Saturday, March 9, 2013

Judy Morris Workshop - Day 3

On Day 3 Judy Morris showed us how she makes/uses stencils in her work. A lot of her work has very subtle words and stencil patterns in different areas...and some of the patterns are bold and it works. Of course you can buy stencils off the internet, in AC Moore, Michaels, etc. but sometimes you need or want something different. Judy says she often takes photos of patterns in real life and enlarges/reduces them. She has taken photos of oriental rug patterns, copied leaf shapes on a copy machine, or used patterns that are public domain. She has wonderful handwriting and has taught calligraphy, but you can find a font or lettering on the internet that works with your image and enlarge it on a copy machine to the size you need. That is what I did with the lettering on the Paris painting.

Here is my Paris painting at the next stage. I decided to use cerulean, burnt umber, sepia, and yellow ochre as my color chord. For the sky I turned the paper upside-down and did a wash of cerulean. I already had the script across the sky and I went over the lettering with another layer of cerulean so the difference between the sky color and the words was just slight. I also painted parts of the building with yellow ochre, burnt umber, and cerulean and added kosher salt.

If you are using a pattern in an area it is important to protect the surrounding area with some type of protective masking, either using liquid masking fluid, frisket sheets or clear contact, or clear packing tape. The last two then involve carefully using an x-acto knife to cut away what you don't want without cutting the paper. I must admit I was not good at doing that! I tried the clear contact but was afraid to cut deep enough and ruin the paper. It takes practice to use the correct pressure. I did much better using regular tape torn in small pieces or painting around the area really carefully.

Judy also uses stencils to wipe our patterns. I will show you tomorrow how I sued that on my Chinese lantern painting. That one went through a transformation before it was finished.

For a fun project Judy had stenciled the word beach onto the top of a piece of watercolor paper with gold gesso. (I wish I had taken a photo of the paper for you to see.) Since we were at the beach she wanted us each to do a beach scene (real or imaginary) with the word as part of our work.
She did hers in her sketchbook and planned to show us the next day how she would do a plein air piece when she travels.


  1. Such an interesting use of techniques...sounds like a fun workshop, Joan.

  2. Thanks Maggie, Polly, and Lorraine.

  3. I would be terrified to cut a stencil on my painting. So I guess no writing on paintings for me. But I'm really enjoying your summaries of work workshop days.