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.