Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rocking in Morocco with Lynne Perrella & Anne Bagby!

I have been promising this post for a long bit - since I took this incredible workshop with Lynne Perrella and Anne Bagby in early May!  Although my piece is not yet finished, given the time lapse, thought I'd better show what I have at least!  The theme was Morocco.  I chose to depict an inner courtyard, as I am familiar with these having grown up in New Mexico, which in select areas still reflects a combination of the indigenous pueblo people and the 15th century Spanish invaders, who had by then thoroughly absorbed the Moorish influence.  For this piece this means the outside of the house will be very plain, even drab, made of mud brick and covered with the same mud.  The plain style is not only simple (and to my eye very beautiful in itself), but also deflects any hint of the wealth of the family - which would be displayed within the hidden courtyard.  You don't see the plain exterior here, but it is in my mind nonetheless, as I make the interior very lavish.

One of the things I love about Lynne is her sense of theater - she is a master storyteller, and loves to make her pieces dramatic.  I always learn from her, as I do not generally think this way!  When I created these two women, I had them facing each other - but she suggested putting them "at odds" - leaving it to the viewer to discover why.  Perhaps they are in a harem, with a younger woman surpassing an established courtesan.  Perhaps they are related and having a tiff.  Or perhaps they are wisdom and yet-to-be wisdom.... you can come up with your own take!

Below, you can see I added stenciled script with silver acrylic - I wanted the sense of incantation, or repetitive chanting or prayer, but was pleasantly surprised by the energy this script provides as well!

I love the background of this piece.  We started with gessoed Bristol, and then I added fluid acrylics with a sea sponge....which melded the colors while providing a lot of texture and depth....

Here is the front of the piece, which I see as an entrance from within the interior courtyard to the actual house...

 The door is a laser print photocopy of a Moroccan door, which was then colored with Portfolio water-soluble oil pastels, a favorite Lynne Perrella medium.  I added the little dots of gold around the windows with paint, as well as stenciling across the piece with the same paint, using commercial and self-made stencils to add the other motifs to the background.

You can also likely make out a guard figure..... or someone wishing to communicate with the women within, or ???  His headpiece is made of complicated paper using Anne Bagby's technique, as are the black & white stripes surrounding him.  I also made the headdresses of the women using Anne's complicated paper technique -  a spontaneous collage.  The end results are fabulous - and it is so fun to just put stuff down willy-nilly and then figure out how to make it work!

Here is the back of the piece, painted again with the sea sponges and fluid acrylics, and stenciled with gold acrylic.

Here are some examples of Anne's complicated paper technique... which do not do justice to her work!  They are largely made with paper stamped with her own designs (carved, not commercial), and various bits.  For instance, the little black dots you can see on the beige below just left of center are from the bottom of a garden kneeling pad.  The black and white pieces, and the red bits are from her carved stamps.  All of this has been painted with Golden Asphaltum glaze, which adds a lovely vintage color to everything.  Alas, Golden no longer makes this, but here are the ingredients and ratios from their website:  1 part Carbon Black, 2 parts Red Iron Oxide, and 2 parts Yellow Iron Oxide, to 30 parts Satin glaze.... or to  your taste.  To me, it looks something like a deep tea or tobacco infusion once applied.

I hope to finish the piece this summer - it needs some more stenciling and some work with the headdresses of the women to make them more integrated into the background.  Thanks so much for stopping by, and if you've time, please do leave a comment!  I always love hearing your thoughts!

xxx Lynn


  1. Oh wow Lynn this is breathtaking art full of beautiful rich colours, patterns and images that go together brilliantly. I love the use of the sponge to blend the colours and the fabulous stamping and stencilling to add so much interest. I would have loved to do this workshop with you, it must have been an amazing day xxx

  2. Lynn, you've been holding out on us! I love that you get to experience such amazing classes and love seeing you translate the techniques into your own work, which is STUNNING! This is truly a thought provoking and intriguing piece and I adore every detail. I cannot wait to see the details you add to finish it up. Fantastic! Big hugs, Autumn

  3. Wow Lynn, what a totally incredible piece, - it truly takes paper piecing to a whole new level! I can feel the story telling magic run right through it, - this must have been such an amazing workshop. Your result is truly breath taking!! I really hope you will share how you finish it with us soon!!

  4. Spellbinding. What an experience in the workshop, and what stories in your piece. I love Lynne's suggestion of them facing away from one another, and yes, the stories which pour into that theatrical space are full of intrigue. The women are utterly beautiful, as are their extraordinary headdresses. The glazed paper collaging is spectacular, and the depth and mystery of the background with that spidery silver incantation is wonderful. So happy you shared it with us now, and I'm looking forward to its onward journey too.
    Alison x

  5. Wow Lynn, I am at a slight loss for words! The colours, textures, designs are all superb, breathtaking even! You certainly put what you learned to excellent use in these gorgeous creations - love the Moroccan feel to your work! Hugs, Anne xx

  6. This is amazing, Lynn! I love the colors and textures and love the two women! I think they are related (sisters, maybe) and have disagreed about something. I do love the designs of your ladies and the guard, especially. So intriguing! You have been quite busy and I can see how these would take time, but well worth it. Always so glad to see one of your posts, Lynn! I also wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog last month and for your sweet comments :-)

  7. Wow - I loved reading about how you created the backgrounds. Which are themselves beautiful. The pictures of Anne's complicated paper technique are so interesting. Most of all I love the picture of the guard. A warrior from a long time ago with his head dress denoting his rank.
    As always, I love your post Lynn!
    Sandy XX

  8. Lovely and full of deep moroccan feel. Great techniques, I love how you dive into this workshop.

  9. Gorgeous! I love the Moroccan feel to it, and the paper technique is fabulous. I love the richness of the colours and the mystique of the images - stunningly beautiful.

  10. This is splendid and I can feel the story. You hit the nail on the head with the Moroccan theme. Wonderful textures and the ladies facing away from each other is fantabulous! Love the stencils and the textures and everything! So happy you are back! Hugz! ~Niki

  11. Lynn, this post had me at the edge of my seat with my nose up in the monitor! I don't typically scroll through a post first (equivalent to reading the last pages of a novel), but for some reason I did this time, and truly, my first htought is "why are those women facing away from each other"!!! Ha! Ha! Of course I didn't take the time to think this through, so hadn't come to my own conclusions, but you know I will give it some thought.

    This is a lovely journal page with a rich background and a fun technique put to great use. I taught classes on a similar technique and called it Serendipity.-not my idea. It's great to see it presented from a totally different point of view, and I love the use of the handmade papers and odd bits saved from the oddest places! Must remember that! Great artistic work! Hugs!