Thursday, December 17, 2009

peas in a pod finished plus lots of pics

Peas in a Pod, Coloured Pencil on Stonehenge paper, 6 1/2" x 20 1/2"
Copyright Teresa Mallen

Finally, here is a finished image of the Peas in a Pod! Please note that the background is white. I left it the white of the paper. It is not the ghoulish grey in the photo above. To get a sense of the scale of the work and the white of the paper, please see the photo below. This picture was taken during the studio tour and the peas weren't quite finished yet.

The frame has been made for the peas. I just need to see if I have the right colour of mat in stock. I don't think I do, so I expect I shall have to visit the shop where I buy my framing materials. The peas certainly got a lot of positive attention during the tour. I think people found it interesting to see the photo from which I was working and then see how I was interpreting this image in my art. One woman was dumbfounded to see an actual pea pod. She hadn't known that peas grew that way!

The studio tour was a fabulous time. It took a while afterwards for my head to shrink back to normal size, what with all the lovely comments and all. The tour is a wonderful time to get feedback on my art. When your art is in a gallery, you don't have the opportunity to hear what people think of your work. Also, when your work is in a gallery, they usually keep 50% of the sale price (sometimes more, sometimes a bit less) - not so when the gallery is your own studio! :-)

A lot of people assume that cp artists work small. I do sometimes but some of my work is rather big. Here are a few photos showing my artwork matted and framed. I hope this gives you a better idea of the scale...

Please note that the colours are photographing a bit yellow due to the lights.

Unframed, Neptune's leaves is 21 1/2" x 16 1/2". Here it is in the frame, sorry for the reflections.

Other than adding a few layers of cp pigment to the Peas in a Pod, I haven't been colouring much lately. But I have been painting! Abstracts at that!! Now that my teaching gigs are behind me as well as the tour, I guess I needed to cut loose a bit...

What I really wanted to do is to play with texture. Below is a wip shot of a canvas that has acrylic paint, gel medium and barley or millet or cornmeal mixed in. I can't remember which painting has what. Of course some restraint would have been best - i.e. restricting the texture to certain areas of the canvas, but I couldn't resist. Oh well, my goal with these is to just have fun.

I put it aside to dry and then went onto something else. At this point I am not sure what I shall be doing next with it.

When not playing with gel mediums and grains, I have been sorting through more of my parents' things. As some of you know, I spent several weeks this year sorting through my Mom and Dad's house and their belongings. Some of the items that I couldn't part with came home with me and were stashed away in a spare bedroom until I had some time to deal with this stuff. I didn't want to go into the new year with this task hanging over my head so I knuckled down and started sorting. I am very pleased to report that this is now done.

One of the items that I unearthed this past summer was an old electric paint stripper that had belonged to my mother. My mother went through a phase where she was keen to strip the paint off just about any painted wood item that they owned. I never understood why after all that work she would then apply an odd dark coloured stain to everything. Okay, it was the 70s after all, maybe that explains it. Anyway, the electric paint stripper went into the yard sale pile - that is until I started exploring encaustic painting.

Now I am a cp gal through and through but every now and again I do wander off to play with other media. Shortly after discovering this paint stripper I was doing some research on-line concerning all the different methods people use to melt the wax when using encaustics. Well if I didn't come across someone recommending this old fashioned electric paint stripper! Suddenly it was not going to the yard sale!

Now while I haven't bought encaustic paints yet, I did find the stripper came in handy in colouring some copper for one of my mixed media paintings.

Here is a picture of the stripper and the copper. Oh and let me just say that that this stripper gadget is wicked - it is frighteningly hot so if you wish to try this be warned!

Below is a picture of the heat oxidized copper, with some of the original copper beside it.

Here is another abstract painting and it obviously is also a work in progress. The copper pieces have been placed in the gel medium/acrylic paint/grains goop. It kind of looks like a wedding cake gone bad but that is because the gel medium hadn't dried clear yet. I'm not sure how I am going to finish this one either. I won't get back to these abstract paintings until at least January. I am itching to get at some new work with my cps. I have been looking through photos and pondering my next piece. I have also been out shopping for some still life objects. More on that in the days to come.

While sorting through the items that belonged to my parents I discovered some of my old school books which my mother had kept. I was delighted to see some of my artwork and I have included a few gems below. Note that even at the age of 8, I was into coloured pencil florals and abstracts! :-) And hey, I even wrote and illustrated a wee book - The Story of Tod Tooth!!

Life on the is our log barn.

It is going to be a white Christmas here in Ottawa. November was a very mild month. The snowshoe hares were already sporting their white winter coats and they had the exact opposite of camouflage going on for themselves. Now that we have snow, everything is good. Speaking of snowshoes, those are mine leaning against the barn. I have been out snowshoeing several times already. There is nothing quite like being out on a frosty day snowshoeing in the woods and then coming home to some warm cider or some hot chocolate and a spell by the fire. Having to walk the dog each day is not a chore around here!

The deer have moved into their winter habits and they are wandering around here everyday. I don't mind them in the garden at this time of year. :-) My dog and I came upon three deer this afternoon feeding in the trees on the edge of the meadow. And no I do not let my dog chase them.

As of last weekend, the house and tree were finally decorated, the gifts bought and wrapped and now the Christmas cards have been mailed. All that remains is the baking of some goodies, okay lots of goodies. Saturday I shall light a fire in the woodstove (which is in my kitchen/family room), I shall put on some Christmas music and then I shall be up to my elbows in sugar, butter, vanilla, coconut, chocolate, etc. etc. Yum, yum. And as the cook, I have a responsibility to do some taste testing!

For even more bliss around here - if a new seed catalogue hasn't just arrived in the mail. While it seems like the canning and freezing frenzy has just ended, it would seem now is an appropriate time to start planning next year's garden. Well, I do have to get those seedlings started (indoors of course) in just a couple of months. So tonight my plan is to sit by the fire with my tea, my catalogues and enter the world of tender shoots and dreams of a harvest...I hope that in this busy time of year you will take a moment to pause and do something restorative too.


Pencil Sanity said...

I am so glad that you enjoyed your studio tour and got lots of lovely feedback. I do hope that some of your work sold. Also, I am interested in finding out about the success of your cards.
Your log cabin looks lovely. SO quaint and cozy. I am imagining a stone fireplace place inside. Wouldn't that be great? Sit by the fire and watch the deer roam.

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Maria, yes I had sales!! I must confess though that some of my originals were not for sale. I shall be doing some limited reproductions of these in 2010(and a couple of pieces I just wanted to keep for myself for a while). I ended up not selling art cards. I didn't get them ready in time but I shall have them available for sale from my website sometime early in 2010. I shall definitely talk about it in this blog.

The log cabin doesn't have a stone fireplace - if it did, it might have become my studio! :-) I get a birds eye view of the deer from my studio window in the house though. The really cool thing about this log building is that it apparently was the original homestead. A couple lived there and raised eight children!!! Quite humbling really...

Lynda Schumacher said...

Hi Teresa! So enjoyed reading your wonderful post, and great photos. I LOVE the peapod drawing. Have a wonderful holiday!

Paula Pertile said...

Well, so much to comment on! But of course my topmost though is wondering if the dog wears snowshoes too? No, seriously.

Your art looks fabulous. I love the new abstracts. The paint stripper is terrifying. My Mom redid her bedroom furniture in awful avocado and gold which was called "antique-ing" back in the 70s. Its dreadful.

What are you baking?

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Lynda, may you have a wonderful holiday too!!!

Hi Paula! Once snow arrives we start packing down some main trails that we will use throughout the winter. My German Shepherd is tall enough that he can go through snow well. When the snow is really deep or we hit drifts, I take the lead and break trails.

Ah, avocado and gold - we once rented a farm house that had an avocado bathroom - from tub to toilet to sink. I actually got used to it!

I am baking squares and cookies. My Mom loved baking desserts and I am going to be using her excellent recipes for the squares. I have found a yummy cookie recipe that has cranberries and white chocolate chunks in it. I am eager to try this one - might not be gifting too many of these. :-) I also make a mean fudge and oh truffles...Did I mention the gingerbread? :-)

Laure Ferlita said...

Love the glow from within - both on the pea pod and from you! Happy Holidays, Teresa!

Ann said...

Great post! The pea pod is fabulous! And I can't wait to see what your doing with those lovely textured canvases. How exciting!

Jennifer Rose said...

peas in a pod looks great, its huge o.0 :D

glad the tour went well :) its always great to cut loose and try things you normally wouldn't.

Christine said...

I enjoyed reading your post Teresa! It's always fun to hear your stories about what you are up to art wise and about your life there in Canada.
Your pea pod painting looks great! You inspire me to try something similar like this in cp one day also.
Hugs ~ Christine

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Laure. Well golly gee, glowing from within indeed. What a lovely thought. Thank you and happy holidays to you too!

Hi Ann. Thank you and I shall definitely show what happens to the 'lovely textured canvases'!

Hi Jennifer Rose - I am sure you are a cutting loose kind of gal yourself! :-)

Hi Christine and hugs back at you - ah yes my interesting life' hehe. :-) Thank you!

Gillian said...

Hi Teresa- love the peapod - your CP artwork is beautiful - and big too. I can only ever manage small stuff. I shall be sure to check back in from time to time.
Thank you for your kind comment on my blog.x

vivien said...

the light you caught in that pea pod is really beautiful :>)

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Gillian, thank you for your very kind words and thank you for stopping by!

Well hey Vivien, nice to see you here! Thank you for sharing your lovely thought on the pea pod.