The Making of My Digital Collages

Recently, a few of my followers have asked me, “What is a digital collage?” In today’s blog post, I am going to show you how I create digital collages by walking you through a step-by-step making of two of my most recent pieces, “The Sounds of the Trumpet” and “I Hear a Drum”.

As you may know, on the first of the year, I re-committed to creating art each and every day. I love working in my studio best, but sometimes life (and weather!) get in the way and I need alternatives. A robust collection of painting supplies keep me painting and exploring my mediums and style in my home. However, at the beginning of the year I decided to add a new medium to my repertoire and made the decision to learn a digital program for artists called, Procreate.

Procreate is an iPad app made for professional creatives for sketching, drawing, and painting. It utilizes the Apple Pencil for detailed work and to use with its impressive brush library of more than 130 brushes! Procreate allows me to mix and match brushes, manipulate and layer my illustrations, and add unlimited background, texture and detail layers. The layering system gives me complete control over each and every element of my digital collages as you can see in this selection of layers from the piece, “The Sounds of the Trumpet”.

Procreate also allows me to create very large, high-resolution collages. This means that any print or product reproductions I offer enjoy the same vibrant and crisp qualities as my original collage.

It took me a few weeks and lots of trial and error to begin developing my style and palette within the app and I am so glad I persevered! I love how my musical series is developing through this new medium and I have enjoyed stretching myself as an artist too. Adding Procreate to my artist toolbox has also given me the opportunity to bring my art on the go with me when I can’t be in the studio or at home. With a new grandbaby in New York, I know this tool will serve me well!!

Check out this cool time-lapse video of my piece, “I Hear a Drum” and enjoy!

Watch this space for my next blog post. I plan to get more in depth to show how brushes are used and how you can create your own digital collages!

And the featured artist today is…Lorraine Glessner

Happy spring, my friends! If you can call this “spring.” 

“Philly from my window” First day of spring.

It seems more like Christmas time these last few weeks. This is our 4th Nor-easter in Philly this March. 

I’m not giving up though, Spring will be here any day now, right?

Every few blog posts I have been featuring an artist who inspires, motivates, and guides me. The last two were Argentinian artists.

Today I am excited to tell you about my friend, artist Lorraine Glessner.  

Meadow of the Low Sage, encaustic, collage, pyrography on wood, 36x48x1.5

I met Lorraine or Lori, as I call her, about 9 years ago when I became curious about and interested in learning more about encaustic painting.  I was looking for an artist to teach me encaustic techniques and, after much searching, I found Lori.  I took a private 2 day workshop with her back then; learned from her and fell in love with bees wax and everything related to encaustic painting! Since then, we have become very good friends and I have taken many more group classes with her throughout the years. She has taught me so much about painting with encaustic and I absolutely love her work! That is why I wanted to share it with you.

Participants Within the vast Imagination, encaustic, collage, pyrography on wood, 48x60x1.5

What I love about Lori’s paintings is well said by Art Historian, Andrea Kirsh, “Lorraine Glessner’s paintings are composed of multiple layers of images, the paintings resolving into subtly-flickering worlds of extremely seductive richness. Some of them resemble images seen through a microscope; others hint at the world seen from far above.”

That Strange Space, encaustic, collage, pyrography on wood, 48x48x1.5

I hope you have enjoyed this small taste of Lori’s work. I encourage you to visit her website to explore her and her art more fully, you won’t regret it! Check out her blog as well. I never miss her posts, they are always insightful and thought provoking. You can also read an older blog post of mine where I interview Lori.

I am also delighted to announce that I will be exhibiting my work along side Lori’s and 2 other artists at her studio for the Montgomery County Studio Tours on June 9th and 10th. “Montgomery County Studio Tour’s mission is to promote regional artists and contribute to the economic and cultural vitality of the area by presenting original artwork.”

Why Do I Use Bright Colors?

Hi everybody,

Happy Friday! A wet one here in Philly.

Have you ever wondered why I choose the colors I do? 

I love bright and vivid colors! I get energized by my favorite colors… turquoise, oranges, reds. The color of the ocean when I travel, that transparent deep bluish green. The colors of the doors and windowsills in Santa Fe. The colors of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, a place where I have been going to for the last 20 years.

I have tried many times to paint with a different color palette but I always end up returning to my usual colors.

I even created an entire series in black and white but had to add a little bit of “my colors” to each painting.

Which had me reflecting a lot about my choice of a bright, bold, vivid palette when I paint… I believe that it has a lot to do with my upbringing and where I come from. As I have mentioned in past posts and in my bio, I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a very colorful city in every aspect. I also come from a very vibrant, energetic family just as colorful as my hometown.

I have so many colorful feelings about my childhood memories in Buenos Aires. One example is the color of the sky. It is deep blue. I remember clear blue days with not a cloud in the sky. It’s a different kind of blue than the sky here in Philly.  I’m not sure why, but I still see it every time I go for a visit. You can also see every color possible when you go to their markets. Everything is fresh, never frozen and it comes through in their colors.

I think you can see what I mean by looking at my most recent encaustic monotypes, Poppy Field and Poppy Garden.

Poppy Field – Encaustic Monotype on paper, 24 x 36.
details of “Poppy Garden”

At some point I will have to challenge myself to paint a series in more subtle colors. Think I can do it? It will definitely take me out of my comfort zone.

What are your favorite colors? 

Have a great weekend!

love,

Dora

Dora Ficher Art
Sol Design Studios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Benito Quinquela Martín – His Impact on La Boca and Me!

My painting called “Tango” of La Boca.

As an artist, I often find my inspiration from the intricate connections between colors and patterns. I notice these aspects in the world around me; in architecture, the variety within landscapes, and the tones and quality of light. Too, I see a little piece of my native Argentina in the elements of my work. When I reflect on my development as an artist, I can clearly see how others have also left an indelible mark on me and contributed to my evolution over time. Over the next few months, I plan to highlight other artists who have inspired me or helped mold me. I hope you will enjoy learning about these wonderful artists.

To start, I will begin with an artist who made an impression on me way back when I was in art school in Buenos Aires. Benito Quinquela Martín, “a man who is a synonym for the neighborhood of La Boca” is known for his colorful depictions of ports, ships, and port life in his beloved neighborhood.

www.welcomeargentina.com/personas-y-personajes/benito-quinquela-martin/benito-quinquela-martin-c.jpg

Benito Quinquela Martín was so devoted to his neighborhood that, in the 30’s, he used the success he acquired there to begin giving back. In 1933, he donated land for a public school and later money to build a theatre – the Teatro de la Ribera – “a kindergarten and a breast milk center and, finally, a Pediatric Dentistry Hospital.” In the 50’s when La Boca began to decline, Martín infused his neighborhood with his artistic color and “created an outdoor art exhibition space devoted to artists and craftsmen. He recreated an old street filled with colorful conventillos on a stretch of a disused railway line. [T]his path was named Caminito after a popular tango written by Juan de Dios Filiberto.”

www.welcomeargentina.com/personas-y-personajes/benito-quinquela-martin/benito-quinquela-martin-d.jpg

My friends and I used to go to La Boca and sit in the street or in a park to take it all in and paint. We were in awe of the color!

Benito Quinquela Martín’s presence is still visible throughout the neighborhood of La Boca today – a vibrant place full of energy, music and street performances. And Martín’s bold palette surely impacted me!

La Caminito, La Boca © ilkerender/ Flickr

 

From New Mexico to Colorado

From New Mexico to Colorado

What an adventure we are having! This past week we have traveled from New Mexico to Colorado delighting in wonderful eateries, incredible sites (and sights), and cozy inns.

In Taos, New Mexico, we enjoyed a lovely meal in the cutest restaurant, The Love Apple.

“Once known as the Placitas Chapel, This little Catholic Church was built around int 1800’s and was in operation for 100 years,” but according to the hostess, “well, since this is New Mexico, you never know…”

We were also fortunate to visit the incredible Taos Pueblo, an ancient pueblo belonging to a Tiwa-speaking Native American tribe of Puebloan people and the only living Native American community designated as both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The adobe structures and land were breathtaking and truly inspiring.

After visiting Georgia O’Keeffe’s house and Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, NM, an absolutely awe inspiring experience, we checked into the warm and comfortable Abiquiu Inn where we enjoyed a delicious meal and even had beer brewed by the monks.

After leaving New Mexico, we drove to Manitou Springs, Colorado where we had a wonderful dinner and stay at The Cliff House at Pikes Peak – such a stunning place and nice entertainment by a guitarist!

From Manitou Springs we set off for Denver and stayed at the iconic and beautiful The ART Hotel. It was so clean and minimalist and there is artwork everywhere throughout the hotel! Simply gorgeous!!

From Denver we headed to Golden, Colorado where I am taking part in Alyson Stanfield’s Art Biz Breakthrough 2017. I am excited to be here and for the opportunity to take part in this conference and I look forward to telling you more about it next week.

This trip has been amazing so far, and I can’t wait to get back to my studio and start painting. I took so much in that I’m thinking of doing a southwest series. We have been and seen so many places since we landed in Albuquerque… totally inspiring!!!

From Philly to New Mexico

From Philly to New Mexico

It’s been an amazing 10 days of travel, learning, beauty, and food! Last Tuesday Heidi and I flew into Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was excited and eager to participate in Paula Roland’s Intermediate Workshop on Encaustic Monotypes. The workshop was “designed to help you… refine skills; advance your techniques; find your voice, and connect style and content of monotypes with your studio practice.”

 

Paula is an incredible artist and teacher and it’s an honor to learn from her and work alongside so many engaged in developing their work. You can read more about Paula in this Vasari21 article by Ann Landi

I also had lots of time to explore Santa Fe before and after Paula’s workshop. Santa Fe is an incredible city full of vibrant color and amazing food! We started our trip off right celebrating Heidi’s birthday at Sazón, a fabulous authentic Mexican restaurant.

Our fave breakfast spot during our stay in Santa Fe was Café Pasqual’s, which beckoned us with an assortment of delicious breakfast options 3 mornings in a row including gluten free French toast! It’s a must if you are visiting.

On Monday, we left Santa Fe and drove to Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa and what an amazing place it was.

Next stop, over the breathtaking (literally) Rio Grande Gorge and on to Taos, New Mexico! 

Stay tuned next week for our visit to Abiquiu and then on to Denver and Golden, CO to Alyson Stanfield’s Breakthrough Conference.