Monday, April 26, 2010

Bringing It All Together--or--Dirt, Stain & Aged To Perfection

The second part of that title is NOT referring to your blog-mistress, despite what you might think, or how much paint I am wearing at the moment......
Even through the visit from M. Migraine, (for three days....the lout!) I kept some focus when I could and started pulling the diverse elements of the collage together. This is the slow part of a design, and requires getting in the zone and staying focused long enough to *allow the work to guide the hand*. It is truly the almost unseen details of any piece that make it become more. There is always a point where I know I could stop, and the work would be good, and acceptable.
But it is that next step....the slow work....the attention to minute detail---that is what I think I do best.
Firstly, I discovered a wonderful eye-to-eye-socket dialogue going on between the serpent and the skeleton, and it was caused by sheer luck on how the gesso laid down in the final application. It gave a very subtle direction for the paint I was rubbing on to stick in, thus bringing a diagonal into the background that was just PERFECT!


I was working over the staff and snake with colored pencils and a colorless blender, bringing more contrast and definition to them when I noticed it. At first I though I was just imagining the link was there, but with a bit more color added, the connection was obvious. These are the moments of serendipity in art that I love; the reason I choose this painstaking method of collage over something quicker.
If you look long enough, you find what it right before your eyes. And this never ceases to amaze me.
(although most of the time in life, I miss most of what is before me and someone else brings it to my attention.....)
After rounding out color with the central object, and bringing up the background texture a bit, I decided to apply some fluid acrylic on the top side of the skeleton, making it a more defined figure in the composition. The extra white brought it forward (putting it down with the gel made it lose just a bit of the punch it had before) and I was able to highlight certain parts of the bones.
This should not be overly obvious....it should just feel right when you see it. I also felt that the *ground* the figure was standing on--the drawn earth and grass--stopped too abruptly so I continued them to the left with marker and colored pencil. Neither looked right alone; the combination of the two worked well.
This also connected the strong right/vertical element with the bottom horizontal, which then flows more organically up the left side.

Yes, I really do know something about proper composition, though I love pushing bounderies....  ;-)  .....or ignoring them altogether if I think I can get by with it!
I also had the sides that needed attention, so I went back in with a dark color and my finger and pushed paint into tiny crevices and along edges, increasing the look of the piece having been stored in less that pristine conditions. It is much easier to simply use a finger to apply paint at this point than to try getting the right touch with the brush. With your finger, you know, precisely.

There were also tiny areas that I took the colored pencils to; things too small to take a photo of but that added a slight more bit of depth to the over all composition. Always remember to use all tools at your disposal, as long as you know they will work together.
Finally, I opened the small jar of gel with black mica flakes; the one I had mounted the rubber stamp on.

I admit openly this was given to me by my friend Vicki, and at first I had no idea how I would use it. It is not something I would go buy. And it was EXACTLY what was needed for the final touch of age! Thank you Vicki! Which goes to show that having other artists around to try different mediums is a great way to broaden your own horizons.

So now, I am at a resting point before final varnishing. I am sure I have missed steps; this was a long, difficult post to put up and I hope I have covered all areas of question. If not, you know the routine.......ASK!
I am very happy with this.....I have brewed this piece in my head for ages and finally, finally it has come to life.
Well, you know......more or less.....as much as a skeleton can be!

Pax.

30 comments:

Silke said...

Oh, Anne, I just love it! And after reading every word and looking at the various steps, I realize how impatient I am. Your attention to detail is wonderful - and inspiring!! I hope you migraine is all gone with the bad weather!! Love, Silke

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Silke!

Did this come up on your dashboard list? It did not show in mine---I was having an awful time with blogger yesterday......
My work is a slow process....I guess it keeps me out of trouble! HAHAHA!!! Glad you apporve!

XXOO!!
Anne

Robbie said...

OK, this is just WAY too cool!! What a wonderful, artistic piece!!! And I love the 'look' between the serpent and the skelton! Very, very neat!!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks Robbie!

I'm happy, and that *look* was what surprise me! I love those little things that just happen along the way..... :)

XXOO!!
Anne

Marilyn said...

This is way to fussy for me to do as I am impatient with any process.....but......I could just take this piece apart visually for hours because it is far more than the total.
Anne...You are a true artist!!
Love,
Marilyn
xxoo

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Marilyn!

Thanks! I have always said I like the ricdiculously meticulous on things.......this is proof!
I've got to figure out the varnish, but that's for another day. I think it's still to damp here to even begin, altough the heat and/or A/C is on. It always affects varnish.....

XXOO!!
Anne

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

another success! VERY intriguing - and the color work is stunning.

black mica? never used or even saw it before. sounds interesting.

good job!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Tristan,

It's in the Golden gel medium, and it also has some tiny clear flakes in it too. I think it is a product you might enjoy for theaters, etc. It really has a lot of potential---I want to explore further with it.
A lucky gift, eh??? ;)

XXOO!!
Anne

yoborobo said...

Wow, Anne! It is just fabulous. I love it! And did you notice before (because I didn't until you worked your magic) that it looks like the skeleton is beckoning to the serpent? How cool is THAT? Very. Kind of a "Come with me" feel to it. :) Isn't it amazing how much 'happens' when we get into our little art trances? Because I believe you did this all very intentionally, in some part of that fabulous brain of yours. :) Well done!! xoxo pam

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Ah, Pam, I had NOT noticed that with the skeleton! I had to adjust the angle of the arm at the elbow a bit...where before it was sort of an open-handed talking gesture, but you're right; now it is as though the finger is crooking TOWARDS him!
See, my followers find things I miss..... :)

XXOO!!
Anne

Deborah said...

Oh Your Royal Awesomeness!!! So much work here, goodness. And with a MIGRAINE! Are yours weather-related? You know it's really bad if Maxalt won't break them. Hope you are feeling better soon, as in yesterday. **blows kisses** Deb

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Deb,

Yes, mine are weather related; I am a better predictor of severe weather than the NWS....sadly!
I think if I had caught it early thr first day with the Maxalt, I would have been okay...but with allergies/sinus....sometimes I have no idea WHY my head wants so explode!!! LOL!!! (not from brains either....)
And yes, yesterday it finally totally left! YAY! :D

XXOO!!
Anne

Jan said...

This is practically a tutorial in how to make wonderful progress in mixed media art! Thanks Anne. All the detail you put into these pieces is worth every second, this one is absolutely wonderful. How can a skeleton have so much expression? This piece looks like you found it hidden in a wall when you were tearing an old doctors office down.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

That is EXACTLY the feel I wanted!!! Thanks Jan!
I like them to have a feel of history and discovery.
The on thing I don't think that I mentioned is the size; it is 9"x12" and that is larger than I normally work, though I do think with the right material, I could do a couple of complimentary pieces larger to go with this one....
Hmmmmmmm..... ;)

XXOO!!
Anne

di from di-did-it said...

I love & appreciate the details you shared, Anne ~ not just the results, but the process! You rock!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Di,

Thanks!!! It's nice to think that I am still in the *I ROCK!* catagory of life...LOL!!!
The process, seriously, really is everything.....

XXOO!!
Anne

Marie S said...

I love this Anne it has turned out so great!!!
I can still see this in a doctors office. I loved watching you go through the steps too. What a great piece. And I always love a good skeleton and heart piece.
So many steps. Incredible and you do ROCK over and over.
Love and hugs.
Have a wonderful week.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey MArie,

Yeah, you noticed I got my TWO favorite things in there, skellie and heart! LOL!!!
I do think it would look great in a Dr's office...they just need to fork over the cash! HAHAHA! (but it's usually the other way around....)

XXOO!!
Anne....trying to get the house dug out.....

Anna Rosa Designs said...

Hi Anne,
Wow, this piece is fantastic.
Oh, so much work has been worth it.
Thank you for sharing the step by step with us.
They really are doing the stare thing at each other! lol
Bellisimo!
Happy Creating,
Hugs,
Anna

Magpie's Mumblings said...

This is a great piece Anne! Thank you for the step x step how to's - might even tempt me to give it a try someday.
btw...blogger is being a pain, but it appears to me as if they're doing some revamping, so hopefully it will straighten out in due course.

Lori Saul said...

What beautiful art and I so love seeing all of the steps to its wonderful completion. I just discovered your blog and am so inspired by you many talents. I look forward to visiting again!

*Ulrike* said...

All I can say is wow! It definitely took a lot of time and patience to be able to do all that. Quite an imagination too!!

kj said...

anne, i have to come back to do this justice. of course i will.

meanwhile, i'm looking for trouble. any interest?

:)

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Anna,

Boy, I should have gotten on here last evening to reply to comments!
Thaks for the kind words...now I need to figure out what to do NEXT! LOL!!!
Maybe a couple of smaller pieces to accompany it.....
Hmmmmmm....

XXOO!!
Anne

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey M.A.

You ought to give collage a go---start small and simple. That's why I love those little canvas panels I use a lot; it's an excellent way to try doing something, and if you like it, it's easy to frame!
Go for it!

XXOO!!
Anne

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Lori!

Glad you found me!
Things vary...it may be photography next but in general, we have a pretty good time here... :D
Welcome!

XXOO!!
Anne

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Ulrike,

This imagination of mine works overtime. In fact, I think it is the only part of my body that is still fully functioning without considerable prodding...HA!

XXOO!!
Anne

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey kj....

And what type of trouble would you be looking for???? Hmmmm???
Probably last EVENING, when I was sitting, feet up, knitting a doiley out of crochet thread....


XXOO!!
Anne

Vicki~TheMiddleSister said...

Anne...I've been seeing peeks of the piece on my iPhone, and finally I am back online and can really see it.

So glad you were able to use the mica...I never would have rememberedl, or figured out what to do with it.

It is a great piece and sums up so many of your interests and talents.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks Vicki, and glad you're back on-line!
It was a fun piece to do---I am sure there will have to be a small series.
I got the coolest vintage pharmacy labels yesterday...we need to look at them and have a laugh!

XXOO!!
Anne

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