Friday, September 30, 2011

in box - happy day

Look what came in today's mail. My first Halloween post card from Norma in Florida, complete with fabric, paper, witches and pumpkins. Thanks Norma. And then a sweet little birthday post card from Char in Fair Oaks with a fresh faced tyke in a little sparkly crown. Thanks gals.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Inbox - from Punwit

This is another collaborative piece returned from Punwit. I already added more and it's ready to go back now. I enlarged the stamps in the corner so you can see the clever detail - a little person collaged over the stamp itself. And note the America's Wool stamps on the front. That was a treat to get. I had not seen them before. I need to go to a stamp show some day to see all the things I've missed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A mystery post card in my in box

This card came in a few days back, I could not tell who it was from. I had to cut and peel back a label and some tape to find it is from Beth, one of the California Art Girls. Thanks Beth. I like the addition of the colors and images on the reverse side. We thought it was lost in the mail, but here it was all the time.

Something a little different - for me

Now and then I get post cards from Linda Giese on which she usually incorporates her word ribbons. Awhile back I got a card from Barbara Schwartz. She had used a similar technique. this is something I've admired on other people's works but had never tried before. I've got a cold and am a bit bored, so thought I'd try something different to perk me up. I created 4 post cards with this technique. I used the backs of some post cards I ordered free (I paid only for shipping) from

It was kind of fun to place my order, and to manipulate the fonts, the sizes, the placement, etc. The web site is pretty user friendly, although they do try to get you to order more of their products. You have a chance to review and edit your order several times - so that makes it more comfortable. They have fast delivery and I'm impressed with the quality of the products I've seen. I also got my free business cards there.

The colors I used on the post cards were Golden's Fluid acrylics applied with a grocery bag pressed down on paint smoothed out on an old sandwich bag. It picked up lovely textures.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mixed Media Group in Sacramento

I'm a long time member of the group that used to meet once a month in Sacramento, and for many years I was the online group mom. More and more of us have stopped attending regularly, and in fact only a couple people show up now, and then. So, today I posted to the group that we could change and meet a couple times a year and also have online meetings where we can share our art and our ideas. A couple of people have checked in so far today. One does not like the idea of online meetings, it doesn't work for her. But, someone else did chime in and shared what she's been up to this week. Cool. We will try to meet online today between 1 and three and see who shows up. I didn't think this up or post it until a few hours ago, so no one got much notice. But, it could be a starting point. I hate to lose track of the wonderful gals I met there. I always came away from meeting excited, invigorated, and inspired. Awesome gals, and awesome work. Many have become good friends and we meet regularly at other venues. But, there are so many others that have come such a long way in their art journey - I really want to keep up with what they are doing. And encourage them. We'll see how it goes. ** follow up** It's 3:30 now and only a few of the gals checked into the online meeting. I didn't give them any warning ahead of time, so it's encouraging to know there were that many people online at the right time by accident. I guess it's worth another try next month when people know it's coming and can upload photos of what they have been doing.

The Lodi group was based on the model of the Sac group. And it is a good solid group of like minded, fun gals who like and maybe even need a group in which they can feel at home and share and grow. It's wonderful to be among such an enthusiastic group.

Messy day

Mail art doesn't take a lot of space to create. Especially if you are doing them one at a time. But, I don't do it that way most times. Here is my work table this a.m. I am working with some napkins that friends Pat and Sally gave away recently and cardstock cut to size, and a stamp I carved from a big eraser. I made 9 yesterday morning, and finished off 12 this morning. as you can see there are no two alike even though I am using the same color palette and same materials. They need to be flattened out before mailing, and I need to so something on the reverse sides.

I'm having a mini art retreat here at home. We have had a change in weather with overcast and feeling like it might rain. Yesterday we had blustery breezes that took down two patio umbrellas. It's a good time to stay in and make art.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Too much going on around here. I mailed out about 50 post cards yesterday and a dozen last Saturday. I forgot to take pics or scan them. Oh well. Whoever gets them won't care. I even sent a couple to more than one person. I had been out of stamps so set things aside. Now, I'm caught up with sending. That's always a good thing.

This week at our Lodi mixed media group we will be playing with color. We are each bringing little water color student trays, the Prang ones. A brush, w/c paper and a bottle of water and container for washing our brushes. Two of our members are trained art therapists, and this time it is Marilyn who will be demonstrating and leading our group exercise. Should be a fun time, as mixing colors can be daunting for new artists. And we old ones like refresher courses - we always come away with some new insight or tip.

In my spare moments, I've been finishing up the altered book, Power and Man - and carving more stamps. I did a couple this morning when I was sitting the gallery. It's never busy in the mornings so I always have time to do something of my own. Today I got a taste of the state of the nation - or at least Lodi. I got two phone calls, both from desperate people who needed to apply for assistance or food stamps - anything. Wrong numbers of course, but we keep the appropriate number handy as this happens a lot. It's so sad. More people want assistance than want art......

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Inbox - from Char

Here's a cutie from Char. I'm going to add to it and return it to her. Thanks Char. I'm glad you are finding a few spare minutes for art again.

Collaboration inbox

This beauty came in yesterday's mail from Maria in Fremont. She covered almost everything on both sides, leaving only the little clown face and the girls head. I wish you could hold this in your hand, as scanning cannot do it justice. Thanks Maria.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Art week in review

Oh my! So much going on. Saturday the Stockton Art League had a reception for their current juried art show. I entered a mixed media piece/collage and paint - and also the Alice Meets the Internet assemblage. Alice took a second place for three dimensional works. This is such a hard category to judge. There were alabaster sculpted pieces, carved woods, steel sculptures, pottery, etc. And then there was my piece, made from a packing crate which brought my portable dvd player. And there it sat with its bright red ribbon, amongst all these other pieces. I had never shown it in Stockton before, so I was very happy to have this honor. In fact, to be selected to be in the show is pretty chancy. They had to turn away a lot of art that would have been shown had the space accommodated a larger show. Francis got an honorable mention on a mixed media piece.

Monday I spent the morning at the senior center working on my Man and Power altered book. Yesterday I spent most of the day cleaning my studio. Then someone reminded me the art center was having their monthly meeting in the evening and Suzanne was going to do a demo of paste paper techniques. Of course there is the business meeting to sit through first. I called Francis and arranged to pick her up. I called Jean, but she has a bad cold. But she asked me if knew what a special paper was that she had been reading about. Something she can use with her water media pieces. I didn't remember, so I looked it up online, found a few links and tutorials and called her back after emailing the links. I tried to respond to an email from Sam, but my computer refused to send him my answer. So, I had to remember to talk to him at the meeting. Suzanne had premixed the paints and paste and had them laid out across the table. Then she showed us several ways to apply the paint and to get interesting textures. A few people tried it and were having a great time.

Today I was back at the other senior center for art play. One of the gals finished a painting she's worked on for quite awhile. A landscape of her grandsons fav area to ski, as seen from afar with the mts in background. I worked on my book again.

Now I have to work out my demo/talk for the Lodi Art Center's next months meeting. It is so hard to show altered books as there are pages and pages to look at. And it is frustrating when there's a crowd. So, I'm trying, at the suggestion of Francis, to find a different way to show them. Maybe constructing an accordion fold screen with pages mounted on it....... Maybe for one of the books. But it would mean deconstructing the book. A more logical way would be to do a slide show/powerpoint presentation. It's not the same as holding a book though. It is much less personal. Well, I have a couple weeks to work it out.

Yesterday I got sidetracked with my old art journal. I was looking at some papers I had marbled a couple years ago with the shaving creme technique. One of them had a little face that could be seen peering out with a funny grin. I thought I'd try to carve a stamp with the image. Well, I got it carved but now it looks kind of scary instead of sweet. It looks like a Tim Burton creation. hmmmmm......I did it a few more times with dif expressions.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A new stamp

I cut this stamp of my brother, since I already did one of me. The lower image is a photo I cropped out of a shot, and converted it to black and white, then in PhotoShop converted it to rubber stamp. i resized it to the size of my eraser, and printed it. I used a regular lead pencil to make lines on the parts I wanted to transfer to rubber eraser. Its a simple way to transfer the image - just place it pencil side down on eraser and rub with back of fingernail or something smooth. It transfers immediately.

One thing about making your own stamps is remembering to reverse the images to get the stamp facing the direction you want it to. It takes practice. Trial and error. Lots of them. LOL

Hand delivered mail art.

This collaborative piece was hand delivered to me at the meeting in Lodi. Linda McA's signature is a zebra or zebra print. She managed to work on in. I"m showing both sides.

Lodi group meets

We had a member challenge this week at the Lodi Mixed Media group. We were supplied with small canvas pieces, picked out of the free box at SCRAPS in San Francisco, and asked to use only black, white, primary colors, and one additional element. I didn't have a true blue with me, so cheated and used one of my fav Golden's liquid acrylics mixed with white gesso. I was pre-armed with a Blues Brothers image from online whicih I had printed on semi opaque sticker paper. This is how it turned out. It was the quickest way I could think to add the image. Trina gets it for her son, but I wanted to scan it for the blog first.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Carved Stamps Sept 6

Bobbi and I sat at the gallery this morning, and between swapping stories and chatting with other people passing through, I managed to carve this woman's head. The man's head I did late yesterday. I think I like carving heads because I find faces so difficult to draw to my satisfaction. The woman's head is based on Bruni's wife's portrait which he did back in the 1920's. I changed it to suit me, but at the same time it retains the charm of his work. The man is an unidentified man I traced from a book. You can almost see the resemblance. LOL It is very difficult for me to control expressions on my rubber stamps because you have to work so tight on small works. Between old eyes, and old hands ....... I like them anyway.

Collaborative pc returns

Punwit put the finishing touches on this pc. Click on it to get a larger view and see all the little details. I get to keep this one.

Monday, September 5, 2011

New carved stamps

This man's head is carved on two erasers. That's the only size surface I had handy to carve on, so decided to give it a try and see if I could line it up and get a decent image. I also played with the shading on the man's face and neck. I'm crazy about his nose. Best nose I've done so far.
The profile is based on a Charles Dana Gibson illustration. He's the one that did those beautiful Gibson Girl magazine illustrations. The original man depicted by Gibson is dashing and young. When I carved him - well he's aged a lot and looks like he's lived a lot more.

If you have time and like images of people, I recommend checking out a book of his work at the library. Or look online. The pen and ink faces are so interesting. Not only the key women in them, but all the supporting characters. I think he was brilliant.

The second one was done on a larger eraser, one from the Dollar Tree. It is much easier to carve on it, as there are no bubbles so the knife moves more smoothly. I didn't like her hair or face outline so I removed them and left only the features.

mail box - incoming

Here are two darling cards. One is a collaboration from Rosemary. The other side of it has ironed on very fine tulle. It doesn't pick up on scanner or photo, so you'll just have to imagine it. The other one is from Lisa - I sent her one to collaborate - but it got lost. So she started from scratch. Thanks gals. These made my mail day!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Collaborative post card

This card was started by Pat Henshaw, and is being routed to three other artists before it gets to it's final destination. Here it is before I send it on.

Incoming mail - oops

This card came in a week or two ago and got taken right away to show friends in person. I forgot to scan it and post it here. I love how Linda Giese from San Diego does her lettering on her cards. If you look back through my blog sometime looking at post cards, you will find more of her work. Here is the latest.

Happy mail day

Here are a couple new pcs that arrived in my mail box. The green eggs and ham was done by Sherry Feiger from Oregon. It was done in fabrics for the Doctor Seuss pc swap online with a group.

The balloon is from my friend Roberta, who has had a bad cold, and passed some time making pcs to send out. BTW she has a new piece shown in Somerset Studio's latest issue, Sept/Oct on page 95. She took part in Misty Mawn's online class which is featured in the article "Stretching Within" pages 92-99. You can see more of Roberta's work here.