Sunday, February 28, 2010

More Art & Soul 2010, Las Vegas, NV

Here's an example of the kind of papers we created for our art journals in Carla Sonheim's workshop on 02-24-2010. It's hard to believe that all of this beautiful, textured paper started out as simple pieces of junk mail...envelopes, advertising flyers, etc. The binder rings are temporary...I'll eventually replace the rings with beaded ribbon or twine...something much more interesting than plain old binder rings. My little book is now ready for the addition of art and journaling. The scans don't really show how beautiful the color and texture really is. Yes, hiding behind one of the pages you see what looks like a face. That was an advertisement for Las Vegas Ballet Company's Nutcracker before Christmas. I left some of the Nutcracker's face exposed for interest on that page. I noticed that he was peeking out from behind the pages I was scanning...there are lots of surprises like that on these pages. It was easy, fun, and resulted in what you see here. It was a great class!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Art & Soul

This week I spent two wonderful, inspiring days in workshops at the Art & Soul Retreat. Art & Soul has been an annual happening in Portland, Oregon for
about 10 years. It got started there at about the same time I moved to Las Vegas. And for all of those years I have wanted to go, but one thing or another had always come up. Some months ago I discovered that Art & Soul was expanding and in 2010 the workshops were going to be given, not only in Portland but in Las Vegas and one or two additional locations. The minute that I read: Las Vegas!!!!....I got to my computer and signed up for two days of workshops....and, of course two days of shopping at the vendors who would tempt me with wonderful arty things that I just couldn't live without. Quite a better deal than the casinos around here offer. At Art & Soul you always come out winners. Learn a lot, buy a lot, and come away enriched and inspired.

Well...February finally came and on the 23rd I spent the whole day learning about encaustic painting and collage. What you see above (or wherever the pictures land once I publish/post this bit of writing) is the result of my day at the Encaustic painting workshop...the brochure called the class "Dreams in Wax". And it was just that...a wonderful and productive dream-of-a-day. The piece of the woman with blue hair was a combination of collage and my drawing of her face in pencil and acrylic on paper...the whole on a painted wood substrate. The other piece was done in pencil, acrylic paints, found images (ink jet prints) on a painted/stained wood substrate. I am just amazed at the depth of color that the final application of wax brings out. I loved the process...which was completely new to me...and I love the result. I'm definitely going to frame and hang both paintings. I'm just amazed at what I was able to do.

On the second day, the 24th, I made a journal out of junk mail. The instructor was Carla Sonheim who was wonderful to work with. She showed us some painting techniques that I had once thought make beautiful paper out of plain old junk mail....envelopes, advertising flyers, etc....and then how to bind these odd sized pages to create a journal in which to write, paint, collage, or whatever else one might want to do. I may never throw another piece of junk mail away. I'll just transform the junk into art. I'll have to take a photo or scan some pages to show you....but right now the dogs are getting restless...the dog park (and their dog-friends) await our arrival.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Not a Face in the Crowd...Almost's another day. I was rummaging through the chaos that I call my 'Art Room' when I came across two collages that I made a couple of years ago when I was just making the transition from doing all watercolor and ink paintings to collage. For some reason, I found them much more interesting now than when I first made them. The colors are juicy....I love when colors burst out of a page and jangle and clang against one another. And both paintings say something (at least to me they do...they didn't when I made them and that's probably why they ended up in my Box of Odds & Ends). Others might disagree with me...and that's OK. ......"eye of the beholder" and all. But that said...I'm pretty pleased with them. Pleased enough that I might just have to frame and hang them. And there you are. The only face in these is 1. a clock and 2. the little jester on the card in the second painting....and I don't think that either really counts. So, no faces today....just color and pattern and color and color. Ciao for now.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Another Day...Another Face

Today I painted a dark skinned woman. I really struggled with getting the skin tone natural looking and not cloudy or muddy. I was trying to paint a woman with beautiful skin and large, gorgeous eyes....and I think that I might have done OK. I did a painting a few months ago where
my subject had a darker complexion....but that was by accident. It just happened. This portrait was deliberate. I had to really think about what I was doing. Several times I almost gave up...but, being stubborn, I knew that this was something I had to do. And...for it being my first time...I think that I did pretty well. I'm happy with the result. But I know that I'll do better next time. I'm convinced that to paint well, to draw well, even to plaster walls well....practice is the key. And practice is what I'll be doing. So I'll be boring all who read my little Blog with more paintings and more babble about playing with paints, crayons, mediums, pencils, etc. etc. It's good to be a kid again.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

....A Certain Family Resemblance.

If I seem to be working in a series....I am. Not only do these paintings have similar backgrounds and floral collages but they have "a certain family resemblance"...they're, in a way, all sisters. Except for minor changes, they all began as the same pencil drawing. Even if they didn't have that in common...they would have probably resembled one another anyway. I've noticed that the more faces I paint, the more they look alike...especially if I'm working in color. I guess that's because they're all "born" of the same painter's hand. They came out of my imagination rather than being life portraits. This is my interesting-discovery-of-the-day.
I'm been happy with my artist-self lately. The more I paint, the more I've learned about painting and using a wide variety of media. There have been many ah-ha! moments. And I've become a lot more willing to experiment. My fear of "what if" is disappearing. This is all good. Of course, the house is a bit dustier and there are a few more dishes in the sink...but, for now, it's been a good trade-off. I'm so very fortunate to have a loving sweetie of a husband who encourages my art and is willing, not only to overlook dust and dishes, but who also pitches in to help whenever he can. It's no wonder that I love him. Oh....and he bakes some of the most delicious bread that I've ever eaten.
Well....that's all for today. I think that I'll go and put some dishes in the dishwasher. I'll play with my paints later. Bye to y'all.

Monday, February 8, 2010

And The Faces Just Keep On a-Comin' can see that I've been keeping myself busy. I'm in two on-line workshops now! So now...there's double the homework. The pictures you see above, I painted yesterday and today for Sharon Tomlinson's class. They're little...only 6 x 6 each. It's hard to believe that I used my exact same pencil drawing of the face to come up with two such opposites. One, a demure and shy young lady...and the second, The Painted Lady of Bourbon Street...that's what I've named her. Could it have been the influence of the New Orleans Saints win in yesterday's Superbowl game that came to life in my red-head. Or was it the mischievous little being that sometimes just takes charge of my paint-pots and pencils? I'll never figure it out. But just seeing them side by side....what a Hoot! And I did have a good time painting the Belle of Bourbon Street.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Took a day off yesterday....from that I could catch up with other art projects on which I'm working. What I really should have done is clean house...dust at the very least. But the urge to play with my paints and pencils was just too strong to resist. So the dusting still waits to be does dancing with my vacuum cleaner. As Scarlett O'Hara says in Gone with the Wind....Fiddle-dee-dee, tomorrow is another day. I better get dinner on the stove though...and soon....because Rhett Butler will come through that door any minute now. Bye!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yes, Another One!

Sat dowm this morning...just after I posted the previous entry ...and didn't get up again until Portrait #2 was done. There's something about doing art....I lose all sense of time. Tomorrow I must get to work on another project...a tiny journal in the style of Teesha Moore that several of us are doing as a round robin in one of my groups. The fun never stops! On Friday I start another online class with an artist whose work I really love...she paints such compelling portraits...Sharon Tomlinson. I found her work by sheer accident when her last name caught my attention on one of my journeys through cyber-space. I went to school with three sisters whose last name was Tomlinson....I'm talking 50+ years ago! None of them were named Sharon....but, as I said, the name really brought back lots of school-girl memories. So on Friday....another class! More art! Are you sick of me yet? I warn you....more's on the way. I'll be silent you'll get a well deserved break from my blogging.


Week 2 of Willowing's class...and I get to play with my paint pots again. The technique that she uses is completely different than what I learned with SuziBlu. I'm learning how to make color and shade by combining water media that I never thought was combinable (I'm not sure that's a real word). I just never thought that one could mix watercolor anything with acrylic paints. I do know that acrylics are a type of water color...but thought that once they were dry...nothing except ink, or graphite could live happily on top of it. Was I ever wrong! I'm using acrylics with watersoluble crayons and pencils...and everything seems to be blending happily. For me: an eye-opener. And here's my first attempt. I'm happy with how she turned out.