Wednesday, February 4, 2009

DVD Review - Ann Baldwin's "Telling Stories with Collage and Paint"

Our Monday class is in the middle of a collage unit so viewing Ann Baldwin’s “Telling Stories with Collage and Paint” was timely and inspirational for me. It was also a great art activity for a day when staying vertical was not an option. I love this about art - even when I have to rest my achey back I can still have fun!
Back to the DVD... Ann is really a mixed media painter as opposed to a straight collage artist, so this live workshop video was also a good source of information about working with acrylic paints & mediums. She has a fun and fearlessly loose style based on her belief that virtually anything that happens in the painting that she doesn’t like can be changed. This feels quite freeing for me after working hard to protect the whites and avoid over painting in watercolor.
During the course of the nearly 2 hour workshop, Ann completes a demo painting. She begins with collage, then glazes, textures, re-glazes, and repeats until she is satisfied with the result. Ann shares her thought process as she works through the demo. I found her responses to what she liked and didn’t like, why she put elements in a particular spot and why she abandoned the original theme to follow another most fascinating.
Here are a few specifics that I found helpful:
· Discussion of how to avoid copyright issues – in particular a link to the Copyright Information Center at Cornell University.
· Ann spends some time on the computer upgrading smaller lower quality images to ensure high enough quality for her larger format pieces. She talks about alternatives for this work including incrementally photocopying, printing digitally, etc.
· Golden products are used throughout and since I haven’t worked with many of these products, I found her descriptions of how to work with them useful.
· Nitrile gloves – Ann uses them all the time because many of the pigments she uses are toxic. Also, she finds they give her the freedom to manage all the mucking about in the paints that she likes to do.
· The slowing down stage – I’ve never heard it called this but it was nice to know that others have to force themselves to slow down and even shelve a piece for hours/days while their brain catches up. This happens in every painting I do. It can take anywhere from a few minutes onward to figure out the next move – lots of paintings I’ve started are still stuck and I’m beginning to believe that this is normal. It’s a nice feeling to have the “FINISH IT” pressure off.
· Ann critiques the workshop students’ work and, although I always find these helpful, I’m used to a more direct approach to pointing out problems. Over the past 3 years I’ve benefited most from hearing what could have been done to avoid, or what could be done to correct, etc PROBLEMS in my works as well as in the work of other students. Of course the good must be praised and Ann does a lovely job of that. Possibly the critiques that I would have found most helpful were simply edited out...

I certainly enjoyed this DVD and I’m looking forward to putting the inspiration to good use. As a result of this DVD, I have added half a dozen items to my art “wish list”... Good thing my birthday is coming up ;) Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I found it very informative.