Blue Heron by Linda Starr
Above is my favorite of the tiles I completed in the workshop I took with Diana Fayt a while ago. It's not unusual I chose to depict a Blue Heron on one of the tiles. They fly overhead quite often and every year they nest in my neighbors tree and I get to observe the young birds growing and finally flying from the nest. I see the parents flying to and fro bringing food to their young and think how hard they work just to stay alive and feed their family. I guess we're all in a struggle for survival.
Dragonfly by Linda Starr
As I go about my daily chores each day I've become much more observant of my surroundings. I feel lucky because I find the greatest joy in seeing even the smallest creatures such as a Dragonfly. I was thinking about the various animals, birds, and insects which manifest themselves to me and have been wondering about their significance. I'll have to give this more thought; for now I'll be content to know that nature has a strong influence in my art.
Orange Slice by Linda Starr
As I was reviewing the tiles I was thinking about choices and how I came to decide what to depict on the tiles and even what colors to choose. Of course Orange Slice had to be orange, but maybe not. I could have used a different color, but would it be recognizable as an orange then? Diana had quite a wide color range for us to choose from but for most of these I chose to use the same colors. I also noticed I used both yellow and orange and those aren't colors I normally would choose. I was trying to achieve a stark contrast, particularly in Yellow Tree.
Pinwheel by Linda Starr
You may not be able to see in the photograph, but the Pinwheel in the tile is raised above the rest of the tile. I used the shellac technique to wash away the clay surrounding the pinwheel. I painted on the shellac and when it dried I took a sponge and gently wiped the clay removing a little at a time till I got the effect I wanted.
Yellow Tree by Linda Starr
Generally I like things very orderly with crisp lines, but Diana encouraged us to let the underglazes flow beyond the lines, and to overlap the illustrations we used. I was trying to obtain a layered look. It's not that easy to achieve random layers. I think the Balance tile was the most successful for random layers. In the Blue Heron tile I was trying to achieve a watercolor painting look with the background color. This is a technique I want to use more because I like that look a lot. It reminds me of the surfaces Judy Shreve is achieving on her new work.
Balance by Linda Starr
I plan on making more tiles and practicing these techniques and others I'd like to try. Knowing when to stop adding embellishments to the tiles is something I want to improve upon. A certain amount of negative space or just a muted background color on the tile is more effective than filling up the whole tile with images. I'd also like my tiles to be more asymmetrical and I'd like to explore using different color combinations. The more I learn, the more I realize the more I need (and like) to learn. Thanks for a great workshop, Diana.