Thursday, December 31, 2015

Journal prompt 52

My last journal prompt for 2015.  I have joined the group again for 2016.  I really have done a lot of growing artistically with this group.  

Our last prompt was to all use the same blank puzzle piece and pick some "symbols" that would resonate with our experiences this year.  The prompter gave tons of symbols from many cultures that we could use.  

But I have used two very common ones.  A question mark to symbolize how I am learning to live with unanswered questions…that's called "faith".  And the symbol of the heart (on the tiny lock) which is the symbol for love.
Faith and love.  So now…on to 2016 with hope.

ps.  Materials used in this prompt:  acrylic paint, mono-printed papers, pen and ink, intense pencils, white gel pen, gold micro-beads, metal ephemera, 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Closing in on the Zentangle Calendar

This gives the illusion that I am "caught up" on my calendar.
Hahaha.  Many blank pages previous to this.
But I decided to go forward and then go back and fill in.

Ixorus was the blog prompt for Back to Square One on Facebook last week so I dropped that in.  

The minimalist trees are not really exactly a Zentangle® pattern but someone posted them on the Tangle A Day calendar Facebook group (see her name) and I was so taken with them I decided to add them to this grouping.

Borbz has been around quite awhile but someone put this new grouping on their blog and I wanted to try it out.  Salo is a new tangle for me. 

We all get to "musing" about time and the passage of it when the old year ends and a new begins.  I find this not really a good time for me to "set goals".  All my teaching years have always made September be my goal setting time.  But I do think it is a good time to look back and think over what has happened and try to make some sense of it.  

I remember last January when I started my first year long "prompt" group for journaling that I posted how NOT ready I was for a new year and how even reluctant I was to even admit that the new Year was beginning.  I showed a sweater unraveling off me while I was still wearing it.  Me looking dismayed.  Father time pulling the strings off.  

I don't feel quite that reluctant this year.  A little more forgiving about what happened and what didn't this year.  I like the idea of "giving up regrets" because that is too much like whining.  

I quote Danny Gregory:
"I can provide reasonable goals, set myself up with clear and achievable markers of success, be supportive and understanding without being either a wimp or a tyrant, and remind myself that failure is not catastrophic but just a detour from a path and one I can still return to.
Let’s do great things in 2016 but in a reasonable, supportive, human way. And let’s start by giving up regret."
I think one of my goals will be to be a little "wordier" on my blog in 2016.  Note I said "little".  Some of my favorite blogs like Ann Lamot's and Danny Gregory's have a little meat to them…something to actually say.  Ann of course is not writing about art per se.  More about how she views life.  If you haven't found her Facebook page do take a look.  
This will be a year of preparing for a new president, of trying to make sense of what terrorism means in society and how can sane people deal with it and counter it, of dealing with so many mental health issues in our country, and of coming to some sort of reconciliation about gun control and immigration and climate change.  How all that will fit into talking about my art journey is an unknown.  I do know that art fill a void that keeps me sane and centered and balanced in a tilted world.  
Happy New Year.  And May the Force be With You.   

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A last Christmas Sketch

We got so lucky with Sat weather here in SC and the sunshine and it was 75 degrees. Wow.

I did a small quick wc and ink sketch of my sister and brother in law's beautiful lake front on Lake Wylie.

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Remembering the Concert

We are in South Carolina on Christmas Eve day.

Warm and rainy here. 71 degrees..setting records.
I took a little time after lunch to go back and a little color from my tiny ink sketch from the concert last week.

Tonight we'll be in Charlotte for chili supper and Christmas Eve services at New Covenant UCC church.

Merry Christmas.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Frog's Restaurant on Cedar Key

5 x 7 canvas wc and acrylic, graphite and pen

Frog's Restaurant on Cedar Key, FL.
At least my "interpretation" of the restaurant.
It's not signed yet.  I have a few more things I may do.
This will be my gift to the Fine Arts group for the brunch on January 16.  

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Watercolor on a prepared birch panel

8 x 8 birch panel

designs done with a Molotow pen filled with Golden High Flow white paint.

This technique is from Danielle Donaldson's book Creative Girl Mixed Media Techniques for an Artful Life.  Very fun book.
Project is done on a birch panel that has been sealed with clear gesso/varnish mixture. White tangles are done with High Flow paint and then sealed again.  Watercolor on top of that (somewhat of a challenge on this substrate) and then a wash of white acrylic paint thinned with glazing medium. 

I am thinking that Danielle will suggest a spray finish of clear acrylic over this all but she didn't mention that or I have missed that somewhere. I am hoping she'll respond to my question about that.  

This is a very fun technique and next time I'll be ready with a better drawing.  This is just a sketch of my studio table!  

Friday, December 18, 2015

Complete Jane Davies online class this week...

So…this is how the last assignment in Jane's online class sort of went.  Design some "starts" using your gelli plate, masks, mark making textures, and try not to think too much about it.  (That last part was easy.)  She suggests twelve 8" x 8" starts.  Above you see 5.
Hey, it's one week to Christmas.  Let's get real.  Incidentally the pink one at the top left did not make the final cut. I will just cover it over with a new combination of paints later.

After you play around putting gelli plate marks on your papers, you then go back with a paint brush and "tidy" things up.  In other words make the painted marks look more precise and more orderly and more painterly and more intentional.  This is becoming more of an easy task now that I understand from practice why this important.  Casual, loose, and fresh does not mean sloppy.  

Then begin to add some collage work to the pieces.  I added three pieces to the above painting.  I tried to stay in the color family already started but am thinking I'll need to add some spice to it soon.  The pale circles in the burnt sienna paint were there but I made them brighter using alcohol on a Q-tip.  

Speaking of spice…here is a piece of collage that definitely is in the spice category.  Orange against blue has always been fun for me.  So three pieces added to this one and some mark making.  The scribble lines were made by using a Fine Line applicator and some Pyrrol Orange fluid paint, thinned.  Swirly lines, for me, help to relax the painting and getaway from too much linear work.  The softer circles in the background were actually there on the gelli plate but I had to paint around them so they would show up.  I used a Glazing Pen by Sukura for the tiny dots which actually have texture.  This one might be finished. 

This one has some interesting possibilities.  the three vertical collage papers I made myself, of course, and the texture on them is made by lightly sanding the paper while it is on a textured surface…sort of reverse of what you normally do in a rubbing.  The sandpaper removes the paint revealing the texture of what is below.  You have to be really gentle in this depending on the weight of the paper.  Doesn't work too well on Deli paper.  I am thinking of some gold spatter on this one. 

Jane usually critiques these photos on the class blog.  But I haven't gone back to read her critique yet.  It'll probably say…"do more".  
It usually does.  I like the color combinations in this one but I may go back in with more paint and soften some areas on this one.  
Gold and turquoise is a nice combination. 

The class is over now…this is the last session. (6 sessions).  They flew by!  Jane will leave the blog up until mid to late January so folks can continue to post and talk and etc. until then.   I have found this kind of collage very additive and it's so cool to know I have this to play with anytime I want to relax and make art!!!  I will probably frame at least two either from summer class or this one to put in the Hawthorne Park show in March.  I may ask my blog readers to help me decide which ones as it gets closer.

Greg and I are leaving for a week in South Carolina for Christmas so I may not be posting again until after Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Journal Prompt 50

This prompt suggested that each person think of the tags that come on products and clothing, etc that tell what the product is made of.
Think of a tag for yourself…what defines you and what describes you?  Think of a word or words to put on your tag.  

It was interesting to see the ones that have popped up already and how people interpret this.  Because everyone is so complicated and plays so many roles in life, I thought hard about what word(s) I would use.  Finally I settled on sojourner: a person who resides temporarily in a place.  I feel very much that I on multiple journeys in my life.  Spiritual journeys, artistic journeys, and just life learning journeys.  I also thought about mentioning that age gives you the wisdom to accept that you won't get all the answers to all the questions on your journeys and you learn to accept that.

The background for this page is multiple layers (just like life).
It is stamping, direct paint, stencils, collage, glue, papers, etc.  The print style is called "clothesline printing".  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Zentangle calendar for December

Don't get the idea that I am up to date in my calendar.  I'm am just fooling you.
I do one forward and work like 5 backwards.  I am not sure if I am going to buy the 2016 calendar.  I've done this two full years now.
I do like that it's a great way to look back at tangles that I've enjoyed and see them in a small format.  But I think I am ready to move on to other things now and it's taking too much time. 
Now that I am doing journaling…I will try to incorporate some of my tangles there.  

This time I copied quite five of those to my "mac n cheese" tangle book.  THAT is unusual.  I love Sands, Marbles, Gotcha, Kollide and Tentz.  

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Chesed: A new meaning for love.

9 x 12 entry in Strathmore visual mixed media journal

The weekly journal prompt was to "tangle" your favorite quote.  Sometimes I extrapolate from the original prompt just because of what is going on in my life at the moment.  My journal, my decision, right?  

I get a daily devotional from the UCC church every day and sometimes it is absolutely on the mark and inspires me.  Rev Emily Heath is quoted in this journal response.  With so much fear and death and sadness on the news every night…many of us cling to the hope that good can prevail over evil.  Yesterday I was struck by a new vision for the word "love"…the Hebrew word "chesed".  

I also did a sort of "weaving" in this prompt because I feel that this is analogy for our lives…like fabric with the the threads weaving in and out. Sometimes the threads wear thin.  Sometimes they break and a knot needs to be tied.  The knots make the fabric stronger.    
As we age, there are a LOT more knots and thin spots but the patina of the old fabric becomes lovelier and more beautiful.  

The background for the page was actually brayer wipe off in brown/gold and the tangles were done with an Identi-pen. Shadings done with graphite and ink-tense pencils  

Friday, December 4, 2015

Diva Challenge

Challenge today is to depict a tree with a tangle.
This is my Frost Flower tree (with Diva Dance trunk).  

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hawthorne Park WC class

Nov 30th wc class

Not everyone could attend the last workshop due to it being right after a holiday weekend, but a nice group came and we had a ball.  I am proud of their progress!  

Monday, November 30, 2015

A few things to share

First gemstone painting

Gemstones in your Zentangle anyone?  Okay, it's all the rage now on the Facebook groups.  Come on, you HAVE to keep up here.  So this is just my first ever try at it.
I see it can be kind of addicting. I need to give my watercolor students their grade after the 3 workshops.  Everyone got an A.  Thought I'd make it a cool one.

Mike (9)

Okay so this is my grandson, Mike, sending me a Happy Thanksgiving card. On the front is his cat.  Very nice cat.
But inside is this.  Okay help me on this.  My first though it is Mayflower with sails bringing over the hapless Pilgrims. 

 But it looks for all the world like they have a trolling motor on board.  (Mike is an avid fisherman…his dad does have one of these).  It must be early in the morning or late in the evening as the sun and stars are out at the same time.  Always an amazing event when that happens.  

I adore kids' drawings.  They are so wonderful.  Mike has not yet been told he can't draw so he does and he can.  In a few years he'll stop.  Somewhere in there we lose that fresh joyous spirit that says "just do it" and we forget how.  
And then someone will have to re-teach him again when he is 40.  

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Planning for the last wc workshop for beginners

My watercolor class will conclude it's 3-part series on Monday with making some Christmas cards based on  things we have learned (color mixing and control of water) and combining them with some techniques for texture.  

Using Brenda Swenson's beginner wc book for our text…we are exploring her preferred textures: Saran plastic wrap (see background on top card), masking fluid (see snow flakes on bottom card), lifting (see moon and snow drifts in second card.  

I am using really inexpensive card stock as it actually works better for wet techniques.  Because it doesn't like to be taped down, however…we are using stic-tak on the corners of the cards to hold them to our support boards. 

I am limiting everyone to one #10 round and one 3/4" flat brush for the cards.  

If you look very closely you will see there are Christmas lights in the palm trees (moon glow gel pens).  This IS Florida after all. 

Happy Holidays.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Journal Prompt 46: Font Fun

Journal Prompt 46: Fonts

One thing I am learning is that "font making" is like illustration…it takes practice and it takes TIME.  Unless you plan to just "trace" fonts, you have to take time to learn some new ideas about printing and writing.  Not interested in calligraphy…just interesting font-making.  

I was in charge of the journal prompt on Nov 11 and so I challenged members to work with fonts.  Since then there have been two challenges and I'm not on top of them. One is about birthdays and one is about special celebrations in your life.  I should be able to put those together, don't you think???  

The journal prompt is now coming to the close of their first year together.  Some folks have dropped out, others plan to drop out but there is a core group still left for next year.  

My goal is to post twice a month…combining prompts together if I can and if not, then picking my favorite.  I also plan to use a larger journal at least 9 x 12.  Doing it weekly was just too much pressure.  But I learned a lot.  I also learned at 5 x 7 journals do not give me enough wiggle room!  

Am going to try to find a little more studio time in the holiday rush of things.  We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel too…but no excuses.  This evening my goal is to write my Christmas letter (long over due) and decide what art work will go with it.

I am also trying to search out a mechanical pencil that holds a .3 mm lead (normal is .7).  I am thinking I need to visit Office Depot first.  Been enjoying Danielle Donaldson's book Creative Girl Mixed Media techniques for an Artful Life.  Her graphite work is gorgeous.  

Hope you all had a lovely lovely Thanksgiving and next Sunday is the first Sunday in Advent.  My tree is up.  I am keeping decorations VERY simple this year with the kitchen construction happening.  Decorating with a lot of nice pungent piney candles and a live poinsettia and just some favorite little Christmas table cloths and runners.  Just enough.  Now to find the Christmas CDs.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Week 3 of Jane Davies online class

So in Jane's online class we are cutting "stencils" with a craft knife…just simple shapes.  I am using old magazine pages for this.  Every place you see "blue" that is where I cut out a shape.  Then you roll out paint on your gelli plate and lay the stencil on it and then place your 8 x 8 paper wherever you want.

So for instance on this one (actually white paper, sorry about the pink tint) the aqua blue and the orange are actually paint.  The others are collaged hand painted papers.  

On this one the yellow/burnt sienna and the light blue are all painted.  The others are collaged hand painted papers.

Mostly we are just "playing" a little with the ideas.  We are not working out a lot of details on the collages yet.  

Preparing for tomorrow's WC lesson

Goals for Beginner class II:
drawing negative space (around the outside of the leaf).
mixing color on the paper.
leaving white spaces.
remembering where the light source is.
using water droplets for texture.
scraping for lines (veins)

You can get a lot of information from a small painting.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Artsy Fartsy on the portable sewing machine cover.



Ever since I discovered that my portable sewing machine case had begun to deteriorate…I've been planning on making it look a tad better.  First I thought I'd just paint it.  But soon I began thinking of something a little "wonkier".  You know me.

All those scraps of gelli-print paper…I know just the place for them.  These are collaged on with heavy gel medium.  I chose the heavier medium as I didn't want it running all over and the heavy medium stays put when you put it down and the papers also wrinkle a little less.  

Now that it is bone dry,  I'll coat the whole thing with Modge Podge clear coating to seal it well and give it some resilience.  Now where I store it in the studio will at least make it "fit in" as a piece of art work!!!
In my small space, there is no where to "put it out of sight" and I so I just needed it to "fit in".  Voila.  

Thursday, November 19, 2015

There's Something in the Air

One of the many things we did at Legacy Park at the Zentangle class yesterday.  The Christmas card folds at the middle.  

The snowman is done on a classic 3.5 tile and then I cut slits in the card to insert the tile so it can be removed later if the recipient wishes to do so.  Above are a sample of some other possible borders (there are tons and tons of them, of course.)  But these are ones I like especially.  

Monday, November 16, 2015

Leesburg Art Association Fall Show

You Are Not in Kansas Anymore

Last Saturday evening's art reception for the fall gallery show at the Center for the Arts in Leesburg, FL.  No prizes this show…but it was fun.  

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Zentangle Demo ready...


For the demo in Mt. Dora, FL I decided that for those people who bring a fine line black pen and a pencil, I would demo a book mark. Totally optional.  I wanted one that would be simple and not take too much time or have too much explanation.  This is not a "class"…just a demo.  Here are a few I played with the then decided on the third tangle.  "Ing" is the tangle that was introduced at CZT 15 which was my session.  So you sort of "bond" with your tangle, ya know?

It is very simple and yet has a very nice look to it.  I added a little tipple to balance it with a little organic lines and then did an aura around the whole thing. The wc is just to show people how things change if you add color.  

So I cut 50 book marks this weekend and on the back of each I have the information about my DK class in January.  Susan thinks we could have as many as 45 people at the demo.  So that would be good marketing for the class.  

Pretty warm (86) in central FL…overcast this afternoon.  After church and lunch, we are now watching the Packer's game.  They are down 14 to 27 at the point in the game.  Go Pack!  

Friday, November 6, 2015

Fun With Gelli Print class

Using Dimensional Paint

Using Acrylic Glazing medium

Okay so I am in this online class with Jane Davies.
This is a first for me.  Never done anything like this before.
I am not sure how many folks are in the class but I know it filled last April in 48 hours.  

She establishes a private blog to which we all post our lessons each week.  I think it's 6 weeks but right now I can't remember.

Folks in it are from all over the country and other countries too…I remember seeing The Netherlands and Canada and Great Britain..I forget where else.  Very fun.  

At this point Jane is having us begin to learn how to create different textures on the Gelli plate for collages.  I won't bore you with all the things but here were two I especially liked.  

Have been a busy bee in the studio lately…also getting ready to post my first prompt to the journal group on Facebook.  Makes me nervous to think I am in charge of it next week!  Yikes.
Thanks to Cynthia, who gave me inspiration, I think I have it written the way I want it now.  Hope I remember to post it!  

Life is crazy here.  After 3 weeks of not feeling well…I am almost back to normal (if ever I am normal).  We are busy remodeling our kitchen, and I have several classes I am teaching…watercolor next Monday and then Zentangle Tuesday the 17th.  So prep work ongoing there.  Everything slightly behind!  

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Journal prompt

9 x 12 Journal page, acrylic and multi media with photo.
Journal prompt for my FB group…the prompt is "Masks".
That's all…just "masks".  You interpret as you like.

My theory is that we all wear masks most of the time.
Some wear heavier ones and remove them less.
Others wear kind of cool ones that reflect the person underneath.
Mine is sort of "steam punk" with cogs and sails blowing in the wind…it might also reflect that I had a hard time sleeping last night because my flags and cogs kept churning.  Every have that happen?  

This is prompt #44.  The group has done one a week for almost a year now.  Whew.  THAT was one fast year!!!  I am wondering if we'll stay together for another year now.  My suggestions was two prompts a month instead of 4.  I'd like to feel I had a little more time to play with the ideas given out.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Diva Challenge: Wonky Leaves

Somehow it got to be Sunday (the last day for the Diva Challenge) and my wonky steam punk leaves didn't get posted.  I am SO far behind on my calendar…about 15 days.  THAT has never happened.  You can tell I have not been feeling well.  

But I'll be better soon.  
AND I'll get more creative next week.  I promise.
Tune in.

Back in the studio again! WHEW!

FINALLY got my studio unpacked here in central FL. 
Been at least three, almost 4 weeks since I had a studio and boy was I missing my space! It takes a week to pack it, so why was I so surprised it took a week to unpack it??? I keep the spot under the window for multi-media work and the desk to the right for watercolor and Zentangle, etc.  Temps 85 here every day.  Gorgeous.  

However it did not help that I came back with the flu.  And a doozy of one.  Headache, body aches, cough, sore throat and temperature.  Luckily it didn't come on until day 13 of the trip.  So most of our wonderful adventures were done.  Poor sis got stuck with me being in bed most of my visit to her in SC! 

Saw the doctor this past Wed but she says it's a viral flu and I have to "be brave" and stick it out.  Sigh.  Brave?  Me?

Am turning my thoughts to the beginner watercolor class coming up on the 9th here at the park…at least 10 students and maybe a few more.
I thought maybe Cheryl Moote's nice fall line drawing might be an easy one for a starter. 

What about wet on wet first with a a nice warm palette?
Teach about "layering"?  Seemed like a good idea. It is very small…like 5.5 x 7.5".  

But you know what?  This is too complicated for "beginner-beginners".  Too many objects, too much shading, too much texture, and we don't have that much time!

Back to the drawing board.  
I need a simpler thing…probably a simpler still life.
Anyone have a good idea?  Maybe just a mug and an apple or something like that?  

This is my drawing of a "Rat Rod" that I saw recently up north.
I'd like to try this in watercolor next.  Wish Barb Sailor was here with me to advise me on "rust".  Although in reality this was not rusty…I think it would be fun to give it a little rust.  

Have a good Sunday everyone. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Indiana and Ohio on the way to South Carolina

What a great treat to visit my beautiful artist blogger friend Deb Ward in Indiana Tuesday at her studio AND amazing farm! Here are a few of her lovely watercolors. And a special thanks to her hubby who drove us all over the farm.

Later on Tuesday my hubby and I visited the Cincinnati Art museum.
We had a lovely cafe lunch over looking the court yard and then spent all afternoon visiting a wide array of wonderful art...Calder, Miro, Chihuly, Childe Hasam, Gainesboro, Wyeth, and so many others. What a treat.

The special exhibit there was Raphael's Girl with the Unicorn. Lots of amazing background on that painting's history and restoration!

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