Sunday, March 29, 2015

Zentangle on Sunday

Auraknot has always been a "mac 'n cheese" tangle for me.  Loved it from the first time it I got it to work.  :-)

I've never done it on a Renaissance Tile before and I sort of like that effect too.

It was nice to see Rick and Marie's versions of Flux.
I have always liked that one.  Come to find out I have been mis-naming another tile Flux also…when I think it is really "Corner Box" or something else entirely.  
Need to look that up.  

Also turns out that I have won something in a drawing on  Good thing I checked in on that today and found my name!  It has something to do with the beautiful new stained glass window that has been installed at the zentangle headquarters in Providence.  I'll let you know when the secret surprise arrives!  

Tomorrow is my hubby's big day as the local in-house TV station at our park is featuring his model train lay (along with 3 others).  The taping is tomorrow morning!  Lots of preparation going there!!!  So I'll spend the afternoon prepping for my Tuesday Zentangle class.  It will be my last Zentangle class of the FLorida season (I think).  April is just too busy to try to fit anything more in.  

I am taking a 3-day Gerald Brommer wc and collage workshop up in The Villages April 20-22, have guests, AND am having my final cataract surgery this Wednesday.  That means a lot of follow up doctor visits and finally getting some new glasses toward the end of the month.  

Friday, March 27, 2015

Diva's Challenge: A spiral

Balo and Brabs on a Renaissance Tile.
I have one more Renaissance class coming up on Tuesday so I thought I'd give the Diva's challenge a try on a honey colored tile.

Stencil ideas

I think this is the 3rd time I've posted today. Yikes.
That's a record for me!!!
I've sort of been sweeping up some odds and ends of things and finishing up Zentangle calendars and doing a journal prompt and now I've switched to organizing stencils.

I had my stencils out for something in my journal recently.
And I remembered I had seen a video on YouTube recently about "reinforcing" the edges of stencils using back to back duct tape.  I have several packages of very small stencils that I got at Michaels or WalMart or some place like that because I really liked the patterns (even though very small).  And I like the price.  Have you noticed how expensive stencils ARE????

Anyway…I took two, a heart shaped and a zig-zag one and I taped the edges.  You can see the black paper showing through those two stencils above.  Now instead of being 3.5" x 4.5" they are about 7" x 7.5". Quite a difference and lots of edge to hold on to when you are using them!!! 

Then I rolled out some Liquitex Basic acrylic paint in gold and using a "foam" roller I roll-printed over the stencil.  Foam rollers are my NEW favorite way to use stencils.  A big Tracy Batista tip!  This stamping with foam make up sponges or padded little foam stampers is for the birds.  The sponge rollers work so smoothly and print so well and are so easy to wash out afterwards!!!!

You can find these small sponge rollers in the hardware stores or Walmart stores or Dollar Stores.  They run under $5 and often come with an extra sponge.  Perfect for painting with Yupo paper as well by the way.  Another story.

I also practiced with the zig-zag stencil, continuing on with it to make a large print.  By matching up the design of the 
stencil and "continuing" on with the print making you can make a LARGE print of the stencil without actually having a large stencil!  Voila. 

I was stenciling over some watercolor patterns, by the way, that made last spring and have not used yet.  I laid crumpled Saran wrap on the wet watercolor and let it dry that way.  I am sure you have done that at one time or another yourself!  That's the pattern on the far right at the bottom under the gold zig-zag.  

Because this is watercolor underneath, I would lightly spray this whole thing with an acrylic clear mat spray (outside) to set it and make it waterproof OR you can roll out the mat medium thinly on your Gelli plate and print the paper onto that surface and when it is dry it is permanent!  (That is also the way to make ink jet photos and printing permanent as well, by the way.)  Especially if I plan to add anything else on top!  

My other favorite way to use stencils is with a spray.  But I don't have very many of those…one black and one white and they are both water soluble.  So, like wc above, they would have to be made permanent before adding anything else. 

Okay…we are having company later today and so I need to get this studio a little straightened up!!!  I keep getting distracted!!!  WE expect some rain later this afternoon but I hope that it shifts off quickly.   

Tangle A Day Calendar updates

Felt good to get "close" to catching up on the ole "Tangle a Day" calendar last night.  Hey, if I can get one done today…voila!  

I am enjoying the new tangle "Keystone".  It reminds me of another one but I can't remember which one.  Binial and Caviar I've had in my Evernote app on my iPad for a long time but forget to use them.  I love the variation on Coaster with the daisy petals.  It's a "mac and cheese" tangle for me although the dark fill takes quite a long time to do.  It makes it dramatic.

I am enjoying a gorgeous dawn here in central FL (high 78 today) which is like perfect.  BUT we have maybe 50% change of rain later today.  Tropical.  The important thing is no rain Sat because our park is having it's HUGE once a year rummage sale tomorrow and it's open to the public.  Last year we made $16,000 on it in just 5 hours.  AMAZING.  And stuff is selling for rummage sale prices too.  It's not to miss.

There's a Land That I Heard of Once in a Lullaby…Journal prompt #13

5 x 8" journal page

Share your best "dreams" or your best "dream day".  So many things went through my mind…how would I spend my dream day and what would I do.  What would make me happiest.  Who would I choose to be with?  I found this prompt almost impossible to sort through.  SO so many things make me happy.  

I am probably happiest when I am making art…drawing, painting, journaling, sketching, printing, creating…etc.  I tend to do this in a solitary way…but having said that one of the reasons that I can be so creative is that I am loved enough to be myself.
Does that make sense?  Something to do with "centering".  

So when I set out to visualize that small center of my soul where dreams and creative begin…it became very complicated to pull out any one single thing…instead it all became very "dream-like" with ideas and happy thoughts swirling about.  Thus my journal page for this week reflects that.  All the while I found myself humming "Over the Rainbow"…"there's a land that I heard of"…."to a place behind the sun, just a step beyond the rain"…"once in a lullaby".  

The materials that came to my fingers yesterday were an acrylic skin that I made (ala Tracy Batista)..most of the swirly blues were made on a plastic sheet projector and then pulled off and glued on my page.  Then swirls of lovely lines in black tied the dreams together…dimensional paint…Slicks.  Gel pens slipped in and added patterns in white and rose and yellow.  And "nonsense" printing slipped in with a dip pen in Black Cat india ink.  

So it's a very personal representation of a happy dream like presence.  Somewhere "over the rainbow".  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fun way to use Gelli print scraps

Scrap pieces of Gelli print paper on deli paper and other papers make darling little paper beads.  I used heavy gel medium as the glue and put a little coat of it over the bead to help make it a little stronger and sturdier.  

I had some pretty little turquoise beads left over from another project and so I interspersed them into the necklace.  
The suggestion I saw on line was to string this on elastic…I think that might be a fun thing to do.  I'll try to find some.
Also the instructions suggested wearing 3-4 strands together each slightly different length.  That looks really nice.  

It's a little messy but it doesn't take long to do and the dry in a few hours!  Voila.  Ready for Easter!  :-)

By the way…I aced my post op cataract exam this morning.  My right eye is almost 20/20 now.  After completely failing the exam before surgery!  I am so happy!  
Left eye is April 1.  Hold that thought!  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Art Class at DK Art Supply in Leesburg, FL

Zentangle 101 Part II: Renaissance Tiles

Great group of 10 folks who did a wonderful job on their tiles and tangles.  I am going to sign up to teach Christmas tangles in November when I return in the fall.  

One more class to teach at Legacy Park next week.
That will wrap up the FL season for winter/spring.

I'm one week out from my first cataract surgery now and the eye is finally settling down.  I can even swim in the pool this week and over the weekend now!  But the second surgery is Wed April 1 so then we start over again!  Boy I can hardly wait for this to be all over!!!  (I'm such a whiner!)  Hahaha.  

Friday, March 20, 2015

Diva Challenge: Tangle in Green (and Tangle A Day Calendar)

Diva's Challenge to work in "green".  

Every few days I get caught up on my calendar again!  Hahaha.  
I love "Itch".  I had forgotten about it.  

My eye is slowly healing…I think I had more swelling than some people have as the doctor increased the steroid drops for a few days.  But the comfort level is much better today and most of the "gritty" feeling in my eye is gone.  

I am teaching a Part II: Renaissance Tile class tomorrow so am glad that I am feeling pretty back to normal.  I am wearing my "old" glasses from a few years ago when the prescription was not as strong.  This seems to work better for me for reading and computer.  The cloudiness is gone from my eye but it's hard yet to see how much actual improvement yet.  I still have some "blurriness" in that eye from surgery.  I think for me it's going to take some time for the healing.  Some folks it's almost instantaneous but not for me.  

Happy first day of spring everyone!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Journal Prompt #12

5 x 8 journal page

The prompt this week was to find some different ways to "stack" tangles.
I had already glued in strips of Gelli printed paper (with gel medium) weeks ago and was just waiting for the right prompt to use it.  I love all the vibrant colors!  Makes me happy.

You have to be willing, the way I do it, to have the journal prompts "out of chronological order", of course.  But this is fine with me.  

I used a lot of opaque paint markers by Sharpie on this.  

I want to thank all my blogger friends for their prayers and thoughts today.  My cataract surgery went very well.  I am tired this evening as it was a somewhat stressful day… the idea of someone using a laser on your eye is a peculiar one.   There was a long wait as patients got sort of "backed" up in the afternoon and that didn't help my anxiety level.  

And you are totally awake for this surgery, by the way.  You have an IV with some sedation and relaxation meds but the real deal is that all the drops they give you numb up your eyeball.  It's like a laser-light show…pretty amazing.  The actual procedure only takes like 15 minutes!  

I have a ton of drops to take now of course.  
A small price to pay.  Can't lift anything over 30# and have to wear a shield at night over the one eye just to be sure I don't bump it at night.  I think some Advil PM might be in order tonight!  

The lack of anesthesia leaves you feeling quite well afterwards.  
That part is good!  Well, in two weeks I will do it all over again!  Left eye.  Sigh.  
Meanwhile thanks everyone!  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Calendar Catch Up

Whew…caught up on the calendar (for a minute). 
I "sat" the gallery this morning for the Leesburg Art show downtown and it was VERY quiet and so I got all caught up!  Also worked on my Renaissance tiles for the workshop on Saturday.

Thanks blogger friends for all your prayers for my cataract surgery tomorrow.  Much appreciated.  I will update you.  Anxious to be seeing well again!!!  

Happy St. Pat's day.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Our Side of the Lake

11 x 14 gallery wrapped canvas/watercolor and ink

The working title has changed to "Our Side of the Lake".
I decided, at least for now, not to add any color to the landscape on the far side of the lake.  Just leave it in shade of black and gray.

Sweet Afternoon

11 x 14 gallery wrapped canvas

This is in just in THE most beginning stages.
Sometimes it's fun to watch along with me to see how things go.
This piece is drawn with water soluble ink on primed canvas (Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground…two coats sanded).

I wanted to see how the ink reacts to the "ground" rather than paper.  It seems to be reacting very similar which is good.  The original photo reference for this faces a calm lake…just blue water.  (rocks are my addition).  This is a FL scene but is going to made to look more northern.  I plan a high horizon line and a shore line in the distance.  A scene that is VERY familiar to me.

After I get the shore in I'll begin the watercolor.
Working title is "Sweet Afternoon".

Saturday, March 14, 2015

What Do You Know for Sure? Journal Prompt #11

Marks with "oiler boilers" and Black Cat permanent India Ink
My friend, Cynthia, reminded me about my "oiler boilers" which I have owned for years but not used for a long time.  She reminded me that Jane Davies uses them for mark-making on her blog.  

The paper on left is on deli paper with lines over some acrylic color and the one on the right is drying before I finish it below.  That one is wc paper and it took the ink a little differently. 

 I noticed that my lines seems "dots" but I think perhaps it's because I may have a tiny bit of dried paint in the needle of the applicator.  Not sure.  I sort of liked it that way.

This is 25 gauge (the thinner of the two you can get).  The thicker 18 gauge is what is recommended for putting on masking fluid (but frankly I'd never use it for that). But I think that it would be good for thin acrylic paint.  (You can find these  in Cheap Joe's catalog for about $8 each.)  I've had mine so long, I am sure I didn't spend that much.

Bubble prints, Foam stamps with acrylic, oiler boiler India Ink lines

Journal Prompt #11 is called "What Do You Know for Sure?"
It's inspired by an Oprah book of the same name.  One I haven't read but have read about.  And you can find quotes from it online.
But I decided it would be better to think about this personally and not from someone else's viewpoint.  

Old people know a lot of stuff.  
One of the few really good perks of being old.
Here I quote Emily from the play "Our Town".
"Oh earth, you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you.
Do any human beings ever realize life while they live--every every minute?"
The angel, if you remember, suggests maybe saints and poets might.  The rest of us go along never noticing.  This all goes along with the theme of my journal "Attention".  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Foam Magic Squares…WHAT next?

I am obviously running seriously behind in my Zentangle calendar.   And Cynthia is ahead and SHE has company.  Tsk Tsk.   My goal is to at least get up to date by this evening.  BIG goal as that means 6 calendar entries!!!  Yikes.  Have enjoyed 5 brand new tangles!  

Then the silly foam squares.  You won't be surprised that I just had to try these.  Moldable Foam Stamps, to be correct by "Magic Stamp".  I got these at Joann's with a $3 off coupon.  They were not expensive.  You get 8 pieces and you can use both sides.  
I still have a lot to learn.  I am enjoying using Cynthia's heat gun.  I can see that I am going to need one of those in my future.  
These foam things are really like magic.  With just 5-10 seconds of heat you can mold almost anything.  Can you see the keys?  And below that are Q-tips.  The red one are beads and the pink are pony tail holders.  There are so many things to try.  In 8-10 seconds the old mold can be "heated" off and you can start all over again with another molding design!  Tune in for more stamps.   (Now you can see why I am behind in my calendar!)

I also have a little watercolor commission work to labor on this weekend…more on that later and have several painting just waiting.  My Journal Prompt 11 is waiting for me to get "at it".  

Have been fighting another sinus "thing" which often happens in spring.  I am on meds now and have to get myself done with it so I am in good shape for my cataract surgery next Wednesday.  OMGosh the meds for that are SO costly.  Like $175 per bottle of drops!!! Who knew?  But hey, your eyes are SO important.  What more would you want to spend your $ on????  

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Profound Meaning of "Home"

Some people write a lot of personal viewpoints and about what is going on in their lives on their art blogs and I enjoy hearing and reading about that.  I think it helps to make the "blogger person" into a real entity and gives some depth to to the art displayed.  

I tend to write weather reports and comments about what art mediums I am currently playing with.  Not very personal.  The journal prompt challenge this year is something rather new to me.  It offers me a chance to try out lots of fascinating media, which I love, and to share ideas with a whole new set of bloggers.  

But journaling also opens up the chance to explore your feelings and what's up inside your head on a regular basis.  Sometimes that definitely colors the journal pages of the people who I follow…sadness, pride, love, hope, illness…as well as dreams and joys and family, etc.  

This is the 10th week of journal prompts.  I am trying to keep up with them and I suppose I will get off schedule now and again as life "interrupts art" at times.  Sometimes the pages look good…have composition and interesting art work and drawings.  
This prompt does not have any of that…in fact it's not anything I'm artistically really proud of at all.  Even posting it took some thought. But it has emotion.

The prompt was just "Look up" this week.  Nothing specific and allowed us to just think about what was going on in our minds and allowed us to be inspired by music, other art, literature, poetry, whatever was going on at the moment.  

I just finished reading Peter Heller's book Dog Stars.
If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.  The journal is a response to it and it is about "Homecoming".  Hubby and I just got home from a week's trip away and somehow "being home and comfy in our own surroundings again" reminded me of the joy of the meaning of the word "home" which to me is profound.  Peter quotes the poet Li Shang-Yin at the end so that is what is written on my page.

When Will I be Home?

When will I be home? 
I don't know.
In the mountains, 
in the rainy night.
the Autumn lake is flooded.
Someday we will be back together again.
We will sit in the candlelight by the west window.
and I will tell you how I remembered you
Tonight on the stormy mountain.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Zentangle "For the Birds"

One of the CZTs I read about used "feathers" as a ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) for her Part II class.  This feather is about 12" x 4".  I think her's were much smaller.  It is done on the smooth side of tinted pastel paper.  Those she posted had just one tangle across the width (rather than two different ones).  So just 6 instead of 12.
This makes sense in class as this feather took quite a bit of time to draw.  She had them trace a pattern for the feather to start with.
Might be a fun activity for my next class.

Trip Sketching

It's is kind of ironic that after all the wonderful sights and views of the Gulf area this week during our week…my two favorite sketches turned out to be inside sketches from the Palmetto Model Train Show yesterday!

Both are very loose little continuous ink sketches with a bit of wc added on afterwards.  Very relaxing.  5 x 7 little wc sketch book and a #5 micron pen.  

Hubby was off enjoying himself shopping for train parts, train books and etc.  He'd call me on the cell phone every so often.  It was a HUGE show.  One of the better ones of the year.  

Our trip was lovely…got to Sarasota on Tuesday afternoon and stayed through to Sat morning at the Ramada by the airport on the north side of town.  We had tropical weather until Thursday night and then a cool front slid down and dropped us into sweater weather for Friday/Sat.  

We ate SO much fish that we sprouted tails and fins…well, it seemed that way.  I'll post some photos that I shot for possible paintings later.  We so enjoyed see Holts, Stephens, and Marge Lothian. And we spent an entire day on Turtle Beach smelling the salt air and getting sand between our toes.  SO much traffic…OMGosh it was bumper to bumper on Tamiami Trail!  Winter weary snowbirds were desperate for sunshine!  I don't blame them a bit.  

We got home to Leesburg VERY late on Sat night…I quickly changed all the clocks and we fell into bed.  I got my paintings over to the park Art  Show this morning at 9 am (barely) and will go back later this afternoon to enjoy it and to help with clean up afterwards.  It's a beautiful sunny Sunday and weather man says 78 this afternoon so just a perfect day.  

We see it might get up to 48 at our north woods cabin this week and that means some melting!  Can spring actually be around the corner up there?  Let's hope so.  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sarasota art

Catching up on my calendar this morning....
And a 30 min sketch of the view outside my motel.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Zentangle Calendar…finishing up February

Tsk Tsk…how I do digress.  Suddenly I see that it's March!  
And not only that but already the third.
Well, only 3 days behind I should say.  
Seems like last year I was always 3 days a head.  What does this say about me?  Just that life is busy and not always predictable and I'm behind for positive and not negative reasons.  THAT is good.

I liked the way Feb 23-24 meshed so I reposted Feb 23 to show that.  And the 26th and 27 was particularly unusual and fun.  It is a complete creative plagiarism of Sandy Bartholomew Steen's post on our Journal Prompt group on Facebook.  I give her TOTAL credit for this idea…I mean it looks just the same…same colors and everything. BUT I so enjoyed that post I wanted to try it before I forgot how she explained it was done.  

The background is acrylic!  Who would have thought of that!
Pens on acrylic have to be different than regular paper…she used Sharpies and I used a Pitt pen.  The colors are colored pencil, shading is graphite and white jellyroll pens.  Her "word" was not spring but I decided that with all my northern friends just anxious for it I'd post a spring post!  All about hope!  One little flower on top…it WILL come.  Hang on.  

My surprise on this was how easily it shaded with graphite and how charmingly bright the whole thing looks!  Thank you Sandy for this inspiration!  

Feb 28 is inspired by Helen Williams.
Taking one small grid and enlarging it is always dramatic.
Thanks to my Graphic I pen for that!  

I am taking my calendar with me on my travels to the Gulf now and will post if I get some time.  Looking forward to some time sketching en plain air over the next few days.  Weather looks splendid.  We'll be back Sat night in time for our park's big art show.  More on that another time.