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!

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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Experimenting With Encaustic Monotypes

I am back in my studio and full of ideas and inspiration from my southwest trip and workshop with Paula Roland, a pioneer of the encaustic monotype!!

The encaustic monotype is made by laying paper on melted wax. This process is achieved by using a heated palette – a hotbox – and results in a one-of-a-kind painting. The exciting thing about it is that I can lay stencils on the hotbox, make a collage, and I have infinite other possibilities of things to do before the finished painting. 

Since my return, I have begun experimenting using two hotboxes together.

It’s fun to have 2 hotboxes together – so much bigger! 

I am loving being back in my studio, creating and exploring my process.

Warmly, Dora

From Denver to Golden, Colorado

From Denver to Golden, Colorado

Before leaving Denver we got together with one of our students from PMFS! Jessie Beer, who lives in Denver and works in Boulder, was also a counselor at our camp for several years until she moved 5 years ago. It was GREAT to see you Jessie!

From Denver we headed to Golden, Colorado for Alyson Stanfield’s Art Biz Breakthrough 2017.  Alyson B. Stanfield has been my Art Biz Coach for many years! Her online programs have been invaluable to me as I work toward becoming an “artist entrepreneur.”

I was eager to attend Alyson’s yearly Artist Breakthrough conference. This was my third time in attendance and this year was as inspirational and informative as I had hoped. It is always an incredible opportunity to be surrounded by so many artists and Alyson and her team are a dependable source of information, strategy, and motivation! They cover so many aspects of how to be an “artist entrepreneur,” and a businessperson, not only a self-employed artist.

We didn’t only learn, at Breakthrough, we also did a lot of dancing!!! We had fun, hung out with artists from all over the USA and beyond, like Mexico, Canada, and Malaysia. I even met several artists from other Latin American countries who live here in the USA like me!

I ended my week feeling inspired and couldn’t wait to get home to begin incorporating everything I have soaked up during this incredible trip into my art business. 

Thank you for traveling along with Heidi and me. We’ve enjoyed sharing our trip with you!

Dora

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.