2017 Creative Challenge: Revealing My Process
My process intentionally wanders from photograph to drawing, to collage, to assembled sculpture. The various combinations of methods, practiced over years, inspires invention and curiosity each time I step into the studio. It keeps me coming back for more.
For 2017 I will be creating 24 pieces of art: twelve drawings and twelve mixed media sculptures. I will be sharing how I make these pieces through video (scroll to the bottom of this page) and photographs. These will show my process from inspiration, to drawing, to digital composition, to mixed media assemblage.
Inspired by the soaring wood storks above me this time of year, I have captured them in a graphite drawing and then translated it to a mixed media piece by layering imagery from an antique anatomy textbook, and adding glass vials with feather and thread on a map covered wood panel. Epoxy resin seals and completes the piece.
The seagulls fly over the James Island connector every morning as I drive to work. They must be following the sunlit river under the bridge. It’s a great way to start my day. Gold leaf was added to the graphite drawing to represent the river. The mixed media piece on the right incorporates a graphic image of the brain overlaid with gold leaf and finished with a layer of epoxy resin. My drawing of the seagulls is one of the image transfer layers beneath the brain.
On a recent kayak trip down Seaside Creek I spotted a lone great blue heron in complete stillness. I have seen these birds throughout the US but often see them fishing in the marshes in my community. I snapped a picture and paddled on. This drawing is based on that photo. I added spartina grass with gold leaf to represent the golden light that morning. After creating the drawing of the Great Blue Heron, I wanted to add in some graphics from my antique German anatomy textbooks. I found some cellular structure drawings that reminded me of what the pluff mud of the marsh may look like under a microscope. There is so much life growing in this habitat and the heron walks gently above it. The gold leaf added to the experience I saw of the morning golden light.
A female cardinal was furiously pecking at our windows this month for fear that her reflection was a threat. I sat and drew her flipping about in my window for several days. I then saw her being fed sweetly by her mate. The mixed media piece incorporates an image transfer from an antique German anatomy textbook, a copy/transfer of my original drawing, light molding paste spread through a radial-shaped stencil (look close for this detail), on a map covered wood panel with an epoxy resin varnish.
Purchase “Cardinal on Defense” HERE. Purchase “Flight” HERE.
The calming call of the mourning dove has inspired me for years. I decided to focus on one simple feather for the drawing. I added the circle texture with light modeling paste (Golden products) and then added the gold leaf on the edges. I had seen gold leaf set inside some architectural elements of a church in Charleston which inspired this addition. The mixed media piece seemed to need the hand from the antique anatomy handbooks to go along with three copies of the mourning dove feather. I witnessed a golden sunrise on my way to work and put all three images together to represent the calm that comes with a day of hard work.
Purchase “Mourning Dove Feather” HERE. Purchase “Mourning Sunrise” HERE.
The energetic chirp of the chickadee always reminds me of camping during the summer. Since I have been heading into the woods more this month, the chickadee has been the bird I have been studying. The drawing represents the fluttering action these birds often do in and out of the trees. For the mixed media piece I transferred a copy of my drawing to the map covered wood panel. The image wasn’t strong enough on its own to hold up alongside the map so I added some white paint in the background. Small gold leaf birds balance the composition. Look even closer and you can see small white birds made from modeling paste. Epoxy resin varnish completes the piece.
The crow will be my next subject…