Saturday, December 31, 2016

Kantha-like Accordion Journal

In October when I was visiting friends in Southern California we went to the Long Beach Flea Market.  Jacki, Irene, Brian, and I got separate for a few minutes.  When we rejoined, Jacki had purchased a scarf that was from India and stitched in Kantha style.  Since I have loved Kantha cloth for quite sometime I was very envious of her purchase.  One day soon after I returned home a package arrived in the mail from Jacki and guess what was inside, the scarf!  Of course I was in seventh heaven.  I have created this journal in the Kantha stitching style.  Thanks for the inspiration, Jacki.
Kantha-like Accordion Journal


Kantha-like Accordion Journal

Cover

This is my last blog entry for 2016 and it is my 307th!  I actually can't believe that I have accomplished as much as I have this year.  I have continued my philosophy of uploading whatever I am working on even if I consider the work to be a "wart".  I am a firm believer that everything does not necessarily turn out perfectly and that is just fine with me.  

Happy New Year to each of you!  I appreciate you so much.  Many of you I do not even know and that astounds me even more.  Since the early fall I have been enjoying a surge in followers.  I know many bloggers try and answer anyone who comments on their blog.  I have chosen to not spend that much time on the computer.  Please know that I do read your comments and that I am very appreciative of you taking the time to comment.  Thank you.  The best to each of you in 2017. :-)

Friday, December 30, 2016

Geranium

Geranium

Here is the final "lost" postcard.  I brought in some of the geraniums that I had in pots this last season as I had good luck rooting them last year and they were very healthy plants.  One of the geraniums just does not want to give up blooming inside the garage.  It only gets very filtered light through very dirty never washed windows, they have almost eight years of dirt.  I also have some succulants from South Africa, one of which is doing well in the cold and one that looks like it is in trauma.  The plant that I really want to carry over is an agapanthus.  Hang in there plants, only a few short months to go.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Child's Playground

The Child's Playground

Yet another "lost" postcard.  So many children in the world have no where to play or have only a place that is surrounded by what we discard....another outcome of the haves versuses the have nots!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wishful Family

Wishful Family
The last few posts for 2016 are my "lost and found" pieces.  Wishful Family is one of those. What is it with parents who tend to have girls often keep trying to add a boy to the family?  I have an extended family who fits this stereotype. It did not work out for them and they stopped having children after three girls.  I think it says more about our patriarchal society ideals than anything else.  You know the adage of carrying on the family name!

So many parents have a set idea on how they want their children to grow up.  They want them to have a certain profession or they want them to uphold some idea that is only rooted in an uneducated societal more.  I know that my own father had expectations for me.  When I did not follow his prescription he had a very difficult time reconciling his thinking with reality.

Wishful Family can be taken many ways.  Perhaps it is about the boy who turns out to be gay.  Or perhaps it is about the boy who never materializes.  Maybe even it is about the boy who does not survive to adulthood.  There are many possibilities.  Perhaps even the wishful boy could be a wishful girl who does not meet expectations.





Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Canary Sings

Canary Sings

As the year winds down so do some of my postcards made in 2016.  I thought I had published several that I recently found had not been posted on this blog.  In the photo of the three women on the right you will find my mother on the right.  I spent many an hour in the bowling alley while she bowled on her team.  Now that I think of it, I must have gotten home quite late in the evening since most bowling leagues don't start until after dinner.  I must have liked that since bedtime always seems to be in dispute for youngins. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Oklahoma Memories

Oklahoma Memories
About two years ago I took an online photography class which was basically for smartphone users.  I do not have a smartphone and so I used my iPad instead.  Not having a smartphone can be a problem for when I want to take that photo just in the moment.  So I am presently looking for an alternative.  I like the idea of the size of a smartphone type camera.  I have not found one yet that is quite right for me....most are too thick or heavy for my back pocket.  The camera I do have works just fine but I have to think about taking it with me whereas a smartphone type camera is so conveniently a device that I would just carry around easily.

Some people are curious about why I do not bridge the tech gap and just buy a smartphone.  I do not like talking on the phone.  Give me personal contact please!  Since I do not like conversing over the airwaves I can not see the reason for paying a monthly phone fee.

With this said, I love my new mini Polaroid printer.  the images of my friend, Jeanne, were printed with the Polaroid printer.  I like the size and quality.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Morn

Christmas Morn

Happy holidays to each of you who visits my blog.  This is my 301st posting of the year, not an easy thing for someone who is not all that organized.  I love creating though and so this has been a fun year posting what is going on in my creative world.  Enjoy your day!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Toothbrush Clean

Toothbrush Clean

This is the reverse side of the piece I shared two days ago.  I loved the vintage photo of this grandmother. She seems to be such a happy person.  I love that the vintage photo shows her rosy cheeks.  I used a vintage photo of this women in the stamp, too.  She was said to have a "toothbrush" clean house.  I included the colors red, white, and black per request of the buyer, hence the red toothbrush.  I found some great picture frames at TAP near my house that show off both sides of the art simultaneously but better to switch them.  All one has to do is reverse the frame image by unscrewing four screws to change the art whenever desired.

This is also the 300th blog posting of the year.  I made my goal and I have several more ready to go.  Can you see the fireworks going off?

Friday, December 23, 2016

Faux Postage - Toothbrush Clean

Faux Postage - Toothbrush Clean


Two days ago I shared the "Iron" stamp and today it is "Toothbrush Clean".  This is the stamp I created for my commission. The same woman being honored was a cleanliness fanatic.  She used a toothbrush to get all those dirty spots that try and hide. So I created a faux postage stamp with that idea in mind.  In the stamp I used an actual photo of the grandmother and just added the toothbrush and the postage information.  The reason for a red toothbrush is because I was asked to create the collages (yesterday's and tomorrow's) with black, white, and red as the main colors.  You will see the stamp in tomorrow's collage.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Garage Sales Forever

Garage Sales Forever
I posted the stamp that I made for this piece yesterday.  The woman who commissioned this piece had told me a story about her relative who loved to attend garage sales and who also collected old irons, hence the iron in the faux postage.  The idea for the faux postage came to me when I awoke one recent morning.  I guess the old brain was working overtime in the night to come up with the solution that I needed.  I had wanted to include many of the ideas given me by the buyer concerning her relatives.  This was one way to bring in the idea of garage sales and irons without a third vintage image.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Faux Postage- Garage Sales Forever

Faux Postage - Garage Sales Forever

I was commissioned to create a collage for a client.  This client wanted to give a gift to her cousin for Christmas and she wanted to have a personalized collage using vintage photos that she had in a family album.  To get the flavor of the people in the photos I interviewed my client and found out that one woman loved to collect irons.  I wanted to include as many of the photos in the collage as I could and I needed a way to express some of the ideas and keep the composition from becoming overwhelmed with different focal points.  I came up with the idea of creating a stamp with an iron to represent the woman's collection.  Since the woman loved to go to garage sales, the stamp was given a title of "Garage Sales Forever".  Tomorrow I will share the collage with this stamp.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Red Truck Self-Portrait

Red Truck Self-Portrait

I have been in a round robin with the Belltown Bookies for almost one year.  There are eleven of us participating.  Each month we created a 9 x 6 inch spread for a different person's soon to be bound book.  December was my month to finish my own spread.  At our meeting Tuesday, tonight, I will receive my eleventh spread hopefully.  I am not sure how I am going to bind all of them quite yet.  I could glue them back to back and then add a cover and spine.  Nothing is on the back and since they are all amazing, I have to really think this one through.

Monday, December 19, 2016

December Postcard RR



December Postcard RR

As you know by now I have participated in many round robins.  Now I am in a postcard RR called the Muse Mail.  There are eleven of us in this group many of whom were in a previous envelope RR. I particularly like postcard exchanges and normally prefer the postcard to be mailed as a normal postcard and not in an envelope.  However, this time I came up with a folded postcard, my design, that needs to be mailed in a clear envelope.

The reason I personally like the postcards to be mailed normally is because I like the cancellation marks on the postcard after the artist has completed his/her work.  It just adds something to snail mail treat.  With that said, I did something totally against my above statements.  This time I made a postcard that is sewn into a pocket after some gelli plate and collagraph work.  I then created a circular collage to fit in the pocket.

December 2016 Circular Collage for Muse Mail RR (front)






The back of the collage looks like this:



I found this 30 kmph sign in an antique store and had my friend Michele take a photo of it with her phone camera.  Thanks, Michele.  The image can be seen in the first photo above as well.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Graffiti Series #24

Graffiti Series #24

This is the last of this series, well, maybe not.  I received two commissions from the series wishing for me to create with personal vintage photos.  One has been completed and one is in the works.  So there will be some follow-up to the series pieces later on.  There are some new twists in the commission pieces so stay tuned. :-)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Graffiti Series #23

Graffiti Series #23

There is something satisfying when all the techniques come together to make a pleasing composition. I used many, many techniques to complete the Graffiti Series as you have seen from each post explanation, maybe more than I ever have.  Originally I thought maybe they all would be organized into a book or in a specially made folder.  Now many of them have new homes elsewhere and so I have to make a decision about housing the ones that are still residing with me.  Do I continue and make an even 24 for the "book"?  Or do I leave it be and seven back-to-back remaining ones?  I will think on it!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Graffiti Series # 22

Graffiti Series #22

Choosing images is one of the most fun parts of a narrative collage.  Sometimes I like to be the one to tell what I was thinking as I was creating and at other times I think it is more fun for you, the viewer, to tell your own story about what you think is happening.  I have gotten some great narratives from my art friends which are very different than what my intention was.  In this one perhaps the stamp, the postman, and the man in the vintage photo are connected.  Make it your own.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Graffiti Series #21

Graffiti Series #21

Yesterday was a busy day for me and I totally neglected to post on this blog.  Oops!  

I am so glad I know a few basic PhotoShop skills.  They are so helpful when it comes to resizing and changing contrasts in photos.  Remember when we used the copy machine to resize images, at least that is how I use to do it.  Well, I guess I have still been known to resize on my printer but not often.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Graffiti Series #20

Graffiti Series #20 
I am fascinated by vintage bathing attire.  When one considers what is acceptable attire for swimming now versus the modest attire of years gone by I have to smile.  I particularly like the balance in this piece.....three swimmers and three men on the porch.  Maybe at first glance you would think that is six figures, oh no, an even number.  Look closely and you see a little girl looking up at one of the men who most likely is her father.  The red stamp grounds my eye bringing it full circle.  The odd number of three images also balances the piece nicely.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Graffiti Series #19

Graffiti #19

Finding ephemera that works just right is tricky sometimes.  Laying out what I want to use and thinking about what would best go with what I start with takes a bit of time.  In this series I started with all the backgrounds and then worked on the basic three focal points of the piece.  The stamp was always last and the photo usually first or second.

It is funny how things go.  I had a sale about ten days ago and I got a lot of great feedback about the Graffiti Series.  I sold eight of them in one day.  I also got feedback that many people would like to have significant photos to their family and I got two commissions.  So that is pretty exciting for this old guy! :-)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Graffiti Series #18


Graffiti Series # 18


When I am nearing the end of completing a collage I frequently splatter some paint.  A few dark spots of paint and I call it done. There have been times when I used stenciled spots to complete the work or even Portfolio pastels through a stencil to finish the piece.  It is just a little bit here and there that seems to provide a tie it all together moment.



Saturday, December 10, 2016

Graffiti Series # 17

Graffiti Series # 17
I used glazing liquid on several of the pieces in the Graffiti Series.  It not only can possibly tint depending on if you add pigment to the liquid but it also leaves a more glossy look.  Gloss or matte is definitely a personal preference. If one does not like the glossy look after using the glazing liquid, a quick light coat of matte medium will bring back the look you desire.  One reason for a tinted glaze is to unify the piece.  With that said, distress inks and matte varnish can achieve the look desired as well.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Graffiti Series # 16

Graffiti Series #16
Don't you just love the attitude and the strut of these women.  Can't you just see them on a street out of a day of shopping, gossiping,  and lunch?  Another medium I used in this series is Inktense blocks.  If you have never used Inktense blocks you might try to find an art friend who has them because they are pricey but to me well-worth it.  They are applied like a crayon or you can use them like watercolors.  If you are using them like a crayon you color and then wet a brush and go over what you colored.  The pigment is intense.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Graffiti Series # 15

Graffiti Series #15 

Another technique that I used in this series is transfer paper markings with asemic writing.  Transfer paper is kind of like carbon paper.  It comes in different colors.  I used mostly white and gray in the Graffiti series but I always wrote using asemic writing which is nonsense writing.  It always looks great and adds another layer to each work.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Graffiti Series # 14

Graffiti Series # 14
I just love a bit of red added to a piece of art.  It makes everything pop.  The red here, tissue paper, stamp, and Stablio Woody, helps with movement in this particular piece.  My eye is drawn from the stamp down to the feet of the cowpoke.  I also have a circular movement between the three major portions of  #14, the man smoking, the photograph, and the stamp.  I like that my eye does not remain stuck in one spot.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Graffiti Series #13

Graffiti Series #13 

A few years ago in an Orly Avineri workshop we made chop marks out of rubber stamps.  Ever since then I have used the chop mark on my work.  I latched onto this idea because when living in Japan I had a chop mark.  That is how one signs legal documents there.  It was not easy finding a chop that fit my last name.  Then when I lost the chop and wanted to close my bank account I had many difficulties because I did not have my chop to sign the papers.  I had to go with a bank employee to get a second chop and sign all sorts of documents stating that I had lost my original chop.  Because all the paperwork was in Japanese I had to take the word of the bank employee that I was knew what I was signing.  I guess it did not matter much since I was leaving the country.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Graffiti Series # 12

Graffiti Series # 12

I like most anything vintage.  I just like the look.  I am continually asked about where I find my images.  I scour estate sales, the online  Goodwill auction site, garage sales, friends, you name it!  I am lucky enough to have a personal shopper.  My art friend, Sally, loves to look for anything on my list of wants.  She has a route of stores that she goes to and besides shopping for herself, she is willing to shop for me.  She will find something for sale on the Goodwill auction site that she thinks I will want and she sends me a link.  I love that she is willing to do this and I am so grateful that I know Sally.  Thanks Sal!






Sunday, December 4, 2016

Graffiti Series # 11

Graffiti Series # 11

I love using vintage photos in my collages....oh yeah.....you knew that!  I scored big time this summer at a garage sale finding a huge box of photos for $7.00.  Whenever I purchase them at antique stores they are at least $1.00 per photo.  I add graphite around the photo to blend the edge with the rest of the collage.

Yesterday, I participated in an art sale with two other artists.  We were busy all day with shoppers and I sold quite a few journals and several of the graffiti series.  Thanks to all the shoppers and others who stopped by to support us.  By the way, I sold South Indiana Avenue this past week.  I am thrilled!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Graffiti Series # 10

Graffiti Series #10

Sometimes I like to add distress inks and matte varnish to finish off one of my art pieces.  Rubbing the distress inks and then adding the varnish ties everything together with a hint of the same color.  In this series I was careful to not put the distress ink/varnish over the vintage photo because I preferred the clearer photo.

I suppose one could say that is series is a bit a formula.  Similar backgrounds, stamps, vintage photo and a mostly a person for a main focal point.  I would say, well it is a series isn't it.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Graffiti Series #9


Graffiti Series # 9

I love using graphite.  Sometimes I just add a few lines in a piece that is a random strike across a work.  Sometimes I use it around a photo to soften the lines.  And sometimes puddle it and splatter with it. (Mostly I splatter with acrylic paint, though.)  I just found that there is a new type of graphite on the market that I just ordered and have not tried it yet...  Artgraf Water Soluble Primary 3-Color Set...

I use mostly water soluable graphite.  My go-to is the Lyra  water soluable graphite crayon.  I used it in #9 above.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Graffiti Series #8

Graffiti Series # 8

Postage stamps are a simple but an effective addition to a collage.  In this case, I like how the rectangles at the top go with the stamp as do the circles at the bottom, shape and color help solidify the composition. Usually I work with odd numbers as in this piece #8, two vintage photos and the stamp.  A triangle is formed between the three allowing the eye easy move around the composition.

Although I have 24 compositions in this series, they are back-to-back on the substrate.  I have many of them framed.  When I tire of one side I just flip the framed piece and I have another work to look at for awhile.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Graffiti Series #7

Graffiti Series #7
One of my favorite mixed media tools is the Stablio Woody crayon.  It is like a watercolor crayon.  I love it because you can create transparent color over your collaged work and it can run easily. Please note the right hand side of #7 above.  That purplish color is a Woody run.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Graffiti Series #6

Graffiti Series #6


If you have never done a packing tape stencil transfer I highly recommend doing a Google search and or head off to YouTube to seek out the methods.  If you have done one you might know that you get a 3 for 1 when doing the process.  You get what sticks to the tape.  You sometimes get floating ephemera when you do the wet step and you might get positive debris left over.  So you might not understand what I just said and that is alright.  You have to do the process and see how comes of it.  Too much fun but it is a wet activity!  Try it out.

Many of the transfers are included in this series.  You might note that the black with white dots above were created with this process.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Graffiti Series #5

Graffiti Series #5



There was a building in the University District of Seattle that use to be called the Tubs.  It was for hot tubbers, rooms with hot tubs and you rented by the hour.  This enterprise went out of business and the building sat idle for years.  Idle on the inside but definitely not on the outside as graffiti artists created their art all over the building.  The story goes that the building's owner did not want to sell and the building became an "eye sore" for some.  Not for me though because I loved the graffiti which I photographed several times.

I got the idea of incorporating graffiti into my mixed media pieces.  You can find some of parts of photos that I have taken in #5 above although the graffiti came from a different location which I will talk about in the next few days.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Graffiti Series #4

Graffiti Series #4

Tissue paper can be both a transparent or an opaque layer.  In each of the 24 collages in this series I used polka dot tissue paper.  Mostly this tissue paper was opaque but in some places semi-transparent only where the white dots appear.  I frequently print images on tissue paper to use in a collage. Disguising edges of said tissue becomes a goal of mine.  Having ragged edges helps.  It is easy to make ragged edges when you paint water on the tissue and then tear or pull the watered edge away.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Graffiti Series #3

Graffiti Series #4
Once the gesso dried I did an acrylic wash over the paint to add a bit of color.  I did all 24 substrate steps in two settings....one side and then the other...gessoed all and then colored all with the wash.  I did leave a bit of white gesso on occasion which was colored in a later step.

Although these are not postcards, one could do the same process making postcards and once they are all done you have a series of postcards that you can go to when an occasion arises.  This happened today for me.  I needed two thank yous and what better way to do that than with a handmade postcard! :-)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Graffiti Series #2

Graffiti Series # 2

Gesso was used for the first layer for each of the works in the Graffiti Series.  Gesso absorbs paint well and gives plenty of texture.  It also is a great step at starting if one does not know where one is going with a particular art piece at the beginning.  If you do a search on Pinterest for texture you will find several examples of how to use gesso.

I did not name each individual piece in this series like I normally do instead chose to be more general.  However, if I were to name this piece I think I would call it Stern.  Somehow I think the man's face on the stamp registers disapproval for something.  Perhaps he thinks the bathing costume is too suggestive.  Ha!  Give it time and fast forward to the 21st Century and one will find that the above bathing attire is modest!

Who do you think the little girl in the photo represents?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Graffiti Series #1

Graffiti Series #1 

This is the first in a new series I am calling the graffiti series.  There are 24 works in this series and each one uses portions of photograph images of graffiti that I took in Seattle.  Each work in this collage series has at least 15 or 16 layers in order to create the final composition.  I will talk about the layers as we progress through the series over the next 23 days.

As I have mentioned in a previous blog posting I would like to break 300 posts for the calendar year 2016.  With the addition of this series I will have 294 posts which should take me to mid December.  I think I might just make it.  We shall see!

Happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate this holiday!





Wednesday, November 23, 2016

South Indiana Avenue

South Indiana Avenue
South Indiana Avenue is my favorite of the four works that will all hopefully be in shows beginning in January.  I really like how the composition came together.  For me it is like a set on a Broadway stage.  It might be that I like it because it is all part of one photo broken in parts hence unifying it.  It is almost like this piece has actors just waiting to say their lines to the audience.  What drama happened on South Indiana Avenue?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Vintage Photo Op

Vintage Photo Op

This is the third piece for January shows.  Keep your fingers crossed it is juried into the Collage Society Winter Show beginning in January.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Road Trip

 Road Trip

This is my first piece that I am submitting to be juried into the Cascadia Art Museum Collage Society Show beginning in January.  The theme for this show was to take one or more artists from the NW School....  Kenneth Callahan, Pieter Van Dalen, Fay Chong, Yvonne Twining Humber, Abe Blashko, Anne Kutka McCosh, Irwin Caplan, David McCosh  .... and to create up to three works for submission.


I chose Fay Chong for my inspiration as his work has many architectural features which as you know are speaking to me at the moment.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Gone Fishin'

Gone Fishin'

Although you can not tell it here, this piece is much larger than the postcard series pieces times four.  I am entering this particular work in the Edmonds CC instructor art show beginning in January.  Each year the art instructors are asked to submit new works for a show.  We are limited to one piece this year because of the venue space.  I love working bigger than I have been previously.  There are four pieces total in this larger size (at least at the moment).

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Grandma/Grandson

Grandma/Grandson

This is the last of this particular postcard series.  It has been fun sharing over sixty works.
Next on the agenda will be four works similar to this series but the pieces are much larger than postcard size.  I have created four pieces for two upcoming shows.  Stay tuned!  ;-)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Home on Leave

Home on Leave

I remember when I was in the army and had almost successfully completed basic training, I flew home on a weekend pass.  I only had two days and most of that seemed to be travel time.  However, it was important to touch base with friends and family.  When I discovered this photo at a garage sale I remembered the feeling that is represented here.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Irene

Irene

The photo of my art friend, Irene, who I visited last month in Newport Beach, CA with Jacki and Brian.  I took the photo with my new mini polaroid camera.  The jury is still out on this camera because I am getting many photos that do not develop.  Since this guy does not read directions and tries to figure things out on his own, I most likely need to do some adjustments when taking shots with this camera to have better results.  I do love the photos that turn out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hanjin Ancestors

Hanjin Ancestors

I have had many discussions with others about using the actual photographs in artwork as opposed to making copies.  My stated opinion is that who is going to look at the originals after I am late (remember I love this term for dead).  So I use the originals.  Most of the originals are anonymous to me anyway.  The box of photos from my parents house for instance.  There are few names on the back and many of the people I never met or was very young when I met them.   I knew a few basically but they are all late and I have no children to leave things to.  Hence, use them up.

I also buy or are given photos from others and I have no clue as to who the people are.  I rather like not knowing and creating something new with their photos.  It is sort of a rebirth for me.  Somehow their life goes on even though they are mostly nameless to me.  To the greater world and the past world they are not nameless.  They knew who they were and using the captured moment in their life continues to honor them.  At least that is what I believe.

Others feel that they just can't use the original and so they don't.  I respect that opinion, too, because it is their opinion and hurts no one.  I have chatted about this many times but this morning I am thinking about it again and here we are re-vocalizing the opinion.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Happy Family

Happy Family

I have used the eyes in a previous spread but just love how they command a piece.  

I got a new toy yesterday.  When I was in California last month I was introduced to the Polaroid Zink printer.  It prints 3" x 2" photos directly from an iPhone or iPad.  The photos have a sticky peel off backing for easy adhering.  I researched this printer because I do not have an iPhone and I was having trouble finding out if this little printer would work with an iPad.  It does and was very easy to install. I also have a mini Instax Polaroid camera that is new to me.  So I am set for taking and printing small photos.