Monday, September 27, 2010

Another VERY interesting artist!!

Yes, I'm still here. I guess after such a full tilt whirlwind creative spurt I took a bit of a breather.  Not that I wasn't doing things...just nothing completed enough to post this past week.

Went on another photo safari this weekend in preparation for some ATCs....yes I know I said no more...but a little "devil" out there keeps finding such interesting topics that I just finally admitted defeat and addiction and am just moving on!! LOL!! There will be more posts about those in the coming days of this week so check back in soon.

In the meantime, check out this amazing artist (a link sent to me from a friend)!  Kylie Stillman carves trees and birds from books.  Here is a link to her images.  Amazing!  This artist definitely understands the concept of negative space!!

ENJOY!!!  I'll be back later!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Faces Art Journal - page 2

My goodness this is fun!  Just completed page 2 in my Faces Art Journal.  Originally I had planned to do page 2 and 3. But I found that I really wanted the third face drawing and the original picture that I was working from on the same page. it is! 

The quote on the bottom of the page says: "The face is the index of the mind." -- Proverb

Faces Journal - page 2

Faces Journal - page 2 (detail)

Face number 3

OK, here he third attempt at drawing the face depicted by a Roman statue.  He is still not exactly right but I'm happy with him since he is just the third face I've ever my whole life!  He's getting closer to the original picture (which I now feel OK posting for comparison).  The shape of the head is not quite right and something else that I can't put my finger on.  The original seems older somehow.  So, I'm just envisioning this Roman as a younger man....yeh....that's it!!!!!  LOL!

Oh well, you can make your own judgement I'm sure.

Roman Statue - Face 3 (left is the original and right is my drawing - as if you couldn't tell the difference!)

You at least have to admit that this one is better than the two posted a month ago on August 18!!  So, now I'm ready to put these pictures in my Faces Journal. Pages 2 and 3 are prepped and after these are in the journal I'll post those two pages.  Have to admit....this is really exciting!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Faces Art Journal - page 1

Well, I finally got to work on my actual journal page today.  It is the first page and the introductory page.  I had a lot of fun just experimenting with the look of this page.  While I THINK I want my journal to all go together, I'm not sure just what will appeal to me on any given day.  We'll just have to see how it all breaks down in the coming months. 

I'm working in 6 page signatures of 140lb. watercolor paper.  I chose this paper because I LOVE to work with wet dyes and paints and watercolors for the backgrounds. Wanted something that could stand up to the moisture and not fall apart.  Plus, I love the slight texture of this paper and the way it deckles (I might have just made a noun into a verb but - hey, it works!)

So, started out with a wash of diluted brown procion dye (leftover from a fabric dyeing session). Then I played with some pastel chalks.  Then I outlined the space for the two first drawings with a gold Shiva stick.  Some more painting with some acrylic and then some distress ink. Adhered the two drawings and then color washed them with the same diluted brown procion dye and added some more distress ink.  It really mutes the drawings -- which is just what I wanted to happen (they aren't very good anyway) but I at least got my first two struggling efforts into the journal.  You can still see them in person but not too well in the photo.  I then adhered two strips of metal painted with alcohol inks from another previous project (see, I try to re-purpose even the scraps!). 

Then I made a pocket with a wallpaper sample from a hardware store(also painted with a color wash which dried in an interesting pattern) and attached it to the page with eyelets.  Inside is a card which reads:  "In the beginning…I’ve never drawn a face before. Now is the time to challenge and stretch. So, here goes! These first two I drew on regular paper with a #2 pencil. Not easy to work with. But I felt I should include them anyway. I have a picture I’m working from but I don’t want to reveal it until I get closer to what I’m trying to accomplish. Where this will take me, I have no idea. I’m just planning to enjoy the journey!"  That card can be pulled out by the special ribbon I attached to the tag at the top of the card.

Is this exactly what I wanted?  Well, not quite but making an art journal is also a work in progress and I hope to learn a lot along the way. Without learning new things...I think life would be unbearably boring!!  So, now, as in the agreement with my friend Wil, I have one more page to get done by the end of September.  We are striving for 2 pages per month.  Today, however, is drawing to a close for me so this is it for now. But tomorrow is STUDIO  DAY!!  So be prepared for more to come!

Monday, September 13, 2010

And least for awhile

OK, these are the last ATCs for a bit.  Starting tomorrow I'll be working on two longer term projects and the ATCs will take a breather for a bit.

The theme for this swap is Thankful For Chocolate.  I almost missed this one.  Thanks, Wil, for keeping me in the loop!!  I do think I must have gained several pounds just making these cards................



mmmmmmmmmm eclairs..........

and last but certainly not least.....

 OK, now back to other projects!!  Thanks for dropping in!

Nuturing Creativity - Week 37

It's been so hectic these past few weeks that it was difficult to keep up the posts about nurturing creativity.  And here we are already in week 37!  Time is just zipping by!  The days here are feeling more and more like fall.  There's just something in the air....that and the geese honking overhead as they marshal their forces to head south.  That is one of my favorite sounds because I know the crisp fall days and cool nights are just around the corner.  And since the forecast for the end of the week is highs in the low 60's (F), it seems it will be turning that corner rather rapidly. And I say, "Bring it on!!"  Fall is such a beautiful season here.  I'm picturing many "photo safaris" in the near future as we roam the countryside looking for that elusive single flaming red maple in the midst of the yellows and browns of the other trees.  I saw that once and never forgot it. What I DID forget is where the heck I saw it!!  Oh well, the thrill is in the hunt after all.

And here is the card for this week:

Stretch Yourself

Maybe not what you might have thought.  I know the title suggested something else to exploring some new technique or materials.  But no, it is really talking about physically stretching.  Good advice really....and advice I seldom remember to take as I'm in the middle of a project or as recently, an ATC marathon (tomorrow is the last of the marathon ATC posts! -- or later today perhaps).  I get all stiff and creaky by the end of a session.  And I'm choosing to believe it is from not stopping to move around and stretch for a minute or two.  It is CERTAINLY  NOT  my age!!!  (Don't think I didn't hear some of you say that!!)  LOL!!  So, my challenge as I head into another intense project (the canal houses) is to remember to take breaks so I don't break!! At least the canal house project is so big I have to often get up and at least walk back and forth, to and from my design wall!  Does that count do you think???  hmmmmmmm  Where is Jack LaLane when you really need him???  oops...showed my age again!!

So, happy stretching and moving to all of you this week.  I'm going to try to keep up my discipline in that area.  We'll see how it turns out.


The theme for this swap is: An Apple A Day!  The first thing that came to my mind was Apple Computers (can you tell I live with computer techie geeks??)  The apple dessert one made me long for a hot apple dumpling....or apple pie ala mode!!mmmmmmmmmmmm





Friday, September 10, 2010

More ATCs for Swaps!

These are for a swap with the theme called Beverages Anyone?  All cards had to have something to do with some beverage....duh.  Anyway, here are the ones I did.





Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The ATCs Continue - In Your Own Words

This theme requires that at least three words are on each card written in your own hand.  This was a little stretch for me as I don't usually write on my cards.  I have been working on this set off and on for weeks.  But at last it is complete.

Bubbles - "Everyone's life is filled with troubles. May all yours burst like fragile bubbles."  OK, so I'm not a poet.  Still.....

The Color Purple - "All other colors are just colors, but purple seems to have a soul. Purple is not just a noun and an adjective but also a verb - when you look at it, it's looking back at you."---Uniek Swain    I obviously chose this sentiment because purple is my favorite color.

Days of My Life - "I look back at the days of my life...each one distinct...and yet, woven together, they make up the rich and beautiful texture that is My Life!"  Sentiment is my own composition and does reflect part of my philosophy of life.

Two Roads Diverged... - Part of the poem by Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken". It has been one of my very favorite poems since I can remember.  I have posted the complete poem below this card so you could have the joy of reading it.  
The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

WARNING! ATC marathon in progress!

Yep, I'm doing a LOT of ATCs the beginning of this week.  Have several commitments and I want to get them in early so I can concentrate on a couple of other intense projects. 

These cards are for a swap called Let's Travel the World 2 (we did part 1 recently). The theme is for 3 countries of the world.  This has been great fun and very interesting because I get to learn some new stuff about countries I'm not all that well-versed on.  Like Greenland.  1) I didn't know it belonged to Denmark (duh) and 2) it is the largest island in the world that is NOT a continent. Plus the scenery you see pictures of when looking for items for the ATC is gorgeous.

So, here they are - Greenland, Germany and Italy:

And the marathon continues so I'll have more tomorrow!

More Old Building ATCs

I'm so excited!  There was another swap for ATC photos of old houses and buildings.  I've been taking photos of old barns, houses, buildings and stuff for years so I already had a good "stash" to work with.  Here are the ones I made for this swap.

Open House - I took this photo on our trip to the International Quilt Show in Houston, Tx in November 2006 (see - told you I'd been doing this for a while!)  We were in some very small town in NW Texas and this building was on a side street.  I love the play of light and color because there is no longer a roof on this abandoned building.

Stuck In The Middle - This poor little shed looks like it is being squeezed to death by the big silo on the left and the big barn on the right.  No wonder it is caving in!

Crooked House - This little house used to be at a nursery/market not far from my home.  It is no longer there so I'm glad I took a picture of it when I did!  Just love the whimsy of it all.

Now I've Seen It All - My husband and I take Photo Safaris along the back roads of Minnesota. We were driving along and saw this just next to the road.  Needless to say, we came to a screeching halt and stopped to take a photo.  Not sure what on earth it is all about but it is one barn I never forgot!

That's all for now!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Abstract ATCs - Completed

The remaining steps didn't take as long as I had thought and I completed them this afternoon.  I didn't post pics of them dried because when the matte medium dried, the cards looked just like the cards before the medium was added....not much new to see. 

Step 3 -After the matte medium dried, I lightly rubbed a chalk pastel in black over them to highlight the raised areas. Supposed to use charcoal but I don't have any. 

Step 4 - I then pulled out the appropriate colors of Lumiere paints and went to town!  The paints are very watered down for this technique.  Still want to see some of the card base showing through....some more than others ended up that way.  In fact, I'm not sure it will show in the pictures but it is there.  Here are the completed cards.  I really had fun with this technique! 

In the pictures below, on the left is the first color wash and on the right is the completed card.

Abstract Pastel - I applied the watered down Lumiere paints in this order: a full color wash of Halo Violet, then strips of Pearl Magenta. Painted the curls with Jaquard yellow textile paint. Then a color wash of very diluted Lumiere Metallic Gold.

Abstract Purple/Green - First a full color wash of Halo Violet. Then painted the inside of the circles with Pearl Emerald Green. Then the final Metallic Gold wash.

Abstract Brown/Blue - First a full color wash of Metallic Rust. Then a full color wash of Pearl Blue. Painted Metallic Olive Green in the center of the circles. Final Metallic Gold wash.

Abstract Blue/Green - Full color wash of Metallic Rust, then Metallic Olive Green on one side of the curved line.  When that was done the curves reminded me of a river so I painted that with Pearl Blue.  Metallic Gold final wash.
 I found this to be a very interesting way to add texture.  And I was actually amazed at how flexible the card was when everything was dry and before I added the backing card.  Gets the brain going, ya know!!

Happy Day

I don't often post anything about my personal family stuff here but because the main topic is ATCs I am adding this one anyway.  Today is my older granddaughter's birthday celebration....even though her actual birthday isn't until Wednesday.  She will be THREE!  AND she is already beginning her own ATC collection!  Sooooooo...I made her a few cards for her big party.

First you should know that Piggy has been her nickname since she was born.  She even calls herself Piggy.  I know she will not be that accepting in a couple of years but for now, she knows it is our love name for her.

She also has the nickname Diva Pig since she IS the center of the universe after all!!! LOL! She and her little sister have discovered the joy of dress-up. They put on their own fashion show and I can assure you Piggy has her own fashion sense.  That plus, she won't wear anything that isn't purple or sometimes pink without a fight. And she loves her sunglasses and her purple flip-flops!  OK, she loves anything purple.

She is just now big enough to ride her Little Mermaid tricycle but she wants a PURPLE motorcycle! I told her she has to learn to ride her tricycle, then a bicycle with training wheels, then a regular bicycle.  After that she can get her motorcycle.  The other day, for the first time she rode her tricycle to the end of the long driveway and back and announced.  "I'm done. Now I want my motorcycle"  So, she is getting THIS motorcycle instead. It's a picture of the bike I rode until two years ago.
This is just an amazingly cute sign we found out on one of our treks to take photos and have an amazing lunch and buy amazing bread in Stockholm, WI.  Seemed appropriate!

 And lastly, my birthday wish for my precious little Piggy.

Thanks for bearing with me for this personal little art moment.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Abstract ATCs - Step 2

Wow! That didn't take as long as I had anticipated so I completed the second step before lunch! 

STEP 2 - Creating Texture

First I got all my imprinting tools together -- a twisty plastic straw, plastic core of a roll of cellophane tape, a piece of plastic diamond grid and the end of a small paint brush.  Then I got out a foam brush and was ready to start the texture layer.

I painted on a rather thick layer of matte medium and then made texture marks. 

Here they are all covered and "drawn" on.  Difficult to see the under layer at this point but the matte medium SHOULD dry a bit more clear.....I hope!  Now for the long and patience-demanding DRYING period (certainly not my favorite part!) Fortunately, I have several other projects needing attention so they will provide the necessary distraction....well.....that's the plan at least!

Abstracts with matte medium - wet and waiting.....and waiting....and waiting......

Afraid we won't be seeing them again until tomorrow.  OH well, on to lunch!

Another New Technique!! YEAH!

OK, I'm involved in another ATC swap. This one because it is an abstract technique that I haven't tried yet! Can you think of a better reason to join a swap??  HUH??? Nope, I can't.  (is that a bad sign? when I ask the question and answer it myself....all my studio....?)  Anyway, I wanted to chronicle it as it goes along.  The members of the swap got the directions but since I'm not sure how public the hostess makes her directions....I'm just going to give the basic steps as I go through them.

STEP  ONE - making the base background.

Just taking various papers and adhering them to the ATC card backing in some manner.  I chose 4 different color combinations as I get bored too easily to do all of them alike!  So, here they are in all their "nude" glory.  Later today I'll be covering them but you'll have to check back for that one!  hehehe

Abstract - Green/Brown

Abstract - Purple/Green

Abstract - Blue/Green

Abstract - Pastels

Now to go get the next layer done because it takes a bit of time to completely dry.

Nuturing Creativity - Week 35

Ok, I'm really behind....again.  But I DID read this card on Monday...just been so busy I haven't taken time to post.  Moving on....

Easy Art Access

Well, not too sure about this one I must say.  It is about having bits of art or art encouragement all around you.  For example, putting colored pencils and paper in your silverware drawer, crayons in your medicine cabinet....and so on.  Only problem for me???
I can't keep track of all my stuff when it is IN  MY  STUDIO!!!!  Heaven help me if I need my colored pencils and I can't remember which drawer in the house I put them in!!  I think my poor sieve brain is way to old for this particular nurturing activity!  Oh well, you can't win them all!