Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Diva's Challenge: Tangle a Labyrinth

The diva's challenge this week is to tangle a labyrinth.  
Laura found she had given herself a real challenge this time.
Labyrinths are not that easy to draw in the first place (although she gave a good link to drawing one).

This is THE most simple one and I moved ahead a week in my Tangle-a-Day calendar so I'd have enough room to do this.  Don't get the wrong impressions that I am really this far ahead!  

I wanted to stay "true" to a labyrinth's purpose and that is to have a clear path in and out (a meditative path) so that the person walking it has no worry about finding their way.  (The difference between this and a maze is huge!).  Mazes are puzzles to be solved.  Labyrinths are meditative walks without worry of getting lost.

So I made it a "yellow brick road".  You won't get lost in there.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Gelli Print Journals using recycled greeting cards?

Special thanks to Joanna Grant for sharing her tips on this fun way to recycle greeting cards.  These two little journals are totally made from old Christmas cards.  (any greeting card will do, of course). 

These were printed directly on a Gelli plate but you could also glue gelli print papers onto the cards as well.  AND who knew that those decorative rolls of "duck tape" could be so crafty and fun? (And yes, they do spell it "duck".)  It's such a strong and sticky tape it REALLY holds things together and comes in some really funky designs now (about $3.50 a roll at WalMart for about 10 yards.)

Click on Joanna's name above and go to her free intro video demonstrating a lot of what she will tell you and teach you on her new video!  

I've been trying to think of a fun project to introduce in my Gelli plate class in WI this summer.  This "might" one of them.  She also shows how to do this with an old recycled calendar!  (Takes longer to do but is really cool!)  And she does some darling accordion folded books that also would be fun to do in a class together.  

I'd like to journal in one of these so I could demonstrate what people put in this kind of a journal.  Lots of time for that this summer since the class is not until August.  

Gorgeous weather here in central FL…82-85 so the hot 90s has dissipated for awhile.  Sunny and beautiful.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tangle A Day through April

I am making some headway toward getting ahead on my calendar…slightly.  I'll be "on the road" by mid-May and although I have my calendar with me, I know from experience that getting to it while distracted or tired may not work.

Of these 6 tangles Gottago and Intersect are my two favorites.
Both will go on my "mac n cheese" flip chart.  Kloorz is kind of creepy, don't you think?  Holiday Splash would be cute in holiday colors at the holidays.  

Been a rainy day (mostly) in central FL today around 80.  Rain again tomorrow but then maybe a few pool days!  I am beginning to frame work for the up north shows now.  

Have a good week everyone!

Summer Afternoon

12 x 12 wc and collage on canvas board

The last week or so in the studio is always prolific.
I know I am going to be "on the road" for a month and I usually find all the half done projects and try to get them to some sort of conclusion before I go.  

The canvas on this board was primed with Daniel Smith wc ground…two coats sanded before I started.  I "gridded" this photograph reference in my new app called Jackson's ArtGrid.
The nice thing about that app is it allows you to reset the photo into whatever format (vertical or horizontal) and into whatever size your ground is and then grid it with however many sections you want to use.  I also do not have to print out the photo and waste ink but rather just work right off my iPad which has better color resolution than my inkjet printer does.

I can also turn the photo into black, white and gray.   
I have not signed this yet…am still letting it "rest" in case I want some changes.  The photo reference was from Key West but could be just about anywhere that has a lot of lush florals.

My biggest issue with the painting is that it divides warm and cool almost equally which is a no-no in painting.  But at this point I think changing that would be hard to do. My only other option might be to warm up the portion of the porch which is in the far left corner indicating a possible continuation of the flowers on that side of the porch but hazy and soft.  But I am reluctant to do that at this point.  Live and learn.  Basic rule: establish if the painting is warm or cool.  Sigh.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Decorating mailing envelopes

large yellow Mailing envelope

I want to have a few of these hand-decorated mailing envelopes around as samples for my August Gelli-plate workshop.  So I printed up another one.  

This one is actually more a "stamped" one done with those wonderful "magic foam" blocks you get at Joann's and then you heat one side with a heat gun and press it into anything that has a pattern and the foam block will HOLD that pattern semi-permanently…that is until you heat it again.  The blue pattern as made by pressing it into a saucer full of beads.  The purple pattern by pressing into a bunch of Q-tips.

Some of the others are stencils.  So actually maybe this is not the best example…it has some Gelli plate printing on the reverse side.  

Friday, April 24, 2015

One last Gerald Brommer assignment...

15 x 15" on 300# Arches WC paper

The purple/yellow combination was something I wanted to try on Wed in class (with Gerald Brommer).  The assignment was to try to "make a floral collage without actually making any flowers."  

This was less than successful (for me).  Although it was a pleasing design it's not what I really wanted to do.  I have another idea already in my mind to try while everything is fresh in my head.  And I may use some gesso to block out areas in this one and start again.  But probably not right away.  Something to work on later this summer.  

Right now I have a couple of ideas "fermenting" with some shows that are coming up soon in northern WI.  I'll post some of those sketches and ideas later.  

I need to write up some marketing materials for two of the three classes that will come up this summer and need to get out into newsletters.  

Meanwhile I need to get over a really nasty sinus cold that came from nowhere.  Ugh…they make me tired and cranky and I can't get motivated when I feel yucky.  Our packing and moving up north for the summer date is May 14 so I do have some time yet.  But then there is a LOT to do in that time frame too. I would say I have about two weeks left before I have to pack up the studio.  

Zentangle calendar for April

April slips gently away…third week into 4th now.
I did Ovy two ways…with my pen and on the iPad.
Also Loop again using "You Doodle" app.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Journal Prompt #17: The magic of circles

8 x 5" journal page

It will be fun to see what other artists offer on the topic of "circles".  My first thought went to the labyrinth as a sacred circle.  The 3 shown here are 3 of the most common patterns shaped for walking one.

Remember now…a maze is a puzzle you have to solve.  A labyrinth is a journey to the center and back…always knowing where you are going and giving you time for solving problems and meditating along the way.  You are never lost in a labyrinth and you always return the same way you came…but often a different person.  

Thus the name of my blog was born…a meditative journey toward some center…paying attention all the way and back.  The circle background was prepared on a gesso'd page with acrylic paint using a foam brayer and a stencil (by StencilGirl stencils). After dry I adhered the small samples of labyrinths with gel medium and did the writing with an "identi-pen" black ink.  

You will note that I give a URL link to go on a "virtual labyrinth" at the end of the page.   

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Day two of Gerald Brommer workshop

This design format is called "Shapes Within a Shape"
11.5" x 11.5" on 300# Arches paper

"Radiating Center of Interest"

"Compressed center of Interest" variation on a T format

The second day of Gerald Brommer's watercolor and collage class went so much smoother for me.

Gerald started out with about an hour lecture on about a dozen different design layouts to use for non-objective AND realistic paintings.  He had lots of examples.  

We spent the rest of the day experimenting with these.  I brought my own packets of tinted papers which included Gelli print, magazine scraps, as well the the papers I tinted yesterday in class.  Since I used red/orange combinations yesterday I wanted to try other colors today.  

I really like all 3 of these but probably the first one posted is my favorite.  We will get critiqued tomorrow morning so I'll let you know which ones Gerald liked.  

Only one more day for me, as I signed up for 3 of the 5 days.  But I feel I am getting a good workshop!
A good instructor!  

Collage Exercises with Gerald Brommer

The T Design

The Bridge Design

The crucifix design

Gerald Brommer

What a treat to take classes from such an experienced painter as Gerald Brommer!  I've admired his work for years and when I had the chance to at least get in 3 of the 5 days of this workshop I jumped right in.

It's a 40 minute drive up to The Villages for the workshop each morning but I am not sorry I signed up.  Gerald is 88 now and doing his LAST round of teaching before retiring.  I think he is doing one more class in Myrtle Beach and then heading back to CA where he lives.  

He is beginning us with his famous collage techniques by having us dye lovely oriental papers in watercolor to use in various ways.  The first day he is working (obviously) in teaching us the elements of good design by work in abstract elements with only two colors. When Gerald critiqued my work he said the "T" was his favorite one and that is why I put it first on the blog.  He said he would hang that one in his home!  Wow.  What a nice thing to say!  

The work is on 300# wc paper and is only 7.5" square.  We will be graduating to larger pieces this morning.  And he'll be adding more design elements as we go along.  I am sad that I am only able to take the first 3 days but our schedule this week would only allow for that.   More to come.  

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Journal Prompt 16: What Would you Like to Do?

5 x 8" journal page

The prompt this week was to pick something you have always wanted to do but haven't gotten around to yet.  
My friend Cynthia mentioned recently her love of Line Dancing and immediately I wanted to learn too!

It'll have to wait to fall when I return to fulfill this wish.
The dancers are a line drawing off Google images that I ink jet printed, then did an acrylic skin, attached with acrylic mat medium and when dry retraced with an apprentice black permanent pen.  The letters are foam letters from Dollar General!  The background is a Gelli print with lots of lines (get it lines dancing?) made with an oiler boiler and permanent black ink.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ipad Zentangle

Today I had a little time to play around with my new app called "You Doodle". 

Despite the fact that I am not too thrilled with the word "doodle" and am ignoring that and trying out different kinds of tangles using it.  

I entitle the first one on top "Line Dancing" which is one of the topics I plan to discuss in my Journal Prompt this week.  I am asked to think of something I'd like to learn.  Friend Cynthia likes to line dance.  That sounds really fun.  Next fall I may join her.

One of the fun parts of You Doodle is that what ever you fill in or add in the doodle the colorful pattern will continue on in the part you expose.  Very cool. These were made using a stylus.  I do have the "enhanced" version as it was on sale for only $2.99.  I can hardly wait to play more with it.  It will fun for traveling.

I printed these out on paper (sent from my iPad). 
I also printed out a few small versions to glue in my tangle a day calendar!  Also very cool.   

So far I haven't figured out how to shade on the tablet but once printed out, I can shade AND add enhancements to my heart's content.  Are we having fun yet!?  

Monday, April 13, 2015

Not your everyday boring yellow mailing envelope!

One of the joys of multi media is that it can go just about anywhere and on most anything.  

This is a 11 x 14 mailing envelope.
I am recycling it.
A perfectly good (but very boring) yellow envelope.

On the front to camouflage the previous label, I have Gelli printed, stenciled, stamped with hand-made stamps, drawn and sprayed with paint.  Most of the paint is permanent but a few of the paints are water based.  So I will take it outside and give it a few coats of acrylic clear spray to make it all permanent before it goes to the post office! 

With most of the stencils I like using a foam brayer and acrylic paint.  I think when this is possible, it far outweighs using foam stampers.  And it goes very fast and the foam brayers wash out beautifully and can be used over and over.  

The "calligraphy" is mine and is original..done in 05 and 02 micron pigma pens.  Based on an idea in a recent video by Andrea Joseph where she uses a kind of "contour script".  It is a little harder actually than it looks.  I did it 5 times before I got that one and it still needs polishing.  (She has a great blog by the way). 

This technique is especially nice when sending a gift rather than actually gift wrapping it.  It can sit with other gifts and look pretty "outstanding".  Hahaha.  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Fanz: Diva's Challenge this week.

I think I've had "Fanz" in my collection but I can't remember ever using it!  That's what I love about the Diva's Challenge.
Ya just never know until you try it!

Also been playing around with "auras" as an enhancement.  Linda Farmer sent around a list of some of her favorite "stuff" and Maria's ideas about different kinds of auras was one I had not seen before.  Shucks, just adding lines is only ONE way to do an aura!  She did auras in all kinds of ways!
Who would of thought?

Have a good week everyone.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Nice to be honored

I was honored today (along with many other teachers) for my contributions toward teaching Zentangle this year at our park here in FL.  

We had a great pot luck lunch which was very well attended.  

(It is so weird to see myself without glasses!)

Zentangle Calendar

Well, I was up to date a few hours ago.. Hahaha.
Keeping a daily calendar sure reminds you of how time flies.

Wonderful warm days here in central FL but that mess of weather causing all kinds of issues in the midwest will push down this weekend and unload rain on us big time.  We need the rain but am not happy it will arrive just when my company also arrives!  Where do I complain!?

Today our Art Group here in our park will conclude it's activities with a big pot luck lunch at 11 am all designed to thank the teachers who have been working so long and hard (for free) all season long!  
We have so many wonderful volunteers!  You can take classes here in oil, acrylic, pastel, colored pencil, clay, china painting, pen and ink and watercolor in our art room! All for free!  (you buy your own supplies).  It's a big selling point here in our park.  We have over 100 clubs with everything from Woodburning to Line Dancing, Fishing to Orchestra, Bingo to lapidary.  You name it.  We got it.  Or we will get it.  Hawthorne Park in Leesburg (look it up). 

Some of our classes will continue on informally over the summer.  Probably 50% of the homeowners here stay all year.  The rest of us toddle up north to cooler spots for the summer and return in the fall.  

Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

En Plein Air

3" x 13" WC on Arches cold press

Beautiful day to be outside.
I met with some friends this morning to en plein air paint…we started about 8:30 a.m. in hopes of avoiding the heat of the day.  We are getting close to 90 most afternoons here in central FL now.  

My next door neighbor's hubby is a fantastic gardener and there is so much around you to paint it hard to decide.  Barb Sailor recently did Stargazer lilies and my neighbor's wife, Katie, loves hers so I decided to make them the center of interest in the tiny painting.  I used a little "Opera" to bring out the bright color!  It's not signed yet…a see a few little possible tweaks to it..a little brighter yellow on the one plant in the orange pot.  If you look REALLY close you will see a little ceramic frog sitting among the plants.  

I have a mat and frame the exact size of this painting which is why I chose this size.  

The background is "imagined" as the plants actually ringed their porch.  

Another neighbor dropped by at noon with warm chocolate chip cookies and icey lemonade.  How spoiled are we!!!  There were two other artist painting with me this morning.  We had fun chit chatting as we worked.  One worked in watercolor pens and one in colored pencil.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Journal Prompt #15

5 x 8" journal page with booklet closed

Same journal page with booklet open

The prompt for week 15 was really complicated with a lot of different options on how to complete it.  Basically it re-visited our first "word" that we chose at the beginning of the journal in January.  My word was "Attentiveness" and to pick another word from the word list generated by other journal writers to match up to yours.  I picked "mindful".  

Then to take the two words and find tangles that start with the beginning letters (in my case M and A).  I chose Aurukas and Merryweather.  Then tangle a tile with those two.  Finally jot down some feelings about the progress you have or have not made with staying with this first chosen word.  

There's not a lot of room on a 5 x 8 journal page and I am not doing two page spreads too often.  So I decided to add a little "booklet" to give me a little more space.  

Materials used are stencils, acrylic paint and ink, Sharpie paint pens, Micron pen, YES glue, specialty cutting scissors with a ragged edge, darning needle and twine, small metal clasp, die cut letters from the Dollar Store, and a hand made stamp.

I think I am one of the few of the 150 or so journal folks in this prompt group who is actually keeping up with the week by week prompts.  A lot of people are doing really fantastic art work that I love to look at but that takes them weeks behind in the project.  We all have lives…and other art.  It's my take that you can't spend two days on a prompt.  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Print of Stained Glass

8.5 x 10.5 print

Guess what arrived today?

When your name gets picked in an online drawing it's always kind of neat.  Zentangle's newsletter now and then has a drawing for a print of something special.  I fell in love with the new Zentangle stained glass window at the Providence headquarters.  It was designed especially by Rick and Maria on the 10th anniversary of Zentangle.  

The glass artist is Stephen Paulson.  It is installed above a door way.  There are tangles in the 4 corners and the "angel" has butterfly wings and is holding "the book of Zentangle".The little bee in the left corner is a symbol for Rick as he is a beekeeper.  The feather is for Maria as she is a calligrapher.  It's a beautiful little print and worth of framing for my studio.  Very fun.  Thank you Rick and Maria.  

Tangle a Day calendar April 4-6

I had SUCH a good time doing this calendar page!
I was obviously inspired by Carole Ohl's marvelous work on previous pages but I only had to stop because I ran out of white paper!  

Also enjoyed the new tangle "Loop" which I 
tangelated with Crescent Moon around it.  Such a nice easy and pleasant looking tangle!  

Update on cataract surgery: Everything is going very well. Thanks for all the prayers and good thoughts.  I see the surgeon again on Thursday for another check up and then it'll be about 2 more weeks and I'll get my prescription for reading/computer glasses.  I am not wearing glasses for TV or driving…just up close work.  I still have quite a few "drops" to take in both eyes…for another two weeks.  But I'll be back at the pool by Wednesday!  Temps in central FL are close to 90 most days now.  

All us former Wisconsin-ites are pretty delirious right now over basketball!  Tonight is the night!  Can we do it?  Whatever happens it's amazing that we got this far!  So go Wisconsin AGAIN!  

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Journal Prompt #14

5 x 8" page in journal

Our week 14 journal prompt was to describe how it feels to be a "fool for love".  Whatever love you choose.  It was suggested to use a circular shape and "valentine" colors but that was optional.  

I think being a grandparent is the most adoring love I can think of.  Next to my mate and my children they are THE most beloved people on earth to me.  (Well, my sister sort of sneaks in there somewhere too).  

There are 12 hearts with the names of each of my grandchildren (all above average of course). I think it came out sort of looking like a bracelet.  I used stencils, paint, ink, stamping, tangled hearts and glue.  I threw in some glitter and confetti stars.  It is a "happy page" and fun to make as a prelude to Easter.  

The words in the center came from Pat or Mike when they were about 6 or 7.  It's hard to throw anything away from the little ones!  

And by the way "GO WISCONSIN!"

Friday, April 3, 2015

Zentangle calendar in April

Lacee is a brand new tangle and it seems to me to hold many creative possibilities in it.  Crescent Moon is old tangle and this version is based on a Helen Williams tangelation of it.

You'll note on my side bar that my Zentangle and other art classes are all "up north" now for summer.  I am "winding down" here in FL.  April is hot…you have to take it easy…we'll be in the 90's most of next week…everything slows down in pace now.  

Easter Sunday looks lovely in mid-80's and then hot hot hot follows that.  I have set up an en plein air event for the park art group next Wed but we'll have to start early and in the shade. 

My 2nd cataract surgery was last Wed and it went well.  There is always some discomfort and swelling for a few days and a sort of "gritty" feeling like you have something in your eye!  
But I know now that this will only last a short time and get better each day.  One more post op exam on Thursday of next week and then I'll be waiting to the end of the month for my exam for reading glasses.  Like most folks, I'll probably still need glasses for art, reading and computer.  Thank you to all the blogger friends who have been rooting for me and my recovery!

After Easter I look forward to a nice long visit from my sister and brother in law (from SC) and following that a 3-day wc and collage class with Gerald Brommer up in The Villages.  You will hear all about that!!!   

Today I hope to have a little messing around time to work on the Week 14 Journal prompt and I think we'll have lunch out on the adirondack chairs in the yard this noon.  (Me with sun glasses, of course).  

Have a blessed Easter everyone.