Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Patron

The Patron
I have been taking an online class called The Ticket to Venice.  This class teaches bookbinding methods and travel journaling.  Mary Ann Moss, the instructor, is actually on a Venice trip where she emails postcards to class participants and creates videos of her experiences.  She is an on-location reporter as you will.  The class has been a blast.  Not only am I learning some fun journaling techniques from Mary Ann, who is a hoot by the way, but I am learning from other participants in the class.  There are some spectacular journals being made.

My journal is not actually of Venice which I have been to so many times I can't remember how many.  When we lived in southern Germany we used to go quite frequently.  My journal is about the my fall trip to the SW....Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.  However, I got inspired yesterday to create a Venice piece which is called The Patron.  When I was taking university classes, I took an art history course where we studied how patrons portraits were frequently painted into commissioned pieces.  I thought I would include my self-portrait into this new work.  My gentlemen's ATC group's theme for January is self-portraits, hence, this piece.  I will be adding the right hand side of The Patron into my self-portrait journal as well.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


During our trip to the southwest and southern California we stayed with our friends Brian and Ed.  Venturing out, we went to the Long Beach Flea Market where Brian and I decided to split a find of a box of vintage photographs, some of which are included in Widows of  Widows Sons, and Grandsons which will be the name of the total journal spread. The left hand side of this piece is still being worked on.

Last week I purchased some tissue paper  with "Horlogerie and Bijouterie" written on it.  This is French for watchmaker and jeweler.  The idea of watchmaker and jeweler combined with the vintage photos brought on the idea for this piece. Sons and grandsons appear on the left side of the piece which I will continue working on.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day and Night....a working title?

Day and Night?
This is my latest journal page.  I usually do not have trouble with titles but this one is questionable. I have thought about calling it "Fireworks."  However, that does not necessarily reflect the whole spread.  Maybe you have an idea?

I took a basic encaustic class on Wednesday which I liked.  I now have a enormous appreciation for works done using this process.  Just knowing how it all comes together has now given me an eye in which to analyze encaustic pieces in the future.  In the class, the instructor had many papers for us to use to create collages.  Some of those were Joss papers from China.  If you have never experienced Joss paper then a trip to the local Asian market is indeed recommended.  You might have to walk around until you find them, but I assure you they are there.

The dragon, the Chinese gate and the background papers are all Joss papers.  I also tried something new on these journal pages.  I used plaster tape and watercolor pastels to create the "fireworks" and some texture.  It really helped to make the the fireworks display on the right hand side.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dad, Gramps, and Great Gramps

Recently I opened a briefcase that had belonged to my father and discovered letters that he had written during WWII.  He was stationed in North Africa and in Italy during the war.  There were also personal papers and photos of my paternal grandfather who died when my father was age three. 

My grandfather owned a candy store in La Jolla, California before he met my grandmother.  In the collection of mementos was an old candy box from the store.  I found receipts from the business and one was for a grocer H. Jevne who made deliveries to my grandfather's store. 

When doing a search for vintage maps of southern California I discovered a site that is amazing http://www.bigmapblog.com/ .  I actually found a map with Los Angeles buildings and one of those buildings is H. Jevne, the building you see on the right.

In this collage you see my father (baby), grandfather and great grandfather.  The car is my grandfather's with my grandmother in the passenger seat.  The photo on the right is of me when I was twenty-four and in the army.  Although I never knew my grandfather or great grandfather this collage brings us all together.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Kum-pang mee hu, pra-tu mee tar

Kum-pang mee hu, pra-tu mee tar is Thai for Walls have ears, doors have eyes.  This idiom is always good to remember when you have a piece of information that only should hold tight to your chest.  Otherwise, who knows where that information might end up.
I worked on this piece in PhotoShop and tried something I had not previously attempted.  I used the posterize feature.  I have included the original for your comparison.

Friday, December 7, 2012

I Swear on Babaji

This piece was created on a recycled paint advertisement from Lowe's.  It folds in two places. 

I Swear on Babaji
I frequent the University Bookstore in Seattle and about every two months I buy the latest issue of Cote Sud.  If you have never seen this French magazine it is well worth the effort to look for it.  Barnes and Noble carries it usually as well.  Anyway, I find inspiration leafing through the magazine. Recently there was a section that covered India.  I have always been amazed at the vibrancy and the wealth of color found in India.  This got me thinking about a film that came out a few years ago, Bend It Like Beckham.  I love that movie and we rewatched it last week. 

In the film the main character has to swear that she is telling the truth.  Thus she swears to an ancestor, Babaji.  Also there is a funny part about getting married and the women at a celebration start talking about juicy, juicy, mangoes.   This was my inspiration for this piece.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Italian Gothic - Dei Ricordo

Dei ricordo, the memory,  is a six-sided work opening to the final triptych.  It is narrative in nature with the bird watcher and one of the a farmers being prominent in the narrative. Throughout this work there are hints at what has transpired in the lives of the three people.  Let your imagination piece this puzzle together. Since this was a piece of mail art, the sixth side is for the intended addressees.

Italian Gothic - Triptych
I am especially pleased with the center portion of the triptych as it really appears to be a total work in and of itself.  This portion is actually fifteen separate pieces of paper collage together to see what you see.  I learned a lot about printing on tissue paper for this work.  I also sweated over how to add the left and the right portions of the triptych so that it would appear as one work.  Since the central portion is so dramatic and bold toning down the left and the right so that the center portion would be the focal point seemed the way to go.  I also wanted to take care not to make the piece too balanced.  I considered several options for the left to counterbalance the statue on the right.  Finally I decided against that type of balance.  It would have looked too bookendish.  Just so you know, the number 13 is a lucky number to the Italians.

Of course I  have a story in my head about this piece, however, I am finding that others like to make up their own scenarios.  Go for it and let me know what you think the story might be.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December 2012 ATC

December 2012  ATC
Who knows where this idea came from?  It just did!  Happy Holidays to You All!