Wednesday, March 14, 2018

2017 Andrea Matus deMeng at Shake Rag Alley

Class Sample by Andrea Matus deMeng

Mysteries of Translucence
Andrea Matus deMeng
Shake Rag Alley, Mineral Point, WI
November 10-12, 2017

Shake Rag Alley is a great location in Southwestern Wisconsin to take art workshops.  If lucky, the workshop is held in the Lind Pavilion which is a great facility, well lit, sources of water, refrigerator, bathrooms and plenty of space for the artist to spread out.  

My work spot with table mate Marilyn Werst

Here is the class description for Mysteries of Translucence:  "You can’t help yourself. You walk past that bizarre ghostly window; it’s darkened but you see a small flicker of something…something that lurks inside – but what? Taking a step closer you peer inside for a better look…

Mystery. The seen, the unseen… and everything in-between – that’s what this class is all about. We’re going to be creating something magnificent, magical, and very very mysterious.

The secret is in the multiple layers, but not just any layers: layers of semi-transparent and transparent materials where each layer creates a virtual veil that allows only subtle glimpses of the layers beneath. Every time you look, you’ll see something just a little different.

Created as a Master Class extension of my Collaging the Translucent class (though not a prerequisite), you’ll be guided through the process incorporating brand new methods of using transfers, resins, transparencies and acrylic sheets to create multi-tiered compositions of layered collage. With these innovations we will be able to create effects that mimic the look of printed glass, stained glass, glass etchings and encaustics.

Don your lab coat because in this adventure half of fun comes from playing the mad-scientist. We’ll be focusing on exploring and really pushing the boundaries of these techniques with lots of experimentation and play, then assimilate the best of those experiments into our project. By the end of this class you will have created a multitude of incredible layers. Our final project uses a cradled wood substrate as our base, we are going to combine layer after layer of transparencies, acrylic sheets, photos, textured papers, ephemera, textiles and found objects: both transparent and semi-visible design, focusing on light, reflection, vibrancy and jewel like depth to create a mesmerizing work of art."

Andrea Matus deMeng

Our teacher is Andrea Matus deMeng from Vancouver, British Columbia.  I have taken classes with Andrea before and she is a great collage artist, assemblage maker and jeweler.  Her classes are always well structured and full of techniques that open doors for me as an artist.

This project starts with a blank cradle board and a built acrylic structure to hold our resin mold.

My collage starts

 One of the best things about Shake Rag Alley is that it has become home for a number of artists that I can call my friends.  I cannot understand it though--they are all so busy they never talk to me.

Over the course of the workshop, the class work begins to develop on each artists' table.

My piece came together like this.

...and so we have, Common Problems of Sex
(please see the end of the blog to see how I improved on this when I got home)

 One of the highlights of the workshops with Andrea is when we all gather to see the completed work and get a critique from Andrea.

 This view will give you an idea of what the works look like from the side

Above:  what the class looks like when being critiqued
Below:  what a critique looks like

 When I got home I decided to work some more on my piece.

The title and the theme came from this "found" text while I was creating the collage.

I added a row of nails around the box. 

I love the way this central image works with the multiple layer technique that Andrea taught.

I had to attach the gold wings with Aves clay after I got home because the bolts I so cleverly used never held the wings and they rotated into the wrong positions no matter what I did. 

I did a lot more painting on the box to darken it as a frame...and so we have, Common Problems of Sex.