Resin Pour on a Wood Base
Pouring resin onto a wood base.
Sunday, January 24, 2021
Well, another week has rolled around. I've been busy working on a new sculpture in wax, "Answered Prayers." It's still in progress, but it's a very emotional work based on my feelings of this week.
I also made another video on resin making (see above). Hope you enjoy it.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
It's another new year and opportunities to create new artwork. To celebrate, I have just finished a new instructional video on how to create a mother mold from inexpensive foam insulation material. This material is available at most hardware stores and is very inexpensive. So, enjoy the video and explore mother molds with an alternate material.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
I've been working hard on my new instructional video, Resin Casting Materials. If you have ever wanted to know the materials needed to cast resin sculpture, this short video provides the details. See above.
Sunday, December 27, 2020
It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog. I have been busy sculpting various winter scenes, such as “Winter” above using Apoxie Sculpt. I also have a new series that I’m working on in wax of Pennsylvania juncos (they are so adorable) and have created a mold. I have several pours, but I’m still working on that. Also in process are a few “Tips of the Week.” It seems that the editing process in iMovie takes most of the time. As this pandemic rages on, I try to keep my focus on artwork, since it a rare time where there is no place to go and nothing going on in the outside world. So I can concentrate inside and try to produce as much as I can.
Friday, November 13, 2020
Sometimes it has been a bit of a struggle to get through these pandemic days. I try to stay focused on the work at hand. I've been trying a new sculpting product. The results were not fabulous so I still have a lot to learn. In the meantime, I'm keeping up with my Tips of the Week, to share what I have learned through trial and error.
In the video above, I explain how I used hardware store silicone to create a mold. It is less expensive than the artist professional quality. But, in a pinch, it works.
Sunday, November 1, 2020
Just finished this ink on paper painting of the fall foliage in the backyard. The colors are so glorious this time of year that I had to set aside my sculpture to return to paints.
On another note, I am on instagram (gailsgallerynyc), and I can access a lot of artists' sculptures and processes. One process intrigued me (that an artist shared) that might be very useful - and that is new sort of mold material; epoxy that I can add onto my resin sculptures. There is one sculpture that I am working on, a small bird sculpture. I cast the body separately and will be starting on the wings and tail and thought that this material might be very useful. We will see how it goes.
Sunday, October 25, 2020
The weeks are rolling along pretty quickly. I am continuing with my "Tip of the Week" series. If you are interested in how to add pigment to resin without wasting too much material, take a look.
This week, I've been using some Home Depot silicone as a mold material. It is a little stinky (sort of like vinegar), but it does the job for a lot less cost. Stinky versus cost savings. Hmmm.
This week, my plan is to work on the resin sculpture I poured from the Home Depot silicone. I am eager to see how it will turn out.
Monday, October 19, 2020
During this pandemic, I started videotaping my mold making and sculpture processes, which I have on my youtube channel, Gail's Gallery NYC. From these instructional videos, I had the idea to make short videos, less than a minute, on how to make resin work a bit easier. So I decided to develop a weekly series of tips on the resin making process. The first of this weekly series is above. Hope you find it helpful.
Sunday, October 10, 2020
It's been a busy few weeks. I sold a few singing dogs and took time out to box and send them out. One had a mishap in shipping and two pups came loose from the base. Since so much of myself is in my sculpture, I was concerned, but the figures weren't damaged. Going forward, I will be sending the sculpture and base unattached so that it won't happen again. But I can't adjust for all possibilities. Shipping is always a problem; once it leaves my studio, who knows what happens.
So, for the past weeks, I've been trying to paint resin on glass. Not so happy with the results, but I will persist until I can get the effects I am after.
I am also pursuing my base ideas for the White Bird. The photo above shows the current incarnation of the base. However, this will probably change.
Saturday, September 19, 2020
I've been working on some pen and ink drawings to de-stress a bit. I started a pencil drawing of one of my Delaware River morning photos, but decided I needed a bit more color to get that feeling of a brilliant sunrise. So I started another drawing, this time in ink. I love the intense colors and feel of the morning sky. This is not an everyday occurrence, as some days are pretty overcast or the river is covered in fog. But this was a particularly gorgeous sky.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
It's certainly a bit chilly today, as the weather turns colder in PA. I'm currently on a mission to create a concrete base for my White Bird sculpture. Today's goals are to drill some holes in the concrete to epoxy a metal bit to hold the two pieces together, since the epoxy by itself wasn't strong enough to hold the concrete. I should end up looking like the pix above.
To try to generate some interest in my pieces, I restarted an advertising campaign on Etsy. In the past, it has generated some views, but I'm not sure those views turned into sales. We'll see this time.
Monday, September 7, 2020
Over the past week, I've been working on a concrete base for my White Bird Sculpture. I used up the last bit of my Quikrete, which is more of a rough cement looking mixture; My go-to concrete is Rockite, which provides a more refined look, more so when used with a silicone mold. Luckily, even in this pandemic, I was able to find Rockite in my local hardware store and just did a pour of it in a silicone cube mold.
While that is curing, I have been working on a side project of a pencil drawing based on one of my photographs of Delaware River morning (see pix above) . It's a work in progress; although I did take a course a number of years ago in drawing with pencils, I am more of a novice at it since I only use pencils occasionally. But, it is relaxing, and right now, I need to de-stress.
Sunday, August 30, 2020
I have been trying to decide how to mount the white bird. I bought some steel a while back and will probably mount the bird on the steel rods just as I did with the black crow. But, I wanted a slightly different look. So, I did a bit of work yesterday and today in concrete to create a few concrete spheres. Yesterday's pour in the spherical molds was a bit thin and wet so today I made it a bit thicker (added less water). I'll leave them in the silicone molds for a few days and then see whether they are dry enough to work on. Once they dry completely, I will drill some holes and epoxy the bird's wire legs into the sphere.
August 26, 2020
I spent most of the day yesterday revising one of my videos. I had created an intro and included some additional video on demolding the wax sculpture from the silicone mold and doing some additional sculpture on the wax form. What I didn't notice on the first video was the background noise of the cicadas. I thought the chirping of the cicadas was in real time as I was editing. But, it wasn't. It was on the video itself. Nothing I could really do about it, but it was a bit embarrassing. Oh well, live and learn. This morning , another stunning sunrise. Worth it to have gotten up at 5:30 am this morning.
August 23, 2020
I've been very focused lately on make a new instructional video on How to Make a Silicone Mold. Creating a video, even a short one of 10 minutes, takes hours to do. But I find it a lot of fun and hopefully helpful to folks interested in the process. I have uploaded it here. I also started a short ad campaign for my small sculptures on Instagram. Facebook gave me $10 credit to try a campaign; I couldn't pass it up. We will see how it goes. Selling artwork is always a challenge.
I have been continuing my early morning photo series. Unfortunately, the recent mornings have been very overcast with not much to see. But, that's part of the process. Not every painting is a masterpiece. Today's project is going to be a resin tray, just for fun. It will be an experiment.
August 19, 2020
As you can see in the photo, I have been busy making another silicone mold for the little dog sculpture. I thought it would be a good process to tape to show others how I have learned to make these molds. There is nothing exciting in the process, just a lot of work in setting up the sculpture and mixing the silicone. Then the waiting for the silicone to cure. That being said, I tried to include some helpful tips to make the process a bit easier. I like to use a Smooth-on product, Dragon Skin. It does capture good detail, it has a 1:1 mixing ratio and no special equipment is needed. the resulting mold can also be used for pewter pours as well, albeit a limited number. (Note: I don't get any sort of compensation for mentioning them. It's just the product I use).
August 17, 2020
Today, I wanted to finish my short video on how to melt wax. I'm in the process of creating a new mold for my Little Dog sculpture. So many folks in my class have asked how I do things, so I wanted to video my processes in sculpting and creating my artwork. Making and editing these short videos (this one is only three minutes) took hours to do. I think the end result is worth the time spent. And it was actually a fun project.
Sunday, August 16, 2020
It's a beautiful Sunday. Crisp and clear for an August day. Art beckons me, but with all of this quarantining, I need to get out of the house. We go for a drive in the countryside; it really is beautiful in northeast PA. There is so much farmland, greenery and vistas. There’s a little town, not too far away in NY State, Callicoon. I love the name. Callicoon. It has a market and an old train station. I should have taken a photo, but I didn’t think of it at the time. Back in the studio, I stare at the work I would like to do, waiting for a bit of inspiration. The weather is great to pour resin. I have a small project on my backburner of resin pours on smaller glass panels. The photo above is one of the resin on glass panels I just completed for the house; it serves a decorative function as well as a practical privacy screen from the road.
August 15, 2020
Today, I spent the day working on a video of my re-sculpting the Little Dog. I want to fix a few rough spots in the wax. So I melted some wax yesterday and poured it into the existing silicone mold. Today, I demolded it and worked on it a bit. The video takes a long time to make. First, I have to spend the time learning the tools I need on iMovie. Then I need to edit the boring parts or the bloopers (yes, when my husband comes into the picture). You can see a snippet of the results on my instagram site, www.instagram.com/gailsgallerynyc.
August 14, 2020
August 14, 2020. After a bit of a late start this morning, I decided that before I create a new mold of the little dog, I wanted to rework the wax figure to make it more precise. So, this afternoon, I melted some wax and poured it into the mold. Right now, the mold is curing. By tomorrow, I should have the wax figure solid enough for sculpting and creating a new mold.
August 13, 2020
August 13, 2020. Woke up this morning to an incredible sunrise. Top photo was taken 7 minutes earlier, not that impressive, but wait. See what this sunrise turned into. Spectacular. After updating my computer and Instagram post, I spent most of the day reading. But, now in the afternoon, I am setting up to create a new video on making a small silicone mold for my little dog sculpture. It takes a lot of work to make one of these videos. I might be a bit lazy this afternoon to tackle it, but I’m thinking about it and cleared off my space to begin. That’s progress!
New Series of Photographs for Art Project
August 12, 2020. In a departure from sculpture (or pouring resin, which I love), I have started a series of photographs taken when I wake up every morning. My view is the Delaware River looking towards New York State. Each image in the morning is different, depending upon the weather and the hour and minute. I wanted to document my time in isolation, away from the city, during this pandemic. Instead of hardship, I wanted to focus on the beauty, specifically the beauty of the quiet mornings. You can view my photographs on Instagram at gailsgallerynyc.
Starting the Blog
August 11, 2020. It’s the first anniversary of my mother’s passing. Having put my life on hold for over four years to tend to her was not easy. And my husband helped enormously. Still, she had dementia and it was a slow downward slide. Art was my refuge during that time and the Art Students’ League (ASL) was where I took refuge and met many like minded souls. I started sculpting in January 2016; by May 2019 I received the coveted “red dot” for best in class at ASL. Georgia O’Keefe had received a red dot too when she was a student. The sculpture that put me in such lofty company is “Best Friend.”
Now, during the current pandemic, I am trying to retain the relationships I made during the past four years. Through Instagram posts, text messages and emails, I try to stay in touch, to let my fellow artists know what I’m doing. I thought I would try to revive my blog, although I do not usually write down my thoughts and experiences. I am a very private person, so it is not natural for me to share my feelings with an audience. But these are strange times.
2016 Jingle Bells
Hope you all had a good 2016, and it's time to ring out the old, ring in the new.
The new this time is that I spent that last year sculpting. I started with wood sculpting and then began to sculpt in wax to create bronze figures. The process to create a bronze sculpture is complex and is called the lost wax process as the wax figure melts away when the bronze is poured into the mold. One of my first wax pieces is the cat with kitten (see photo) and my first bronze sculpture is the turtle (also see photo). This little guy is about six inches in length and weighs about six pounds. Bronze is heavy! I'll be staying with sculpture for a while. It's a kick.
Hi All: It’s been a while, and I’m back at the easel again, so I want to share with you my new artwork! It’s been a lovely spring high up in the Pennsylvania hills overlooking the beautiful Delaware River. After kicking off the latest painting foray with a wonderful workshop with the artist Ephraim Rubenstein, exploring gouache painting at the Art Students’ League, inspiration is in high gear.
My latest artwork is of my birdy friends (see new drawings and paintings), along with the gouache still life. My whole philosophy of art is to paint my surroundings, always focusing on my present environment and finding the beauty and surprise in the ordinary, everyday reality. Since we feed the birds during the winter, and even have the chickadees eating the sunflower seeds from our hands, it’s great to see them in the spring and summer cavorting around the house. The phoebe couple has a nest under the deck and is presently raising a few chicks. Ah, the simple life in the country!
On another note, I continue to receive good comments on my “Cats Playing Pool” painting, which continues to be popular and my highest seller to date in the print market. In addition, I have high hopes that my “Catnip Dreams” will find a publisher some day (I’m also playing the lottery in case that doesn’t work out).
I hope you are all doing well.
Until the next time….
Where's my muse
Hi All: Art is a funny thing. Sometimes the muse is there and sometimes it’s not. For the past several months, the muse has been on vacation, and I’ve been searching up and down for the inspiration for my next series of paintings. Not that I’ve been idle in the meantime; I completed a portrait of my nephew Erik and finished a copy of a Vermeer. I’ve attempted abstract paintings and paintings based on Colorforms (remember Colorforms, they’re vinyl shapes that stick onto a black background). Nothing seemed to work.
Remembering the old adage, paint what’s around you, I looked around. In my studio, and for those who have visited know, there’s a tortoise that lives in the bathtub. Well, due to circumstances unknown, the number of turtles, small and large, have recently rapidly increased, and the place is now home to many, many turtles. So I started drawing turtles.
From my drawings of turtles, I created the series, “Voice of the Turtle.” It’s a series of simple, humorous cartoons of turtles handling life in NYC. The entire series can be found on www.fineartamerica.com or on my website, www.gailsgallery.com While my muse is still sailing around the world, it’s the best I can do.
Jingle bells, jingle bells…. Well, it’s holiday time again. All my paintings make lovely greeting cards. Visit www.fineartamerica.com if you are interested.
May 16, 2011
Spring is finally here. The daffodils are in bloom and the weather is warm.
This month, I've completed two new paintings. The first is another in the "Memories" series, "Remembrance of Times Past," and the most personal painting I have done to date.
The painting is based upon my visit last fall to Paris with my husband. I showed him the building where I had once lived for a bit in my twenties, 11 Rue Bude on Ile St. Louis. This painting memorializes that visit, with the past me (the remembrance) and the present me, with my arm around my memory of my younger self.
The second painting is another in the Magical Chair series, "On the Wild Side." A humorous compilation of Rousseau's jungle foliage and Renoir's child with giraffes (why not). Giraffes are funny.
Well, work is calling.... Until next month.
April 2011 update
As spring is trying to make an entrance, it's a time of new beginnings.
I received an offer I couldn't refuse and have returned to law for a six month gig. Not that painting is moving to the sidelines, just the off hours. I will maintain my studio space and will continue to paint.
The good news is I just sold a print of "Cats Playing Pool," which has been described as an "iconic image" in the vein of "Dogs Playing Poker." Also, my "Copenhagen Cafe" is now in a private collection in Connecticut. My newest completed painting is "At the Bar" (see New Artwork) and new paintings are underway.
March 3, 2011
This month, I was able to publish my newsletter on time. An excerpt is below. In addition, I have uploaded a new folder on this website, Anatomy of a Painting, where I describe the painting process and techniques used in "Loew's Paradise." I am also thinking about turning it into a short instructional video. Having been given a gift of a MacBook Air from my husband, I am astonished that it has so many features, one being iMovie. I published a short video, along with a trailer on YouTube, earlier this week, It seems to be a great vehicle to use in describing the artistic process. I'll give it a wing and see what happens
Excerpt from March newsletter:
February was a very busy month and March will continue that trend. I've scaled my hours back at the studio to work on my new project. New project you say? Yes, I am creating a non-profit program to address the plight of the senior professional artists in our communities. It is in the embryonic stage and requires a lot of research and planning. However, I am still painting.
My new painting is “A Little Bit Renoir.” I have entered into another contest on saatchionline.com. My last painting in that website's contest, “Loew's Paradise” came in 300 out of approximately 5,200. Not bad, but I still hoping for the number one spot. Voting starts on March 4th and, if you are so inclined, please register if you haven't already and vote for this painting.
Within the next week my website will soon include a new feature: anatomy of a painting. To further explain the process of painting, I will be including photos of the development of a painting so you will be able to see how a painting progresses from the initial brushwork through to completion. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to send me a note.
And, in adding to my art repertoire, I'm back into film and the video arts (I was a film major in college). My first completed videos are Viking Master 3000 (the trailer) and Viking Master 3000: The Movie. It's on YouTube and the link is:http://www.youtube.com/user/baddkatt1000.
February 12, 2011
Sometimes, enthusiasm inspires me to action. At the atelier where I paint, there is another artist who paints the most delightful and charming paintings I have ever seen. Some of the subjects are zebras, some are pears. I believe they need to be seen and the world is less colorful without them. To that end, I decided to be his artist representative and try to market the artwork. My target market are health care facilities. In doing research, I came across a number of consultants that market artwork to this segment. I am currently in process of contacting these consultants, and actually received my first "no." At least it's a start and an answer. Not perhaps the one I was seeking. Everything's a learning experience. As I said, one down, ten to go. Who said selling art was easy. If any readers of this blog know of any organizations/individuals for me to contact, let me know. To view this artwork, go to: http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/martin+silverstein/all
February 3, 2011
I sent out my February newsletter on time this month. I highlighted my two new paintings, Poe's House in Winter and Inga's House. They are both very different in technique and method. Poe's House in Winter continues my paint and scrape technique, as I mentioned earlier. Inga's House explores a different technique. I began, as I usually do, with painting the entire canvas in a neutral color of oil paint. This creates a ready surface on which to plan the painting without using an underlining drawing. The problem that I see with an under-drawing is that it locks me into a full contemplation of the painting prior to creating a dialogue with the canvas. The method I use is to cover the entire surface of the canvas with oil paint (neutral) and, dipping my brush into the turpenoid, I sketch out a quick outline of the scene that I want to paint. The outline is then created from the removal of oil paint. I can then view the image to see whether it will work on the canvas. If it doesn't, it is easy to correct by just painting over it with the same neutral color. Since oil paints take a long time to dry, I have enough time to do this, perhaps putting it aside for several days and then revisit the sketch.
With Inga's House, I had photographed the interior scene on my iPhone. Originally, the background was a beige neutral. I found that the original sketch worked and I set to work to paint the scene. My intent was to focus on the many different surfaces of the items in the image; the cool porcelain, the rough, cotton towels, the wood grain on the dresser. The painting seemed to flow out of me. However, the beige/yellow background color was not working; the coolness of the pitcher and bowl disappeared into the beige background. In a major shift, I readdressed the background and reworked a blue color, which solved the problem.
My next two paintings are already in progress... Magical Chair with Little Girl and Queens Tavern. More on these to come.
January 31, 2011
Over the weekend, I have been experimenting with glossy finishes. A fellow artist at the atelier has been using a technique of pouring glossy epoxy over two dimensional artwork to achieve a three dimensional effect. I think the results are outstanding. This method creates a depth of color and image that I haven't seen before. However, manipulating the epoxy is no easy task.
Two weeks ago, I tried to use an epoxy (system 3 mirror coat) that creates glossy finishes to wood, such as bar tops. I create a collage of a city skyline using colored tissue paper glued to wood and then poured epoxy over it. The epoxy was thick enough not to run beyond the sides of the wood, but was insufficient to cover the entire piece. I let that dry. The colors had turned darker, the various colors of the tissue paper melted into each other and created a lovely effect. However, the tissue paper, having a thickness, was not covered entirely by the epoxy. So, the following week, I added more paper on the wood and poured additional epoxy over it. This time the epoxy flowed over the edges of the work. I would need something to contain it. While I tried to solve that challenge, this weekend, I tried the epoxy on a small, flat, two dimensional acrylic painting with a different brand of epoxy (envirotex) as I used up the first brand in my two attempts. This new type dried fast, and I painted over it with more acrylic paint The paint dried and is now awaiting the second coat of epoxy. More to report on this after next weekend. When it's done, I'll add a pix to this gallery to show the finished artwork.
On another note: Over the summer, I had started an oil painting of an interior bar scene with a band playing in the background. I liked the play of the strange lights on the patrons in the foreground and the band in the background. However, I had a layout issue with what to put in the mid-ground. Well, problem solved. Last Friday, we sent to see a band in Queens at a tavern that had tables in front of the stage. I took some photos and now cannot wait to finish the painting.
That's all for now
January 26, 2011
This is as good a day as any to start a blog about my artwork. As usual, I am working on several paintings/series concurrently. First, I am continuing my Memories series, with my latest piece, Memories: Poe's House in Winter; and second, I am continuing the "Magical Chairs" series, that features that wonderful chair I found during our trip to Paris in October.
The genesis of the Memories series lies with my connecting with several former classmates from elementary school. Yes, PS 46 in the Bronx, New York. Conversations brought back memories that I had forgotten and memories that were not quite accurate. Because of these experiences, I thought it would be interesting to go back in time and paint some of the landmarks I knew so intimately as a younger person. The first landmark had to be the Loew's Paradise Theatre, on the Grand Concourse near Fordham Road. It was there that a school friend and I had tried to see Lawrence of Arabia (this is when it was originally released). The ticket teller refused to sell us tickets. We were "underage" for the movie, although we must have been around 15 at the time. The strange thing was the "adult" aspect of the movie would have been over our heads anyway; this was the mid-60s.
In painting "Loew's Paradise," I tried to reconnect with the structure and facade of the building. Thinking about the past, which is usually revisited through the screen of our minds that has transformed it many times over, I tried to evoke the sense of the Bronx at the time, a sense that it was the beginning of the downward slide, of a place that was strong and energetic decades ago and was slipping into old age.
Undertaking the project, I started with a true rendition of the structure, and built up the lights and darks and details. After a more or less faithful rendition, I started applying the oil paint in quick strokes with a palette knife, scraping off the excess. Using this method, I create a dialogue with the canvas. I decide on the color and shape; the canvas responds by grabbing the paint or releasing it. How do I know when it's finished? (That's a question I'm always asked.) I know the painting is complete when no additional brushwork will enhance it.
to be continued.