Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Koala Chillin' on a Branch - Painted Paper Painting

'Ello Mates :)

I want to share my newest painted paper painting. Koala Chillin on a Branch :)


This piece is a commission brought in by a relative who happens to have a wall of my art in his apartment. He shows it off to his visitors... and has now decided he wants me to make a ton of art and then he will sell if for me for a commission. Only 5% he says...which of course is a extremely fair deal! However...do I really want to do art for money? To be at the mercy of a client? I am sure I am not the only person here who struggles with combining art and money. Whenever I am doing a requested piece...I have a hard time finding motivation t6 get in the studio. My muse runs for the hills as I start blankly at the substrate. I wonder if any of my ideas are good enough. I second guess every mark I make. It is so stressful! It does work better if I have a piece I already completed and someone wishes to buy it...but even then I sweat over what price to ask. I have no formula to calculate a monetary value for something that came from my heart and soul. Am I alone in this? I doubt it. In fact when a couple of my artist friends visited last weekend to do some collaborative mixed media art..we discussed this issue. Of course.none of us came up with the perfect answers for how to fix the problem. We did have a TON OF FUN doing art though. We each started with a blank canvas and then rotated canvases each layer we put on. Here are the resulting pieces. I got to keep the one with the flowers :)


Well..I suppose I better quit going on and on and start the step out of my project :) I imagine that is what everyone comes here for! This time I started with a standard gesso coated white 12" X 12" canvas. I sketched on it using a graphite pencil. I was asked if I use a photo when I draw. Yes. I usually can't produce something like a koala out of my imagination, so I look for a few photos on the Internet and use them to look at as I sketch.


Next comes the underpainting. Why do I do this step? Many reasons. I like to try out colors as I paint. Also, if I were to miss a spot as I am doing the collage step...it won't show up as a white spot. This is real issue in my last couple pieces as I have been using gelli printed deli paper which is by nature translucent. In addition, having the colors and shading there on the canvas helps with placement as I put the paper over it. 


So, as I am painting my underpainting, I also paint or print the papers I plan to use for the collage step later. This time I used my 5" X 7" Gelli plate and some stencils to create textured papers. This has a huge benefit of using up extra paint I may have left on my palette after my painting is done. That is the main reason I do my paper painting/printing after each later of painting.


Once I am all finished with the under painting and the printing of my papers, then comes the collage part. I cover every inch of the canvas in painted papers...even the edges. I tear or cut papers depending on the need. I layer them to create rough shading, highlights...and textures. I attach it all with matte gel medium. It is a involved process and I usually become totally engrossed to the exclusion of everything else until it is finished. or someone interrupts me


For this piece I added an additional layer of shading using a water soluble pencil stabilo pencil and blending with a waterbrush. That is what gives it a more illustration feel. I hope my client likes my piece.... of course I am nervous as usual about selling it! I hope all of you like it anyway :) Leave me a comment and I will be sure to respond!
<3 Shel





14 comments:

  1. I've seen your paper piecing collages and my eyes STILL can't believe what they see! Simply incredible art, Shel. And your client will surly LOVE this beauty!

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  2. Love, love, love this painting of your Koala Bear! I am so intrigued with your Painted Paper Collage Paintings. It is so amazing that you can 'paint' your images with tiny pieces of torn painted paper. The shading and detail you create by applying shades of tiny, torn pieces of painted paper is so creative. Incredible Art!...Ms Shel. :)

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    1. Thanks so much. It is fun and rewarding :)

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  3. Wonderful Shel! And how cool that your relative digs your art so much that he has a wall of it?! And now wants to sell it for you!
    funny that you had friends over and did a collaboration- as I kinda did the same last weekend. The best thing about that time besides the great friendship and all the chatter, was the like-mindedness of us and being able to bounce thoughts,questions and ideas off of one another! Yes, we all struggle with the same questions at one point or another-and it is relief to know we are not alone!
    Your pieces all came out beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing!
    hugs xx

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    1. I wish I had been at your gathering Jackie! The visitors I had were both met through the internet. I was finally able to prove that 'internet friends' are real! And yes, we had so much in common and it was awesome to spend time with like minded artists. I want to plan more of these get togethers with more of us who have connected through art and the internet!

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  4. Shel! These are all so beautiful! So colorful and very fun to see all the beautiful papers that make up the entire piece :) Love them all!

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    1. Thank you so much Pam :) I think they might need to start a 12 step program for gelli printing addicted people!

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  5. Wonderful piece, Shel, and I love that you can play with your art - that's all-important to me as well. I know that you're not alone in the juggle for selling, enjoying and creating for others; it's the eternal question, isn't it?

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    1. Thank you Win :) Yes, it seems that many I have encountered struggle with the same issues I do for sure. That is why I love communicating with other artists via the internet..so I don't feel alone.

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  6. You are not alone in your thoughts about art and selling... It's probably the most worrisome thought all artists have. I struggle with every step of it just like you .
    Angst and all that goes with it from the moment I'm asked to paint something someone else wants. I do sell, but now sell only what I paint .. I create something because I love it and then have to be willing to part with it if someone wants to pay for it ... If not? then it's on my wall... LOL !

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    1. I know what you mean Barbara! The hardest thing is trying to make someone else's vision come true. I have lots of walls though so I guess I should just create for myself only and not worry :)

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  7. Looks like it's coming along nicely, you've captured the koala perfectly!

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Thank you for your comments. I read every one :)