"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind". - Henry James

Monday, September 17, 2012

Finally Finished (I Think)

I started this Junk Mail book waaaay last September and I think I've finally finished!

As so often happens, I hit a snag and stopped.  When I'm not sure what to do, I don't do anything.  This usually, but not always, serves me well.  I think it was good this time.  After all, I wasn't working to a deadline. 

Junk Mail Book, Cover, Barn Owl
A barn owl watched.

Junk Mail Book, Page 3, Raven
And a raven watched.

Junk Mail Book, Page 4, Two Birds and a Lizard
Birds flew

Junk Mail Book, Page 5, Egret and Lizard
and a lizard watched.  An egret preened and watched. 

Junk Mail Book, Page 5, Water Buffalo and Lizard
A water buffalo showed up

Junk Mail Book, Page 6, Lizard and Palm
under the moon near a palm tree.  

Junk Mail Book, Page 7, Water Buffalo
The water buffalo watched.

Junk Mail Book, Page 8, Small Owl
And a small owl watched too.

The End

Sunday, September 16, 2012

At the Donkey & Mule Fun Show!

At the Donkey and Mule Show in Alstead, New Hampshire.  I love donkeys and mules!

Handsome Marlon

Lovely Louise (We sort of match!)
A pace of donkeys

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Experiments in Mixed Media

Some mixed media experiments using techniques I learned from Jenn Mason's video, Mixed Media Collage:  Working in Layers.  She shows how to do mono printing, gelatin printing, photocopy transfer using a blender pen, and collage with found paper and objects.

Maybe One Day You Can Live on the Moon
Gelatin print, photocopy transfer, collage on manilla tag
I had done some gelatin printing before, but I love her use of fluid acrylics and open gel.  I got some really wonderful color combinations and effects using masks and various objects for texture.  And I got to use my growing stash of ephemera I've been collecting for a while now.  Lots of fortunes from Chinese fortune cookies (which brings me to wonder how the heck much Chinese food we've eaten over the years...).

Allegro Non Troppo 1
Gelatin print, photocopy transfer,
black & white ink, and collage on manilla tag.

It's lots of fun.  I'd like to add more drawing to my mixed media pieces because I think it will make them more my own.  But in the meantime, I'm having a lots of fun searching for objects for texture and mixing paint and finding just the right piece of collage material.
Allegro Non Troppo 2
Gelatin print & collage on Stonehenge paper
I think this birdie needs a little something more, but I'm not quite sure what just yet.  I'll give it a little while to come to me.

Jenn encourages you to work in a series, which makes sense given the nature of mono and gelatin printing.  You want to have lots of paper ready to receive all the neat prints.  I did some on manilla tags, Masa paper, Stonehenge paper,  and some on tissue paper.  I think it might be fun to collage the tissue paper prints over other prints.  More experimentation!

Heart Birds
Gelatin print, photocopy transfer,
 and collage on Stonehenge paper

I have a rather large pile of prints to work on.  Sort of wonderful to have all this print fodder ready for collage ~

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cereal Box Buddhas

A quick post of transfers onto gessoed and watercolored cereal, cookie, or cracker boxes. I'm not sure which is which. Since I've been using cardboard boxes for painting surfaces, I've become a collector and hoarder of all things cardboard.

I learned about cereal box transfers from the wonderful Carla Sonheim who is the most inventive artist!  She uses all sorts of materials, discarded cardboard boxes, junk mail, etc. and makes the most delightful and original art!

 I've been wanting to use these photo crops for transfer for a long time and today I finally did it! I may leave them as is or add some small embellishment to them.  
Not sure which one I like best...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

SYALER Donkey & Mule Fun Show!

Time for another SYALER Donkey & Mule Fun Show!  I did a relief print of the donkey, Louise, in her Sunflower Kissing Booth for this year's poster.  Come to the show and meet Louise in "person".

SYALER is a great organization run by wonderful people who devote their lives to caring for the animals.  Alstead is a lovely small town in southwestern New Hampshire and I encourage all to take a drive to the country in support of this fun and worthy organization.  I love Donkeys and Mules!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Watercolor Transfer Painting with Carla Sonheim

Layered Transfer Owlet
Just finished another wonderful five-day online workshop with Carla Sonheim called Watercolor Transfer Painting. Carla devised a method of using tee-shirt, iron-on transfer paper (Avery, Jolee, etc.) and painting and drawing on the sheets and then ironing the images on to paper or fabric. Very inventive and lots of fun!

Each day for five days Carla sent out an email containing links to a warm-up worksheet and the class blog where you find a video demo and photos of the pieces she worked on in the demo for that day's assignment. There's a flickr group for uploading and sharing, which I loved but never got to view and comment as much as I would have liked. There is some wonderfully fabulous work there!

The first day we made sheets of random patterns and designs on our transfer paper using watercolor first and then adding other media. Watercolor behaves differently on transfer paper than it does on watercolor paper. And behaves differently still on different brands of transfer paper. This is Avery brand and I love the way the watercolor dots spread and separate and resist each other.  

Here is an example of Jolee brand transfer paper. The watercolor didn't seem to spread as well, so I spritzed it with water and got this nifty grainy effect. Unfortunately, I neglected to scan it again after I added some Pan Pastels and pen.

But I think you can see the effect in these egg/bird shapes I cut from this piece after I had added some Pan Pastels and pen.  I cut these shapes and ironed them on to hot pressed watercolor paper.

Egg/bird Shapes

These little birds started out as eye shapes for the face assignment, but I began to see birds rather than eyes. So birds they became.  

Three Small Birds

We even made landscapes!  I like this landscape better than any I have done directly on watercolor paper.

Watercolor, pencil, & charcoal landscape

On the fifth day we did a sort of printmaking process where we made three "plates" of images and layered one atop the other. The little owl at the beginning of this post was done using three layers. The first (bottom) layer is watercolor. The second (middle) layer is Pan Pastel. And the third (top) layer is Tombow pen, which is smooth and doesn't tear the delicate surface of the transfer emulsion. It reminds me of encaustic.

I can't wait to work with these techniques more and there is some serious inspiration on the flickr site too!  Go have a look ~ Watercolor Transfer Painting flickr group

Friday, August 3, 2012

Silly Flower Post Cards

I've been away for a few days, but I'm back now!  Here a some more post cards from my Post Card Project ~

I took some old, failed paintings and painted over them with watercolor and gesso.  You can see where I cut them into post-card size pieces.

After I cut them into post cards, I added some small embellishments, dots and such.  It seems to make them more flowery.  Some of them look like Japanese parasols or sea urchins.  I guess they are whatever you see in them.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

More Crazy Flower Post Cards

A few more of the Crazy Flower post cards I made and sent.  This time I remembered to sign them before I sent them out into the world.  

The people I heard from said they loved getting something in the mail that wasn't a bill!  Success!  Objective met!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Crazy Flower Post Cards

Some more post cards I made using pieces from the "Flower Power" assignment from Carla Sonheim's Flower Crazy online class.  It was great fun to work in a way so different from how I usually work.  Kind of crazy, but I like them!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

and More Post Cards Yet Again...

More post cards from the first batch ~


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

More Post Cards

Two more images of the collage post cards.  I have heard back from a few people who were delighted to receive something other than bills and adverts in the mail.  So far I've sent out 24 - one to Scotland and one to Australia!  I have about 23 more to send and maybe more as I collect more addresses.

I wish I had thought to sign the first group I sent out.  Too late.

Got to go make another 10 or 12 now ~

Monday, July 9, 2012

Post Card Project

I'm working at finding a use for the ever-growing pile of discarded paintings that I never finished or should never have finished or otherwise don't know what to do with.  It occurred to me that I could collage on them and cut them into post cards and send them out into the world!
I made a list of friends and family and even slight acquaintances who I thought might enjoy something in the mail other than advertisements and bills.  So I cut up a bunch and wrote out the addresses and slapped a stamp on them and away they went!
Kind of fun.  The first 14 are these ink-over-collage-over-painting type.  The next ten are different and the next group will be different still!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Flower Crazy with Carla Sonheim!

My grand scheme to document my progress through The Artist's Way was a grand flop.  Ha!  I had imagined myself posting photos from my weekly Artist Dates along with witty remarks and deep insights.  That didn't happen and I'm on Week Eleven...  So I've decided to document, as best I can and as time allows, what I am working on instead.

Week One, Day One
Carla Sonheim is doing another  wonderful online class called Flower Crazy.  Yay Carla!  This is my version of the first assignment.  Lots of media - markers, colored pencil, watercolor, acrylic ink - on watercolor paper.  And while I don't think this is great as a finish piece, there are some good things I learned in here that I'd like to explore further in another piece.  And it was lots of fun!

Week One, Day Three Assignments. Mixed Media
As with the first exercise these are way too busy for my taste.  But there are some good things in here too that I want to explore further.

Vintage Buttons and Gears
Sea Plants
There are also optional daily drawing opportunities.  Carla gives suggestions for seeking out flower forms and gives links to collected images such as vintage buttons, gears, sea plants.  I would never think to do this sort of thing on my own.  We are asked to spend five to ten minutes on the daily drawing assignments.  I can always fit five to ten minutes in - and I usually end up spending 20 to 30 minutes!  I just have to start!