Monday, October 26, 2009

Spilling It Is Great for the Soul !

So the days have been looking like this outside the window of my studio:

Magnificent Fall days in the mid 60's. Perfect weather to be outside.

And I did do a little of that. But while these perfect Fall days are happening, I have also been absorbing and being inspired by the great on-line Spill It Class that Carmen Torbus is teaching.

If you remember awhile back, I said I won the tuition to participate in this class and I am so very grateful for that. I have learned a lot from Carmen and her great videos. I learned a lot from her painting techniques and I so enjoyed how her style helped me loosen up with paint. I learned too that I adore Golden Fluid acrylics even more than I did before the class after learning how Carmen uses them. I learned that I like to paint with my fingers but that I do prefer brushes and paper towels.

Most of all I learned that I can create beautiful things on canvas. This may sound like a small thing but it was big for me. In the past, I was very intimidated by canvas. They cost a lot more than one sheet of paper, even than a sheet of watercolor and I just felt like I wasn't a good enough artist to work on canvas for some dumb reason. But now, I am in love with the texture and the depth you can achieve on canvas. That was a great thing to come away from the class with as is the wonderful support and inspiration you get from all the other participants and from Carmen herself. I highly recommend this class !

So let me share a little of what I did.

Here's one piece I did, starting with a 9X12" canvas gessoed black.

I dripped and smeared and spilled and stamped and rubbed the surface with many different colors of Golden Fluid acrylics. I ended up with kind of a mess and wasn't sure at all where I was going with it.

Carmen also had us color photocopy images to use for collaging on our canvases. She suggested using your own sketches or journal pages. I made copies of my paint puddle people that I had made in my journal way back in June.

("Fruition" - canvas, collage and acrylic paint)

Add a nicely rubbed in coat of Pthalo Blue, a touch of white and Pthalo Green on top of the whole canvas, my paint puddle angel, some more collage pieces (orange pieces and tree) from my own stash of painted papers, a bit of gold metallic paint, some ink lines done with the dip brush and some black ink around the edges, and here you have the completed canvas above, "Fruition".

Another piece I did was on this rectangular canvas I had bought at the Christmas Tree Shop. Three ugly painted canvases with nice thick gallery edges for $4.00. I covered the ugly with a couple of coats of white gesso and then went to town the Carmen way. I spilled, and smeared, finger painted and stamped and made this gorgeous blue background. You can see some of the details in the texture more when you click to enlarge it but it is hard to capture it in a photo and it it too big for my scanner.

Again, I used a colored copy of a page in my journal. This page was called "She dreams of dark beauty. " I used an image transfer technique that Carmen shared for this piece. The hardest part was waiting for the gel medium to dry over night.

My transfer worked well except for the details of the girl's face. I ended up cutting out the girl from a second copy and gluing it on top of the transfer with gel medium in order to have more details to the figure.

Then I added painted collage papers and some stenciled sequin waste dots. I also added black paint with a sponge and some yellow oxide transparent paint in some drips here and there. Finally I took out the India ink and the dip pen. I tried to write the word "Nocturne" on the left had top of the canvas but hated how it turned out. Luckily I was able to wipe most of it off when it was still wet. I added some other scribbles here and there to finish the piece.

(Nocturne - canvas collage and acrylic paint)

(click to enlarge.)

I am liking this ! Two pieces of my own art, on canvas, that I would happily hang on my walls in my house. That is a cool feeling ! In fact, "Fruition" is already hanging up in front of my desk in the studio. I am really happy with both of them, and with all the great things I have learned about myself and the creative process. Big thanks to Carmen again for her great class and for letting me be a part of it !

Happy Monday, beautiful Ones ! Hope you have some chances to get messy this week !


Sherry said...

I feel exactly the same way about this class Kim...and my fingers are raw!! lol!! I've had so much paint on them, washed them so many times, ain't no swine flu gonna catch me!! (knock on wood!!). Anyway, I like using my fingers but I do prefer brushes, paper towels, sponges...but I learned how to do so much with my fingers.

I know what you mean about can be so intimidating...but now that we've done this class we know that we can be free to just "smoosh" and "smush" and if we don't like it? Paint over it!!

You know I like Nocturne since I saw it this morning on FB (Carmen posted it) and on the site, but I am really, really loving "Fruition" -- this is you -- the colours are just so Kimiliscious!!!

DMG said...

Kim, These are both way, way cool, and I loved reading about how you created them. Fruition has a mystical feel to it and Nocturne is so hypnotic. Breaking thorough the canvas barrier is a very big thing. I KNOW! I wasn't able to do it for nearly 20 years and now I don't seem to be able to stop. Goodwill is a great source for cheap canvases, btw. Go soon, so you can paint lots more like these.

Charlie said...

Hi Kim,
Both of these paintings have turned out really great.
I still have a little problem with the canvas thing too. Maybe I need to take this class.
You and Sherry seem to be enjoying it way too!
Good luck with the class and your rocks.

Randi said...

Kim, I really really like these paintings. I've been a lurker on your site and always like your journal pages and now these canvases? Awesome. I'd hang them on the walls in my house too.

Karin Bartimole said...

very very cool Kim, i love the transformations you've described and recorded for us, as well as sharing your movement from trepidation to satisfaction! i'm absolutely in love with your puddle people.
i can really relate to the insecure feelings you describe when facing that blank canvas, too, and have had the road block about 'create beautiful things on canvas'! it's still not my surface of choice :) You have created beauty on your canvases, Kim! can't think of a better person to have won Carmen's workshop, seeing how you've already taken off with it the way you have!!
xox karin

Snap said...

We will have to change your name: Rock Fairy Queen of the Canvas!

deb did it said...

first of all...I am speechless and typeless. Those first two images of fall colors.....render me silent. I must savor what I am feeling. SIMPLY GORGEOUS! stunning. NOTHING we see here in my part of Texas. I will be back for more.

henrysmom said...

absolutely gorgeous! i'd hang them on my wall too!! linda

Dawn said...

WOW! Those are awesome!

I have to say, I REALLY love the way your first painting looked before you covered it with the blue and green paint. I really love the final part of it too..but those colors just GLOW off the black canvas.

Either way, great pieces of work...I have a canvas sitting wrapped in my room waiting for me to paint it with something. It is nerve-wracking.

Anonymous said...

Wow, those are both GORGEOUS!! I can't say which I love more. Make more! Make more! I'm happy to read about these different classes you're taking, what they're like and how you feel about them. I have been wanting to take some online classes for the longest time but I just haven't been able to justify the expense of it as yet. But I will. I definitely will. Soon.

You are right about Where the Wild Things Are. I'd heard bad things as well, but I so wanted to see it for so long, so I went, lowered expectations and all. And still.... sigh. I wrote about it tonight on the 'ol blog. No spoilers, of course.

Wishing lots more fun playing at "Spilling It" on those canvases! I am loving these results!! (((Big Hugs))) Serena

couragetocreatewriteandlove said...

omg!!!it is beautiful! my problem with image transfer is i have no patient to wait for the drying your piece is perfect, lovely!

Lorrie Grainger Abdo said...

The view from your studio window is stunning. And the art on canvas that you've created will make the inside view beautiful as well. I love your colors.
Thanks for the link to the class, I may pursue it too.

I switched to canvases not long ago and while I like the added texture that it provides, I get frustrated in that you can't "crop" it like you can with paper. You must use the canvas as it is which adds a whole other set of challenges. :) Yet, since I'm a handmade paper artist, I guess it's no surprise that I still love paper.

Anonymous said...

I love the freedom of the techniques
you are learning and both pieces came
out beautifully. A little different
from your usual work and I really love what you are doing - just going for it.



Kate Robertson said...


these canvases are fatastic. I like both of them a lot You are just bursting out with wonderful art. I am glad you are enjoying the class.


A Miraculous Meliss said...

YAY, you on canvas!!!! :)


arlene said...

How brilliant! Your colours and figures are so...Wow! I see a lot of canvas's in your future, dear queen!