Summer Studio

Updated: Jul 21, 2019

Studio update--summer 2018--my process and production notes.


Rainbow over the Gulf of Mexico.

I was lucky enough to have this view for a few weeks this month from my temporary, dining room table studio. It's hard not to be inspired by the beauty of the white sand, the ever changing coastline, and the waters of the Gulf. The locals call this area of the Gulf of Mexico (situated along the panhandle in Florida) the Emerald Coast, for its green, crystal clear water. And the beaches are some of the most beautiful that I have ever seen.


I have been visiting these beaches for over twenty years now, and this is the first time I have seen a rainbow over the water. I managed to snap this photo of it and, considering my intention to delve into some research and studio work revolving around color theory this semester, I thought it was a rather fitting image.


Paint palette from a color mixing exercise.

I created my own rainbow by spending some time hand mixing colors using only three primary colors—magenta, blue, and yellow. My intention was to use these colors to create a few painted color wheels, as well as to use them in the base layers for pages and other elements that I plan to become part of an "art book." I want the book to be an artistic representation of my research over the course of the semester into color, symbolism, and mark making.  



Black paint created the template for a color wheel and other elements that I plan to incorporate into my book.

When designing a book in the traditional way, the first thing you must do is create a template in which to flow the various elements of the publication. The template dictates the size of the pages, the margins, and other visual aspects of the design (i.e., page numbers, headers, and footers) that will be applied to all pages of the publication. In the case of my artist book, I made the "template" by using black paint to create the shapes for the color wheels and for the other visual parts that will be woven through the book. The black paint will also work to unify each piece of the book throughout.

The first layers of color and mark making.

I tend to create by using multiple layers in my work. These first colored layers were made using random yet varied marks, and one color from the color wheel on each piece. Later layers will be added to incorporate elements of collage, different mediums, and more intentional mark making. The photo above represents only a few of the many "pages" that I started. Some of what you see above will be used in my book and others will be used for collage material.


Paper elements to use for inspiration, or you may see bits and pieces of them collaged into my work.

These are just a few of the things that I have gathered for color and mark making inspiration. You never know what might show up in one of the layers of my paintings! And I am sure these piles will grow as I continue to explore and experiment in the studio.

Just a few of the mediums, materials, and tools that I use in my artwork.

I am not really sure exactly in what direction this is all going. Sometimes I need to look at my work for a while before I know what the next move is going to be. It's a solid start though, and now that I am back from my "summer studio" break, I plan to spend some time over the next few weeks exploring each color on the color wheel individually. As I work, I will add new layers and marks to the different elements that I then intend to incorporate into the book, as well as a few paintings that will be inspired by my color theory practice in the studio. 

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