Tag Archives: Wildacres

Blue Hosta Love

Blue Hosta Love 12 x 12 inches Acrylic and collage on illustration board ©2016 Lucinda Howe $295

Blue Hosta Love
12 x 12 inches
Acrylic and collage on illustration board
©2016 Lucinda Howe
$295

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As I continue to work with inspiration from my residency at Wildacres, hostas appear often. They seem to be happy in the shady moist environment, and they have been divided and propagated throughout the garden. The blue heart-shaped leaves provide a lush contrast with the structural stone walls.

Posted in Acrylics, Garden Also tagged |

Laurel Fantasy

Laurel Fantasy 12x12 inches Acrylic mixed media on illustration board ©2016 Lucinda Howe $295

Laurel Fantasy
12×12 inches
Acrylic mixed media on illustration board
©2016 Lucinda Howe
$295

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I wanted to do a residency because it’s my art fantasy life to focus on an art project, walk and sleep whenever I want, and have someone feed me three times a day.

When I arrived at Wildacres in the North Carolina mountains on a Monday afternoon, it was a beautiful sunny day, much cooler than the 100-degree temperatures I had left behind in South Carolina. However, I heard the distant rumble of thunder and saw storm clouds moving in. Paul, at the front desk, gave me a key and map to Laurel cabin almost a mile down the gravel road from the main buildings. I had been to Wildacres several times for workshops, but had not seen the two new residency cabins.

As I opened the door to the cabin, the wind picked up and the thunder rumbled. It was a pleasant surprise to find a spacious high-ceilinged room paneled in knotty pine. Big windows on three sides opened to views of the woods. There was a bed, a rocking chair with a reading light, a big desk, and a standing-height studio table on wheels. On the other side of the room were the ADA-compliant kitchen and bathroom. The best part was the screen porch surrounded by green woods. I hurried to unload my gear and art supplies. For a moment I envied the writers who only need a laptop. Just as I finished unloading, the rain came down in torrents.

Laurel Cabin Bed Wildacres

Laurel Cabin Bed, Wildacres

As I unpacked, I observed that the rain was not blowing in on the porch, so I set up my studio out there. I put down a dropcloth, set up a folding table, and prepared to get messy.

My temporary studio on the screen porch at Wildacres

My temporary studio on the screen porch at Wildacres

During the week, I concentrated on two things: learning a new art technique and absorbing a sense of the environment. Along with looking for signature details like walls and plants, I enjoyed the lush surroundings of my porch studio. I wasn’t looking at the landscape and painting it directly as I might at a plein air event. Instead, I was steeping in the humid forest. As I worked, I heard sounds of insects and birds. The rains came and went. Occasionally I heard a few notes of music from the neighboring cabin where a harpist was in residence.

The weather pattern the rest of the week was sunny days with afternoon thunderstorms. As I worked with my Gelli printing process, I covered all the horizontal surfaces in the cabin with drying prints.

Laurel Cabin kitchen at Wildacres with drying prints

Laurel Cabin kitchen at Wildacres with drying prints

Toward the end of the week, I started trying to make sense how to use the stacks of prints. I made Laurel Fantasy (at the top of the post)  by combining a Gelli print with a black and white underpainting on illustration board.  My inspiration was the lush forest that surrounded me… light through the tops of the trees, the twisted laurel thicket in the lower story, and dappled shade on the ground. The humid atmosphere suggests the sense of growth and possibility that I brought home with me from my week at Wildacres.

Posted in Acrylics Also tagged , , |

Wildacres Walls

Wall #1 4x6 inches Acrylic Gelli plate print on paper from hand-cut foam stamp, embellished with ink and oil pastel ©2016 Lucinda Howe NFS

Wall #1
4×6 inches
Acrylic Gelli plate print on paper from hand-cut foam stamp, embellished with ink and oil pastel
©2016 Lucinda Howe
NFS

During the week of July 11-18, 2016, I was artist in residence at Wildacres Retreat in the North Carolina mountains. The residency consists of the use of a private cabin and meals in the dining hall for the week. My project was to learn more about Gelli plate printing using inspiration from the area. I am deeply grateful to the Blumenthal Foundation and the staff at Wildacres for the opportunity to learn and grow in such a verdant and peaceful environment.

Gelli Plate printing is a process of creating monotypes without a press. Stencils, stamps, and rubber-tip tools add texture. Printing one layer over another adds depth. The results are unpredictable. It’s possible to create finished works of art by this process, but in the learning stage, my efforts are mostly collage fodder.

The grounds of Wildacres provided much inspiration. Looking for signature details and texture, I focused on the amazing stone walls. Each wall has a different design. Some are rough and rustic and others are smooth and tightly fitted. There must have been a dozen masons building over the years, each working in a unique style.

After making photos and drawings of several walls, I cut stencils and foam stamps to use in the printing process. I applied two colors of acrylic paint to a 6x6 inch Gelli Plate with a brayer.

After making photos and drawings of several walls, I cut stencils and foam stamps to use in the printing process. I applied two colors of acrylic paint to a 6×6 inch Gelli Plate with a brayer.

 

I added texture with a hand-made foam stamp and a rubber-tip tool.

I added texture with a hand-made foam stamp and a rubber-tip tool.

 

I pressed a piece of paper over the plate with a brayer and pulled the print.

I pressed a piece of paper over the plate with a brayer and pulled the print.

 

I pulled a second "ghost" print to lift the remaining paint.

I pulled a second “ghost” print to lift the remaining paint.

 

The results of the two pulls are very different.   Sometimes the ghost print is closer to the effect I want.

The results of the two pulls are very different.   Sometimes the ghost print is closer to the effect I want.

I’m still experimenting with this process and will show more in next week’s post. I can also see that it will take a while to integrate this new process into my regular art practice. In the meantime, it’s fun to be learning something new! And so may it be for you.

Sections of Walls Gelli plate prints with hand-cut stencils and stamps

Sections of Walls
Gelli plate prints with hand-cut stencils and stamps

Posted in Acrylics Also tagged , |

Wildacres Morning

Wildacres Morning 16x20" Oil on canvas ©2013 Lucinda Howe

Wildacres Morning
20×16″
Oil on canvas
©2013 Lucinda Howe

In a recent workshop with Caroline Jasper, the exercise was to create depth in the painting.  I allowed the foreground to come forward by using the strongest value contrasts and leaving larger patches of the red underpainting.  The middle ground layers have cooler colors and less value contrast, and the distant mountains  are light and cool to fade into the sky.

 

The exerci

Posted in Oil Painting, Travel