Online art classes are fun. I know because I have taken quite a few of them. I’ve also joined different art groups to learn new skills and meet new people. Both have been extremely helpful in my artistic development. I’ve learned new techniques and about new mediums and I have incorporated what I have learned into my art making processes.
The latest online art class I took was taught by Heather Murray. She does these wonderful collage pieces that I have admired for years. She uses old photographs to tell a story. I signed up for her collage class because I really wanted to take my mixed media pieces to a different place. Sometimes I feel like my mixed media pieces have a childish quality about them. I’ve really struggled with moving past that. Heather’s work is often mysterious and strange, but also playful and deep. These are things I admire because she uses collage and old photos to explore very mature themes. She adds words to her paintings, but her work is never “cute” in the way that many mixed media art pieces are. Each piece she creates tells a story. That is another thing I would like to explore more in my mixed media pieces. After taking her class I feel much more confident that I can change the way I create my mixed media collages. Her online art class gave me some new tools for my toolbox.
I didn’t have any old photos of people, but I did have this great picture of Tiny-Small so I decided to use it. I am really happy with the results and I had such a blast creating it. The photo of Tiny-Small was taken at the Tractor Store. She was trying on a cowboy hat. I took the photos of the horse and the goat at a county fair a few years ago. The farm in the background is from an old photo of an Amish farm I purchased on Ebay.
When I was a kid my maternal Grandma had a Doberman named Rosie. She was an awesome dog. She was super protective of my grandmother and often barked at people until she got to know them. Once she got to know you she would be your best friend. I have this one memory of playing in the yard when a snake slithered by. Rosie ran straight over to the snake, grabbed it with her mouth, and threw it up in the air. She did this about three times. It was raining snakes. I just ran screaming from the scene. I think the snake eventually got away, but Rosie wasn’t about to let it get near me. I wasn’t particularly happy with snakes falling from the sky, but I guess Rosie was doing the best she could to protect me from it!
This Doberman was painted with Rosie in mind. I made the background red because I see the Doberman personality as red. They are on high alert, ready to attack, calculating dogs. They are also loyal and sweet when they love you. That’s how Rosie was anyway. Nobody got past her. She was an excellent sentry.
When I first painted this I was kind of frustrated because the black ink got kind of dusty when I started pulling the masking fluid off. It got all over my nice, fresh yellow and red ink. I decided to experiment, so I took a wet paper towel and wiped the entire painting. Most of the black dust came off and it didn’t disturb the other ink. That was surprising and good to know! I am learning new things about the alcohol inks through this challenge. It’s kind of fun, but wiping off an entire painting is a little nerve-wracking. If it had gone wrong I would have had to started over. Sometimes you just have to take that big risk to find out what happens, right? This is the painters version of “living on the edge” I suppose.
I know. This Jack Russell is taking over my life. Her head is just the perfect size to glue onto all of the bodies I seem to be collecting. Oh, that sounds so sinister! I think I need to name this dog. I think she will be appearing at least a few more times in my mixed media adventures. I can say, with certainty, that she will be appearing at least three more times because I have three tiny-head photos of her left. I feel a little giddy thinking about the possibilities….
These little women came from some wrapping paper my Mother-in-law wrapped one of my Christmas presents in. I am pretty sure she has had this paper for a while. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and quietly slipped it into my paper stash when nobody was looking. Actually, that’s not true, I distinctly remember yelling, “I want to save that! I want to save that!” at my family very loudly on Christmas morning. Then I put it on my dishwasher where nobody shorter than four feet could reach it.
Anyway, I have no idea what is going on here. Some kind of holiday theatrical performance? I decided to run a caption contest on my Facebook page. If you can think of a witty, funny, thoughtful, whatever (!) caption for this painting go visit It’s A Dome Life on Facebook, like the contest post, and type your caption in the comment section. You can even like my Facebook Fan page for fun since you’ll be there anyway! The caption with the most likes will win a $5.00 Amazon gift card. Caption contest closes at 5pm Mountain Time Tuesday, January 21, 2014. I’ll just need an email address to send the gift card to you electronically which I will direct message you for – like a secret society member. Meanwhile, what should I name this Jack Russell? Gracie? Joan? Penelope? If you think of a good name for her leave me a comment here on the blog and maybe you will be the one to name her!
Have you ever had an image take over your life? What is your equivalent to my mixed media Jack Russell obsession at the moment?