HollyDeanArtist: Often Medieval in Mood: Karen Rosasco. Design Guru.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Karen Rosasco. Design Guru.

I was thrilled to attend a five-day Experimental Watermedia workshop with Karen Rosasco a few weeks ago. Karen is a super teacher, knowledgeable and encouraging.

table set up and ready to start.
work in progress.

Karen's focus is on design which resonates with me, having come from a background of graphic design and calligraphy. Design is an integral component of a successful piece of art. Bringing opposing forces together to create balance and interest... putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

hand-carved stamps from Softoleum, used for patterning.

We were challenged to observe carefully - to see abstract painting possibilities everywhere we looked.

unaltered shot of a slate countertop in a restaurant bathroom.

We did lots of layering which brings such a sense of depth to each work. She had us work on sheets of paper, which is new to me. I like it! I am used to working on canvas or board - now I can use those supports to mount the finished work.

layers of paint, stamps and my new favourite - alcohol. rubbing, that is! 

I came away with three finished pieces. Two are now mounted on gallery canvas, signed, named and wired for hanging. The third is mounted and waiting for final touches.

work set out for final critique.

I learned many things, including new ways of approaching my work and different ways to set up my work space. My current Muse Journal is full of notes and a larger sketchbook contains fodder for future work. I have sheets and sheets of pieces on paper in various stages of completion, inspiration to keep me motivated and effective tools to resolve my paintings. If you ever get a chance to take Karen Rosasco's Experimental Watermedia workshop, do it!


  1. Sounds like a wonderful workshop, Holly! What method do you use to mount the paper works to canvas?
    Best always,

  2. It was a great workshop, Jean! I have been brushing PVA (white glue) on the canvas and on the back of the watercolour paper or illustration board, positioning carefully, pressing out the air bubbles and placing the piece upside down. I made a styrofoam block to fit exactly inside the canvas, between the stretchers - this is weighted down. Then another canvas (same size) is placed, right side up, on top and a weight that sits on all edges is added. I leave the whole thing overnight or at least for several hours. The edges are touched up with gel medium between the canvas and the substrate, then painted once perfectly dry. Whew!!! :)



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