Thursday, April 28, 2011

Collage Graduation

Hehe. I couldn't resist. Probably because every time I see the word "Collage" I think of those 4 years at Arizona State University...
Laura Lein Svencner
Anyway... A few weeks ago I went to a demonstration put on by Laura Lein-Svencner, the cofounder of the Midwest Collage Society.  I've seen her before at Art fairs and love both her drawings and her abstract collage work.  Laura teaches a method of collage where polymer medium coated papers are ripped, composed and fused together with heat. (I believe Jonathon Talbot "invented" this method of collage.) The demo was awesome. She took us through the entire process, from showing us different ways to alter paper to make it our own, coating the papers, assembling the ripped pieces of paper into a pleasing composition, fusing with a tacking iron, finishing, and viola! She is holding the finished product, above. 

Of course I had to try it... so I spent a few days gathering and altering various papers. I finally found a use for all those citra-solved National Geographic Magazine pages. I went for the abstract landscape look. I made two collages, both are on the new Strathmore precut 8x10 watercolor sheets. The actual collage is approximately 4" x 6".  Here's the one I call "Tidepool"
And this one is called "Sunrise" 
I really liked making these, they were really fun to do once all the papers were prepared.  And since I have LOTS of papers ready to go, I am definitely going to make more. The scans don't do them justice. The colors are so vibrant, a little charcoal shading adds depth, the layers add great texture. What do you think? Do I get my Collage Graduate Degree?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When Beauty and Sadness Collide...

I don't think words are really necessary...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

And the Winner Is... Giveaway

I just wanted to take a quick post to let you know that my very own "random name generator" (the kid) picked a name out of the proverbial hat and we have a winner for the Artistcellar Newsletter Giveaway. And the winner is.....   ART EXPRESSIONS!  Congratulations Art, I will contact you privately for your mailing address and the Moonlight Mermaid bottle of paint will be swimming to you shortly! 
For those of you who have no clue as to what I'm talking about... in my Artistcellar Newsletter I enticed people to leave a comment on my blog post about painting fabric with Stewart Gill Paints. It was kind of sneaky, I know. But stay tuned... I have about 5 more bottles of this paint left and I found that I love giving it away... and you never know where or when the next giveaway will be :-D

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Challenge: Sketchbook Challenge

Some of you know that I'm an imposter Art Journaler. By that, I mean that I rarely write down my "thoughts and feelings" in a journal. I've tried. It's just not me. To me, my artwork is personal enough. My art journals are simply... journals filled with artwork. I love my words. I love my symbols. I love song lyrics, quotes and poems. Just don't ask me to pour my heart out. No one wants to see that! 

Then, a friend Challenged me to post my journal pages for the Sketchbook Challenge group.

These sketchbook pages are rare. I may have actually let a personal thought or feeling slip out and land in between the pages of my sketchbook. Scary huh? I've shared them on the Flickr page set up by the Sketchbook Challenge blog. And no one banned me or laughed at me. So here they are. TJ, these are for you! 
Ha! The first month was pretty benign. The theme was "highly prized" Besides the typical "family, friends, health, etc" I came up with my little bookshelf. (Ok. One of many little bookshelves.) I love my books. I also value my hands, for all the things they can do, which is illustrated in the line that makes up the sketched hands. I also value my dear furry companion, who is always at my feet and gives me unconditional love (as long as it's conditioned with Peanut Butter!) and Time. How can time NOT be highly prized? 

The next month the theme was "Opposites". There is always a running commentary in my head about what is real and what I feel and what I see in the mirror and how they sometimes don't match. I don't like mirrors. I hate public gyms with their big mirror walls. I don't even like reflections in storefronts when walking down the street. Why? I haven't figured that one out yet. I'll let you know when I do. And if there is one thing I learned about that month's journal page is ALWAYS make sure your marker is waterproof before using watercolor over it! (Ha! I bet you thought I was going to say something profound!?)
March's theme was "Spilling Over". It stumped me for a long time.  Then I had a doctors appointment to discuss some health issues, get mega doses of Vitamin D, and come up with a plan to get healthier. I felt like my head was spilling over with information, with ideas, with problems, with solutions, and with hope. Simply put, I need to take control back and stop letting food control me. Enough said.
And in the spirit of art... my kiddo joined me on the first month's challenge. While I sketched my books and dog and hands, she sat and sketched her "highly prized" thing: ME!
Everyone say AWWWWW. I love that girl! (She's giggling right now!)

That's it for now... new stuff very soon. (So this page doesn't have to be up top for long! Hehe)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Happy April! Look who I found peeking out of the dead Autumn leaves? Of course the next day it snowed...

March was officially dubbed "The Month of Chaos".  I was all over the place... not a whole lot of focus going on.  I did complete my hand painted fabric for the fabric swatch exchange over at Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine.  I intended to document the process. But guess what? Yeah, I got so into it, I forgot to take photos between all the steps.  Doh! Well, I can retell what I did do...
Started out with plain raw canvas. I needed to get 9 - 9" squares so this was about 28" x 28". I smooshed water into it, then slapped on some paint. I used Stewart Gill Colourise paint in Yellow with just a few dabs of Orange. I watered down the paint right on the canvas to give it a mottled look.
Next, I mixed a mister bottle with some watered down Green paint and used real Gingko leaves as a mask. Sprayed the green paint around the canvas, being sure to have some splotchy drips in places.

After this was dry, I decided I hated it. I guess I was first thinking about a nature theme, but... Nah. It just didn't work out. So I decided to cover most of it up and go abstract. Here is where I forgot to take the pictures after each layer! I'll try to describe the layers for you.
First I used a home made stamp and stamped orange bubbles all over the place with  Stewart Gill Byzantia in Excelsius. Better. I then mixed up some Colourise Bottle with water and sprayed through an alphabet stencil. Much better. It needed some contrast so I took three different sizes of cardboard tubes and started stamping some black circles. And then used some Metamica paints to add some metallic sheen to the fabric with the same circle stamps. This picture does NOT do it justice. It has a nice shimmer when looking at it against the light. After I cut it in 9" squares each piece looked like this:
I really like it. I hope the swappers do too!

In other areas of the studio... I was trying to figure out what else I can do with the silk fibers I sell over at the shop.  (Oh, I'm making "examples", I swear! I am NOT using up my stock!!) Well, I love the blue haired look and decided to make a little Goddess doll.
I drew her face on a piece of muslin and sewed it onto some hand dyed fabric. I used blue silk fiber mix for her long flowing hair and sewed some beads on her torso. I should have made her smiling. If I had really long blue silk hair I'd be smiling for sure. 

I've also been hearing about "Dotee Dolls" lately. They are smaller than my Goddess and simpler in shape. At least mine is. I had this awesome wool left over from a wristwarmer project and it reminded me of dreadlocks. So I gave my Dotee doll the Rastafarian look. 
I stuck a magnet to the back of her head so I could hang her up on my lunchbox which is hanging on  my pegboard. I am rapidly running out of horizontal display space in the studio!

Hmm. What else? I won a blog giveaway at Liz Kettle's blog! I won her gorgeous new book called "Threads: The Basics and Beyond" Seriously. Who knew all the totally cool things you could do with thread? I'm taking a free book study with her and co-author Debbie Bates... for both this book and their "Fabric Embellishment: The Basics and Beyond". So many cool things to do... I need a few more hours in the day!
And to add a little more sweetness to the giveaway, Interweave Press threw in a prize package as well. A few days later I got this: 
The fabric consists of a bundled roll of 48 different coordinating patterns in pretty big squares. (I want to say 10" or 12" squares?) I just separated them a bit here but there are 48! and they all match! How cool is that. Also included was some beautiful specialty threads to play with. Almost too pretty to use. Almost. Thanks Interweave!

I have TONS more to show you, but I'm going to keep them for other days. A friend of mine from a yahoo group dared (encouraged?) me to share something personal (and hard to share) so I will share some journaling pages I did for the Sketchbook Challenge blog. Tomorrow. Maybe.