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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Books and Me....

I haven't done a meme for quite some time and I saw this one at Serena's blog. Since I have NO art to show you today and since it's been awhile since I posted anything I thought I'd fill in with this. Besides it's all about BOOKS!!! And you know I love books!



Do you snack while you read?
Not usually because I don't like to get yucky stuff on the pages!

Do you tend to mark your books as you read them, or does the idea of writing on your books horrify you?
I DO NOT mark in my books!!! Having been a used book seller I can tell you it's horrifying to find a wonderful book only to open it to markings throughout. Bummer!

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog ears? Leaving the book open flat?
I use bookmarks or any piece of paper that's close by. Dog ears go right along with marking in the book as far as I'm concerned. I'm a stickler when it comes to my books. I like them to be clean and neat and like new!

Fiction, Non-Fiction or both?
I like both. A good biography or autobiography, any kind of interesting non-fiction, good novels....I like them all. And of course, I love books about art.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?
I can put it down at any point which is good because I usually read right before I fall asleep. Many times I just can't go 'til the end of the chapter.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?
No, I can usually figure out the meaning by how it's being used in the sentence. I do hate it when books use a lot of foreign language but don't give any explanation as to what they're saying.

What are you currently reading?
"My Life in France" by Julia Child; "Sashenka" by Simon Montefiore (not liking it too much); "Soul Coaching" by Denise Linn

What is the last book you bought?
I think it was "Collage Journeys" by Jane Davies or maybe some other artsy book since I get most of my reading material from the library.

Are you the type of person who can only read one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?
No. I usually have at least a couple of books going at one time and maybe more. I like reading non-fiction along with some fiction.

Do you prefer series or stand alone books?
Either one. I don't like to read a book that I thought was a stand alone only to find out it's part of a series and the one I just read is in the middle. I like big, epic novels and usually hate it when the story ends.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?
No. I don't do recommendations. I think reading is a personal preference and my taste may not be yours. Better to discover what you like on your own.

How do you organize your books?
If it's non-fiction, by subject. Fiction, alphabetically by author. But then again I have been known to put books on a self using size or color as the deciding factor. I guess it all depends on how I'm feeling at the time.

Now if you want to do this meme feel free to take it. I hope this was just a tiny bit interesting and I promise to have some art tomorrow. I'm working on some journals today (Maureen, yours is one of them!!!) See you then....have a great day!

Monday, October 26, 2009

There's Something About Pink Hair....

Monday morning (or afternoon, I guess!) and I've got projects piled to the ceiling again. I love having lots of different things to work on in the studio but I don't so much like them around the house.

I must say having HB here all the time is proving to be a great help as he's jumping in and doing all kinds of things. And he's doing quite a bit of cooking which I love!!

This morning, even though I had house stuff to do, I went to the studio and messed around with a scrap of cardboard I had started painting. I layered lots of paint, a scrap of fabric, some tissue paper, masking tape....well, you get the picture....



I apologize for the quality of these photos! I couldn't seem to get any of them to come out very good. The colors are much brighter and more intense than they show here so use your imagination!

As I stood looking at the background I saw a woman appear....



And I painted her to look like this....I seem to be seeing pink hair a lot lately. Hhmmm! Maybe I should think about dyeing....NO, wait....that's not for me anymore!! I'll just keep my gray!



And here are some close-ups....



Have a fun day....

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sweet Punk Gal....

It's been one of those kinds of days! I only had a few minutes in the studio but I used some of my prompts again and came up with this background....



I saw the girl almost immediately....well, after I turned the piece upside down from how I painted it! And here she is....



I love her little pouf of pink hair and left it just as I saw it. I think she looks a little punk but in a sweet way! Is that possible??!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

So Many Classes, So Little Time!

You'll all love to hear that I've made peace with myself over finding my style. Hopefully I won't be whining anymore about all of that! I realized that to box myself into a style was not going to help me so I'm going to paint in whatever style I feel like at the moment. You may see me doing all kinds of crazy things but that's ok because it will be how I'm feeling at the moment.

As for techniques, several of you have sent me help along those lines so I'll be practicing and practicing and trying to get better at painting.

All the classes I'm taking this month are moving right along. Julie's Super Nova journaling class is almost finished and I've learned some very cool techniques from her. One of these days I'll get back to journaling and I'll be able to "amaze" you with my pages!

I'm also taking (not participating in!) the photo journaling class with Lori Kay Ludwig. Since I wanted to take this class but don't really have the time right now, I'm making lots of notes so that later I can go back and actually do the lessons.

And then there's Gut Art with Mystele....that class seems to be taking most of my time right now simply because I'm learning so MUCH from her and the other members. The field trips are really a fantastic way to learn about myself and what I like, and it's also a bit surprising, too.

Yesterday I worked on a background using various prompts that I had written out for myself....and I saw the necklace and her neck first....



This afternoon I put some light washes of color on her. Do you think she needs more color? I sort of like how the background still shows through especially on her face....



So that's what I've been up to the past couple of days. I also want to say thank you to everyone who left me such amazing comments lately! A couple of them almost made me cry they were so nice. I know I'm still behind in visiting and I keep saying I'm going to catch up but I haven't yet! This month is proving to me almost more than I can handle especially with the added part of having HB home all the time. Please, please, please don't give up on me! I promise when these classes are over I'll have more time to visit. I know I don't deserve to have all you wonderful friends dropping by to see me when I'm not doing the same. If you can tell me how to add more hours to each day I'd love to hear it....until then I'm doing my best to drop in from time to time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Finding Myself....A Little At a Time

Today is a new day! A dear blogger friend gave me some good information late last night and I'm feeling sooooo much better about my art and "my" style. Isn't it just the best thing in the world when we can connect with people from all over the world and learn from them! And have so many wonderful friends!! I've said it before but I'm saying it again....I LOVE BLOGLAND!!!

So I spent some time in the studio this morning. I had a background that I'd done a couple of days ago....


I saw the eyes immediately and slowly the rest of her appeared to me....



I sort of fleshed her out in blue and started giving her a "life" this morning and here she is....



I'm still not happy with the way I paint but it's more the technique than anything else. I just don't know how to shade, or how to paint long, flowy hair, or how to get things to look like I want....but this is what I have right now.

I guess I'm a "painting" in progress, too. I've got some layers in the background and some vague idea of what I'm going to be but the whole picture hasn't revealed itself yet. And that's ok for now. I can live with that!

Thank you to all my friends who emailed me and commented on my frustration. It really helps to know I'm not alone. I love you all!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Who Am I???

This is going to be a short post....and no art! I don't have anything to show you. Nothing from the studio. Nothing in my head.

I'm going through one of those dull periods when I can't seem to think straight. One thing I'm learning from Mystele's class....I don't have a clear-cut style. I'm all over the place....DUH!!! I can copy lots of styles, I can do lots of techniques but where is the "real" me in all of that? I haven't found her yet.



Just as the cover of my Gut Art book showed, I like very precise, meticulous, detailed art and then I also like more flowing lines, smooshy paint, messy art. So where does that leave me? I'm having a hard time finding my authentic voice in all of this! Or maybe I'm just two people and they will never meet!

I'm not complaining here so I hope you don't take it that way. I'm just rambling about my dilemma, trying to make heads or tails of it. I thought maybe if I wrote it out it would make more sense....but it doesn't!

So I'm going back to the studio to play around some more and hopefully I'll find "me" somewhere in all the mess. And maybe I'll have something more exciting to write about and maybe even some art to show you tomorrow. And if you have any suggestions, I'm all ears....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Quick Little Painting....

My nice autumn weather is gone. Replaced with temps in the 90's today! I know I shouldn't be unhappy about that when some of you are dealing with rain and snow and very cold temps....and in the grand scheme of things I'll still take this heat over your cold! But, oh, how I love those mild autumn days. Hopefully they will return soon although I think it might be awhile. Maybe by the end of this month.

In the meantime I've been playing a bit in the studio....not as much as before though. With HB here all the time it does make a difference in how I spend my time. I don't get as much play time as I did before....so my art has slowed down a lot.

I managed to pull another little quick painting today. This is in my Gut Art book. I did a background using the colors of autumn....


This picture was taken in the studio with my camera and the colors aren't true. The finished picture I scanned and I think the colors are better on it....



I didn't spend a lot of time on this one. Just saw the woman and quickly painted her in. I've found that when I look for some pulled art, if I see something right away then I can't see anything else. It's as if it's embedded in my brain! I didn't particularly like this face but it was all I could see. Her eye is weird and she has a pointy nose but that's what I saw so I went with it.

I plan to play more this afternoon. I hope you're having a fun weekend....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Mojo is on a Break....

Aaahhhhh! I can finally tell you that we are having some glorious autumn days. We had a bit of rain on Tuesday but not much and today it's a perfect, cloudless blue sky. None of the trees have started to turn colors yet but I'm sure it won't be too long. I simply LOVE this time of year!! I hope wherever you live that you're having some nice weather, too.

I've hit a snag in the art class! I haven't been able to get my mind on art for the past few days. Oh, I go to the studio and piddle around but I haven't been doing the lessons. I think I may have Autumn Fever!

Here's a little painting I did yesterday....



I called it "China Doll"....I saw her eyes first and then the rest just came to me. I need to do some more work on her face. I'm not happy with the skin tones and the shadowing but it's where I am today.

Now I'm off to the studio to see if I can get my mojo working again!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Painting and Enjoying the Autumn Weather....

Did you think I fell in a hole?!! I didn't think it had been very long since I posted but when I looked I was surprised. So here I am checking in with you....and telling you that I wish I could say I've spent the entire time doing art but I haven't!

The past few days have been interesting. HB got a lay-off from the job he was on so for all intents and purposes he is retired! So having him home sort of curtailed my art. We were running around and he did some work in the yard while I did some inside. It's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out!

Today I went to the studio and it is a MESS....but I decided to paint anyway. I've been a little bit stuck on our last assignment from Mystele so I thought if I did something, anything, that maybe it would help.

Here's what I did....I'm calling it "Sunday Best"....



I was trying to work from a different perspective. This isn't exactly what I had in mind but I like it.

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The weather has changed and it's finally cool. You may have heard on the news that some areas are bracing for mudslides but we aren't in any danger from that. They are most concerned with the mountainous areas that burned recently. Yesterday when I went out this is what it looked like....



Pretty much the same today. Sorry about the weird angle....I was driving and trying to snap a picture! Luckily there weren't many cars on the road!!!!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

She Heard the Drums in the Distance....

All I can say is I wish each and every one of you could take this class with Mystele! I'm learning so much about myself and we've only just started! If you're looking for a step-by-step class of how she does her paintings, don't bother. That isn't what she's doing here. We're discovering our own style....our own voice.

I was inspired by something I saw in class and I immediately had to paint. I opened my Gut Art book again and chose to work on one of my favorite pages. This is a rough sketch of what I saw....



I hope you can see my sketch. And here's my woman after I painted her....



The photo is a little dark but I think you can see what I did. I love this ethnic, tribal, painted-face look. It sort of incorporates my love of zentangles, and designs, with painting....although I haven't mastered the art of painting details yet! Some of my colors don't show up as bright as I'd like and I can't seem to be as neat with a paintbrush as I am with a pen. But I love her anyway....

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A Woman From the Past....

I've just been playing in the studio this morning....working on things for Mystele's class. We had some inspiration and it took me down a path of family history. I know that my great-grandfather on my dad's side of the family was a sheep herder in Yorkshire England. So many times when I read books about that area, mostly about life in the 1800's and early 1900's, I seem to relate to the people who worked in the big factories....the ones making fabric using those huge mechanical looms. Maybe someone in my family worked in one of those factories....who knows!

Anyway the inspiration immediately brought me to that time and place. I pulled out my Gut Art book and randomly opened it to a page and I saw an overworked, underpaid, tired, bedraggled woman's face appear to me....



And here she is after I painted her....



I think I'll go back and soften the blue around her face. It's a little too bold for me after I see it in the photo. And I also messed up the word "rhythm" when I wrote it....but I guess that's part of the process!

I hope you're having a creative day.

NOTE: I edited this to include the re-do I did on this painting. I wasn't happy with it before....now it's a little better.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Caution: Photo Overload!!!

Hi everyone! Are you all being very creative? Do you have projects stacked up to the sky like I do? I decided to make myself a list so I wouldn't forget the "couple of things" I have going on right now....did I say couple of things?!! When I started writing them down I was surprised at how many there are.

Now the question is, will I be able to finish them all! Most likely NO....but the ones I've promised, like swaps and giveaways and such, those will get done for sure.

This morning I finished putting together my Gut Art book. I left many of the pages fairly plain as we will be building on all these pages later on. A couple of people have asked me about how the book is put together so I'm including LOTS of photos today. If you get bored just skip them!


This is the front cover again. I added three puzzle pieces to it because this whole journey of Gut Art is a puzzle for me to figure out. And you can see that I'm just using craft paints on this. It's all an experiment/discovery/journey so I don't see any need to use the "good" stuff right now.


This is inside the front cover....I might do more to it....just not sure right now. You can also see a rather messy page covered with black gesso. That's some red rosin paper that I had started to paint on but didn't finish so it went into the book.


This just shows a page with scraps of paper collaged....only the beginning! The other page is painted but will probably change over the course of the class. You can see I've used pages of all different sizes.


More of the same....


More collage and the page on the right is the back cardboard from a stencil package I bought. If you look closely at the top you can see the hole where it hung on the rack! If it's paper I save e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!!!!!


This is one of my favorite pages....I like how it looks frosted.


The little page is more red rosin paper....a long piece that was left over from something else.


Here it is unfolded....it's fairly long so I folded it up from each end.


Some of these pages are just where I painted off leftover paint from some other page or project.


Some are bits and pieces of stencil experiments from the class I took with Mary Ann Moss.


More stencil fun and a bit of map showing underneath.

Ok, that's it....I didn't show you the entire book but I think you can get an idea of what I did. And I just tied it together with some twine I had in the studio. I may change that out for something else later on but for now it works just fine.

Now why don't you make a book and see what you discover about yourself! Have fun and remember to smile at someone today. It makes you feel better and it brightens someone else's day....and it's so easy!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Finding Me in the Balance....

Here I am checking in with everyone. It's been a hectic few days since my last post. As you know the class, Gut Art, started on the 1st. It has me thinking and my brain has been whirling. In fact, so much so that last night I went to bed but never fell asleep! Finally at about 3 AM I got up and went to the studio and painted for awhile.

This class is teaching us to find our authentic self in our art. I've been thinking about what that might be for me and it's becoming clear that it's complicated!! On the one hand I love doing very detailed, precise art as in my zentangles and even some of my drawings of ladies as in this example....then on the other hand I love smooshy, messy, more ethereal art as in some of my backgrounds, like this. We're making a Gut Art book to use for our findings and I had painted a cover for it a few days ago but I wasn't thrilled with it....it wasn't me. Too cute, too pretty!



When I got up and painted tonight/today I re-painted the cover and I think it more truly represents who I am at this moment....a little neat and a little messy. Maybe it's because I have so much Libra in my horoscope!! The balance of things....



And here are a couple of pages that are going to be in the book....






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I haven't been around Blogland over the past several days. I've been keeping busy in the studio plus I was a little under the weather on Saturday. Speaking of weather, you won't believe this....it's actually cooled off and we've had a couple of fall-like days! Last year at this time we were still burning up in the heat. I like this year much better! I'm getting my energy back....getting antsy to start walking again at the park.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I'm CRAZY.... But It's So Much Fun!!!

For this month of October you may not see me post as regularly as usual. It isn't because I've lost interest but rather because I have so many things going on! And I may not be visiting very much either....but you know I'll always make it around to see you when I can.

Today Mystele's class began plus I'm also taking another class that I haven't mentioned....I'm going to attempt the photo art journaling class offered here! I know! You don't have to say it....I'm CRAZY! I still have Julie's class that won't be finished until some time later this month and now I'm taking on two more classes!

All I can say in my defense is, I'm retired, I have no kids at home, it's just me and HB and our two cats so I don't have a lot of commitments other than my art. And since this is my year to grow I'm doing my best to live up to that word.

I decided to try the photo art journaling class because I love art journals and this will give me a whole different perspective to work from. I may not participate very much in the online discussions because photography isn't my strong point but I'm sure I'll learn some interesting stuff.

And since we're on the subject of art journals....here are a couple of pages.

Sept 30:

This one isn't finished....I'll probably add some more journaling and maybe something else but for now this is where it is. I painted the face on red rosin paper quite awhile ago but didn't like the background so I cut her out and glued her to this page. I was writing about how I wish we could "paint" our faces with all kinds of colors and not be limited to "this is for eyes and this is for lips" thinking. I would love to see very colorful faces all around me....and why stop at faces? We could paint our bodies in whatever colors appealed to us that day. Talk about a mood ring! We could have mood bodies!!! I know....see comment above (I'm CRAZY!!!)

Oct 1:


I love these colors! I've been recording the PBS series on national parks and while watching the first one about Yosemite and Yellowstone I kept noticing these colors. I wanted to use them on a page....and when I finished this I realized I had already used these colors in the pulled art piece with blue flowers I did last week! The "8" has no significance other than in real life it's the same color but fades out in the scan.

Ok, I'm off to the studio to begin my classes. Wish me luck! I hope you have something to do today that sparks your imagination. Have some fun....and use some crazy colors on something.