Friday, February 8, 2019

Dead Fly 67 Dead Fly on the Manila Folder

Dead Fly 67
Dead Fly on the Manila Folder
acrylic on canvas 46"x 48"

     As I post this, this is still a work in progress. In other words, I'm not sure if I'm done with it yet. It's been tacked to the laundry room wall for a while and in between I've done other Dead Flies. I keep looking at it thinking it needs something but haven't gotten up the nerve to add more paint to it yet. Meanwhile every time I walk in the laundry room there it is glaring at me. Art can be very stressful at times. When I laid this one out I wanted to do an extra large painting because I think the big show I will one day have of all these one hundred dead flies, needs a few extra large pieces for balance and design. Most of the works are small because we don't have much storage space in the house. Believe me when I say it - the dead flies are starting to accumulate! And anyways, Greg, my husband, said when I started this project - "Well, I hope we don't end up with a hundred paintings stacked in the attic!" "Oh, no," I said. "I intend to sell them. But maybe I better work small just in case." Well, anyways, here's a big one, not stretched yet, so it can still be rolled up to save space.

Dead Fly 66 Splat!

Dead Fly 66
acrylic on canvas 8"x 10"

     This one is off-center and would seem to be unbalanced but picture a flyswatter in a hand out of view but to the left and up. Disturbing to say the least but think of how the fly felt.

Dead Fly 65 Purple Paint

Dead Fly 65
Purple Paint
acrylic on canvas 8"x 10"

     Well, you can see I didn't rack my brain out trying to think of a title for this one! It's basically the three poses of the original dead fly worked very quickly in purple (some red) paint on a standard stretched canvas. They kind of come and go and rotate. This is another piece that can be flipped upside down or sideways and you get a different feeling when you do this. When I frame it, I'll probably add cross wires in the middle so it can be flipped and rotated according to the owner's mood. That's assuming somebody buys it.

Dead Fly 64 City-scape

Dead Fly 64
charcoal on canvas 8"x 10"

     Sometimes I go to Astoria, NY to visit my son. We walk over to Socrates Park - a sculpture park which is by the East River. In my mind's eye I could see a large dead fly floating in the sky with the city in the background. This was not sketched on location, but it was sketched out as I remembered it. It's charcoal on canvas, then sprayed with fixative so it doesn't smudge. I have to say here, that although I do like to work in pastel and charcoal, it's kind of expensive to frame those works. You need mats and glass. With a painting on stretched canvass you only need the frame - or nothing. I'm of limited income, so my art is somewhat dictated by that.


Dead Fly 63 Burning Fly

Dead Fly 63
Burning Fly
acrylic on canvas 8"x 10"

     I did this in the autumn of 2018 around the same time as we were having all those wild fires out west. Painted very quickly. I wanted to get heat in a painting. Very limited pallet. Red. Purple. Black. Yellow

Dead Fly 62 Labor Day

Dead Fly 62
Labor Day 2018
crayon on canvas 8"x 10"

     No great shake-up in the art world with this one. It is what it is. I wanted to try crayon and oil on a canvas and had one lying around so here it is. Basically I sketched out the fly, added the red and blue and rubbed it with a rag slightly damp with oil. I guess this could go in with the political flies when I have my big show.

Dead Fly 61 wet on wet again

Dead Fly 61
acrylic on canvas 8" x 8" (approximately)

     The fly is a little misshapen in this painting. Again, this was done the same afternoon and I had run out of canvas-boards and stretched canvasses. I found a scrap of canvas with my stuff and wanted to try another one. No touch-up in this one at all 0 just sprayed the scrap with water and quickly sketched out a dead fly. I let nature gravity and such, do the rest.

Dead Fly 60 Wet on wet continued in color

Dead Fly 60
Landscape with Dead Fly
acrylic on canvas 5"x 7"

     After trying my hand at black and white doing the wet on wet technique, I thought to try it with color and picked a simple landscape as the subject. It was handy to have a couple cheap canvas-boards to test this on. Remember, this is an experiment in art, so it helps to not treat every piece as sacred. Sometimes you just wing it and hope for the best.

Dead Fly 59 Wet on Wet

Dead Fly 59
Wet on Wet
acrylic on canvas-board 5" x 7"

     This is another experiment in what paint does. Another artist I know, has been working on a series of paintings using a flow technique. Wet paint on a wet canvas. I was at The Underground one Saturday afternoon and thought to try some of this. Although there is some control over hat the paint does when applied to a wet surface, there is not complete control. Shadows, shape, texture are at the mercy of the water. I did three that afternoon. This was the first one.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Dead Fly 58 Cubist Fly

Dead Fly 58
Cubist Fly
acrylic on canvas 16"x 20

     I tried my hand at cubism or at least what I think is cubism. Broke the fly down to basic angled shapes and painted translucent layers one on top of the other. Before I had added the rust color a friend of mine who is also an artist told me I should just paint over this one and consider it a failure. But time and energy put in to it already made me hesitant to abandon it. It needed the rust color. Also, he had seen it before the legs were added. I knew it was going to get legs.Can you see the Dead Fly?

Dead Fly 57 Still in troubled times

Dead Fly 57
Fourth of July 2018
acrylic on canvas board 5"x 7"

     The Fourth of July 2018 was a nice day weather wise as days go, but again, I worry about the state of affairs with the USA. I could have gone to see fireworks just across the road but last time I went people showed up in pick up trucks with confederate flags and MAGA bumper stickers and I just am not a part of that culture. I didn't even want to be near that sort of mentality so much as I love to see fireworks, I stayed home and painted this instead - because unless we become more civil and accepting as a people we're nothing but dead flies on a dark landscape.

Dead Fly 56 Sometimes you just paint!

Dead Fly 56
acrylic on canvas 24" x 24"

     This is one I started at The Arts Underground and finished at home. I just painted it - literally, not much thought - just kind of slapped colors on the canvas. It's fun to work with colors and see what they do. I like to see what one color next to the other does. All color is relative.

Dead Fly 55 Frenzy

Dead Fly 55
acrylic on canvas board 5"x 7"

     I find that there is a rhythm to the creation of these Dead Fly pieces, kind of like a heart beat. They go small, small, small, small, BIG, small small, small small, BIG... Almost like I warm up to the big projects by working on the small projects. This is a small one done quickly - I squeezed paint directly from the tube onto the canvas board. I like doing large complicated pieces but some of these little ones done on inexpensive canvas board allow me the freedom to fail. That's important with experimental art. At least if it doesn't work out I have broken the bank.

Dead Fly 54 Alive!

Dead Fly 54
acrylic on canvas 36" x 48"

     There are two types of folk art that I really like. One is chainsaw art and the other is the freak show poster.  I have this vision of one day having a show of all hundred dead fly pieces and this will be the poster to coax people in to see the show.  It speaks for itself, but suffice it to say - I had a really good time doing this one!

Dead Fly 53 Unity

Dead Fly 53
water color on canvas-board 5" x 7"

     Ok. So First I wet the canvas, then started with a quick black on white dead fly water color sketch, then thought it needed something else so added the blue. Maybe thought it would be a sky. Maybe turn it into a landscape. Then added the red and thought, well, here I go again with another political fly - it being the colors of our USA flag. Then added a shadow and saw it turned purple. And thought, now we've got purple instead of just red and blue - GOP and Dems - that's how we see it sometimes in the USA. They call purple the unity color - would be nice - but probably won't see it any time soon.  So there you have it. Dead Fly Unity.

Dead Fly 52 Skeletal

Dead Fly 52
white pencil on card-stock 5"x 7"

     I tried the white ink on card stock again but worked a little bigger this time. Go back and look at Dead Fly 48. I could put a little more detail in this one because it's not "life size" like Dead Fly 48. It has a lacy effect, almost skeletal in appearance.

Dead Fly 51 Purple Ink Splotch

Dead Fly 51
Purple Ink Splotch
ink on paper 9"x 12"

     Those stamps that I carved for Dead Fly 31 (Dead Fly Flag) are fun to play with. Here I just stamped a piece of paper a few times to see what would happen. Looking at this one and the Dead Fly 46 - the red one - I think I may like to do this or one similar but bigger. Maybe go 16" x 20 acrylic on canvas, or even bigger! It's kind of cool - it looks like a fly, it doesn't, then it does again. I'll have to see... maybe I'll just do a bigger block print. Not sure.

Dead Fly 50 Nightglow

Dead Fly 50
acrylic on canvas board 5"x 7"

     Here's another little study just to see how it would work out. It's a small painting done fairly quickly - I used a hair dryer to dry between the layers - to see if I could make a dead fly light up against a dark background.

Dead Fly 49 Charcoal Study

Dead Fly 49
Charcoal Study
charcoal on paper 9" x 12"

     Another simple sketch because practice is good. I'm a member of The Arts Underground, an artist's co-op that is in Lewisburg, PA. Other than having studio space there for times when I might want to work on something away from home, we each have our times when we're supposed to be there to keep it open to the public to come in an browse. Sometimes when I'm there I just do a quick sketch, sometimes, something more complicated. This was done on a  quick sketch day.

Dead Fly 48 Negative

Dead Fly 48
white pencil on card-stock 5"x 7"

     Here is a small, humble sketch of a dead fly on a piece of cheap black card-stock. A doodle, if you will. Probably won't shake up the art world with this one, but it falls in the series and I'm not throwing anything away at this point. Might rework the wings for more detail at some time. Not sure. It might go on the Wall of Failures for The Big Show. Not sure.

Dead Fly 47 Skyburst

Dead Fly 47
pastel on paper 9"x 12"

     Pastel painting is actually my strong suit in graphic art although you probably can't tell that from this or earlier Dead Fly pastel paintings in this series. I had set the chalks aside for many years but still feel an itch every now and then to get back into it. It's expensive to frame pastel paintings, however, which is why I've been concentrating on canvas pieces. It's part of the series just the same which is why it's here. Maybe it will look better framed. Many times they do.


Dead Fly 46 Splotch in Red

Dead Fly 46
Splotch in Red
acrylic on canvas board 5" x 7"

     This was a simple quickly executed work. Again, just to see what would happen. I used the stamps I had carved for the Dead Fly 31( Dead Fly Flag) and stamped a small canvas board just to see what it would look like.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Dead Fly 45 "45"

Dead Fly 45
mixed media

     Dead Fly #45 took a lot of engineering to actually create. As rapidly as people are coming and going from the current administration, I kept having an image of the White House and those in the administration "dropping like flies." After all, it is the cliche we use when people come and go quickly. It is an acrylic globe 6" in diameter filled with a solution of mostly glycerin and some water. The dead flies are made of Fimo and wire. I used cellophane packing tape for the wings but after trying them out in the glycerin, realized that the wings became invisible. Off to Dollar General for translucent nail polish! That worked. I needed the heavy solution of glycerin so that the flies would float and fall slowly. I did not make the White House but sent for one off Amazon and a friend of mine with a belt sander, ground it down so that it would fit inside the opening to the globe.  
     Now - how to get it inside the globe and create a stopper? I went to Resilite athletic mat making factory in Sunbury, PA and they gave me a scrap of resilite from the dumpster. I found the already made wooden base at a thrift shop in Mifflinburg, PA. It had a winter scene in it, but I only needed the base so broke it. I lucked out and found a threaded cap that fit the threads of the acrylic globe which is actually a lamp globe (again - Amazon) 
    Once together it took a LOT of work to keep it from leaking but eventually with the help of a friend - the one with the grinder - we were able to figure it out. It looks great in action! Tip it upside down and the flies drop like flies. A statement on the current administration.

Dead Fly 44 Charcoal study

Dead Fly 44
charcoal study on paper 9" x 12"

     Back to the basics with this one. It's just a simple sketch of on of the original Dead Fly poses. I want to try to create one of those 3D drawings. Didn't quite do it with this one but maybe further down the trail.

Dead Fly 43 January Moon

Dead Fly 43
January Moon
oil on canvas  11"x 14"

         The light of the full moon in January of 2018 inspired this painting. I liked the way it lit the snow. Not sure if I was able to capture this in pain, but I tried.We live in the foothills of the Appalachians and do have a ridge near us as well as a creek. The organization is from my mind. I may try again at some point to capture moonlight on snow. Not sure. Have to just see how it goes. 

Dead Fly 42 Christmas Eve at The Froggy's

Dead Fly 42
Christmas Eve at The Froggy's
pencil on paper 8"x 10"

      Still having a good time cartooning I came up with this one shortly before Christmas in 2017 and sent it out to family and a select group of close friends as a Christmas card. 

Dead Fly 41 Drumstick, anyone?

Dead Fly 41
Drumstick, anyone?
pen on paper 8"x 10"

     Couldn't resist a little bit of humor here once the idea came to mind. You know how it goes, here you all sit at the table on Thanksgiving and everyone wants a drumstick but there are only two to go around. Well, not for this happy spider family! Kind of reminds me of my Mom and growing up as one of a bunch of kids. Chow down, little spiders. There's enough drumsticks for all on a Dead Fly!