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paper collageNot that I’m ever short on ideas or inspiration, but sometimes it’s fun to experiment with something off your beaten path and see what happens. I make art with my computer a lot, painting in Photoshop with my Wacom electronic pen and pad. Sometimes I use it to make free hand designs, and sometimes to paint over my own scanned drawings, collages and photographs.

Recently an artist friend was visiting me in Boston. She has made a lot of digital images herself in recent years, but the two of us were up for some hands-on art making. We went to my studio together, and while she got engrossed in painting in her sketchbook, I puttered around with some new rubber alphabet stamps and an inkpad. I tried to get through imprinting the entire alphabet on paper without the ink around the letter touching the paper. No such luck!

Next I drew several designs with colored pencils, but the truth is I was itching to get on my computer – I love drawing and painting with my electronic pen. But I made myself do something other then get on my Mac.

I cut some shapes out of black paper. Some were organic shapes and others were straight lines. Then I laid them on a white background and kept moving them around. I loved the images I got from them. They reminded me of architecture, of books, and of seeds. I didn’t glue the pieces of black paper down. Instead, I took photographs of each image before moving the pieces of paper around to make a new design. And now, FINALLY, I have gotten onto Photoshop and created a little montage (see above) of the images! Really, how could I resist?

Any artists out there reading this? Do you ever stray from your usual artistic practice or medium, just to see things a little differently? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

 

 

Images above property of Paula Ogier.

 

 

Poster Art

American Holiday travel poster art

I’m attracted to poster art with striking graphics and motifs.

I recently designed a “holiday” poster series as a thematic modern take on vintage travel posters. I like to imagine them inspiring someone to go on, or to remember, such adventures as a classic cross-country American road trip, a romantic honeymoon in Paris, days spent strolling through aromatic spice markets of Morocco, or maybe a sun-baked beach stay in Cozumel.

I see the butterflies – the thread that ties all the designs in the series together – as symbolic of not just the liberation found in flight and travel, but also of the transformative power of travel experiences.

See more of my poster art.

 

 

 

 

Above images: “American Holiday” (detail) and “American Holiday,” (poster) Copyright © 2014 Paula Ogier.

Paula Ogier artist studio 450 Harrison

A creative corner of my studio at 450 Harrison Avenue in Boston’s SoWa arts district

I moved in to Studio 203 at 450 Harrison Avenue very recently – on May 1 – so I am just starting my second month here. My furnishings are still a little bare bones but I’ve moved a lot of my supplies and furniture in and actually managed to do a little work here already. I’m still figuring out how to best use the space, so it may see some changes as my work habits take shape here.

I’m really pleased to now be included in the SoWa Artists Guild’s directory (top left on their page).

The SOWA Artists Guild at 450 Harrison Avenue is a non-profit association of professional studio artists. From their website: “The Guild’s purpose is to promote the diversity and individuality of the artists working in this flagship space, the center of the SOWA Art District.”

There are about 70 artist studios in this building, with mediums that include drawing, fiber arts, mixed media, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, installation and jewelry.

The first Friday of every month, from 5-9 pm, 450 Harrison Avenue artists open their studio doors to the public. Unfortunately, I can’t be here on Friday nights (my studio mate, jewelry maker Barbara Goldberg is likely to have the studio open, however), but I’m usually here 1-5 pm on Sundays. You can come to this art + design district for SoWa Sundays and make a whole day of visiting the outdoor art and craftspersons’ tents, the farmers’ market, vintage market, food trucks, and of course the artist studios inside 450 Harrison Avenue. And not only does our building have artists – it has bathrooms!  These Sunday events run from May-October, they are free and parking is available.

Learn more about the SoWa Artists Guild.

Directions to 450 Harrison Avenue in Boston’s South End.

 

Mixed Media art by Paula Ogier

“Back Bay Bossa Nova,” Copyright © 2014 Paula Ogier

One of my newer pieces, Back Bay Bossa Nova, involved the use of 23 different layers. I painted this using an electronic pen and pad in conjunction with Photoshop, starting with a photograph I took in Boston’s Back Bay as my template for the buildings. I introduced some of my hand-drawn pattern designs, scaling and skewing them to fit the exteriors of the buildings. The background sky evolved from finger-paintings I made on my Samsung tablet. I added those paintings as back layers.

I’m self-taught at digital drawing/painting and in using Photoshop as an art medium. I have experimented for over a dozen years with digital painting, discovering many new possibilities for creativity over time. I often begin with my own photos or my cut paper collages, and then build upon them in layers with my Wacom brand Intuos digital pen and pad. When I first started playing around in this medium, I never really imagined all I might one day do with it. I use a somewhat older version of Photoshop (CS3), which gives me plenty of tools and potential for expressing my imagination.

In short, this is how I like to imagine my beautiful city of Boston. Not that it isn’t beautiful as is, but I have my own way of seeing it, which I hope reflects my mood and passion for this unusual American city I have called home for 21 years.

450 Harrison Avenue Paula Ogier in studio 203May 1 brings a new phase for Yours Truly.  I’ll finally have an artist studio at 450 Harrison Avenue in Boston’s South End. I’ve long fantasized about being there one day, and now here it is. My studio mate is jewelry maker Barbara Goldberg. The building is just down the street from my home and provides an opportunity to further grow my both my art and my art business.

I’m also pleased to be joining the SOWA Artists Guild. I look forward to having a dedicated art studio and to being part of the 450 Harrison community of artists.

A little bit about the SOWA Artists Guild from their website:
“The SOWA artist district of Boston has developed into a major artist community with hundreds of artists’ studios and dozens of galleries. At the center of SOWA, 450 Harrison Avenue is home to 15 galleries and over 70 artist studios. The members of the SOWA Artist Guild are an eclectic group – from different parts of the world, working in different mediums, each with a unique approach to creative expression. What they share is dedication to their work and a serious pursuit of artistic quality.”

Come visit me in Studio 203!

Cheers,
Paula

For a lovely interplay of words, language and art, check out this video about Miami-based artist Jose Parla’s “Nature of Language” wall mural for the Hunt Library in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Especially forspring my fellow artists and aspiring artists: There is a wonderful film called “Who Does She Think She Is?” that came out several years ago, documenting the journeys of various female artists who are also moms. It highlights the difficult but worthwhile choices women who are moms sometimes have to make to practice their art. Often it is done in the face of criticism, logistical challenge, and societal and family expectations. The film is beautifully done. I’m not a mom, but I loved the film and the really interesting women who are in it. I recommend it if you get a chance to see it.

I also just saw that Who Does She Think She Is? has a Facebook page with all sorts of inspiring and motivating ideas and information.

Here’s the film’s website.

 

 

“Botanica” Copyright © Paula Ogier 2014.

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