Nurture Your Nature: Tina’s Working Table & The Collective

Dear Friends,

Laura and I make the commitment to talk on the phone weekly.  We catch up on one another’s lives, studio practice, and our work together.  A few times a year we review what we are doing well and what we are ready to change.  This past year we have been writing posts about how nature influences our art practices and artists that are inspiring us.  We titled these “Nurture Your Nature”.  What we recognize now is that we are not showing our own “nature” with snapshots from our studio as we are working.  Being teachers, we really enjoy discussing the process of making art and all the numerous decisions we make along the way.  So, with that understanding, we would like to bring back our “Working Table” blog posts which you will see at the beginning of the month where these “Nurture Your Nature” posts have been.  Nature is our muse, so these topics will fold together nicely.

What is Working Table?  This idea was inspired by Gabriel Orozco and his working table we observed at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC in 2010….yes 2010!  Read our letter from that trip.  

I have been working on the newest piece for The Collective as you see in the above photo.  I decided to challenge myself with color.  As you may have noticed, color is something I use sparingly and for emphasis in my composition.  Laura uses color as her main compositional element so I have a lot to learn from her.  In the photo above I have cropped her image (this is the upper left corner of the flamingo piece) to demonstrate her complex use of color, layering, and texture.

I worked on a square format (I typically work within a rectangle and she works within a square) and picked up my pan pastels.  Laura has a very lovely way with brushstrokes- working wet on wet and then with a dry brush to skip along previous layers of paint.  The pastels are a quick medium so I didn’t have to think too much about how awkward I felt using these bright colors.  I applied these with the tool you see above. They are almost like a makeup sponge which allow for quick color changes.  I also used some of my stencils to add and remove some of the pastels.  This was fun to try but definitely doesn’t fit my natural aesthetic.  I am looking forward to the next round when I get it in the mail!

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.  You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

-Maya Angelou

Tina Hirsig, The Collective: April 2017
Tina Hirsig, The Collective: April 2017


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