Point of View Challenge 2017 – Evening in Aviero

Posted by on Apr 28, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Point of View Challenge 2017 – Evening in Aviero

Point of View Challenge 2017 – Evening in Aviero

I joined the Saanich Peninsula Arts & Crafts Society (SPAC) in the New Year, just squeaking through the deadline to become a member and be able to take part in the annual Members’ Spring Show.  As a lead up to the big show, SPAC chooses a photograph to be used as inspiration for this year’s ‘Point of View’ (PoV) challenge.  As stated in the Art Chat newsletter, “You are encouraged to use this photo as inspiration to make wonderful art. Paint, draw, sculpt, collage, sew, glue; on paper, fabric, canvas, wood, plastic; in any interpretation. We look forward to seeing innovative, exciting, maybe even humorous work!”

The photo for this year’s challenge was provided by Barbara Watson of the Sidney Shutterbugs camera club and she titled her image “Evening in Aveiro.”  Aviero is a seaside town in Portugal, known as the Venice of Portugal.  The works produced for the challenge had to be completed by the April meeting to be hung at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney.

The original photo was taken by Barbara Watson of the Sidney Shutterbugs camera club, and she titled her image “Evening in Aveiro”.

I loved the photo and thought I would have no issues with making something interesting with it – it had a great variety of colours and shapes in it.  However, my first attempt failed miserably (an abstract collage) and the boats became the bane of my artistic existence for a couple of weeks and until I cut up the collage into small pieces and set it aside to jump start some other collage.

So I put the PoV challenge out of my head until I became part of the hanging committee.  Suddenly now I was going to be working hard to hang everyone else’s creations with nothing of my own to contribute.  Nothing like peer pressure for motivation – I quickly opened up my laptop and starting playing with the image in Powerpoint (I’m used to using Powerpoint for work, so it’s my default photo editor program for ease of use).  I cropped the landscape image to portrait (knowing that most people would choose to use the landscape orientation).  Next I played with the Colour Saturation, cranking it up to 400% which really enhanced the colours.  Lastly, I played with the Artistic Effects in Powerpoint, choosing the ‘watercolour sponge’ effect.  Finally, I had something to inspire me.

Using Powerpoint, the photo was cropped to a portrait orientation, the colour saturation was raised to 400%, and the artistic effect of ‘watercolor sponge’ was applied to the image.

I primed an 18 x 24 cradled wood panel with white gesso and laid down a few coats of clear encaustic medium.  Next I collaged tissue papers that had been ‘stained’ with diluted fluid acrylics mixed with GAC 100 and water (this makes beautiful, bright transparent tissue paper with some strength to it).  I used hot clear encaustic medium to collage down the papers and fused them with my embossing heat gun.  Once the wax was cool, I sketched the house and boat outlines with oil pastels, and fused them (they went slightly wobbly when heated, but I liked the effect).  Lastly, wearing latex gloves, I dipped my finger in different colours of Pan Pastels and rubbed them into the waxy surface to shade in the houses, boats and the edge of the panel.  This gave a lovely old, almost medieval look to the artwork.  I decided to call it ‘Colourful Reflections.’

“Colourful Reflections” by Alexandra Reid – mixed-media artwork (encaustic medium, acrylic-stained tissue papers, oil pastels and Pan pastels on a wood panel).

And the most amazing thing of all – it all came together in two days!  I hadn’t made a realistic picture in many years, so I was very happy to see this one actually did resemble the original photograph.  Now it was time to frame it, wire it and hang it!

I met the hanging crew at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney in the morning – including myself, Amy Nohales-Kezes, Marilynne Miles Gray, Arli Law and Heather Maciak.  There were a lot of PoV submissions, and I suggested that we lay them out on the floor in front of the display case so we could mix and match sizes, shapes and colours of the artworks before we went to the trouble of hanging them.  Plus we had 3D submissions as well, which have to go at the front of the display on plinths.  This was my first hanging experience (aside from my own art booth), and it was a bit chaotic at first (battling with hooks, fishing line and a narrow space to manoeuvre in).

Alexandra Reid and Heather Maciak hanging the window display for the Point of View 2017 challenge at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney.

It took us about three hours (somehow we all thought it would only take an hour and we’d break for our other meeting and go for coffee – ha, ha silly us!) to get everything sorted, organized and hung.  It was a great team effort and the final display looks amazing.  Everyone had such different mediums and interpretations of the same photograph, and yet you could still see the ‘family resemblance’ between them.  The Point of View challenge will be on display at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney for the months of April and May.

Close-up of SPAC Point of View challenge for 2017 at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney – left side

Close-up of SPAC Point of View challenge for 2017 at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney – centre.

Close-up of SPAC Point of View challenge for 2017 at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney – right side. Inspiration photo is on the easel on far right.

Completed display showing the SPAC Point of View challenge for 2017 at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney.