Saturday, May 02, 2009
My Former Life: a Watercolorist
Title: Cat on a Quilt - large framed watercolor - sold at AQS, Paducah (c)1984 Pat Dolan
I've been wrestling with my desire to switch art mediums... lessening my involvement with the fiber arts and mixed media and moving back towards earlier mediums that I have used. Much as I have enjoyed the fiber arts, I have not had the same financial success that I have had with other mediums. Since my shoulder problems intensified a few years ago, I have gradually been moving away from the sewing machine. I've done hand stitching, and played quite a bit with mixed media which allows one permission to do whatever one wants with whatever one has! And that has been fun, to be sure.
The Hummingbird - collection of Elaine Dube
I was trained as a HS art teacher, and I have dabbled in many mediums and have excelled in several over the course of my lifetime. Many of you know that I spent 20 years as a watercolorist, painting nostalgic subject matters including antiques, flower boxes, quilts and lace, glass jars, etc. The example below is one of the family's favorites, thus was never sold. It's title: Apples and Lace (c)1988
This was a sample for a commission - but the client didn't like blondes! My husband liked it, though, and he's had it in his office for years.
Detail of the hawk in lower left corner of the grouping above:
Hawk in the center of completed commission:
Collection of Don Simmonds
Still other watercolor paintings sold long ago:
Title: Carousel Roan Pony
Title: Acadia Lighthouse
Title: Lobster Pots - Collection of Steve + Chris Keating
Title: Hawk Landing
When I switched from watercolors to fiber art, I frequently combined the two media as seen below:
Title: Cat Portrait - collection of E. Shaw
Title: Carousel Pony - detail
Title: Blue Jay - Collection of S. Gangl
More recently I've been experimenting with mixing my media
Title: Inner Seascape - using Setacolor like watercolor - Collection of Alesia Maltz
Title: Painted Feather - 11x14" (c)2008 Pat Dolan - Colored pencil on printed image:
And even more recently, mixed media has come to the foreground. With limited range of motion in one arm, my time at the sewing machine is seriously limited. Mixed media allows the best of all possible worlds in that I have fabrics, texture, color, and any combination of media that brings the desired image forward. Below are pieces made from rusted cloth and subsequently embellished by various means.
This is a detail from Woodland Walk where I used colored pencils and watercolors to define the dried leaves prior to free-motion quilting them. The full image of Woodland Walk can be seen on my web page: .
Title: Rustine's Adventures - mixed media (c)2008 Pat Dolan
Rusted fabrics; digital images; memorabilia; metallic fabric, threads; with some hand stitching.
Title: Rusty Key - mixed media (c)2008 Pat Dolan
But, if you've been following my blog for any length of time, you will notice that the majority of my posts are not based in fiber art but are full of fine art photography. Nature images (birds, in particular, as well as flowers, etc.), local farms, and old architecture all have captured my eye and been captured by my camera. I attempted to find ways to use my photos in my fiber art, but found it very boring (as well as physically painful) to simply free-motion embroider my photos on fabric... I did several lovely bird portraits, some of which are now part of Virginia Speigel's Fiber Art for a Cause, being auctioned off for a donated sum to be given directly to the American Cancer Society. My three donated pieces are somewhere around page 37 or so. All three are Ravens, done as part of the recent Edgar Allen Poe/Raven Challenge.
Title: Raven By The Sea - 5x7" fiber art mounted 8x10" backing - (c)Pat Dolan 2009
Stop by tomorrow to see where my art is heading next...