Friday, December 12, 2008

The Flower Seller

I created this painting using watercolour, inks and collage a while ago and it has been hanging in my bathroom, framed and behind glass. I often look at it and wish there didn't have to be glass; something about the glass just kills it. I love working on paper, starting with watercolour and then adding various other media as I progress, but dislike having to frame the work behind glass.

Ellis Cooke describes in a recent post how she pastes the paper onto canvas and then seals it with medium, oh wow! Thanks Ellis! I am going to try this method with this piece and then progress onto some large works when I get the hang of it.

I just thought I would mention an interesting relationship that has developed between my creativity and physical workouts. I was diagnosed a few years ago with Osteopenia, (the precursor to Osteoporosis) where I have a moderate wasting of bone in my spine. I was advised to do regular weight-bearing exercises to build up muscle which helps maintain healthy bones. I am embarrassed to say I have never been keen on sport or exercise, I’d much rather be painting. I decided to give it a go and after the initial effort to get to a certain level of fitness, I now enjoy my hour-long sessions at the gym every second day. I feel this rush of Endorphins (the feel-good hormones) about half-way through my regime and then I am away in my mind, thinking about my painting and writing. I come up with many creative solutions while lifting weights! I also feel fitter and younger now than I did in my forties and have far more energy to explore my creative projects. My physical and mental well being has been greatly improved by these workouts, so I can highly recommend getting physical.

Mr Mugabe’s information minister is now blaming the UK for introducing Cholera as a genocidal tactic to overthrow the Zimbabwe government and people!


Suzanne McDermott said...

First of all, I love this painting! It's very much in keeping with the Vine Leaves, isn't it? Secondly, I, too, am remiss to put my watercolors behind glass. I've written about this in one or two posts before. I'm a mess when it comes to gluing and so forth but am all ears and eyes for alternatives to mat and glass. And also to the type of sealant medium.

Finally, and I'm saying this after almost three weeks away from the gym because I've been so ill, Good For You for your gym sessions!!! Just getting yourself there is half the battle. Now that I'm almost healed, you've inspired me to get right back there. It's only down the street for goodness sake! Thanks!

Dianne said...

Hi Suzanne, yes, the shapes are similar! Elis uses acrylic medium to paste the paper to the canvas. The Golden range of acrylic mediums are of a high quality. She recommended that we spray several thin coats of acrylic matte medium mixed with water over the watercolour, but I would test this on a reject piece first. She leaves a wide border, painted black or a dark colour around the paper.
So sorry you are still recovering from being ill. I try to get to the gym early so it doesnt seem to take up the whole morning.
Hope you feel better soon.

Suzanne McDermott said...

Thanks for the instruction. I get to the gym as early as possible, too. Yes, this virus has hung on for dear life but I understand that many people have experienced the same thing. Anyway, I'm just clearing out the dregs at this point. Monday morning, I should be full steam ahead.

Kim said...

Hello Dianne,

Wow, this post is full of lovely thoughts and considerations. It also begins with an incredible painting...I love it a lot. The colors make me want to dive into the paint. :)

I feel just like you and Suzanne about having paintings behind glass. Of course in your bathroom it was necessary, wasn't it?

I like this idea of matt medium in spray form, too. I had asked Elis about that before and had concern about the sprayer clogging. She recommended very inexpensive bottles because the spray does clog. I then wondered if you had an air brush set up if you couldn't use that on fine mist. What do you think? I think my husband and son have one of these, so I thought why not. The other thing I have seen is bottles where you pump the lower part to create some pressure, then you get almost an aerosol fine mist. Here is a link to an example:
Anyway, I am like you and want to try this soon.

Now about this gym thing. Of course, I don't have a gym membership, but I do have an elliptical machine here. I try, however am not always successful, to get on it a couple of times a week. I used to run 5 miles a day six days a week, but it completely tore my knees apart. I completely understand about the feeling of elation you get from that sort of exercise, but running really set me back in several ways. I suppose that is what you get for maybe going over the top. :) Now I am nervous about it. I have never been a gym person at all.

Thanks Dianne for the great post. I look forward to your trials with this new process.

Have a Lovely Weekend!



Dianne said...

Dear Kim, thanks so much for the info regarding possible sprayers, I think cheap pump-action bottles may be the way to go - time for some experimentation!
Sorry to hear about your knees - I think runners all seem to get this problem with their knees due to the high impact action. I use a cross-trainer for getting my heart rate up, then weights, so no high impact type exercises. Can't believe I am talking about this! I was never that type either!!!
Love Dianne x x

Kim said...

Dianne you inspired me for today, anyway. After I read your post, my guys went out, so I hopped on the elliptical. My running days made me realize I like "doing my thing" when I am by myself. So it worked out. Thanks for inspiring me.

I am going to get an inexpensive sprayer...the drug store sounds like the place rather than the art shop. :) I am going to give this a try.

Thanks Dianne!

Lynette said...

Dianne that is a really gorgeous painting and what a fantastic idea of attaching the paper to canvas. I am going to read Ellis Cooke's blog to find out how to do this as I also don't like that layer of glass. OK, after reading what you said, I am going to start some kind of exercise, whew I really need it. I'm so happy for you that it's making you feel so good and healthy too!

Sharon Wright said...

Gorgeous painting, the colours just 'sing'. But I have to disagree about the glass thing, I always prefer paintings behind glass. I find it fascinating to read about other's ways, tough, wouldn't it be boring if we all felt the same?
As for the physical stuff, how do you motivate yorself? I know what you say is true but I CANNOT get of my butt!

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I think this piece is the colors and the composition! I am of the other mind when it comes to framing under glass. I was a printmaker for many years and got used to framing under I like framing my collages that way as I feel it creates an artifact feeling, draws the viewer in as possibly an ancient relic or a find from a burial site or dig? We are all so different.
I ride a stationery bike 5 miles a day...sometimes a long walk.

Mineke Reinders said...

Beautiful work, Dianne! I love the way the shapes seem to be floating in a blue space. I dislike glass too (especially plexi), but have not had much luck with varnish or acrylic coatings. To my eye they seem to change the properties of the work (at least in watercolor), making them somehow heavier. But the glare and reflections of glass annoy me, too. On the other hand... I was in the framing department of a local store today, where somebody asked help with a framed print from which the glass was missing. Apparently the whole thing had come tumbling down and the glass had broken, the frame was somewhat damaged too. In any case, as I was waiting my turn and looking on, I realized that print looked vulnerable and naked to me, without glass to protect it.

Art with Liz said...

Hi Di - love the painting. Your work is so fresh and light and HAPPY - a reflection of you, maybe?

I've restarted gym as well - good for the old cardio vascular system, but it is an effort to start.

As for the glass / no glass debate, I'll wait to see what happens when you get down to the sticking process. I'm still learning to paint!

Art with Liz said...

PS Mad Bob and cohorts will say anything.

Cathy Gatland said...

Hello Dianne - I found you via Suzanne McDermott's blog and am excited to find more SA artist/bloggers linked here! Have enjoyed looking at your beautiful paintings and reading about your process - and share your outrage at Mugabe, and Zimbabwe's awful situation.
I'll be back for more!

Dianne said...

Dear Kim,
So glad you got on your elliptical! Take it slowly, don't kill yourself and make it unpleasant!
Let me know how you get on with the sprayer.
Love Dianne x

Dianne said...

Dear Lynette, good luck with those exercises - get into it slowly, don't kill yourself and make it unpleasant!
Glad you like the idea of paper on canvas, let us know how your experiments go.

Dianne said...

Hi Sharon, so glad you gave your opinion re framing. Yes, thank goodness we all have different preferences! Framing is such a subjective thing. I have made so many mistakes with my choice of frames.
I was forced into the exercise thing, if my bone scan has not improved by next year, my doctor says I will have to go on chronic medication for osteoporosis. I have side effects with about everything I take so like to avoid this if possible! There are so many spin-offs to exercising regularly, mental upliftment, bone strengthening, muscle and weight control. Hope you are motivated!!

Dianne said...

Hi Mary Ann, thanks for imput re framing. What type of frame do you use with the glass? How do you make it look contemporary or do you not want this, I see you like to have an "artifact" feeling about your presentation. Perhaps you can post a photo of the type of framing you use?
Wow, 5 miles every day, I'm impressed!

Dianne said...

Hi Mineke, yes, I am sure covering a pure watercolour with acrylic medium would change it and I would certainly not recommend doing that. A pure watercolour needs a frame and glass. I think quite a few of us start with watercolour and then bring in other media, as in my Flower Seller. Since we already have a variety of media on the paper, I don't think the acrylic medium would spoil it.

Dianne said...

Dear Liz, I like your comment about how this painting comes from a Happy person ... you should then see what I am working on now!!! I am working with very dark colours next to transparent colours - I am loving the extreme contrasts. Will do a posting soon about that.

Dianne said...

Dear Cathy, thanks for visiting, it is so nice to meet new bloggers! I am looking forward to visiting your blog after this. It is great to connect with other SA artists, I was thinking that I should have a separate blog list of SA artists in my side-bar for easy access.
Happy painting!

Teri C said...

I saw your name on Marianne's blog and now spent a great time looking at your beautiful art! I just love this one.

~Babs said...

"Flower Seller" is a perfect title for a perfect painting!
I like the looks of art matted and framed,,it somehow gives a more 'finished' feeling to a piece.So many times I feel like a frame has just 'made' a piece I wasn't completely thrilled about.
On the other hand,,sometimes the idea of collaging the paper onto canvas is very appealing,,,less bother, etc. Most of my problem with that lies in trying to get the paper completely smooth, without wrinkles, since the stretched canvas isn't completely stable. Too much 'give' to the substrate. Maybe there's a trick to that,,,I'd love to know what it is.
I've never been a very physical person,,,I used to join gyms, and then have wasted my money by not showing up. I quit lying to myself and joining. I felt like I got plenty of exercise when working,,but not now. I try to walk almost every day,,,but my being a real weather weenie prevents that a lot of the time. (too hot, too cold) We've had several treadmills,and other machines over the years that end up as clothes racks in the bedroom. I do floor exercises, stretches,,,some yoga kinda stuff,,,,but nothing cardio.
I pledge to do better,,,but so far, not.

Anonymous said...

Wow, so much has happened on your blog in one week!! Have been watching the CNN news covering Africa when I was in Spain and I agree with everything you have said regarding the Zimbabwe situation. If they could organize medical treatment centres for the outbreak of cholera it would save so many more lives. It seems the health system just can't cope.

We both got tummy bugs in Spain, mine was just 24 hours but my partners lasted 3 days. Without the necessary fluids he would have been seriously ill. We also had a 10 hour delay on our flight so we are feeling exhausted. Apart from that we had 5 good days. Haven't even looked at our photos yet.

Well I think your painting is lovely but if it is water colour then I suppose it will need glass to protect it. Or maybe you could paste it onto hardboard, then varnish it with acrylic medium - would possibly look good on a 'floating' frame.

I've started aqua aerobics, it's very good for you, I never want to go and force myself there but once in the water with everyone else it's great!

sukipoet said...

Beautiful painting. I have "glued" with medium a number of collage/acrylic paintings on paper onto canvas. many of these works are bumpy to begin with so I dont feel they need to lay absolutely smoothly. Usually I paint the canvas around the collage but not always. Left white it looks like a mat.

I have never been an exercise person. I practice yoga every day but you do not get that sort of bone building whatever with yoga I do not believe. I do like to walk and walk often.

soulbrush said...

hi di

what a lovely piece this is. great place to hang it. i am enjoying being back here in sa, with my bro and family, in the last 6 years there have been many changes, but then again everything looks the same (on the surface!). hugs xxx

Cestandrea said...

Dianne, this is a great painting and I can understand what you say about not liking to put glass on it! With Kim from Creative Space we talked about techniques how to seal watercolour and are trying some things too.
And very interesting to hear abuot your relationship between creativity and physical workouts! This is very encourageing to all of us to do daily exercise!
And Mr. Mugabe, well, I don't have words for this crazy old dictator. I so wish he might go, and that the people will be able to throw him out, although they are so weakened right now.

Carol said...

Beautiful painting Di!!! I wonder how they glue photographs onto canvas? or do they simply print onto the canvas?

Dianne said...

Teri, thanks for visiting my blog! I have been over to yours and thoroughly enjoyed your space! I will be back!

Babs, I wrote a long reply to you and others yesterday and the thing has disappeared! Anyway, I agree, some pure watercolours should be behind glass, but I think mixed media might look good on canvas.
I suppose the work cant be too large! Hope the weather clears up so you can get out there walking!

Carolann, with all the medical help, the Cholera thing will only spread until the people have a clean, safe water supply. At the moment, raw sewerage is running into the wells and rivers and people have no way of making it safe! Sorry to hear you both were not well while in Spain, hope you got a bit of sun on you.

Suki, you are lucky you can walk without fear of attack! We have to be very careful here in SA, the problem of crime is just escalating with droves of people pouring into the country looking for work. Enjoy the lovely countryside where you are at the moment, I love your photos! I want to try to fit in a yoga class, when I have done yoga before, I loved the way the whole body and mind feels cared for.

Soulbrush, hope you are having a wonderful time in SA, I am following your posts with interest! Hope your bro and family are all well.

Andrea, isnt it wonderful how we feed off each other in our postings, it was Elis Cooke that started this conversation. I learn so much from each blogger-friend, we all have our unique flavour and attitude to creating and I love how generous each one is with sharing their techniques etc.
Mad Bob is all powerful, I'm afraid and it is South Africa that is having to pick up the pieces.

Carol, I know they can now print photo's on canvas and I have seen watercolors printed onto watercolour paper.
Hope you are well!

kathleen.artkat.hebert said...

Hi Diane:
As always, I am inspired by your colors, your freshness and your inspiration. Your paintings refresh my eyes and my soul. Thank-you! - Kathy

Anonymous said...

Love the composition and colors. Do prefer watercolors behind non reflective glass though. Agree with Mineke about not using varnishes on watercolors. It changes the light translucent look.

Dianne said...

Hi Watercolourist, thanks for visiting my blog! I have recently used the Golden Satin Glazing Medium on the Vine Leaves below and there was no change in the translucency of the watercolour passages even though I used two coats. So I think it is a good idea to experiment on a reject watercolour just to see what happens.
Love Dianne x x

Sandy Maudlin said...

LOVE this painting. Delicious! And love your blog.

Dianne said...

Dear Sandy, thanks so much! So glad you visited this space, please come back again soon.
Love Dianne x x