Saturday, August 23, 2014

Artists and Artisans in Paradise 2014

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY. I have been working with the Stratford Arts Guild Show Committee for the past four months to make this a spectacular must see show and destination. I think we have done everything we could possibly do. Now we just need people to show up, enjoy it and buy art!

I have also been very busy most of this month (and earlier this summer) creating work for this show. I wanted a nice body of new work for it. It would have been great to complete a few more pieces, but am pleased with what I was able to do.

Here is some of what I recently created:

Working with the drawings of a few weeks ago, I created these three 14x11 panels. 

Garden Cosmos Series Mixed Media

Wanting to work with the vintage ephemera I have been collecting (see my Instagram account for more on that), I began this new series I am entitling Natural History. I would have liked to have competed at least two more of these for the show, but ran out of time.

Natural History I






Lastly I wanted to do a few more sets of Garden Songbird Silhouettes. I really love working on these little guys. They make me so happy. Both for painting the cute little birds, but also because many of the vintage papers I use are from my Grandmother. Seeing her handwriting and other pieces connected to her fills me with joy. She was a special person in my life. 









Thursday, August 14, 2014

Painting As Therapy

I found out today, after waiting three weeks for results, that I tested negative for Lyme disease but the lab failed to test for the other tick borne diseases. When I saw the doctor three weeks ago I expressed my concern that I thought I might have babesiosis this time. And I still don't know if that is the case.  Guess I should be thankful that it isn't Lyme this time. (Though it could still be; negative results are not a guarantee that it isn't present and active.) Have to go for new lab work. Sigh...

In the meantime, I have been pushing through my days, doing what I can and resting when I need to.
I did start the Cosmos Flowers mixed media paintings on Tuesday. I've completed the first and am working on the second today. Here is a progress shot:


I'm also developing ideas for some collages. Here is a shot of that:



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sketching in the Garden

Hello there! It has been awhile!  Instagram has become my primary venue for sharing photos and my activity since it is so easy, but figure it is time to get back to blogging at least a little bit!

This morning I spent about an hour sketching these delightful Cosmos. I have begun a series of paintings which will feature them. The sun became too intense and forced me to go inside. I plan to work from the photos to finish the sketch.



I have been struggling with some health issues over the past three weeks or so and have limited amounts of energy. Each morning I ask myself how best to use this limited and precious resource. Today it was getting this drawing started. After lunch and a shower to wash off the insect repellent and sunblock, I will take a nap. Then hopefully I will have time and renewed vigor to finish this. I want to start on the paintings soon! Like tomorrow! This is quite frustrating!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Instagram



Instagram

I'm on Instagram, are you?

I've been using Instagram more frequently and am enjoying it as a new and different way to  connect and interact with others. So I was happy to read that the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt organized by Rinda Ontiveros is using Instagram as an avenue for posting photos. I am posting my finds there and will do one blog post here when I have completed the list, or summer has ended. Whichever comes first!

To see what I am posting, click on the icon above.

To learn more about the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt, click here.




Friday, May 9, 2014

Evaluation of the Fake Journal Experience

Last Page of Lily's Journal
Roz Stendahl suggested in her last blog post that participants of International Fake Journal Month set the recently completed journal aside for a week and move on to a new project. Then take the journal out, read through it and really study and evaluate it. What did you like about the experience? What worked? What didn't.  Write it down so that you have it for future reference.

Here is my evaluation.

I liked the freedom I felt I had to create and write anything. I was able to say things that I have been thinking about, wondering about, hoping, but that aren't necessarily real life for me. By making these experiences real in someone else's life, I got to be a part of them too. I could combine my own memories with bits and pieces of other people's lives and make it Lily's life and world. I liked that I could put a little bit of me in her friends and in her family. I loved her parents. The relationship she has with them is what I've wished for myself (though didn't know that until working on this journal.) I would have loved to have had a close relationship with an interesting, wise, loving father. My dad may have been, but I didn't get the chance to find out. And I think that subconsciously I may have wished that my mom had had a strong, loving, supportive husband to share her years with. I hope that the relationship Lily has with her parents is the type of relationship Alina feels she has with us. Lily is modeled somewhat after Alina  (my 26 year old daughter) and her love of New York City, with some of Beth, an old friend, (confidence) and Paula, my sister in law, (independent) added in.

It is hard to know for certain how the character of Lily Roberts came to be. I do think that if I hadn't created my Identity Visual Journal* this past winter, Lily would not have been the character I developed for this fake journal. My Inner Hero, the Historian, is in large part who Lily is. Her love of medieval history and art is because of My Inner Hero, The Monk. Her parents characters came about because of my desire for a father to grow up with. See my Inner Hero, The Child.

Notes on the art of the journal:

What I liked:
The paper held the paint well. It didn't curl much.
The pens write over the professional acrylic paints beautifully.
Lesson learned: use the cheap acrylics to add color. In areas where I want to write something, apply Liquitex or other quality acrylic.
The colors layered on top of each other on Days 1 and 2.
The size of the journal both to work in and to hold.
Working on just one page a day (rather than a page spread) made the project achievable.
Working in a bound book rather than a spiral one. The pages fit nicely together and allowed for a seamless flow from one side to the other.
Having a limited amount of pages. It created a book.
The simple outline of the faded rose on Day 10.

What I didn't like:
The pinks and baby blues on Days 13 and 14.
Days 23 and 24 are too busy with distinctive marks.

Taking it from here:
Want to strengthen my lettering skills. Take Valerie's on line class?
Want to get good at italic calligraphy again. Must practice.
Do more spontaneous drawings such as the tulips on Days 15 and 16.
Do more image transfers.
Use light colors on the page backgrounds.

I have a new visual journal in mind for this summer. It is one that I will do through the persona of Lily.

*I have yet to upload the completed pages of this journal, but you can click on Identity Visual Journal tag on the right hand side to see the pages I did post about.

You can view my fake journal in its entirety by following this link: Lily's Journal


Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Month of Fake Journaling

As mentioned in the previous post, I have been working on a "fake" journal during the month of April. It has been a blast!

Lily's Journal

This was an opportunity to work in a journal format that I have wanted to explore, but as of yet, had not. And work in a style different than what I usually do.

When I work on my art, I place a large sheet of paper down on my table and work on top of it. I use this paper to test colors, clean off brushes, make notes, etc. I have been saving these with the goal of using it as pages in a journal or the background a new art project. Tearing the sheets down to journal size, I nestled them in an order that allowed the pages to relate to the ones they were next to. Before binding it, I added some paint randomly on most of the pages to give the journal some cohesiveness. Next I used a stencil to date each page. Then I bound it with a 5 hole pamphlet stitch. The pages were torn which created a nice deckled effect.

Since I usually work in a grid-like fashion with squares and rectangles and lots of collage, this fake journal incorporated circles and I prohibited the use of any glued on material. I found this to be the most challenging part, but the most beneficial. If I wanted to visually depict something I was forced to draw it. I used graphite pencils, colored pencils, acrylic paints and inks and various types of markers and pens.

The layers of random jottings and paints created a very intricate, complex, beautiful background. One I would not have been able to create from scratch. It happened all by chance.

I have wanted to create some abstract work but really did not know how to begin. Creating this journal taught me how to approach it.

The best lesson I learned was to just go for it and have fun! That I did.

Click on the photo to visit my fake journal blog. There you can read all the entries.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Adventures in Fake Journaling

At the beginning of April I read about Roz Stendahl's IFJM (International Fake Journal Month) project. I loved the idea and the wheels started cranking immediately, so I proceeded full steam ahead.

I am half way through the journal and have posted the pages on a separate blog. If you want to read along, follow this link to the first entry. Using the arrow on the right hand side under the post, continue to read the posts in daily order.






Monday, April 14, 2014

Kitchen Renovation Done (Mostly)


My husband worked part time for three and a half months on our kitchen remodel. I tell him all the time that he is my hero! There are a few things still left to do. The above refrigerator cabinet is still on back order. I need to paint the trim, decide what is going on the walls and work with my daughter-in-law to fashion curtains from towels and vintage lace. But as is, we can start entertaining again!
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