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.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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!