Saturday, September 03, 2011

Classic Martini - Part 1

Martinis.  You either love them or hate them.  There are endless stories of who created them and endless recipes for different varieties.  This is a classic martini - gin, vermouth, ice, shaken or stirred.  The garnish can be a lemon or lime twist, olive or cherry.

I've started, trashed and restarted this martini painting.  I'm using an 8 x 8 cradled panel that is oh so smooth.  I think its the surface that was throwing me initially as it just didn't want to seem to grab the paint.  The first try last night and this morning didn't work at all so I painted over it with Payne's Gray and am now in the process of getting the textures and shapes correct so that it looks like glass and liquid in glass.

This is in acrylic and that can cause its own issues, especially on a smaller scale for me.  However, I think its starting to come together.  Another session tomorrow and it should be complete.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Sea Ghosts

As with all things done quickly, errors occur and this was no exception.  However, a crop or two sometimes saves the day.

This is a gyotaku piece of ocean perch printed with Caligo white ink on blue silk kozo paper.  I was pressing the paper to eliminate a few wrinkles and a little smudge of wax must have been left on the iron surface and transferred to the paper.   I muttered a few Anglo Saxon phrases then decided to crop the piece to eliminate the waxed area.  Either that or try to print over it with another fish.  Cropping seemed the easier solution.  I'll add a backing paper to it and keep my fingers crossed  nothing else goes wrong!

The white against the blue is  a good contrast and does give a ghostly appearance to the fish.  I added very light touches of watercolour and coloured pencil to highlight the gill plates and eyes of the fish.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Zucchini blossom

 Zucchini blossom
wax batik on unryu paper
5.5" x 9.5"

After a horrible summer, the weather's finally cooperating a bit and plants are springing to life at the unexpected sunshine and heat.  The zucchinis are taking full advantage and galloping ahead, setting endless blooms and fruit, well veg... 

I love the large bright blossoms and went out early on Saturday morning to take some photos of them as they opened.  What I love most is the point where they're still unfurled.  They are these perfect swirls, like the fanciest dress of a fairy.  With the morning light shining through, it makes them even more magical.

With some of the same unryu paper left over from the previous batik, I thought I'd do a small piece using one of the unfurled flowers as the subject. This piece measures 5.5 x 9.5 inches.

I also ordered some tjantings to make future wax batik work easier.  These little tools hold the molten wax and let it pour from a small tube in the end of the bowl.  Tipping the bowl backwards or forwards controls the flow and the bowl is submerged in the melted wax to keep it warmed if the flow slows.  I've ordered three different sizes and they were shipped today so hopefully they'll turn up in a week or two, customs willing.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Batik koi

16" x 20"
Unryu paper, wax batik/watercolour

After my first experiment with wax batik on paper, I knew I wanted to do more.  This weekend I remembered that I had a design purchased ages ago from Kathie George who produces beautiful batik paintings.  I dug it out and figured it would be a good way to get some more experience with this technique.

I used some unryu paper and spent a laborious morning drawing and waxing initial layers.  The fish are the simple part, the intricate borders were a challenge.  Usually these borders are done with a metal pattern dipped in wax and applied like a stamp to the paper or fabric.  Without one, I had to draw it by hand.

I took images all along the process and will post them another time.  I like the final result, however the paper was perhaps a little too fragile for this technique and developed a couple of tiny tears.  Nothing that cannot be cured once mounted.  Also, I'm looking still for a local source of paraffin wax as beeswax alone is too soft and doesn't crackle in the final stage as I want it to.  Seems canning/bottling supplies are not carrying this as much as they once did.  Another tradition by the wayside perhaps.

Now with another under my belt and some lessons learned, I have a few more ideas for pieces that I'd like to try.