Update on Activities This Summer

We had a great trip out west this summer.  Some of the images from that trip show up in my DAILY PHOTOGRAPHS, starting toward the end of July, and extend into August. [Click here:  http://merleplaggeart.com/dir/?page_id=317#foobox-3/32/20180701S3053-RedCapMushroom-w-1.jpg] Many more images are all in one place on my Smug Mug site: https://merleplagge.smugmug.com

Now time to get back to Abstract Art.  Working on a couple new things.

Sketching Practice

At “Art Club” at Portage Senior Center we’ve decided that we all need practice at sketching. We did just simple shapes last week, and this week had a set-up which is interesting. None of us got it anywhere near finished. So, I’ll just post the setup now and later the results.

This is a middle view that I saw from my seat around the table.  The grapes were real, but I’m going to change the time on the clock in my drawing.

Thanks for checking it out. If you would like to have a better (larger) file than this, for your own use, just let me know.  Contact listed on my “About” page.

Workshop – June 25-27

My challenge and theme for this workshop was CONSTRAINTS and how they may make your painting freer and more imaginative.

Had wonderful weather for my workshop this year, although the last day was rainy at times.  We covered lots of topics: some new pour techniques, making collage papers, monoprinting for texture background and spraying oil type paints over wet paper using leaves/flowers as templates,

For my major project this year, I gave each artist  a box of found objects, papers, etc, that they were to use at least 6 of them, in any number of paintings using an image I supplied for inspiration.  Of course, the images were all very abstract and some just highlights and shadows of unrecognizable objects. This was a very difficult project this year.

Here are some pictures taken during the workshop. Many keepers in the mix

Comments or questions always welcomed.

Three more new paintings

All, completed this past winter and spring.  I’ve been working with watersoluble embroidery stabilizer and the possibilities of using it on old failed paintings.  All three of these have been done previously on stretched quarter sheet 140lb Arches paper.  All are done with water soluble media as well as art markers and the embroidery stabilizer.

This is called “Cracks” AND I think it has two layers of failed paintings underneath.

This is “Alien House.”


And this is “Acentric Heraldry” and has a couple of layers underneath as well as some thick collage which adds to the texture of this top layer.  The small centers of the black spots are pieces of gold colored ribbon.

I still have about five or six more that are not quite finished, but will be soon, and I’ll present those next.

Comments always welcomed and encouraged.  🙂

Three New Paintings

All completed this winter and early spring.  This one is called “Transformation” and is mixed media, 15×11″. Includes old house paint and watercolor, gesso and embroidery stabilizer as well as acrylic ink.

This one is “Gentleness.” It’s an acrylic pour done on mat board that was prepared with Gloss Medium on both sides.  The lines added later are acrylic ink, done with an old fashioned nib. It’s 15×11″.

And the last in this post is “Cladonia” which is an acrylic pour on Yupo.  It looks a lot like the lichen “British Soldiers” which is very common in the woods Up North.  It’s 13×10″.



New Acrylic Pour Painting an 8×8″ Tile

This started as an acrylic pour in black, yellow and red.  It was nice cells, but otherwise didn’t have much interest. From another pour I had some drippings that looked like petals, so I added them forming a flower shape.  The center was another piece of “pour puddle” which I enhanced with some brown dots of acrylic.  The acrylic pieces when peeled off the freezer paper they were on, adhered immediately and permantently to the acrylic pour on the tile.   I outlined the whole flower and stem with yellow acrylic and enhanced some of the yellow lines from the pour.  I like it very much now.

Now I’m giving it a couple more coats of UV Varnish and adding some hanging loops on the back, so I can string some picture wire on them and hang it as a normal painting.

Comments appreciated.

Sneak Preview of Embroidery Stabilizer’s Power

This started out as a quite nice large swipe pour on a 26×20″ Yupo. There were a few details I wanted to change, but started using it as a spot to experiment with. Since then it’s gotten three layers of pours and various other splashes of acrylic paint on it, so it’s quite thick and getting heavy–but I can still lift it, so wil keep going on it.  Here’s what it looks like now. 

And, below are two close-ups of areas of particular interest, especially from the viewpoint of a pour.  You’ll also notice there’s lots of color and contrast, and a marked disjointedness of the whole thing.   Here’s those two areas of interest.  The first is the right upper corner where I  just poured some paint and then moved it around by blowing at it with a straw.  I was surprised at the effect this had.

Then, the second one is from the area of the bright yellow patches in the left upper quadrant.  Those two pieces of yellow are from the bottom of a cup that had paint from a previous pour.  I was able to pull it out, and just pressed it down on the painting.  Now I’m going to try and pull it all together using Embroidery Stabilizer.

Thanks for your comments.


Wetland Sunset

This piece was started as a pour demonstration. It was poured on a large 30×20″ black Foamcore board.  It started out looking beautiful, with strong and varied cells throughout, and  with three jabs of the large piece of Yupo I was using to swipe with. But unfortunately the board started buckling mainly longitudinally, so most of the cells ran off the sides long before it had set up.

I’ve added a couple of black lines to it to emphasize the three diagonally oriented lines, that strongly remind me of cattails in the swamp near us.   I did another piece very similar colors but used Yupo as the medium for it.  Turned out much better. I’ll show that next time as I’m still adding some details to it.

Thanks for looking.  Do you see anything that needs correcting or adding.  Love to hear your comments–any way you see it.