Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Birthday Memories"

"Birthday Memories, 2009"
11" x 14"
Collage, Watercolor, and Acrylic

As I was opening my gifts, mostly delivered from Amazon as we are a bi-coastal family, I was taken with the wrapping paper in lovely contrasting colors of blue and orange. One piece was blue with writing on one side and beige on the reverse. I decided I would recycle some of the interesting paper items into a piece of art commemorating my birthday 2009. One of my gifts is Betsy Dillard Stroud's wonderful "Painting from the Inside Out" given to me by son, Jeff. Inspired by "Everything but the Kitchen Sink" and recalling our wonderful workshop, I devised a compositional sketch centered around an orchid from a corsage that Bob gave me.

Let's call this experimental, as I don't know, nor do I care, if there is a right way to approach a piece like this. I drew my design on 300 pound watercolor paper, cut the collage pieces, and adhered them to the paper with mat medium as I learned from Gerald Brommer. When the base layer was dry, I painted the orchid in watercolor. I then began applying acrylics with a brush and stamping with acrylics to pull the background together. I found that I deviated from my design somewhat, responding to the image as it developed.

When I took Mike Bailey's 10-week Watercolor Beyond the Obvious workshop, I found that the process featured recently in Watercolor Artist magazine pushed me toward creating geometric shapes. I attribute this penchant to my engineering gene that guided my work life. By golly, that is what is emerging here as well.

I included elements that recall special moments, relationships, adventure, and where I am at this time in my life. The orchid represents my loving relationship with Bob, the gift wrap recalls my two wonderful grown sons, and Bob's little note on the Amazon gift card validates my role as artist. A piece of the 17-Mile Drive brochure provided directions on our bike ride to Carmel, and brings back memories of our cross-USA tandem bicycle ride in 2008. The coffee sleeves from a local Pacific Grove coffee shop take me back to several wonderful restaurants and cafes where we dined. The spiral pattern for growth and squares for stability are part of a stamp that I carved relating to my life. The rectangular decorative stamp reminds me of other parts of the world that I've been privileged to visit. One can say a lot about their life on a quarter sheet of watercolor paper


12 comments:

Charlene Brown said...

I loved the initial impact of this design, and was blown away by your description of the many memories so beautifully symbolized. Collage is the perfect medium for this sort of presentation and you have a real talent for it.

Mary Paquet said...

Charlene, thanks for your encouragement. Collage does lend itself nicely to symbolic representation. I had never done any before taking Gerald Brommer's workshop in August. I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoy doing collage.

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Mary, WOW! This is an exciting and powerful piece! And, it sounds like it was fun too! Wonderful!

Claire M said...

Happy Birthday!!

This sure is an exciting piece to celebrate your birthday. I am so glad that you shared about the meaning of the different elements. This is super special.

Marie Theron said...

Hi Mary, A great work of art that reminds one of the early 20th century Masters. The vertical components of your composition gives it rhythm, and the strong lines seperate the elements.The soft round shape forms a lovely focal point.To link it with so much personal history is wonderful and you should print out the blog and paste it to the back of the frame.

Mary Paquet said...

Friends Peggy, Claire, and Marie, I am so pleased you liked the results on this one, and I appreciate your good wishes. Marie, I like your idea of printing out the blog and placing it on the back of the framed picture.

Barbra Joan said...

Mary, first a very Happy Birthday wish for you. I strolled through your blog tonite and honestly you are so brave. You try everything and so many different pieces,I say "Hooray for you!" I wish we lived closer to each other so I could 'catch it'(whatever it is you have .LOL!

Mary Paquet said...

Barbara, thanks for the Happy Birthday wishes. I, too, wish we lived closer to each other. You do such lovely art -- we would inspire each other.

Happy Holidays!

Mary Paquet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Mary, Because I enjoy you and your adventures so much, I’ve awarded you the “Over the top blog award” . See today’s blog posting. You may participate as much or as little as you like. May I email you the guidelines and award image? If so, please send me and email! Thanks, and congrats!

PAMO said...

Mary- I think you are an amazing artist. I enjoy your color sense and think you have a real talent for collage. Collage isn't easy to do- I love it but have never really been able to achieve a good result. I'm glad to be following you and look forward to your future works and thoughts!
Pam

Mary Paquet said...

Peggy -- thanks for the award! Tomorrow I will post it and pass on to others.

Pamo - Welcome!! I love your sense of humor on your blog. Can't wait for more.