Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Full Life

I'm feeling especially thankful today for the full life that I have ~ full of wonderful people, many of whom I may never meet in person, full of creativity, full of good health, full of peace and tranquility.

In addition to continuing on with my recent creative pursuits ~ painting and collage ~ I am taking an online class called The Thread That Weaves from Roxanne Stout.  I'll be making an artist book, trying to bring together in one place the elements that run through my art/my life.  Knowing me, there will likely be two or more artist books here ~ how can I possibly get all the pieces of my art/my life in one book.

I also just joined Teesha and Tracy Moore's new adventure, The Artstronauts Club.  Membership includes full access to daily-weekly-monthly goodies such as printables, tutorials, inspiration, articles and more.

I am more than amply blessed with time, and that would be quality time to do my own thing.  Despite aging, as we all are, I have never felt this sense of freedom at any other time in my life.  In many ways I feel I am growing younger, because my early life was so difficult and I missed the good parts of childhood and adolescence.

I have been blessed with good health.  And the older I get, the less I take that for granted.

I am solo in life ~ on my own with no family relations.  The older I get, the more of a blessing that becomes.  This is the first Thanksgiving that I can honestly say I haven't had even a twinge of feeling left out or alone.  I'm rocking my life on my own and I love it.

The torii gate in the collage above symbolically represents the transition between the material, profane world and the spiritual, sacred life.  Often, I feel that I live in that place.  Eternally grateful.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Early Cruciform

This is one of the first paintings I did for the cruciform lesson in Jane's class.  Although it didn't totally meet the requirements of the project, I liked it then, and I still do.  This is 8 x 11 inches on watercolor paper.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pattern and Line

Pattern and line painting from a couple weeks ago ~ 11 x 11 inches on watercolor paper.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Behind the Scenes

The first image is one of the atmospheric backgrounds I worked on last week.  I liked is so much just the way it is that I decided not to build a composition over it.  Rather, to save it for reference.  I might do a few more similar pieces to build my comfort level with this set of techniques.

These two are monoprints, pulled from the initial layers of backgrounds I did last week.  One of the techniques we learned is to brush paint onto a substrate, then lift some of it off with drawing paper.  The image just above is one sheet of paper that I used multiple times to lift paint off substrates.
So, now I have more backgrounds for collage or other work.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


The last lesson in Jane Davies' Dynamic Composition is about creating atmosphere, or depth.  It's not terrifically different from earlier lessons where we layered numerous elements in a painting...except that perhaps there's more of a conscious intention here to create depth, by more layering in the background before adding foreground elements.

I've been meaning to say a few words about leaving comments here on the blog.  I love your comments, and I always try to respond when anyone asks a question of me.  If you do comment, you know I reply to you by email, instead of replying on the blog itself in the comments section.  The thing is, often your comments come to my email from "soandso at noreply dot blogspot dot com," which means if I do email you back, my reply ends up lost in cyberspace.  For those of you who are friends, who I have regular email contact with, I'll make sure my reply goes to your real email address.  But for newbies here, or people who don't comment regularly, unless you've got a Blogger/Google account with a valid email, then I can't respond to you.

All that to say, this week I changed the settings on the comments section here to specify that anyone with a Google account can comment.  Nearly everyone has a Google account, so if you leave a comment and sign in with your Google account, then the comment should come to me from your email account -- at least I think that's how it should work.  Previously I had comments set to Registered Users Only, but I'm not even sure what that means.

Another thing about commenting, very occasionally someone will tell me they simply cannot leave a comment on the blog.  My investigations into this in the past have indicated that usually the commenter is using a Mac rather than a PC platform.  I don't know how or why that happens, since I'm not a Mac user, and it obviously doesn't happen for everyone because I know a lot of you guys are die-hard Mac users. 

Anyhow, if that ever happens to you and you find you can't leave a comment the regular way, there's always a link on my side bar for you to email me directly.  It says to email me if you want to subscribe by email, but it's just an email link, so say whatever you want if you use that to comment on a blog post.

Okay ~ have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Landscape with Line

This is one of the finished pieces I did for lesson 5's work with line.  The instruction was to introduce line into one of the compositional structures learned earlier in the class.  Collage and acrylics on watercolor paper, 9 x 12 inches.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Line Play

This week's lesson has been to play with lines.  These are four studies, just 5-1/2 inches square each.  The line in each piece is made with something different.  I love the color palette in these...I'm calling it Tequila Sunrise.  Above, the line is acrylic ink applied with a small piece of bamboo, 1/8 inch in diameter, homegrown to boot.

Here the line was made with a Sharpie Poster Paint pen, which I like because of its blackness, but I also don't like it because the line shatters when the nib goes over anything that's not perfectly smooth. 

Here the line was made with a purple Caran D'ache aquarelle pencil.

The last line was made with a Prismacolor Ebony jet black pencil.

I've already enrolled in Jane Davies' Extreme Composition online class, which will begin on Wednesday, January 8. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

More Pattern Play

Another piece from Lesson 4 of Dynamic Composition.  This one is 8 x 11 inches.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Stitched Photo Cards

I've been missing sewing paper, and I'd wanted more of these photo cards that I sometimes create.  So on Thursday I made a new batch.  I'd had the digital images already printed, for like four months already.  Each card has a digital image on it, in most cases images of surface designed fabric.  But two have images of CitraSolv'd National Geographic pages.

I originally started making these cards to tuck into the pockets of my shabby-style occasional journals.  The first ones had photos I took while out and about ~ but I don't get around much (by choice) so I started using photos of my work instead...handmade books, handmade fabrics and the like.  In all cases I'll start with the digital image and add other handmade or decorative papers, bits of text, etc. 

Then I stitch it all together on a backing that's heavy enough to send in the mail should I decide to do that. Which I sometimes do with the postcard-sized cards.  The narrower ones typically go into my journal pockets.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


These are four of the Blue Book printed page spreads that I did NOT collage over, and there are a few others.  About half the journal was printed and collaged, the other half just printed.  The method I used to print these was to scrape paint onto the gelliplate with a credit card, then lay the pages down on the plate and pull the print.

I like these just the way they are ~ no need to do anything further.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Postcards From the Edge

As I've been working on the pattern lesson for the last week, I've been making postcard-sized paintings as well as bigger pieces.  Here are three of the 4x6 inch pieces.

This week's lesson, just published this morning, is about line.  I already got started with line this past week, but there will be lots more to come.  Also more pattern paintings which I haven't finished off yet.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Venice on the Rocks

This spread is another of the art journal page spreads from the book below.  To refresh the collective memory, I gelliprinted all the pages a month or so ago.  And after printing I decided to collage on about half of the spreads...because I like the other printed pages enough to leave them as is.  I'll post the print-only spreads again in the next several days.
Primarily this was an experiment in printing pages after binding the book, without taking it apart to do so.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pattern Play

This week in Jane's class we've been focusing on playing with patterns on top of painted backgrounds.  These are my first two pieces, both 9 inches square.  This practice gets a little bit into drawing, which is good for me since "I don't draw."  All marks were made with either acrylic paint or various pens.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

More Cruciform

I painted a few more cruciform pieces early this week ~ these are the best two.  Today we move onto a new lesson.

My first couple of pieces for the cruciform lesson began with collages of magazine images.  Subsequently, though, I didn't like the them and covered over them with other paper.  I found that I vastly prefer to use hand painted papers for collage paintings than magazine photos.  Which is an interesting discovery for me since I use magazine images freely in other collage work.

I'm definitely putting to good use all those papers I printed a month or so ago.  A few of those have gone into my stash to digitally print for backgrounds, but most are being torn up and used.

Monday, November 4, 2013


This painting is the best of what I've done so far in this week's lesson of Dynamic Composition.  We're working with the cruciform structure.  This piece is 11 x 11 inches on watercolor paper.  I've done four pieces so far for this lesson, and plan to do a few more in the next day or two. 

This piece, though, meets all of Jane's criteria for success ~ different sized quadrants, cruciform that doesn't scream off the page, subtle transitions between cross and quadrants, subtle color variations in quadrants. Let's see if I can do something like this again.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

That Time of Year

Magic Carpet ~ 16x20 inches,
all handmade fabric,
now $145
(original price $295)

As I do every year at this time, I have a sale happening right now on my Sales Blog.  All art quilts are now available at Half Off (50% Off) their original prices, until the middle of this month.

All quilts come ready to hang -- they're either mounted on frames or panels, or have fabric sleeves and hanging slats included.

While you're there, check out my sweet-smelling lavender/rose petal sachets made from handmade fabrics (primarily).

And the Button Booklets, of course.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Journal's End

This is the last image from my just-completed art journal, Little Gems Too.  The completed book is just below.  This was my second art journal filled with Gelli offprint pages (60# drawing paper) that I then collaged on.  You might have noticed, or maybe not, that the last few pages/spreads became a lot simpler than what I was doing previously.  Rather than feeling as though I need to fill up the entire page with elements, whether originally printed or added later, I'm more interested now in using fewer images in more perhaps-ambiguous juxtaposition.

And these are the latest Button Booklets, listed this week in my Online Shop ~ I'd neglected to post a photo yesterday.  They're $10 each plus $3 each for worldwide shipping.