Monday, March 31, 2008

under the bus

oh, it was a monday! so glad to have a nice dinner with hub and then be able to play to take my mind off things.

to the left is the alcohol transfer. it ran because i sprayed too much on, but otherwise is very clean, and more part of the paper than i have been able to get with the gel transfers. i will probably spray with a varnish then do some drawing, maybe random transfers around the edges.

i got angela cartwright's "mixed emulsions- altered art techniques for photographic imagery" & there is lots of fun stuff to try. as with the other books, the sky is really the limit, and it's just play with things to see what works & what you like. some very cool artwork. a lot of the pieces in this & the other mixed media books are about patterns & symbols. it is good for me to get out of my very literal head & try some different things. i like that the basis is photography, because lord knows i have LOTS of photos to play with- a shoebox or two and many on the computer.


this is the next step of the abstract i started the other day. added some purple, some more definition. i set it aside & for some reason the transperancy of the fountain landed on top of it- and- voila- sort of a fun effect. i will look at this for a while- maybe put some turquoise on the aquaboard too and figure out a good way to mount the transperancy. or see if i can get a good alcohol transfer on the board ( a scarier prospect! but nothing ventured & all that....)

gessoed some of the masonite, and a canvas, so there are some things started. be tough to get much done this week- dinner tomorrow, birthday dinner wednesday (yay! a surprise for me!) first thursday at satchel's and then off to phoenix. no rest for the weary.

here's hoping that tomorrow is an improvement in the day job department. at least it won't be monday- just april fool's.......

Sunday, March 30, 2008

hung

got it all up at satchel's- and it looks great! i should have taken photos of all, not just mine, b/c the great thing about our group is how well the mix hangs together. hard to appreciate from photos, but we have watercolor, oil, photography & now wire art and it all looks good together. we all have a similar approach to color or graphic elements that makes it work.

the alcohol transfer with 70% isopropyl worked! yay! big change from the stringy ucky mess with 90%. so happy it was a technical rather than operational failure. i have enough of those!


here is today's dog fun photo. it really is too bad that they never cut loose. or get out. snoozing swissy on the dog bed at my side as i type. echo doing his bouvier rug imdogination in the front room.


fun wine tasting this afternoon with steve, steve, elena & tracy. good friends, good food, good wine, what better way to spend a weekend day? time to paint tomorrow.....

Saturday, March 29, 2008

birthday month

too much fun starting birthday month last night- but i haven't seen my buddies for a while, so what the heck. so the prepped surfaces are still there on the dining room table. i printed some images on lazertran for the squares- better go outside & try that before it gets dark (turpentine required).


i read a post that transfers work better on raw surfaces that are absorbant, so there goes my gesso theory. probably need to keep working to get the feel for the right amount of gel & pressure. i think i figured out the alcohol transfer problem. i had 91%, not 70% isopropyl. hopefully the 70% will do the trick.

varnishing art for the satchel's show, which we will hang tomorrow. peace symbol, the two "serenity" pieces, the fragile heart, egg and earth. it's fun to know that i can go back through the blog & see the evolution of all of these. need to get them wired & make price cards.





lovely romp with the pups this afternoon. the redtwig dogwood & willow are so beautiful. nice blue sky, grass greening up. no new flowers, but that will come. there was a bit of snow in the draws & on the north side of the hills- maybe a skiff last night? the dogs were sure full of p & v! i am lucky to still have 2 knees- they start racing up & down the narrow trail & it can get interesting!

new bloom in the domestic garden- the species tulips are starting to show. these are small flowers- can't tell from the photo. they open with the sun & close back up at night. i have quite a nice colony going- they seem very happy and have even migrated across the sidewalk (probably with some help from squirrels).

and now to string wire and try the lazertran. will report back!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

preparation


amazing what happens when you're gone for a few days..... daffs & crocus just popped up & out! next trip, harrison blvd pear trees will be blooming.... maybe.

it will be fun to walk the foothills this weekend and see what is blooming.

on to art: i am better at preparation than maintenance. i can plan and organize things. once something is up & running, i am happy to hand it off. i have a hard time seeing through from beginning to end on my artwork. that's what makes doing the abstract & mixed media so interesting. if i'm painting from a photo things might change up in the middle with color or a different proportion on something, but it will usually end up looking (something) like the photo. this is completely different. i know that people lay out their abstract/mixed media/digital work, but i just don't work that way. maybe after i do this a bit longer, and see how different things come together i will get there.

anyway, tonight was spent doing preparation. i put different acrylic mediums on some 6x6 canvasses- one glass beads, one fiber, one stucco. will look at photos to transfer & decide on ground color tomorrow to try lazertran with. read that it just melts into the texture, will be fun to try. i finally found some turpentine today...integral part of the melting process. also gessoed some paper & a canvas. i am looking forward to trying alcohol transfer again on a prepared surface.

this is the start of a new abstract. looks like roses to me at this point, but that will surely change. i am trying to be more flexible & let these accidents happen. i guess my thing is being able to salvage the piece (hopefully) vs. tossing it.



anyway- excited about playing with lazertran. photo shoot saturday downtown might generate some new images to play with.



bedtime now, i am huffing & puffing when i run with the bunnyman- i better rest up & give it another go tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

alcohol transfer trial

not so successful with the alcohol image tries. the apollo transperancies are clearly better to use for this method than 3M. i need to try the epson printer & see how that compares to the hp. my office hp (using big box ink) made the darker trees on the left. i could probably use a bigger mister- or start with smaller images. it's a challenge to get enough, but not too much alcohol on and get it down before it starts drying.

the hp photo printer with vivera ink did nothing. not sure if that was the ink, or that i was trying to transfer to straight watercolor paper. gessoing the surface seems to be the biggest help in getting clear images for me so far.


this is the best transfer yet, and it is on gessoed watercolor paper using 3M transperancy & golden gel. i will work more on preparing surfaces- coat some paper & canvas with paint, gesso, etc. the doodle border is coming along. great 24 pack of sharpies at costco for around $13...... too much fun!

i also got some lazertran, and after reading a post about putting an image over a heavily textured canvas & having it melt right in i am all set to play with that. on the chore list for tomorrow is turpentine.

i need to go through my 9 million photos and pick out some likely suspects. that always seems to be what takes the most time.... what photo to use....

on another note, maggie rochefort saw the picture of halle on march 18 (left brain day) and asked if i minded if she painted her. you can see the result here. http://www.hoviscreations.com/Paintings.html i love this painting- it really captures the swisster!

break time


short break from getting caught up at day job. found a card reader that reads the new big xd card & is small enough for the computer bag- yay! up-to-date picture posting returns!

from the phoenix trip- palm trees for fay. in keeping with my "desert plants are architectural (or structural)" theme.

i always like the bougainvillea. amazing that the tiny white things are the flowers, the showy fuschia are the bracts surrounding the flowers (fun botanical facts).


colorful shots from the airport. the stuffed ponies made me wish i had a little girl to bring one home to. always a sucker for horses!

and the lovely colorful blankets. in keeping with the theme of colorful abstracts. maybe red & orange instead of hot pink (which was obviously inspired by the bougainvillea). or maybe several.




lastly, 2 additions to the self portrait category. i am sure that i can stand and fiddle with these until i am more than the flash. i feel very self conscious taking them, but it's an airport- who cares? note to self- work on that......

and my dick blick box just got here, with apollo transperancies & lazertran & a big jar of golden soft gel, so i am all set to play with transfers again when i can. (like tonight?).

hasta

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

home again

well, will have to post pics tomorrow- can't get to the card reader. looks like i'll have to go to a photo shop to get one to read the xd card. sd is the ubiquitous card for most applications other than cameras it seems. maybe even cameras, but not the olympus.

it's hard to get photos of roadside plantings while driving- i will have to give it a shot (ha!) when christi is driving next week. there was one spot with a beautiful huge hot pink bougainvillea against an adobe pink wall, but i couldn't figure out where to pull over to shoot it. i did some airport shots while waiting for the flight out of phoenix. colorful gift shop things. still a bit self conscious about taking photos. not sure why. interesting.

upshot, in addition to pics, is that i am going to play with some bright colors on a piece of aquaboard & see what kind of abstract shows up. hot pink, turquoise, yellow...... ready for spring and color? why yes!

while i find the vegetation beautiful in phoenix, the mountains are something else. they are so brown! like lunar fixtures or something. one thing i love about the desert is all of the hidden life you can find if you get into it and look, and i suspect this would be no different. the plants look so sculptural against the rocks that are typically around them. the mountains really are pretty sculptural too- things reduced to their most elemental, not a lot of frippery. so the bright blooms really make a statement, tho most are not fussy flowers, it's about color not large, intricate blossoms.

hmmmm. more thought on that. but now, bed!

valley of the sun

i forgot to format my pic card, so i will have to a) buy a new card reader or b) post pics when i get home. beautiful blooming things in phoenix. the bougainvillea (sp?) are fuschia- ing up everything- gorgeous! and something (maybe verbena) smelled wonderful when we walked to dinner. it's nice to have the sun, and even 80 degrees is good...... the woman i am with lives in chicago, so she is really enjoying the weather, and the mountains, and she has never been here so it is all new & beautiful- very fun to see it through new eyes.

my mission for tomorrow will be just that- see phoenix through new eyes, and try to capture that. i have long appreciated the beauty of the things that grow here, and the way the freeways are landscaped (really). i will try to capture that somehow tomorrow.

but now, good night-

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter


Happy Easter! beautiful day here- nice hike with the pups & hub this morning, nice dinner with friends this afternoon.

ok, yellow flowers are not the only early bloomers. but the early flowers are small and close to the ground.




big shock- more dog pics. but they are playing, which is a good thing to do....i didn't have a chance to do any art play today. my creativity was about cooking and spending time with friends. good to see steve & elena, it's been a while!

off to phoenix tomorrow. palm tree photos to follow. and hopefully some plane doodles. it will be work on the way down- i should have done some this weekend, but just couldn't. we are staying close to old town scottsdale, so hopefully will get a chance to glance in some galleries.

mas manana.....

Saturday, March 22, 2008

saturday evening

nice hike this afternoon- beautiful day. happy dogs, happy me and deb to be walking with them in the foothills. the view across the valley was great, it was a warm, blue sky day. so although i didn't work on specific art this afternoon, i was sure informed for future art. i also employed some reckless abandon- not worries about things not done or stress about the long list of things needing to be done. just walking and enjoying being out.


just because there can never be too many dog pics, here are the pups enjoying today's outing. and now they are snoozing away dreaming of tomorrow's fun.


yellow flowers found today. are yellow wildflowers the first to bloom? these are small, like the one we found yesterday. things should be popping in the next few weeks. looking forward to watching.

now, for a glass of wine, a bit more of Charlie Wilson's War & some thinking about art to make tomorrow. in addition to the meal, that is.

yeeha!


oh what fun playing this morning at boise blue! i showed kristy how to do transfers of the golden soft gel/ transperancy variety. i printed these on my epson & pulled all of the image off, which doesn't happen with the ones i print on my hp printer. hmmm. could be the ink, could be that i printed these last night and transferred today rather than right away.

need to figure out why i get the chunks that don't transfer. could very well be my technique (or lack of the same). but practicing is fun, and i like the distressed look so i will still be able to use these. the coyote/raven is on canvas, the winter scene on watercolor paper. more to come on these.

poor sunny now looks like he's burning in hell. i got the body covered with a starter coat & had paint left on the palette. pencil marks are really hard to cover with oils (who knows why) and i gridded this out to draw it, so i went ahead & put another layer on the background. i think that in the end, sunny will be red & the background with be mainly green (accomplished by first painting it yellow, then glazing with blue). it will be fun to see how he develops, now that i have stated my intentions.

lastly, think it's done. the girls agreed. not sure this looks very different from what i posted last night, but just in case.

and i got a quick school in layers, so there's another thing i have to play with!

ok- off to walk with the pups & deb & the ridgies, then to pick up potatoes for Easter dinner tomorrow (the standard ham, scallopped potatoes & asparagus) and then some more play. and maybe another post.

Friday, March 21, 2008

reckless abandon

i love to watch the dogs run. when they just let go and race around for the joy of running. good reminder to appreciate the sheer joy of being- of movement, of the ability to let go, of being in and enjoying the moment. i read a quote from someone that the gift of dogs is to remind people to be in the moment.


this was a quiet moment in between romps. i am so grateful to live somewhere that i can walk to a place like this from my house, and let my dogs be dogs. they are so happy to sniff along the trail and see who's been there. echo lets everyone know that he, too has been there (how do they manage to pee that much?) and halle checks everything out. in between instigating and getting echo to chase her, of course! she tears down the trail with her ears flapping in her rocking horse run. and when they come back toward us, we flex our knees and try to stay out of the way!


echo and his flying bouve kisses, another example of reckless abandon. he usually does fly bys- imagine 100 lbs of bouvier flying through the air past your head leaving a nice soft bouve kiss behind. it scares people who don't know him. he's usually quite gentle & careful about it (except when he gave trace a black eye, but that was alcohol related). it really is quite sweet.




blue door. very close to done. the photo is not great- will do an outdoors shot tomorrow. steve not crazy about the peace sign, but i kind of like it now that i've washed most of it off. i am really liking acrylics for things like that. can certainly come up with some interesting effects. and being able to wash away what you don't like has its benefits.

i'll leave with a shot of the little yellow wildflower we found on our walk today. spring is definitely on its way. owl babies in the grove, the succession of wildflowers, gardens going nuts, running in the mornings in the hills- yay! spring really is about reckless abandon, isn't it?

my goal for tomorrow is to paint and play with reckless abandon. i wish you a day of reckless abandon too!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

my friday

i am not supposed to work tomorrow. i may actually take them up on that. tonight i have been celebrating a short week- woo hoo. not much art to show for today, but i did do some work on the blue door and the graffiti transfer. will (plan to anyway) post tomorrow.

in the meantime, this is called resurrection. since Easter is this weekend it seems appropriate.

this is as far as i've gotten in 45 minutes between conversations with my stepson, so i will quit trying to blog and talk to john.

more tomorrow

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

the door is blue!

OMG! the door is blue, not red as i have been referring to it. hello! time for a break.....anyway- here it is. there IS alot of red in the background. tonight i painted white over the stars, which i plan to distress with- something. maybe sand them a bit. or try the alcohol thing miriam told me about. (not jack! rubbing)

i might white out the gold stripes a bit too. can't tell here, but there is texture in the stripes- beads in the gold, fiber in the blue. i can wipe another color over & get the one beneath too. need to think about the upper left hand corner. something to move the eye in. happy so far tho- it's fun.

my temptation is to write "one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all" on one of the stripes- the pledge as it was originally written. and i thought i didn't do political art. but it is important to me to make the point that i am patriotic in that i speak out. i have to remind myself that it is ok to be patriotic, to fly the flag, to be glad to be an american. it's just that my definition of partiotic (like my definition of christian) may not equal the currently societal "norm" as portayed in some media outlets.


did i mention i live in one of the reddest states? if part of the reason that i make and show art is to communicate i guess it's natural that i would get political. it is entirely possible that someone will buy this piece b/c it is "patriotic" (ie. red white and blue). i am sure that i have sold the photo on the left to a few folks who would be surprised at my definition of patriotic. but what matters is that we have the common ground of enjoying the image. which means that we can probably find other common ground.

and now for something completely different: spring!





Tuesday, March 18, 2008

left brain day!

ack! what a totally left brain drain day! that's what happens when you can't spend any time doing maintenence for 2 weeks & have to play catch up! the story of the rest of the week, no doubt.... so i'm feeling like halle there to the left.

i didn't get my pic of the red door mixed media- b/c i was plugging away at numbers & b/c it was a gray rainy day. hopefully tomorrow. the daffs are budding up & getting ready to go, tho- a cheery sight for sure.

i was thinking last night about the amount of art i've turned out since i started this blog, and i have to say that staying focused and at least thinking about art, if not making it, daily really seems to be paying off. creativity begets creativity. and the more i try and play around with, the more new things i find to try..... allowing myself to experiment instead of working toward a specific final product has been a great exercise for me.

kristy & i were comparing notes on web sites & blogs visited & the sheer number of different things that some artists manage to do. clay, oil, acrylic, transfers, photography, mixed media, on and on- where do they find time? it's incredible, inspiring and daunting all at the same time.

for some reason my husband looked at me as tho i'm insane when i mentioned a philanthropy group that's starting up that i've been invited to join. well, not exactly that, but he did wonder where i would find the time. i guess that we all find time for what we think is important or what our passions are. being focused helps.

if every group was as easy as the WCA committee, i would be able to give a lot back. as long as i can participate and contribute by email for the most part i'm pretty good to go. maybe they mostly want seed money, which i can do too- we'll see. i absolutely believe that you get what you give, though, and am so grateful for what i have (most of the time!) that it's only right to spread it around.

anyway- to bed, lots to do again tomorrow. including the dmv to renew my license. i'll get some reading done there!

sweet dreams.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St Pats

a bit late in the day, but happy st pat's all the same! had fabulous corned beef & cabbage in my green boa at the falcon- as good as i knew it would be!

started marker doodling around the edges of this transfer. i like the look of the marker with this- sort of continuing the graffiti theme. this is the paper i gessoed, so it is very smooth and takes it well. looking at the scan the color looks a bit too strong for the transfer, but maybe different when it's all done, we'll see....

also more on the red door- will photo tomorrow & post. too glare-y to shoot inside. making good progress tho. i keep ending up with these flag themes. hmm.

it is so good to have a week at home! i have to get press releases out for the april gypsy gallery, and figure out how to hang some of the new pieces. not really wanting to frame them, trip to the hardware store in order i guess. also need to renew the driver's license before my birthday (i am soooooooooooo tired of helpful tsa people pointing out it is almost expired. it would be OK, but it started in february & i've heard it several times a week since then!)

boy, am i out of shape! run a little walk alot with echo this am, but we got out for 3 plus miles! than another 2 with halle. building back up!

bedtime so we can do it again tomorrow....

Sunday, March 16, 2008

paintings

this is the outcome of painting to music. listening to the kinks, i started with how i thought i would paint grace potter. http://mkonvalinka.blogspot.com/2008/02/music-and-art.html
i like the way the paint moves, and the texture and subtlety of the colors. it was really fun just to paint and see what came out. called come dancing.





this is the sunset over the pacific from a few weeks ago. http://mkonvalinka.blogspot.com/2008/03/art-of-going-home.html
i wrote down the colors and decided to try to paint it. pretty happy with how it turned out as well.

these were both good exercises in painting quickly and from my head. doing the mixed media has been good for getting me loosened up and being able to do this with oil. conversely, oil's slower drying properties enable me to paint this way, wheras for me acrylic would dry too quickly.

nice walk with pups today, some gardening (pruning! a favorite spring activity) and nice glass (or two) of rose with t- a good sunday all in all!

oh, and more work on the red door- it's taped in stripes & drying now, will be interesting to see if it works out like i'm envisioning.

spring

they were talking about spring on npr and asking people to write in about what it means to them. i was always more of an autumn person (even tho my birthday is in april). something about the nice cool crisp air after a hot summer and the aspen turning entire mountainsides gold and copper. the sun shines 300 days a year in colorado, and i am much more tuned to sunshine than temperature (excluding those 95 plus days) so i guess that the transition from winter to spring didn't seem as dramatic. the mountains and sky are what was dramatic to me.

it was when i lived in to seattle that i learned to appreciate spring. it is so very gray there- for months on end, that the explosion of color when the rhodies and azaleas bloom is nothing short of breathtaking. seattle is also where i bought my first house and started gardening, so i was naturally paying more attention to the flora side of things.


winters can be a bit gray here too. nothing like the pacific northwest, but we get inverted and don't see the sun for days (sometimes weeks) on end. budding trees, crocus popping their heads out & perennials putting up feelers are welcome harbingers of sunny days to come.
here are my lenten roses, just at the right time for easter next weekend, the very first baby iris to peek up in my yard, and my beautiful bowl of beauty peony getting ready to put on another show for memorial day. and more to come in the next few weeks. hyacinths planted along the walk to the door so we can enjoy their fragrance, tulips and daffodils and crown imperials, then the dogwood and lilac trees, and on and on.
gardening is art too. every time someone walking by tells me how much they enjoy the garden, it makes me happy to be able to share.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

group painting

so much fun painting at boise blue today! haven't had the oils out for a while. i caught a whiff when i walked by a plein air painter in laguna and thought they smelled really good. sort of like thinking horses smell good, i suspect- either you get it or you don't. (and yes, i think the horsey smell is fabulous!)


i got sunny farther. i was planning on using complementary colors- so the dog would be yellow & the background blue, but i'm kind of liking purple dog & orange/yellow background. we'll see which way he wants to go. he might want to be red for all i know. which could be OK with this background too.


echo made progress too. hair texture good. background needs work, as does shading. he's been hanging out for 6 months or so, tho, so any movement is good.


it was so great to paint with k & n and share ideas, get feedback & see what they're working on. oh how i have missed that! i am hoping we can figure out a place to work on a weeknight. hopefully we'll get some more people on from the flyer. the laptop and tablet will go with me next week, just for fun. i did 2 more that are wet- one sunset out the window while flying home from santa ana & one abstract music lots of texture & movement fun.


did some more work on the abstract last night. could be done. i like the movement in this one. the colors are sort of caribbean water colors. i like the way that fits with the circular wave-y shapes.

more to come. home all next week yay!