Saturday, November 3, 2012

Art Supply Testing Journal

I never decided between circle or square test spots but like the bright and messy result.

Page one (mostly warms) of my Derwent Inktense Water Soluble Pencils

Tombos are water soluble markers that come in blendable bright colors.

Thanks to Joanne Sharpe of Whimspirations fame for
teaching me to keep an art supply testing journal.  Such a great resource and reference for
choosing materials and colors for a project.  Plus the pages are so pretty I just had to share.
Every time I get new supplies I make a color range page for them.  Why wasn't I taught this 
practice in art school?  Helps me to develop a deeper relationship with materials and colors.
Think my next art supply testing journal is going to have heavier wet media friendly pages.
Probably a small Strathmore Visual Journal.  This one was just a composition book with
pairs of pages glue sticked together to make more sturdy pages.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall Pages: Preserving Memories & Childlike Qualities

Fall Page, Preserving Memories and Childlike Qualities, Left
Fall Page, Preserving Memories and Childlike Qualities, Right

Stamps, butterfly decoupage paper, Plaid liquid embossing, Inktense W/C Pencils

I first used spray ink to make patterned paper.  I then stamped the stamp
"Nature Jar" onto it.  I used Plaid liquid embossing (silver) to make threads on the jar lid after I glued the cut-out jar down.  The background was made with scribbles of fall colored Inktense Watercolor Pencils spread around with water and paint brush. Stamped with leaf, crow, spiral line stamps (origin unknown).  

I also found fall-themed quotes from 

Edwin Teale

"Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn, time seems speeded up. 
What was is not and never again will be; what is is change".


Andrew Wyeth

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape
the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter.  Something waits beneath it,
the whole story doesn't show".

I added journaling about my memory of my grandmother canning tomatoes in the summer and using those tomatoes the whole winter to make wonderful stews and sauces.  Also thinking
about the whole idea of preserving something from seasons past.

I am in the fall of my life, a time of collecting memories and gathering my treasures, accepting loss.  Also preserving the childlike qualities of hope, playfulness, enthusiasm, energy, imagination, creativity, spontaneity.  

Monday, October 8, 2012

Doors of Opportunity

Back page and Cover of Doors Booklet

Pages 1 & 2

Pages 3 & 4

Pages 5 & 6
Collage, Sharpie Pen, Tombo Markers 

I'm participating in Jess Greene's "Jump start Your Creativity" online course. 

I definitely find, at this point in life, 
that I am more likely to spend time creating if I am enrolled in some sort of online art class.  A great point of departure.  Her first week prompt with "doors".  She sent out a pdf with directions for folding an X-book and a sheet with drawings of doors.  

I've always loved the metaphor of the "door".  Here's where I went with this point of departure.  First, I made an x-fold book (look on YouTube) ledger sized, the tiny book was too small for me.  Then I drew 8 doors.  That's when I realized that these 8 doors where doors that represented OPPORTUNITY to me. 

You know that old saying about opportunity knocking?  So looking through these open doors I thought about my areas of opportunity that need attention.  I used the Drawing with Associations method here to gather association to these collage/drawings.  Guess the next step could be an activity that breaks down the steps needed to realize these opportunities.

Drawing with Associations

Art Muse Mind Map

Black Gesso, Tombo Markers, Gelly Roll pens, sharpie pens.
One of my signature art therapy assignments is
  1. make a drawing, painting or collage
  2. make a mind-map related to your art piece
  3. make a journal entry related to your art piece and mind map
I think that this process now has a short hand version.  I made a drawing of my "Art Muse" and printed out a copy which I glued to the cover a composition book that I had painted with black gesso.  I embellished the drawing...surprised that she ended up with a mask.  Then, instead of making a separate mind-map I made the image itself into a mind-map.  Maybe I'll call it a Art with Associations.  

My composition book is a place for me to plot and plan ways to expand my streams of income through making art, coaching, doing art therapy (virtually, and face to face) and teaching.

What I discovered: I need to develop myself as a product.  That's what the mask means, I think.  I need to assure the part of myself that is a raving introvert that another part of me will do all the extroverted stuff that makes her so tired.  Like an actor creates a role.  It really is me, my ideas and heart, but a product/persona as well.  At least that's what I'm thinking today.

Bulb Blossums

Bulb Blossoms

Sharpie pen and Tombo Markers

I know that fall is here but I'm nostalgic about Spring and new blooms.  I bought an old
book for a dollar at the Denver Botanic Gardens " Readers Digest Complete Book of The Garden" from 1966.  I'm not a gardener but loved the simple botanical drawings.  Great practice to use these drawings as a reference to draw from.  Just added a little color
with Tombo Markers.  I love working from living flowers but also love to work from
photos, drawings and painting.

Don't be afraid to draw from any source that inspires you.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Botanics and the Technosphere

Cone flower and Clouds

Collage, Tombo Markers, Gelli Roll Pens
Koi Watercolors, Copic Markers

It is the height of August beauty at the Denver Botanic Gardens.  Actually, many of the Cone flowers are faded from the intense heat of the summer.  But there still is a glorious riot of color.  When I am at the Gardens with the glory of color that is summer here, with lush green and happy bees having an orgy all around, I feel so blissful in in the moment and let go of my worries.  I become one with this beauty.  Think that is why I love the Gardens so much.

In contrast, on Thursdays, I teach my college class called Technology and Society.  Used to be called Technology,  Ethics and Society but at some point corporate dropped "ethics" although that is still what the book is called.  My students share articles from the web related to science,technology and society.  They mostly bring in articles about the changing screen size for the Smart Phone or Apple's lawsuits against Android. 

I've made the list repeatedly for them: current events in science and technology that effect us all.  I know this class is meant to encourage critical thinking and awareness of issues facing the modern world but I am surprised that they are not aware of or do not care about the larger issues: genetically altered food and other food source concerns; regulation of polluting  industries; globalization and the third world; person to person communication issues caused by  over-reliance on electronic communication; global warming; radioactive pollution that is mutating wildlife and insects and many other human caused environmental issues that need to be aired.

So now you will often see indicators of my awareness, in my art, that the technosphere man-made technologies from the wheel to the latest development in weaponry) and nature are no longer separate.  We have taken and added to the natural world with ingenuity and ferocity such that even native crops can be found to have altered genes in their make-up.

I feel sad that I would probably become ill if I drank untreated water from a lake or stream. Rain contains pollutants that acidify soil and oceans.  We have changed the weather.

So you might see torn pages from news articles intertwined with leaves, stems and bloosums. I can still create art about the beauty of nature while acknowledging my pain about the ways we've altered our world in ways from which there is no returning.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

ART SPACE Shared Journal

ART SPACE (cover)

Collaged photos of Mars and space,
packing tape transfer of Muybridge
motion study, young girl, text added
in the Picasa 3 program, motion study
picture altered with Gelly Pens

Mind-Map, Techniques, Reflection

Collaged border, mind-map with
Sharpie Pen and Tombo Markers,
scanned/printed strip from original 

I am very excited to be creating a shared journal with two other Art Therapists, Ginger and Sylma, who are with me in the ARTbundance training. We are making this journal to record our journey as well as integrate the ARTbundance information with our previous experiences as Artists,Art Psychotherapists and Creativity Coaches.

My son had brought home a pile of old  
Sky and Telescope magazines from his high school library and I had previously cut out pictures of space and the surface of Mars to use in collage. I also had a Discovery magazine that had a picture of a Muybridge motion study using a young girl, that intrigued me.I made a Xerox copy of it.

I started the shared ART SPACE journal cover using the space and Mars images in a collage.  I next altered the images of the young girl with Gelly Roll Pens adding a swimsuit, flying hair, flowing ribbons and a candle which later turned into a torch.  I scanned the completed image and added the text in the Picasa 3 program (free Microsoft download).

I next burnished a piece of packing tape to the motion study image and then used warm water on the back to saturate the paper.  The wet paper easily rubbed off, leaving the altered Xerox image on the tape.  I hung the tape up to dry.  Once the tape is dry it will be sticky again and you can stick it to any surface you wish.  I was so happy to find out that the Gelly Roll Pen transferred as nicely as the toner from the Xerox!  I applied the strip to the collage.

I next scanned in the image and added the words ART SPACE to the image in the Picasa 3 program.  I printed out the collage with text, cut out the text portion and added it to the collage.  I glued the completed collage to the journal cover.

Sylma and Ginger and I agreed that it is important for us to include a record of our techniques, process and a reflection about each entry.  On the inside cover I made a collaged border and then added the motion study strip from the printed copy.  Above the strip I made a mind-map making associations to the images in the journal cover.

Love mind-maps because they are a non-linear way to use words which means you can stay connected to your intuition/subconscious while you are finding words. I often have my clients mind-map when they make collages, then reflect/journal from their mind-maps.

I found, from this process, that art making connects me to hope, life and strength as well as keeps me moving and determined to bring light to others.  I realized that the candle the girl carries is actually a torch, allowing the light to be carried to a shared place.

 ART SPACE, first page

Printed copy of ART SPACE collage,
printed on red paper.  Gelly Roll Pen details

When I first printed out the original collage I printed it on cardstock that ended up having a red side.  I ended up liking the red image, especially since Mars is the "red planet", added gold details with a Gelly Pen and glued it into the journal as the first page. Love those happy accidents!

Monday, July 23, 2012

June Botanical Sketch a Day & Finishing Things

Botanical Sketch a Day, June 2012
Tombo Makers, Sharpie Pen, Sakura Gelly Roll Pens

I started this sketch-a-day in June but just finished it last night.  One of my areas to work on:
I start a project or challenge with great gusto and get distracted by another shiny project or idea
and leave the previous project unfinished.  This is not just with art projects but also weight loss
plans, reorganizing plans, and the list goes on, throughout my life. 

I do need to acknowledge myself for completing my BFA and extensive graduate work
(three Masters) while admitting it took me from 1969 until 1988 to complete the BFA (sigh).
The masters were easier--two (or three) years, easier in some ways.  But think I am a sprinter
and not a distance runner.  That makes it sound so...athletic, doesn't it?  Chasing whatever leaps
or dazzles within eye shot has meant that I have often been confounded by narrowing down
my intended destination.

Images and ideas excite and inflame me!  New art techniques and materials are akin, for me,
what others gain from that expensive new purse or pair of heels.  Me, just show me a pretty or
intriguing flower, leaf, fruit, seed and I'm in artist heaven.  Don't know what it is about color,
curve, line, texture, that seductive negative space and shape. 

My life is heaven and hell, the pain of forgotten things, unpaid bills, unfinished things, living
space messes; the ecstasy of being a witness to beauty and the pleasure of noting my visual
impression of what I experience.  I haven't given up on learning to steer a little straighter
on my path, but I have to quote one of my favorite contemporary artists, in a CBS interview
series "Notes to My Younger Self": "I am confident that no artist has more pleasure, day in
and day out, than I do".  I believe that what you say is true, Chuck, but ME TOO.

I've provided this link before in this blog, but think it is worth repeating, in case you did not get
around to  viewing it.

Monday, July 16, 2012

ARTbundance Muse

Creativity Muse "Flo"

Pencil, Sharpie Pen, Yasutomo Metallic Watercolors,
Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic Pens, Tombo Markers

Taking a course from Artella called ARTbundance ACT 7.  Our first ARTsignment was to make a drawing of our creativity muse.  My muse is named "Flo" and she is a genie who lives in a teapot rather than an Aladdin's lamp. Tea and tea pots to me represent comfort, friends, conversation, warmth and energy.  The Goddess necklace seems to represent a connection with the ancient, the earth and the creative energy of the Great Mother.  Her third eye represents being awake and aware, intuition and insight.  The palette looks like a seed and represents the growth that comes from my labor as an artist.  The paintbrush tree grows and produces fruits in the form of saleable artworks.  All the rainbows flow from my work as an artist.  The rainbows not only fill my cup but also the cups of others (counseling, teaching).   Art related books also flow from the inspiration and ideas that come from my connection to spirit and its manifestation in my work.  Her blue hair seems related to keeping a cool head, being a "senior" and having "fun" hair.  Her wings represent connection to idea and spirit and also are a reminder to keep things light. 

The assignment to make a picture of my ARTbundance Muse coincided with an assignment in Joanne Sharpe's Color Love 101 class, to create a "Color Love Girl".    I made the drawing below but Flo seems like the best solution to both assignments.  I have been drawing flowers and landscapes for sometime now, it has been a long time since I have drawn faces.  Interesting.  I will keep you informed about my progress in the ACT 7 training.  Feeling more creative already!  The Color Love Girl was created with Koi Watercolors, Sharpie Pen and Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic Pens.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Botanical Themed Mini Journal

Side one panels of 21.5" X 4.5" mini-journal.  There are actually 7 panels

I used the Fireworks Craft Spray and various stencils.

Side two, mini-journal, stenciled with spray inks, gessoed

I used the Fireworks Craft Spray and various stencils.  I actually did a second light coat of gesso.

First three panel journal entry, Van Gogh quote

Tombo Markers, Sharpie Pen, Bienfang Watercolor Brush Markers, Gelly Roll Metallic Pens

2nd three panel journal entry, Emerson quote

Tombo Markers, Sharpie Pen, Bienfang Watercolor Brush Markers, Gelly Roll Metallic Pens

3rd three panel journal entry, Monet quote

Tombo Markers, Sharpie Pen, Bienfang Watercolor Brush Markers, Gelly Roll Metallic Pens

4th three panel journal entry, Roethke quote

Tombo Markers, Sharpie Pen, Bienfang Watercolor Brush Markers, Gelly Roll Metallic Pens

The mini-journal was an assignment in Joanne Sharpe's ColorLove 101 class.  I don't remember
making a small art journal before and this was so fun.  Background made with craft spray and stenciled, then gessoed.  Size of the journal doesn't matter, just needs to be about 7 times longer than it is high. I used a Strathmore muti-media paper.  Fold the strip in half and then in half again and fold like an accordian.  You could make this into a story about a specific event, a travel journal, a letter or greeting card.  I made it into a quote book.

I started making quote books with illustrations in high school.  I gave my first completed one to my sister. She loaned it to a friend who was tragically killed and the book was lost.  I've continued to illustrate quotes that speak to me, in my journals. 

For this one I found quotes by artists and others who talked about flowers.  I don't know what it is but love putting words and pictures together and get as much pleasure, later, from reading the quotes and seeing the pictures again.  The beauty that these words and pictures reflect lift my heart.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Trying New Color Combos

Gardening Magazine Blossum and Starry Night Redux

Raven in Scrub Pines and Koi

These are my sketches using pencil and Sharpie Pen colored in with Derwent's Inktense
watercolor pencils, one of my favorite mediums.  I have been in Joanne Sharpe's
Colorloving 101 online class and she has encouraged us to try colors that we would not
usually use together.    This is also such a terrific way to get to know you supplies!
6 randomly selected colors.  Think of an image that would be well rendered in this range,
Only use the 6 colors.  A fun challenge!

I chose the Starry Night image because the Ionian Green is just the color of the Cyprus
tree to me.  I cheated, just a little, on the Raven picture.  My sky just got too dark so
I added the Intense white over it.

I challenge you to randomly select 5 to 6 colors, or try out the color scheme from a
famous painting.  It is easy to get into a color rut so this is a great way to deepen your
relationship with colors and materials and find new color favorites.

Randal Plowman's Collage Workbook

Randal Plowman's "Frozen Pops"
4"X 4" mixed media collage

Randel Plowman's wonderful new book, "The Collage Workbook"

I am one lucky girl.  I was the selected winner to receive a publisher promo on giving away a Randel Plowman collage and a copy of his
new book "The Collage Workbook" .  Thanks Stefanie! Thanks Randel!  I have been following
Randel's blog at for some time and love his work!  He is not
only a wonderful, prolific collage artist but also an expert marketer.  I wish he would also write
a book about art marketing and promotion!

The book is a wonderful basic collage techniques book and has 50 project prompts which I
intend to follow. I believe that collage is the medium of the millenium that perfectly expresses
the complicated and layered lives of today's artists. 

I am also thrilled to own a Randel Plowman collage!  This one is perfect for me in terms of the
inclusion of a floral image (my obsession) and the title.  In this brutally hot Colorado summer
(hottest yet) I would like to roll in a bed of pink frozen pops, lol.   I just love this collage
composition and all its elements.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tombo Markers and Scribbles: Everything's Energy

Tombo Blooms plus Scribbles

Tombo Jelly Bean Markers, Identipen Marker, Pitt Pen,
Gelly Roll metallic markers, Staedtler Watercolor Crayons

Today experimented with using the Tombo Markers (Jelly Bean color range) like
watercolors.  Love the bright and cheerful colors and in keeping with the child-like
colors I made simple flowers with large centers and playful petals.  Did all the
basic drawing with the Pit Pen, then Tombo Markers, water and brush.  Did not want
to quit so  added scribbles, first with watercolor crayons, then with Gelly Roll metallic
markers. I last added dots in the flower centers with Plaid liquid embossing.

The scribbles were fun to do.  While I scribbled I was thinking about Julia Watkins and her energism painting and Einstein's quote:

"Everything is energy and that's all there is to it.
Match the frequency of the reality you want
and you cannot help but get that reality.
It can be no other way.  This is not philosopy.
This is Physics."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June Botanical Sketch a Day 1st through 15th

June Botanical Sketch a Day 1st through 15th

Prismacolor Pencils, Souffle Pens, Sharpie Pen, Derwent
Watercolor Pencils, Fireworks Spray Ink, Copic Markers,
Office Max Metallic Markers, Gelly Roll Pens.

I really have been enjoying a thumbnail sized sketch a day in my visual journal.  I must admit,
however, that I am two days behind.  Think I will use black gesso and metallic pens on the 17th,
not sure about the 16th.  One thing I have found is that this is a very useful way to try out new
art materials and techniques.  My fav, I think, is still Derwent Watercolor Pencils but also love
the copics and shiny pens.

I know you might be wondering what that purple thing is on the 12th--not sure, looks like a
thistle, but also maybe artichoke like?  Don't know.  Like my tomatoes on the 11th and the
artichoke I am sure about on the 8th.  I am sometimes looking at the actual flower or leaf for
reference, sometimes a botanical magazine like "Birds and Blooms".

Fun and good for me to make myself stick to a plan.  I tend to go off chasing that next shiny
thing in terms of ideas, art techniques and supplies.  The one thing I do know, however, is
that I continue to be taken with images of nature: flowers, leaves, birds, fruits, butterflies, bees.
Looking at the beauty of nature just makes me happy.

Faux Stitches and Black Gesso

Let Your Art Out (left page)
Black Gesso, Yasumoto Metallic Watercolors, Office Max
Metallic Markers, EK Metallic Marker, Gelly Roll Pen, White.

Let Your Art Out (right page)

Black Gesso, Yasumoto Metallic Watercolors, Office Max
Metallic Markers, EK Metallic Marker, Gelly Roll Pen, White.

My first experiment with black gesso (Liquitex) and metallic watercolor and markers.  I used a silver
metallic marker to draw the flower and pattern.  Next I randomly filled the divided sections with the
metallic watercolor.  Later, when I really saw that it was looking like a crazy quilt, I added the patterns
in the Office Max metallic markers and the "stitches" with the Sakura white Gelly Roll pen.

Suddenly I was imagining myself sitting with one of my mom's photo albums from the late 40's.  Her
familiar handwriting in white ink on the black album pages.  She told me that she was embarrassed
by her "terrible handwriting" but it looks so great to me.  I guess it's strange that I haven't tried black
gesso and white ink before because I love how dramatic it looks.

I think I will re-visit this at some point and work with paper designs I've made for backgrounds.  I
might just get brave and make some real stitches.

The "Let Your Art Out" is a reminder to find a way to creatively self express often.  It is stress
reducing, emotionally releasing and just plain fun!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

June Botanical Sketch A Day

June Botanical Sketch A Day Journal Page Left

Watercolor pencils, Office Max metallic markers, Copic markers, Sakura Souffle Pen,
Martha Stewart Craft Markers, Derwent Metallic Watersoluble Pencils

Fireworks Craft Spray, Sharpie Pen, Sakura Souffle Pens,
Copic Markers, Office Max Metallic Markers, watercolor pencils.

This is my first Art Journal calendar spread.  I was inspired by Effy Wild's "Book of Days" videos,
my own daily sketch books and all the artists online who seem to be doing monthly and yearly art
challenges.  I've seen, just for some examples, page a day, face a day, sketch a day, cloud photo
a day, artist trading card a day, oil sketch a day, collage a day, postcard a day, handmade card a day.
I do botanical sketches often but like the idea of a thumbnail sized sketch each day. 

My plan is to make some sort of botanical or nature related drawing a day in my homemade
calendar pages.  Taking one month, and especially, one day at a time with this!
Still have to do a sketch for today. 

See anything unusual about this calendar page?  The dates are on the right days of the week, but
after I had drawn this page I realized that my weeks started with Mondays instead of Sundays.
Think I am going to leave it this way, though, because that's how my life works---five "work" days
and the two weekend days outlined in gold.  Ever get that feeling?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My World Laughs in Flowers

My World Laughs in Flowers

Compass, Office Max Metallic Markers, Copic Markers, Recollections
Opaque Marker, GellyRoll Stardust Marker, Pelican Opaque Watercolors,

Art at the Center

Pelican Opaque Watercolors, Office Max Metallic Markers,
Pitt Pen, Copic Markers

I've been writing a lot, lately about what art means to me.  This spread is also about what botanical
art means to me in particular, and how I ended up being so attached to this subject matter. 
Feel like I've been working on this spread forever, and it has been a long process. 

The right page started as a stand along mandala "Letters in the Round" (Joanne Sharpe Lesson).
I wanted to integrate it into my larger journal.  I actually wanted to make this into a mind map with
the letters in a circle format, as the mind map components, but it has turned into decorated pages
that I still need to write in.

While I've made these pages I've been thinking about flowers and where I got connected to this
subject.  Here's what I think: I've had a special spot in my heart since I was a child.  Both my
mom and her mother had green thumbs.  One of my sisters is a Botanist and my other sister
has a lovely fence with climbing roses.  My grandmother lived on a farm and I remember her
bushes of lush peonies in the front yard, her row of Hollyhocks by the pump house, her brilliant
orange and black tiger lilies by her front door.  I associate my mom with blooming trees as well
as pansies and flowers of all kinds.  And the Lombard Lilac Festival, and, of course,
Georgia O'Keefe.

I remember my mother reading a beautifully illustrated book about flowers and fairies to me
when I was 4 or 5 and not wanting to return the book to the library.  What sealed it for me,
though, was a third grade teacher who showed us a slide show of flowers and vividly
communicated her love of botanical images.  I can't remember what she said about the
flowers she showed us but the beauty of those images is with me yet.

In art school I painted Matisse influenced portraits and then moved into Neo-Expressionist
canvases.  But while I worked in my work-study job in the media lab I drew pages and pages
of botanical drawings.  I used my trusty botanical field guide to make my drawings.
I never for a second considered this my "real art" but should have gotten a clue when someone
begged me to sell a page from my floral sketchbook to them.  Then I went off to get my
Masters in Art Therapy.  It's been an interesting and rewarding life.  For the last 20 years I
have either worked in private practice or as a college teacher.  But now, after all these years,
I've picked up my great love again.

It happened by accident when I stopped into the local free school to ask if I could teach an
artist trading cards class for them.  They told me it was too rarefied a topic (not true in my
world) but would I be available to teach a drawing class at the Denver Botanic Gardens?

Thank You Mother-Father God!  I've been doing it for two years now and it has been so great.
I don't care how girlie or sentimental some think flower paintings are.  They are my passion!
To me, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said "The Earth Laughs in Flowers".  My world too.

Below are the pages in their final form, with journal entries added.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Great Chuck Close Quotes!

The way this started...
Gesso, Aqualon Wisp Brush, Pelican opaque waters, Yasumoto
iridescent watercolors, paper towel blotting, compass 

"Inspiration is for Amateurs"
Office Max Metallic Markers, Sharpie Pen, Copic Markers,
gesso, Martha Stewart Craft Markers

I struggled with and overworked this spread.  Love the quotes from the painter Chuck Close,
the lettering is OK, like the sketched flowers at the center but I do not like how it sort of looks
like the a graffitied side of a barn, lol.  Hmm, well, that's maybe what I like about it.  Will have
to sit with it.  Maybe sand it a little.  OK now I'm back to: I struggled with and overworked this
spread...but I love the quotes from the painter Chuck Close. 

You MUST watch this video. 
I think it is the most important source of solace and wisdom I've had this month, for sure!

Chuck Close was interviewed and asked to give advice to his 14 year old self. 
Ohhhhh, this is what my 14 year old self (and my 60 year old self) needed.

So I  tattooed quotes from the interview on my page, for the same reason that many get words
and images tattooed on their skin, to remember, to not forget :
  1. "Sign into the process and see where it takes you."
    Jump into the Creative process (or could say, the process of life), go with the flow,
    see where it takes you.
  2. "Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and and get to work."
    Searching for inspiration, waiting to work until inspiration strikes---
    Chuck is saying that that is for Amateurs.  Working artists just show up and get to work.
    This is so true and so important.  Of course one needs to learn the language, tools, and
    techniques of art, but the most important piece is that 99% of perspiration--
    just practicing your craft.
  3. "All the best ideas come out of the process.  They come out of  the work itself."If I had to say what it is about the creative process that keeps me coming to my studio
    I would say, well, the cool stuff you can make, but, more importantly, the things I
    discover about myself and my craft!  It tickles and makes me smile to suddenly see a
    new way of doing something or a cool new effect.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Wisp Brush, Waxed Paper Masks, Remember

Love, Serve and Remember

Stampers Anonymous stamp, home-made word stickers,
K & Co. butterflies, waxed paper mask, waxed paper
cut-outs, Yasumoto iridescent watercolor, Imagine
Craft Fireworks craft spray, stencils, Office Max Metallic
Markers, Martha Steward craft marker

On the left my new Aqualon Wisp brush, waxed paper cutout.
On right a different, just started, journal spread that gives you an example
(around edge, orange outer circle) of what the brush does.

A bunch of cool (to me, at least) discoveries contributed to the top image "Love, Serve & Remember",
the name of a Ram Dass book and a good reminder of what I am here on this planet to do.  The top
spread started out with two circle shapes drawn with a compass, I meant to do a "Lettering in the
Round" (Joanne Sharpe) spread. 

  1. Waxed paper masks
    Discovery one took place when I used the waxed paper I often use behind the pages I'm
    working (on to protect other pages) to cut out a mask to protect the circles from stenciling and
    spray.  Used just a bit of double stick tape to hold the mask in place.  You can still see the
    masked circles (lavender). 

    I used letter and swirl stencils with Fireworks craft spray and used the ghosting technique
    (saw Dyan do this in a video) where you place the sprayed or wet stencil face down to make
    a ghost image of the one you sprayed.  I actually like the "ghost" better.
  2.  Waxed paper cut-outs
    Discovery two, I used a version of this technique with the tissue paper I used to blot another
    spread previously.  When I saw what great spray patterns and colors were on the waxed paper
    I cut out flower shapes with scissor and glue down the waxed paper cut-outs with Mod Podge.
    Love how transparent the waxed paper is.  Maybe you can make out a couple of flowers on
    each of the pages (subtle in this picture).
  3. Aqualon Wisp Brush
    I saw this odd brush at Hobby Lobby.  It's for watercolorist who wants to quickly put in foliage
    or hair or the like in their watercolors.  I thought: lines/texture.  The brushes are by Royal
    Langnickel and come five to a "value pack" for around 14.00.  Sheds just a bit but within the
    acceptable range.  In the "Remember" spread you can see the interest created with these brushes
    when the light spaces where left and interacted with the spray.
  4. Hand-made shiny word "stickers"
    This is a technique you probably already know but doesn't hurt to remind you.  You can print
    out words from your printer, on any older paper, with any color and style of font.  Cut or punch
    them out, glue down, then use Glossy Accents (Ranger) or Liquid Embossing (Plaid) or
    Dimensional Accents (Plaid Mod Podge product).  I used Liquid Embossing here. 
    Cut my "serve" button too small but other than that I like these.  I inked the edges before
    I glued down and added the Liquid Embossing.

    Reflective/Art Therapy Angle: 

    I wanted to make a piece to remind me about the daily things I need to remember to have
    balance in my life.  The first thing that came to mind was the two vitamins for my soul that I have
    been forgetting about lately, Walking and Meditating for more than a couple of minutes.
    Both these activities help me dump worry stress and feel more focused.  The other essentials
    that I seek to do everyday are Create and Teach.  Finally I added "Love, Serve and Remember" which is such a great daily reminder. 

    The doorway shaped stamped images came before the words.  I wanted  to write something
    about answering the door when opportunity knocks.  You know how it goes though--creations
    have a life of their own that the strategic mind may have no idea about.  Think that is what
    tickles me about art. I added the butterflies because they represent radical transformation,
    and brief beauty to me.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tiger Flowers Revisited

Original Collage (see Tiger Flowers post for how-to)

Tiger Flowers (sharpie pen drawing added)

Tiger Flowers, printed background, painted

Pelican opaque watercolors, Yasutomo iredescent watercolors, Sharpie Pen

As you can see, both of the images above are from the left side of the journal spread. 
I was nervous about painting on my colllage so printed out the Tiger Flowers Collage on textured
cardstock.  Much of the rich texture and subtle colors where lost in the print-out.  When I make a
copy I turn it into an original by continuing to alter it.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to lightly paint
(like right image) or add more saturated color.  If you saw the one on the right in person it looks
like an image from an oriental screen.  The one on the left is more full spectrum but the loss of
the background becomes more evident.  Tell me what you think.  I'm leaning towards the
folding screen colors.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Good Day to Cry

A Good Day to Cry

Yasutomo Iridescent watercolors, Imagine Fireworks Crafts Spray,
Sharpie pen,  Staedtler aquarell pencils, Office Max metallic marker,
Recollections Opaque Marker.

Sometimes I have those days when tears seem to be closer to running down my cheeks. 
Same life facts as yesterday, likely the same as tomorrow, but something triggers that feeling,
and suddenly I'm crying in the car on the way to a starbuck's for an iced tea and Michael's for
craft supplies for a kid's summer program; activities that would usually put a smile on my face. 

I already had this pinkish background with blue sprayed spots so thought I would do a
"Good Day to Cry" page and also my number 8 lesson from Joanne Sharpe's "Letter Love":
Groovy Gridlines.  I got the idea of doing bumpy lines in watercolor pencil and letting
the drips drip down when I added water.   I felt satisfied with my journal entry on the
right side, especially the last sentences:
"Some days are just like this.  Great to have this page to mop it up."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tiger Flowers Collage Pages

Cadmium Orange Watercolor with Imagine Craft Spray (Lady Bug).
On the left side sprayed while paint was wet, on the right sprayed when paint dried. 
Variation is brush strokes with the watercolor paint caused the streaks and lighter spots.

I used sticker sheet waste (stickers by Doodle Bug) as a stencil.
Found out it is hard to rise off and dry more than once.
I blotted the craft spray with yellow craft tissue paper
(I think my Art Journaling British friends call this "Mopping"). 

I used the mop-up tissue to cut out flower shapes with scissors.
  I glued down the flowers with Tacky Glue
and/or Iridescent Medium (Winsor Newton) to make the collaged background.

This is the completed background before I added the Tiger Flower drawing.
  I also used a circle stencil and a spiral stencil to add a little bit more texture and interest.
I used spray ink to stamp simple flower shapes (INKADINKADO),
gold metallic markers (Office Max) to make a few details. 

Here is the completed piece, "Tiger Flowers".
I used a sharpie pen to draw the Tiger flowers using a picture
from Garden Gate magazine (1995) as reference.
  I think I will leave these pages alone but will use acrylic paint
to paint the flowers and their leaves in the future.

I am really pleased with these pages.  This page looks to me like what the Denver Botanic Gardens looked like, to me, last weekend.  It has  rained a bit more than usual and the flower borders and beds are bursting with color.  I feel like my beauty-loving heart could burst with pleasure as well.  I am really allowing myself to really drink it all in.  Hope you can get the feeling too.