Monday, September 28, 2009

Altered book spread…

zipszip shut

This is the final installment in Sharon’s “4 letter word” themed book.  Hannah [my 10 year old granddaughter], left for home yesterday after spending 2 weeks with us.  During that time we spent a LOT of time sewing and having fun with my Pfaff creative 7570.  Since I was in the sewing mode I decided to install a zipper [on canvas, then glued to page] and embroidered a silly saying using 4 letter words on one side – “ZIPS SHUT, WILL HIDE NICE LACE FROM SOME”.  Inside I adhered some special green lace to the back page.  A bit of trim down the spine edge finished things off.  The lace is special because it is left over from my daughter Kim’s graduation dress…  the year that Sharon’s daughter Becca and Kim became friends. 

Working on this book has redeemed the term “4 letter words” for me.  There are lots of fun, lovely 4 letter words and it was fun working with them and looking at the other artists’ contributions.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Altered Book Spread - Reed

reed pageI have always thought reeds and marsh grasses very beautiful.  When I decided to use “reeds” for one of Sharon’s “4 Letter Words” I didn’t give the meaning much thought at first.  But, Matthew 12:20 holds special meaning for me:  “A bruised reed He will not break”. I decided to incorporate the scripture into the spread.  I used several layers of paint, collaged the words on and partially obscured them – a symbol of their hidden meaning and parable.  Lastly, I rolled black ink onto my reed stamp and stamped it across the bottom of the second page. 

Reeds were [and continue to be] used to make a variety of things ranging from musical instruments to baskets.  Reeds are very strong unless they have been bruised.  Typically, a workman that finds a bruised reed throws it aside as useless.  I find comfort in God’s enduring patience and steadfast belief in my usefulness.  He is my hope and He will not throw me aside.  How awesome is that?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More Four Letter Words…

reed stamp …and this time the word is REED.  For a while I have wanting to experiment again with carving stamps.  I was looking for some clipart that I could use but in the end I sketched directly on the carving block, stamped and adjusted until it is at the stage you see above.  I’ll be using this in the altered book and probably in other projects in the future. 

My Granddaughter Hannah [10] is here visiting for 2 weeks.  We’ve been pretty busy around here doing fun stuff.  After a trip to Michael’s we have been beading jewelry, you may see some of those on here soon.  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Artsy Birds – altered book 2 page spread

IMG_0193IMG_0194I’m puttering away at some final summer art stuff including finishing my spreads for the collaborative altered book project that has been ongoing since May.  I am working on Sharon’s book and the theme is Four Letter Words…  interesting!  There are so many to chose from but I settled on a few words for this spread.  Birds, blue, & love nest… 

I altered the right-hand page to emphasize the story of the artistic [eccentric?] Satin Bird from Australia.  To summarize, the male decorates his bower and often PAINTS the walls with blue berry juice…  all this to impress potential mates.  This passage interested me and used 4 letter words…  The most time consuming thing on this spread is the sliding “blind” over the stamped window which, when lifted, reveals a nest and eggs [also 4 letters!].  Fun!

Ciao for now!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

One Song, Many Singers [30”x22” watercolor]

music in my head

This is the second full sheet watercolor from last Saturday’s starts.  I think it is finished, but I may feel differently about it tomorrow.  I’m glad I pushed through this large format exercise.  I learned lots about paint volumes and water control on larger washes - the hard way, lol. Doing these two paintings dealt with the full sheet intimidation and I feel great about that. 

The start for this painting suggested figures, probably due to the colors I used.  I went with what it was suggesting to me by way of shapes and these music loving figures developed.  I hope you like them.  Have a great day!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Climbing Out – full sheet watercolor!!! [22”x30”]


I’m pretty happy with this considering it is my first full sheet watercolor painting.  Wow – I really struggled trying to pull this painting together! I used one of the starts I posted on Friday and jumped in with laying down some darker washes and applying texture materials [tinfoil, plastic, bubble wrap, mesh, etc].  What a mess! I dumped it into the bathtub for a soak and a hake scrub at one point yesterday – I was THAT frustrated with it. 

After I got rid of some of the disgusting mud I had created, I painted into the saturated paper with strong pigments and allowed the tall vertical lines to become trees [they would NOT be anything else].  It does bug me that the figure in the painting is smack dab in the middle but since he is fairly subtle I hope he’s not distracting too much from the effect of the misty, hazy trees around him.  Ciao!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Goals Review

It’s always interesting, if not encouraging, to look back on the goals I’ve set for myself for a period of time.  When summer started I knew I was going to be very busy [for me].  I was also quite cognizant of my need for some “do nothing” time.  Early 2009 was quite busy with some legal mumbo-jumbo and 2 painting classes.  I began the summer a bit run down.  Just the same I set myself two major goals for my art this summer:

  1. Seek FCA “active” status as a first step towards marketing my art.
  2. Paint a full-sheet [22”x30”] watercolor. 

So, how did I do?  Well, I assigned a time frame to the first goal – apply for change in status before leaving for vacation in Ontario July 16.  Early July I spent time selecting 10 paintings and writing an artist bio and setting up a webpage.  Done.  I had a letter from FCA head office that my application had been accepted in early August.  Mission accomplished!

As for the second goal I had done absolutely nothing until today  I am, for whatever reason, intimidated by a full sheet of watercolor paper – how crazy is that?  I’ve just set a new goal and taken some steps today to get this done before my class starts in early November.  I dug out two sheets of watercolor paper, wet them down, and dropped in fresh paints with a bit of water spray texture.  They drying right now.  I hope it will be easier to plan and execute a painting with this initial step behind me.  You’re about to find out via this blog.  Here are the two “starts”…IMG_0181 IMG_0178 Let’s see where these take us…. 

Friday, September 4, 2009

Summer Reflections [10”wx14”h, watercolor]


This is the second watercolor from yesterday’s paint out in Carburn Park.  The reflections were like a mirror in the early afternoon hush.  Sheila and I painted in silence – soaking up all the summer we could.  I’m off to enjoy this beautiful  day with my two furry friends in the off-leash park.  Enjoy your afternoon!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Carburn Park plein air watercolor, 11”x8”

bow fisherI’m amazed every time I go out painting in one of our Calgary city parks.  Yesterday I painted at Carburn Park in Riverside.  It was the first I’d visited there and the beautiful weather combined with the park was really spectacular.  What a great day to paint outside!!!  We were there by 9:30 and I set up my painting gear on the sturdy handrail of a little bridge with this view.  Well, more or less.  I’ll be adjusting the shape in the bottom left corner at some point as I find it quite distracting to the point of the painting – the fisherman.  I imagine he enjoyed the morning as much as I did.  Cheers!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Radiant Inside & Out [acrylic 7.5”x11”]


I digitally reworked [see below] one of the lily pencil drawing from August 30 and transferred it to a lightly painted/textured watercolor paper.  Then I just played…  I wasn’t looking at the lily or any floral shapes I just responded to what I was seeing on the page.  It looks a bit like the flowers are radiant inside the house, the sunset outside the house.  It just has a glowy look.  I need a bit of help on that vase though – I’ll tackle it another day. Ciao!

Sketch reworked in Photoshop Elements 5.0:

lily (2) copy

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Well Red, If I Were You… [Altered book 2-page spread]


Here we see what little Miss Red Riding-Hood [on the right] should have done – ask a tree for advice…  The beautiful poem on the left is “Advice From a Tree” by Ilan Shamir.  This poem brings to mind a verse: Ephesian 3:17 “May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love.”  What a great word picture!  Enjoy!