Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New work alert! Wawoowawooo! (alarm noise...)

This week I have been really missing Pittsburgh. Most specifically missing the architecture and textures of the city. I am in a stage where I need more source material. I need to go out and take pictures find more letters, buy some books.. i am running LOW. But I have been so unmotivated to do so. After all the snow we have had in Boston I can't imagine going into the city. I want no part in finding parking, driving down even more narrow streets, and lets face it... this snow has made Bostonian's even more cranky. Now I will say that the snow is melting and things aren't as bad anymore but I still can't get myself down 95. So instead I think about how easy it would be to drive around Pittsburgh. True fact, Pittsburgh drivers are the nicest drivers. They let people make left hand turns, talk to each other at lights, and are just great. I imagine driving around, seeing something, throwing on my flashers, getting the picture I need, and going on with my day. Here I get cursed at if I so much as stop for a pedestrian... which is the law by the way! Anyway. I am not feeling Boston right now and I'm missing Pittsburgh and I have images from my last trip home so i'm making a series of abandoned buildings inspired by da burgh. 

I love this building
I am really digging these few pieces. Once I get over my Boston driving fear I plan on taking a trip to explore buildings around MA. Hopefully I can do at least ten of these. Each building seems to have its own personality and it is so much fun figuring them out. The building in the above photo just look so proud, like she has her head raised high, even though she isn't in the best shape. Whereas the building below seems to be sinking into itself.. almost like its slouching. (Maybe I need to spend more time with adults and less time with pictures of buildings...)

I have a weakness... and it is clouds.

Once I have a few more images I will be printing a set of these off. I'm thinking about printing both on Luster and Matte paper. All images will be 11x14. Keep tuned for more information on these and other pieces in this series! Hopefully one of these days I will get my act together and get some pieces in a shop online. Now I just need to figure out which site is best. Does anyone use anything other than Etsy these days? Is Etsy still relevant? Let me know what you think.

Song of the hour- Hot Volcano by Pearl and the Beard. Truthfully I've listened to it on repeat for the past hour. This is a power song for me.. I get a lot done. Really anything with Pearl and the Beard. These abandoned building pieces seem to just appear when P&TB is on. weird. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Fantastic Finish

So the canvases are in and the images still look great! (If I do say so myself!) I am beyond excited. When they first came in we realized that the laminated logo no longer fit with the other pieces. It was way to shiny and needed to be toned down considerably. Also All of the canvases came about 1 1/2" away form the wall and the logo was going to be flush. At first we didn't think it would matter since the quilts would too be up against the wall fairly flat, but after seeing everything laid out we knew that we would have to give the logo some depth. 

Just look at the shine.

I addressed the first problem with my one stop problem solving shop... Matte Medium. A few coats and it was less abrasive. To give it height I decided to go to a local frame shop that MaryAnn suggested. I found a frame that was 1" deep and had a beautiful espresso finish. The molding is extremely simple and yet very classic. The cool part about this particular shop is that you get to join and fit the piece yourself.. this saves you a bit of money and is just fun to be able to do the piece from start to finish!

I even got to join the frame!

Last Sunday the church had a huge celebration for the end of construction and renovations. It was so exciting to show people my work. I haven't had the opportunity before then to show people I spend Sundays with what I do. I was very happy with the feedback. 

Here are some images that I stole from Mary Ann's blog... I went in on Monday to take photos but they had to take everything down to repaint the wall behind the artwork... oh well. Everything will be back in place soon.

The entryway.

All of the pieces together. I love the way the quilts and art look together!

I am so grateful to be a part of this project. Its nice to know that even when I leave Boston (eventually) there will still be a piece of me left behind. tear.

The artists.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Three Year Project- The Final

Hello Friends!

So I thought I would do a post about how I make some of my pieces. This particular piece started in 2013 while I was on vacation with the Patron in Washington State. While driving from Spokane to Seattle I couldn't believe how open everything was. Being from Pittsburgh, wide open spaces are a bit foreign to me. In PGH everything is right on top of each other. One of my favorite things about the city is that it looks like homes are toppling down hillsides or sprouting up from riverbanks. Needless to say Washington was a bit of a shock. I went to school in Ohio so I am not new to farmland... but WOW! We drove for miles and didn't see one tree. I was taken by how large the sky was and how open the roads were. It was peaceful and awesome (literal sense of the word). I took photos as we drove knowing that I would revisit them when I returned to MA. 

Once I got home I forgot about the pictures. I got caught up in returning to everyday life that I didn't see the photos until a few months later. Once I fell in love with them again, I created a 24 x 24 square image (dimensions picked at total random). A few weeks later I found three 8 x 24 canvases at a local craft and art supply store. I loved the feel of the dimensions. Small but still powerful. Big enough to hold the images but still intimate.

The printed 8x8 squares a bit too shiney for my liking.
 I separated the 24x24 image into 9 8x8 pieces. Once printed (I happened to print on glossy paper though the final result has a matte appearance) I attached the images to the canvas using Matte Medium. This took away the gloss finish and sealed the images to the canvas. 

Sometimes you have to be creative when putting weights on a piece... 
The images needed to be weighed down so that the paper wouldn't separate from the canvas while drying. Since the stretcher bars were so close together, books wouldn't fit in this space... luckily for me we had gone on a Yankee Candle spree a few weeks back and the jars fit perfectly!

First coat of medium applied. On;y 16 more to go (just kidding- there is a total of 4 coats)

I get a little paranoid when working off screen. I really wanted these pieces to be secure so I applied several coats of Mod Podge to keep everything in place. I finished the pieces by painting the edges black and sealing everything with a last coat of medium. Because the piece is mostly uncovered paper it can fade easily if not treated. Normally with works on paper you should protect behind UV or museum glass. Since I was treating these panels as paintings I didn't want to introduce glass. I found a UV spray from Krylon called "Preserve It" that seems to do wonders! It protects the work from fading and doesn't ruin my beautiful matte finish. (side note: they do sell Preserve It in a gloss finish as well...  Buy it HERE .... but gloss and I do not work well together right now).

The Final Piece. Currently hung at Gallery 111 in Concord MA.

I am very happy with this project. I ran into some issues along the way- but I am so glad I gave it the time it deserved. Sometimes all you need to do is give projects a little space to breathe... they have a way of sorting their issues out on their own.

If you are interested in this or another piece please visit and send me a message. If you are interested in a one of a kind piece please contact me with your thoughts and I would be happy to work with you to create your own special memory "painting."