Every month on our Art Display wall (the wall behind the New Books), we feature artwork by a different local artist. November’s Artist of the Month is Ron Sheldon.
Here he is in his own words:
My art career all started when my wife gave me an all day watercolor art lesson as a birthday gift for my sixtieth birthday. Soon I was offering my watercolors for sale. After several years as a watercolor artist I started experimenting with ways to show them without glass. My experimenting led me to try painting on other surfaces. That is when I discovered copper.
Painting on copper presents several challenges. Of course watercolors wouldn’t stay on the copper so a new medium was needed. Eventually, through trial and error…mostly error, I developed what you see now.
I start with pure copper rolls and cut the size I need. Then I patina the copper. The first step in doing the patina is to create a heat pattern on the copper with a torch. Then I put the copper through a three stage acid bath. Interesting random colors and patterns emerge as the copper cures.
I have drawn numerous simple images on heavy translucent paper. I decide what drawing would look good on the patina pattern and trace it into the back of the copper. The paper being translucent lets me do the image reverse if I want. Then I put the copper face down on a foam pad and slightly push out the image with small Teflon hand tools.
The next step is to remove the patina from the image with a burnishing wheel so I can paint on the bright copper. I use semi transparent alcohol inks to color the image. This lets the glow of the bright copper enhance the color.
I sometimes add metal foil highlights, a process I developed, such as the water splash on the jumping fish. Then I seal the finished painting with a museum quality spray varnish. On the bigger pieces I backfill the pushed out area.
The finished painting is then framed as wall art.
Find out more at: http://www.r-b-sheldon.com/home
For more information about the Art Display wall, contact Art Gallery Coordinator Karen Brennan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-682-2744.