Getting together with art friends for an afternoon of making can be just the right kick-start for your creative mojo if it’s gone missing. I love gathering with other artists, with a tote bag of art supplies for a few hours of creative time and catching up, with chips and salsa and some art-making background music. All the better if everyone is working in different media. The hostess of my last foray into Art Day supplied gelli plates for some fast no-press printmaking (thanks, JMC!). I came home with a stack of fun backgrounds to adorn with other media. This one (below) became a little watercolor & colored pencil portrait (above).
Do you gather with art friends? Have you considered hosting an evening of making with some like-minded pals?
a gelli plate print from an art day with my friend JMC
Gelli Monotype as background for mixed media art
If you’re not familiar with gelli plate printing, have a look at this little intro video by the makers of the gelli plate I used. (If you can’t see the video below, you can watch it here.)
As one of the most active and productive artists of the eighteenth century, Angelica Kauffman [1741-1807] created approximately 1,500 oil paintings, drawings, and prints, and her compositions were widely disseminated during and after her lifetime in the form of reproductive engravings and interior decoration, painted furniture, china, and textiles. Her distinctive and often sentimental images of Classical and British history, allegories, and portraits were familiar to a broad international audience, and major exhibitions of her work during the last ten years in England, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland have brought her works to the attention of contemporary viewers. The story of Kauffman’s life is also quite well known: her youthful talent and choice to pursue a painting career, her personal charm and industriousness, her role as a Founding Member of the Royal Academy of Arts in London, her scandalous marriage to an imposter and later marriage of companionship with the painter Antonio Zucchi, her international aristocratic clientele, friendships with great poets and painters, and her wealth and fame as a popular and celebrated Grand Tour artist in Italy. This picture of an extraordinary woman—a romantic female “hero” in a masculine profession—is based on factual evidence, but it was largely the creation of her biographer Giovanni Gherardo De Rossi bolstered by laudatory descriptions of Kauffman in diaries and letters written by admiring friends, patrons, and foreign travelers. The pleasing qualities of Kauffman’s Neoclassical imagery, along with her cleverly conceived and idealized allegorical self-portraits and confident self-promotion, helped to reinforce a view of her as an accomplished artist who easily overcame all obstacles to achieve success.
Wendy Wassyng Roworth Documenting Angelica Kauffman’s Life and Art, 2004
Self Portrait 29 x 24 National Portrait Gallery London