Sunday, April 30, 2017

Gelli Print File folders: practical meets fun

I put this photo on rather on the larger scale so you might actually be able to see what these are printed on.  These crazy designs are on expandable file folders...purchased at Office Depot for like 27 cents each on sale.  Best time to buy them is October from left over school displays!  Hubby and I use folders for EVERYTHING. 

But they are so boring to look at.
These are first printed on the Gelli Plate and then additional added with all kinds of markers and pens and print making and stencils.

Afterward I add a coat of Gloss Varnish and Medium to coat them and preserve them.  ONLY on the painted side.  Because, gloss surfaces can stick together in file cabinets if they are face to face.

Friday, April 28, 2017

"Home is a Feeling"

Have you ever thought about writing your story? No, not A story, YOUR story.  Some things are sort of falling into place indicating that maybe it's time for me to start thinking of some sort of small but hopefully interesting way to leave a bit of my legacy to my heirs by way of story telling.  

Two things sort of came together this past week...a lunch with friend Diane where we talked about this subject and she steered me to a website and a book that might be a good way to start that journey.  You may have heard of it. It's called Eating an Elephant: Write Your Life by Patricia Charpentier.   So that was one event.

And then one of the Facebook Groups I belong to had a challenge to put down something in our journals this week about the word "home".  Whatever you want.  I started thinking about my "roots" and about what would be my FIRST home.   I had an old old photo of the house I lived in from age 6 to age 16.  But when I when to Google streets I was able to find a much more current picture of the way it looks today...which is almost exactly as it did 60 years ago when I grew up there.  

So many stories came into my mind looking at the photo.  Oh my.
And drawing my "interpretation" of the house brought back more...suddenly the lilac bush beside the gate flooded back and sandbox and my dog and my handprints in the cement driveway and and and.  Well, you know how it goes.

This is about 9 x 11 on sketch paper with acrylic background (done with a brayer) and then ink on top with some watercolor which is memories.  

Sunday, April 23, 2017

We Are Such Stuff as Dreams are Made On...

Today, April 23 is traditionally considered the birthday of William Shakespeare.  Baptized on April 26, 1564.  On Garrison Keillor's blog today a short biography of him was just so amazing I have to share a bit.  

The Oxford dictionary credits him with coining 3,000 new words and sayings to the English language and has contributed more phrases and sayings to the English language than any other individual.  His idioms have woven themselves so snugly into our daily conversations that we aren't even aware of them most of the time, phrases such as "a fool's paradise," "Greek to me," "a sorry sight," "dead as a doornail," "come what may," "eaten out of house and home," "forever and a day," "heart's content," "slept a wink," "love is blind," "night owl," "wild goose chase," and "into thin air."

The article finishes with Prospero's soliloquy from The Tempest written in 1610.  A play I remember attending at an open air theater in England many years ago.  I remember being so touched hearing it and was touched again reading it....

"Our revels are now ended.
These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all
spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin
And, like the baseless fabric of
this vision,
The cloud-cap'd towers, the
gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great
globe itself,
Ye all which it inherit, shall
And, like this insubstantial
pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We
are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and
our little life
Is rounded with a sleep."

Friday, April 21, 2017

Have a little Zen with your coffee?

The challenge this week on the Diva's blog was to put a bit of coffee or tea or wine "blob" on your tile and let it infer what should be done with it.  

Blob fun always invokes the issue of finding shapes in the shapes.
I tried to avoid that.  Just turned it round and round (this is coffee by the way) and enjoyed the zen of it.  

The blob, by the way was put on with a pipette rather than just splashed on which gave some interests changes in value as parts dried faster than others.  

This is a standard 3.5" square tile.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sharon Feathers: artist and special friend

Sometime you meet someone and there is that immediate sense of happy coincidence and connection.  It is probably partly because Sharon and I are both retired kindergarten teachers!  And teachers of very young children are experienced in delight and keeping the joy of the moment.  Sharon's art reflects that...she has a sense of fun and a little bit of humor and at the same time a reflective sense of a life of experiences.  

Where's Mom
When Sharon sent me a photo of this current work (a challenge piece that had to be 75% recycled)...I just fell in love with it.  The little owl is colored pencil peeking out of an old birdhouse that Sharon found in her husband's woodpile.  I hope it wins an award!  So then I asked her to send me a few more pieces she likes and a short I could share her with you.

Sharon Feathers graduated from UW Stevens Point with a masters degree in Early Childhood Education, a bachelor of science degree and a minor in art.  

Retirement has given her the time to pursue her interest in art, to take beautiful photographs and to use many for her references in painting....always looking for that "found" moment to capture.

She says that photography is her favorite medium but she works in acrylic, watercolor, pen and ink, pastel and colored pencil.  
Her work is found in galleries and exhibits in Wisconsin, Florida and Arizona.  She has received many awards and honors.  

Sharon's art is shown throughout Wausau area and in many galleries in Minocqua, WI as well.  (And in looking back I just noted that with someone who's name is "Feathers" she seems to have a special connection with birds, wouldn't you say?)

Finishing up a ZIA...but exactly how?

Here we go again with another 9" square ZIA on Fabriano hot press paper stained with blue and purple watercolor. Then using blue, purple and brown Sakura pens (01), white charcoal and Prismacolor colored pencils.  My plans for this one changed a number of times as this evolved.  This was inspired by a challenge on one of my favorite blogs to use circles and squares together.  

Hubby thinks I should conclude the piece with a border on the very edges of the square which would slip behind the spiral at the top left.  What do you think?  Another option would be to fill the whole outside border with tangles as I did previously with the honey-colored tile.  

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Urban Sketching in Leesburg

The iconic city hall clock in downtown Leesburg at almost 11 am.
We had a nice bunch of friendly urban sketchers out this morning.
Gorgeous weather...85 and nice breeze.

This was my first sketch on location this morning about 9-10:30.
this is the corner of 3rd and Main Street in front of God's Cafe.
I am sketching in a 9 x 11 Strathmore multi media sketch pad.

Then I went and picked up my painting from the Leesburg Show.

6 of us went out for lunch at Bloom's after sketching.  THAT was fun.

There will be some sketching on Friday morning too by Venetian Gardens again.  If I go I will remember to wear socks (last time the fire ants got me through my sandals!). Ugh.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Happy Birthday Anne Lamott

Happy Birthday Anne Lamott

There's a wonderful little bio about Anne on Garrison Keillor's blog this morning honoring her.  It's hard to cover Anne's life in a paragraph.  You can read that here.  I've never linked that blog so I hope it works.  Anyway it's Writer's Almanac for April 10.  You can subscribe to it and highly recommend you do.  

Each time I read a review about her I am totally amazed that MY favorite of her books is rarely mentioned...Traveling Mercies.  That book is a way to get to know the first part of her journey to sanity.  Pick up a copy and get to know her if you don't already.  

She has a Facebook page that I follow.  You can find her essays there and she writes fairly often.   Her latest book is being advertised now called Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy.  
I will look for it as "mercy" is a word that touches that other word "grace" that mystifies us but holds us together.  

I was watching a video of her being interviewed about her newest book and was shocked to see that like everyone else, Annie is growing older.  She is, after all, a grandmother now.  But she's only 63.  Still the photos on the book jackets are changing just like we are all changing.  Showing some "experience" in our faces?  Of course I am suddenly noticing my own children are too...even a few gray hairs here and there now among them.  So don't get me started on that "getting older" theme again.

Anne has a way with seeing what is really happening and giving us a thread of hope.  "Laughter is carbonated holiness" she says.  Stuff like that that makes you smile through tears.  She says on her new book tour that her "audiences are the most stricken, sad, worried stunned people she has ever spoken to."  

What I really wanted to do was just honor Anne's birthday, give her a thumbs up for her creative and intelligent writing, her thoughts about being a Christian, about family, coping with life in general...especially now when we are all suffering post traumatic syndrome.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Finding a Title for my ZIA

This piece is 9" square.  I am thinking of framing it.  I'd like to give it a title.  Does anyone have an idea for me?

It is in ink (Sakura 01 micron) and white charcoal on Fabriano hot press wc paper tinted with watercolor.  This ZIA (Zentangle® Inspired Art) is not really a Zendala to my mind.  To me Zendalas have more repetition.  This is very free-form.  

In my own mind it reminds me of an old papyrus scroll perhaps with a hidden map in it somewhere or a secret message.  A gift perhaps to an Egyptian princess set with a gem from a mysterious admirer.  

Or perhaps an ancient calendar of some sort with fantasy symbols depicting prayers or poetry.  

A title should allude to possible clues for the viewer without really saying anything too any of these strike your fancy?

"The Lute's Music"
"Ancient Fantasy"
"Lost Wisdom"
"Hieroglyphics with Gem"
"Secret Song"
"Veiled Mystery"
"The Journey Ends"

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Diva Challenge: Frunky

At the 9'clock position on this round tangle string you will find Frunky which is the challenge tangle for the Diva this week. It has a sort of candy cane shape tied together with stripes.  I wasn't sure I liked it, but it has potential.  

Over large 9" square tile on Fabriano hot press paper tinted with watercolor: quin gold, rose, and burnt Sienna.  So about an inch smaller than an Opus tile.  This is one of those "ongoing" tiles you can just lay near the pens and pencils and work at it when you feel like it.  

Renaissance tiles have a sort of warm feel about them...this is the Diva's 310th challenge.  Can you even imagine?  She uses guest tangles challenges now and then but she does a lot of them herself and she almost always posts her own tile.  

Been raining in central FL now for about 5 hours straight.  THAT is such good news.  We are so dry.  

Rainy Day tangle...

Carrying on with my over sized Renaissance Zentangle® tile (9" square) I found that a rainy afternoon is perfect for this!  

Central Florida has been in extreme drought the past months!  The water table is low, fire hazards high, and plants are suffering!  We must have all prayed for rain at the same time as today we are FINALLY getting a good hard, steady all afternoon rain.  I am sorry for anyone at one of theme parks today.  But we so need this!!!

Naps are nice for rain afternoons too!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Zentangle®...going with the flow...

Got inspired this week by a beautiful piece of work I saw by Ginny Lu on the CZT website.  It was on a square renaissance tile in the Opus size (10" square) and it gave me such encouragement that maybe I should be working on something besides calendar formats. 

I decided to start a little smaller (9" square) on Fabriano Hot Press paper.  Using brown and black .01 Sakura Micron pens.  

The round format is certainly not the only way to go but it felt right for the first piece.  I used a mixture of burnt Sienna, rose, and quin gold watercolor to tint the paper first.  I drew the circles with a compass and then am just letting my intuition flow...whatever comes to mind.  

Expect that this will sit on the side of my desk and be a little meditative thing I do now and then until it's done.  

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Sea Plane A Palooza sketching

Who knew there were SO many different kinds of sea planes!!!

This is my hour long sketch at the Sea Plane Fly In this morning in Tavares, Florida.  And the whole event turned out to be a surprise.

This was supposed to be on the regular list of Urban Sketchers in our area (I call them the Fly-By-Night Sketchers) We ended up posting a cancellation as we thought maybe this was not going to work out (due to heat, # of visitors, and parking). None of these turned out to be a problem (other than the heat).  

Hubby and I had an errand that had to be run at 9:45 am this morning SO we thought why not just keep going and see what the event looked like.  

The parking (at 10 am) was not all the bad and we only had to walk a half a block.  There was not the HUGE crowd I expected there..just a modest amount of people.  And tons of interesting planes.   So we walked a bit and I did the sketch and then we had a very nice outdoor lunch at the Kalua Beach Bar right on Dora Lake.
I did a tiny sketch there too which I'll post later.

So this sketch was for my first inclusion in the "Moment Catchers" challenge posted the first weekend of each month.