Friday, February 28, 2014

Company in The Anne Frank Room

For and in this photo I've smudged my painting because it's a surprise birthday present!
Today marks six weeks since surgery. Recovering from my hip replacement involves a regime of strengthening exercises for my body. But, it's the generosity of family and friends who check in, help me (and especially Bill) by visiting that repairs my soul. Win, and John's, stay advanced the healing of my art spirit when she and I stole away to The Anne Frank Room.
Over last weekend, Win and I didn't work at our usual frenzied rate but rather we took it slow and easy. With neither of us firing on all cylinders, the energy this time was gentle. Whenever we share my small counter we work side by side in easy harmony. Nobody ever crosses the imaginary centre line!

Win is checking out commercially made stencils with a mind to experiment with textures

Opting to use black paper, Win created a subtle layer using black gesso and a store bought stencil. If you look closely you can see it at the top of her work. Over another piece of textured, tinted white paper, which was adhered to the black sheet, she stenciled with pastel, iridescent colours ...

Win hand cut the stencil she is using here
When stencilling, how can you know what it will look like if you don't try it? Well, after removing the stencil, Win didn't like the way it looked. I, consumed as I was in my own project, didn't get a photo of it before she painted over the entire experiment with black gesso ...
It's not easy to see the subtle texture of the blacked out layers, but they are there!
To create the long, organic shapes Win used metallic silver paint through select parts of the stencil (seen above on the left). Above is where she left off. It will be interesting to see how she chooses to further develop this piece. 

With the mixed guru in the house (and after a trip downtown for a laser photo copy) I was coached through making a direct transfer. Having it turn out perfectly meant having to wait overnight. The copy and the cradled panel were weighted (under my oil paint box) to secure that the gel gloss medium had worked it's magic securing the image.

Removing the paper is time consuming and can render your finger tips raw!

Transfers are not my favourite thing but for this project employing one was the perfect solution. I promise there'll be a post about this painting once it has been gifted.
There was time spent with our spouses. While the fellows followed the Sochi Olympics closely, Win and I randomly caught a few events. With all four of us are addicted to Downton Abbey, in the evenings we'd position ourselves in front of the television to watch multiple episodes.

As you might expect, all this was interspersed with fine dining and good wine ...
Yes, in spite of the fact that he is awaiting a bridge for that missing tooth, John still gives his warmest smiles!


  1. What a lovely post about a wonderful time, Alice. I smiled to see the swirly shape in your painting, knowing full well what was REALLY there. It's a delicious and exciting thought, and I look forward to the 'reveal' post with bated breath!

    1. It was great to have you both here again. I wish we lived closer than 4.5 hours apart. We do play so very well together!
      Ah yes, beneath the smudge lies something special!

  2. What a wonderful post of two very gifted friends deep in the act of creative pursuits. p.s. I am a new fan of Downtown Abbey...great show!

    1. Thanks, Laura!
      New to Downton Abbey ourselves, we have gobbled up three seasons in a month and are into season four now!