Storm Arcana

Intuitive Visionary Coach & Founder of Arcana Academy

Tag: Swankety Swank

“a little boy in our house”: Mixed Media Painting by stormantic

a-little-boy-in-our-house-paintingThis is a new collage painting by yours truly from a batch of recently created works.  This is a 12″ x 12′ canvas that was primed with at least three layers of gesso.  Then the images were soaked in water until pliable.  They were blotted and then applied with matte medium to the canvas.  Then I painted over the entire piece with acrylics once I was content with the composition.  The images are from a diverse assortment of paper I had been holding onto, including part of a cover of a Tarzan comic book, a Tarot card, a picture of Shirley Manson, a magazine page of Britney Spears, a panel from the Dazzler graphic novel and the text is from a children’s storybook.  There’s a small paragraph or two from the Tao Ching in there as well.

a-little-boy-in-our-house-collageThis is the original collage composition before I began the painting process.  I used origami paper to tie in some of the more disparate design elements.  This piece was challenging in that it seemed to have a more complicated narrative going on with the images. That may have been because it was the last piece that I worked on in the batch (It is usually my process to create many collages at once and then give them one on one time during the painting process).

At first, I wasn’t sure what palette I would be using when painting it and I left the piece alone while I considered it.

a-little-boy-in-our-house-painting-intermediateOnce I started applying paint it became a struggle to not cover up the type.  It was important to me retain the phrase that I had assembled because it represented the narrative to me, even if the images didn’t correspond in a logical manner.  “a little boy in our house causes floods and sometimes earthquakes” was the important narrative.  How The Fool and the Tarzan comic informed that phrase is a bit loose, but those are the kinds of things I like to leave up to the viewer.  I let myself be guided by my inner creative spirit.  Of course, I have my own meaning for this piece and have to admit, it is perhaps my favorite of the recent batch in spite of it not being the most iconic or dynamic of finalized images.  I think art is more interesting when there’s a constant push and pull.  For me, the resolution of this piece is in between that discord.

When you look at this piece and then at the completed painting at the beginning of this post you can see how I chose to intensify the dark reds around the text and in the brown paint.  This was done with a blend of black India ink and some red inks known as Bat’s Blood and Dragon’s Blood.  I like to use these when I can to give the art a magickal intention.

This piece is on display and can be purchased at Swankety Swank, a San Francisco gallery and boutique specializing in conscious consumer commodities.

“America”: Mixed Media Journal Painting by stormantic

america-painting-frontI have an obsession for blank artist’s books.  Unlined, of course.  I use them as a sort of diary, writing whatever comes to mind.  I make lists, jot down dreams and phone numbers, and make more lists.  I also tape in images from things that inspire me, like flyers or postcards.  By the time I’m done with one of these books, it’s spine is breaking from overuse.  But I have a problem using one of these books exactly as they are when I buy them.  I have to make them into art first.  So, I find images that I’m especially excited about, that might serve as an inspirational source for what the book will contain inside.  I gesso the covers a few times and I soak the images in warm water.  Then I dry off the excess water from the paper and apply them to the surface with matte or gloss medium.  Then I paint over the images until I like the composition and then, finally, I seal the covers in Polycrylic so it can handle the wear and tear I put them through.  I love to collage and I think the journals that I work on are perhaps the best representation of the kind of usable art that I like.  They are specifically created to create more art.

The journal featured in this post is titled “America” and has been painted with acrylics and ink.  The skull and heart images are from a postcard about a play.  The red paper is from the Academy of Art’s admissions book and the fabric flag is a left over remnant of post 9/11 patriotic fervor.

america-painting-backHere we have the back cover of “America.”  It features a cover from a Nightcrawler comic, a Spider-Man sticker and a page of the Tao Ching.  This piece involved a lot of marking over the paint while it was still wet with sticks, dried markers and pins.  I couldn’t get enough tecture to satisfy me.  If it were a wall painting I think I would have gone further with the layers.  I did find the ink and paint combinations to be satisfying.

america-collage-both-sidesThis is the original collage composition.  Much of the words from the Academy of Art admissions booklet got covered by paint in the end.  I didn’t collage anything in the upper left hand corner on the back cover because I knew I wanted it to be more painterly.  That’s a rare occurence as I usually like to cover everything and let chance take over.  What starts as a very precise composition exercise evolves into something more organic.

This piece is on display and can be purchased at Swankety Swank, a San Francisco gallery and boutique specializing in conscious consumer commodities.

“A”: Mixed Media Table by stormantic

a-collage-close-upIt’s no secret that I love comic books.  I simply cannot imagine my life without them  However, as much I love reading comics, I also love to rip images out them to collage tables, books and canvases.  Then I paint over the images with oil or acrylic paints.  Yes, it may seem sacrilegious, but some comics just don’t make the grade, you know?  They might have a really cool image that just screams for release outside of the covers.  Take the above photograph for instance.  The X-Men image with Havok and the original X-Men comes from a poorly made Marvel Comics Poster Book.  The Kool-Aid ad was the back cover of some really awful 80s comic book (same with the Trix advertisement).  Don’t they look much better with the trippy origami paper and Spider-Man stickers?  They went from irritating interruptions in a pretty bad story to stars in a red-color schemed universe of paper!

a-collage-four-legsSo here’s a view of the table.  It’s not that large, approximately 12″ x 12″ x 12″.  I continued collaging the legs and sides, sticking with the red color scheme.  Much of the red paper came from an Admissions book for the Academy of Art in San Francisco.  The giant A’s are from junkmail I received from the American Auto Association who think I still have a car three years after I sold it.  Bless their hearts.

art-087Now we jump forward a couple of days worth of painting to the final project.  You can see here how I broke the red color scheme and added designs of my own to the piece.  This was not a decision I took lightly.  Originally, I really wanted a monochromatic color scheme, but the red paint just made the table look like something had been sacrificed on it.  It was much too bloody.  So I added a little yellow and then suddenly green and blue and white got in on the action too.  What I like about painting over these collages is what bits remain.  Lots of images just don’t get to survive the painting process and I never know what’s going to need to be removed to satisfy the composition.  The paints are artist grade acrylics.

art-085Side perspective of the table.  I wanted to show how I worked on the entire piece.  Each leg is covered with images and then painted to give it a sculptural all around appeal.

art-0861And another view from a different side of the table.  I’m really digging the salt water taffy pastel colors that infuse the work overall.  There’s something about the pink and light blue that makes the red less harsh.  The table is sealed with many layers of Polycrylic so it can be used as an artistic addition to any room.  I’m a big believer in art that is usable as well as beautiful.

This piece is on display and can be purchased at Swankety Swank, a San Francisco gallery and boutique specializing in conscious consumer commodities.

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