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October 11 - Charleen Isbell - Borders, Designs, & Painting Faster

Charleen has been painting borders on her paintings for some time. An example is shown at the right. They really perk up a painting, like a mat does for a watercolor. But Charleen is moving on in several ways as she transitions from a "traditional" to a "contemporary" style. Her borders have taken on complex designs, some of which she showed at the September meeting, and one of which is shown at the left. Notice also the freer, more playful style. She will have a lot of new ones to show us this month, and she will share her secrets for painting them faster. That's something most of us would welcome. So come to learn some new tricks. We will meet at the Central Presbyterian Church, 9191 Woodway Drive at 1:30 for refreshments and conversation. The meeting will begin at 2, and the demo soon thereafter. Bring friends and some of your art to share.

October 11 - Charleen Isbell - Expanding Your Borders

Charlene Isbell presented a demonstration featuring her interest in creating interesting borders for her paintings and her love of colorful fabric prints. She is interested in fabric patterns and wanted to incorporate them as background and borders. She often uses her houseplants and vases as focal points. Charlene brought many examples of paintings which featured the techniques that she showed us. Most had brightly-colored borders and backgrounds and simple shapes of objects in the foreground.

She showed us how to create a border by dipping geometrically shaped objects in acrylic paint, and stamping them on the canvas in a design that she has in mind. After the first stamping dries, she can overlay another shape and another color if she chooses. To make a chevron shape, she makes a template of the zig-zag pattern on card stock, cuts it out, and places it on the canvas. She traces around it to create the border. She keeps adding colors and shapes until she is satisfied.

In order to draw on the canvas without erasures, she traces the shape of the subject of the painting onto a plastic sheet with a marker. She tapes the plastic to the reverse side of the canvas, holds it up to the light, and draws the shape on the canvas. An alternative technique involves sketching the object in the desired size on a sheet of paper or card stock and finding the center by folding it in half. She then cuts it out. She moves the template around on her canvas to decide where she wants the object in her painting. When she finds the right position, she traces around it lightly with pencil. It is then ready to paint.

For her demonstration she painted an example of a border by dabbing a circle stamp in acrylic paint and placing it in a regular pattern on the edge of the canvas. She then used a different color to stamp on the wet paint, creating an antique look.  The bright colors and busy patterns were a delight to see. It was obvious that Charlene loves painting in this way, and we loved seeing her do it! Many thanks to Charleen. Thanks also to those who brought refreshments and art for Show and Tell, some of which are shown below.

Show and Tell


Nancy Cagle             Karen Groman               Tim Lowe            Christine Niekamp           Kit Travis 



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