Friday, December 30, 2016

Tangle holders

Tangle Keepers

I make these up in groups to give away at my Zentangle workshops.  Top and bottom are just reinforced "tags" from an office supply store.  I use my gelli plate to decorate them in acrylic paint, adding embellishments with stencils, oil based markers, stamps and stencils.  I do both sides.  Then I cover them with a final coat of gloss medium and varnish.  They are quite durable and have a nice shine to them.  

I add about 20 small white pages (cut on a paper cutter) and hole punch them to match the tag, holding them all together with a ring (see finished one in blue).  These are popular with my classes and I use them as door one or two away at each class depending on the # of students.  This is where they can keep their tangle patterns.  

We had a cool day here in central FL...only got to 60 and partly cloudy with gusty winds.   We have company arriving any time.  So I thought a short project was in order.  Weather man promises that we'll be back to 80 by Sunday.  

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Do not disappoint the squirrel of judgement

Someone posted this on Facebook and I am sorry I don't have a reference for where it came from.
But it hit both my funny bone AND my "uh oh" bone.
You wouldn't want to disappoint the "squirrel of judgment"!!!  Hahaha.

Having TWO new computer devices arrive for Christmas has "sucked" a LOT of time over the last two weeks...getting things "migrated" from one computer to the other, getting used to a new format for my Apple (Sierra) and then also a new format on my new iPad.  How nuts with THAT decision.  Hahaha. is that for a confession!  

Back to art...I have a huge array of ideas on my studio problem about what ideas to create...more a problem of where to start.  I usually start with clean up and organization.  This NEEDS to get done.  I want to throw open the studio windows this morning (it's 85 again here in central complaints there).  

When perplexed, I always start with re-organization.  I finished up the paper clay projects (for now) and I'd like to move back to wc painting and sketching for part of January. Some new ideas on the back burner there.  And I'd like to work a bit on the ZenAgain workshop I am planning for later in January here in the park (for folks who had basic course already). 

I haven't done any gelli printing this fall at all.  
That studio table is mess.  Sigh.  A catch all.  

I am trying to work up a group here in the park for a "drawing a day" challenge until Feb 6 (about 4 weeks).  I think I need the support for that challenge too.  I am always inspired by Danny Gregory.  That link by the way takes you to a little video about drawing every day.  There is a new course on Sketchbook Skool if you want to get serious about it. off to that organization excitement.  Hahaha.  Photos of neat and tidy studio to follow.  I hope.

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Luminaries

Luminaries for Christmas Eve

So I was watching a recent video about gel-printing luminaries.  One of the most recent ones.  Very nice by the way.  The luminaries in the video were, I expect, meant to be in your home rather than outside but I think they could also be outside.  These above are outside ones.  

When she finished with the demo I realized that mostly what people would see is the dark outline (silhouette) of the snowflake against the candle light inside.  So I went and got some dark paper...this happens to be blue Christmas wrapping paper which is fairly thin.  And I cut myself 8 fun snowflakes and glued them down with gel medium. 

The candles sitting in front of them show the size of the candle in the kits.  Our park sells kits of 8 bags, candles, and sand to raise some funds for other projects.  $6/kit.  We bought two kits or 16 this year but I only decorate half.  So on Christmas Eve our park of about 1,200 homes has their 9 miles of streets totally lined with candles.  It is magical.

Most of us have discovered over the years that it's not enough sand to really support that large a candle and so folks improvise all sorts of "holders" inside the bags.  A friend made us some wooden candle sticks that work slick.  Small bathroom paper cups slit on the bottom and used upside down also work pretty well.

Sometimes if it is not windy or rainy the candles are still burning in the morning!  Amazing!  Gorgeous weather in central FL right now with 85 today and right through Christmas.  

It will be a lovely Christmas Eve...we plan to attend the candlelight service at our church at 6 pm.  Then have some friends back later for "grasshoppers".  

Monday is my hubby's birthday and we'll have a nice little party for him on Monday night.  Tuesday is my daughter Julie's birthday.  She is far away in Madison, WI.  Boo hoo. Only 27 on her birthday there!  

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sketchcrawl in the Villages

Moleskin journal 5 x 10

Ink with wc

We got lucky with the weather yesterday up at The Villages, Florida.  We met at Spanish Springs town square in the afternoon with the skies sunny but lots of interesting clouds.  

I put some of those in the second painting but it didn't come through the scan very well.  The temp was about 85 and the humidity high with the feeling of rain or storms hanging in the air.

 But they held off all afternoon and didn't hit us until about 5 at which time we were safely in the Gator Dockside restaurant being interviewed by a reporter from the Villages Sun newspaper.

I think there were 6-8 of us there but not everyone came in for show and tell/drinks.  It was fun to meet some new artist friends who like to paint out of doors.  

Cloudy again on Tuesday and we may get a little more rain...temps dropped into mid 70s today but then back up to mid 80s for Christmas next weekend.  Nothing to complain about.  And we REALLY need the rain.  

Sunday, December 18, 2016

9 x 11 Mixed Media Sketchbook 90#

Discovered when I updated to my new MacBook Air last week the   scanner did not migrate over to the new computer.  I read on line that people updating in Apple sometimes have this problem.  Sigh.
My old iMac is still working and the scanner works on that computer so I scan in and then email myself the scan.  That will get old soon, right?

I have a feeling this is going to be complicated.
So will save for Apple Care to walk me through it later.
Otherwise the data migration seems to have gone pretty smoothly and I did the back up for the first time a few days ago and that went pretty okay.  New computers and updates are stressful, are they not?

I even have Siri on this new computer.  Weird to talk to your computer and have her answer back.  I asked for Madison, WI weather this morning and she said, "weather is not looking good in Madison."  Ha.  But she was right.  BLAH weather there in the minus digits.  Gosh. 

So these were a few little random sketches from the concert this afternoon.  I used ink and watercolor pencil.  Supposed to go on a sketch crawl up in Spanish Springs tomorrow afternoon.  Temps look good but 40% chance of thundershowers.  Boy, we DO need rain in central Florida!  Not taking too much to carry...small notebook, pens, a small wc set, wc pencils, pencil/eraser, and my folding chair. Idea is to try some "urban sketching".  Kinds of new for me. 

Finishing up the paper clay sunflower...

During this step, the paper clay has been coated with white gesso (let dry) and
two coats of gloss varnish (dry between each). Then I applied a thin glaze of acrylic paint (burnt umber) and let that dry.
Directions are not to let this glaze stay on for longer than 24 hours.

So then using rubber gloves I removed the burnt umber acrylic with rubbing alcohol.
This process sort of antiques the clay...leaving dark residue in all the crevices.  

In this step I applied acrylic (thinned with acrylic glaze).
This photo also shows that I did apply a thin coat of gesso on the canvas as well in the earlier step.

This is the point where I have to give some serious thought to how the piece will be finished.  I am tentatively thinking of painting some dark green leaves (small) around the behind the petals.  Possibly I might paint on some soft background flowers...not sure yet.  The whole thing will have a gloss varnish when it is done.  
This may be a "wait time" while I ponder this.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Zentangle® on Glass Vase

Zentangle Vase: Oil based marker-8" high

second view
So the co-chair of the Art Show at Hawthorne Park has requested that 15 of the members each take a vase and decorate it any way they choose.  They might just fill it with something interesting.
They will decorate our "tea tables" at the very nice show we have on March 12, 2017 (1-4) in Leesburg, FL (open to the public).

Naturally I thought of Zentangle!  I have filled mine with cotton balls only to show off the designs a little better for the camera.  But I do think I'll need to find something white and interesting for the actual show.  It need not be edible but it could be.  Suggestions?

I thought of mini-marshmallows.  Or white mints.  
I also thought of using some skewers I might have some little flags (in black and white) with "welcome" on them or something.
If anyone has a good suggestion about how to finish this off in a clever fashion put them in the comments.  I think the vases will be saved to use another year but I am not sure.  

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Paper Clay 2nd project

10 x 10 on gallery wrapped canvas

My second paper clay project is for a scholarship giveaway up in WI this summer.  Nothing like getting it done early!  But I can show it the Hawthorne Park show IF I deem it worthy.

Okay so in this one, with a photo reference, I decided on a wild bright yellow/orange/green background.  The I drew the flower on heavy tracy paper and cut out the pieces to assemble.  Whew.  
This took hours.  But I am pleased with the result.  But it's hard to imagine the finished piece yet.

So now it dried overnight and still isn't completely dry.  So now it is in the sun on my desk by the window (good hot FL sun) and it should be dry today.  

I think the steps I'll follow will be slightly different for this piece.
I will cover the WHOLE piece with a wash of white gesso.  While wet, I'll wipe off most of the gesso from the background leaving some wispy glazes.  Or that is the plan anyway.  Let dry.

Then I'll add two coats of clear gloss acrylic over just the clay.  Letting dry between each coat.  Then…this I am not sure yet…then I think I cover the clay with a thin glaze of burnt umber and black acrylic and let dry.  (Scary, huh?)

Then comes the antiquing step with rubbing alcohol.  I'll rub off most of the dark paint leaving just dark in the textures.  Let dry.  I may hard some dark around the outside of the clay edges as well.  THEN, I can finally add color to the flowers and leaves.  

If everything is as I wish (hmmm) then I have two coats of gloss acrylic medium/varnish.  Wish me luck.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Finishing the paper clay project

I've completed the paper clay/acrylic project.  See previous post for information on how I put it together.  The final two coats of gloss/varnish have been put on.  

If you wanted to frame this you would have use kind of a shadow box format.  Or it could most likely be displayed on a little easel of some sort.  

Now what I "should" do is complete a second one right away so I remember the steps but try a little different technique.  This one is an "appliqué" type where I glued the clay on canvas board at the end.

Many of the projects in the book just have you put the wet clay onto the board or the canvas and let it dry there.

Happy holidays.