Sunday, April 2, 2017

Natural History

I've always been a lover of natural history, but I never really indulged that love until I started doing these collages back in December. 

Natural history books with illustrations are what I am constantly on the lookout for now.  I will use books with photographs, as opposed to illustrations, but I much prefer the latter.  I never conceived of a good use for these images, until recently.

Some images I'm finding online, when I haven't found a book source for them.  If you're not familiar with it, check out the Biodiversity Heritage Library on Flickr.  All images there are copyright-free and can be downloaded and printed on an as-needed basis.  Save them to your computer in the "original resolution," and images will print perfectly.

Another place I've found images is in those Dover books of illustration and design, many of which come with a CD.  I've borrowed a few from the library, copied the contents of the CD onto my computer, and printed images when I've needed them.  These images are also at very high resolution so they print well.

I've also been indulging my love of washi tape recently.  I found a seller at Etsy that I particularly like buying from, because he has such a wonderful selection of tapes available.  His shop name is ZakkaLover.

I'm gravitating toward watercolors now.  I've started following a number of watercolorists on Instagram as well as a couple artists on YouTube.  I've tried a number of different brands of paints in the last few months, and finally settled on a small set of half-pans by Prima, and a larger set of tubes by Mijello Mission Gold. This week I'll get some GOOD paper, Arches.

I've almost always skimped before on my supplies (well, except for Golden Acrylics), but I'm done doing that.  Life's short; use the good stuff.

Anyway, I'm not sure yet what I want to paint, but I likely won't do a lot of representational stuff...much like with acrylics.  I want to experiment with the medium, more than anything.  And experiment with interpreting what I see, physically or in my mind's eye.

I did try watercolors once, way back in the late 1970s.  I was on Maui then, and I used to see a gal paint at the beach I frequented.  So I took a class at the art center on Maui (Kalua Nui).  I used cheap watercolor paper at the time, that much I remember, also that I was trying to be too literal.  I think watercolor is a medium where you have to be able to see things ~ or at least be able to translate them to paper ~ more figuratively, more loosely.

So I'm going to give watercolor another go.

The images below are some of my recent outgoing mail.  I'm collaging on the backs of the envelopes as well, most of the time.

Have a wonderful week.


Charlton Stitcher said...

These are WONDERFUL- colourful and vivid - and those envelopes should really give the world's postmen something to remember! What pleasure you give with your work!

KAM said...

Another group of exquisite collages...and the envelopes, to die for beautiful. Connie you are so skilled in gathering bits and pieces together in a harmonious arrangement..your art is fantastic.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Wonderful! watercolor has been a mystery to me but I'm betting good paper and good colors will be magical as well as good brushes. Why not invest in excellent materials! Best exploration days ahead!

john said...

Just love coming to see what you have been up to. Just terrific! :-)

Meg said...

I just found out this week that even the "half pans" are not same sizes, that the brand I like appears to have considerably less paint even though the tiny cases appear to be nearly identical. I look forward to seeing your watercolor work, Connie.

Dortesjs said...

I hope these collages bring you as much pleasure as they bring me, I love to look at them. thank you for inspiration