I try to be careful about every decision concerning a piece of art. From the original photo choice to the finishing touches.
This photo was taken by my youngest daughter here in Waco of the decommissioned railroad bridge. It has been donated to the city and is in the process of becoming a pedestrian walkway.
In the process of burning I had a choice to recreate the ripples on the water according to the photo, but I chose instead to go with the grain lines of the wood. I also had the choice of leaving out some of the bare trees, but I think they go well with the dark girders of the bridge.
Now I’m down to the framing. Usually I go with the dark browns to almost black in a frame. But on this one I have this wonderful old deep frame that is very light and it just sorta speaks to me. So I’m trying it on temporarily and taking a poll among my friends on Face Book.
Wood Burning by Marsha, Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, burned on Ash wood
This is my largest, most detailed piece to date, I am so pleased to present ‘Notre Dame de Paris” based on an illustration from the 1800’s. The Great Lady of Paris has been tragically damaged by fire, but we can still remember her the way she was and this piece does that, with many people going about their daily lives in her shadow from the river side view. We see people in the foreground fishing, horses waiting for their loads to be off loaded from steam boats, a lady with her parasol crosses the bridge and men of leisure watch the commotion from the bridge. By the time of this illustration Notre Dame had been completed for some 200 hundred years and gracefully towers over the city of Paris and watches it grow like an indulgent mother.
The original is 44″ x 36″ burned on Ash wood on display at Cultivate 7twelve in Waco, and Prints are available.
Bass Performance Hall Angel, Pyrography on leather by Wood Burning by Marsha
It goes without saying that leather burns differently than wood or paper. I fell in love with it while working on this piece. As a child my father owned three horses and we were allowed to ride as often as he was willing to saddle it for us. One of my all time favorite sounds is the creak of that leather saddle. While working on this very large piece it would creak under my hands and bring back those old memories.
In the background is the lines on the building around this beautiful Angel. I wanted to capture the whole building but for it not to overpower her in any way. So the lines are scratched into the surface with the ball point of a pen without ink. I’ve always used a micro fine ball point pen to trace my images and I found that using the pen after the ink ran out was even better. I was afraid that these light lines would get lost as the leather darkened with treatment, then I found that going over them a second time brought them back. They may be hard to see in the photo, they are easier to see in person.
The gold on her trumpet is a combination of metallic gold paint and gold Sharpie marker. The point of the marker was too big for the fine line detail so I found a tiny brush and dabbed it on the point of the marker then used it to paint the lines I wanted.
So the learning curve was incredibly steep for this piece, but I’m positive the lessons learned will serve me well on many future pieces. I see many more leather pieces to come.
Over all size it 33″ x 20″, the leather is supported by a wood frame and hangs with gallery wire on the back.
14″ x 11″ prints now available on this whole set or individually, on Epson Hot Press Natural paper. $73 each, buy 3 get the 4th half off.
This series celebrates City pride and the historic use of Typography. The Sanborn map company has proudly served cities large and small by accurately mapping every house and street. They continue to offer their services for very modern reasons. These Title Pages were published 1896 – 1926 and are all in the public domain. I chose them for their artistic appeal. The originals will be on display in Cultivate 7twelve in Waco.
A very nice lady convinced me to have prints made at this stage of work on my Notre Dame de Paris piece. These will be a strictly limited edition signed series.
The printed image is 14″ x 17″ with 1 1/2 white border all around to allow for matting and framing.
All prints are on Epson’s Hot Press Natural. Its a smooth matte surface paper that will hold fine detail well. It has a slightly warm (natural) white base with no optical brighteners. Produced by Bob Smith of Accurate Image in Waco
The original is 3’3″ x 3’9″ and will be for sale also when finished.
Quoting from their website:
At Envision Arts, we strive to provide avenues to showcase and share creative artworks of many mediums and art style. Should you choose any opportunity to collaborate with Envision, THE ARTIST is the guest of honor! Attention to detail, display and distinction is of utmost importance.
Thank you for featuring me and my art!!!
Well, not really. I just haven’t announced it on social media yet. I have big news and it will take a long time to come about, but I wanted to share it with my most loyal fans so it will only be announced here on the blog until I have more concrete evidence.
Dan Beard, lecturer at Baylor, is in the process of getting his Master’s degree in Film making. He has decided that my art and life are interesting enough to produce a 20 minute documentary….. I know, I’m shocked too. So if you see a camera crew following me around, that’s what is happening. We won’t even be doing major filming until December. If you know Dan, you might want to try to talk some sense into him.
A friend of mine had this old family photo and asked me to reproduce it on wood for her Mother. I started on the background with my trusty Walnut Hollow versa tool. It made quick work of the solid dark background using the calligraphy tip on its side. The edge of the calligraphy tip is great for crisp clean edges and some shading as well.
For the hair and face I used to wire tip Tekchic pyrography machine, I’m still learning how to control the burn on this machine. It has a digital readout of the voltage and the control dial lets me determine an exact number which is fantastic. It allows me to turn down the heat and go as slow as I’d like to build up layers, or turn the voltage up a fraction and burn a shade darker.
Here is the final piece and the original photo for comparison.