Monday, May 26, 2014

channeling Teesha

I still remember the first time I saw one of Teesha Moore's journal pages. I could hardly believe all the detail - tons of pen work, very cool lettering, bizarre creatures. I thought they were weird and wonderful. In fact, I still think that. I also knew I needed to try my hand at it. That was several years ago and I've made a handful of them since, but just lately have gotten better at sticking with the page until it's nice and loaded with stuff. That's always been an issue with me - quitting before there are enough layers or enough stitches or enough detail. But I'm getting better at it.

My art bud Rhonda was down for the day about a month ago and we each made one of Teesha's 16 page journals, then each started a Teesha-type page. I'm not showing that one today because I accidentally sat a sticky piece of paper on it and goobered up some of it. <heavy sigh>  So I'm showing the second one I did.

The initial inspiration was the seahorse. He was weird enough looking all by himself and I wanted to build a page around him. Found the mussel which made a great body, drew some seaweed type stuff, did a bunch of doodling, etc, etc. Still need to get better (bolder?) with the shadowing but I'm happy with the page. Double click on the image to see it huge.

Here's the link to all Teesha's marvelous videos on how she does her journal pages. It's basically a FREE art journaling class. Go make one.


Well, this was meant to be for the MMSA swap but I got started late and just don't feel like rushing around to get copies made in time. So I have the original which I'll keep and one good copy all folded, glued and ready to go. I'm sure one or another of my mail art buds will speak up when they see this and swap with me.

I was looking thru art books trying to get inspired, and it struck me that in so many portraits of women, their eyes are downcast. Thus was born Ladies Looking Down. The images are in order - first the cover, then the first spread, etc. I added a goofy caption to each painting and some doodles.


Monday, May 19, 2014

apricots coming out my ears

It's been sooo windy here. Just crazy blow-the-birdbath-over windy, for weeks now and I'm so tired of it. I barely have a chance to pick the apricots before the wind gusts in and bashes them on the patio. But I've been saving up the windfalls and today made 9 half points of apricot jam and 2 half pints plus 6 quarter pints of apricot habanero jam.

I pitted and chopped about 100 apricots, which seemed like about triple that cause I had to look each one over and trim off the bird bites and patio bash bruises. But I persevered cause I can't stand the thought of all that fruit going to waste. Too bad my nectarine tree isn't near as prolific cause I'd just eat them all. And we're not done with apricots yet cause the tree is still about half full. Been taking them to work and giving bags away to the neighbors. Luckily they're more cheerfully received than excess zucchini LOL.

Canning is a lot of work. Imagine back in the day when you canned every bit of food your family ate during the winter. gack

Lots of jam! Actually it didn't set real well so it's more like apricot sauce.

Still tons of apricots still to come.

2 postcards

Got fired up and made a couple postcards over the weekend. Acrylic paint backgrounds with some gel stick and oil pastel blending. The photo is one of the houses I lived in as a kid. I'm gradually using up most of my old family pictures. There's no one to leave them to after me and I'd rather get the enjoyment of arting with them than have them end up in a junk shop or the trash.

That's me on the porch in one and by the swing set in the other. I look about 7 or 8 there and don't remember much about it except that we had a German shepherd named Jim Bowie. Added a torn strip of book text, some circles from a magazine, and a few words from a large print book.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

oy... so behind

Cleaned up the studio a bit and found a pack of paper frames that I bought years ago and never used. No more of that, I'm going on a use-it-or-lose-it campaign, so I found a pic and made a post card. It's on the way to a mail art pal who shall remain nameless but will now recognize this card when it shows up in her mailbox.

The background was a fail from a painting experiment, if I remember correctly. Or might have been the newspaper I use as a table covering while I'm working. In any case, I added some more color with Distress Stain, used some Tangie grunge stamps, stamped some circles with the cardboard tube from something or other (I save pretty much every cardboard tube I come across cause they make such good stamps), did some doodling. Wa-la - art!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

RR folio for Carroll

Same story as previous post, except Carroll's theme was Color. Well, what artist doesn't love that open-ended theme? I got out all the colorful mark making stuff I don't use much and went to town. This one wraps up this RR. Actually, it was really a swap but who's counting? I've sent all mine out but not received all 4 yet.

I did the front in black gesso, the added a variety of colorful shapes cut from various magazines. It's amazing how much color you can find when you just need a small piece. The flower was cut out for Laurie's but not used, and I couldn't resist adding it here, even tho it didn't fit my original plan of geometric shapes. I love the surprise of the organic shape amongst the more regular pieces. Did some pen work with white and black gel pens.

This is the center spread. I used Dyelusions spray inks and colored India and acrylic inks on it. The Dyelusions I sprayed thru several stencils, then dripped and blew other inks all over the place till it appeared balanced to me. Added "color your world" to it, plus the word "color" here and there.

I did the back last and almost had to scrap the entire folio because I was so unhappy with it. I started out with 3 water soluble sticks - Neocolor II, gelatos and oil pastels. I made marks here and there, then took water to it and made a real mess. Very bad words came out of my mouth. After it dried, I began to use only gelatos and my finger to rub them in and blend them. It began looking better and I quit when I was just barely no longer embarrassed by it. Still not thrilled, but it is colorful. I had very tender red finger pads the next morning, not quite blistered from all the rubbing. 

RR folio for Laurie

The same ladies who did the art journal round robin with me decided to do a swap where we each make one folio for everyone else. Then you can bind the folios into a book yourself, adding more or not as you like. Laurie's theme was flowers, a theme I love, so I didn't lack for inspiration.

This is the front, covered in a collage of green and aqua gelli printed deli papers. Then I stenciled over the top of it with black gesso thru a floral stencil. I'm in love with black gesso lately - it's so *black*. I've just been brushing it on and it leaves such a uniform surface - no streaks or uneven color. Then I did a lot of doodling on the black with gel pens. 

This is the center spread - as tall as the other two pictures and twice as wide. I put down the top layer of a floral paper napkin as my background, then added more flowers and butterflies from other napkins to fill in. Thought about adding a poem or quote but couldn't come up with anything I liked, so I just left it blank. Laurie can add to it if she likes.
(I had already done this spread once with magazine images and loved it but when I folded it closed the images wrinkled and lifted. I cut them down the center, thinking they'd lay flatter, but that was worse and had to rip them all off the page. Argh. So annoyed that I forgot to take a pic.)

The back cover has an acrylic paint background with a collage of images and text from two old garden books. I love pansies and was able to find enough things to make a nice layout. Did a bit of dot work with a black gel pen.