Monday, December 30, 2013

Dog Lady Out for a Walk

This is the first spread for the Book of the Night online class that I am taking.  We had to create "The Bride of Frankenstein" in our own way.  So mine is called Dog Lady Out for a Walk.  We altered a magazine photo, wrote a letter to someone we admire but dead, created a night forest and then reconciled by adding. The next activity is a haunted house!

Dog Lady Out for a Walk

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Memory Wall

In Juliana Coles online workshop Book of the Night we were tasked to create a spread about a body scar. My piece Memory Wall commemorates an experience I had when I was a little boy.  I was playing with a new toy airplane when I "flew" it into my head.  The gash with blood flowing everywhere was enough of a concern that I was bundled into the car and taken to the hospital where I received several stitches.

We all have memories, some not forgotten and others lost to us at the moment.  Occasionally forgotten ones seep through the memory wall and we relive an experience from long ago.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Indian Festival

                     Indian Festival                                   

Since this summer I have been involved in a round robin journal exchange.  This is my fifth and final spread in the journals.  I am particularly fascinated by the colors of India.  They are so vivid and when I found an ad in a travel magazine I thought that I needed to do a spread to capture the flavor of those colors.  I also had a conversation with a friend Christmas Day about orange.  My friend has a strong dislike for the color. Perhaps I took that as a challenge or maybe subconsciously I was driven to create something with a dominant orange.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Palm Reader

Palm Reader
This is my second assignment for the Juliana Coles Book of the Night class.  I tried so many things in this piece.  I kind of prefer the pages as separates rather than a two page spread.  The photo of the fortune teller and the client and my Photoshopped portrait are two things I really like about the piece.  The heart above my head looks like a hat to me.  I don't think it does so much in the journal.  The Signo pens did not work too well as they diluted with the addition of matte varnish.  The white Sharpie worked so much better.  I like the texture that the black masking tape provided.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Moroccan Stencils

Yesterday I went to the Bellevue Art Museum to see the exhibition A World of Paper, A world of Fashion, Isabelle de Borchgrave Meets Mariano Fortuny.  I was enthralled.  The patterns on the paper fabrics and backgrounds for the paper dresses was absolutely unbelievably beautiful.  If I could have taken photos I would have.  Instead I am going to return to the museum with my sketchbook and colored pencils to catch the color choices for the "fabrics".  If you do not know Isabelle de Borchgrave, do a  Google search.  You will be rewarded.

My mind will not turn off since.  It was one of those exhibitions where one walks away with motivation and stimulation to create.  So today I researched Moroccan designs and found one that I liked and thought would be good to start.  In Photoshop I uploaded the tile design and duplicated it to create ......

 I then created the design below.

After most of the morning I had three stencils for my journal background
stencil (cut) #1

stencil (cut) #2

stencil (cut) #3
After using the three stencils I had the following background in my journal.  I really liked it and was pretty satisfied.  Then I tried little blue punch-outs in the center of each main design and WOW!

Here is the final background.....

The blue makes it pop even more.  Now the next issue is to somehow incorporate my design into my barn series.  Yes, Ingrid, this is coming to you next month.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Since posting the photos and information below, I have worked on my piece for the 'Night' class.  Here is today's work.  It has taken on a title as well, Survivor.  I added a portrait that I did last year or the year before entitled Navajo Woman.

I am taking a journaling class from Juliana Cole's called Book of the Night.  I am a bit behind but decided to document my process this morning.  There is more to go and I will show that in the next few days when I get it done and the holidays allow.

 I have taken classes from Juliana before and the process has been similar  in the steps up until reconciliation which is where I ended today.  We painted a light color on the spread and we added glossy and not so glossy magazine photos ripped or cut.

Then we wrote and wrote and wrote across the spread.

We added color using a device of choice that left sharp lines.  The words asked for were poetic in nature, but mine come from an NY Times article

I added a step in the reconciliation part because my inner voice told me to sand and paint using a baby wipe dipped in liquid acrylic.

I tore paper off during the reconciliation process and add more color after the decollage process.

I added line using a white Signo pen and finally...

I added white writing.....I have not read ahead but I think this will be covered with paint.  We shall see.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Syd and Blue #3

Syd and Blue #3
Syd and Blue #3 is the cover of the signature that I just finished and will put in the mail to Sweden to my friend, Ingrid, but will return to me once Ingrid's spreads are complete.  As you can see the word BARN is spelled out in letters which came from puzzle pieces that I got at a flea market.  The barn photo was taken not far from the Stillaguamish river north of Everett, Washington.  The fabric lines are leftovers from my friend, Maggie, who lives on Orcas Island

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Syd and Blue #2

Syd and Blue Barn

Syd and Blue #2

Syd and Blue #2 is almost ready for a transatlantic flight to Sweden.  Within the signature the barn doors open to reveal Syd and Blue #2.  As you can see when closed, S and B are totally hidden from view.

I collaged Syd differently than Syd and Blue #1 and the background is similar and yet different.  I added the stenciled fleur de lis pattern.  I also tried a new stamp from the foam where one can leave impressions.  I taped toothpicks together and impressed them into the foam to make the grass.  This piece has been sitting around just waiting for today to be complete.  A good night's sleep and a sleeping brain solved the issues and within a short couple of hours I was able to complete it.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Barn on the Plains

Barn on the Plains
This piece has been waiting and waiting and waiting to be completed.  This morning while looking for a brownie recipe in one of my mother's women's magazines I found the barn and silo.  Within minutes it was cut out and adhered to the waiting background.

This past week during my workshop at the Orcas Senior Center I was given a baggie full of narrow fabric scraps by one of the participants, Maggie.  The fabric lines that you see sure came in handy.  Once the pieces fell into place this spread came to a quick closure.

It is a windy day on this farm and the dust is arising!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Elephant Walk

Elephant Walk
In this piece I experimented a great deal.  First, I used bleeding tissue paper in the background and I sanded gesso.  I used ink sprays to add color and I wiped color away.  I really like the muted colors that resulted.  I added some polka dot fabric that came in the mail with something I ordered online.  Jane Davies had a video on using hot glue to make stencils.  So after I tried the process I had colored stencils which I cut up to use as collage material.  I added mica over some of the hot glue stencils.  I also learned how to use "replace color" in Photoshop as I wanted the baby elephant to be more in color line to the adults.  Let's go to Africa!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Monkey See

Monkey See
Monkey See is the cover for my second signature in a journal that will have three signatures.....one completed this summer in Orly Avineri's workshop on Whidbey Island; an RR journal making the rounds; and this signature that is almost completed.

The light is a bit dark on this scan.  When the signature is closed and bound the monkeys will no longer be together.  The one on the right will be the front monkey.

A student of mine gave me a napkin with peacock feathers on it which finished this spread.  I am kind of excited to complete this journal as I know how the cover will be finished.  I found some plywood strips...veneer....on the beach during the Whidbey Island class which will be perfect and a remembrance of one very cool and foggy excursion with the class one afternoon.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Cloth Journals

If you have not taken a Mary Ann Moss online class you are missing out on a hoot of a time.   Please visit her blog and check out her classes if you are interested..... http://dispatchfromla.typepad.com/

I have a bunch of fabric scraps from my 95 year old mother who is a quilter.  I sewed the scraps a la MAM and now I am three journals done.  Too much fun!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Syd and Blue 2

Syd and Blue 2
I have been out of touch with this blog for a couple of weeks, not because I haven't done any art,  I have, but I have been working testing first graders for the Everett SD gifted program.  I tested about 550 students and working full time for those eight days did me in.  I also caught a cold.  I have been away from school germs for awhile now and being back around them....well  I caught what is going around.

Several months ago I did my first Syd and Blue piece.  I have a strong attachment to this horse and bird. Several people have suggested that a children's book could evolve from the horse and bird relationship. Perhaps?  I did try something new for the final finish.  An art friend told me about Dorland's Wax Medium. It is mainly for oil painting but I thought I would give it a try to see how it works with mixed media.  I am hopeful that it will solve the problem of signature pages sticking together.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Altered Book

Two weeks ago I started taking an altered book class in Edmonds with the instructor Mary Peterson.  What a fun class it is!  We were asked to bring a book to class that was at least 300 pages.  Mine was an old school dictionary.  At the first class we cut out about 1/3 of the pages in the book and we used glue sticks to glue together the remaining pages one page after another in groups of five.  We left a huge section in the back of the book where our niches will go.  It took almost two and one-half hours to cut out pages and glue the remaining pages.

I have been on a Renaissance kick lately and so I decided to create an altered book with a Renaissance theme.  I made preliminary drawings of what I wanted and then began the cutouts for the first page which was painted.  Ivy was added.

 The second page was an inkjet transfer and cutouts were made to match the outline of the woman.

I had found a great photo of the cathedral in Florence which I added to the third page.  The background is a CitraSolv paper which was lightly sanded.  It looks like lightning is striking.

Here is the fourth page and you can see the cutouts easily.  I have a Tuscan house for this page.

Here it is standing up.

The back of the book is where the niches will go.  I first used gel medium on the three ends of the remaining book.  It glues all the pages together.  When dry I used an X-acto knife to cut out all three niches.  This took an enormous amount of time.  Altoid cans will go in two of the holes and the third (round) hole will get a mint container.

This is a huge long term project.  I will share the results in a few months, not weeks.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Playing with Resin

Sunday I was invited to an art party at Amy Duncan's house.  Amy was having a give-away of art supplies and books that she did not want anymore.  I scored big time and brought home a cardboard box full of treasures.

After my shopping spree Amy shared her experience with creating collage assemblages in jar caps.  The cap that I selected was from a Maille mayonnaise jar.  Amy has a wealth and I mean a wealth of assemblage ephemera to choose from and so we began.  Once the ephemera was in place we poured resin over what we had created.  Here is my first attempt at this process.  It was great fun!  I am thinking it would be a perfect way to create ornaments for a Christmas tree.

It is well worth it to go to Amy's blog for some exploration into her art world..... http://fourcornersdesign.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 11, 2013

Coyote and Crow

Coyote and Crow
In October 2012 my partner and I made a 7,000 mile journey throughout the southwest.  While in New Mexico we experienced some of the most beautiful countryside of our trip.  The background of Coyote and Crow is the landscape to the west of Taos between the mountains and the Rio Grande River.  The land looks flat but it is anything but.  There are gullies and a gradual slope to the land as you head out of the mountains heading east where you encounter more mountains near Taos. 

With that said, upon our return home, I discovered the art of Holly Roberts.... http://hollyrobertsonepaintingatatime.blogspot.co.uk/ .  Holly lives in New Mexico and collages using her own photographs.  The writing that accompanies each piece that she uploads to her blog is about life that she has experienced mostly in New Mexico.  Holly's tales of life captivate me each week. (I like her politics as well.)

I love how Holly uses poured acrylic paint so effectively in her mixed-media pieces.  For months I have been trying to master this poured paint technique.  Last week thanks to Jane Davies and a reminder on her blog about a book, Rethinking Acrylic by Patti Brady, I discovered how to pour acrylic paint effectively.  It is difficult to see in the scan of Coyote and Crow, but I used fluid matte medium and transparent acrylic paint which allows much of the background to be seen through the paint.  A big thank you to both Holly and Jane for the inspiration for this piece.  Holly has a wonderful coyote piece which you may view at.... http://hollyrobertsonepaintingatatime.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/coyote-with-thistles-2012.html

Sunday, November 10, 2013

One more November ATC

I found the last November ATC.  This is it. No more for this month, I promise. 


Friday, November 8, 2013

Crow Trio

Crow Trio
This piece which is in a signature that I am working on evolved over the week.  This signature and one that I completed in Orly Avineri's class during the summer will be bound with an RR signature in January to create a three signature journal. 

I started with paint and crackle paint.  Then I went to some shiny transparent cloth that came in a box of supplies ordered online.  I tried out a technique using an oiler boiler that Jane Davies demonstrated on her blog.  I stenciled gesso "flowers" and then painted them.  I hated the painted flowers so I glazed the whole background and solved the "hate" problem.  Finally I added the crows.  These crows obviously have a mission.  I love the way they are either bent forward heading toward something or watching something very intensely.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Mixed Media Artist - Step-By-Step-Old and New Friends Meet

Today on Seth Apter's blog the fourteen gallery artists from section three of The Mixed-Media Artist, Seth's latest book, are being introduced.  I have three pieces in this book and I thought it would be fun to show you the steps that I took to create Old and New Friends Meet, the piece that I created for the book.  The prompt for Friends was Imaginary Worlds.  I am so very pleased to have been asked to be included in Seth's book.  If you have not seen it yet, it is a treat!  Thanks Seth for asking me to contribute.

I used matte medium to adhere pieces of newspaper to the substrate in the first step.  Then I brayered a layer of gesso over the substrate.
step 1
In step 2, I added paint using rainbow colors.  As you can see texture is now coming through from step 1.
step 2
Since I was honoring four great 20th century artists I wanted to give a flavor of their work in my piece.  I create gel skins transfers using gloss gel medium.
step 3
After four gloss gel medium coats and once the skin is dry, I submerged the skin in water to wet the paper fibers.
step 4

 In step 5 the rubbing off of the paper fibers begins.
step 5
Step 6 is a completed gel skin for the background.  I completed several different gel skins to represent four artists' work: Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Keith Haring and Andy Warhol.

step 6
 In step 7, I adhered the gel skins to the painted background.
step 7
 Another layer of gesso was added to the work in step 8.
step 8

I added a glaze over the gessoed layer and then added the decapitated bodies of Rauschenberg, Johns, Haring, and Warhol.
step 9
Because Donatello, Caravaggio, Michelangelo and da Vinci are using time travel to visit the 20th century artists their heads were added to the bodies of the other artists.  Finally, I sprayed slide covers with a black gloss and attached the covers to the artists.
step 10