Friday, September 14, 2012

Art Abandonment

Welcome everyone!
I just abandoned my first two pieces of art!   Yes I know this makes me a bad mother but it was strangely satisfying.
So what is Art Abandonment?  That's simple: you create a little work of art and leave it in a random place as a gift for whoever might pick it up. I left a little note inside the package with an explanation and my email address so that if so inclined the recipient might email me the fate of the poor little abandoned piece of art.  To read more about this please read Michael DeMengs blog at
Why am I doing this?  That's a little more complicated.  Since I started trying in vain it seems to at least eat from my creations I've felt the press of survival mode kicking in.  In other words: I have to look at every piece I create as if it already has a price tag on it. I feel serious and "clenched". Every piece has to be a masterpiece since I have to sell to eat. I create art that I know will sell instead of experimenting with new ideas and techniques. By abandoning a little work of art I feel I am acknowledging what I know to be true: that not everything you create will be a masterpiece-nor should it. By abandoning a piece of art I am forcing myself to release it without the price tag that makes me feel serious and clenched.  This in turn reminds me that without experimentation
I am less creative and that means stagnation and ultimately the death of my own artistic life.

Abandoning one of my babies is also a way of giving back a little.  All along my struggle for the past three years, many people have given me gifts that have helped me to survive depression and doubt: a gift of candy for Christmas, a little tin box filled with art stuff, a bag of apples,cookies or the gift of support and friendship. These are priceless things to me.  By abandoning a work of art maybe I can reach out to someone else in need in the only way I can right now.
What did I abandon and where? You can see one of them above. Yes this is a check-it Domino pendant.  I left it at an appropriately sunny cafe in Montara California. The second piece you can see  below:
This little matchbox shrine was left at the Pt. Montara Lighthouse.  Abandoning this piece was difficult because I forced myself to leave it outside. There's that masterpiece, serious thing again.
I must have walked around the place for an hour before I found a spot that I could force myself to leave it. I am hoping the next time will be easier.   And no I won't tell you where!  If you want it go find it.  Hint:it is in a semi sheltered woody spot out doors.
How do you start abandoning your art? Either just do it or you can go to Mr. Demeng's blog above and watch his video.  From there you can join the facebook group Art Abandonment and give the gift of a little art. And remember to have fun!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

She danced with the Fairies and more at the studio

Greetings Everyone,
Yes I know I have been remiss in my blog posting duties.  Please forgive me but I have been very busy with last weekends new class "My Own Little World." You can view my sample above.  This was a very difficult class for me and in truth was probably the most complicated class to date.  Why?
Because the class objectives were to use all the collage techniques that we have studied to date to actually illustrate a scene- as if you were illustrating a book. 
Much collage is what I like to call representational. It tries to tell a story or represent an emotion or idea in a non literal manner. Here's an example below:

But as I started to participate in altered book swaps I found that there were full scenes that I would have like to have shown.  I became frustrated with my inability to find images of those scenes to collage around.  So I concluded that I would have to "create"  the scene myself.  But how do you do this? How do you collage different images and scenes together and make them appear as one piece?
I started with this piece below:
Here you can see a vintage photo of the pyramids in the distance and a woman from a classic painting in the foreground.  What pulls the two incongruous images  together are paint and texture, in this case pumice gel.
Here is another example from an altered book:
In this case I just collaged on two reference pictures (the woman and the castle)and literally painted the scenery around them I then  match the other elements I wanted to include in the spread with more painted scenery. There was no texture on this piece.
The most difficult part of this type of collage is just getting everything to match. Like a jigsaw puzzle you fit the pictures together until you can bridge the gaps with paint and texture.  The most important element to achieving this is proportion. Your images must be in proportion to the scene as a whole.  So needless to say the class spent the greater part of the first class day just trying to fit the pictures together. 
After you piece is composed then its just a matter of painting in more scenery to fill in the gaps in the picture.  The addition of texture is a great way to hide the joining of images and also adds a tactile and 3-d quality to the work.
This is definitely an advanced collage technique which I do not recommend to beginning collage artists. 
But speaking of beginning collage artists:  I am offering a beginning collage class this Sunday the 9th!  I highly recommend this class for anyone that is interested in collage.  This class is the place to start. Plus it  is a great value:  you receive a full day of instruction, instructions to take home for future use and a huge bag of papers,ephemera and found objects to start you out. Everything is provided in this class except paintbrushes and scissors.  I make sure that all beginning collage artists receive twice the value for the price of this class.And we go through everything: what to create on, products to use and where to find them, creating backgrounds from everyday objects and composition.
If you are interested in signing up please email me by Saturday afternoon at  You can view a class sample below :
 Here are the particulars:
Sunday September 9th
Beginning Collage I
Description: Using the principles of composition we will explore ways to break through artistic barriers to discover the infinite possibilities of you!  We will start by learning about: Art surfaces, Mediums and acrylic paints. We will then progress to a simple background and finally create small collages using the techniques and principles discussed in class.
Items to bring: Please bring your favorite scissors and paintbrushes. All other materials are supplied including instructions and a large collage pack of items to use in class or take home.
Time: 10:30 to 4:00 (lunch break will be at 12:30)
Fee: $55.00
Class limit: 4 students
C.Andrews Studio is located at 103-1 Harvard st. in Princeton-by-the-Sea.