Saturday, June 4, 2011

Finally finished - Peeling Back the Layers

Peeling Back the Layers

30cm x 30cm

Coloured pencils and pan pastels on a breadboard

Have you ever started on a piece, filled with inspiration, only to find by the end that you have lost all passion and enthusiasm for the artwork and it feels like a chore? This was just that artwork - by the end if felt like one of those school assignments that you have put off and put off and finally you get it completed. Part of the problem with this one, stemmed from the fact that I got halfway through it the first time, and found that the pencil wasn't adhering to the board (probably my fault because I had given it a very light sand before commencing), and so had to sand the whole thing back and start from scratch, this time using a different primer. In the meantime, I was also having problems with my miniature from the previous blog. As I'd also mentioned, I felt I needed to do some Still Lifes that didn't have any sign of life (or mice) in them, but still wanted that trompe L'oeil feel and this was the result, but I miss my little critters :)


Dors said...

WOW I had to keep looking at this. The first thing I saw was an orange with apple peel...then the penny dropped LOL. great idea. Love it.

Yes I have ha many pieces that seemed like hard work but you must agree that this piece was well worth it. Great Job Karen.

AutumnLeaves said...

I know that feeling well, Karen! Still, I love the whimsy of this piece and was initially caught by the orange coming out of the apple. Took me a moment to notice the dichotomies in the rest of the piece! LOL

You asked if I was giving up colored pencil, I think. (Didn't you?) No, not at all. I think my favorite medium is watercolors, however. Occasionally I venture over into colored pencils or ink or oils. When I have a piece that I do that isn't as successful for me as I had hoped, I just move into using my standard watercolors. Still and yet, I love what you and other artists doe with the colored pencils so I keep trying. Just not usually my first choice, though sometimes I think a piece screams for them. I was trying to figure out what it is that isn't working to my liking with them. I think it is that waxy tendency of the pencils and the sometimes scratching of the paper with the wood surround of the pencil. I also rarely seem to get that smoothness of finish that most of you get with them. When I do them, it seems that you can see the strokes and I rarely get that blended appearance. I did use my fingers to blend the sky on the last piece (which is totally missing from the scan) and did like the looks of that part of the piece.

Mona said...

What an interesting idea! I really like it in spite of the technical challenges.

Regarding your wish to return to mice too, I wonder, if it's primarily still-life, wouldn't a still-life with mice still gain acceptance in the still-life category?

Miniature Art by Karen Hull said...

Thank you Dors - I'm so glad you think so, but I find it really hard to be objective about my own art and often my thoughts about a piece are based on how much I enjoyed doing it :)

I think you did a great job on your Prarie house. I find pencil artists achieve their smoothness using a range of techniques - mostly I achieve mine through lots of layering and keeping the pencils really sharp, so that they dig in and fill all the grooves of the surface I'm working on, but this means you have to work on a surface that will take a lot of hard work, and I guess that's one of the reasons I like the wood. I know others use solvents and blenders - have you tried any of those?

Thank you so much Mona - I have studied a range of sites and exhibitions with Still Lifes, and they almost never feature anything live. One of my friends (Artoholic) checked with a society (I can't remember which one), and they said everything had to be inanimate, so I think mostly the mice wouldn't be acceptable.

Artoholic said...

This is deliciously funny Karen - amazing work. Did you eat all your subjects after the painting was done?

Congrats on the well deserved Mag award (I think you should've scored FIRST) - spend all the money on lollies (Jeff always calculates how many choclate raspberries I can buy - they're 40c each)

The Still Life rules from the Society stated that the subject matter could have been alive once, but not at the time of painting. Like game birds, trout etc.

I like the mice too!



Miniature Art by Karen Hull said...

Thank you Cindy - ha ha - I actually did sit there and eat the mandarin and banana and made one of the boys eat the apple. I hate waste, so can't let good food go to the trash!!! Thank you for clarifying about the Still Life - I knew it was something like that, just couldn't remember exactly what you said :)

sam said...

Karen I really love it, the idea is fantastic so creative. Shame you didn't feel you enjoyed it, it certainly doesn't come across in the piece

Miniature Art by Karen Hull said...

Thank you Sam - I'm so happy you like it anyway!!! :)

artbyakiko said...

Wow! This is really interesting and creative, Karen. It looks great. I LOVE IT.

Miniature Art by Karen Hull said...

Thank you heaps Akiko - I'm so happy you like it!!! :)