Friday, December 20, 2013

Colored Pencil On Travertine Marble - Great new surfaces

                                        Celtic Greenman on Travertine Marble 10 X 10 Tile

This is a post that's been waiting to be written on a piece I accomplished at this years CPSA Convention in Brea, CA this summer.  Elliott Everson conducted this workshop, as a signature member of the CPSA, his work is very appropriate for this surface.  His website is here:  Take a look at his work and subject matter, it really goes well onto the stone tile he works on and his location.  But since I'm not a fan of snakes, reptiles, and such, I choose to work from a reference of mine that reflected one of my passions.  Green men faces, I have them all around my yard and home, on a wall of my front porch and elsewhere in my garden.  I just love them.  This mythical figure the Green man symbolizes the life that is found in the natural plant world and on earth itself, and has many interesting stories and fables surrounding it.  Being a gardener I can't help to love the simple idea of the green man protecting my garden.  Their faces are as varied as the human faces in our lives.  

I had created this Celtic Greenman originally on a used violin for a fundraiser for the Richmond Symphony several years ago, called "String Art" (see below).  I primed with colorfix pastel primer on the front face of the badly beat up instrument and then applied my color pencil on top.  It was auctioned to raise funds for the symphony so I never had a chance to enjoy it at my home and secretly wanted one of my own.  
So it was this image of a stone carving from the Bamburg Cathedral I chose to use as my workshop adventure with travertine marble.  I highly recommend Everett's teaching method on stone, if you ever get to take a workshop from him.  And being an ole decorative painter working on new surfaces intrigues me.  

Working on unsealed, tumbled marble tile was an adventure indeed.  My normal method of working in 20-25 layers on paper or pastelboard wouldn't work here.  Yes, the roughness chews up your pencil a little, so that's similar to pastelboard or sanded paper.  But after a few 3-4 layers of wax based pencil (Prismacolors) you find the pencil sliding on the stone.  Now that would have bothered me but I had just finished working on double frosted mylar for my Jamestown Sea Captain. (See my Aug. entry titled:  Gloria J Callahan, CPSA - Colored Pencil Paintings: Jamestown Sea Captain and my busy summer.   Mylar or Acetate does not take many layers of wax based pencil either.  The one difference is that with the travertine marble can be spray with workable fixative to get a few more layers down. Which worked beautifully on the Celtic Greenman.  

Working with the rough surface was fun to incorporate the dips and crevices into the subject.  This gave me a whole new idea for a series of stone pieces to create.  More to come....... so watch for new work.  Oh, one more thing, you finish and protect your work by spraying with fixative then several light coats of acrylic sealant or varnish.  This of course would not allow you to use the tile for a trivet with hot surfaces as the varnish would be damaged and thus your work.  I'm happy to display it on a counter easel for the art work it is.  And now I have one for my very own.  


I always like to hear what you think or answer questions so make a comment and let"s chat!

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