Monday, April 21, 2008

Ann Baldwin: The Palimsest - the Magic and Mystery of Text

My third workshop was with Ann Baldwin - a delightfully charming British artist with a wonderful sense of humour. Her class was very educational - combining art instruction, critiques, demos and hands on.
The first exercise was to create a collage with words torn out of magazines. Using the colours and the fonts, but not the words themselves, we were to create a quick collage on black paper in whatever style we liked. There was no right way or wrong way to do it. Since i had mostly black and white words and letters - i chose to do something quite linear and graphic. Per Ann's suggestion, i cut the words in half lengthwise to eliminate their meaning. Some people did torn collage, some wavy, but mine was all straight and angular. When held up for critique it was said the person who did my collage must be a type A personality and very organized!! What a hoot. My husband would love hearing that!
After a lesson in layering glazes, we were asked to create our own samples. We were given 6 Golden paints for this purpose.
After lunch Ann demonstrated how she creates her artwork. She starts with a few pieces of collage (in our case text) glued to the heavy water colour paper with matte medium. She then applies the paints mixed with medium sort of randomly over the paper, patially obscuring some of the text and highlighting others.
Once we were ready to dive in and create our own peices i new i wanted it to be predominantly blue. But we were not given blue paint. I tried to mix Payne's grey with the dark green - but that produced a hideous teal colour. So the riot of colour on my piece is trying to camoflage the teal. Later in the class the teacher offered some additional colours - so the cerulean blue was added to great effect.
I used an image of a greek arch and columns to give something to my collage as i found it lacked a focal point. Ann's collages had a mix of text size and scale, whereas mine were all pretty much small printed text, albeit a mix of script, print and language. I did use a stencil to add some larger letters. encorporating her earlier lesson of removing the meaning from the words, i stencilled the letters backwards. It makes it more interesting and looks like a russian or greek word, rather that what it is - CDEFG backwards!
The final collage has the addition of some handwriting - using Caran D'ache crayons. I have heard much said about these and man are they great. they write fine lines right on top of the painted finishes. I even mixed it up a bit, using Traci Bautista type scribbles that look like something but really aren't!
This last piece was just something i did quickly at the end of the class. It isn't quite finished - needs a few more elements and that great depth Ann taught us my layering the paints and glazes.


Woman Artist United said...

I'm so glad you posted all your art and pictures, you did such a great job it was fun to see them all over again ;-)

Stark Raving Newbie said...

Hi Diane -- I am working on a glaze layering challenge this week (on ATC's) and your post really helped me a LOT! I am eager to get offline and get working!

Thanks very much for this. I will return soon to see what you've been up to recently!

Brenda Harkness