Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fractured Glass 2: Finally Finished

Finally finished. 

Two weeks of Painstaking Exuberance, the hallmark and motto of every nanoscape.

Every line, every block of color, every time a new line in motion appeared.

I loved every minute of it.

Fractured Glass #2.
May 2010.
Watercolor on Arches 140# hot press paper 
10-1/4 x 14-1/2"
The original and a limited edition of digital prints are, indeed, for sale at the nanoscapes website. 

And because I can't help myself, I have already begun Fractured Glass #3, which will be 22x33." That would be a total of 723 square inches, which I calculated after the pencil work in Step 1 took 16 hours over four days.  

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fractured Glass 2: Step 4 Outline outline outline

The fourth step in any nanoscape is to outline each shape.  In Fractured Glass 2, each shape the dominant shape is triangle, but there are some diamond or oddly configured four-sided shapes as well.  I used Daniel Smith Indigo for these outlines because it is strong enough to stand up to the colors that it surrounds.

The outlines begin in the upper middle.

After what seems like an eternity but is actually only three or four days, every shape has been corralled and the piece is nearly done.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fractured Glass 2: More color and yet more color (Still in Step 3)

While all five nanoscapes' creative steps are equal, they are not equal in the time that each takes to complete.  Step 3, the color adding step, usually takes the bulk of the time.  Lucky for me, adding colors and making new colors with Daniel Smith Prima Teks (mesmerizing minerals) and Daniel Smith Luminescent (magical colors made with titanium bits), are among my favorite things to do in life.

The patterns in Fractured Glass 2 come to life with the addition of more color.

Two things happen at this point:  People urge me to leave some white triangles, and I begin to think that I am almost finished.

For the first, I politely decline.  For the second,  I have done this long enough to know that "almost finished" is a delusion.

There is a lot more work to do.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fractured Glass 2: More color in Step 3

I worked on Fractured Glass 2 for about 15 days.  I worked on Step 3, adding color, for about 10 days.

And more color...

And still more color...  Slowly, and then all at once, the patterns become visible.

Fractured Glass 2: Step 3 - Color comes to the nanoscape

I always hold my breath when I put the first color on a nanoscape, and I always reach for a red.  As an enthusiastic collector of colors, I have a lot from which to choose.  While I am partial to Daniel Smith's reds, I also have Winsor Newton and Sennelier reds.  I also love to mix colors on the palette, so the dozen or so red tube colors slide toward orange, purples or yellows, mix with Daniel Smith Pearlesent White and more.

In Fractured Glass 2, I worked from left to right, color by color. At this early stage, you can see red, green and Holbein Lavender

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fractured Glass 2: Step 2 - Winsor Newton Davy's Gray and Daniel Smith #3 Brush

This should look just the first step of Fractured Glass 2 because it is.  I pick up a paintbrush after the pencil lines are in place, and set the design with Winsor Newton Davy's Gray, a very light gray  watercolor.

In the earliest nanoscapes, I used Winsor Newton Sepia, which has a darker character and is staining (a painter's word for either delightfully or annoyingly permanent) or Daniel Smith Sepia, which is unabashedly brown.  I also experimented with Daniel Smith Payne's Gray, which was too dark for the nanoscapes' framework.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fractured Glass 2: Step 1 - A triangle, a pencil and an eraser

I am often asked: "How do you begin?"  I started Fractured Glass 2 with one triangle, and was delighted to watch it grow, shrink, and change directions. While working in pencil, I sort out the corners and the places where the shapes meet or overlap.  My two tools are a General Pencil Kimberly Premium Graphite 6H drawing pencil and a Faber-Castell Dust-Free Vinyl eraser.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

23 nanoscapes at MINNWEST BANK in Champlin - a slideshow

If you can't make it to the June 5 "Meet the artist, Snack on chocolate pound cake, and adjourn to Q-Fanatic" event at MINNWEST Bank in Champlin, you can see a slide show of the images on the bank's wall.

I will be in the bank's lobby at 10:30 with Judith Olney's Joy of Chocolate Pound Cake.  When the bank closes at noon, I am adjourning to Q-Fanatic for barbecue.

My respect for competent photographers increases with every passing day. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I am lucky to be a 21st century painter

I stand second to none in my delight with color and my need to have and to use as many colors as  possible.  Am I lucky to be painting in the 21st century, when I can get any color that I can see and many more that don't exist in nature simply by going to my favorite paintmakers, Daniel Smith, Winsor Newton, Sennelier and Holbien

You bet.

I am (slowly) reading Philip Ball's Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Color, a fascinating history of the discovery and creation of the pigments and dyes that are a painter's tools.  Long ago, artists relied on what they could dig up, what could be imported from far away, and what might have been created by optimists or adulterated by greedy or ignorant  manufacturers.  The continuum of alchemy to chemistry is a long one, and artists were the beneficiaries or the victims of the materials that they could acquire.  With respect to William Longfellow, when it was good, it was very very good, and when it was bad it was horrid.   

While I have no doubt that I could go out and acquire some lapis, grind it and then bind it with the appropriate 100% consistent binding material, Daniel Smith does it for me, and demo'd it in a video.

I am grateful to be a 21st century artist.