Tuesday, August 28, 2012

More Collages Made From Flexagon Piece

Here are a few pieces that I created yesterday.  Once again I created a flexagon using the directions out of Esther K. Smith's book, Magic Books and Paper Toys.  After scanning the completed flexagon I cut and pasted and adjusted color to make the new PhotoShop collages that you see below.

original from the flexagon

The next two are adjusted for color saturation.

Just in case you are interested in how the flexagon looks once it has been collaged, here you go.  Once you fold the sections and link them, the flexagon flexs into three different parts.
side one

side two

Here are what the three sides of the flexagon look like when folded together.  As an experiment I taped each side with clear tape as a precaution to keep the flexagon from tearing.  It helps to keep the edges from wearing quickly.  I especially like the blue and red piece, but as you saw above cutting and pasting made for some fun grids.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Watercolor Transfer and Paper Dolls

Earlier in August I took two online classes from Carla Sonheim.  The first was creating watercolor transfers onto paper and fabric.  The second class was creating paper dolls from cereal boxes.  Both classes turned out to be fantastic as are all of Carla's classes.  Since I was also taking a Jane Davies composition class and a Juliana Coles field journal class I was class busy!  Presently things are beginning to settle down and I have decided not to take a class for awhile.  Although I love taking classes I am going to absorb my new found techniques and do just for me for a couple of months.  Anyway I wanted to share what transpired in Carla's classes.

Go'n to the Circus in My Sunday Best
The process is quite fun.  You just watercolor on heat sensitive tranfer paper and then once the composition is ready you iron on watercolor paper. There are several steps to get to this point, but that is the basic idea.   This piece is whimsical and obviously I enjoyed playing around with the technique.

Here are the paper dolls and background scenery for Carla's second class.  At first I was not getting into playing around with paper dolls.  I wondered why I had even signed up for the class.  Perhaps my teaching background has just not turned off yet since retirement is so new.  Lightbulbs went off and I got two ideas for characters from books I love, Where the Wild Things Are and Dr. Seuss.  That was enough motivation to start work and also in the back of my mind I know of a second grade class that might just like to do a project like this.  Perhaps I will be an art docent and volunteer to teach the process. 

Wild Thing and Max

Dr. Seuss Characters

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Georgia On My Mind

This project started out as a paper folding activity called Magic Wallet Flexagon from the book Magic Book and Paper Toys by Esther K. Smith.  I scanned my result and then tried to print back to back so that I could make a wallet from the scanned and printed version.  Nothing lined up appropriately, yet anyway.  So I started cutting up the pieces from the scanned version.  I came up with the orginal below.  Then I tried cutting and pasting in PhotoShop and came up with the others that you see once I got involved with the filter.  The results are quite fun and good examples of what the filter can do and this whole activity is a good example of a happy accident.
The reason for this particular title is because I absolutely love Georgia O'Keefe's work.  I plan on going to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum in Santa Fe this fall.  Even though it is a happy accident created from the deconstruction of the folding activity, I believe it has the flavor of O'Keefe's work.
If you click on each piece you can see the details of the filters fairly well.
 This is the original with no filters.

In the second one I used the diffused glow filter.  The blues and purples really are rick in this one.  In the third one I used the crosshatch filter.

 Number 4 has the dry brush filter and number 5 has the poster edge filter.  The poster edge adds contrast with more black.

 Number 6 has the mosaic filter and 7 the craquelure.  These seem very similar to me.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sylvie's First Appearance

Sylvie's Debut
This morning I whipped this one off after mulling it over in the night.  Sylvie's First Debut is most likely going to be a story that I have sloshing around in my head.  In the story, Sylvie, a seagull, locates a nesting place.  She has not been known for her wit and makes a poor decision.  The bridge tender rescues Sylvie from her disasterous mistake.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Blue Innocence

Cerulean by Eric Adama  http://ericadamajournal.blogspot.com/ is sponsoring an exhibition with the theme BLUE.  So I decided to enter and here are three choices below with slight differences.  I have chosen one that I think I will enter, however, I would like feedback on what you think.  #1 is the original.  I decided to try adding stripes to unify the composition just a bit more.  So #2 has the vertical stripes throughout.  #3 masks the stripes through the portrait.  Let me know what you think in the comment box and please include the number choice.  Thanks.

Blue Innocence #1

Blue Innocence #2

Blue Innocence #3

Monday, August 13, 2012


In my Jane Davies composition class we are creating works that have cruciforms and we are showing texture in both the cruciform and the background.  Working and working and working some more building up layers is quite a task.  Here are some examples of what I have done so far.  The pieces still need work.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


From 1983 to 1985 I lived in Japan teaching third and fourth grade on an American base.  My arrival at Narita Airport after a ten hour flight almost sent me on the next plane home.  No one met me as promised.  I was left to my own devices to get to my new home three hours from the airport.  I am glad I stayed as my experience was totally amazing.  I was the only gaijin or foreigner in my neighborhood.  I learned to drive in Tokyo traffic and eat many unusual foods. It was a cultural feast for me.  This piece takes me down memory lane,  an experience I hope one day to repeat. 


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

I am taking three classes right now and loving every minute of each one.  In Jane Davies class we are learning about composition and creating landscapes.  Carla Sonheim is holding summer camp and we are learning to make watercolor transfers.  Finally in Julianna Coles class we are working on journaling in the field which is a new development for me.    Here are some of the pieces I have worked on in in the composition class.

Colorado Fire
I have been reading Jill K. Berry's blog about what she went through during the fires near her home outside of Boulder.  This piece represents the fire which came within five miles of her home.  Jill had to leave her home and escape the smoke.  Within this piece I see the devastation, the fire jumping the "line," and the yet to burn vegetation.

This is how the piece began although I reversed it.

Fallen Ridge

Clear cutting is a way of life in the mountains of Washington state.  Each time I travel across the Cascades I am concerned about the environmental impact.

New Bridge Pillars
 A new floating bridge is being built across Lake Washington east of Seattle.  This is my version of the pillars for the approach to the bridge.

Fallen Timber

Moon Rising Over Fallen Timber also relates to the problem of clear cutting especially near streams which causes erosion.

Windy day at the Landfill

When I was remodeling my first house asbestos had to be removed from the old octopus furnace. Care was taken by the workers to double bag the waste, add water to the bags and seal them appropriately so that the fibers would be contained.  I took the bags to a landfill and was instructed to place the bags in a certain location.  As I left the landfill I saw a bulldozer run right over the bags exploding them and, of course, causing the fibers to become airborne!

This is how the Landfill piece began.

Seattle has the most wonderful sculpture garden.  One of the pieces there is called the Wave.  If I could add a piece to the garden it would look like this piece and would also be made from rusted steel.

Sculpture Garden

This is how it began but rotated 180 degrees.

In  Aleutian Island Sunset, my message is a bit private.  Let's just say that there are countries where concern for the environment does not match the UN guidelines.  Species are lost forever when we do not care for mother earth.
Aleutian Island Sunset

Here is the beginning.