Monthly Archives: April 2020

Abstract Attempts

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I’ve been drawn to abstract art lately, and it looks so easy to do. Just slap some colors on the canvas and call yourself an artist. NOT! This process has surprised me with its challenge. I’ve been watching the instructional videos of Betty Krause — her work is luminous, the colors are gorgeous, and her tutorials are explicit. (See her YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_LtcQkDngMzTtnGtdl1gxA.) So I’ve tried to follow the general direction of her work. Here are two of my attempts.

The one above started life as a filler paper for a frame. I painted it with gesso, and then, ala Betty Krause, filled it with random marks using colored pencils.

I used water to spread the pencil marks around. Big slashes of black acrylic paint came next.

I then added random blobs of warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows), let them dry, and then added random blobs of cool colors (blues, greens, purples). Going back and forth between warm and cool colors, I eventually ended up with this.

I wasn’t quite happy with the overall construction, so I added some intentional marks with acrylic paint and china markers. Here’s the completed piece on temporary display in my living room.

Here’s another one I made, following the same steps as I’ve described above.

This one’s hanging in my half bath with a wrong-color mat. Once quarantine lifts, I’ll need a trip to the craft store to try out different mat colors!

More Mixed Media

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It’s much, much harder to crap, er, craft these days without access to all my supplies or a quick trip to Hobby Lobby. It’s easy, though, to get lost in all the YouTube lessons, and this particular piece was inspired by mixed media artist Shawn Petite (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luD0FyZV7vs). If you watch her video, you likely won’t see any resemblance between my piece and hers, but she was a great inspiration nonetheless.

I started with a long, skinny canvas that, believe it or not, my BFF and I picked up out of a neighbor’s trash. I applied assorted book pages and sheet music using gel medium. Once that was dry, I randomly stenciled on black numbers.

I used water-based spray paints to add blue and green colors to the canvas. I then applied a spray fixative so the colors wouldn’t run when I added my next layer.

I taped on a few random shapes, using scraps from my stash. The blue dot in the middle needed something, so I added some stenciled numbers. So far, so good. And the bonus was that some words from an old book remained easily readable in the bottom right area. It says, “When nothing is going well, call grandmother.” How perfect is that!

I liked the placement of the shapes, but I thought the piece needed something near the bottom to bring some balance. So I taped another black shape to audition it in the picture. I was happy with both shapes, so I used gel medium to glue it all on.

Almost there. But I needed a little more. So I added some white circles throughout the design, more green and blue to the blob at the top, and a few more stenciled numbers. This is now displayed on the wall in the bedroom we callĀ  “The Grandkids’ Room.” I think I like it!