Ten things you need to know about my art.

I’ve been back in the studio again working on a new series.  Here are ten things you need to know about my art:

  1.  There’s ALWAYS Naples Yellow on my pallet – it’s like sunshine.
  2.  I generally use Burnt Umber instead of black.
  3.  My pallet is a tiny bar cutting mat that I bought at the dollar store.  It scrapes down easily when I don’t wash it right away and my ultra thinned acrylics just don’t stick to it.
  4.  There’s usually a layer of shimmer somewhere on my paintings.
  5.  I use watercolor pencils, inks, gel medium, and clear gesso between layers.
  6.  Every painting I do has a minimum of 6 layers.
  7.  I sign my paintings before I finish them.
  8.  I glaze like a maniac – rarely is there one layer of pure pigment on my canvas.
  9.  I sometimes draw my birds on paper with Prismacolor Pencils then layer them on   the canvas with gel medium.
  10.  I create “studio cards” when I work.  It uses the extra paint on my pallet and lets  me try new ideas with no “commitment issues”.
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    The beginnings of a cactus flower painting alongside a “studio card”

    20180325_122244.jpg Here’s another shot of the same card, with a few more layers.  I send these out to random people I know.

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Coming Soon! Mixed Media Wall Art

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I’m so excited about these little boxes that hang on the wall and can conceal small mementos inside.  For years, my husband and I collected little works of art on our travels together and those little items remind me all the time of all those happy memories we shared.   That was the inspiration behind these little boxes.  The materials are things I love to work with – decorative papers, poured acrylic paints, jewelry findings, flowers, and all sorts of embellishments (which might be my new addiction).  I know you can’t see much from the big photo above, but here are some little images:

I love creating little things – little flowers and butterflies, layered works with decorative papers and acrylic crystals.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time, you know I love experimenting with new products – from the Pebeo Fantasy Prisme and Moon paints to Liquitex mediums and a host of other cool things that make texture and color sing.   All of those experiments came together when I began creating this series.

When my life tipped upside down, my ability to concentrate on large works suffered.  I still needed the outlet of art, but I couldn’t work a single canvas for hours on end any more.  I turned instead to smaller projects, like poured acrylics.  I also began playing with stencils and other products to create texture.  From these experiments, I started to envision a whole new direction for my art.  These are the beginning of the journey.

I have decided to re-open my Etsy shop to sell these little wall art pieces.  The best part is they have a little concealed area suitable for hiding those little items we all shuffle around our jewelry boxes and dresser drawers.  Here’s an interior shot of one of the boxes:

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You can check out my Etsy shop on November 19 (SandAndChiArt) to see more.   In the meantime, I have more boxes to create!

 

 

Dimensions

I like to build my elements for my small works – it’s a great way to keep creative without feeling like I’ve made a large “time commitment”.  While I was watching television one night, I “built” the golden dragonfly above.  The wings were made by using Pebeo Moon paint and Cerne Relief to give them texture.  I layered large acrylic gems over the paint, placing each gem with a pair of jewelry tweezers.  I outlined a body with the Cerne Relief and used Recollections micro beads to fill in lower part and larger Recollections golden gems to give the upper body some dimension.

The dragonfly is sitting atop a fantastic swirled base, created with layers of Pebeo paints, resin, and glitter poured over an acrylic pour.  Then, I embellished the whole piece with various gems and a blue flower.  The entire piece was covered with resin to give it shine – nothing brings depth to a piece like a glossy coat of resin!

Blue Flower with Dragonfly

Give the audience what they want…Chaos.

Back in July, I reworked this site to achieve a more clean, consistent appearance – making it more like a portfolio than a conglomeration of posts.  Granted, all of my pre-July posts were related to my art, but there was a pretty healthy mixture of final designs, how-to posts, and other posts that gave this blog an inconsistent, all-over-the-place feel.  At least, that’s what I thought (and what someone whose opinion I respect thought).

So I redesigned.

I focused on my digital work.  I took down my artistic experiments, my random thoughts about this design or that, and my “I’m so excited by this, I simply must share” postings.  I streamlined, created pages, and kept the look consistently clean and polished.

And my view stats took a nosedive.  A 75% down sort of dive (a horrifying number).  When my blog views tumbled, my sales tumbled as well (not so shocking).  I gave it 4 months to correct.  It didn’t.  So now, welcome back to my crazy, random, hard-to-define blog.

The lesson is this:  the same approach doesn’t work for everyone.  I follow artist sites where the look, message, and theme is consistent, polished, and simple.  I’m sure those artists do very well.  I am now aiming between my former chaos and my most recent foray into clean and simplistic.   The truth is, this blog is similar to my style as an artist – both suffer from an artistic form of  multiple personality disorder.  I’m okay with that.

I am inspired by so many things that I utilize a variety of mediums to produce an array of subject matter in multiple forms.  I paint, snap, fling pigments, pour colors, drip resin, create embellishments and add doo-dads to my work.  I upload and post.  I wrap and ship.  My work is downloaded and purchased in America and around the world.  I have a sort of Artistic Attention Deficit Disorder (AADD) and that works for me.

All of it comes together in my work and every foray into a new area has made me a better artist.  Working digitally made me a better painter.  Working on abstracts gave me a new perspective on color and texture.  Photography forced me to look at things in new ways and then I began to print those photos, transfer the images, and paint over them or simply layer my photos on top of one another to get new digital compositions.  All of these techniques force me to be creative in new ways and add a new lens to look through when I’m facing a blank canvas.

So join me on this wild ride through artistic expression.  Not all images will appeal to everyone and you probably won’t be able to identify work in my “signature style”, but it won’t be boring.  I’ll continue to stretch myself as an artist and provide those who are so inclined with some new experiments, ideas, and tips.  We’ll talk acrylics (which I’m passionate about once again), layers, and yes, digital art.  I might even throw in some photography or resin paintings – and I’ll add glitter and crystals when I am so inclined!

Embrace the chaos with me.

Love and Pigments,

R.L. Cornell