I love paintings birds as a break from my trees. Over the years, I have used various techniques to bring my birds to life: Gouache and Ink Resist, mixed media and acrylic. I have painted them for friends, shows and fund-raisers. Here is a sampling of my bird paintings:
The flowers are very interesting and have yielded a few good pieces in my explorations but I would like to integrate the background better with the subject and layer the stencils to develop more complex images. I think birds would give me more opportunity to do that, so for now I am going to work with them.
I started creating stencils of branches. I am amazed at how intricate a stencil the Cricut machine can cut. By now it was taking me 3 to 5 hours of working with an image on the computer to create the digital file for the Cricut. Fortunately, I enjoy that part of the process and have good computer skills.
I created a few simple masks of sparrows to combine with the other stencils. (A stencil and a mask are opposites of each other. When you paint through a stencil, you create the subject. When you use a mask, you paint around the subject – negative painting.) I set up my Gelli plate and pulled out my Open acrylics. I started just using copy paper to play around and experiment with, and then expanded to cardstock.
Here are some of the early experiments. In general, I used two stencils with two colours. Some were printed directly and some were “ghost prints”. In some, I enhanced the images of the birds with graphite or watercolour pencil:
So these are experiments on cardstock - sorting out the process and refine the images. Cardstock prints well but has issues with anything with water in it. It buckles. I needed a better, more permanent paper to work with. Stay tuned for the results of my paper experiments and some more information about the process itself!
The Okanagan provides inspiration wherever you look. I enjoy both painting on location and working in my studio. For more information contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org