Kokopelli Conga

Kokopelli Conga
"A work of art that did not begin in emotion is not art." --Paul Cezanne

May 23, 2014

Kokopelli Weave

The Utah Watercolor Society (UWS) Small Works Exhibition is fast approaching and entries are due this week. My entry was actually due today because I am sending it with a delegate from UWS who will drive several paintings to Logan, UT - where the exhibition will take place.

I have not participated in the Small Works Exhibition for a number of years. The last few years, the exhibition has been held in conjunction with the Logan Summerfest Art Faire and hosted by the Cache Valley Chapter of UWS. Logan is about a two-hour drive from where I live, so I am grateful we have a Salt Lake-based UWS member who is willing to drive paintings up for those of us who can't be there for the delivery date/times.

The next step was to create a small painting. The requirement for the small works show is that the painting (including framing) cannot be larger than 144 square inches (ie: 12" x 12").

I had a 10" x 10" frame with a 5" x 5" precut mat ready to use, so I decided now would be a great time to try out a new woven painting, this time utilizing a semi-abstract vignette image and weaving it.

In order to create the piece, I first cut some 140lb Arches watercolor paper into two 5.5" square pieces. Then I did a sketch of my kokopelli.




















I transferred my image to my two pieces of watercolor paper, doing my best to get it in approximately the same spot on the paper. Then I painted both paintings at the same time with the same color palette.

















I liked how both of these little paintings turned out. Now comes the brave part...cutting them up! I cut one painting into vertical strips and the other into horizontal strips and then weave them together, starting with the middle pieces to try to match the image up as best as I can.

Here is the end result, "Kokopelli Weave."





I tried to scan the matted painting, but it's a bit larger than my scanner, so it's a little blurry...



















I really enjoyed this process. It gives me an abstracted look, but still a fairly recognizable image as the focus of the painting. What do you think?

Now...the next question is this: do you think that a woven painting such as this looks consistent enough to be recognizable as being done by the same artist who painted my regular vignette paintings (such as these below). 



















Recently I have been trying to focus on creating a consistent body of work - one that is easily recognizable as mine at a glance. I happened to stumble upon the woven painting technique just as I was travelling down that consistency path, and now I am wondering if creating woven paintings out of my "regular" style will be easily identifiable as mine.  I would love to hear your feedback. Do you think my woven Kokopelli painting is recognizable alongside the other semi-abstract vignette paintings? Which do you like better? 

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog! See you soon. :)

May 9, 2014

Utah Watercolor Society Spring Show

It's the time of year for the Utah Watercolor Society Spring Show (UWS). I was fortunate enough to be juried into the show this year, with one of my woven abstract paintings, "Stargazer," which also showed up on the event postcard! :) 

The show was juried by John T. Salminen, who also presented at the UWS member meeting this past Tuesday evening. Wow! What an incredible artist and an entertaining speaker as well.

The opening reception is tonight in Provo, UT. Here is the postcard.
















Here is my painting, "Stargazer." 
"Stargazer"  Acrylic on 140lb watercolor paper



















This show is another important step in achieving Signature Member status in the UWS. I am already a Two Star Member (achieved after acceptance into two Spring Shows). Signature membership requires acceptance to eight shows (UWS Spring or Fall shows, or the Western Federation annual show). It is also required that your painting win an award at one of the shows. So far, I have been accepted to six shows. No awards yet, but hopefully one of these days. :) What does Signature Member mean? It means I can put the letters UWS next to my signature on my paintings. Seems like a small thing? Perhaps, but now you know the amount of work required to achieve Signature Member status. Those three little letters lend a certain amount of prestige and credibility to your art.

"Stargazer" is one of only three abstract woven paintings that I have created in the past two years. Interestingly, each of the three were selected for UWS juried exhibitions (all juried by different nationally and internationally known artitsts). This has been insightful for me, since I am not normally a pure abstract painter. But, I do enjoy the process of the woven paintings, and I feel that the weaving gives some added interest and texture to the composition. My next step will be testing the weaving process with paintings done in my usual style. I am hoping this combination might help give a unique and recognizable voice to my work. I will post pictures of the process as I test it to see if it will work out! :)

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog!