Friday, March 26, 2010

About those canvases I mentioned earlier....

What you are looking at is a piece of 9x12 canvas board with some Gel Mediums (we'll get to those later) smeared on it. What is canvas board? Simply put, it is canvas that is attached to a stiff board as opposed to canvas that is stretched out over a frame.

So let's talk really briefly about what it is I am doing. I mentioned a round robin. In this case, we have 10 artists (including myself) and 10 canvases. Each artist starts with a blank canvas. The artist will add some type of element to their canvas, then they will pass their piece onto the next person on the list. That person will add their own touch. It could be anything really. When they are finished they pass to the person below them on the list and so forth and so on until your original piece comes back to you. It is really exciting as there are so many talented women with such diverse disciplines that I cannot wait to see what my canvas comes back like.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Linda Chilcott of El Paso, TX for coming up with the idea. She has done a lot to coordinate this effort. I can tell you how refreshing it is just to work on something for fun! Almost all my creating these days is work related, so to be able to just play is a joy. Plus I am getting to be a part of something along with my colleagues. Just to give a shout out, here are the other artists in the group along with Linda: Ava Green-Savierville, TN; Cyndi Hansen-Little Rock, AR; Karen Wiant-Eugene, OR; Marisa Pawelko-Winfield, IL; Pat Bell-Poughkeepsie, NY; Sue Kelsey-Ypsilanti, MI; Veronica Goff-Jackson, TN and Jenn Goode-Castle Rock, CO. As you can see, my canvas will be making quite a trip as well as be touched my some might amazing hands.

Above is a picture of Golden's Gel Mediums. Gel Mediums are acrylic dispersion substances who's function is to change the consistence of acrylic paint. It comes in a variety of thickness and textures. These Mediums can be mixed with acrylic paints and well as be used in the application above where I smeared them around. I happen to love texture in my collages. Though I am primarily a paper artist, I love to play around with paint. I can't say I have been blessed with the ability to actually paint an image but I love color and mixing and changing and just seeing what happens. That's the fun of it...every time you do it, it's different. That happens to be great for a girl like me who loves variety and surprises.

So, back to texture....
When you are working with paper and other ephemera, it is easy to achieve texture in your collages. When you are working with paint, the best way to achieve texture is with Mediums. In the collage above, the Gel Mediums I have use specifically are Moulding Paste, Clear Tar Gel and Course Pumice Gel (which is one of my favorites!). I applied them using palette knives then let them dry completely over night.

These are Golden's Acrylic Paints. If you are using Gel Mediums you need to use acrylic paints because the Mediums are acrylic based. For this collage, I went with blue and turquoise hues that I mixed together or mixed with some Titanium White.

Next, I took a flat brush and just went to town. When painting over the Mediums you have to take care. The Course Pumice Gel dries to the consistency of concrete, so you really have to use your flat brush to stipple to color into the crevices.

This is the final product. At least on my my end. I sent it off to Ronnie Goff this week. I wonder what this is going to look like when it comes back. Everyone will be taking lots of pictures which will then have to be organized at the end. The plan is to display these at CHA Summer Show. I'll be keeping you all posted.

Artfully yours....

Sunday, March 21, 2010


It's finally here! I have been waiting all Winter long for it.

It was a very long winter here in the North East with heavy snows and damaging winds. Just last weekend it was a mess around here. Mother Nature was pretty ticked off. I just hope I didn't do it! However, this past week we were rewarded with warm, sunny weather just in time to usher in Spring.

What I love the most about Spring is color! I mean, I often get asked what my favorite color is to which I reply, "I'm an artist...I love all of them!" It really is true. I couldn't pick a favorite if my life depended on it. However, I will say that the time of year effects the color palette to which I am most drawn. Right now I am attracted to bright, effervescent hews.

I think I am most motivated this time of year. The sun is brighter, it gets dark later...even the smells of spring can get me pumped up. I still, however, just hate getting up in the morning! Once a night owl, always a night owl? LOL

So, right now I am in the process of participating in a kind of round robin with some of the other designers from CHA. For those of you who do not know what that is, CHA stands for the Craft and Hobby Association. I am really proud to be a part of the Designer Member Section there. Never will you find such a supportive group of professionals. AH... but I digress. (you will find that I do that a lot!)

I am in the process of putting the finishing touches on my canvas. So I think what I will do is explain all of that in my next post...I'll be sure to include pictures so that you can see the process.

Be back soon....

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Here I am...

Sorry I was so late!

For those of you who don't know me yet, my name is Theresa Cifali. I am an artist and designer for the craft and hobby industry, as well as an entrepreneur and business owner. The most exhausting question I get asked is, "what do you do?" Suffice it to say, "a designer for the craft and hobby industry" is not an acceptable answer for most. It's usually followed by an onslaught of other questions that are sometimes difficult to answer. I mean, honestly, I'm a visual artist! While I am pretty good with words...let me SHOW you is so much better.

Anyway, I will spare you long details explaining what I do and hope that you come back and watch me unfold here on this blog. I have to tell you, I fought tooth and nail desperately trying not to join the blogging world. I really believe that blogging is a very powerful, constructive tool especially when coupled with other social media venues...but I think up til now I never felt that I really had much to say or share. Of course, those who know me best will laugh at that and tell you that I can be quite opinionated! You will have to decide for yourself.

Artfully yours,
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