Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Lost Civilizations" 12x12 Mixed Media Collage

I originally used this canvas to create a collage of Cleopatra for a two woman artist show entitled "Femme Fatale" a few years back. After the exhibit, I became less than enamored with the image and I covered it over and started to rework a new design, which I then abandoned. I happened to rediscover this canvas just last week and I've been playing around with it again.

If you look carefully, you can just make out the image of Cleopatra's profile and some Egyptian hieroglyphics peaking out from the more contemporary design of levers and gears; hence the name of the piece.

Side View 
Other Side View

"Cosmic Butterfly" 4x4 Mixed Media Collage

Top View
 Another little 4x4 that can either be hung on a wall or set on a shelf.

Side View

Sketchbook 08.30.11

I love tearing up old atlases to use in my collages. It's almost like creating new worlds!
I had the rare opportunity to work in both my regular sketchbook and my Belgium textbook sketchbook today. The paper in the antique textbook is very fragile, but I was delighted to discover that it can handle a light watercolor wash. I'm looking forward to making more marks in this book.

Drawing in a textbook is akin to a forbidden thrill!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Taking It One Step Further

Back in my studio again today, I was working from my new studio sketchbook/notebook and found myself searching for a bookmark to mark my place. That gave me the idea to make a beaded bookmark that is tied to the spiral binding so in addition to keeping your place, you never lose your bookmark either.

So, I've decided that all the sketchbooks whose covers I'm going to decorate will also come with a beaded bookmark.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Calm Before The Storm

I had so much fun with the book cover I created the other day that I decided I need a new studio book for keeping notes and quick sketches in my studio. My current book is just too big and awkward and difficult to take with me should I decide I want a notebook outside the studio, too. So, I went to Michael's this week where they're having a buy one, get one for a penny sale on canvases and Strathmore art pads. 

I decided upon a 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 spiral bound sketchbook and bought one for $7.99, and a second one for 1 cent. They are 100 pages each so I felt this was a good deal.

Yesterday I created the cover you see above. I just love it! It makes for a great looking book and I decided that this might make a great gift idea and I decided to make a bunch to sell at the TAGG Holiday Gift Show and Open House in November. (Details on that to follow.)  So I went back to Michael's and bought 6 more. I can't wait to get started on them.

This is what it looked like before I created the new cover.
This will be my last post before we evacuate to get out of Irene's way. I sure hope that when I return I have a home and a studio to come back to with a minimal amount of damage.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Key To My Heart" 4x4 Mixed Media Collage

Every once in a great while I make a little piece that's almost a piece of me and very hard for me to part with. This is one of those. On the other hand, if someone wants to buy it, I'm not going to stop them!

Sketchbook Page for 08.23.11

I just felt like doing something completely different today. No collaging involved!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Just For Me!

You may or may not remember that last February I was in Savannah and I picked up an old Belgium textbook from The Paris Market. I was taken by the display of them on the stairway, and I think what attracted me the most was the fact that they were all recovered in plain cardboard. It was obvious to me that this was not the original cover on the books, but their clean, sameness attracted me nonetheless.  The one I chose was covered in the same plain cardboard, but still had a leather binding. That's just an irresistible combination for me.

However, although I loved the plainness of the cardboard cover, I still felt compelled to do something about it. I guess it called out to me in much the same way a blank canvas would.

In the six months that I've owned this little book, I've done nothing with it. It is my intention to actually do sketching in it; right over the Flemish words. I know that I can't collage in it as it will break the spine. But, since I've been spending more and more time in my studio, I'm chomping at the bit to do something with this little book and have fun. So the first thing I've done is decorate the front cover. I felt compelled to do that today. Although I've accomplished quite a lot in my studio today, this is a project that I've actually  finished and I just love it. Mostly because, it's just for me!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"Butterflies on Yellow" - 12x12 - Mixed Media Collage

This piece has taken me forever to finish. Mostly because, I haven't really liked it since the process began. I started off by painting the canvas in shades of bright red and orange and gluing red and orange pieces of scrap papers to it and then toning the whole thing down with lace paper. But I just didn't like it. 

Then I went through more color changes via paint and paper.  I added more scrap papers and ended up painting over them. Then I added lace papers until I felt a little happier and I repainted the outside edges of the canvas in yellow oxide to tone down the existing color (whatever that was at the time). 

Next I added the butterflies and fossil leaves, followed by the little butterflies and the "bubbles". The butterflies and bubbles are all from 90 pound watercolor paper with Bomomo designs printed on them. Then I decided I wasn't too keen on that. The inks smear slightly when the varnish is applied and I thought the color was garish. I detailed their little bodies by using extra coarse pumice gel tinted with metallic paints and adding antennae with black fabric paint. I started to like it a little better. But, so many times I came very close to pouring a pint bottle of black gesso over the whole thing. (OK, that's a slight exaggeration, it was only 237 ml.) 

Finally, yesterday, I added the finishing touches by outlining the butterflies in gold metallic fabric paint and then gave the whole piece my signature splatter of gold acrylic wash. And suddenly I realized I could live with it. It's a little too girly for my taste, but I can envision someone else liking it. 

So, there you have it! A painting with a story, although not an exciting one. :/

Sketchbook Diptych

Yesterday's sketchbook page was a companion piece to the page next to it, so I've photographed them both together. The bottom layer of paper on each is from a map of New Zealand taken from an old atlas dated 1963. The paper is wonderfully yellowed, but in good shape for tearing and pasting. I love using maps in collages.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Domestic Goddess" - Digital Collage

I offer this evening's creation with my apologies to Sandro Botticelli.

I've more or less taken off the last couple of days to catch up with old friends and visit favorite haunts. But I was able to get into the studio to do some minor creating. Here is today's sketchbook page:

And here is a birthday card I made for my nephew today. Unfortunately his birthday was yesterday, but I hope he'll forgive me for being late.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"Flotsam" - 4x4 - Mixed Media Collage

The Artsy Girls Guild meeting last night was very productive in terms of making plans for our upcoming holiday gift show and open house. We'll be making a general announcement soon!

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Potted Plants" - Digital Collage

Despite my busy day, I found a little time this evening to pull together this new digital collage. So all is not a complete loss!

New Sketchbook

Today was filled with paperwork, doctor's appointments and website glitches, but I just had to make time to break in my new sketchbook. It's not the great Rives BFK paper that I had the last time, but it is spiral bound so this time I won't break the spine. 

New beginnings are always exciting!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Sea Sample 5" - Mixed Media Collage - 4x4

This is on a chunky little canvas, about 1 1/2" in depth. So, it's perfect for setting on a shelf as well as hanging on a wall.

Before anyone asks, Sea Samples 1 & 2 have found new homes and are presumably leading happy lives. Sea Samples 3 & 4 are for sale at Maureen's Gallery in Exton, PA. Each is offered at $40.

"Sea Sample 3" - Collage - 4x4

"Sea Sample 4" - Collage - 4x4

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Shaggy Dog Story

"Gingham Dog & Calico Cat" - Digital Collage
Does anyone remember "The Duel" by Eugene Field? It's always been one of my childhood favorites and I've always wanted to illustrate it. 

The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
T'was half past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t'other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat
(I wasn't there; I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)
The gingham dog went "Bow-wow-wow!"
And the calico cat replied "Mee-ow!"
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
While the old Dutch clock in the chimney-place
Up with its hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
(Now mind: I'm only telling you
What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)
The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed, "Oh, dear! what shall we do!"
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
Employing every tooth and claw
In the awfulest way you ever saw--
And oh! How the gingham and calico flew!
(Don't fancy I exaggerate--I got my news from the Chinese plate!)
Next morning, where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole that pair away!
But the truth about that cat and pup
Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
(The old Dutch clock it told me so,
And that is how I came to know.)

This shaggy dog lives in one of my sketch books. You can see the date 10/15, but you can't see the year in this image, It was 2008, but I remember sketching it like it was yesterday. I've always wanted a shaggy dog; much like Lisa Daria's Brie (note Brie's photo on Lisa's blog)  but my husband has always been a Lab man so there you have it. If Lisa ever discovers that Brie has been "dognapped," alas, I have to admit that I'll be the foremost suspect.
"Shaggy Dog" - Digital Collage

Yesterday, I published a digital collage of a dragonfly with a tulip, explaining that it was supposed to be a dog. Once again, Shaggy Dog... This is what I was going for; don't ask me what happened.

Anyway, it's all good. A bad day in the studio is better than a good day in any office environment I can think of! :D

Friday, August 12, 2011

"White Tulip & Dragonfly" - Digital Collage

Haha! Originally this was going to be an image of a dog. Funny how things will change mid-stream!

"April Pear" - Mixed Media Collage on Canvas - 5x7

The Last Page

It's a little bitter sweet, but here's the last page of the sketch book I've been dreaming in for the past four years. I would say the final image is definitely an unabashed celebration of color!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Green Dragonfly" - Mixed Media Collage on Canvas- 5x7

Sketchbook Page for 08.11.11

The new glitter glue is not exactly what I'd call "3D" as promised on the box, but that's really not why I purchased it in the first place. There were just some fascinating color combinations like the gold glitter with black specks that I used here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Home is Where The Cat Is" - Digital Collage

Because I couldn't bear to end the day without a finished piece of art, I sat down with my laptop and put together this little digital collage. I love digital collage and what one can create with Adobe Photoshop. The Dragons of Mariarosa are a case in point.

The following are the images that I used to create this particular collage.

The background is created from this Bomomo piece.

This collage was created in 2005 and sold a year later and is called "My Ants' House" 
And this little guy was just created on Monday when I was doing exercises from "Drawing for Mixed Media Artists." The lesson was "drawing cats in bed"... no lie!

Sketchbook Page 08.09.11

Seriously, I'm doing more than working in my sketchbook, it's just that nothing else is ready to publish yet! :D

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Full Time Artist

As many of you have probably heard by now, I'm back in my studio full time and couldn't be happier. 

Part of being a full time artist means that I can spend time on those little things that help an artist become better at their craft; like spending time with my sketchbook.

My current sketchbook is one my son made for me four years ago. I had found a used hard back book for $1.00 with an interesting intaglio of a chestnut tree on the front cover. My son took it, removed the existing pages and replaced it with pages of Rives BFK in tan, my most absolute favorite paper. 

For four years I've worked in this sketchbook off and on; most especially during 2008 when my studio was closed for a year while we closed down and sold our primary residence and moved into our second home. I created some very interesting pages during that year. I've always treated my sketchbook as a "dream" book. A place to play, experiment and just have fun.

Most recently I purchased some new permanent markers and a new assortment of glitter glue. The page shown here is one I finished yesterday "playing" with these new tools. I don't use glitter glue in my "serious" art and I don't use line work enough in my serious artwork. You'll find a lot of both throughout my sketchbook, though. 

There are only four more blank pages left in this current sketchbook. I'll miss this particular book which has been my friend for four years. At the same time, I'm very excited about beginning a new book of dreams.