Sunday, October 29, 2006


Here are the two paintings I just finished at various stages of their development. In the first photo I have laid down the underpainting and added the stencilled images (repeated images that I make using hand-cut acetate stencils).

The second phase is the part where all the painted images, patterns and details are added.

I know I'm in trouble when I want to stop at this stage and not add the 'fill in' painting. The early stages were a breeze but I ran into trouble with the last panels in each painting -- like I just couldn't find the final piece to the puzzle. At the end of the day I have to just quit and be satisfied with what I've got.

Birdland 16" x 16"


Blogger Angela Rockett said...

These are so beautiful, Andrea!

29/10/06 5:32 p.m.  
Blogger Heather said...

I'd love to hear more about your painting process. Do you have an image already in your head before you start, or does it come to you as you proceed? How do you choose colours? They're so vibrant and colourful - I love that. I dream of painting some day. Wish I could take a class with you! :-)

29/10/06 7:16 p.m.  
Anonymous Detlef said...

Yep, it's always difficult to know when to stop. I usually do so when I think I'm not really adding anything to integrity of the original idea.....just takes a while to get to that point.

29/10/06 8:15 p.m.  
Blogger Jana Bouc said...

Thank you for displaying the works in progress and the finished ones. I'd so love to see a show of your work in person. They are so beautiful and unique. I love the glow in all your paintings. It was fun seeing your website (is that new?) that you linked to with all the galleries and the very large paintings. I'm so thrilled to get to see and read about your paintings as you make them!

29/10/06 10:06 p.m.  
Blogger tlc illustration said...

It's great to see the work in progress. You work so differently from how I work - I find it fascinating.

I generally only know I'm 'done' when I have no more time before I have to send it off to meet the deadline. :-) One could theoretically fiddle forever, couldn't one?

29/10/06 11:00 p.m.  
Blogger Toni said...

Andrea I often walk away from my work and come back. It keeps me from getting board if that is ever possible. But it always helps with the overall look and perspective for me to walk away and come back. I love the finished pieces. they just seem to pop when you add that final touch.
ok now I have a question how do you make your stamps?

30/10/06 4:35 a.m.  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

Those colours and shapes are so evocative of a lot of African art - are you sure you aren't African?

30/10/06 4:56 a.m.  
Blogger Ms.Kurt said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

30/10/06 5:26 a.m.  
Blogger carla said...

I love seeing your process photos! This is really lovely...I adore the birds in the branches. Funny, I've had a similar image in mind, probably because there are so many birds hanging out and picking the berries off the trees and bushes.
p.s. I just posted as my schoolteacher persona...I've been reading my students' blogs! Very confusing:>

30/10/06 5:27 a.m.  
Blogger Caroline said...

Gorgeous panels!

I love the way you layer your colours.

(Birdland was a place we used to go on school trips ;-)

30/10/06 6:23 a.m.  
Blogger Caroline said...

Whoops not sure my link worked - its

30/10/06 6:24 a.m.  
Blogger susan said...

andrea, i love this one!

30/10/06 6:38 a.m.  
Blogger Joyce said...

Oooooooooooooooooh when I see those colours I jsut want to ditch kids and rush over to my machine and sew, sew, sew....

30/10/06 9:41 a.m.  
Blogger Anthony said...

Beautiful work! I especially like the transitional colors in the patterns and backgrounds - moving from one side of the color wheel to another.

I must say, though, painting in acrylic that close to the sofa! When I paint it usually looks like an explosion happened in the studio. You must be a very careful person!

30/10/06 10:09 a.m.  
Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

I jsut want to buy these because I know from experience that they look EVEN BETTER in, in pai...uh, up close....whatever.

30/10/06 11:06 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Angela & Susan: thank you!

Heather: I keep meaning to do a post on the pre-painting process. I have touched on it in the past since it's a good topic, especially for those who struggle with inspiration. I've been thinking of putting together a night-school course, too -- if I could just find the time!

Detlef: Overworking -- artist's bane. Sometimes I repaint a section so many times that the surface integrity gets completely lost.

Jana: The website is old; the domain name is new, though. I seem to re-organize the website every 6 months or so. It's tricky to make it work as I only have 10 webpages in my plan and keep wanting to add!

Tara: Ha! I love your way to figure out when you're done. I do work in a slightly weird way with my layers. I don't know anyone else who works this way. Would love to be a fly on the wall in so many studios (yours!) to see how others work.

Toni: I'm so impatient and obsessive that I have a hard time walking away. As for the stamps, these peices don't have any stamps, but the ones I do have were made for me by a friend. I need to learn to make them for myself.

Nomad: If I'm a closet anything it's a closet African! :) I adore primitive art, native African art above all, so it's no surprise there's a stylistic influence there.

Ms Kurt: Do it! Quick! Tell those students to teach themselves and run away for a day...

Caroline: Birdland looks fantastic! My younger son would love that place, too (maybe on our next trip to the West Country... :).

Joyce: I am always truly amazed at gorgeous textile art. I am a total disaster with fabric, much as I love it, so I'm in awe of people who can sew and make beautiful things with those unruly bolts of cloth.

Anthony: I don't paint that close to the sofa which is actually a permanent resident of my studio because the previous residents of this house couldn't get it out the door after an addition to the house!

Brian: :) Thank you and I agree but I can't say that can I? Can I? ...

30/10/06 11:21 a.m.  
Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

You CAN say that because it's true, albeit self-promoting. You need to be your biggest fan.

30/10/06 12:06 p.m.  
Anonymous kyknoord said...

There are few things that can tie you in knots as effectively as almost.

30/10/06 10:31 p.m.  
Blogger Within Without said...

Amazing, Andrea.

But so in the gorgeous work on the left, you basically completely changed the base colours on the left side of the painting (as in, from blue to deep red in the centre).

How much time can and does it or did it take you to do these two, especially if you change colours?

Sorry to ask such goofy questions. What colour. Breathtaking, both of 'em.

31/10/06 8:00 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

WW: Not sure how long they took. I worked on them simultaneously and it took about three-four days of work. The layering of colours seems time-consuming and confusing at first, but when I lay down the final colour-blocking it usually all comes together. I try to use complementary colour (opposites on the colour wheel) as the underpainitng as it adds to the vibrancy, but the best laid plans of mice and men, etc... It really is like doing a puzzle soemtimes.

31/10/06 10:36 a.m.  
Blogger Trabinski said...

amazing. I love the colour. They really feel both soothing as well as optimistically energetic.

Thanks for sharing them with us!

31/10/06 2:00 p.m.  
Blogger Bibi said...

Your work is stunning!!

31/10/06 9:05 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/11/06 6:22 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meant to leave the comment for this entry last time but I posted it below instead.oops ! I really love your demos - fun to see.

1/11/06 6:24 a.m.  
Blogger kj said...

oh man oh man oh man oh man oh man.
andrea, your work is awesome.

ps i will be your case manager if you will be my neighbor.

1/11/06 5:31 p.m.  
Blogger Belinda said...

What does it mean that I always LOVE your paintings when they are almost exactly halfway finished? I mean, I love the finished products, obviously, but something about the LIFE of the half-done ones just grabs me, and I swear I'd buy them like that, too.

1/11/06 9:20 p.m.  
Blogger Jessica Torrant said...

I absolutely love to see the progress of a painting, so this post was a joy to discover tonight! You do such profoundly amazing work, Andrea!

1/11/06 9:28 p.m.  
Blogger Caty said...

Beautiful! I love your style! unique
I love both....before finishing and after....:) could do variations of them...;)

6/11/06 4:24 a.m.  
Anonymous Yari said...

I am kind of lazy. If you coudl explain the acetate thing I would enjoy that very much.

The paintimgs are great and I understand not knowing when to finish. I suppose it's part of enjoying painting so much you want to continue forever.

13/11/06 11:04 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Yari: to make an acetate stencil just place a sheet of acetate over your drawing and cut it out, making sure to cut 'hole' sections out to get the right effect. Then, using masking tape, attach it to your canvas and brush into the stencil to create the effect you want. Peel off and voila -- art! Maybe I'll post the stencil procedure next time I do a painting with that included.

13/11/06 12:20 p.m.  

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