Saturday, April 24, 2010

So many books, so much to do

Well, this has been a really strange week. I had oral surgery, OUCH! and have been home a few days - so my mind is racing, but the rest of me is dragging. You know how that is. Earth Day was this week and I planned on going to the Lodi Mixed Media group meeting and taking a big old Atlas to collage in as a collaborative project, plus two cereal boxes that I gessoed. But, I wasn't feeling up to going and so the book is here, and once I opened it I was flooded with ideas. I've been planning for years to do a book with quotes by John Muir, and since he traveled the world, and used the signature "John Muir, Earth, Planet, Universe" as his address in an early journal - I thought this wonderful old Atlas would be a grand book to alter. The John Muir Conference has been taking place since Thursday at University of the Pacific - and I should be there, but the pain and resulting fatigue are keeping me in. My spirit is with them though and so that is what is generating this new altered book.

Also this week, I received a "deck" of thirty four 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inch Steampunk collages from an online swap. I could not think of a good way to bind them, so I decided to put them into a book which will then be altered. I am using an old copy of "Man and Power", a children's book from Library used book store. It has great illustrations and will be fun to alter. But, first I put the collages in with a list of the artists that participated. I'm asking their permissions to post some pictures here.

I'm also working on the "Phobia" book. But, I need to set these things aside to finish a book for my grandson Trevor who is graduating from high school very soon - from the same school his dad graduated from many years ago. It's very exciting for me to see this happen, and I'm fortunate to live "attached" to the kids so I can watch them grow up and participate in their activities. The book I'm altering for Trevor is "Life 101". I'm also using part of the text from that famous graduation speech (which is really an urban legend, purported to have been given by Bill Gates). It's a fun book with a message. This one has to take priority as it's creeping up to the big day.

So where do the ideas come from? My little muse, Lollie, who doesn't care if my jaw hurts! She wants to alter books. She just keeps nudging me until I take action.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fish - revisited

Here is another piece I reworked. Adding the spots to the fish on the lower left, and tucking in the octopus, changing some colors of most of the fish and using another collaged fish seemed to pull this one together. I punched up the contrast and saturation with PhotoShop Elements on the close up.

The collages I'm showing here and on previous post could just as well have been done in altered books.

Reworking an older piece - Man of Sorrows

Awhile back I did a piece I was never happy with. It had a good enough base, but never seemed finished. I pulled it out yesterday and decided to punch up the reds, add the turquoise in various spots, and then added the little long legged bird. As a final touch I scratched in the word Sorrow on the man facing the bird. There is a collaged piece of a poem above the men which is the theme for the piece. I tore it out of a book of quotations awhile back and don't remember the author. "He touched her hand and the fever left her. We need His touch on our fevered hands! The cool, still touch of the Man of Sorrows, who knows us and loves us and understands."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Year long workshop

Follow this link for information about a mixed media year long workshop. There's also a fun give away there. It’s easy to participate in this Free Give-Away! Simply post this link: on your blog and let people know it is a link for more information about a fun and exciting: “Year-Long Art Projects Workshop!”

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Picture albums on Picture Trail

I found that my Picture Trail photos would not come up - well, by accident I had not renewed it when I should have. It is up and running again, so those of you who tried to see it but could not - you should be able to go there now from the link here, or over on the left column. Happy viewing. Janene

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Citrasolv questions

The biggest question is "Why?" and then second is "Now what do I do with it?"

The first answer is always the same. Because it is there. We have to climb the mountain. Other people are experimenting with it - so we need to try it too so we can add to the conversation. Now what? Well, use it to make other art. It is good as a background, it can be cut up or torn to use in collages.

I did a composition this morning with only those National Geographic pages that were treated with Citrasolv and a glue stick on watercolor paper. I cut the pieces to look like a mosaic - except for the central image which is a page where the CitraSolv was used around the edges but didn't extend across the page. This was an accident, but when I peeled it out of the saturated magazine, I liked the image so didn't redo it. One thing I like to do is scratch into magazine pages with my little box cutter, or exacto knife. This time I used the box cutter and scratched in the second figure. It scratches really easily because the ink is thick and still sort of floating (although dry) on the surface of the paper.

The article these pages came from was apparently about immigration, hence the fence. I wanted to use the theme for the piece so the fence would make sense. Hence the fence makes sense. How poetic! LOL

What else can be done with this technique? Well, it makes fun backgrounds for digital art. I took portions of this piece and played with them in PhotoShop Elements - you can what fun I was having.