Friday, October 30, 2009

the most wonderful time of the year

yep, it's my favorite holiday...... this is the first time i've done the pirate thing in probably 40 years. it still works :)
from our walk today. it was raining, and the water drops were all sparkly and beautiful on the leaves...

these are some of the prints for the window project. zella made the most amazing frames (no surprise there!) waiting for the golden archival gloss spray var to come in the mail to protect the image. also need to coat some more plexi w/ digital grounds & make a few more prints....

out tomorrow evening for halloween- woo hoo! first time in years- s/b fun :) have a happy!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

skywatch friday

this week's skies over boise..... from blue fluffy clouds last weekend

to an overcast monday (somehow appropriate)

back to sunny and fluffy mid week
and today- started cold, blue and beautiful

and ended up trying to snow.....
for more skies around the world, click the badge to visit skywatch friday....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

studio night!

fun and productive studio eve with wine, nancy, brmc......

we had our first meeting for we art women, our annual art benefit for the local women's & children's shelter today. one of the things we're going to do is get local celebs to do art torsos for the silent auction. i had in mind the small papier mache ones....... rocci brought 2 of these bigger plastic-y ones in- so now we have a few options, which adds to the fun.

i decided to see if gesso would work for a ground in case anyone wanted to paint one.

and yes, it appears to work.....

i didn't really have anything to work on (well, other than the portrait of z's dogs that i have now owed her for a year)- need to build more backs on the masonite i have- so i brought some things that need help. i was going to cover the image til nancy saved her....

instead, a framing element....and a layer of gloss gel medium. it will still need something, but is MUCH better

panel for the shooting star plexi piece. copper leaf added

and glass bead medium. will probably need something more, but a good start.

and i have long had this piece sort of hanging around. it's a print on lutradur of a drawing of mine that's on canvas. i like the image, but the presentation is kinda boring. hope this helps.

2 small panels started. who knows where they go from here, but at least they're headed
one great thing about this blog is that it helps me remember that the journey is as important as the result.

it's an accomplishment just starting. it's an act of faith to change that empty space. a blank canvas can be a very scary thing. it's easy not to take the photo or not to draw the first line. sometimes the hard thing is taking the chance- even if no one will ever see what comes out. there are days that laying down a layer of gesso on a board that will sit around for a few months is a huge step. it's important to remember that.

i'm not necessarily feeling that way tonight, just at a point where everything is starting again, but i want to be mindful that the process is just as important as the result. there's less pressure that way too ;)

Monday, October 26, 2009

how it came together

maia left a comment yesterday about looking back in the blog to see how i put things together and i realized that i am sort of disjointed in explanations, so i thought i'd go through this one step by step.

first, i out golden digital ground for non porous surfaces on a piece of 8x10 plexi and printed the image below. i finished the image with uv resistant gel topcoat and drilled holes in the corners. taped the plexi first and started with a small hole, building up to the appropriate size for the bolts.
once the image was sealed with the topcoat, i painted the back with oil paints, then dabbed off with a paper towel for texture.
the background is built from a piece of masonite with a frame as seen below. first attached with wood glue, the reinforced with screws.

then 2 coats of gesso.....
next, on this one, a layer of silver leaf.
some washes of paint (acrylic in this case) and fill in where the leaf didn't take, along with glass bead medium slathered on with a palette knife.
a little more paint added to highlight the beads, and the plexi screwed on. there's a bolt between the plexi and the board to keep the plexi up off the background.
art today- we met with our shopkeeper for the holiday window project. zella did amazing things with the 2 pieces i took her- we have beautiful ornaments. our client was pleased. so now i need to print 4 more 11x14 and 2 8x10 pieces of plexi for z to do her magic on. so here's the plexi with coat 1 of digital ground.
one of the finished pieces had a scratch. i know that i needed to figure out something for a finish. luckily, when i stopped at boise blue for copper leaf today there was a golden newsletter dedicated to using digital grounds right there on the counter! terrie let me take it- and there was info on finishing pieces. i love serendipity! the good news is that it appears that if i spray crystal clear i can then seal with gloss varnish & protect the print. and i got to try it out on the piece that was ruined so that i didn't ruin the piece that was still good. yay.
here's the start on the background for the other 8x10 plexi piece. will have copper leaf over the paint.
lastly- got good photos of these two pieces- the top one is 12x16 mixed media on board (same base as shown above)
this is 11x14 mixed media on canvas.
and that's it for now. we got halloween costumes tonight too. i love halloween and am so excited that it's on a weekend & that hub wants to go out!
studio tomorrow night- more fun to come! hasta-

Sunday, October 25, 2009


started the day off with a nice hike, but since hub is on the desktop which is where i downloaded those photos i can't share right now. it was a beautiful day, though, and nice to be outside. after hiking for a couple of hours, back home to do a bit of preparing- i have a few more poinsettias ready to print, i just need to prepare the plexi.

then to dog training with echo. luckily my laziness over the past few weeks hasn't set us back too far, tho we do need to work on our down.

then home to make chili and back to photoshop.

i did a little bit of painting. i wanted this to look like shooting stars or northern lights, but the lines are too heavy. i may need to wipe it off and start over. also need to buy some copper leaf for the base.

and added some more to this- wanted more layers, but not more busy-ness. interference paints seem to work pretty well for that. i added some flower stencils and some dot pattern stamps. which do a nice job of echoing the red dots. then i slathered some matte medium all over. we'll see how it looks tomorrow...
and now off to bed- lots to do tomorrow.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

small stuff

when i was trying to decide what this needed a few days ago, my friend anne suggested adding some dark to the bottom to echo the color on the fleur de lis. which was what i'd been leaning toward (great minds & alla that). i went heavier than she suggested, but i think it works. i did lift some out with alcohol- there is more subtlety in the color than is evident here. now what this needs is a big fat ornate gold frame...... i think. i'll take it out with me & see.

this isn't a great shot, but i lifted some of the dark paint from the mid left with alcohol- it's more golden & lighter and ties in with the area where the zebra is. i also put a couple of white flowers back in. closer. maybe a layer of gel medium while i contemplate...
i also dropped 2 plexi poinsettias at zella's for her to work her metal magic on. can't wait to see what happens! it is way fun to collaborate with someone who i am so comfortable with. i know that i will love whatever she does, and chances are that it won't be what i would have thought about doing, but the piece will be much stronger for that.
then- a bit of photoshop for more poinsettias for the window project, and built another base for another plexi/ wood piece.
and now..... boise state football. more play tomorrow- after a hike, dog training & probably some leaf raking.....the fun never ends!

Friday, October 23, 2009

adventures in holiday windows

i tried a technique from digital art studio where 2 layers of gel medium are laid down ( one way, then the other), then 2 layers of digital ground (or ink aid) on polypro, then run thru the inkjet & the skin is peeled off.

so. here i am peeling the skin from the base that is NOT polypropylene (which "nothing sticks to")
i did end up with a decent skin, tho there were bubbles in places, and the thickness was uneven...
there are no photos of what happened when i tried to adhere the skin to the plexi b/c it was UGLY. wrinkles, holes- even i couldn't convince myself that the flaws looked like part of the plan.

so i just printed the damn thing on the plexi (with the help of golden digital grounds)

that's the start for the windows- printed another this evening.... but i am going to keep trying the skins too- there are possibilities there, my technique may need help. and i am using golden gloss gel next time.
photo-d this outside today for a better look. it is very close. something in the lower to mid left. something red.

and here's this finished. can't really tell, but the background is silver leaf, paint, glass bead medium.....
g'night- hope to play this weekend

Thursday, October 22, 2009

skywatch friday

welcome back to skywatch friday- here are a few photos from this week in idaho-

a red tailed hawk flying over the boise front-

sunset in fairfield, idaho
ski lift at soldier mountain resort

boise foothills

fall colors coming on

to see great skies from around the world, visit skywatch friday by clicking the badge below

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


3 years ago, the city and downtown boise association began a program of hiring artists to paint business windows for the holidays. artists are paid a fee and there is a window walk and prizes awarded for 1-3 place. i participated the first year. i had no idea that window painting could be so challenging! among the things i didn't know is that a little bit of soap in the tempera evidently makes it flow oh so much easier.

i was assigned a local bar, and they wanted the art painted outside so that the patrons didn't scratch it off inside. the cold weather added another dimension of fun to the project. i was happy with my end result, though- the rock n roll nutcrackers seemed perfect for a live music club & my mom used this photo for her christmas cards that year.

still, when it was over i donated all leftover paint to the city arts commission for future projects, certain that i didn't need to paint windows again.

i'm still sure of that, but when i got the call to artists this year i was in the midst of playing with plexi and i thought "what if i did plexi pieces & got zella to make cool metal frames & we hung them from big fat red velvet ribbons like ornaments in the window?". so i ran that idea by zella, and now i'm doing windows again.

spent the evening going through the photo stash for appropriate images. we'd like to use things that aren't so christmas that they can't be sold at another time of the year. at the same time, needs to be somewhat seasonal. also, since it's plexi, white will be clear, which makes using snow images sort of challenging....

here's the first one i pulled. from some christmas cards that i did years ago (and printed too many of, and still need to sell- but that's another story!)

i photoshopped the black background out and printed it on my clear emulsion transfer base from yesterday. the base is somewhat opaque- this should be clear when removed from the backing. i need to let the ink dry overnight, then spray with krylon.
i'm curious to see how it turns out. should then be able to adhere to plexi with gel medium.
these could be pretty cool. (i really hope so!)
here is how the glass beads dried- sorry for the flash- it's really hard to get a decent photo at night. it's shaping up pretty well, with the exception of a few places where the base for the medium dries white. which i'll probably take some alcohol to to clean it up. the plexi will be mounted on the wood with a nut between to provide separation.
that's it for now- hopefully i'll be able to peel the image from the backing without too much trauma tomorrow!