Just Working

Just working on my new mixed media panels for my upcoming show: Rock and Refuge.


I’ve been slowly working on three of the panels after finally getting a few things out of the way, but I ran into a couple of kinks in the road. I’ll tell you about it.

Those rockin’ panels that I got from Blick that were “pre-sealed” were not all what they were cracked up to be. They needed at least another coat of sealer. Once I opened them, they had a bit of a tooth on them, so I didn’t notice at first. I gave them a very, very light sanding and then realized they were just not slick and glossy enough for my liking, so I realized I had to put another coat on them. They are also not sealed on the back side (that I can tell). The edges are though, but when you put another coat on them, you might as well do the sides too since you are going to have dripping occur anyway.

I looked in my cabinet and I only had about an 1/8 of a liter left of the sealant I use, which is the Zinsser Bullseye Universal Sanding Sealer. But wouldn’t you know it, no hardware store in my area had it in stock. I had to order it via Amazon. *sigh*

So I sealed three panels that I have drawings for with the little bit of sealer I had in the can. I do have drawings for a couple more, but I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with too much to do at a time. Three is plenty to work on for a while. And these mixed media pieces do take a while from start to finish. In fact, I’m a little worried I won’t have too many new ones by November. That’s why I’m working on three now and then I’ll work on two more. Then we’ll see if I’ve finished those in time. At the time when I bought these panels, I was crazy and bought 11. I really thought I could probably get 8-10 new ones accomplished. I’m nuts.

These pieces begin as photographs. For one thing, I don’t even have more than five photos left over from Joshua Tree.

I was going to go over the process with you, but I’m always wary about showing my photo references for a couple reasons. One of the reasons is privacy – because these are essentially people’s homes. Of course I change them so much you could never see that, but if I showed you the photos, someone might be able to identify these places because they are very unique – not just the architecture, but the rock formations that surround the buildings too. Still, I change a lot of that into fantasy and imagination. I guess the other reason I sometimes don’t want people to see my reference photos is because I don’t want people to see what I didn’t change. Heh. I have shown some of them however. I don’t mind sometimes. Anyway, whatever.

So today my panels were good and dry and over the last couple of days, I’ve been cutting out the fabric pieces for each painting. But before that, they started in Photoshop from photos, as I said, and then became pencil drawings, like so:



Then I cut out the pieces from manila pattern paper and chose which pieces I want to make into fabric designs, and today I finished this one, laid it out and taped the composition onto the panel.


If you ignore all the pieces of tape, you can kind of get the feeling of where it might be going. But then again, all the manila pieces will also be painted different colors. It will have an orange, pink and brown palette. Can’t you see into my brain, just a little?

The same story with this one I made from Photoshop. It started with a photograph of a place I’m calling Key’s Ranch:


It then became this drawing:


And now it’s this:


This last one I didn’t work with in Photoshop at all. I just made a freehand drawing from it It’s also from the same property, just another building that I’m calling Dust House:


and now it’s this:


Gluing everything onto the panels is going to take quite a bit of time, especially that 18 x 24 inch one. (That was the first one.) That one has a lot of small intricate, skinny pieces that are going to drive me up a wall, but once they are all done, the fun part of painting everything begins! That takes a careful hand, but it’s not hard. I just have to be careful and patient.

Okay, so my next blog post I’ll probably go back to answering my art plan questions. I’ve had a mind to also ease up on my plans all together. I had previously promised mjp that I wouldn’t make “art plans” like that anymore, or at least ambitious lists that would only make me crazy and overworked. I tend to get out of control. Right now I think my list is realistic, but I should go over it one more time to make sure it’s not too much for one person, especially a person like me that needs her beauty sleep more so than most.

Later, for now.

3 thoughts on “Just Working

  1. fjr September 6, 2015 / 7:11 pm

    Thank you for sharing your process so generously!

  2. Steve Fujimoto September 9, 2015 / 12:01 pm

    Love your musings!

  3. Carol Es September 10, 2015 / 11:44 am

    Thank you Fritzie and Steve! 🙂

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