* Carmen Beecher * Cindy Michaud * Carol Schiff * Denette Schweikert * Donna Vines * Mary Warnick * Kathy Garvey *Fay Picardi * Jean Thomas

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

She Sells Sea Shells

Sometimes a piece is just plain fun to execute....and "She Sells Sea Shells" was like eating peanuts: I had a hard time stopping!  This is actually two pieces on seperate cradled wood panels...they are now attached with leather ties and hang nicely as one piece.  The two could hang individually but again, making them work together was part of the fun.  A lot of time went into surface prep and after several coats of gesso this mixed media piece received water color, acrylic and graphite.  While I had a vague idea for the overall look when I started it, working on it was like doing a crossword puzzle...one completed shell would impact the layout of the next one and suddenly a splash of color seemed better suited for something else than what I had originally planned.  So it evolved and unfolded and changed and morphed which made it anything but boring to work on.
This is the top panel immediately below.  Once I decided it was finished I had to seal the graphite with fixative and then begin the process of varnishing the entire piece to protect it.  I chose a satin finish as sometimes the shine on a piece makes it look a little unreal to me.

Below it is the second panel, a close up, altho in reality the two panels are not the same size.  Once again I am thrilled to give the credit for teaching me this technique to Fran Hardy....only my work does not do hers justice! 
I'm already preparing some panels for another collection....I have a great assortment of mushroom photos I took while hiking this month.  So I suppose that with apologies to Fran I will find a way to continue to "tweak" this process and make it a bit more "Michaud" than "Hardy."

Cindy Michaud

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wine Time

I don't usually like the demos I do for my students, but this was an exception.  It was a study in using
analgalous colors, with a set up of fresh green grapes, and the bottle and glass.  I actually framed it and have it hanging in our dinette.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


When it is this hot for so long you start daydreaming about cooler places.  I tend to daydream about the mountains or Maine.  I love Maine because it is not one State but many with many states of mind.
This is my friend's house which is in a small town about an hour from Bangor. It isn't quite isolated but pretty close by modern standards. She has a river behind her house that you can swim in ( yes she has a rope on a tree limb), canoe or tube on without seeing anyone for quite awhile.  That is the love part. The hate part is that play season in Maine is so fleeting.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Beach Treasures

I've been painting a series I call Beach Treasures, on metallic gold. They are all things I find on our beach here. Since our community is very good about beach cleanup, I have to be quick. What I have done so far is from nature, but I don't mind a shoe or a little shovel either. This Portuguese Man O' War was just a stroke of luck. Most people would beg to differ, but since I haven't ever stepped on one of the painful stinging tentacles, I can afford to appreciate its beauty.         - Carmen                                            BUY

Friday, August 13, 2010

Finding Myself

Look carefully: do you see me hiding in those panels to the left?  Hmmm, every artist it seems is on a search for self...what technique is truely "them." I don't even know how one discovers that...but I think I might be hiding in the two pieces here.  Why?  Because left to my own devices this is the piece I woke up to and went to bed with for the last several weeks.  I planned it just like I plan my parties: lots of good color, a specific traffic flow, little touches of surprise here and there and attention to detail.  The wild movement of color and the specific detail...opposites that make a Gemini happy as a clam...or a fern.
Fran Hardy is to be thanked for most of the layering technique.  The fact that it is all on wood panel is another suggestion of hers...but one that makes me happy as I love the feel of wood...both in my hands and under the brush, and beneath the pencil.  I'm working on other pieces and techniques and styles but, truth be told, i am jonesing to buy more panels and do something in orange with details (mushrooms maybe?) and then some figures and, and, and.......not fine, but fun and if I can find some buyers that it also speaks to then, who knows....maybe as old as I am I did find something of me....
Cindy Michaud

Saturday, August 7, 2010

When it's hot, hot, hot

It seems like Florida is not the only place that is hot, hot, hot this summer. Not only is the U.S. steaming but I saw photos of people in Moscow wearing masks because of the heat and fires around the city. It is strange out there.
In order to get my lethargic self going I decided to paint something cool and refreshing. Wella, the much maligned but always yummy watermelon.  I painted this with my palette knife not only to get more practice but so I could paint faster and eat up the unsuspecting subject.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Still Testing

Oh Oh, I see I better get moving.  My poor cheesecake has been painted, repainted and reknifed several times and is sadly looking like a blueberry jellyfish right now.  I am still in the planning, playing experimental stages of trying to find a good combination of techniques using my brushes and a knife and mixing and expanding my colors. I think I may be overthinking. 
Not thinking at all, I did redo my cupcakes and had great fun with those.  I think it was easy to use the palette knife because "frosting" the cupcake was so much like really frosting a cupcake.
Here is a before

And here is an after


I have been out of town and missed the incredible blueberry cheesecake.  To make myself  feel better I decided to post my own little sweet.  Although I cannot take credit for baking it (thank you , Publix) I can definately take credit for EATING it!  Purchase here.