Monday, February 28, 2011

Portfolio Stuff

So I finally go around to photographing a few of my pieces that I never had a good picture of.   I thought you might like to see them.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nerding out on Birth Art

I had the best experience meeting with a patron, the president of Birthingway Midwifery College invited me to meet her and interview for some future projects for the college's upcoming 20th anniversary.

Study for the Crowning by Sara Star

I was fretting all over the place!  I don't have high resolution photos of most of my art, so I couldn't put together a proper portfolio and I was so nervous.  Thank goodness my dear friend April Younglove, a fellow artist with her BFA by virtue of which she has so much more knowledge than me on the business of art, talked me down.  April told me it was fine to just bring the art itself and it might be better than a portfolio.  So I bagged up what I consider my absolute best pieces that show a variety of my styles and interests.  I also brought my sketch book with mural ideas.

The day couldn't have gone more perfectly--despite total disasters the day before: the last part of the frame for the piece I hoped they would buy, was a quarter inch too small! But an emergency trip to my dad's fixed all that and I arrived with a nicely framed piece.  Holly Scholles, the President of Birthingway is such a birth art nerd! We had so much to talk about and the entire two buildings are decorated with a collection of birth themed art.  My piece fit right in and the college purchased it for their collection, as well as talking with me about ideas for the mural and the poster as well as showing me the mural it will go and so forth.  My brother, Eric served as my assistant and helped me carry all the paintings I brought as well as driving me and making sure I didn't bump into anything and hurt myself over all the excitement!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sculptural Elements for Paintings

For most of my painting career, I focused on painting and very little beyond the edge of the canvas. Even framing was beyond what I put consideration into.  As I have grown more confident in two dimensions, I have taken up adding sculptural elements and planning how things will be framed.

My first adventures in framing were early on because I needed to create frames for my jumbo canvases before showing them in a gallery, purchasing frames was out of the question, I just didn't have the money.  My father made beveled moldings for me and we wood stained them in complimenting colors. Other than that experience, I often purchased wooden plaques with shaped sides so I didn't have to concern myself with framing at all.

Mary Throned, a multi media mounted print by Sara Star

However, at the craft stores and hardware stores, I kept seeing neat little plaster or wooden elements that inspired me. So a couple of years ago I threw all my little sculptural elements onto one decoupaged piece so I could see what I liked. I figured it wasn't an original painting so I wouldn't worry about messing it up.  The piece is a little over the top, but I like that about it, an almost Victorian French feel to it.  I put on wooden appliques and gold leafed them, and I created a banner carried by two plaster cherubs to hang the icon from. I included plaster, fabric and wood sculptural elements all in one.

The next time I ventured into sculptural elements, I did a similar thing, I just added multiple onto one piece.  I used extra gesso to build up flower shapes and dots in a halo behind Mary Magdalen's head and I glued a set gem onto her crown.  I feel it was too over the top with both elements, next time I will only do one or the other. And by the way, don't use super glue on top of gold leaf, the glue pulled off the gold showing the red behind, erst while the nice green baltic amber now looks like a red glass bead.

Frame Sculpture by Duke DesRoscher Eve's Sorrow by Sara Star

Duke DesRoschers custom made a frame to show with my jumbo paintings and I was absolutely amazed at his assemblage frame. I would never have made something quite like that, yet nothing could be more perfect a fit for my painting. I see we have a similar style of putting everything onto one project, and I really like how it balanced out the simple composition of my painting to fill in some of the blank space.

I suppose my rambly point here is, don't be afraid to experiment with adding sculptural elements to your paintings. After my various adventures, I now think ahead to how I will frame most of my pieces.