Monday, November 3, 2014

I'm not supposed to be here, but I am. Walking through a graveyard on the day after Halloween. On a quiet and beautiful November morning. It's not so bad, being dead like me.   - Dead Like Me

Bring me peace and gratitude

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Be Daring

journal front
Quite unlike me, but I made 2 new art journals this year. My last journal took 5 years to finish, so maybe these two new ones will see me into my golden years (I'll post the 2nd one in the future).  I call this one my "moon journal". Which automatically makes me think of the "moon roof" from Game of Thrones, but that's a post for another day.

The lovely illustration I incorporated here is from Melissa Sweet, an illustrator I worship. I really truly love her and everything she creates. She illustrated the most beautiful book about the poet William Carlos Williams, A River of Words, and this illustration is from that book. It goes without saying that I honor her work and only use it for my own personal use in my journal and in this blog post.

A recent double-page spread. Unlike scrapbookers and many artists, I never use photographs from my actual life in my journals. I  have boards of color palettes and inspirational photographs
on my Pinterest site and I use them constantly for  journal fodder.

For this spread, I watered down some Jewel-It glue and made splatters across the pages. I covered those splatters with fine glitter.  I have to have a little bit of glitter in everything I do.

I have a close friend who's daughter is named "Dare". Isn't that the most awesome name for a child, girl or boy?!

journal back
Be brave, be daring, and just jump.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Run Miss Kitty!

One of my little guys at work is just the most enchanting artist. He always draws me pictures containing two themes; aliens & monsters.

He presented this drawing to me very solemnly. I said, "A monster is chasing me?! Am I gonna make it?!?!" Again, I heard a flat and dismissive, "No." Why am I always hearing that from the male gender?

But how can I hate a monster that has hearts for eyes and just look at his bad-ass magnificence.
At least this time I wasn't drawn as I typically am; with a regulation-length boot-camp buzzcut (why I ask ?) and an ample bossom.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Oh! The Wild Joy of Living!

My last post as guest artist for my actual BFF Vasia, who is also funny and brilliant, is this journal spread.

Life is so hard really and we all struggle. But I do try to revel in the wild joy of living.

I love Anne Lamott's work and particularly this quote about Grace.

I hand lettered the "The Wild Joy of Living", painted over it with a resist, and then removed the resist so that the lettering was revealed. More also of the brush script, "Oh!" that I am so in love with right now.

...a cold, thin,  crisp ribbon of mountain air that gets in the through the cracks. I'll take that.

Can't we talk about something more pleasant?

Last night I was lucky enough to hear Roz Chast speak at Book Passage Bookstore about her new book, Can't We Speak About Something More Pleasant. A memoir about caring for aging parents.

There are a few humans on this planet that I would like to basically beg to be my BFF's. As it turns out, I met two of them at Book Passage. The first was Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket. When  asked if  he wanted to be best bud's with me, having only met seconds earlier, he flatly announced sans mercy, "No."  I still bought his book.

I didn't get a chance to ask Roz (I'm on a first name basis with her now) last night but I hold out hope. She is so funny, utterly brilliant, and completely approachable, except for last night. I'll buy any book that dame writes and I urge you to do the same.

I would remind you that she is a cartoonist for The New Yorker, but I don't like to brag about my future BFF's.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer

The May/June 2014 issue of Somerset Studio has a great tutorial by Caitlin Dundon titled Faux Encasutic with Gel Medium. I used the techniques in her article to create this piece. It was really really fun and I definitely want to play around more with layers of gel medium to create a faux encaustic look.

Every Christmas I decorate the Christmas tree with feathered bird ornaments and branches and make spun tinsel nests for them. I used a photo transfer of one those ornaments for this piece.

I used gold and silver foil to mimic the ornament and typed the Maya Angelou quote to honor her this week. A painting feels incomplete to me without pencil work. It smeared when I added the layers of gel medium, but I just worked with that challenge. Next time I'll try spraying it with matt fixative before I layer the gel medium on.

We all just have to keep our little bird song alive.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

His Tender Mercies are over all his works

This 12 x 12 birch board is a product of an incredible Creative Girl online class I took from the aforementioned Danielle Donaldson.  It was hosted by the lovely Jeanne Oliver.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I do love Psalm 145: 9.  Here are all of my iconographic touchstones that mean something to me; prayer, lettering, numerals. I don't feel like a piece is complete if I don't have some kind of pencil work and stenciling. It's hard to tell but there are rays radiating off the angel (bird) wing here.

More of my current crush; brush script lettering using permanent ink (trust me on that one; I've ruined more than one piece) and rubber stamps and little touches that finish the piece.

The bright spots of color you see are the result of lots of under painted layers and top layers of  brush spattering. The glowing colors on the wings are from watercolors and colored pencils and inks.

I can never NOT think of Robert Duvall and the movie Tender Mercies. It was such a lovely movie and his version of On The Wings of A Dove.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The soul should always stand ajar

I can easily say that 90% of my work is experimental or an exercise in technique or a somewhat- successful investigation into an idea or technique, but rarely, at least for me, do I totally love what I make. And that's not really my goal. The process is far more important to me than the end result. I never ever begin with an idea in mind. Just a vague idea and then it just becomes something.

But this piece to me took 25 years to paint. In reality, it took a month or so. It embodies all of the
self-learning and art retreats and online classes and readings that I've done over the course of 25 or more years. Although I majored in Art in college, I never learned a thing. I really began learning on my own slowly and steadily over the years with many different avenues of expression; jewelry making, stamping, painting, etc.

Basically every mixed-media technique shows up here in some way or another.

I made the floral headpiece for my girl. I owe a debt to Corie Dantini and the wonderful book Craft-a-Doodle; it influenced how I painted her face. I also made the constellations stencil.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fall on your knees

oh hear the Angel voices....

A double-page spread in my Each Little Bird That Sings journal. This spread means alot to me and I'm finally getting to the simplicity that I crave.

The photo transfer was done with my ink-jet printer and Shear Heaven transfer paper. It's wonderful for image transfers and I encourage you try it. I save the used paper after the transfer and use it to make stencils, so although it is costly,  I try to use it as completely as I can. I then stamped  "His tender mercies" Psalm 145:9 , which is one of my most beloved psalms.  I am not  formally Catholic or Christian, but I am very spiritual.

The second page was simply black chalkboard paint and brush lettering which I am totally infatuated with and more stamping. Brushes play a crucial role in hand lettering and in this case, several sizes of round tips get that lovely script. I find I can only do brush lettering standing up, it really takes your whole arm in movement.

I try to humble myself, to be ever listening for the Angel's voices, to be grateful for His tender mercies over all of us.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Don't build your world around volcanoes melting down

This 20 x 20 canvas is one of my favorite paintings.  I'm constantly fighting against myself creatively because I love very simple paintings with a minimum of business. Rarely do I achieve this because ultimately my paintings tell me what they want to be.

This is a case where I was trying out a technique, made some "mistakes' and ended up loving the end result.

I began with a very light palette; multiple layers of pale hues and titanium white washes.
Over these paint layers I used several commercial stencils, Stencil Girl is a great resource, and Dreamweaver translucent embossing paste.

I spread the embossing paste with a spackle knife over the stencils onto the pale painted under layers.
Lifted the stencils off and immediately sprinkled it with Distress dry glitter in clear rock candy.
I let it dry thoroughly over night.

You get this great sugary translucent texture that immediately made me think of the sandy beaches of Hawaii. I went back and sprayed the dried glitter/paste layers with Dylusions Ink Spray. 
I -thought- it would pool in the non-stenciled areas and leave the sugary parts untouched, but it ended up dying the glitter itself in beautiful ways.  

I just really love the reflections that sparkle in the sun. The aqua's and blues spoke to me of the oceans of Hawaii so I added Golden's Micaceous Iron Oxide to give the feel of the black sand beaches and the lava fields of the Big Island where my mother and brother live, and punched up the lava flows with some reds and oranges in honor of Pele.  The texture of the peace is gritty and sandy and really lovely in hand. 

It makes me think of this beautiful song that's been running through my head lately, 
Volcano sung by Phillip Phillips

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

One for Sorrow

This 12 x 12 canvas painting started simply as a color-block and line exercise and morphed entirely into its own thing. I'm always downloading color palettes and other artist's works for my sketchbooks, just as a catalyst to think about color in different ways or try a technique or use another artist as an inspirational springboard.  I think that's one of the strengths of Pinterest. I never want to copy someone's work, but ideally we learn from each other and inspire each other. If my work here inspires someone else, that's lovely.

I was unhappy with the color exercise and one day saw this pin on Pinterest. Like many people, I love the symbolism of crows. I also loved the top down perspective in the publicity shot for The Birds, so I made a stencil of the crow and started building up layers of paint.

I just finished a FANTASTIC online class from incredible Danielle Donaldson. I learned from her directly a method of building up a background with copious amounts of white acrylic paint; I love Utrecht's Studio Series acyrlic  medium body in Bright White, blended out with  acrylic glazing medium.  You can see here I used individual rub-ons letters to create a sense of stars in the sky and to work with my own iconography.

Using Golden's Airbrush Medium, I created cascading flows of liquid acrylics down the canvas. You have to be careful about using too high a water ratio with acyrlics because your paint can literally fall off the canvas; it's very unstable.  Airbrush Medium is a great way to get highly fluid runs of paint that are stable on your surface.

I've also used more rub-ons; I like them in tatters and incomplete. Here they suggest rolling hills and topography.

Although the painting began as an abstract, I felt like the Raven was flying over a landscape and hidden in his wings are the lyrics from The Beatles "Blackbird". I'll often have prayers, sigils, lyrics, quotes, etc. hidden in my layers. I made a teeny tiny castle stencil and a moon stencil. I love how the little castle glows at night.

As I mentioned in my last post, I try to work with lettering and numerals in my work to keep it unique to me.

I used my Copic Airbrush System to create the Raven's undercoat with a number stencil I made. Another bit of a rub-on on his head. Like many people, I'm very lost these days and I hope that this Raven is a totem to help me find my way. Or, it's quite possible I've been watching too much of Game of Thrones. But I'll always think of this old nursery rhyme when I see crows

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret,
Never to be told

Monday, May 26, 2014

On this fresh morning

in this broken world. For Memorial Day, I wanted to post this painting first. Never, not for a second, do I ever not fall down on my knees and humble myself for the men and women who gave their lives for my country and my freedom. In all the wars; the American Revolution, to the Civil War, to World War I and II, to Vietnam, to Iraq, Afghanistan, Persian Gulf and all the modern days wars.  I hate modern day politics with a depth of despair I can barely describe. But I owe a debt to all of the American men and women, civilian and military, who died for my freedom, to live, to blog, to paint, to view what I want, to read what I want, to kiss who I love, to vote, to let my voice be heard. I never take it for granted. Let me live on this fresh morning in this beautiful and broken world for all of those who never will.

This 12 x 12  acrylic mixed-media painting is rare for me in that it came together rather quickly. It incorporates vintage book pages, including a lovely pen and ink illustration of a farm from an old children's book.

I made a stencil of the sweet little bird and typed the beautiful Mary Oliver quote on an old notebook scrap. I've used old wallpaper, a paint chip, and leftover painted scraps as well.

For the first time, I've used F&W acrylic inks that I discovered in an art class taught by Tracy Verdugo. I really love them. I painted in some elements of the tree and farmhouse using Tim Holtz Distress Inks which I'm also enamored of.

I'm always trying to develop my own iconography unique to me and most often it is represented by lettering and numerals. Considering I'm a librarian, it feels authentic. In a number of recent pieces I've used some old fragments of rub-ons that I've stashed away for a number of years. I get a little hoardy when it comes to rub-ons (that sentence sounds a little unladylike), so I'm glad when I use them instead of always looking for something new to buy or something else out there to acquire.

Infamous Me

On the subject of fame and followers, I must pause here a moment and give a sweet embrace and "thank you" to my single stalwart follower Kathryn.

I must admit, I find it an enormous relief to have no followers and the freedom to do whatever I want here, knowing no one (except loyal Kathryn) will really see it. I just assume no one in the blogosphere is viewing this in general. *postscript. I've been abandoned by my one follower in 2013 and so I'm really only talking to myself here. I find that quite lovely actually. What an enormous relief. I have NO FOLLOWERS! Yay! 3/30/2016.

So then I ask myself why I do I have this blog? I have no idea. But because I have no followers, I don't feel especially guilty (just a wee bit) that I neglect this blog so regularly.

I have an enormous (to me) following on Pinterest and at times, I wish I had the anonymity I have here.

At any rate, I do kind of miss my little blog here so I think I'll be more caring towards it and post a bit.

My gracious BFF Vasia has invited me back as a guest artist on her The Suggested board, so I'll post my newer work and talk a little more in depth about it.

I'm not exactly sure what INFP stands for, because heaven forbid I should research anything when I'm goofing off at home, but I think I am one. Onwards...