Tuesday, July 30, 2013

First Real Painting

My first "real" painting, completed yesterday.  Golden fluid acrylics on stretched canvas, 14 x 11 inches.  I loved the process, and I'm also enamored of the finished piece.  I've been working on small paint/collage pieces regularly now, as in every day

I'm working with Chris Cozen/Jan Pritchard's Acrylic Solutions.  Also with Serena Barton's Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop, which I just got last week. 

I'm excited to be painting.  It's something I've wanted to do for years.  In September I'm taking Making Color Sing, an acrylics workshop taught by my pal (and uber painter) Joan Gold at Eureka Studio Arts.  Really looking forward to that.

Friday, July 26, 2013

In The Mood

Older readers will remember books of this genre that we learned to read from in grammar school.  Who could forget Dick and Jane?  Months ago I gutted this thing, covered the spine with shiboried fabric, and relined the interior with hand painted end papers.  I'd also torn the watercolor paper pages then as well.

In a slot of time between other projects on Wednesday, I was in a mood to bind a book ~ so I did, using a Long Stitch variation.  The book is 7 x 5-3/4 inches and sports six signatures of watercolor paper with two folios each.  I have no idea at the moment what I'll use it for.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Book News

On Saturday, August 10, I'll be teaching an ALTERED BOOK/RECYCLED JOURNAL workshop for NorBAG, my local book arts guild.  The six-hour workshop will cover deconstructing a old book, renovating the spine, building signatures with unusual papers and sizes, and binding the new journal with the Diamond X stitch.

If you're local to me, i.e. in Humboldt County or close, and you'd like to take the workshop, you'll need to join NorBAG (just $15 a year) in order to do so.  The workshop itself is $45.  Contact me for more information.

Also happening in Humboldt, many of my handmade journals are now on display at the Eureka Main Branch of the Humboldt County Library, in the NorBAG kiosk.  The display will be up through mid-September or thereabouts.  If you're in Humboldt, or traveling through over the next couple months, I hope you'll get a chance to see them.  Library hours are:  Tuesday 12 - 5pm; Wednesday 12 - 9pm; and Thursday - Saturday 10am - 5pm.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Collage Painting

This is my 3rd finished collage painting inspired by Jane Davies' Scribble Collage DVD.  Jane is also teaching this at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY in September, if you're lucky enough to be there.

Every time I finish one of these paintings I feel more confident about moving forward in this direction.  I plan to start working soon with Acrylic Solutions, a terrific book I bought a few months ago, focusing on acrylics in mixed media.  I just started following Chris Cozen, one of the authors, on Facebook, so I've been getting daily doses of inspiration from her, as well.  But...I continue to take it slowly.

I listed new Button Booklets in my Online Shop yesterday -- the earlier ones sold out.  The booklets are 5-1/2 x 4 inches, perfect for slipping in your purse or pocket.  Constructed of Gelli-plate printed watercolor paper with a 1/4-inch spine, each pamphlet-stitched booklet contains 7 folios (28 pages) of fine drawing paper and has a handsewn button and cord closure.

Mixed Media Button Booklets
Also wonderful as gifts, the Button Booklets are $10 each plus $3 to ship anywhere in the world.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Suddenly Addicted

Just a few weeks ago I thought it might be cool to use a fountain pen again ~ and now I've got five. 

Initially I used fountain pens in high school, when I learned shorthand.  Yes, younger readers, when I was in high school they taught things like shorthand to girls like me who were planning to work right after they graduated.  Those were the days when dictaphone machines were only just becoming cutting-edge technology.  Dated...I know.

Subsequently I went to college/university and my jobs never required that I use shorthand.  I gave up on fountain pens when I couldn't take class notes fast enough with them.  I might have used shorthand in class, but never considered that as an option at the time.

My latest interest in fountain pens was sparked by one of my penpals (Gini from Virginia) who writes consistently with fountain pen and has the most beautiful collection of ink colors I've seen.  She also turned me on to the Fountain Pen Network, of which I might be the newest member.  Heck, why not?!

Anywho...with the exception of the white pen on the far left, which was a recent gift, the rest of these were quite inexpensive, so I'm trying different pens to see which work best for me (also to have options?).  Actually these all write well.  The transparent barrel ones are all Pilot models, purchased from JetPens.  The ink and cartridges are from there as well.

So...something new to be into, new stuff to find a place to house in my studio, and so it goes.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Going and Coming

Been sending a lot of mail art these days...four photos of what I've shipped off in the last week alone.

In some instances I've been using a few of the hand cut stamps I made several years ago ~ and I may be carving a few more soon, possibly.  But I'm loving the rubber stamps I've added to my collection recently, and there's definitely more of these on the way.

Favorite rubber stamp places currently are StampFrancisco and CatsLifePress.

I've been buying postage stamps from USPS online.  There are so many more stamps to choose from than we get at the Fortuna Post Office.  As an added bonus, stamps purchased online come in cellophane bags with chipboard so the stamps don't bend.  The chipboard can be recycled into postcards, which you'll see in a couple of these photos -- they're the gray ones.  Frankly, I think USPS uses too much packaging -- like they could combine several small quantities of stamps in one plastic sleeve with board -- but I'm always glad to get stuff that can be recycled into art.

I received a package from a friend recently where she'd used a bunch of individual stamps instead of having it posted at the P.O.  It was so cool that I cut out the piece of the box with the stamps on one side, addressed and wrote on the other side, and dropped it in the mail.  See that in the photo below.

Here's an old envelope I recycled, from before we used Zip Codes.  I'm thinking it's from the 1930s or 40s.

The last photo is a package of fabulous goodies I received from online pal Susan Christensen.   Sus is a mixed media and textile artist whose work I adore.  This package of handmade treats from her was a wonderful gift.  Thanks, Sus!

I'll post photos of other recently received mail art soon ~ I'm in the process of reorganizing incoming mail.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Cards and Letters

I've been making new postcards (above) and envelopes (below) for mail art.  Some of the new postcards are collaged with magazine photos, some are pieces of my earlier collages that I've been recycling in one way or another. 

I've been on a kick lately to recycle various papers into envelopes of different sizes and shapes.  There are numerous envelope templates available online, and originally I was cutting and gluing paper into more standard-sized envelopes.  But recently I dispensed with the templates and am merely stitching up the sides and bottoms of different papers, leaving a thin strip to fold over on one end.

In the photo above I've got old atlas pages, new washi paper from Meg in NZ/Japan, and very old (over 20 years) papers used to wrap flowers up in.

In this photo I've got a Starbuck's bag and a sleeve for their Via instant coffee packets, two pieces of a map, the covers on a vintage bridge scoring pad, and two big Frida postcards that I backed with other papers before stitching up.  I especially love this method of envelope making because it uses less paper than the templates do, plus I don't have to cut the paper before stitching.  And nearly anything can be used to make an envelope.  In fact, I sent a piece of mail recently in a little bubble-wrap envelope I'd received from elsewhere.

San Francisco mail art pal Pamela Gerard has a tutorial today as well at Mail Me Some Art.  Pamela uses the fold and tape method to produce envelopes with the really cool papers she has access to in the Bay Area -- stuff it's virtually impossible for me to find here in the hinterlands.