It was wonderful! Roy had his annual physical this morning and rather than sit in a waiting room with sick people I elected to spend the time at our local coffeehouse. I took my art journal book with me as well as a big bag of colored pencils, oil pastels, colored markers and a gold leaf pen. What fun I had! I drank really good coffee, had a raspberry scone and played with color. Here is the result. I am quite taken with drawing hands at the moment. The photograph in the lower right corner is one of me that I enhanced in PhotoShop. I like manipulating photos and plan to learn more about that for sure. Oh, we rearranged my studio last week. Here you can see my drafting table where I work. We gave away the large and very heavy table I was using. This works better as I am not able to collect stuff in large piles any more! It is smaller so I am forced to keep it clean. I want to live at the coffeehouse....... I will take photos next visit to share with you. A very cool place!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
For all of my local readers, we have two 9-foot long church pews for sale. They sat outside on a covered porch last winter so are kinda rough. They should be sanded and maybe sealed to make them smooth to sit on. If you are interested, you can send me a private e-mail. (firstname.lastname@example.org) They are presently listed on CraigsList for $400 each or both for $700. Ask your friends.....someone would love to have these!
Friday, July 25, 2008
We have been living with saggy brown insulation for ceilings for several years. No more! We now have ceilings in the bedroom and in my studio and in the bathroom. We still need them finished in the closet and laundry room. I woke up this morning and did NOT look up to read "fiberglass insulation". It was wonderful! The next step is to get them painted. I am so happy! We also took this opportunity to rearrange the rooms and remove unnecessary stuff. Minimalism is starting to work for me I think.The viga poles really look beautiful against all the white spaces.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
It has been awhile since I posted so wanted to assure you I am alive and well. The past few days we have been getting ceilings put in the bedroom, my studio, the bathroom, 2 closets and my fabric storage closet. So, absolutely NO art was happening! And, I must say I have been getting increasingly cranky as a result. We have managed to get almost everything back in order this evening so I am feeling a bit better. Perhaps tomorrow I create! In the meantime, since I have neglected you, here is a wee bit of eye candy. This is called "Lagoon" and is an exercise in melted polyester using my trusty heat gun. I selected several pieces of that nasty polyester (why was that ever invented?) and attacked it with my heat gun to produce these wonderful peaks and valleys and darkened wrinkled pieces. I sewed them to a backing and added beads and stitching. The beads hanging from wire off the bottom edge are hand made beads from Tyvek (used FedEx envelope). After painting them several colors, I rolled strips of the Tyvek around a chopstick and glued it. Then, I hit it with the heat gun and the beads began to curl and change shape. After they stopped melting and were cool enough to work with, I wrapped them with some thin colored wire. these were a lot of fun to make!
Friday, July 18, 2008
This most recent journal prompt was to create a journal page using our hands as the subject. Or, any one's hands actually! I had no idea how much fun this would be! I colored the background of the page using an almost dried out stamp pad. That was quick and easy. Then, using my brayer, I smeared antique white acrylic paint all over my hands, one at a time of course. Then I made hand prints on the page. After the paint was dry, I placed my hands over the paint areas and drew around them with a pencil. Using my Micron pen I outlined my hands and also the painted areas created with the acrylic. At the same time I made designs in all of the unpainted areas. Suddenly my hands looked like oceans and continents. How cool is that? Then, using basic colored pencils I colored in the designs. For additional interest, I used a Krylon bronze leaf pen in selected areas and glued a red rhinestone on one of the finger rings. I finished by smearing purple and blue acrylic paints around with my fingers to outline the hands. Go do this! It is really fun!
Monday, July 14, 2008
We have been in our monsoon season for several days now. Every afternoon/evening the clouds build and the rains come. And it is beautiful! Our land floods briefly and then it all disappears until the next afternoon ....and it comes again. This is so good......
Friday, July 11, 2008
The second art journal challenge was to create a page referencing our favorite childhood toy. This was an easy one! My favorite toy was a blue metal steam shovel that I played with in the sandbox which my Father had built and situated under a plum tree. As wonderful as that steam shovel was, an equally strong memory is the taste of a shiny, almost black plum, warm from the sun. The sand box provided a soft place for these ripe plums and they never seemed to split or bruise. It was easy to brush off the sand, wipe it on my shirt and then bite into a warm sweetness that even today transports me back in time to the sandbox and that blue steam shovel. I also included a recipe for plum jam on the page!
Monday, July 7, 2008
Yeah, that's when it hits for me. In the middle of the night and a very good sleep, I suddenly am wide awake with incredible ideas! So last night (early am) I woke up and knew exactly what to do with a red satin-like formal dress I picked up at the thrift store. So, dear readers, ponder this: a long red formal dress, a long black velvet skirt, assorted beads and sequins and a very large piece of shiny black plastic garden netting! Here are "before" photos of the key ingredients;
I can see the finished creation in my head; now I just have to make it happen. Stay tuned!
Sunday, July 6, 2008
I am pleased to report that the challenge quilt I have been working on for months is finished! This piece even made the trip to Pennsylvania and back with me! I am not sure of the protocol involved in presenting a piece of art work that might subsequently be published. So, to avoid any problems I will show you a small detail from the piece. If the art quilt is NOT accepted for publication than I will show you a lot of photos of it. Since the magazine does not come out until June of 2009 you might have to wait a bit (grin). You might recall that I received e-mail from Jenny Doh, Editor-in-chief and Director of Publishing of Altered Couture Magazine, where many of my altered clothing designs have been published. She invited me to submit an art quilt to their newest publication called Art Quilting Studio. As part of the invitation she encouraged me to consider creating a piece for the "challenge" quilt section of this magazine. The challenge was to create an art quilt inspired by a chosen excerpt from "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It was indeed a challenge. Here is a photograph of a small portion of the quilt. If you are familiar with the book, you will recognize the graphic you see. Now, I am freed up to continue my other projects!
Friday, July 4, 2008
This is another project I have been working on recently. It involved combining fabric and paper to create a collage. The first 2 photographs show the two elements I started with. It grew from there rather quickly. I started by tearing an oil pastel painting I had done several years ago into 6 random pieces.
These were glued onto the colorful fabric piece shown here.
Immediately I decided it was not large enough! I tore an old striped sheet into a large piece and started laying down elements. I had created some fabric paper recently so cut those into smaller pieces and started gluing them on. Many layers later, along with a piece of lace and some sheer fabric and acrylic paint I think it is now done! Because of the glue and the paint it is quite stiff and could hang on the wall with a couple of rings on the back. It measures 24 X 26.
A couple of days ago I joined a brand new yahoo discussion group devoted to the pursuit of art journaling. If any of my dear readers are art journaling or would like to begin, this is the group for you! Yesterday the group leader, Rice Freeman-Zachery challenged all of us to create (within 24 hours) a journal page about a meal. Go here to read the challenge : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/theartjournal/ If you are interested in art journaling, we would love to have you join!
Here are photos of what I created last evening, after dinner of course. The page is called "Just a Thursday Dinner". It was a fun project. I used materials that were within reach on my work table which included; my journal, acrylic paints, some pressed flowers, a gold leafing pen, a Micron Pigma permanent ink pen, and some fabric/paper scraps from a previous project. Here are the results!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Ahh, dear readers: I have been having a whole lot of fun! While in Pennsylvania my daughter bought me a terrific denim jacket! Of course, it was just so plain. So, here for your viewing pleasure are before and after photos of said jacket. I can hardly wait until it is cold enough to wear it! See how nicely worn but very plain this jacket is? This wonderful jacket has miles and miles of hand stitching around some graphics cut from a thrift store sweatshirt. I added a piece of colorful fabric, some paint, some Gemagic stones for sparkle and a few trinkets hanging off the front. Some of the sweatshirt graphics I painted on, the rest I left gray as they were originally. Thank you dear daughter!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
The reason for all of this hoopla, and all of this travel, and all of the gathering of family and friends,was to celebrate the 90th birthday of an extraordinary woman, Dr. Elizabeth Jennings. The party was held in a very large meeting room of a local church and was decorated with quilts and blankets and the tables were set with teapots full of fresh flowers. The buffet and cake tables, as well as the head table were decorated with a stunning collection of antique tea cups and saucers belonging to my sister Suzanne. The quilts and blankets will be covered ( covered, get it?)in another post. During the birthday tea, everyone was given the opportunity to take the microphone and thank Elizabeth for her presence in their lives. During the afternoon, there was a wonderful Power Point presentation created by Bill Williams, detailing Elizabeth's life in photographs. Here are some pictures of the event for your viewing. Even though many of you will not know any of the people, you can see the happiness and love they all have for my Mother. She glowed and laughed and hugged...it was beautiful to watch. We all love her very much!
Left to right: Christine, me, Mother, Suzanne, Carol and Kathleen
This is the photograph of Mom in the front of the "Memory Book" assembled by her grand daughter Wendy. In the months preceding the event, friends and family were invited to write a favorite story or memory involving Elizabeth. Wendy assembled them in a large book and the stories were marvelous!
Finally we get cake! This was one for the head table. There was a very large sheet cake for the guests. The cakes were baked by Casey Foster, another grand daughter, who is presently in culinary school. Every family should have a chef, don't you agree? Stay tuned for the rest of the adventure!