Monday, February 22, 2010

Playing with Texture

I've had these canvases laying around for months, half finished, not quite knowing what to do to finish them... you know the story. Well, about a little over a week ago, I happened upon my local Dick Blick store and there was a Golden Paint working artist/representative there demonstrating how to use their products. I was so excited I couldn't sit down. She had piles and piles of boards showing examples of paints, gel mediums, molding pastes, transfers, mediums, oh my. All the cool things you can do with them. It was almost information overload. I asked her about the glass bead gel and she hands me the jar and says, "here, you can keep this one. Play with it." WOOOT! But then everyone got a goody bag to take home and oh my goodness, what generosity. I got another little tub of glass bead gel, a little tub of blue paint, a fluid acrylic, and a tub of Iridescent Stainless Steel paint. And a brochure/folder with ALL the paint sample colors painted on by someone's actual hand. So you know the color you see is the color you get.

Well, that inspired me to finish up some of these canvas panels I had laying around. The LEAF picture has an actual leaf embedded in the medium. Unfortunately at the time I didn't realize that heavy molding paste was opaque and you could hardly see the little bugger. So I painted over it. And layered and layered and layered different glossy paints with glossy mediums. The colors in real life are really pretty and show a lot of depth.

The ZELDA picture is one I'm afraid I overdid. An example of what happens when there are TOO many layers. The Z in the corner is a little lost and the image fades into the background too much. One of the reasons I didn't like it before was that it had too much black so I tried to tone it down a bit with some light paints and then some iridescent bronze. It has some wonderful texture as well but it's not my favorite. Maybe a glossy coating would help that image pop? hmmmmm.....

That's all for now. Stay tunes for... ZENTANGLES... coming up next! 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Flotsam and Jetsam

My dog Maddy had the right idea. She found a little patch of bright sunlight and parked herself there for a mid morning nap. I think she misses the sun as much as I do although she does love romping in the snow. Of course if I had 2 inches of shaggy fur all over my body I might like to romp in the snow too.

This is my little patch of sunlight. Sometimes my daughter spreads a blanket on the ground and we have a breakfast picnic in the sun. When she leaves for school I sit in the rocker for 15-20 minutes, close my eyes and just absorb. The past few days were 40 degrees but today we have another winter storm watch until midweek. UGH. I WANT SPRING.

I tried to go outside and take some pictures last weekend. I just ended up freezing my butt off. And my wonderfully awesome camera hates the cold too... battery just drains. This is me in a gnarly tree. I can't wait to go back to this tiny wooded area in the middle of a college campus, when it's a bit warmer out. 

It was my birthday on the 10th of February. Even though I ended up shoveling snow for the third time in 24 hours, it was good... made even better by the enthusiasm of a child. I tell ya, I'd be hiding under a rock if it weren't for my daughter. She baked me a cake, made me breakfast in bed (cinnamon toast) and made me lavender bath salts and a coupon for a "spa" day. Meaning she will run a bubble bath for me, wash my hair, dry and style my  hair, and give me a manicure. Gosh, I love that child. Hubby got me a new printer. Maybe I can actually print some nice photos since my old printer was about 10 years old and very tired. My dear friend Annette treated me to lunch and good conversation. The above card was made by my iFriend Joanna. She lives in Greece and sells her art in galleries there. I was thrilled to get a piece of her whimsical original art. I framed it and hung it on my studio wall. 

And this piece was sent to me by my iFriend Sox. She's been practicing her Wabi Sabi technique and I think she's awesome at it. It has such beautiful colors and texture. The sheen on it is amazing. Scans don't do it justice. It is also going to be framed and hung on the wall. I am honored to have an original piece of art from her, she is a very talented artist. My iFriend Janet sent me a challenge. She knows I've been talking about making an art quilt so she sent me some fabric scraps and an image and challenged me to make a little art quilt. Ideas have been brewing in my head. When I make it, I'll post it and show the world. 

I am very blessed to have a great husband and child (and dog) and wonderful friends, here and around the world. It warms my heart. Which is good because everything else is still freezing! Hehe. 

That's it for now!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Things With Wing Finally Flies!

A few days ago I finished up and packed up my Round Robin Journal and sent it off to Colorado for Lori to work on. I received Janet's a week ago and am eager to get going in her beautiful journal. Okay, I'll be honest here... I'm a bit nervous to make my mark in her beautiful journal, but that's the way the game is played. This is my first Round Robin and the artists I'm playing with are really good artists. It's a little intimidating!
I chose the theme Things With Wings because I am obsessed with flying. I remember as a little girl, having dreams that found me flying across my back yard. I've had several experiences with lucid dreaming where I flew out of my body and through the house and into the back yard. It's an awesome feeling. (And NO. I have never taken ANY kind of illegal drugs! And proud of it!) I would love someday to go (tandem) hang gliding. I don't think I would want to jump out of an airplane, I prefer wings to a parachute. Flying is connected to so many wonderful metaphors. And so I love all things with wings... real and magical. (Except for Mosquitos. I do NOT love those little bloodsucking annoyances.) My first page in my RR journal I decided to make about the magical. It's a little fairy sitting between the blades of grass enjoying the butterflies and a little sparkly magic.

The cover is painted canvas with that blue patch of painted muslin with an overlay of Angelina fibers and free motion stitched. On top of that is more remnants of my cloth-paper experiments stamped and stitched to the background. The sign in page is just painted with layers of blue and doodled with white gel pens with a library pocket and date due cards tucked in. Everyone is supposed to sign in on their own card, decorate it how they like. The first journal spread is layer and layers of tissue paper. The little fairy came from a calendar image by Brian Froud, one of my favorite artists.  Butterflies are collaged elements. ENJOY THE FLIGHT!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Winter Blues

I've got the winter blues. Good news though! It was cloudy this morning (never thought I'd say that was GOOD news!) so any groundhogs dumb enough to emerge from hibernation did NOT see a shadow. Doesn't that mean spring is coming soon? At least in my back yard?

I'm trying really really hard to keep my spirits up and continue in my search to find beauty in this gray world. I'm not having much luck, nothing outside really strikes my photographer's eye. But I was waiting for the school bus the other morning, hiding from the freezing wind in the shelter of the garage and noticed the floor. I don't know if this was from frost, or the way the salty snow dried on the concrete, but I think it's kinda pretty. There's another thing I never thought I'd say. "Look, there's beauty on my garage floor!" 

This winter is hitting me hard. I haven't gotten sick, even though hubby and daughter both caught the cruds several times this school year. But I just feel BLAH all the time. I have zero energy. I feel a little spacey. Tired all the time. Disorganized. And cold all the time. I sit in the living room and my feet and hands get really cold. I sleep under a fleece blanket with a comforter and duvet on top, with another knit blanket over that. Is that normal? And it snowed again today. It's supposed to be cloudy and snowy and wet-cold for the next ten days. I NEED SUN. I'm wilting.