping away shapes with her ceramic carving tools. “Plus there’s so much you can do with wax.”

Amy moved to Oregon with her family at the age of 12. Now with a small family of her own that includes a toddler, finding time to work with wax is a juggling act. Mid afternoon while her little one is napping is often her best time to make art. She finds it easiest to turn on the wax to let it melt, put her daughter down and then go paint. Evenings are also a good time to find Amy working. She spends anywhere from 2 to 3 hours working on her encaustic projects and is largely self-taught. She gained her BFA in art from U of O in 1998 and has since taken courses from artist such as Jef Gunn at PNCA. She also teaches introductory and advanced encaustic courses in textures, patterns, painting and collaging with beeswax.

Today’s artwork began with a 12 x 16 panel. The first layer was pen and ink drawing. Then a clear coat of wax, then blocks of colored wax. Then she adhered her woodblock print with a small bit of glue. Then clear wax, then watercolors and gouache. She fuses the layers together with a torch to remove brushstrokes and air bubbles. She then scrapes back the wax to expose the vibrant orange hues, blacks and greens.

Amy’s artwork is largely influenced by propaganda prints from the 1920’s and 30’s. Her favorite artists include Frida Kahlo and art nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha as well as art, architecture and design from the Bauhaus and Arts and Crafts Movements.