Wednesday, August 31, 2011

stamp carving

Today, instead of painting with the seniors, I opted to take my rubber erasers and box cutter and made stamps instead. After the self portrait in previous post, I was just not in the mood to paint.

We had a full table of people today and we had to keep shifting to make room for others. It was a big day there because there was a pot luck lunch, honoring the woman who has been serving the food for many years. Everyone wanted to be there.

I didn't go to eat lunch with the others due to my dietary restrictions, so I came home and cooked. But then, I still felt like a little carving. Here are the ones I did today.

I have not snapped off the blades of my knives recently, but they are getting dull. I'd better do that before any more carving.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cloth Paper Scissors reader challenge

I've never been one to want to enter reader challenges, or enter things for publication, but my friend Roberta got me interested enough to enter one today. First I had to do a self portrait of "little me". Well, actually, I read later it doesn't really have to be me, just something to represent me. Hmmm... and I wasted the better part of two days trying to paint myself. Roberta mentioned this challenge to the Lodi group and a couple of the other gals are submitting what they created.

Te carved stamp was done by converting a photo of myself to a rubber stamp image in Photoshop, then printing it the size of my eraser. Then I penciled over the lines I wanted to leave for the ink and pressed it hard against the rubber eraser. It leaves the image on the eraser. Then I carved everything else away with a box cutter. I should try to use more sophisticated tools to do detail work, but the box cutter fits my hand so well, and it's what I'm used to. Show Boat was on TV and I cut away all the way through it. I don't think I even looked up once, not even to see Howard Keel. LOL Now, that is dedication to art.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lodi Mixed Media Group and Steampunk altered book

We met at the gallery on Thursday and had a very lively full group of 13 funny, talented, ladies. Between the laughing and talking, time flew by. Our show and tell time was great. Phyllis brought a box with a little story in it that she made for her granddaughter. Francis (the fearless) brought in a painting with a box attached. I did't get pics. The painting shows a couple seated in a booth with mirrors on each side, so there are reflections in both from different angles. Then on one side she had attached a box with two mirrors, one on the back and on inside right side. The left side was open and the front, so we could see the two carved people she put there, replicating the ones in her painting. Awesome, and totally unique. These are just a few of what was shared that day. Patti taught the group to make folded boxes.

I don't do folding things so I took my Steampunk altered book to work in. Little by little is getting filled up. Now it's a long read kind of book, not one you can just flip through quickly. I meant to get away from making such lengthy books, but I keep finding amazing photos to use, so it just keeps going. All science, hardware, etc are in this book. I just found a really good photo of Einstein that will go in soon, and I"m always finding pics of people with goggles, or dogs and cats with goggles. LOL So, in they go too. And if they don't have goggles, I can stamp them on, or glue on something I found in a parking lot or on the street. LOL

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Bird Book

The book that inspired Jackie , and my little bird feet shown previously, is here on my desk now. I wanted to share the title and author's name so you can get it from Amazon or your fav bookstore. The title is "Little Birds" and has 26 handmade projects to sew, stitch, quilt and love. It was compiled by Susanne Woods, and is from Stash, an imprint of C & T publishing.Lafayette, CA. Copyright 2010. Here's a pic of the back cover to whet your appetite to do some of the projects. Patterns are in the back of this slick little paperback. There are two different sets of instructions for the birds feet. We tried both and don't see a lot of difference in the finished feet. But, since there are 21 artists works represented, each one has their own way of doing things. I like to loan out my books, but this one probably won't be leaving my side. When winter comes I will be cosy up here in my nest making little birdie gifts.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Collaboration returned

This is the post card that started so modestly, and has now become a real work of art, thanks to Maria Moesch who returned it to me yesterday. I'm showing both sides.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bird legs

My dear friend Jackie died a couple weeks ago, and some of us went to help the family haul away the art materials and books she used to love. We sorted and tossed, and donated, and saved favorite things. Among her things was a book on making fabric birds. She had already made one and I loved it and was going to borrow the book to try it myself. Well, I have it now. I think her spirit kicked me in the butt and told me to get busy, because I just had to try to make the bird legs. I had her wire, her pliers, and her book. What was I to do?

I took her things to the studio and made a first little wire bird leg. And then wrapped it in fabric, as shown in the book. Then I did a second smaller one without wrapping it.

Yesterday I went to Modesto to have a play day with friends. And I took what I did, and the wire and pliers and fabric strips. Rosemary is always a good sport about trying anything new, so she had quickly formed a little leg, when Gin and Cat showed up. Much to my surprise Gin wanted to do one also, and it looked like she had been doing them forever. Here's a pic of Jackie's bird, and the legs we (Rosemary and Gin and I) made yesterday. Those are Rosemary's hands making her birdleg. This was fun. I'll post the name of the book later. It's down in the studio and I'm upstairs trying to take care of business. LOL btw it has the cutest owl, and other bird patterns, so I hope to make some this winter.

And now that I know how much fun it is to work with wire, I can see many ways I can use them in book altering. Hmmm.....

Collaborating with Susanne

I'm ready to return this one to Susanne. I'm sure it will be back, but probably not right away. I think they are going on a long cruise soon. I stamped Let's do Lunch on it after I scanned it.

Outgoing Mail art.

Here are a couple of post cards going out in tomorrow's mail. The last card I sent to Pamela never reached her. I hope this one gets in the right mail box, or at least the neighbor who gets it, will give it to her.

In box treasure

This great post card is from Norma in Florida. Reminds me of the recent visit to the Dali exhibit at the Haggin Museum. Thanks, Norma.

Saturday reception at SAL

Stockton Art League is having a showing of local sculptures. Among them are my friends Sam and Pepe, who collaborate - so their work carries both signatures. Jean J also collaborates with them in selecting colors... but she doesn't think that carries much weight, so she steps back and let's them have the floor. Here are a couple of the pieces they were showing.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In box - one more card

This beauty is from Carroll W. in Menlo Park. we don't know each other, but I love exchanging cards with her. they are always quite elegant.

In box - collaborations

Here are two collaborations from friend Joanna T. She always delights me with the things she adds.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Post cards in and out

One of these is a collaboration with Punwit in NH. It's ready to go back to him now. I love this card. The other card is a fabulous fabric one from Kimberly in MN. It's one of the Dr. Seuss ones from our swap.

The puzzle

Here are some pics of the collaborative puzzle the art girls in Lodi created. a few people didn't get their pieces back in time, but they can fill them in when they are in the gallery.

I just got an email from someone wanting to know which pieces I did. Can't you tell? I did the far lower left corner with the fish and Alice swimming, the Nat. Geographic gorilla next to the blank space, the gal with green face, and the piece directly below it.

I watched the Dog Whisperer when I did the green face. He was working with a gal who stars in a production of Wicked who has a little dog that stays with her in the dressing room. When they apply the makeup to her he's fine, but when they make her hands green, then they powder them and she claps them together to get rid of the excess powder, the dog starts barking and won't stop. Sometimes barks right through the show. Not to worry though. Dog Whisperer to the rescue.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August mail outgoing

Here are a couple more from the dog series. And the fabric one is a Dr. Seuss pc swap in an online group.

Mail art, inbox

Look what came in my mail! Two of these are collaborations, one returned by Roberta with her fine touches. One from Punwit, with his humorous and interesting additions. The printed pc is from Fast Eyes. "I thought you said no one woud see us" is from Norma. Bobbi, click on it to see the ladies in the tub. I know you will be laughing your A__ off. Thanks all for making mail time so fun for me.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Little fisherman

I started this last week at the senior center in the art group. Today I added in the shadow and tweaked it some. Mostly we visited today and looked at each other's art. One of the gals brought in some fresh veggies, so I"m going to make soup later today. It was a nice morning to be with friends.

I'm not sure what to do next on this. I need to add one more little fisherman, just not sure where to put him, or how big he will be. Hmmm.......

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Still life

Years ago I painted still lifes almost exclusively. I finally got bored. But, now that I am painting at the senior center twice a week, I need to have something to work on - and sometimes a new fresh idea isn't springing to mind. So, I fell back on a still life this week. this is the one I started yesterday and finished today. or almost finished. I was able to use of of the stamps I carved on it, which made me happy. I had originally sketched a dish with tomatoes and celery on it. Somewhere after I started, it changed. Eggs often appear in my work. I think it needs a third egg to finish it off. Hmmmm.... This painting was done by first collaging scraps of papers on watercolor paper using liquid gel matte medium. Then I used water soluble oil pastels (several brands) scribbled on like crayons - and then used a brush dipped in the liquid gel medium brushed and scrubbed in to move it, blend it, and stabilize it. I also used white gesso and at the end a little golden liquid acrylic mixed with the gel medium as a glaze here and there.

The reason I use this kind of paint technique is because I love the freedom of scribbling with the color, and the strength of the colors. I do my outlining with a charcoal pencil and stabilize it with the gel medium. for this piece I wanted the black lines to really show up so they are heavy - a bit too heavy.

Using water soluble oil pastels allows me to carry a lot of colors, without a lot of weight. And if I decide to work with water color, I've got it covered. Same with the paper. I almost always use WC paper. It's easy to carry, it's cheap, it works for me. If I buy really expensive paper, I'm afraid to touch it. But doing art on cheap paper frees me to do whatever and if I don't like it I can throw it away.

Update aug 8th. I added one more egg to the plate at the senior painting group today and removed the earlier version here.