Thursday, October 31, 2013

Caught Up

I got caught up on my Dynamic Comp classwork over the last couple days.  These are the best two of four small paintings I did for Lesson 2, which was to create abstract landscapes.  These pieces are 9 x 9 inches on watercolor paper.

I listed five new button booklets in my Online Shop yesterday, so with three from the prior batch, there are eight available.  $10 each plus $3 each worldwide shipping. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Discover the Unexpected

Well, getting sick was certainly unexpected ~ although it often happens for me this time of year.  Anywho, it's a week later now and I'm just beginning to think I can make some art again.

These posts will transition late this week into a few collages from my recent Blue Book.  I'm still thinking about what comes after that, art journal-wise.

I am anxious to get back to work in the Dynamic Comp class, especially now that I'm about a week behind.  But that's something else I love about online classes ~ the material is available forever, or nearly so, to work on at one's own pace.

And while we're on that subject, I just can't say enough good things about online classes.  They're a terrific value, I've always gotten more than my money's worth, there are no traveling/retreat expenses, the instruction is available for as long as you want/need it, you work at your own pace, and you work at it whenever you want to.  Perfect scenario in my book.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Path to Happiness

I took the last couple days off from most artmaking.  Spent the time instead reading, resting and doing little things if anything at all.  Planning to get back to things today, Lesson 2 of Jane Davies' Dynamic Comp class for one.

Plus the weather has been dreary ~ I haven't even been outside except to get the mail. 

Despite insisting yesterday that I wasn't sick or coming down with something, today I feel as though I might be.  We'll see as the day unfolds.

Meaning, I may or may not get back to creative things after all, at least not for another few days.  So be it. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Color and Shape

Week 1 of Jane Davies' Dynamic Composition class has been focused on color and shape studies.  These are just three of my pieces.  The first two are 11 inches square, the last 9 inches square.  I'm learning quite a bit -- the class has already paid for itself for me, plus there are five lessons left.

You're looking at them in the order in which they were completed.  I like the blues best myself.  I've found out that I don't like tints (whitening) of all the colors, especially reds and greens.  An interesting realization, but I think I already knew this, just never articulated it before now.  But then color, I suppose, is as subjective as everything else in art.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blue Book

Not long ago, I bound watercolor paper into an altered children's book, one of those grade school primers.  The cover was originally blue (still is), I used blue/purple shiboried fabric on the spine, and covered the inside covers with blue/purple painted paper.  So my intention from the get-go was to paint the pages in blues and purples ~ and that's what I did a couple days ago.

Actually, all the pages are Gelli printed.  This was an experiment in Gelli printing on a handmade journal without taking the pages out first.  The pages here are 7-1/2 by 5-1/2 inches (spreads are 11 inches wide).  Mostly I used my method of scraping paint on the plate first and printing off that by simply turning the book over onto the plate and burnishing with my hands.

I like this technique quite a bit.  Some of the pages have more diffuse patterns largely because of the paper I used -- it is 140# cold press watercolor paper from Blick/Fabriano (way different from just Fabriano).  I remembered when I printed that these were my last pieces of this paper, that I won't use it again.  It has too much sizing in it, and the cold press is really textured.  Which is fine for some things, but not to collage on in art journals.  I've since moved to better paper and hot press for the smoothest texture.

What you're seeing here are some of the best printed pages, which I'll most likely leave as is.  The more diffuse spreads are being collaged on, virtually as we speak.

Jane Davies' Dynamic Composition online class started today -- I've downloaded my first lesson already -- so I'll probably be focusing on painting for the next couple months.  With my usual other creative activities on the side ~ collage, art journaling, and mail art.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Limits of Practicality

I tinkered around over the weekend with some of those papers I printed recently via Gelli plate or direct to paper.

I always photograph my paper prints, as I did with surface designed fabric, for my archive as well as to post online.  I admit to having an older digital camera, which means I always need to do some amount of Photoshopping to get the images to look like (or slightly better than) the original printed paper.

My computer and my printer have never been color calibrated, and that's not something I ever intend to do.  Which is to say that the printed digital image never looks just like the original ~ it always looks tweaked, because it is.  And often that's just fine, but I'm less happy with that result in this case.

The first image here is collage on a digitized image of printed paper.  Note: I don't have a religious bone in my body ~ I just like these magazine images together.

I also fooled around with manipulating a digital image of one of the printed papers, tweaking different settings in Photoshop in an effort to digitally recreate the original.  Too much effort, too many sheets of photo paper, too much ink use later, and I wasn't charmed by the result here either.

Finally I just put sheets of printed paper right on my scanner bed and color copied them.  The second and third collages are on color copies of original printed paper.  This was/is a perfect solution for me, the color is right on, the visual texture of the original is all there.  So this is what I'll do in future when I don't want to use up the original paper.  Also, I'll likely go back to using smaller sheets of blank paper to print on, because I'm limited to my letter-sized scanner bed.  No problem.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Start With The Best

I've been Gelli printing this week.   These are just a few images of the many papers I printed.  My goal throughout has been to create papers to use for backgrounds for other work, and my working parameters were few ~ Gelli plate, paper, paint, brayer and scraper (old credit card).  No stencils or other mark making tools.  And I've been using my 12 x 14 inch plate (the really big one).

The first two images above ~ the prints were made by rolling paint out with a brayer on palette paper and then rolling it onto the plate, then pulling the print off the plate with paper.  Kind of like brayering directly onto the paper, but using the plate as an intermediary.  For the print directly above, I inked and printed twice with black paint, then twice with burnt sienna.  The print at the very top was pulled after I painted titan buff over the plate following the earlier printing off.  This was late in the day, too, so there was a lot of residual paint left on the plate from prints pulled throughout the session.

These next two images are prints made by scraping paint directly on the plate and then pulling off the print with paper.  I love this -- look at all that residual color from earlier prints.  You don't get that when you scrape paint directly onto paper.

The last images are prints made following Carla Sonheim's method of Gelli printing, again with only plate, paint, paper, brayer and water.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

We've Got Mail

Lots of mail in and out these days.  First two images are my outgoing today and a few days ago.  As for today's outgoing haul, I now don't owe mail art to a soul -- until more comes in.

These two images are recent incoming.  In the photo below, that book at top left is a traveling mail art project I received from a pal in San Jose, CA who'd received it from Austin, TX who'd received it from the originator in Greece.  I filled in a few pages and will send it off today to a mail art friend in Medford, OR.  Eventually it'll make its way back to Greece...along with 9 other books that the originator put in the international mail last summer.  What a cool project.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thursday's Paper

 More paper painting yesterday.  The first image is the only piece I scrape painted.  The rest were brayer painted with a 4 inch brayer.  Conventional wisdom says to make sure the brayer surface is consistently coated with paint.  Of course, my druthers say to toss out conventional wisdom as often as possible, to get those unusual blobby areas.

 The last piece, below, is most interesting and might be a favorite.  First I used the sheet to blot leftover paint on my palette paper pad, paint that had been rolled out to print the sheet of paper above.  Then I added water to the palette paper, ala Carla Sonheim's Gelli printing technique, swished the water around on the palette paper with my brayer, then brayered that onto the waiting sheet of paper.  I kept adding water as I picked up a bit more black paint from the palette paper.

I'm keen to try this new technique with color.