Friday, July 30, 2010

Perils of Clear Tar Gel

10"x10" panel, acrylic, 2 stencils. This is the last of my 'witness' series as well as my summer materials exploration. I can see wonderful uses for clear tar being the ability to pour a thin or thick line. I used my bent paper cup pouring on most everything. On this piece I used the tar gel in the stencil colored with red oxide denoting separation from my shadow birds. Also used ordinary acrylic for the other stencil of cream and yellow. I look into my trees and see shadows of birds living out their simple lives....I hear them much better than see them. Wrapping up these three, I used tar gel, acrylic encaustic and crackle paste...anyone of these will show up in later work.

I've closed up my oil painting studio on the deck and converted it to acrylic. For years I was an oil painter and for a few short weeks (only warm mornings) I tried to return and for me it was trying to step back into the same place in the river. I have acquired art making habits and acrylic offers me the best opportunity to create. I gave it a fair try and used new gels and driers but for now, it's back to acrylic. Starting new work using both inside and outside studios...possibly more abstract and leaning on my journal and ongoing meditations.

When I first moved to the beach as a widow, I ordered from Daniel Smith (art supplier), a huge stack of Rives BFK paper. I especially like it for printmaking and mixed media. In my dramatic moments I told myself when I'm done with the paper...I could easily be ready to die. I'm now on my second large order of Rives along with a 4 inch stack of assorted papers given to me from a friend's studio. I guess I'll stick around awhile longer! ha


  1. BFK Rives is my favorite paper - so glad you are sticking around to use lots Mary Ann!
    We are different when we circle around to something we knew before...funny how that is.
    I have really enjoyed your bird pieces.

  2. Oh this one is so beautiful
    I love your birds
    and keep that paper coming!

  3. your bird series has been wonderful - I wonder what tar gel is - that is new to me xxo

  4. I love these bird series Wow !

  5. Your bird series is wonderful, each one totally different, but tied together with the birds, I love them all. I have tar gel but have never used it, not quite knowing what to do with it.

  6. Dear Blue, I do like this one, I especially like the all over grid of the cream. It is very nice, can't wait to see what next. Maybe that is a reason not to go....just yet, not finished. What you are doing is so important there really isn't enough beauty in the world! Thank you so much for keeping on.

  7. Dear Blue, I do like this one, I especially like the all over grid of the cream. It is very nice, can't wait to see what next. Maybe that is a reason not to go....just yet, not finished. What you are doing is so important there really isn't enough beauty in the world! Thank you so much for keeping on.

  8. bird shadows suggest
    resting between warm flaps
    of wild wings

  9. bird shadows suggest
    rest between wild flapping of
    your ideas on wings

  10. I'm thinking that those shapes might be like bubbles of sound between the birds.

  11. I'm always intrigued with how artists view oil vs acrylic. Great piece!

  12. I worked for two Tamarind Master Printers as a sponger, grinder and curator for a period back in the late seventies. Although it paid very little, the experience of working with a bunch of very talented artists and printers made it very rewarding. They also let me take home lots of paper. One of the papers was Rives BFK; I loved that paper. Your painting is a superb in its interplay of all incorporated elements and materials. Nicely done!

  13. Your bird series is delightful! Hope they flit into more paintings.

  14. so glad to hear you are sticking it out for a while! love your bird series and this one is just smashing with the background stencils, did you cut your own?

  15. Your work has such a spiritual quality. I look though your slideshow and feel as if I have experienced sustenance in a sanctuary. Thank you for what you do.

  16. The colours of this piece are so rich and beautiful. I love the patternings and can just discern the texture from the tar gel. Reallly pleasing composition.

    Isn't it wonderful to have the luxury of changing one's mind. I'm referring to your oils/acrylics experiment as well as the fixin' to die when out of paper attitude. Thank god for online ordering!

    I haven't painted with oils for years and am still finding out new things to do with acrylic. I miss the smell of the turpentine and linseed oil I used as a medium with oil paints but I like the immediacy of acrylics. No going back for me now.

  17. I love this piece, Mary Ann- the colors, the birds, the stencils- it's just wonderful! Rives BFK is also my favorite paper, and is the one I use most. I'm glad you kept buying more instead of running out!
    I think I'll give this clear tar gel a try, too!

  18. love this piece, the rich colours and how the pattern flows over the birds. Now your title is the peril of tar gel. I don't see anything perilous here??

    I am allergic to oils but I have bought some retarder to keep my acrylics from drying so quickly, especially in the hot summer weather. So I get the benefit of the slow drying quality of oils without the odour and clean up issues.

  19. Sigh,,,I adore your birds.
    I understand your acrylic/oil thing.I can't completely give up the oils,,,but they have taken a back seat. Sometimes they tell me they feel like ugly step children,they've been so neglected.
    Oh, buy up some more of those papers!
    We want you here a whole looooong time!

  20. I have been stopping by but today I decided to be brave and tell you how much I appreciate your process development and the stunning results. You work with design elements that I am not too informed about but the results are simply poetry in living colors. Thank you . Imagine and Live in peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart
    I loved Birdsong that you posted on Buried Treasures.

  21. That experiment with tar gel looks like a success to me. It is a lovely painting and the story works so well.

    It sounds like you will have a good time with your order. Sort of feels like "going back to school" with your new pencil box. Oh, how I loved a new pencil box or a box or crayons.

  22. Birds are the best! I can't say enough about this series containing birds. You have captured the mystery and fantasy of these curious feathered friends with these works. BTW I have some new Stellar's Jays (blue)that run / hop about my back fence at the new place - great joy!

  23. Leslie, Words of wisdom...thank you.

    Suz, thank you...I'm birdlady of the deck!

    Jeane, Glad you like the birds.
    There is always a new product out there?!

    Liv, Thank you...your bird drawings have been inspiring!

    Ro Bruhn, Pour it...tar gel that is...seems to be what it does well...from thin line to big!

    Maggie, Thank you thank you!

    Annell, Thoughtful words...I agree, so much more to paint!

  24. You are so inventive, and so talented..a wonder!!

  25. Neva, You said it all!

    Annie, I like that...bubbles of sound!

    Willow, This oil-acrylic thing runs deep!

    Stan, A wonderful experience working with Master Printers and gifted with Rives! I love the dance and excitement of pulling prints!

    Robyn, Going a little more abstract but the little creatures still light up my mornings!

    LDV, These were store bought stencils...I'm a maniac in a supply shop!

    Carol, Thank you so much for visiting the sidebar slideshow...I'm smiling!

    Louciao, Changing my mind...a constant but admitting no more oils was a tough one. I believe in Grace way beyond my understanding...still here, still buying supplies!

    Sharmon, I've learned not to fool with the angels...I have a long list of 'things I need to do yet'! ha

    ZDS, The perils occurred on all the other attempts at pouring this happy accidents and plenty of wiping clean! ha

    Babs, Yes, more paper indeed! The oils are put away ...trying some liquid acrylic for mixing with gels.

    Mary Helen, 'Birdsong' is one of my favorites too. Thank you for not only the visit but the thoughtful comment!

    Pat, I'll keep working with the tar gel and as far as supplies you...I'm crazy for materials. These 'back to school' sales make my heart beat faster!

    Karen, I've spent a fair amount of time watching these beauties. Oh, Bluejays...what personalities!

    Lyn, I've been called many things and now inventive...I like!

  26. I love this.. One can never get enough black birds.