Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Last Small Works of 2014

As 2014 quickly slips away I want to say that I hope you had a joyful holiday season, to wish each of you a happy and fulfilling 2015 and to also extend my thanks for continuing to read and support my artistic endeavours.


PEACH SPLENDOR   6" x 6" x 2" cradled panel, mixed media, rose painted in oil   SOLD

There are other painters who incorporate sheet music in their work, but I was particularly inspired by this painting ...  


Vicki Ross' WHITE ROSE  Encaustic on paper  7" x 7" 

You can see more of Vicki's art here

Just up the highway from us, a town called Nanton boasts an antique walk. There, in one of the many shops, Bill found an abundance of old sheet music. I was delighted to find that the larger sheets are big enough to completely wrap a 6" x 6" x 2" deep cradled panel. Fixing the sheets to panels with Golden gloss gel medium, I then tint and colour them using acrylic paints. Unable to resist the luminosity that I can achieve with oils, they are what I use to paint the focal points.   


ROSE FLAME   5" x 7" framed panel, mixed media, rose painted in oil    $150.   SOLD 

CHICKADEE SONG II   6" x 6" framed panel, mixed media, bird painted in oil   $150.   SOLD

Thirty years later, I thought I'd bring back for a repeat engagement the same chickadee I painted in 1984. The original oil painting is in the private collection of Ron and Pennie Casey of Canmore, Alberta. From it (back in the 80s) we created a limited edition of 200 photo lithograph prints. The edition has long since been sold out but we do have 4 of the 7 artist's proofs available for sale ($250. each, unframed).

    

 
A couple more of my classic favourites ...


SWEET ANGEL   5" x 7" framed acrylic painted birch panel, iris in oil  $150.  

LAVENDER LOVELY   acrylic 12" x 6" x 2" cradled panel   $275  SOLD

The above is a perfect addition to complete a trio along with these two painted this past summer on panels of the same dimensions ...


The above paintings are available at Sunny Raven Gallery, Canmore

And that folks wraps up the art I produced in 2014!

To enquire about the Chickadee prints or any of the paintings shown here, please
contact me at alice@artbysaltiel.com


Friday, December 12, 2014

Shoe Dreams


SHOE DREAMS   acrylic mixed media 16" x 20" x 2" cradled panel 

At three years old, little Amira has an above average attraction to high heeled shoes.
 

Amira, shoe shopping, the day before she turned three, December 8th, 2014

When I spied an amazing golden shoe painting online, I wanted to buy it, but it was already sold. The image inspired the concept for Amira's third birthday painting. Initially I thought I'd paint a collage of different shoes in equal-sized squares, quilt like. When I saw a decorator piece of art of panels of irregular sizes interspersed with wide ribbons of scroll patterns, I knew this would create an even more interesting format. 

After explaining my plan to and telling Marcela Strasdas about how her painting had inspired me, I asked her if I could use it in my arrangement. She graciously sent me her reference photo.

 
The drawing for SHOE DREAMS
I intended to incorporate a lot more of Amira's favourite colour - purple - but the painting began to take on a life of its own and in the end there is only one purple shoe (top left).  
The backgrounds were masked and painted separately. The mottled effect created by spritzing water on wet paint and waiting a minute or three before gently laying down a piece of paper towel to blot and lift the paint where the water drops were. I stenciled the borders with iridescent light gold on metallic gold. 


The removed pieces of contact paper, used to mask out the shoes, begged to be photographed

Marcela's gorgeous shoe took me 4.5 hours to paint

The peacock shoe has the heart of a real peacock feather imbedded in it


This shoe has real lace affixed to it

The purple shoe has rhinestones attached




It was wonderful to be able to gift the painting, in person, on the eve of her birthday ...


I do believe she likes it!

Showing Mom and Pappa Shoe Dreams


Monday, December 1, 2014

A Mermaid Called Emily

As is my tradition, I make our granddaughters paintings for their birthdays. When I showed our daughter this mermaid painting, which I'd created for her niece, Denise asked me not to show it to Avery for she would be sure to want it. Although, I had months to consider how to approach the second mermaid painting, I was coming up blank. How could I make this one completely different? Finally, the inspiration came when I saw the Mucha poster girls in Prague.


EMILY FROM THE SEA   acrylic on cradled panel 24" x 18" x 1"


Just as I had struggled over a concept, once it was finished I fussed about a title for this mermaid. While remembering Avery's last weekend stay with us, a smile came to my face as a light went on in my head. I had taught Avery about my painting name. How to say it. How to spell it. It was then that I asked her what she'd like to use for a painting name? Without hesitation she responded "Emily." Quickly followed by "I wish my name was Emily."


I've learned (the hard way) that a well planned drawing is critical for this type of project

Day one of adding colour

Colouring her in was great fun for the first day or so, after that it became tedious. I kept going out of the lines, which meant I needed to paint the lines back in! 


Day two

And then there was the hiccup of repairing an accident. Somehow, I managed to drag my sleeve across my palette and from said sleeve I deposited tomato red over the soft blue sky. When I noticed what I had done, I hollered No!, NO!, NO! so loudly that Bill came rushing downstairs to see what was the matter.

Day three

Portions of the painting are opaquely painted. There are also transparent, watercolour-like areas, such as the background, the sky and parts of the water. The tail and bra are transparent as well with a wash of interference violet-green over them, to create a fishscale-like shimmer. 
    

Day four


The rich fulfillment came in the gifting. On November 27th, after Avery's "Jubilee" school concert (at the Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary) I presented her with Emily ...


Avery with her Dad and Mom
By gosh, I think she likes it!
 Now that Avery is six, and in grade one, she can sound out the painting title

I love this shot!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Blog Hopping Around the World

As I see it, the idea behind world-wide blog hopping is for us to introduce and promote one another. Follow the links to go around the world finding wonderful art and artists. To learn about each other we're requested to answer the same four questions.
My friend, Win, invited me to participate in this round robin. As an mixed media artist and an excellent teacher her blog is all about mixed media experimentation with excellent tutorials. She was invited by Vicki Ross, who was invited by Kelly Dombrowski. On Kelly's blog you can keep linking back.
ROADSIDE CROSSES: SHE INHALED IT MUCH TOO QUICKLY, mixed media collaged head 16 x 16 x 13" © Win Dinn
See Win's art here:
Win's blog 
Win's Facebook page

If it's geographically feasible, you may want to book her to give a workshop in your area!
___________________________________________________________________________
I've invited my good friend, Sharlene, to join this hop. You'll find her answers to the questions next Monday, November 24th.

LET THERE BE LIGHT, 40x30 acrylic © Sharlene Stushnov-Lee

See Sharlene's art here:
Sharlene's blog
Sharlene's website
___________________________________________________________________________

I'll always be a classical painter at heart, but I must say that mixed media has broken the monotony of decades of traditional painting in watercolour and oil. There is a thrill with mixed media exploration, of not knowing, at the onset, exactly what the outcome of these unique works will be.


AMIRA'S MERMAID 20" x 16"

What am I working on?
Earlier this year, I painted a mixed media mermaid, for one of our granddaughters. For months now, I have been fussing over how to make another mermaid painting, for our other granddaughter, that would be different from the last. A recent trip to Prague, including the Mucha Museum, has inspired me to approach the mermaid in progress in the style of his Art Nouveau poster girls. Please check back later this month, I need to have it finished by the 27th! As it is now, it seems that it will be strictly an acrylic painting. At the same time I am painting smaller oils, acrylics and mixed media pieces.
    

How does my work differ from others of this genre?Perhaps the most difficult question to answer since I don’t stick to one genre. I'll go with the mixed media here. The difference may be that my backgrounds are abstract acrylics employing commercial stencils, stamps and anything for mark making onto which I'll paint focal points (of flowers, feathers or birds for example) in a realistic, yet painterly fashion.


Why do I create what I do?
I'm blessed in being a channel for art, one with the ability to draw or paint anything and therefore making art is as natural to me as breathing. As a lover of beauty and design, it is a constant in all areas of my life. When creating any image my goal is to infuse it with a sensation. Powerful use of light and calculated or intrinsic use of colour are ways I achieve this.

How does my creative process work?
Inspiration comes from any combination of these things; in seeing places or things which excite me, different colour combinations, patterns, new found techniques, the work of other artists or newly acquired materials and art supplies. In my current passion for inventing interesting backgrounds, anything goes; metallic paints, textures and embellishments. Over time, I've flirted with acrylic paints, never being completely satisfied with how they handle in traditional painting, but they're perfect for mixed media. Now, experimenting with them is happy exploration. It's incredibly easy to make wild messes. The challenge is to allow a start to evolve, trusting that I'll be guided as to how to refine and finish it.

Examples of my work:

STONEHENGE   1992 watercolour 14" x 21"
VICTORIA FALLS   2002 oil 36" x 54"

MONET'S GARDNER'S BRIDGE   2003 oil 24" x 36"
RED HOT HARMONY   2005 oil 18" x 24"

FRAGILE SHADOW   2007 oil 14" x 11"
SHAR'S AMARYLLIS   2009 acrylic and gold leaf  8" x 10"

UNLOCK GROWTH   2012 acrylic, mixed media, 16" x 12"
FANCIFUL FEATHER   2013, acrylic, mixed media 16" x 12"

BOB   2014 oil on hand made paper mounted on a cradled panel 6" x 6" 

Please feel free to join Blog Hopping Around the World.
If you, or anyone you know, would like to participate I heartily encourage it.
Please share this post.
And, should you choose to participate, please let me know.
Thank you.




Saturday, November 8, 2014

Amsterdam!

We were so smitten with Prague that it took a day or so for us to embrace Amsterdam.

The famed word sculpture in front of the Rijksmuseum which is a stones throw away from the Van Gogh Museum

The canals and bridges are charming. We enjoyed and learned a great deal about them on a canal tour

Our studio apartment was close to the pretty much everything. Amsterdam is not that big, with the population of the city proper at around 800,000. On our first morning we walked through ...

 
Vondel Park
 
... to arrive at the Van Gogh Museum which is modern, well laid out and features many of his significant pieces as well as works by his contemporaries and others. It was grand to see The Potato Eaters, The Bedroom (the one painted in 1888 - he painted it again in 1889) and Wheatfield with Crows. I was a tad disappointed to find that The Yellow House was out on loan.
 
 
Photography, except for this wallpaper at the museum's entrance, is prohibited

Wonderful to see my favourite of his many self portraits. I was able to revoke the no photography rule by snapping a picture of it in a publication, right there in front of the audio rental gal ...
 
 
Self-Portrait, Spring-Summer 1887, Paris, oil on canvas 16" x 12"

Bicycles rule in this city. At first the cycling lane appears to be a part of the sidewalk, but you quickly learn to stay off of it!  We thought we'd rent bikes, but when we saw just how many cyclists there are, all weaving and racing at break neck speeds, we decided that was not a good idea for us.
    



Clearly, an Amsterdam highlight was choosing to visit the Rijksmuseum on the one day of the year when they host The Big Draw ... something I had no knowledge of.  At opening time, we arrived to find this thrilling scene in the atrium ... 


 
Anyone was invited to draw. I went straight to an easel as though pulled there by some magnetic force. 
 

Speaking with the facilitator, Wilma Caris, can you tell I'm excited?

Considering how rusty I am, working with a live model, the drawing is all right

Charcoal drawing of the model at the Rijksmuseum, 25" x 19" October 12th, 2014

 
Atop my list (and everyone else's visiting the Rijksmuseum) is Rembrandt's Night Watch. This imposing masterpiece makes a powerful impact from your first glimpse of it, at the opposite end of the long Hall of Honour, until it is only a foot or so in front of you.  Commemorating the reopening of the museum (in 2013) after a decade of renovations there is an incredible flash mob enactment of the Night Watch, here.  Again, I'm in awe of the timing to visit Amsterdam. Maggie says that - and this is wonderful - I am living in the flow.

This is a museum of the highest calibre right up there with the Louvre. Not only does it house a truly remarkable collection of 6000 paintings featuring works from the Dutch Golden Age, they boast almost 1000 sculptures. They've got weapons and model ships, doll houses and oh, the architecture, the stained glass windows of the Great Hall and the library all add up to making it a virtual cathedral of art.
 

Night Watch at the end of the Hall of Honour
 
Here too a painting I had hoped to see, The Jewish Bride, was out on loan.
 
 
In Rembrandt Square, beneath a sculpture of the artist, there are bronzes of the 22 figures from The Night Watch painting

The Rembrandt House Museum was so much more than we expected!

 
On Rembrandt's doorstep
 
The free personal audio devises are exemplary and the demonstrations first rate. In the print studio, using a plate made by the Dutch mint, from one of Rembrandt's etchings, a woman made an etching on the spot ... 
 
 
 
 
In the painting studio a gal showed how oil pigments were mixed. Of particular fascination to me was learning how lead white was made and that it took two months to do so.
 
 
 
Another home turned museum is the Anne Frank House. Fearing it would be a grisly read I avoided Anne Frank's Diary until this past winter. Although sad it was not morbid. When I'd finished, I knew I would have to visit the house. The line ups are insane. Before leaving home, Bill purchased my ticket online which enabled me to skip the line. Plus he bought me the add on of the half hour talk prior to the tour.
 
 
Unfortunately the Anne Frank House was undergoing exterior refurbishing under the tarp

For once I was grateful for the crowds - 5000 people a day file through the home. Passing through the original moveable bookcase, sandwiched between people, was decidedly eerie. To have been there alone would have been emotionally overwhelming.

There is an excellent 2.5 minute video clip here which tells the story of going into hiding. I was surprised to see empty rooms. Immediately after the arrest of the eight people in hiding, the Nazi's ordered the annex emptied. When the secret annex became a museum, in 1960, Otto Frank insisted that the rooms remain empty. Temporarily and
only for the purpose of photography, the rooms were furnished. If you explore The Anne Frank House Online you'll see them thus. As well, there are virtual tours. This one of the stairway will give you a sense of the space. Once the woman has finished talking (very short) click on (.) to open the staircase ... and now imagine being there with a solid line of people in front of and behind you!


A portrait of Anne Frank in an Amsterdam, commercial gallery window
 
One night, we timidly stepped into the Red Light District where I had my eyes opened to what legalised prostitution looks like.
 
 
We were not brave or foolish enough to photograph anything more than this canal image of the Red Light District


Returning to our studio apartment at night we passed Posthumus and returned the very next morning. I not only reveled in the shop's products, I admired the intricate and elaborate designs of Miranda that are featured there.
 
 

 
Bill investigated Vliger, a paper shop. There we thought we'd reached nirvana. As I had secured a mailing tube for my Rijksmuseum drawing, we indulged in purchasing some of their divine papers ... should have bought more than we did!
 
If the train station looks remarkably like the Rijksmuseum it's because the same architect designed both!
 
 
October 15th, farewell Amsterdam!
 
I'm glad I was able to get my head around leaving Prague enough to fully enjoy Amsterdam's cultural wealth.