Friday, May 27, 2011

'journey of you' journal class pages

I signed up for Kelly Kilmer's Journey Of You online class. For $20, I'm always up for some new technique instructions or fun ideas. This class is based on a few simple materials and is extremely adaptable to your own style and input. I've been working away in it almost every day but just finally got time to scan and post a few pages.

This is the left side of a spread. The right side is below. It's mostly about travel and how I love to see new places but hate the whole getting there part - the lines, the waits, the endless airport hallways, the coughing, smelly, drunk passengers. I've been to Australia (fabulous place), Munich (not bad), Mexico (great coast) and Canada, which I like a lot.

I would dearly love to see Italy, especially Tuscany, and all the blog talk about the upcoming art retreat in Orvieto is killing me. But it's not in the budget, so I'm thinking about taking a class in July in Fremont, which is only about an hour from here. That, I can afford lol.

This is a single page, some musing on my lack of introspection and self-awareness. I'm just not a navel-gazer, and when I read some profound artist's statement, I just scratch my head. I simply don't have profound thoughts. Just a simpleton, I guess.

Well, I don't know what the hell is wrong with Blogger lately. I can't get it to let me type under the photo of the binoculars lady, but I've always had trouble positioning photos in posts. Anyway, that's the left page of a spread. The right page is below.

This one is about getting older and what I see in the mirror vs how I feel and how I think I look. And wondering how other people see me. The count down to 60. I just can't f*cking believe I'll be 60 in January. How is that even possible?

floral Friday (photo heavy post)

There's a house about a mile from me that has the most gorgeous hollyhocks in the spring. The vast majority of them are self-seeded, so they're all over the place - inside the fence, outside the fence, between the sidewalk and the street - just about any place there's dirt. I drive by there a lot and think 'I should stop and take some pictures of those darn hollyhocks before they're done.' Well, today, as soon as the thought entered my mind, I pulled the car to the curb and spent a few minutes snapping away.

Behold the hollyhock loveliness...
the lone sunflower among the pinks and reds

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday studio shots - in the family room

I guess I should just rename this series Monday Meanderings or something, since I've rarely managed to post it on Sunday. But I think I'll just consider it things that happened on Sunday, and not worry about what day it gets posted.
My side of the love seat - books, afghan, art stuff, Ott light, mocha

DH has been feeling lousy the last few days and spent most of Sunday on the couch looking wan. At 5:30 an NBA playoff game started, so I rolled a cart full of stuff out to the family room and and watched it with him while messing around in a 6 page folio that will be bound in with a few others eventually. Right now I'm keeping them separate so that I can work on one while another's drying. This batch of pages will be a garden theme with birds and the occasional bug.

I started with a blank spread, about 5.5" x 9.5", a floral paper napkin, a TH grunge board flourish and a couple nature prints. After much muttered cursing and lots of picking and plucking, I got the 3 layers of the napkin apart and tore the top sheet into the flowers I wanted to use.

With gloss gel medium and a brush, I glued down two of the flowers.

Without waiting for it to dry, I watercolored the background with a wet mixture of yellow and green.

I also went around the edges of the page with the Antique Linen color of TH's Distress Stain that I just got from Collage Stuff. 

They had the best price I could find online - only $4 a bottle. (I think it retails for $6) I got 4 colors and it's very
cool. Kinda like an ink pad in a bottle.

Thanks to Lenna for using it in her journal recently and making me have to go buy some LOL. 

Then I went over the flowers and leaves with various watercolors until I liked how it looked.

A piece of the original napkin is shown so you can see how much I deepened the colors.

Then I dabbed the Peeled Paint Distress Stain thru the flourish here and there. This is where I left it on Sunday. 

Today I began journaling on the page with a Haiku I made up while waiting for the flooring guy to show. I'll post it once I'm done with the page. 

I did a couple other things too, but I'm out of steam for today. Have to go eat another brownie before I pack them up for work tomorrow. It's someone's birthday.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Great Doodle Pen Review

Daisy Yellow grabbed every marker she could find in her house and tested them all in a geometric design she drew. Very cool to see them all like that. Then she invited her blog readers to get involved. Looked like fun to me, so in between customers today I fiddled with various designs to use as my base. None of the doodley ones did much for me, so I made a rectangle and divided it up. The Gellyroll Moonlight pens I ordered the other day conveniently arrived in today's mail at work, so I started with a couple of those. When I got home, I got out everything I owned and finished it off. When I made the base design, I was actually a little worried that I'd run out of spaces, but I guess I don't have as many markers as I think I do, because I have a few spots left, even with repeating a few of the markers in a different color just to see a dark and a light of the same pen.

This was done on white card stock. A few things bled through the back, most notably the Copic Ciaos and the Prismacolor. A couple you can hardly read, even tho they're quite bright on the actual page - left side 4th up from the bottom is a neon orange Gelly Roll Moonlight medium, and right side just above the Prang is another Zazzle liquid ink hi-liter in bright pink. I have no idea where some of these came from, and two of them had no markings whatsoever on the pen. Way to go marketing department of forever anonymous company. If I loved this pen and wanted more, I guess you'd just be S.O.L. huh?

This was fun. Makes me want to do a great big color test - all the purples lined out next to one another, then all the greens, etc, on thru the rainbow. Hmmm... maybe I'll just do that.

If you have questions about any pens or markers I used, just ask.

Monday, May 16, 2011

parrots in the park

I took the dog to the dog park today, just ahead of yet more rain. While she dashed around, I drew in my journal. My drawing skills are really lame, so I drew something I knew I wouldn't get too frustrated with - birds. Several of them, stacked on one another, and colored in fantasy shades with colored pencils. Once I got home, I went over the colors with my hotsy totsy Copics to smooth out the pencil marks and shade them a bit. Very enjoyable hour except for the dog drool on the way home.
It would have been much easier to draw the bottom one first, then start the second one where he left off, but no, I drew the top one first, then had to fit in the others on down the page. Good old hind sight. Played with their eyes a bit, looking this way and that. The background just looks sort of blah in the picture, but it's a pale orange with a few spots, prepared a few weeks ago during a painting binge on the kitchen table.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday studio shots

Hi. Today I'm all about markers.

I can't imagine a life without Sharpies, hi-liters, etc. Given half a chance, I mark up documents with hi-liters, write labels with Sharpies, color in the centers of Os, Ds, Ps, Bs, Rs, and Qs, and just generally make things more fun to look at. My desk at work has a beautiful made-to-my-specs organizer, made by my woodworking husband from cherry wood. It's full of hi-liters, a rainbow of gel pens cause who wants to write all day long in just blue or black, some Sharpies for marking boxes and making file labels, roller ball pens for document filling out and a straw from somewhere.

Here at home I keep my markers laying down flat because a few artists said to on their blogs. Right now they're in nesting cardboard boxes but I'd like to find a pretty wooden box or a cool organizer of some sort so that I can haul them out and about without dumping them all over the place.

Here they all are, loosely sorted by color family. There are 3 or 4 different sets of Sharpies - different color assortments, different thicknesses such as very fine, fine and the plain old original. Also in there is a set of 24 Prismacolor double-ended markers and a set of (I think) 48 Super Tips water based markers from Crayola.

They're all quite nice, but there was still a hole in my marker collection, still something missing, still something I had a yen for since I bought 3 of them in January at Road to California while visiting Julie. They have a tip like a paint brush and you can do things with them that you simply can not with other markers. I am so far from being an expert in their use that it isn't even funny, but still... I wanted them.


Very pricey, but oh so cool. They come in a wide variety of color assortments and I waffled around for a while but eventually settled on set A, 36 sort of basic colors to get you going as a Copic owning artist. It had only one duplicate of the three I bought earlier, and it had lots of greens and pinks. Perfect.

I scoured the net for months, bidding on a few sets on eBay but never getting serious enough to win. Then I sold a bunch of stuff on eBay and found myself with enough money to buy a set of 36. Thought about it another few weeks but finally went to the website, stuck one in my shopping cart and headed for check out. My finger hovered over the FINALIZE key for many seconds as I reviewed my decision, but eventually I dropped the hammer. 

$112 and 5 days later, my Copics showed up. I've been using them sparingly but am getting more likely to reach for one now that I'm journaling quite a bit. The color lays down differently than other markers and the brush tip is just neat. Everything from tiny dots to sweeping swathes of color, Copics are markers worth having. Amen.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday studio shots

More interesting ones this time, I hope.
A small table just inside the door is covered with an old dresser scarf and holds a couple (empty) boxes I like and some nature stuff from walks with the dog.

Dried leaves, flowers, berries, a twisted bit of vine. Nothing special about any of them, I just like the look of them laying there. My mom did stuff like this all the time, so I come by it honestly.

The little drawer holds part of my button stash. And for as many buttons as are in that drawer, occasionally I still can't find exactly the color I need.
The straight-on view of my craft desk. I work on a pile of single sheets of newspaper so I can just throw the top one away when it gets too grungy. Same with the pile on the right. It's scrap paper from work, and I do my glue-sticking there. I always run over the edges of the piece I'm gluing, so I work from top left to bottom right, kind of in rows, then fold the paper in half and keep gluing. Then it goes in the trash and I move on to the next sheet. When I'm elsewhere than my desk, I use an old Pennysaver or other trash mail magazines that I can just flip to a new page as needed. 
The little drawers ad the V8 box at top right hold my rubber stamps. You can see where I was testing stamps earlier today. Metallic and other various markers are in the mug-in-the-box at far top right. 

Paints at back left and front center. Pearl-x powders at front left. ATC blanks and ATCs in progress behind. Various bottled inks at top right. Misc tools and knives in the back right boxes.

Crayons, chalk pastels, watercolor pencils.  

This is the shelf above the previous pic. Colored pencils, crazy quilt pincushion, sequin waste, misc junk, all of it very important lol.

Immediately to the left so that I can swivel to it - cutting mat, rulers and roller blade on a rolling cart. I have no idea what the files hold, haven't looked in them in months. Misc strips of paper for edges, borders, etc on the little shelf below along with some pretty post-its and paper tapes. 
And that's it for today. I might have works in progress tomorrow...

Friday, May 6, 2011

my Teesha Moore-inspired art

Teesha Moore is a wildly creative artist whose style I really like, altho it's way outside my usual comfort (and imagination) zone. Here are a bunch of her journal pages. Crazy, colorful, very inventive. In that ongoing effort to loosen up that I mentioned a few posts back, I watched all her technique videos and then went to work. Thanks, Teesha, for all the help!

She does her pieces in steps - all the painting in one session, then the borders, then middles, the shadowing, etc - so I did the same. I prepped a bunch of watercolor paper, then painted backgrounds with various paints. When they were dry, I chose three and sat myself down at the kitchen table to create! On previous evenings, I'd sat thru DH's incredibly bad how can he watch that stuff? sci-fi shows with scissors and magazines, clipping out all sorts of things - faces, bits of color or pattern that grabbed me, assorted legs - so I went thru that several times, snipping pieces and gluing them down for the borders.

Then I found started building the creatures - the term 'zetti' has been coined for this style - the word was coined by Teesha Moore to describe a new genre, a blend of the ordinary and the fantastic - cutting bodies from whatever looked like fun, trying not to think too much about what I was doing. I don't own the pan pastels that she uses for the shadowing so I faked it with water soluble oil pastels and it worked ok except they're hard to write over afterward. Might try ink pad ink next time. Then I doodled on and off for days until I was happy with the busy-ness of them. They're all 4.5"x6".

<drumroll> Heeeere they are...
This one is obviously a cat's head, women's legs and misc other stuff. That might be a Henry James quote, I forget now. Shoulda wrote it down...

This was the head of an egg person in a food ad and his body is an upside down waffle cone. See the running-uphill mint chocolate chip drip? More ladies' legs. Another quote by another person I neglected to note. I have the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations that I page thru when in need of inspiration or a one-liner. 

The girl was pretty before I added weird hair, someone else's eyes, and a blue tongue. Her dress was a purse, her legs from a bathing suit ad. The blue tongue is from a Kool-Aid ad with a bunch of kids sticking their tongues out to show the flavor they'd been drinking. I can see many more zettis with different colored tongues in my future. I love this one.

This 4th one was done a couple weeks after the first three and is the first page in a small journal I made and began working in last week.
This guy was a gorgeous model. He was beautiful enough to be a bit feminine despite the beard, and as soon as I added women's eyes to him, he took on this man/woman feel for me so I put him in a dress with striped tights, a classic zetti feature. 
This quote is all me. I'm plain-featured, with smallish eyes and gray hair, nothing special about my looks at all. Sometimes I just want to be exotic and wear outlandish clothes and lots of jewelry, but only in my mind, I guess, because as soon as I start to actually do something like that, it feels so non-me that I stop. I'm really just the button-down shirt type after all, which is fine. I'll just have to be exotic in my art now and then. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

now that's orange

Just a quickie today. I was dropping packages at the Fed-X Kinkos place yesterday and as I was pulling out of the lot, these beds of flowers caught my eye. The sun was full on them and they just glowed. I pulled in next to them, hauled out my camera and squatted in the flowers to get some real closeups. These are the best of the lot. Stunning color, isn't it? And I don't even like orange...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sunday studio shots & the dog

Cleaned up a bit from last week. Boxes of books line the back of my car, headed for the library book sale after the members of my Thursday book club paw thru them.

These are pretty boring, huh? I'll have to show my works-in-progress next time or something. But I did mend the pillow case and put the fleece jacket away since I now don't need it until next winter...

Sleeping with her butt pushed up on DH's leg.

All legs.

The cat down the street. They're in love. 

Snoozing on the old quilt on the guest room bed. 

More legs. For a small dog, she takes up a lot of room.

She lived by the heater all winter. The closer, the better. She'd edge you out if you got too close to it. We were worried she'd singe herself, but no.