Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cleaning out the closet

One year I painted up a storm for several months, turning out at least one painting a day. It was a foggy winter and it was the one way I could get some good color in my life. Here are some old photos of the paintings, many of which were sold at the La Selva Art Show. Some were given as gifts to friends and relatives, and others are probably still in the studio. LOL I'll excavate the back corner one day and see what's buried there.

Stitching up a storm

Here are more stitched faces. Some are on colored and patterned paper. Not as easy to see the stitching, but still interesting. Some with captions cut out of a magazine. I think captions add a lot. I like words. Oops! I looked back and found I had already scanned and posted most of these. This time I'll put them in the binder where I'm keeping them, and I won't be fooled again. LOL I've got too much stuff here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stitched Faces

It's a rainy day, so I pulled out some face cards to stitch on. These are views of the backs. The stitching is done from the other side. These are done on my old sewing machine without a drop feed, so it is a slow procedure to stitch them, with lots of starts and stops. At least these I did not do with one continuous row of stitches. It makes them a bit cleaner looking, but in a way maybe not quite as interesting...??? I'm not sure yet. The dyes on the paper were done previously with distress inks.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A rose is a rose

Naming paintings is always a tricky business. For the show at the Senior Center, I entered two works. We had to turn in the paperwork early and I had not really decided which ones to enter. I thought the Life is a Circus piece would be good to hang there, and the other piece .... hmmm.....
So I filled out the form with 1. Life is a Circus and 2. To be determined.

When I got to see the tags they made, my second piece, which was really named On With The Dance - now had the title "Life is a Circus To be Determined". Huh? Okay, works for me. It actually is a good name for it. Certainly an interesting name, very thought provoking, isn't it? Anyhow, it gave me a giggle and I though it might give you one too. I guess sometimes they name themselves. lol

I decided not to hang the original Circus piece, so the other piece was simply called Mixed Media on it's card (It's really "Blithe Spirit" - shown here). Note to self. Make up your mind and stick to it before you turn in paperwork. Makes life easier for everyone.

Word for the Day


It means starting for somewhere and forgetting where you are going. Of course it's not a real word - but perhaps it should be.

here are a couple old pieces of altered art to illustrate the word.

Friday, March 23, 2012

carved stamps

I'm getting ready to make a book for each of my grandsons Nathan and Douglas, who are both graduating from high school in May. Nathan loves the color green, is into trees. That sets the background for his book. Douglas is mechanically inclined and loves fishing and boating on the lake near his home in Nevada. That will be the background for his book.

I started carving some stamps for Nathans' book this week. Trees of course. And some cute little silhouettes of his face as a young child. I had two good photos to work from. I'm so glad I shot him from the side a couple times. I don't have any side views of DJ (Douglas). But when it comes to carving stamps, I have a couple ideas for his book as well.

Happy Mail Days

Here are a few of the post cards and mail art I've received lately. Aren't they fun ones?

There was a time not long ago when if you clicked on a photo, it would give you it's file title. It doesn't seem to work that way now, so even though I put artists name in the title, it no longer shows, so here is the list of artists. Stamped envelope is from Joanna Taylor, red first class man from Jennie Hinchcliff, zen shamrocks from Debbie Reid, Irish toast from Sally Peters, Clover makes you happy from Nancy Sadoyama, pot of gold from Trina Nelson, vase of flowers is from Linda McAllister. Thanks ladies. I love getting your cards. And I love sharing them on the blog so more people can enjoy them.

BTW 2500 post cards arrived yesterday, it was the order for the Spring Art Show. I love the idea that so many people will have some of my art in their hands and maybe on their refrigerator doors. We'll be mailing in a couple weeks.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Modern Mixed Media

That's the title of a DVD I watched today. It's from American Artist. The Artist is Marshall Arisman. This was a 2 hour demo. He started by sculpting his subject (taken from a photo of a chimpanzee) out of paper mache. Reminds me that Frances just did a piece mounted on wood of three horses of paper mache over staples, to help hold it to the wood. Anyway back to Arisman. This part was quite interesting. Dusty and messy, but interesting. He made that glob come to life very quickly. It was hard to believe how few moves he made to get the facial features and shape turn into the "monkey". His whole dialogue during this segment were very interesting and I found him quite charming. Then he did a drwing of the same subject with a comb and india ink. Then another drawing but I nodded off about then and missed most of that segment. Finally he goes to oil paints, and this was really interesting. First he builds a texture on his canvas. When he applies paints, he does not use either a palette knife or brush. He also does not use a palette. He squeezes his paints directly onto the canvas and than works them in, blends them, etc with his hands. Fingers, palms, side of the hand, and a few cloths to wipe away excesses. OMG Talk about dirty hands. I'm afraid I would not want my hands covered with oil paints, so I won't be doing this. But I did find the process interesting. Then he applies gold leaf and more paints. All in all it was a good experience, and I enjoyed it. I do not give it a high rating for mixed media artists. Most of the ones I know personally would not get a lot out of it. But, for a rainy day - it was interesting and I know I"ll be thinking about it for a long time. And, I"ll go back and replay the part I missed and also the gold leafing parts again. Why dont' you google him and look at the images he's created.

Digital stamp

I'm working on a special project and needed a special little touch to put on a tag. This is a photos of my oldest granddaughter that I converted to a stamp image in Photoshop Elements, and then overlaid it over a scan from a book. I think this is what my project needs.

What is old is new again

Digging through old photos is fun. I never know what I'll come across. I found some pics of practice paintings I did probably 15-20 years ago. I scanned them into the computer and did a little tweaking - or maybe a lot, with Photoshop Elements. Here are my ladies.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mixed Media in Lodi

Our mixed media group met this week to make mail art together. It was a very relaxed time, we had no instruction (no one needed any) and we just called it a play day. Our oldest member who will be 80 this month is a riot. She was in a very silly talkative mood (not unusual for her) and she had us in stitches most of the morning. I don't know when we have laughed so hard. We don't need Joan Rivers. We have Frances. An Irish story teller par excellence. She takes her fun everywhere with her.

When we started the mixed media group, I invited Frances to join us, knowing she would enjoy the gals, the projects and friendships - and I like being around her. At first people found her endless questions annoying ad there would be a lot of eye rolling whenever she spoke up, but soon people got to know her and respect the breadth of knowledge she carries with her, and understands the questions are really because she is one who wants to learn everything. Now, we treasure her as a real jewel.

She had a stroke a few years back and says she had a great time in the convalescent hospital. Everyone else I know has hated their time there, but it gave Frances lots of people to talk to, lots of activities to take part in, and she made new friends there.

At the senior center she is involved in anything that is fun. Frances tap dances, does other dancing with the high school students that volunteer to teach dancing, has lunches, pot lucks, - you name it. And she is utterly fearless about talking to everyone, whether they speak our language or not. She is usually smiling - and laughing. The other day she came back into the art room with a plate of sushi to share. Someone had given it to her, and she could not refuse it. She said it would have hurt their feelings, and that's something she can't do. None of us are sushi lovers, so she was stuck with it. I love her attitude. Want a party? Invite Frances, and it comes with her. Happy Birthday, my friend.

Catching up

I've been reminded that my blog is not up to date, so here goes. I've been working on the post card and program for the Lodi Spring Art Show. Here is the way the post card looks now.

It has undergone size changes, time changes, am I doing it or is someone else? And any number of minor changes, which means more hours making corrections and tweaking. This side has taken time, but the other side with the text is even more subject to changes. Most of this could have been handled better with better communications upfront. But we are all learning to work together and that's a bonus. When we are all volunteers we are grateful for what each person can bring to the table.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Post card swap

I finished two of these similar post cards today for an online swap. After visiting the Manteca quilt show yesterday, and purchasing a product called timtex for the interfacing of the cards, I threw myself into making them. I also bought the book, Post Cards: Make and Mail by Cheryl Haynes, Barbara Cooley and Beth Davis. It had the other clue I'd been missing. Cutting the interfacing 1/4 inch smaller all the way around makes the stitching of the edges much neater.