Wednesday, October 14, 2015


It is time to get back to the DOG IN THE HOLE STUDIO. 

This upcoming year will mark the 3150 Studio Artists fifth year together.  We have studied together, experimented together with new techniques, shown our work in different gallery settings, put together a website and a promotional DVDs of one body of our work. 

Each year we took on the same basic studies of the Principles and Elements of Design but took it up a notch. I feel our work reflected this. 

It is time for the group to continue to meet and grow and learn but focus more on our own Independent Study. There are people that pay thousands of dollars to study mark making techniques with experts. Those same experts have published books and DVDs for the public. It is my feeling, that although you miss out on the one on one from a well known teacher, it is very possible to learn and achieve the same information and standards of those teachers.

And, frankly, I'm not willing to pay $2000.00-4000.00 for a year's worth of suggestions, ideas and critiques from someone else. I feel good about where I am in my art quest and the simple act of asking, WHAT IF, will keep me exploring and experimenting for a long time.

I have put together a syllabus for the winter for the group, based on these same well known teachers and their output of information. 
We learn well as a group.  We question, we are willing to experiment, we are honest about are results and open to suggestions from one another. Sometimes I feel our world relies to much on those with "papers" to determine the "right"
answer, direction or final say.

So, follow along, if you are interested, I won't be charging you. :)

The first thing to remember is that each member of our group has two summers worth of dye experiments.  I've asked them to sort these into three piles; the first - Fine I can work with this, second, Needs some additional work, and third- WHAT WAS I THINKING, OMG, UGH.  The last pile being slightly more in the  tell us how you really feel about those.

It is the third pile that we will be experimenting with and have no regrets.
We didn't like the results to begin with and anything done to it can't hurt it.

Friday, we will be at the new home of one of our members.  We get to see her new studio set up and she will treat us to a demonstration of a screen printing process that she found that doesn't require MX Procion dyes. 

Like an Independent Study course it will be up to us to go home and experiment with this technique on that third pile.  

I will be using my Sketchbook, I favor a large Canson with watercolor paper, to record my results, make notes and post in pictures. Over the past four years I have to admit I have been lax in always updating my sketchbook, not any more.
I'm getting older, my memory isn't all the great when it comes to the details of how I did something.  I have a vague idea and maybe if I'm lucky it all comes back, mostly it doesn't. 

I will post later this week about our Friday workshop and the demo.

You have been looking at photos for the last two workshop of October.  I have suggested to the group that we start NOW, while this nice fall weather lasts, to collect as many different kinds of natural items that can be used with acrylic ink to make MARKS on paper.

I collected from the yard quite a number of interesting seed heads, twigs, stems and grasses that I thought had possibilities.

In the studio I taped a long roll of cheap children's banner paper across the tables. Because I want a record of what I used and the results I took pictures of the items before I used them and a picture of the results.

I used Acrylic Ink poured into a plastic cup.  Acrylic Ink is washable but it still can make a mess if you aren't careful.  Wear gloves if you need to protect your hands and don't forget work clothes or an apron.

The above photo is the seed head from Zebra grass and a leaf.  I made a note next to each print of the mark so I wouldn't get confused or forget.  I know some of you are rolling your eyes but trust me, many of the marks will look similar and it won't be until you get them in your photo editing program and look closely at them that you will see the unique signature it makes.

The type of plant or stem often determined how I held it and that determined how the marks were made. Even if I had a favorite mark I wanted to make it was not always easy to make the item move that way.  It was much easier to "LET GO" and allow the item to determine the mark.

I now have a record of quite a few natural items. I can print out a picture and use it for a number of projects.  I can examine the photo more closely in my editing program and isolate areas that are of interest and again print out a picture.

Since a number of winter experiments will be based on these marks, if you are interested in following along then by all means, grab a basket, your clippers and take a walk with Waldo and gather your items.


1 comment:

  1. A great exercise! Thanks for sharing it.