Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sneak Peek -- Graffiti Reef


While out walking the dog yesterday and enjoying the 70-degree weather, I was thinking that maybe the groundhog was right, and that spring would be coming early after all. On the way back, I noticed a daffodil beginning to break through the ground. Now they're forecasting snow showers and highs of 33 degrees for Tuesday. We'll take what we can get until then.

I've been working on several projects for the upcoming Art Carnage at The Soundry on February 26. A trip to the Bahamas last summer inspired me to create a new line of paintings called Graffiti Reef. I've always loved sea life, and wanted to do a fun new twist on it, incorporating graffiti fusion.

In the Chillout Lounge, the first in the Graffiti Reef series, available at I've also incorporated elements from this design into my pendants, bottlecaps, and magnets. My signature is the graffiti fish, which I often work into my original art headband designs as well.

For this work in progress, I upcycled a cardboard panel that had been part of the packaging for a closet drawer. (I'm in the process of reorganizing my studio.) It was my first time painting on cardboard, and was actually a lot of fun, look for more of these panels in the future.

Next, I added accents with marker to the coral on the bottom and used heavy-bodied acrylic and rubber shelf liner to make the kelp. It's far from done, but off to a good start.

For this painting, I decided to add a three-dimensional feel to the coral, using modeling paste and old paintbrush handles.

When the paste had hardened, I painted it with acrylics. Still not sure what other sea life I'll be using for this one.

A postcard from The Bahamas inspired this next design.

With this painting, I recycled a previously painted old canvas that I'd abandoned several months back, unsure how to proceed next with the colors. This time, I experimented with an orange wash on top of the original sea green wash. On the bottom, I mixed up an earthy color and painted over the original lavender, then used chopsticks to carve into the paint. Some of the original color shows through, and I like the effect.

And, of course, I HAD to do something in purple!

I also made new graffiti-inspired backgrounds from the ton of old scrapbook paper lying around the studio. Scrapbook paper is great -- I often simply paint over it, add layers, and then rip/cut up the new background to collage into my paintings, or to make other projects.

For this last background, I was playing around with dimensional paint to make a seahorse.

I've got lots more to do on these paintings, so stay tuned!

Music in the studio this week:

-- Ibiza Chill Out, Vol. 2 (various artists)
-- The Suburbs, Arcade Fire
-- How to Operate With a Blown Mind, Lo Fidelity Allstars
-- Gothic Rock, Vol. 1 (various artists)
-- The Distance to Here, Live

Back to The Reef!

1 comment:

JessiVille said...

Love The Reef! You've been busy in the studio. I love everything you are working on right now! I just bought a book on women in graffiti art. Spent my Borders coupon - ha! I've only thumbed through it, glancing at the photos but I'll settle down with it soon. Good luck at the Soundry 2/26!