Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mixed Media Collage by Catherine Temple

I felt like I needed a little creative challenge ( as if doing ANY art piece isn't challenge enough!) and decided to try my hand at a mixed media art piece. I've been pondering these for awhile and thought "looks easy enough" and set about finding things to glue to a canvas. This was actually a lot of fun for me since I'm a collector of all sorts of odd bits and pieces of things. I love feathers and interesting moss, rocks, sea shells, leaves, interesting seed pods. I've been known to make my husband do some pretty crazy stuff to acquire the object of my desire and then pack it home for me. A set of deer antlers comes to mind.... never mind that they were still attached to a deer we'd found that had died over the winter.... but I'm wandering now. So, where was I? Oh yes. I collected some things and proceeded to get started.

Like everything else one has never tried before there is always a learning curve and I am somewhat of a perfectionist and expect to be an expert my first time out. Now everyone, stop snickering....I know some of you are the same way. Just how hard can these things be???
Turns out the "finding things" was the easiest part, followed by the actual gluing down of everything. The parts in between were, well, definitely challenging! I really didn't have a clue as to what I was doing and should have chosen a theme before I started. My work space was covered with lots of stuff I really didn't need, all the "pretties" and unusual stuff, some wonderful papers I bought, my tools, glue, scissors. You name it, I probably had it! Eventually, I started to sort through it all and an idea started to form....sort of.

After a long while of staring at it all and wondering what ever possessed me to do this, I started cutting and tearing paper and trying to place it all in some semblance of order, some "logical" progression of items. I know that collage probably has some thought process to it, but I think that some of the fun of it is supposed to be the "unordered" look, you know, kind of free form. So finally, I just said "what the heck," laid it all out nicely on my table and then had to figure out how to glue it all down without disrupting my very nice design because, of course, the first pieces to get glued down are now on the bottom of the design! And, heaven forbid, you don't want to sneeze!!! ACHOO! Papers, feathers, design going everywhere! (I'm thinking open windows, fans, any air movement is a really bad thing at this point!) Sigh!

Finally, after longer hours than it should have taken, my design was complete. I have to say that I have a new found interest in this art form and a healthy respect and admiration for the artists who are able to do it and do it well. Will I try it again? Oh, probably, because there are aspects of it that are just a whole lot of fun. Going on a treasure hunt for the items, all that cutting and gluing and painting sure makes you feel like a kid again! And I think most of us need a good dose of that!

Well, I'm off to go think up some other challenge for myself...NOT! I think instead I'll go play in the dirt, pull some weeds, plant something. Oh, hey, look at that snail shell! Now what can I do with that......

Friday, March 19, 2010

"In His Arms" Golden Retriever watercolor by Catherine Temple

This one is hot off the easel today! He's been on and off my easel for many weeks now...actually months, now that I think about it! I originally started him in acrylic, but had chosen a very slick surface to paint on. (What was I thinking????) The paint kept sliding all over and I couldn't get the effect I wanted so I set it aside....for a long time! When I finally got around to painting him again I trashed the original painting and started over. This piece is exactly what I was after all along!

You may recognize this golden retriever puppy from previous paintings I've posted here. Copper has been the subject of at least three. This, in my humble opinion, is the best I've done of him. He made quite an impression on me and if you recall from previous posts he had a very bad accident and almost didn't survive. I believe that God gave him a miracle and has a special purpose in mind for Copper.

I entitled this "In His Arms" for a couple of reasons. First, I believe God held this little guy in His arms the night he was injured and healed him. (Yes, I believe God heals animals, too!) Second, I'm reminded that God holds us all and this painting makes me think of that and smile. Think about it...wouldn't you just love to be held in big, strong, protective arms? How would it make you feel, especially when you're having a tough day?

This painting is going to be a part of an upcoming show at the Valley Art Center called "Going to the Dogs" and will be on display from April 5 - May 1, 2010. It will be for sale there if you are interested in giving him a forever home. The Valley Art Center is located in Clarkston, Wa. and the opening reception will be Friday, April 5th starting at 5 p.m. if you'd like to stop by and say hello.

Well, I'm off to create something else or maybe now would be a good time to sit back, enjoy a nice cup of coffee and something chocolate to celebrate finishing this painting. I hope you're all having a great day and if not then just join Copper and think about being held by a God who loves you! Enjoy!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Baby Robin - ACEO

I know it's early March and some parts of the country are still in the grips of winter, but here in the Northwest we are experiencing a very early spring. In the valley where I live birds are returning from their wintering grounds and are changing into their breeding plumage. It won't be long before they choose a mate, build nests and raise their young. In anticipation of the coming spring I chose to paint this baby robin freshly fledged from his nest, but still dependent on his parents to feed him.

This painting was done from a photo I took last summer of this fledgling. He was hiding in a raspberry bush that I was watering and I almost didn't see him. In fact, Maggie was snuffling under the bush looking for fallen berries and SHE didn't see him either. I held my breath as she snuffled right under the vine he was sitting on and it rested on her head until I called her away so the little bird would be safe.

I chose to do this painting in a very small format. It is an ACEO which stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals or may also be considered an ATC - Artist Trading Card. The standard size for both must be trading card size which is 2 1/2" x 3 1/2". The painting is done in gouache on 300lb. watercolor paper and is for sale. The price is just $25.00 and would make a lovely little gift for a bird or nature lover or anyone who is just thinking of spring! He is currently available through my Etsy store. Just click on the link and he's yours!