get your paint on

Posted by on Jun 27, 2011 in Illustration | 1 comment

Even though my summer is pretty booked, I could NOT resist the opportunity to join the summer e-course, Get Your Paint On.

I’m a major fan of both Lisa and Mati, and Mati is my second cousin, so I enjoy supporting and following anything she’s up to. They’re both out in San Franscisco, and it’s fun to see their faces each week onscreen. I sketched Lisa while she talked.

 
This is my first e-course and I’m LOVIN it. There is a positive dynamic, so much to look at, links, and inspirations.
I figured Id dig out my gouache from some neglected bin. I once worked exclusively in gouache early in my career. This was a promo piece from way back. I often relate former days of waitressing to illustrating: serve the customer HOT stuff.

The first assignment was to play with our materials using a Gee’s Bend quilt as a jumping off point.
We could reference any one of these, or not.

I’ve always had a thing for quilts. Not that there were any quilters in my family. Maybe that was the attraction, to something handmade from another era. Quilts are like collages, pieced together and repurposed with love.

As I rooted around for my paints, I came across an unexpected find, an old photo of my Auntie Eleanor. She was a big influence on me, and I miss her still. I also got out a book from an exhibit of quilts I saw in Oakland, CA, back when I lived in SF.

I painted first a gradated background which, now that I see it, resembles a soft seascape.
Here’s the final piece, with some scraps of wrapping paper, Eleanor at the center, and a stenciled area of dots.

 I titled it “heirloom” because I realized many connections woven into my life, treasured threads I’ve inherited that keep me whole. It was fun to paint again, too. Everyone posts their work on a flickr site, and can make supportive or “pushing” feedback. It’s very cool to see the range of work, be part of a community playing with paint, multiplied by all the talents of the participants.
I went right on to the second assignment, which involved choosing a painter that inspires us, and making something influenced by that inspiration. I chose Fairfield Porter, a painter I came across after moving to Maine. I discovered his work via this book jacket.
I identified with the old white cape, the black and white dog in the shadow. We saw a fantastic exhibit of his work at Colby College a couple of years later and I became a fan. He painted in the 40’s and 50’s, summered in Maine, and his work has lovely observed details combined with flatness.
Here’s my woeful attempt at capturing our old white cape, and our black and white dog in the shade.
This painting was a lot less fun for me, because I probably tackled too much in too short a time. I’ve been working in dry media, mostly pastel, which is much more direct. Mixing paint and waiting for it to dry are aspects that slow down the process. Often this is a good thing, but in this case, it gave me more time to find fault with the painting. The best thing I’ll say is that it is done.
Today I’m back at the drawing board on my project for Portland Stage Company. And, checking in to the GYPO course and see what’s up for this week!
Thanks to Lisa and Mati for getting me outta my comfort zone!

One Comment

  1. I love this post! Thanks Jamie for taking the class. I’m going to forward this to Lisa to show her your sketch 🙂
    Love you,
    Mati

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