Monday, April 21, 2014

Journal pages

I did some journal page based on ideas in a couple of books, which led to
more ideas to try.   

This first one is ink sketches of artichokes from a Raley's magazine.  A little watercolor pencil, some white pen work, and some distress stains and gesso for background.

 This little owl was painted to cover something on the page I didn't like.     I had the gesso and blue paint out, so that was the start, then the silly little owl just kind of happened.    LOL
 This is a page that was started to try writing with watercolor pencil in background and using a paintbrush full of water to drag over it so it would bleed.  It was too distinct for  my liking, so I added alittle gesso.  Then I used a new stencil I had just cut for the figure on the left, and glued down the tissue paper I used for tracing the face and cutting through it to make the stencil.     I didn't see any reason to throw it away.     I have the heavier paper stencil ready for the next time I want i.
 I cut another stencil the other day for a soman's face.     I see the nose is too long, but it was worth doing.   They eyes are very sad.   I used only burnt carmine and yellow oche paint with a little gesso.      Dots are distress stain,  upper lip is a red pen.   

This last one is another stenci I cut.  A child.   Cutting stencils is making me think about carving some rubber stamps.       Maybe soon.     

Sunday, April 20, 2014


For many years, Easter has been a quiet time for me.    Most years the kids travel North to be with inlaws, and I either stay home or some years I went to my brothers.   His is the perfect place for an Easter Sunday get together.   
Large yard, fenced, green and lush.  Perfect for hiding eggs and watching the children having fun.       He and Kris still have young grandchildren and even a great grandchild, which makes the holiday a lot of fun.      I miss having the young ones around.   I'd love to be there today, but my eyes are so bad, it is not safe for me to drive far.     I am going for an eye exam Tuesday and expect to be told I am ready for cataract surgery soon.  This will be a turning point and I will be able to head for the hills again, or even to the beach without finding another driver.     

So today, I will content myself with baking a chicken and veggies, feeding two grown grandsons that will be home off and on during the day, and doing laundry, artwork, and watching a movie.      I had an alternate plan but the breeze is coming up and the pollens are heavy in the air.   Need I say more?    It's going to be a lovely day here in my studio and garden.   My faithful little dogs are tickled pink that I'm here today to put them rough their paces and give them treats. 

I did not send Easter cards this year, but instead used an image from The Graphic Fairy online to make this little card for some friends, which I emailed to them.   Sally is the one who told us all the joke about having ADD and chasing chickens.       The friends I sent this to will get it.    

I hope you have a perfect Easter Day.   

What's new?

Well, let's see.  The Annual Spring Show is over at the Woodbridge by Mondavi Winery in Acampo.      We took in art, had the pieces judged, moved them by truck and cars to theWinery, unpacked them, hung them and set up the winery for the show.     It is an awesome experience just being in this space.     The winery is such a supporter of the arts, and doesa great job of moving things around so there is room for an art show amongst the curing wine barrels.   They are stacked on racks and the area is quite cool.    We know this ahead of time so wear layers.  They also put upspace heaters in case it is too cold for us.   I did not see them being used this year as we had a rather unusally warm few days.   

 The first night is the gala.      I was in charge of raffle ticket sales, and my pal Phyllis was in charge of setting up the raffle tables and laying out the display.      A few days before we had helped with filling the baskets with donated items, and inventorying the contents of each one.      Someone else did the wrapping and ribboning.      We had 26 baskets, and 12 pieces of hanging art donated.  I think we made a little over $1600 in ticket sales.      We did the drawing and part of my volunteers staff  (including my grandson Trevor who has helped for the last 6 years in several capacities)  helped record winners and post them so those present could check their ticket numbers.      

This was a good year for ticket sales.     Lots of sales in the 100 -300 dollar levels, and a few in the 6oo and up levels.      All that good hard work paid off.    All volunteers, all exhausted.   It took a couple days to unwind and finish up making calls to winners.  Now the art that was not picked up and the prizes are sitting back at the gallery.  

And now, I can get back to making art again.

An unespected visit from the Yucatan

One of our best volunteers at the Lodi Art Center is from the Yucatan.     We call him Pepe.     His mom and wife came for a visit last week, and he brought them to our mixed media meeting so his mom could show us her art work.     Here are pictures of Rose with her Mayan hand painted or stitched pieces.  

 Fortunately our newest member of the group, Netty, was there to translate for us, as Rose does not speak English, and none of us are fluent in Spanish.   Netty had not even met the others in the group before, and when askted to translate, she jumped right up and seemed to fit right into the  program like it was planned.    LOL    Believe me this was not a planned event, but it turned into a magical day.   I wish our visitors could stay longer and be part of our group.        

Friday, April 4, 2014

Journal page revisited

March 21st I posted a pic of the pages done at the mixed media meeting.  Since then, I've been tweaking and adding doodles.    Here are some bits and pieces of the changes.   

Mixed Media Play Day

yesterday our mixed media group met at our old Pizza place for our meeting.   They were kind enough to  let us take over a few tables for the entire morning while we had show and tell to start with and then a group project led by my pal Rosemary.   She showed us some zen doodles on Easter shapes.   Bunnies,eggs, crosses.      And she brought samples, some books with designs, and supplies.  We each had our own personal tool kits, including things like scissors, pens, pencils, ruler, paints, etc.      

I knew what the project would be and had already decided a few weeks back, to start a  new journal with a sample of each meeting's projects.    So, I prestamped eggs on a journal page with distress inks for a background, figuring I'd mount my shaped piece on top.      Today I added the textures and doodles to the background.    I used some of the new Balzar stencils for some of the shapes in background.         Then I added the piece I worked on at the meetig yesterday.    Here is the result.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

one image one inspiration

I purchased an old photograph so long ago, I don't remember where I got it. 

  It was the sweet face of the girl on the left that won my heart.    These two look like sisters about to go to the St. Louis World's Fair.      I came across the photo again recently and decided to use it.     

I started by scanning into computer and playing around with sizes and printing out some to try as transfers.     

This first transfer was done from an inkjet print on plain paper, laid down on the smoother side of a sheet of watercolor paper , then spritzing with water.   Nothing much was happening so I carefully lifted an edge and sprayed a little water directly on the print and also on the paper.   Then pressed down with fingers to make good contact. I had to respritz the back of paper several times and continued to press on the back of image.     I let it dry for several hours, and this is the result.   It is very pale.     Years ago when I used this method with a different printer, the image came through as purplish.   This time it was grey.

This image was done from an inkjet print with some charcoal outlining and enhancing.     Then I placed it face down on smooth watercolor paper with a coat of fresh still wet gesso on it, and pressed it down with fingers.  If you do this, lift the copy paper before it has a chance to stick to the drying gesso, otherwise it will be permanently adhered and you will not have anything to show for your efforts.  I can't tell you how long it takes, but be prepared to work pretty fast.   Better remove  it too soon than too late.

This spread was done with Golden Acrylic liquid paints scraped across watercolor paper with a credit cart, much like I do in some art journals.     I cut out the girls from an inkjet print to make stencils and masks.       I cut the girl on the left out of another piece and used her on the opposite page.      A little light coat of gesso here and there to bring them out better, and some outlining done with a Sharpie white paint pen makes them stand out.   
I used a stencil girl stencil for the path at bottom and did some ramdom marking with Sharpie Red paint pen. 

This is actually the last spread in the piece. 

This spread was done  over layers of collaged papers which were then gessoed and stamped with my hand cut tree and horse stamps, then gessoed again.     The family farm and image at left are from family archives.     Here is where I introduce  the inkjet print of the girls, full size.     Apparently dad is staying home on the farm while the girls go off on their adventure.    This is spread one.

At the moment I'm using Jo Sonja's Clear Glaze medium for an adhesive and also for a final coating.     Someone donated a couple jars of it to the senior center and I'm the only one that could use it, so they came home with me.   I really like it.  It's a little more liquid than the Liquitex Glazing medium I had been using.  It dried quickly and had good adhesive properties.      I don't know how old these jars are, I suspect maybe a decade or more.    I'm very glad to have them in my stock, as I go through a lot of glaze mediums here.

Here is a close up of the quote I selected for this page."A charm from the sky seems to hallow us there, which, seek through the world, is never met with elsewhere, Home, home, sweet, sweet, home. "   John howard Payne, 1791-1852.

Spread two was also done on a watercolor sheet, collaged with different scraps of paper, then gessoed and stamped with handcarved stamps.
Perhaps you can see the influence of Anne Bagby here?
She layers and layers, and gessos over and over again.   I stamped the trees several times with different tones of asphaltum  paint from Plaid's Folk Art acrylic craft paints.    I am trying to incorporate more images into the background with stamps.    I rather like the trees as it seems like an orchard, and appropriate to the farm theme.  The fence stamp is another hand carved stamp.    The girl was done with the transfer technique above, and then painted over and glazed with asphaltum.     A few little touches of colored pencil was added.  

 The ladies on the opposite page  from an injet print are supposed to represent her family, from mother and aunts to grandmother.  

The quote is a sweet thought by Jane Taylor, 1782-1827.
"Who ran to help me when I fell, and would some pretty story tell or kiss the place and make it well?     My Mother."

This was supposed to have a couple more spreads and be sewn into a patchwork crazy quilt cover I did awhile back, but I had some little glitches, like sewing the wrong pages together - LOL - so I had to adapt or tear out the stitches.    That's easier on fabric than paper, it leaves marks through the paints and paper, particularly when there are so many layers.         So, it is a stand alone piece which will be shown this month at the gallery, in hopes someone will think it is a good Mother's Day keepsake.      It's 7 inches tall, so it will show up in the window.