Saturday, January 21, 2012

welcome to my house of hearts

wow- was the last post really wednesday? i got some studio time in on thursday, but starts of things and odds & ends, nothing to really talk about. went to dinner & a vaudeville/burlesque show with friends last night (fun!) and to see haywire tonight (loved it! good action flick, love seeing a strong kick ass female lead).

i am working on various things & hope to have some to post tomorrow, but thought i would gather the gallery of hearts that has accumulated over the past month-

ode to joy, 6x6 mixed media

duet, 10x10 mixed media

beautiful, 6x6 mixed media

guarded, 6x6 mixed media

simple gifts, 8x8 mixed media

heart is a beating drum, 6x6 mixed media

love somebody, 8x8 mixed media

nobody knows, 8x8 mixed media

funny how these things go. last year, i was struggling with my valentine for aids donation, this year i have hearts galore. hoping i don't still have all of them in march!

mas manana-

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

nobody knows

i started this waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 2011 (well, like the 27th) and then it sat.

then i got the cool little printer and went on a printing rampage. the heart is from a meat tray cut out stencil. i ended up using the cut out part as a stamp. the styro provides interesting texture and takes color unevenly (nice!). i saw the heart sitting on a white paper plate (bonus random event) and took a few photos with my phone. printed this one out with the black grunge border option, used the wood burning tool to add the x's and o's and cut to fit-

don't ask me to explain why the bluebird came in, but she did

decided that the background needed to go farther back, misted and washed some liquid cerulean blue on, leaving the figure. i sponged paint off of the bird too so she wouldn't melt into the background. good at this point, but needing just a bit more.

and here's the (for now) finished product. what's really funny is that we are having a women themed art exhibit at the gallery in march and this will fit right in.

8x8 mixed media, nobody knows

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

on drawing, and the value of spending time with other artists (even for the antisocial)

last tuesday in the studio for 3 weeks-ack! sometimes it just works out that way. lynn, nancy & sue were able to come tonight.

this is lynn, sculpting this incredible horse relief without a reference document and explaining to us that she can't draw. you see, she can do this in clay but doesn't think that she can do the same with pencil & paper.

which, of course, led to the discussion about "being able to draw". sue is also a sculptor and she admitted to not being too interested in drawing. i have to admit same- seems like a good skill to have, and there are times i curse myself for not developing it (like when i am halfway through- or even finished with- a piece & i realize i have made a major, unplanned, error in perspective or when i want to dash something off, but instead have to grid it out or figure out how to trace it) but clearly i don't wish it badly enough to make it so.

i have sketch pads and pencils and books on drawing. i haul stuff to sketch with with me when i travel. the most i ever do is doodle. i am much more likely to take 9 million photos and mess with them in the photoshop app than to draw something. but it seems like something i should do. we are told that drawing is the foundation of art. not being "able to" draw then makes it seem like i am not a "real" artist.

only i draw with paint. just like lynn draws in clay. nancy said she can't draw, but i have seen her do beautiful work that's creative in a way that's amazing. it's funny how we measure ourselves and see our (perceived) limitations more clearly than our strengths. and that is one of the wonderful things about creating with my friends- now i know that i'm not the only one who "can't draw"- more than that, i know that i'm not the only one who really isn't that interested in drawing but feels like i "should" be. so maybe i can free myself to add some drawing attempts to the doodles, no pressure.


Monday, January 16, 2012


when i looked at this today i realized that it needed more light, so i went back in and lightened up the flowers.

like it better now!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

and still more hearts :)

finished the 2 in the running for the valentines for aids donation. both are 6x6, the first titled beautiful (there are mirrors behind the mesh, so you can see yourself if you look inside)

this is titled guarded (it has a hawk on the back of the piece, and the hawk is a guardian). this is the one going to the show (thanks for the feedback barb). it will likely appeal more to the audience there.

after sleeping in and a nice long walk i was able to spend most of the day in the studio again. here's the journey of simple gifts. i painted the light modeling paste flowers pink and applied a layer of matte gel medium to seal things. wanted another layer & some smaller things to add in next.

so i got out the stamps, which i haven't used in ages, and took a look.

using stayz on ink, i stamped several choices onto napkin bits that were left over, hoping that the thin tissue would disappear into the back ground.

ended up selecting the bee because the size is right and i could repeat in several places. as is my practice, i read up on the symbolism of bee and found:

"The bee is symbolic of the Empress and feminine energy. Bees are often considered a symbol of the Goddess or Divine Feminine because they are ruled by queens. In particular, they are associated with the goddess Venus because part of their labor is the indirect fertilization of flowers, all of which come under the dominion of Venus. Without bees, many species of flowers would die out, and so the bee may justly be considered a handmaiden of that goddess. There is a Greek tradition, too, of the Nine Muses, the divine patronesses or music and poetry, taking on the form of bees. This comports well with the rulership of Venus over the arts. The bee is also a symbol for wisdom, as it collects pollen from many flowers and turns it into honey, which is the gold of bees." - yahoo answers

which works for me, especially in the context of hearts and flowers and gifts.

when i started applying the bees with gel medium i realized that the paper wasn't going to disappear as hoped, so i stamped the center bee on the piece. i also added the raven- along with the skull a symbol of creation.

i went back & did some blending and added and subtracted paint til i arrived at this:

simple gifts, 8x8 mixed media-

this is the other one i worked on today. i actually don't think it needs a whole lot more other than maybe something in the upper left hand corner. will leave it around the house to look at and see if anything occurs to me. 

gallery member meeting tomorrow night (oh joy!). be back after studio night on tuesday-

Saturday, January 14, 2012

more hearts & flowers & GL10 play-

some photoshop play to print on the gl10- nat geo/citrasolve backgrounds and images layered on top. another idea from the creative photographer by catherine anderson

i have amassed a fair amount of 3x4 prints and have been playing with various things & looking forward to incorporating them into collage. the first shot shows a successful peeling off of the top layer (the pink palm at bottom) and the remains of a photo that i soaked but had the top layer just crumble off (the blue photo)

here's one that i cut and glued down- it glued nicely, even though the paper is a bit stiff and thick. a layer of matte gel over the photo didn't affect the color or image at all, which is great.

and where it sits now-

and lastly- i coated the heart photo here in gac 800, which did alter the color by giving it a pinkish tint. it also provided a plastic-y top layer.

 where this one sits now-

lastly, i was looking for some rusty barbed wire and my husband came through- this is called guarded. needs to have the wire attached, but this is pretty much it-

and this one is done. i keep trying different things and coming back to this-

now the only question is which one of the last 2 to take to valentines for aids. my goal is to break the $25 sales price my piece got last year ( from my neighbor no less). which do you like better?

since the broncos were so stinky i got plenty of studio time in this evening- gave up at halftime. more studio time tomorrow- nice to have the luxury of getting ahead for february, especially since travel starts up again the week after next.

more tomorrow-

Thursday, January 12, 2012

polaroid gl 10 play

where i think this will work best is pairing my retro camera and fx camera apps with the printer, then scanning the photos to blow up & use as transfers, etc or using as is in collage. benefit there being the water resistant coating. kinda want a pogo too now, for smaller, sticky back prints.

tonight's crop of prints. notice the different borders, which are available to choose from in the printer's menu. the writing is with the woodburning tool that i had the foresight to purchase months ago :)

there's one you tube video of guys manipulating zink photo paper. yep, one. they do a transfer technique by soaking the print for 30-40 mins than carefully peeling off the top layer. sure they do. i soaked for 30 mins and everything got all crumbly and just sloughed off. front and back. will try soaking one longer to see if that makes a difference.  the post soak print is below-

i also fiddled with some more valentines ideas. i think i need some rusty barbed wire.

there will be studio time this weekend- more later-

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

another studio night

with lynn

and leslie

and pam (sorry pam! i'd have taken another photo if i'd noticed your eyes were closed!)

i sold 2 pieces yesterday- one at the airport and one downtown, so i needed to replace them. i sent the hawk to the airport. the one i sold downtown was the fox i painted a few months ago, which was 12x12 so i needed a large-ish piece to fill.

i have been working on hearts in anticipation of valentine's day. i looked for sheet music that fit the theme. this is titled simply "duet"-

i added more layers, including a wash of red paint, then a watered down wash of titan buff to soften the background. the stems are tar gel with green added and a color shaper used to get a thin, even line. the flowers are paper, the centers that annoying dry paint that collects around caps & lids.

i painted the heart, found it boring, stamped into it with a cork and then added another layer of color. and here is the finished product- titled duet- 10x10 mixed media-

i have a few more things started and hope to get to them this weekend. i also plan to video the altoids tinstallation & share that (there are some incredible tins- you can see some of them here ).

and amazon was wonderful about letting me return the first printer (no questions, sent UPS to pick it up & a label with the UPS guy- couldn't be easier), so i had another delivered (next day delivery $3.99 with amazon prime), so there will be more experiments coming up there, including transfers.

yep, less stuck- finally! great way to start 2012!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

sunday sunday

started the day with another long hike- beautiful morning! this trail had snow on it last year at this time. this year the willow along the creek are already budding out- kind of scary-

came home & watched football. this is what i was doing during the bronco game to stay calm. these fabric sharpies are fun! the shoes were $13 at target. i have more to do next week, since the donks squeezed thru to the next round.

and a brief studio visit. working on several ideas for the valentines for aids fundraiser- do you like this-

this (blurry photo, sorry, says i love you in the lower left corner) 
or this?

what doesn't make it to the fundraiser may make it to the gallery. i loved doing needlepoint on the screen and want to play with that some more.

feedback welcome-