Monday, February 21, 2011

COMPOSER SERIES

“MUSIC WAS MY REFUGE”

“Music was my refuge”

"I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness" By Maya Angelou.

I’m working my way up to creating a new series. My son, Cameron, has commissioned me to create several large collages of famous composers. The first one will be of Claude Debussy. He composed Clair de lune, which happens to be my favorite classical song. Cameron and his girlfriend own “Singing Strings” They both play the piano and Nakisa plays the violin and teaches classes. They like the idea of placing paintings of famous composers all around their home and music studio. This series will be a challenge since the paintings/collages are to be quite large. I’m not sure whether to have musical notes peeking through the face of Debussy or whether to paint the portrait of Debussy using my newly learned technique, which is a very, very old technique, of Renaissance painting. I’m taking a course in it now and I was extremely surprised at how difficult and labor intensive this method is.

"Dead painting" My rendition of Joris Van Son's painting

The method includes starting with a campintura, which consists of darker tones and then works it’s way into what is called a “dead” painting and then goes on to two additional coats of paint. The old masters used natural pigments, which they had their assistants grind. At least I was able to use artist grade store bought oils for mine. I went through that pigment grinding technique when I was working on my 6’ fresco. Whew! My body still hurts from that challenge.

View showing wooden cradle

In the class I am taking, we were required to do a rendition of one of the Rennassiance masters. Joris Van Son was chosen. I worked for so many hours on this painting that it would be impossible to sell it. I’m not sure I could part with it anyway.

I’m going to continue to experiment with my women collages until I am sure I know which direction I’m heading with Debussey and then, after probably several attempts, I will create my first Renaissance style painting/collage of Debussy, which will be, by the way, the first male I will ever paint.. Should be interesting.


Side view- Notice how the notes drift through her face, making her look as though she were a zentangle

In the meantime, I’m offering for sale “Music was my Refuge.” She is 8x10” I painted her onto a birch paint panel that has a cradle edge for easier hanging. I hope you notice the crackles I was able to finally achieve on this piece. It is amazing how long it took me to figure out how to place crackles over paper so that the background shows through. I was always able to attain great crackles when I used paint in the background, but never when I wanted it clear. It took the help of several blogger friends. I want to thank Terra Sheridan, from
Terra Sheridan’s Musings Terra advised me to use Deckle One Step Crackle Gel. Diane, from My Art Journal uses Tim Holtz’s crackle paint. Lynn Stevens at Trash to Treasure has good luck with Tim Holtzs' paint too, and lastly, Moriah Butterfly from MLB Studio who not only sent me a detailed e-mail but who is going to create a video on how she crackles her wonderful folk art dolls.

Let me know if you are interested in this first original painting in my composer series. I realize “refuge” is not a composer but I'm sure you get the drift. I have priced her at $55. You can e-mail me for shipping details.

Oh, one last thing. There is an added bonus to my completing this painting. Cameron promised to learn how to play Clair de Lune for me. I'll definitely be working on it.

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35 comments:

  1. Cheryl--first off--thanks so much for the mention. And this turned out excactly what I'm looking for--so was this the Deckle?
    Plus, I want to tell you (I may have told you already) that Janine (justbeans.blog) told me what works for her is Jo Sonja's crackle--so I now have that, but have yet to try it. I'll let you know when I do.
    P.S. She (Music Was My Refuge) is so beautiful!!

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  2. It turned out perfectly...watch out...it's addicting..lol! Love your work as always. :)

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  3. I think it's Deco...thanks for the mention too... ;)

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  4. gorgeous, i especially love the crackle. you have so many talents!
    xo

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  5. It's beautiful Cheryl. I too love the crackle effect. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Oh Cheryl, this is breathtakingly beautiful.

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  7. She looks just like you Cheryl, with those fantastic cheek bones :) I love the quote by Maya...the way she organizes words is breathtaking.

    Don't you love aving a project looming???
    Especially something new?
    XXoXX

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  8. Cheryl, your painting is beautiful! The crackle looks great in it too but I see what you mean that it's still really subtle. However, I think it still looks great in the painting and it fits. Thanks for the nod, I appreciate that! I hope to have the video posted tonight. I have a dentist appt this afternoon or I'd have it up sooner.

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  9. Wow, I love how you used music for the back! Gorgeaus! :)

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  10. Hi Cheryl, I am responding here to your email to me re your Ren. painting. I am very pleased to see how you are progressing - just wish the photo was a bit more contrasty. It is indeed, a bit labour intensive but well worth it if you have the temperament to be patient:-) I do, as you speculated, apply several layers of paint, allowing each to dry first, sometimes glazing but sometimes using more opaque layers and going by the fat over lean method if I use medium (which I don't always). Always begin with a toned canvas, earth or grey toned, sometimes red or viridian. I know about the various chemical problems of using certain colours over other colours but over time pay little attention to this and have learned by trial and error what works for me. If I got bogged down in thinking all the time about the technical aspects I'd never paint!
    Your "Music was my refuge" painting is lovely. The more you do the better they will get.

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  11. What a stunning portrait, Cheryl! Sounds as though you've got a wonderful challenge in front of you. I've no doubt that your Debussy will be fabulous!!! Hugs, Terri xoxo

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  12. I love Clair de Lune - so restful to listen to after a hard day granting wishes. In fact, after reading this post I just had to listen to it. The beautiful notes are flying through me right now soothing and healing. Lovely - just like your painting!

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  13. You are inspired to paint... and many of us are inspired by your paintings. Wonderful, simply wonderful.

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  14. Totally gorgeous portrait. Whenever I visit you am always inspired. Annette x

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  15. You can do it all Cheryl! This is SO Beautiful!!

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  16. Music and paintings make a wonderful combination! They give ease and relaxation at the end of a tiring and stressing day. Great art work!

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  17. Cheryl, you never cease to amaze me. I love your descriptions here... ANd congrats on your cmmission. I am sure all the details will fall into place. I can't wait to see this as it develops!

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  18. This looks beautiful, I love the crackle finish. I've read about the Masters and their labor intensive methods... whew. I'm not sure I have the patience for it. I always have an awkward moment when a close friend or family member wants me to create something for them and wants to pay me. How are you side stepping that with your son (no less!)?

    I am so thrilled you are joining in the fun of "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Book" giveaway! Good luck!

    Happy Creating!
    Jaime

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  19. Oh, Cheryl, I love how the notes softly fade through her face and the crackle. It's as though one can just barely hear the music in the background ... a soft melody at play. One could even go as far as to ponder, as the notes are so strategically placed across her forehead, that your muse is recalling a cherished tune.

    Wishing you a week seeped in bliss and peace, my friend ...

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  20. I look forward to seeing this new series of beautiful "music" works. Love the crackle/aged appearance to this current piece. She has a wonderful mystery and intelligence to her expression!

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  21. Another fantastic art work. I love the crackle effect and the whole texture. Great creation!
    Hugs Anja

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  22. Love this piece of artwork. It's not bad rendition at all of joris van son's work. He has a certain feel to his work that I just love.

    Your collage is a lovely piece too. Her eyes are my favourite part.

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  23. Wow, she is incredible- I love the way the music moves through her just the way it does when you're listening....gorgeous! And what a fun series to start on- just how big will they be?

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  24. Cheryl...oh my..i always look forwrad to your blog..another fabulous read! I love your art..super gorgeous.and always embodies so much spirit and soul to it...and I so connect and for I have a love for music and play piano..so this is exciting to me..yay..shine on! Wonderful post..i also always love how you share the process too..I am a self taught painter..so it is always intersting to me to know how other creatives work..you are wonderfully inspiring!
    Hugs and sparkles creatrix!
    Victoria~

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  25. This is gorgeous. I am in total awe of this piece. I love it.

    I have never used crackle medium, except for some by Tim Holtz. It was too thick when I got it and it never worked properly. Turned me off to his products from the beginning. I use white glue, which costs next to nothing and also can be used as a resist.

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  26. Very lovely Cheryl and I love how the notes come thru her face. The crackling is wonderful and added so much to this piece. Thanks for the links and sounds like you are having a wonderful time learning new techniques.

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  27. I find this to be stunning. Love the crackle!

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  28. Cheryl gorgeous painting, I love the crackle and I especially love that the motif continues on the edges.
    Anni

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  29. another stunning piece ~ I am in awe:)

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  30. Oh Cheryl, I envy you, what a wonderful challenge to create such large masterpieces. I'll be looking forward to your progress on each one. I love getting commissions like this. To few and far between these days. Your crackle looks great too.
    hugs Lynn

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  31. Beautiful work on all counts, Cheryl! I love your 'dead' painting. I know how labour intensive the techniques can be but the end result is usually worth it.

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  32. like the chair, and your rendition of the dead painting was excellent, really one of your best. I personally love the idea of the crackle and notes showing through the face for one of the composer paintings or a couple in the style.

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  33. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

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