100 Day Project: Week 4

100 Day Project, Projects

Day 22: February 12

All I wanted to accomplish to day while I had access to electricity was finish editing the polaroids for my website portfolio and then I’d do some work on the 100 Day Project.

Instead, I just finished doing meditative lines on a 100 Day piece just before midnight to relax after my thumb drive failed and erased the last batch of edited images before I could transfer them.

Not all days can be easy.

Day 23: February 13

I had a shower epiphany. Usually I have driving epiphanies, but I’ll take it wherever it comes… work on 100 Day later.

It’s later. I’m very happy with where my head is going ( blog post about the epiphany). And my 100 Day works are going exactly as I’d hoped. Better even.

White, Burnt Sienna, and Raw Umber Acrylic, Faber-Castell black ink pen, and cotton fabric.

Day 24: February 14

I took a moment to apply a little paint to one piece while waiting on my husband. Nothing else. Today was a day for adulting.

Day 25: February 15

Another day for adulting. I did a little more painting on the same piece from yesterday and added a little more texture. It is not done, but not much time for that today.

In progress…

Day 26: February 16

Things are back to our more typical rhythm I think. Had the time and ambition to put some effort in this morning. Starting reading articles about Georgia O’Keefe.

Progress shot. Don’t mind the studio assistant Mr. Gato.
Acrylic (yellow ochre, white and raw umber) and faber-castell black ink pen.
Acrylic (yellow ochre, alizarin crimson, burnt umber, white, raw umber) , faber-castell ink pen, ceramic stucco texture, fabric, and paper towel.

Day 27: February 17

Today was a long travel day. I did the meditative lines on the third longhorn piece. Also re-drew the skull outline that I lost in the first layer of paint.

Day 28: February 18

This week was more productive theoretically and less productive physically. But I never thought I’d produce high volumes of work. At the close of the fourth week I’m happy with the progress. And even more happy with the mental breakthroughs. Hopefully with the end of truck problems I can put more concentration towards creating. I did make an effort to touch paper every day even if I didn’t feel like it.

Acrylic (yellow ochre, alizarin crimson, raw umber and white), fabric, paper towel, Faber-Castell black ink pen, ceramic stucco texture.
Acrylic (white, yellow ochre, raw umber) and Faber-Castell black ink pen.
Acrylic (white and burnt sienna), fabric, and Faber-Castell black ink pen.
Works in progress.

Thoughts from the Road: Self Reflection

Art Journal, Artistic Growth, process, Self Reflection, The Road, Thoughts

The question is does travel change you?

We were thrust into a situation where our options were all less than appetizing so we went all in on the idea of traveling. Go West to find some future, like so many people before us. In the beginning it felt like we were merely fleeing the brutal winters of home. Then it felt like an extended vacation. Now I’ve reached a tipping point.

I go West. I go West in search of something more than. At the crest of this tipping point I find my head and heart. The true being in my form sizzles at my skin longing for its release from the long prison. Somewhere in this life I put away my truer self. I put her away. I contained that wild artist child. I tried to be many different people. I put on different masks hoping to blend into environments I never quite understood.

As a child I was wild. And creative. I ran unsupervised in a pink dress and sparkly jelly shoes. I trashed clothes because my whims decided My-Little-Ponies needed outfits. I drew cats with long tails and white tips. But I hid that child away. I grew up in a home where alcoholism and anger reigned hand-in-hand. I took that wonderful wild child and hid her away because I wanted to fade into the background. Instead I quietly continued to grow stronger in my creative abilities.

Long term travel by truck and travel trailer is slow. Well, we (my husband, two dogs, a cat and I) are slow. We stop for the dogs. We stop for the sights. We stop for lunch. We stop because we want to spend a few days somewhere. We decide to see half of Texas when we didn’t even want to go there in the first place. Instead of a vast dangerous wilderness filled with indigenous tribes; I’ve found reservations marked on maps, old roads, weathered abandoned houses, rusted cars, forgotten towns, endless fences, rampaging cities, tourist holes, scenic campgrounds with all the modern conveniences and whispers of the wild and savage past trampled by docile tourists.

I also find myself with this time. Finally, the time to think. Throughout the years I always wanted to take time off of work to just think, if I could just take those days I could figure it out. IT. Whatever it was. What I wanted? What I was thinking? There was this something I needed time for. Hours, days and apparently even weeks were not enough for me. I needed to be removed entirely from my life.

Wherever you go there you are.

Finally…

There I am

A complex damaged resilient creature with a drive to create….

What have I learned about myself in these weeks?

I feel a budding inside of the artist. She’s almost ready. Almost done cooking. The elements are all there stewing. I’ve seen works in small galleries, big galleries, and museums. I’m feeling more confident that there is something particular to me. My artist voice is about to mature. This time of travel and reflection is a gift I cannot ignore.

Subjects/Themes/Topics coming into sharp focus:

  • Melancholy over what the earth has lost to human inhabitation and the perpetual growth economy
  • Celebration of nature reclaiming man’s work
  • Appreciation of nature: wonder, joy, awe
  • Sadness over human sprawl across the landscape and a yearning for freedom from modern human artifacts
  • Enjoyment of the living creatures around me plant and animal
  • Capturing the essence of my subject in medium/media available (photography, acrylic, ink, color pencil etc.)

The answer:

Everything changes us. I came West to be changed.

Experimenting: Polaroid Photolab and Polaroid Transfers

Art Journal, Medium, process

This was quite the crash course in Polaroid emulsion transfers for me. And I am very much a novice at this juncture, but, I thought it would be fun to share some of the lessons I’ve learned so far.

(First off, we are playing with chemicals so protect your skin and eyes accordingly)

I used:

  • Polaroid Lab
  • iphone
  • soft paint brush
  • one casserole pan: other blogs suggest proper equipment. I like to use St. Vinnies.
  • scissors
  • warm water
  • Strathmore linen finish acrylic paper.

I prepared three polaroids using the Polaroid Lab.
  • Prepare fresh Polaroids.
    • I was finding that even day old prints were harder to work with.
  • There are a lot of editing opportunities to explore prior to printing with the lab. Color correction, adding artifacts, custom filters etc. I found that it was fun to explore the possibilities, but I had to pull myself back. I am an artist and as much fun as all that is, it is mostly unnecessary.
Cutting into the image a little allows the cover sheet to lift off easier.
  • I found that cutting out the image just about as soon as it was done developing allowed the cover sheet to lift off easier.
    • When I used day old Polaroids they were ripping or they were sticking to the cover sheet and the lifting process didn’t go as well
After dropping into warm water. (I am using a clear pan)
  • The emulsion will lift from the backing in warm water.
    • Working with the fresh Polaroid, the emulsion lifts fairly quickly
    • Don’t use boiling water. I made a booger.
    • By the time I got to the third polaroid the lift was near perfect. There does seem to be a correlation between timing and how easy the process goes.
Catching a “wee little ghost” as one of my artist friends described it.
  • Some tutorials say to use two water baths, one hot water and one cold.
    • I found for myself that one tray is enough.
    • I also found that less water is helpful. just enough to cover the paper
A soft brush to help get the emulsion into place
  • I’m using a heavy weight paper made to take acrylic paint. It has a lovely texture to it. And Im using the brush to help move the emulsion around.
  • When you get it where you want you’ll have to learn a technique for yourself to pin it to the paper while lifting it out of the water.
    • A little water reintroduced will lift any problem areas.
One of the final images.