Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'm Back

Okay, I'm back.  Sorry for the long hiatus .  I have so many thoughts running through my head right now.  I'm sure only a few will make it to the page.  I have decided to get back in gear and produce work that is my own.  This is the first painting I have done for me, just me.  Not for a professor, nor a customer or even a friend.  This is from my soul.  I've realized, if I want people to appreciate my work, I need to produce.  End of story.  So, here is a start.  A baby step.
I've realized over and over again that I need deadlines to get things done.  (I think this is common with artists, no?)  I am going to give myself small deadlines such as entering a couple of works and the state fair and so on; so that I complete new work.  I also want to continue encouraging you with ideas to stimulate creativity.  Stay tuned for more frequent posts.  They will probably occur late at night or early morning - when this mom of 4 finds the time!  Enjoy!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mural for Apt. Office

I have been working on a mural of an apartment complex courtyard this week.  I should be able to finish it next week.  I would have a picture to upload, but I'm having difficulties uploading pictures right now.  When I am working on commissioned pieces, i take a break from cultivating my creativity.  So, hopefully I will resume that soon.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Paper Making

Last Friday my 2 older kids, our friend Ariana and I made paper for the first time.  We had a book and an online article as our guide.  I want to build up different collage elements to keep for future projects!  Here is what we found out the worked for us.  I kept it as inexpensive as possible and we experimented with 3 types of paper.  Of tissue paper, pattern paper and newspaper, I found that newspaper definitely worked the best.  

If you want to do this project you will need:
a mold and deckle (frame with screen)

scrap paper
add-ins such as glitter, leaves and yarn
large plastic spoon
bleach (opt.)
felt squares slightly larger than screen

Here are the steps:

1.  First Make a screen (a homemade version of a mold and deckle) by stretching nylon screen or actual women's nylons over a bent wire hanger or frame.  I made mine by stretching a pair of nylons over a frame made from 4 painter's stretcher bars.  It worked great.

2.  We ripped the paper into approx.  1" squares and soaked them for at least 2 hours in an ice cream bucket filled with water.  I even poured in a little bleach to remove some ink - I think it helped.

3. Place batches of the paper into a blender about 1/3 pulp with 2/3 water.

4.  Place the pulp back into the bucket and add glitter, leaves, dried flowers, yarn or any other small items.  We also tinted our pulp with acrylic paint.  I know there is paper dye, but this cost effective alternative worked for us.

5.  Spoon pulp onto the screen.  (We also tried placing the pulp into a rectangular tub with water and scooping it with the screen, but preferred the spooning method.)

6.  After most water has dripped through the screen, turn over onto felt.  Roll brayer on the back of the screen to release the pulp.

7.  Let dry for 3 days and peel off of felt.  I love the contrast between the 2 sides on each paper - a smooth pale side and a more textured vibrant side.

After completing this project, I am inspired to mold or emboss paper pulp with found objects or handmade molds of oven bake clay.  I will probably wait to do this when planning a particular art piece.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Art Blog

I call myself an artist.  Graduating with my BFA in Art and Design in 2003 would probably qualify this statement.  But, the challenge is in continuing to practice creativity.   After graduation, I set up a mural painting business and I continue to gain commissions on canvas and walls - but I haven't created a full personal portfolio of fine art.  This is my goal!  My professional portfolio is available on my website at www.jbmurals.com.

At the start, this blog has a few different purposes for me.  I want to be able to update my portfolio myself and have full creative control.  Also selfishly, I need accountability to create my own artwork on a regular basis.  My mural business keeps me pretty busy on top of home schooling two of my four children!  I am also looking forward to encouraging other artists! 

In my fine art I love to incorporate collage and printing with paint.  I am experimenting with a variety of media right now that I can't wait to share.  I have a rich background of painting, ceramics, fiber and drawing.  I favor bold, dark colors and abstracted designs.  My hope is that movement is also apparent in my work with the aid of brush strokes and texture.  I also love to explore different techniques to stimulate creativity.  Inspiration comes to me from text, especially from the Bible, song, nature or anything unique that piques my interest.  A love of layered meaning is hidden in my work.  It is deeply personal.