Tricia Griffith – Fine Art

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Corrugated Art: Sea Horse

I 10730878_10152801578332356_3077132377593481515_nhappened across a two pack of 8 x 10 stretched canvasses for a whole dollar at the Goodwill one day, and decided it’d be fun to do a couple more small 3D pieces, since I enjoyed making the small leaves for the All Small exhibit.

I decided to try a sea creature for this one, and thought that the texture of the cardboard might lend itself well to the seahorse. I had a little fun using some texturizing medium and a piece of the corrugated cardboard to make wave-like background.

10583881_10152610699132356_2323826002776020375_nThe first layer was cut out in a whole seahorse outline and attached to the wavy background and added a few more layers of cardboard. For the last layer, I used a similar technique to the autumn leaves, turning them to create an angle similar to the patterns on the seahorses I was using as a reference. A piece of the peeled cardboard paper was cut and folded fan-like to create the back fin.

10584026_10152612926582356_5992984927651180830_nI painted the seahorse in layers of yellow ochre and orange to create a color similar to that of the model seahorses. The tail of this particular species of seahorse is transparent, so I incorporated the background color into the tail to create a transparent effect.

Once I was happy with the seahorse and the background water colors, I knew I wanted him to have his tail wrapped around something in the signature seahorse pose. I created some 3D grass for him to hang out in and add a little more depth to the work. The final result was kind of fun!

The original of this work is still available.



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Corrugated Art: Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves by Tricia Griffith I have a bit of catching up to do here with the works created over the last year. We’ll start out with this Autumn Leaves set. It was created for a special winter exhibit in November and December 2014 at The Rock & Art Shop in Bangor, Maine called “All Small”. All the participating artists received three six by six inch wood art blocks to create whatever artwork we liked. I decided to experiment with the cardboard 3D art for this exhibit.

10659136_10152735910552356_2410146723214438179_nFor the leaves, I played a bit with the direction of the corrugation of the cardboard to represent the natural pattern of the veins and contours of the leaves’ serrations or lobes.

I learned the hard way on this one that I really need to apply a layer of white gesso over the top of the cardboard before I paint it, or else it absorbs the acrylic paint and the color is less vibrant. Once that was corrected, the colors were much better!

10368228_10152774861272356_2002741547230652868_nThe finished pieces represent Oak Leaves, Birch Leaves, and Maple Leaves, decked out in their autumn colors. The birch leaves have a light yellow-green tone with a red-orange background. The maple leaves have a purplish background to complement the orange-red of the leaves. The oak leaves float on a blue-green pond surface.

The originals of this set are still available. Feel free to contact me for details!


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Corrugated Art: Birch Tree

corrugated birchWe had a TON of boxes in our spare room after the holidays, between ordering supplies and receiving gifts, and it was kind of all just festering there, creating a fire hazard. One day I said, “We really need to recycle all that cardboard or start making art out of it… HEY! Wait a minute!”

With that sudden burst of inspiration, I started considering what I could do with the cardboard to make art. I have long admired the work of assemblage artists like my friend Scott Rolfe, and wondered what kind of assemblage-like work I would create, given the materials and the opportunity. So, when presented with this pile of cardboard and the desire to make art with it, I realized that cardboard was really ideal for the types of earthy, nature themed artwork that I enjoy making.

The first idea I had was to make a great blue heron, but I was worried that was biting off a bit more than I was ready for, at least until I had an idea how this process was going to work. So, for my inaugural cardboard assemblage art, I chose one of my most favorite art topics, a tree!

tree beginningsI sketched out a rough outline of what I wanted to create on piece of gator board coated in gesso, and essentially began cutting out random strips of cardboard and layering them here and there to create the tree. Before too long I realized that if I peeled off the top layer of paper, the corrugations made an excellent tree bark texture. With that, I began cutting the strips more deliberately to ensure that the lines of the corrugation were going the direction I wanted them to.

I didn’t want to use one large piece cut into the tree or tree branch shape, I felt that would make it too flat. I wanted the different sizes and shapes of pieces to add to the texture of the tree and create what I felt would look more like a natural roughness and variations to the tree bark. I created not just branches, but roots, to give it a balanced, kind of “Tree of Life” feel.

birch no leavesOnce I had all the branches and roots I felt I wanted done in the cardboard, I applied another layer of gesso over everything, and began by painting the background. I had debated actually creating the whole background first and then attaching the tree, but I wasn’t sure how well that would go, and decided that it was probably better worth the effort to just paint around everything.

I really let the background paint overlap over the branches a lot, which made it a little harder when it came time to paint the tree, but helped to make sure I got it into all the nooks and crannies. Incidentally, I was originally planning to paint the tree bark brown until I saw the white of the gesso against the background and thought it was really cool, so then I said, hey, it can be a birch tree!

I added in smaller branches and roots with a brush to give it a bit more background depth and detail. And used pale greys, browns and silver to create the “birch colors”. All the while I was creating it, I was pondering how I would do the leaves. I realized that nothing less than 3D leaves would look good, so I finally hit upon the idea to use the paper that I had peeled off the cardboard to create the leaves. I started out cutting them out and painting them individually, but thankfully realized that was kind of dumb pretty fast! I then took larger sheets of the paper, painted it in assorted shades of green, yellow and gold, then cut out dozens of leaves, which I then attached to the branches, letting them reach beyond the edges of the board to continue the 3D effect.

This original is sold!

Thanks for reading!