Saturday, April 25, 2015

Codfish Project (Woodblock Trial with Net) April 22, 2015

This is a continuation of my prep work for my codfish project. (Along with 49 other local artists, I am decorating a wooden fish to donate to the Marblehead Art Fest.) I am trying out my ideas on scrap lumber before working on the actual wooden fish cutout. I have been trying to create the illusion of scales by painting through a net with gold paint. But the result wasn't as reliable as it needed to be. After a number of tries, the net itself had been painted gold. That gave me the idea of actually using gold painted netting as an element of the collage. This is a trial run to see how that would look. To be continued. . . .

Friday, April 24, 2015

Codfish Project (Woodblock Trial #2) April 22, 2015

This is more prep work for my codfish project. Fifty local artists are decorating wooden codfish to be displayed in Marblehead and then auctioned for the Marblehead Arts Fest this summer. Rather than risk having to do "overs" on my big wooden codfish, I decided to do some trial runs on small pieces of scrap lumber. For my first woodblock trial, I tried out six different ways to do the markings on the fish. I chose one of them and in this trial run, I am trying to see how my choice is going to look. What you see here is silver tissue paper collaged to the woodblock, with markings also made of tissue paper. I also tried adding gold acrylic accents, painted through a net to look like scales. So far, I haven't been able to get that to work the way I would like, at least not consistently. And that could be a problem, because that would be the final step in the process. But I still like the touches of gold paint because help to suggest the iridescence of the skin. To be continued. . .

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Codfish Project (Woodblock Trial #1) April 18, 2015

I am going to decorate a big wooden codfish to donate to the Marblehead Arts Festival. Fifty local artists are doing this, and the decorated fish will be displayed in Marblehead before they are auctioned off. I picked up the wooden fish last week, and have been thinking hard about codfish. After looking at photos of codfish, I decided to do a very loose rendition of the markings on the codfish, but it bright colors. I decided to do this with collage, using layers of tissue paper and gel medium. And I knew I wanted to used silver paper for the background, with bright pink and dark blue. I decided to try out my ideas on a piece of scrap lumber. (This wasn't going to be like working on a piece of paper. "Can I have another fish, please?" wouldn't be an option.) So I did six different trials on my block of wood, with different sizes and proportions and positions of pink and blue. I also decided to try adding gold accents, painted through a net to suggest scales. It was hard to get the result I wanted, but sometimes it worked. Anyway, this was a helpful exercise. After spending a little time looking at these six trial runs, I had a clearer idea of what to do. To be continued. . .

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Codfish Project Unwrapped

This is a wooden codfish that I am going to decorate for the Marblehead Festival of Arts 50th Anniversary Celebration.  I am among fifty local artists who are going to decorate one of these wooden fish, which will then be displayed in Marblehead, MA, and auctioned off.  Last week I drove over to Marblehead to pick up my  wooden codfish. It  was wrapped in plastic when I picked it up. As I was unwrapping it back home, I remembered that as a kid, I was used to seeing fresh fish wrapped in newspaper.  So before I started decorating this fish, I decided to kick off this project by taking a photo of my wooden fish against a backdrop of newspapers. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


It's been a long winter, here north of Boston. But most of the snow is gone, and displays of flowers are beginning to appear outdoors at plant stores and in front of supermarkets. I took this photo of some violas on a recent trip to a plant store. Tonight I cropped this image of the one of the best photos. I love violas; they seem to turn up just when I have given up any hope of warm weather. They make me smile. And though they might not look like it, they are actually very sturdy.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mom and Me (Photo on Pink Board)

I made this over the weekend while I was working on another project (my decoupage box). This is a black and white photographic image on a pink plaque with jute. This is only about three inches square, designed to be a Christmas ornament, but it can also be hung on the wall. (With a lot of them, you can make a family tree.) I painted the wood a soft pink, and wanted the jute to be gray with a pink cast, as a background for the black and white photo.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Decoupage Box (Mom Reading a Letter)

Yesterday I painted the outside of my decoupage box, so now it is finished, although I will probably add another coat of medium to seal it. The image is a photo of my mom, from a snapshot that I colorized a few years ago. This can be hung on the wall, or placed on a bookshelf vertically, but can also be used as a little box or tray. I made this for myself, but I enjoy making these things for other people, too.