Ronni Hunter Studios

"paint"

Painted Canvas

"art", "paint", "painted canvas", "spray paint", "stencils"Ronni HunterComment

In September I took a class with Katie Pasquini Mausopust where we learned to paint canvases, cut them up, and reassemble them to make art quilts.  The class was fantastic and I just loved Katie.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera and had to take pictures with my cell phone.  Now I can't get the pictures off my phone! I'll get that worked out eventually!  In the meantime, I was so inspired by Katie's class that when I got asked to make a memory book for a retiring coworker, I decided to paint and quilt some canvas.  I began by painting a background of colors in acrylic paint.  The result was fairly uninspiring but I intended to stencil over it so it wasn't too distressing.  After hand stenciling two large motif's I realized that doing it this way was going to take FOREVER and I was in a time crunch.  What a great excuse to go buy some of the new Liquitex spray paint.  Whoo-weee!  I spent a fun filled, happy hour out in the sun spray painting through all my stencils and the results came out better than I could have imagined.  The memory book looked great after I quilted it and I made a small bag for a friend out of a remaining piece.  Now all I have left are some small pieces and these photo's.

Award of Excellence!!

"40 West Arts", "Experiments", "art exhibits", "art", "awards", "collage", "flowers", "graffiti", "paint"Ronni HunterComment

Graffiti Lilies

I entered this piece in the 2013 Inspire show being put on by 40W Arts here in Lakewood, CO.  This year the shows theme is recycled art or vivid color.  Happily for me I had this piece in the works.  This is made on recycled inter office envelopes, with newspaper, paint, tissue paper, various pens and grease pencils.  I mounted the collage onto a black fabric background that I pieced out of fragments of cloth leftover from some other project.  The background is quilted and trimmed with black satin ribbon.  I think it fits both of the shows themes!  Much to my delight I was asked if they could use my artwork for some of their outreach efforts and I won an Award of Excellence at the show.  My very first award!

Here is the thing about this piece..... it came together rather intuitively.  This never happens to me and finding that inner voice has been such a struggle.  I just wanted to play around with techniques one day so I started layering paint and newspaper on these envelopes and then tearing the paper back off to reveal layers.  When I decided I was done I had a background that I really liked.  But as usual I had no idea what to do with it.  It hung around on my design wall for several weeks while this teeny tiny little voice in my head kept whispering " add lilies made of more inter office envelopes".  I resisted.  Resistance is my specialty.  But I kept getting the same message and eventually I caved in and went for it.  This is the first pieces I've made that my husband genuinely likes.  The first piece that won an award.  Hmmmm.  I'm guessing that that intuitive voice in my head knows what its doing.  Now I just need to learn to hear it better.

Journal Pages With Printed Paper

"Gelli arts", "Inktense blocks", "art journal", "collage", "mixed-media", "paint"Ronni HunterComment

This journal page began with an ink blot.  Okay, that actually traveled over here when I was experimenting on another page.  I don't let it bother me.  These pages had been gessoed at some earlier time and scribbled into with a stylus.  Ignoring the ink blot, I began by making a grid of warm, analogous colors with my Inktense blocks and a water brush.  Inktense blocks seem to work better on a gessoed page, but nonetheless, this came out looking horrible.  Out came the red paint and glazing medium and I covered both pages.  When that was almost dry I spritzed the pages with a little water, let it sit a minute, and then blotted with a paper towel.  This is so easy and I just love the effect.  Then I cut up one of the papers I had made while playing with my Gelli Arts printing plate and collaged the green elements down.  Deli paper works so well for collage!  After that I made a stamp using cut up pieces of fun foam that I glued to a stiff cardboard base with gel medium.  I used gold acrylic paint with the stamp.  I'm not sure this is done, but since I haven't decided what to do next I thought I'd at least post this much as an example of using my printing experiments for collage in my art journal.

Printing with my Gelli Arts printing plate

"Deli paper", "Gelli arts", "Monoprinting", "Stacked Journaling", "paint"Ronni HunterComment

I recently bought myself a Gelli Arts printing plate.  For some reason I no longer recall I felt I really had to have one of these things.  They are fun to play with!  The trouble is that it is hard to stop.  I had a huge stack of prints in just an hour!  I don't think any of them are really stellar and I can see I need more practice, but it was fun.  I used deli paper for experimenting.  Deli paper is great for collage, which is good since none of these are a great work of art in an of themselves.  They can be cut up and used in art journaling or something.  I also made a lot of painty pages from cleaning off my brayer and paintbrushes.  I used those for some stacked journaling.  Here are a few of the papers I like.  

I purchased the Martha Stewart texturing kit at Home Depot.  It has lots of combs etc. for making marks.

Bubble wrap was one of my favorite mark making tools.  I used the painty bubble wrap to stamp onto other papers too.

Playing with stacked journaling using the end of a paintbrush.

I was trying something I thought was clever and ended up with a very wet and faint print so I scribbled over the top with a squeeze bottle of black paint.

Here I am playing with drawing fluid and expressive lines with the squeeze bottle of paint.  The painted paper is one I used to wipe excess paint on while playing with the printing plate.

Another page of "clean up paper" with some stacked journaling on top.  That darned squeeze bottle blobs up a lot.  Got to work on that.

Another clean up page with stacked journaling in colors with a brush. 

While printing with the plate I would stamp my painty bubble wrap off onto more paper.  I didn't clean it between colors and it left wonderful mixed dots.  You can't really tell in the picture that some of this paint is metallic and really shines!

Another wet sloppy print with stacked journaling, this time with a  flat brush.

I was trying stacked journaling on the printing plate and just kept printing all over these pages.  It was blobby and messy but I think the marks are evocative

Journal Pages, Serendipity, and Revelation

"art journal", "art", "paint", "quotes"Ronni HunterComment

The quote I pasted into my journal is by Thomas Moore from The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life , and it reads:

"I don't share many of my colleagues enthusiasm for wholeness.  I like fragments and pieces, innuendos and suggestion.  I expect never to feel like a whole person, because I'm so aware of the fragmented nature of many of my emotions, the plans I have for my life, the elements of character that are never fully present or rounded off.  in the same way, I like to see sculptures of a goddess with no head or arms, or just a piece of torso.  Temple ruins and the remains of a civilization make much more sense in pieces than if we were to come across a ghost town intact expect for the human citizenry.   
 Decay, corruption, falling apart, memory, traces of the past -- these are all aspects of life that are with us every day.  They may hint at failure, ignorance, or some other imperfection, but they are a significant dimension of all kinds of life, including our own interior experience."

This morning I had decided that I would write something about my own inner search for depth and meaning in my art.  I have several photos of journal pages that I wanted to share here and I randomly decided to post this one.  When I looked at it closely and read the quote, which I had quite forgotten, it seemed amazingly serendipitous.

After several years of making art I have hit a point where I want to go deeper.  At this point I don't know quite what that means but I am searching for answers.  Part of this process has been analyzing what kind of art I love, what I'm drawn to, what makes me quiver inside.  I have realized that I like fragments, bits and pieces that don't really go together in a logical way, but when put together in the same space by an artist develop some kind of synergy.  I like the look or torn paper, fraying fabric, and multiple layers.  Art that has some kind of mystery about it delights me.  I think I love abstraction precisely because I don't know what it means.

It had not occurred to me before re-reading this quote, that the reason I am drawn to fragments, chaos, and complexity, is because that is so often my own internal landscape.  Before I begin to sound like I need to be committed I will also state that I am also drawn to bright colors, and beauty.  So now I have a better understanding of what I like and why.  The tricky part is how to pursue these revelations as I make art.

Aqua, Violet & Olive Journal Page

"art journal", "collage", "mixed-media", "paint"Ronni Hunter1 Comment

When I am working on art projects I often have paint or ink that I don't want to waste so I will open my art journal and use it on a random page.  This affords me the opportunity to see if I can marry the facing pages to one another.  Sometimes it doesn't work out, but often I can find a way to carry the colors or themes across both pages.  Reading Randel Plowman 's book "The Collage Workbook" inspired me to try making a word collage.  How wonderful to find that I had words in my collection in the colors from the facing page.  This color scheme happened by accident.  The right hand page had been gessoed, and one day I added the aqua/turquoise paint.  Another day I was testing out two handmade stamps I had created with fun foam, so I stamped the violet paint onto the page.  Yet another day I was using my new Adirondack inks on something and "stamped" the wet stencil onto the same page.  All very random, and yet it ended up yielding a color combo I probably would not have thought of but I really like. 

I often wonder what my art journal is for.  I play around, try new materials or techniques etc. but when I am working in the journal I often wonder if I am wasting my time.  I make "pretty" pictures and imitate other artists.  I'd like to see my journal leading me toward the development of bigger more finished/polished art pieces, but so far that hasn't happened.  I suppose at the moment my art journal just serves as a place to work in that creative mental state.  So much about practicing art is a matter of faith.  I have to have faith that the practice moments, the moments that don't lead to a fully formed art project, are just as valid and important as working on something more concrete.  When you are an artist that works full time at a non creative day job, it is easy to feel like your precious and rare art time is wasted if you are not working on a "real" project.  Just screwing around feels like wasted time.  I have to have faith that all this screwing around is teaching me something even if I don't realize that I am learning. 

New Journal Pages

"art journal", "collage", "mixed-media", "paint"Ronni HunterComment

After six months or more of working on a series of stitched pieces I finally decided it was time to wrap things up.  I put away the sewing supplies, sorted the fabrics I was using back into their color coded scrap bins and moved on.  For months I've been saving things I wanted to add to my art journal and thinking about taking a different tactic in approaching my art.  So far I'm incredibly frustrated, but that will be another post.  I've created several new journal pages that I'd share.  This is just one of them, but getting the rest of the pictures sized for posting will take me a little while.  Which is okay, really, as it will give me something more to post over the next week or two.  When I started this journal I went through and cut windows and page edges and other things, and collaged various papers etc. randomly throughout.  The other day one of my co-workers was wearing an outfit in shades of teal and copper that I really liked and I wanted to do a page spread with those colors.  I thought they would like nice on the pages with a window peeping through to an unfinished spread in purple, bronze, and old paper.  I'm sort of channeling Michelle Ward here, as I decided to try cutting out a mask/stencil of a leafy front and apply it in different ways on the page.  Loved the effect!

More to come.  Right now I have to go bug the lovely ladies as SAQA for advice on another issue.  Too much to do, not enough time, and I don't want to spend all day at the computer!  LOLOL.

Fall Arts Harvest Exhibition

"40 West Arts", "art", "collage", "graffiti", "paint"Ronni HunterComment

40 West Arts is hosting another art exhibition as a part of Denver Arts Week and I will have 3 pieces in the show! I also served on the jury for this exhibition which was an interesting experience. The three pieces that I entered are rather different from my usual work, but are representative of some of the other work I am interested in doing.

Still Not Good Enough - 2012

Sometime back I posted these pieces in order to discuss the fact that I had no idea how to finish them. I simply cannot afford to frame my artwork and I don't even know if they are worth putting the money into if I could afford it. But I like them and really wanted them to get out into the world. Eventually I decided on mounting them to painted hardboard and stapling clear vinyl over the top. They have a sort of grungy graffiti look to them and I felt that the hardboard, vinyl, and staples added to the look. There is also something narrative going on there with the feminist issues and the vinyl..... I'll leave that to your imagination and personal interpretation. These photos don't show the vinyl. I knew it would be shiny and hard to photograph so I took the pictures before adding it.

How Can I Serve You? - 2012

 These pieces were created with scraped acrylic paint on heavy bristol paper. I scraped, splattered, mono printed, stenciled, spray painted, etc. Happy painting abandon! Then I tore up a newspaper and reassembled it as a collage, photocopied the result and started playing with the silhouettes. As a nod to my predilection for using fabric, I included a wee bit of hand dyed cheesecloth. The collages were glued to the hardboard with gloss gel medium. Good thing too! They buckled. Even though I let them dry while weighted with heavy books. It was kind of a mess. There is an artist named Johnathan Talbot who does amazing collage. He uses a technique where he pre coats his collage materials with gloss medium and lets them dry. He then arranges his collage items into place and IRONS them down. I used this technique to place the collage silhouettes. When my pieces ended up buckled I put parchment paper of the top and ironed the heck outta them. It worked! The gel medium I used as glue fused down quite nicely! Phew!

Woman's Depth - 2012

"art quilt", "art", "fabric", "fabric-paper", "mixed-media", "paint"Ronni Hunter1 Comment

My blog has been languishing lately for lack of acceptable photos to post.  As an art blogger I feel like I can't post anything unless I have a photo to go with the post, but my artwork has all been in awkward stages and my photo sessions have not been very successful of late.  The other day I tried to take photos of some of my artwork on the day that I had my eyes dilated.  Needless to say, those photos did NOT come out well!  LOL!

For several months now I have been working on artwork in a raspberry, lime, plum color scheme.  I've been trying to use the same basic materials in each piece so that they are part of a series, but I have not been trying to make each piece similar to any other piece.  Frankly I'm getting sort of tired of working with the same materials over and over again, but at the same time the ideas just keep on coming.  Money is really tight in my world right now so I'm also trying to play with ways to make the most of the materials I have.  Ways to use every scrap.  Sometimes I think this way of thinking holds me back since I feel like I have to a use what I already have.  But it is so easy to fall prey to the idea that a new art supply or tool will magically cause me to make amazing, inspired art.  Anyway, working in a series has proven to be a very productive approach for me.  

The piece above is made from leftover backing paper from painted Wonder Under, and stained newspaper that have been woven together.  I used t-shirt transfer paper to add a word cloud to the surface and then I added a swipe of pearlescent white paint and splatters of white gesso.  Earlier in this process I had created a "fabric" from little scraps of other fabrics that I quilted in spirals and then cut into piece that I finished with a blanket embroidery stitch.  I added these squares with glue and stitch and then added a few finishing embroidered motifs.  Then I mounted the whole things on a painted canvas background.


This piece is also made of woven papers.  Specifically embossed wallpaper and fabric paper that I made of all sorts of materials.  I stitched purple organza flowers over the top and added the quilted bottom portion and a border.

I have some plans for this series is I can make a few dreams come true.  There are several other pieces in the series but some of them aren't finished yet.  More photos to come!

Working in a Series: Experimenting

"art", "mixed-media", "paint"Ronni HunterComment
A while back I started working on this project that I intended to try to enter in the Evolution show at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum.  I selected my colors and fabrics and decided on some techniques I wanted to try, which included some painted Wonder Under fusible webbing.  Well, the project took a major turn for the worse and I did not end up trying to enter the show.  Happily I was able to deconstruct the parts and put them together in a new piece that will now be in the 40 West Arts exhibit for Lakewood Inspire Week.  And I also ended up with this beautiful piece of painted release paper left over from the painted Wonder Under.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I am working on a series inspired by the original failed project.  Just trying to see how many different pieces I can make using the same colors and materials, although I like to throw something new in now and then.  I wanted to make something with some of this pretty painted release paper, but seeing as it is purposefully designed to not stick to things I wasn't sure how to use it.  I decided to try some paper weaving with newspaper to create a background that I will do some remnant collage over.  I think.  LOL. One idea leads to another and I never know where I'm headed, even when I get there.  Here is how it looked after the weaving:


I like it!  Paper weaving isn't exactly a revolutionary concept but I often like the look when I see it in other people's work.  I'm also having fun trying out new camera angles.  Photography is not my passion, and is frankly the biggest stumbling block for me as a blogger, but maybe trying something besides a straight on shot will excite me more.  Gotta start somewhere!

Cat Hair Studio

"art quilt", "art", "cat", "collage", "embroidery", "fabric-paper", "mixed-media", "paint", "wall hanging"Ronni HunterComment

I wanted to call my blog Cat Hair Studio but the name was already taken.  There's a good reason for wanting to call it that.  Everything I make ends up covered in cat hair!  Short of closing the door while I work there is no possible way to keep the cats out of the studio, and frankly, I enjoy their company.  Once I ended up with a cat with blue paint on his paws!  OMG, the chaos!  LOL.  I had to scramble to catch him before he tracked blue paint all over the house or tried to lick it off.  There is a rule that applies to cats as well as people....DON'T EAT YOUR PAINT!  This lovely glimpse of a newly finished piece is posted merely to amuse the cat lovers out there.  Don't worry, the  hair will be removed and better photo's will be taken.  I'm thinking of submitting this piece and a couple of others that are part of a series to some magazine or other.  I just have to finish everything first!

Collage painting

"Jane Davies", "Lynne Perrella", "art", "collage", "mixed-media", "paint", "painting", "t-shirt transer paper"Ronni HunterComment

I recently completed this 9"x12" collage painting.  Can you tell who inspired me?  I'm utterly fascinated by

Lynne Perrella's

work.  Could stare at it for hours.  Her work makes me shake.  That shaking feeling is what made me realize that I wanted to be an artist.  Nothing but art makes me feel that way.  It's like being seduced by a new lover.  Back to the painting....  This actually began as an experiment inspired by one of

Jane Davies

techniques where you dip a pipe cleaner in ink and feather it across the page and then scrape various colors of paint over the top with a credit card.  Great idea!  All my attempts looked like crap.  Sigh.  I put the papers away for a while and recently dug them out to see if I had any ideas.  The I took another look at Lynne Perrella's series based on Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and some ideas took off.  Stencil's and tar gel and t-shirt transfer paper, oh my!  It was great fun and I'm really happy with it.

Journal Pages

"art journal", "art", "collage", "mixed-media", "paint"Ronni HunterComment

Here is another page from my smaller art journal.  One of these days I'll get organized to take pictures as I complete pages, or at least I'll make some effort to post pages in order of completion.  Right now it's just an accomplishment if I get something posted!  I actually completely filled my larger art journal recently - the first one!  I'm not sure if it's complete or not since there are pages I'd still like to do more with, but it will take time to tell.  I do art journaling sporadically as I'm still trying to make up my mind why I'm doing it in the first place.  At the moment I'm trying to use this smaller journal for working ideas for new artwork which makes for rather ugly journal pages but I'm trying to get over that.  Do you ever want to get past the stage of figuring **it out and finally understand your own process?  I do!  But then again, learning is fun too.  Waffle anyone?

Black Flowers

"art quilt", "art", "collage", "mixed-media", "paint", "wall hanging"Ronni Hunter1 Comment
Here is a new mixed media piece that I recently completed.  In the March/April 2011 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine there was an article by Susan Pickering Rothamel and Frankie Fioretti about making restructured paper using Perfect Paper Adhesive.  As a collage artist and art journaler I had about a ton of scraps so I thought this project would be just right for me.  I was totally thrilled with the outcome but could not decide for quite a while what I wanted to do with it.  It was so pretty just the way it was that I considered calling it finished but in the end I decided to try adding some flowers.  I did all this work creating and stitching down some paper flowers and hated the way the looked.  LOL!  So I carefully cut the shapes out, leaving square flower shaped holes.  I like the way the collage paper looked on a background of black brocade so I added some batting to the back, secured the whole shebang with fusible webbing and stitched it down with gold thread.  The flower centers are pieces of black card stock that I cut, folded, and edged with gold Smooch ink.  I mounted the whole thing on a small canvas that I painted with various antique-y colors, and stenciled with punchinella.

In this detail picture you can see some of the black on black brocade and the little gold spiral I stitched in various places.  The Perfect Paper adhesive is really great to work with and I find myself using it in my journals as well.  My pages don't stick together like they do when I use matte medium.  Yea!

Art Quilting Studio magazine

"art quilt", "beading", "embroidery", "mixed-media", "paint", "tyvek"Ronni HunterComment
I had the great privilege to be published in the summer 2011 issue of Art Quilting studio which Stampington and Co. just began re-publishing this year.  When I saw that they had a call for entries I only had one week left to get something off to them so I quickly put everything together and stuffed it in a box.  The only photo's I had were terrible and its taken me forever to get around to taking some better ones.  This piece began when I decided to try out some techniques using crumpled craft paper and painted wonder under.  It just went from there until I found myself embroidering through several layers of paper and fabric.  Whew!  that was a chore.  The mountains at the bottom are made of painted tyvek and paper towels! 

Christmas Diamonds

"Christmas", "art quilt", "fabric-paper", "mixed-media", "paint", "snowflakes"Ronni HunterComment
Well I'm obviously not much of a blogger yet. I've been meaning to post these photos for two months. The holidays start in October in my family due to several birthdays and it just seems like there is never time to take care of tasks like this. Anyway, here is another project that I made this year. I got into a Christmas project frenzy for a while over the summer with the intent of having something to sell, turn into cards, etc. That didn't happen but I still enjoyed making Christmas-y things.  The only thing that makes this a Christmas project is the snowflakes.

fabric paper, bristol paper, tissue paper, acrylic paint, beads, embroidery, ribbon, stamping, glue, punched paper, brads, fabric

painted wonder under, painte paper towels, hand dyed string