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Chair with Sunflowers

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Sunflower Collage by Jenny Armitage

Sunflowers with Chair (16 x 20 Collage) Available

This is the first collage I’ve published on-line.  It is hand-printed paper on plywood.

I began my foray into collage by hand-printing and hand-marbling paper to create a paper palate.  I print paper using stamps, found objects, combs, palate knifes, and other implements to texture acrylic paint on a gel pad.  As I work, I stamp a sheet of paper with the paint I’m lifting from the gel pad.  When I have the gel pad textured to my satisfaction, I lift one or two prints from it’s surface by laying paper down on the pad.  Later, I may stamp the gel pad mono-prints with a contrasting color.  The goal is to have many textures in a full range of color and value.

Ultimately I tear the paper into little pieces and glue it to boards with liquitex to create paper “paintings.”


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A Magic Afternoon At Weathers Music

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"Quilted Brass" Painting of Brass Instruments by Jenny Armitage

Quilted Brass (watercolor on clayboard 11 x 14) SOLD

If you have been watching this blog of late, you know I have become fascinated with painting bright shiny band instruments.  I had been renting loaner instruments one or two at a time from a shop in Corvallis.  But renting instruments, especially expensive instruments for just a month at a time, makes instruments shops who rent to sell nervous.  So I was afraid I had come to the end of my supply of instruments to paint. But a couple weeks ago I got a brainwave.  Weathers Music, here in Salem,  has a recital room that sits empty most days.  So I thought maybe I could talk them into letting me rent the instruments and the room at once.  That way the expensive instruments need never leave the shop.

I gathered up two of my recent instrument paintings and went to ask. I had dressed nicely and rehearsed a little speech about how I would use the instruments for art, and how careful I would be with them.  I never got more than three sentences into my little sales pitch.  Keith Weathers simply said, “yes.”  And the very next Friday I had the use of the Bach Room, from ten to five and an almost unlimited supply of instruments to photograph.

I brought quilts, fabric, crystal, flowers, and fruit.  I also brought my studio lights. By eleven o’clock I had everything I’d brought in and Keith had gathered me a whole little band to play with.  I had three saxophones, a clarinet, a piccolo, a brass trumpet, a silver trumpet, a violin, a french horn, a trombone, and a tuba.

I spent a magic afternoon setting up and photographing one still life after another.  I spread cloth, arranged flowers, climbed on chairs, moved lighting, and toted instruments back and forth.  At the end of the day I was exhausted but happy.  I also had over five hundred photos on my camera chip.

Since then I’ve been too busy painting to post blogs, a sorry state of affairs for which I apologize.  So here is the first of many more instrument paintings.

This painting has sold, but you may still purchase a print from Fine Art

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The First Quilt

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The First Quilt (11 x 14) $125

The First Quilt (11 x 14) $125

This is my daughter busily piecing her first quilt–so busy she let me walk around a taking photographs without bothering to complain. I liked the light coming in from window seat hidden off to our right and the look of intense concentration on her face.

I began this painting at the gallery yesterday, but I came home unhappy with where it was going. The basic shapes were right, but the fabric had stolen the center of interest.

Since the fabric moves the eye in into the picture from the left and her face hands and arms form a circular path, recomposing the picture was mostly a matter of toning down and removing everything else. I simplified the quilt fabric, which was brighter and patterned and removed an embroidered medallion from her shirt. I also removed the book shelves from behind her. I toned down the bright white of the sewing machine which had threatened to steal attention from her face and hands.

When I was finished, too much of the painting appeared to be of medium value; so I darkened up her hair to provide contrast for her face. That made all the difference.

Pigment Notes: I used cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson, and burnt sienna for her face and hands. An under-painting of phthalo blue defines the darks in her hair. I washed burn sienna over it. The table is also phthalo blue and burnt sienna. Her shirt is burn sienna and cobalt blue plus a little alizarin crimson. The lilac quilt squares are the same combination, but with more alizarin crimson. I used phthalo blue, burnt sienna and touch of cadmium yellow for the green squares. French ultramarine washes define the sewing machine. I used French ultramarine and burnt sienna for her jeans. The walls are burn sienna with a touch of phthalo blue.

This painting is currently on display at Art in the Valley, Corvallis, Oregon but may still be purchased by mail on inquiry.
Or purchase a reproduction here.

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