29 January 2016


At first I had intended to make a few more small oil paintings.  To begin, I worked out some proportions...

studio work laying out proportions for a new painting

... cut some strips from an old painting and laid them on the canvas.  Then I became interested in how the strips looked, the random lines and shapes created by cutting up that old painting.  So I coloured blue and purple and laid the cut strips down again, and liked it enough to go with it:

in the studio exploring new ideas for painting

Below, the finished painting.  It's a little one, 14x14 inches:

mixed media artwork abstract with circles and lines blue and earth tones

In order to further explore this aesthetic, I plan to destroy a number of older, unfinished, unsalvageable works and re-use the stretcher frames.  Below, two paintings slated for destruction:

paintings slated for destruction

mixed media abstract painting red grey blue circles and lines

Above, the coloured canvas which will go onto the stretcher frames.  That portion of old painting will be cut up for the strips... I think.  We will see what transpires.

Sometimes I spend hours just shifting the cut bits around until they feel right.  Getting the base colouring to resonate can also take a long time.

mixed media abstract painting earth tones with white and gold circle and lines

mixed media abstract painting earth tones with white and gold circles and lines

Well you know: time is not for saving.  May as well spend time by shifting colours around!

mixed media abstract painting colourful circles and lines in progress

mixed media abstract paintings circles and lines showing studio tools

Today I began in the studio about 9am, and I worked until I noticed the shadows lengthening.

studio window

Then I took a break and then I worked some more.  Although they are only just slightly different from the work that went before, I am quite excited about the possibilities with these new paintings.

mixed media abstract paintings blue white gold earth tones circles and lines

Earlier this week I taught an art class in which we made a couple of group collages.  

art class group collage

Kids are so much fun, spontaneous and happy to try new creative processes.  They are generally not too worried about what things "should look like", and just go with the flow of wherever the process takes them.

copyright verna vogel

Between doing art classes with the schools and a couple of other commitments, I have less time now for the studio.  On the flip side, when I do get into my own work I am feeling a bit more free.

copyright verna vogel

15 January 2016


Chez Studio Verna, 2016 has begun with paperlings: small works on paper.

I took a break during the last few weeks of 2015, then on January 1st I was back into the studio - I was so much into the studio that I did not make any blog posts for awhile!  Now it is time.

First thing I did this year was to make some wee stitched paintings on paper.

verna vogel

I'd found some cool little frames several months ago, not knowing what I'd wind up using them for.  Often that is a good way to go about things.


These paintings are made with acrylic paint and ink on Arches rag paper.  They are called "Vibrato".  (thanks Russell for your suggestion!)

verna vogel

They are small; 4x4, 5x5 and 6x6 inches.  I have not often framed my work, and I'm liking these.

framed works on paper

I like them all together better than individually.  Perhaps because they are so small, they seem to need each other to read and breathe and live.

In between working on the Vibrato series, I played around on some other small bits of paper about 8x8 inches:

verna vogel


verna vogel

paintings on paper

verna vogel

paper paintings

verna vogel

Then yesterday I began to experiment with making collograph prints: working on paper again!

collograph print

Above, printing "plate" made with school glue drawing on matboard, and printed with a roller and Speedball water-soluble block printing ink on 140lb paper.

Below, fun with feathers:

collograph print

verna vogel

It's been a long time since I made prints, maybe 20 years.  Wow.  I am remembering just how much fun printing is!  There is a magic in working on a "plate" to create an image - and then printing from that plate, which changes the image sometimes quite radically.  

So there is the beginning of the year in my studio:  A new series of tiny, framed paintings, a few little open-ended explorations, and an initial foray into simple printmaking techniques.  All using paper.

Paperlings... I wonder where they will lead?

As ever, I'm curious about this ongoing creative journey, and happy to be able to make blog posts which I hope will connect with a few people along the way.

Thank you for reading!