Saturday, November 29, 2014

Raccoon Book

Raccoon Book

Spine - Raccoon Book

At CREATE Seattle this past October I took a Katherine England class in coptic book-binding.  It was great fun but a bit challenging.  Yesterday I was cruising through Teesha Moore's videos on her Artstronauts Club site and came across a video on coptic stitchery by Steve Salik.  So I decided to try once again.  Success with reservations this time.  I love how it all turned out but it was dicey along the way.  Sewing with four needles is a challenge.  Needles kept falling off and as I sewed I,  three times, sewed into the binding thread and had to remove the stitch and start again.

I kept at it and now have a great journal.  On Black Friday I ventured out to the stores at 6:45 to buy a Dremmel at Home Depot.  The Dremmel is quite amazing.  I suppose I could have just drilled with my drill but it was Black Friday and the Dremmel was on sale!  I don't like to shop and going out on the busiest day of the year was a bit much for me.  However, I did find a few other bargains.  So it was worth it.  I love how the Dremmel drilled the holes in the raccoon book cover.

Friday, November 28, 2014

We Are Family No. 2

We Are Family No. 2
I don't know if this is going to be a series or not.  I am loving using the Liquitex Paint Markers and since I am changing up clothing and heads on existing advertisement models, I may have more family pieces in this series, two so far.  I seem to have more female models than males and so my subject matter is heading that direction.  This one is a female same sex couple who have a brother visiting their Hudson River Valley farm.  Or you make up your own story.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Girls Just Want to Have Fun!

Girls Just Want to Have Fun!
Girls Just Want to Have Fun! And so do artists.  Yesterday I spent the day with Liesel Lund in her home/studio and had a wonderful time along with three others.  We played with mica which appears twice in this piece.  I am just loving altering fashion pieces that I discover and then switching heads on the originals.  No body has seen these new fashion statements and no head has seen them either until now. (Now what does he mean by that?)  Paint pens rock!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

We Are Family

We Are Family
This journal spread took a long time to complete as it is complex in technique use.  I used packing tape transfers, stenciling, adhered tea bags, washes, collaged, and splattered painted.  The figures were found in fashion magazines and then altered.  Each has a new head on the found bodies.  All found bodies have been painted with Liquitex paint markers.

The theme of We Are Family is that there are all sorts of different types of family configurations.  No one configuration is better than another although there are some groups of people in the world who think differently.  Not in my head though.  I say, "Live and let live."  If you are not hurting one another then so be it.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Laugh On Me

Who Is This Guy?
I have been teaching a six week mixed-media class with u/Learn ArtsNow which is an adult education program through Edmonds Community College.  Last night was our last meeting and I was sharing student work by walking around and holding up the work for each student to see while they worked on their journaling.  My friend, Michele, is in the class and I saw something that I wanted all the others to take note of.

I really did not pay any attention to the subject of this piece and I was looking at it upside down as well.  I was sharing the piece with a student and talking about the fact that Michele had used used teabags in the background and that she had printed an image from a magazine on tissue paper and adhered it to the background.  I turned and said, "Michele, did you get this image out of National Geographic?"  She replied, "No, it is a photograph that I took of you which I altered in the application Waterlogue."

My mouth must have dropped open because here I thought it was from National Geographic and it was of me!  The photo was taken last summer when Michele and I attended an Orly Avineri workshop in Coupeville. In Orly's class we dressed in Middle East garb while doing some contour drawing.  We had a good laugh over that one!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Envelopes Journal with Zebra Pouch

In trying out different things with this pouch "binding" that I have been working on, I decided that I like the stitching idea.  Since the sewing machine needle gets hung up with the sticky from the tape I have another idea that works.  Create the fabric side pieces on the machine and then glue them to the sides of the pouch.  It gives the same effect.

Zebra Pouch
 I have a bunch of mail art that comes to me over time.  Of course I keep the art part but  I don't throw the envelope away wanting to incorporate it somehow into a piece of art.  There are wonderful pieces of ephemera already stuck to many of the envelopes. These are treasures!

In this case, I took the envelopes and stitched three signatures together using the pamphlet stitch. Then I stitched the three signatures together with a variation of the pamphlet stitch.  The new journal will now go into one of my new pouches.  So easy-peasy!  I am thinking I might even take it on vacation to work in when I have a bit of down time.  I hate wasting time....even on vacation.  Driven!
Envelope Journal

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pouch with Bird

Pouch with Bird
Last week at the journaling art lunch that I attended the hostess, Jan,  had a great "journaling" pouch that she made using muslin.  I thought I can make that for "binding" a book or journal.  In fact, it is perfect for slipping a journal into for easy transport keeping everything contained.  Well, I have been going pouch crazy.  I have made eight of them over the past ten days.

I learned a lot about the process, finding that different designer tapes are not all the same.  I found that different designer tapes or washi tapes have a varying degree of stickiness. Said stickiness builds up on the sewing machine needle.  I learned that Goo Begone removes the stickiness and restores the needle like new. You should have seen me trying to thread the needle with the stickiness coating the needle.  It does not work.!

I did not have any muslin so I had to improvise with what I had around the house.  Fabric, Tyvek, paper bags, you name it, you can make a pouch.  You do not even need to sew although I do like the stitching.  PVA glues does the trick if you are not into getting the sewing machine out.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gypsy and Stern

Gypsy

Stern
Gypsy and Stern are the last of this particular group of postcards.  Still there is seriousness!  I have had my serious moments in life but most of them are never captured by a camera.  I think I am moving into a more upbeat mode in my art this week.  See Silicon Costume Party for a reference.  I discovered Liquitex Paint Markers at CREATE.  OMG!  Love them!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Miss Ladybug

Miss Ladybug
Every single Victorian photo I see the expression is so stern.  Yikes, were they not so happy or were they just serious all the time.  Maybe I can see if anyone on the web has done any research on photo expressions during this time.  Even in the recent Masterpiece Theater show, Paradise, a period piece, stern looks are being photographed.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Bear Country

Bear Country
Many moons ago my friend Brian Kasstle sent me a art "care" package and in it were some lumberjack photos.  It took me awhile to come up with a spread for them.  Frankly life got in the way. Finally I have created Bear Country.  It was a totally fun spread to do.  Since I am dedicating this to Brian, I went back and forth between his blog and working on this spread.  I wanted to give it a Brian Kasstle look  Take a look at his blog and see if I was even remotely successful at honoring Brian's work.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Marion the Librarian

Marion the Librarian
One of my favorite musicals is The Music Man.  Perhaps that is because I spent many summers with my cousins in Clear Lake, Iowa and the musical takes place in a middle American town similar to where I visited.  In the musical, Marion, is the sweetheart of the show.  Here's to you, Marion.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Already Making Connections for the Next Date

Already Making Connections for the Next Date
Before cell phones we were connected by wires.  Such freedom we now have with those invisible sound waves bouncing off satellites.  Except is there really any privacy anymore?  I hear conversations people are having on their phones wherever I go, the grocery, Lowe's, outside the library.  Do I really want to hear them?  Get use to it, John, it is unavoidable.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hot Mess!

Hot Mess!
I had the most terrific day yesterday at my art friend's house.  Jan invited Michele and I to a day of journaling and lunch.  It was the most wonderful six hours of just playing and chatting and seeing what each other is up to in our individual art worlds.

Not only did we have fun but Jan made the most delicious lunch.  I mean D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!  Jan's luncheon entree was Moroccan Chicken Tagine.  OMG!  I had never had this before and let me tell you  I got the recipe and will make it for Tim either today or tomorrow.  I had never had a preserved lemon before either.  Again OMG!  She served couscous and a salad with the chicken.  Taking a bite of couscous and the tagine simultaneously was almost heaven if not outright heaven!

I grabbed my journal and started working almost immediately after arriving at Jan's house.  Hot Mess is what came of the day.  Why would I call this a hot mess?  Well because I tried out a bunch of techniques that were experimental for me in many ways.  First, I wanted to use copies of photos from a high school year book.  I decided to do acrylic paint transfers and I only had white gesso.  The transfers worked fairly well but I learned a bit more about gesso.  It is very chalky and so getting a clear transfer was not in the cards yesterday.

I wasn't liking much of what I was accomplishing as I collaged.  However, I know that one must keep going and eventually something will come of it.  In one way I like what I created and in another way I don't.  That is OK.  I believe that I should put up the warts with successes.  That is the way of this art world.  Not everything is going to come out amazingly.

I found I like painted lace.  Michele does not like lace and so I am going to get more of it from her. I like mesh potato or some such vegetable bags and shiny chips bags.  Organza is a perfect veil ( see triangle shapes.).  I just love acrylic paint pens.  I will be using more of those.  I really do love image transfers.

So the day was amazing in that I had fun all around.  Before leaving we decided to create bundles of ephemera tied with ribbon or string.  In fact, we made two bundles, one for burying and one for hanging in a tree.  Michele also made several weathergrams to hang.  We marched into the woods to bury our bundles.  We pledged that we would return in two months to see what Mother Nature did to our bundles.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dandy Boy

Dandy Boy
He is a dandy boy, dressed to kill, wanting the good life but only wishing it the easy way.  Or is it, an easy life? Time has a way of getting even, the aging process continues on even if we try to slow that process down. Dandy boy lives for the moment not thinking much of his future.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

jail bird

jail bird
Yesterday I taught twenty-two teachers how to create original postcard collages.  Each session was 90 minutes long and so we had to huff and puff to get the postcards completed in the limited time. However, it was fun to watch amazing art evolve.  Friday I worked all day to create postcard examples for these students.  I also shared with them postcards that many of my art friends have sent me.  I have happy with the thought that many of these teachers will return to their classrooms and use the mixed-media techniques that they now have.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fresh Trout

Fresh Trout
This is the fourth in a series of four.  Fresh Trout was inspired by Top Chef which we watch each week of its season.  Learning how to prepare fish is actually an art but definitely one cooking task that is beneficial for sure.

Whenever I think of trout I think of something that happened while on vacation when I was a kid. We were in a family style restaurant in Montana.  Suddenly the wind came up and blew in the window right onto a table of dirty dishes only a few feet from where we sat.  Five minutes previously a family of six were seated at that same table.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Time Off

Time Off
Time Off is the third of four postcards in a series.  I was not sure what I was going to do with the results of acrylic under waxed paper technique used in the background. (You lay down acrylic paint and place wax paper over the top and leave it to dry, overnight works well.  The same goes for each separate layer.)  These cards sat and sat for a long time. Suddenly they became what you see.  I love it when something basically takes a life of its own.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Silicon Costume Party

Silicon Costume Party
There was an article in a recent Vanity Fair magazine about important Silicon Valley type gurus. After reading the article I decided to try an image transfer using magazine photos.  In this case, I only transferred the guru heads and used other bodies to complete the "new" people for this journal spread. I loved the process and loved that I am back to working in my journals more.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mean Llama

Mean Llama
Mean Llama is the second postcard in the series using the techniques described in the previous post. I sure love putting disparate pieces together to create a new work and I surprise myself all the time with what comes of it.

Have you ever had an experience with a llama?  They can be down right mean and they spit!  Beware of llamas.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Beware, Tiger!

Beware, Tiger!
I have been playing around with Photoshop and learned how to create grey-scale, overlap layers, and erase to bring back color taken away in grey-scale.  That is what I did with the athletic figures in the background.  They were then printed on tissue paper and collaged.  Behind the figures is something new which you might not be able to tell, but I have been using paint with waxed paper.  It creates the best sharp crystal like lines which are a bit lost now with the tissue paper overlay.  So this postcard was a bit of an experiment all around.  There are four in this series.