Saturday, November 21, 2009

Missing You

I've been gone awhile, at least it feels like it. Each day is so filled that I haven't had time to come here. Usually I feel free to blather on about everything but working on this book has taken over most of my brain and yet I don't feel I can talk about that. Yet. This is the time for deep work and concentration. Some days that's easy and some days it's imposserous.

Rice Freeman-Zachery, the author of this wonderful book, interviewed me recently for a podcast that you can listen to here. Her book is one I wish I'd owned back when I started painting and selling my work as it deals with the logistics of fitting art into a busy life. I just listened to the podcast for the first time and while it is always odd listening to myself talking, it is an informal discussion of many subjects of interest to artists and journal writers in particular.

Since my older sister arrives here in a day or so for the week of Thanksgiving, I expect I may be a little scarce (again) for awhile.

Plus my cranky old computer needs replacing and I really cringe at the thought of the learning curve associated with a new one. My old one does everything so effortlessly except navigating online. My operating system is 10.2.8 so if any of you out there are geeks you know that puts me in medieval times.

I think on Monday I am going computer shopping so there will be a little down time involved to celebrate the holiday and get the new computer up and running. Wish me luck~ and I'll be back soon.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Face Toot

Ha ha. All I want to do it play and blog. So okay, two in one day. I thought it would be fun to paint a face and record the steps. On this one I start by gluing down a scrap of cotton fabric in my little book. I think it was a frog's foot; I got it at the Goodwill bins and there were dozens of them - someone's softy project gone south.

Then I draw the face on with my Aquarelle stabilo pencil. It draws on anything.

Next I cover it over with a layer of Folkart Parchment paint. It could be any color but I'm trying to be accurate.

I add a little pink to the cheeks and tip of her ear and mouth.

Hair and eyeballs.

Then smoodge in some other colors so it won't be boring and start modelling the form. I added more fabric and painted in the rest of the background.

I noticed that the fabric I added looked like the curtain on a stage and that the dots looked like spotlights so now we have a circus bareback rider ready to go onstage. I continue painting her face and hair.

Give her a word and a smear of gloss gel and she's ready for her close-up.

I'll probably be gone for about a week now. Stephanie and I are going to meet up in Eugene and have a plaster blast. I'm taking the pogo and flip video so maybe I'll bring back some pictures. Ciao.

Little Book of Faces

For several days I've been considering what to put in the little 4x4" modified accordion style book that I showed how to make here. Finally I realized that I wanted to fill it with little paintings of faces; lovingly rendered and realistically drawn. Here is my progress so far.

First of all the cover. I decided to start by painting the first face on the cover. I am going to get out my yearbook when I run out of inspiration. Some of these faces are from models; some free drawn from my imagination.

This is from my imagination and how I usually draw. Directly on the paper and blended. Boring to me because it looks so typical of my work. I like to surprise myself, not do things that I always do.

I like this one better. It was drawn from a photograph but looks nothing like the child. I love my black outlines. I am a coloring book girl.

Copied from a magazine but not painted over it. I like her mean, threatening look. Which usually covers up for a thin skin.

This is my favorite I think of the ones I've done so far. She looks cold and self-contained. It's a winter look.

I glued down tissue on some of these for added texture under the paint. I always like to start with something. But it takes time for the glue to dry, etc. so I don't always.

I pretty much draw the image with my brush and black paint and then adjust the color. Back and forth, color and outline.

I love head gear, hats, costumey things that crown the skull. They look regal and mysterious.

You would think these were done quickly but that isn't the case. I dibble and dabble.

The last step is a thick coat of gloss gel that I smear on with a finger to avoid brush strokes.

I was watching Project Runway reruns all day and think I channeled Koji (a model) in the one above. Without the bangs of course. The writing across two pages reads, "watching Project Runway".

Painted over a ticket to the Alhambra in Spain which I found in a folder by my drawing table.

Ack. Another face from my imagination.

Painted over a gold gesso base.

Last one, painted over printed tissue paper.

I have a friend in Arizona whose Birthday is tomorrow. She has never been to Voodoo Donuts but was always curious so today she'll be receiving this in the mail.

The zombie has a pretzel stake through its heart, the maple bar has crispy bacon on top, there is a fruit loops donut and that green and white one is a total mystery but so glitchy and weird that I had to include it. Don't forget to smell the donuts! xo

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Artful Journey

One of my clearest memories from my art school days was a compliment I received from a beloved teacher (Jim Hibbard) who commented that one of my drawings showed invention. I'd never thought about that before; that making art was inventing new ways of doing familiar things and new ways of thinking. I thought about that moment this morning as I folded laundry and as I imagined the class I'll be teaching at Artful Journey in July of 2010.

In this unusual class (3 entire days to revel in one subject!) we'll be inventing a lot. Bringing to life little dolls and then recording their stories, histories and life events in a booklet that we will design, make and fill. I love stories, outrageous fibs and guided play like this - a chance to dream and create. I've never had 3 days with one group of students before and I anticipate it with happiness; a chance to really get into our subjects. I expect in this amount of time we will be able to create several dolls and their stories; sign-up begins tomorrow at noon Pacific time and I look forward to a wonderful retreat and meeting some of you there. (It is located in a beautiful sanctuary like setting with on-site meals and rooming provided. Summer art camp!)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

On This Day

I have big plans for the winter. Every day I chip away a little more at all that I want to accomplish. Of course as I do one thing nine others pop up wanting attention. But little by little. Caught up my taxes in the last 2 days. Just doing that much gave me such a lift. And thank goodness for friends who write and visit and lighten the load.

Of course my journal keeps me entertained as I wade through the ups and downs; it is my friendly companion who accepts all my opinions and experiments. I do a little here and there as I go about the day. Eventually a page is filled.

I think maybe I should draw more. I love the found juxtaposed images so much in my journal - representing as they do the random, disconnected thoughts that fill my mind. But drawing, painting, photography. All of those mediums call on a different part of my psyche. I need them all to express so much, so many big emotions.

Katie sent these photographs to me this morning; she had the foresight to get photos of the journal we both worked in at Journalfest. If you don't know about the 1000 Journal Project you can research it and see the film; the journal first floated into Katie's hands and from hers into mine.

Number 381. Wow. I'm so honored. It's like saying, "I was here. I existed for a moment. I too loved my life, breathed and passed this way".

Here I am, finishing up my page. I think I did my spread in under 5 minutes. No matter. More time doesn't always mean a better outcome.

The lettering says, "wishing peace and joy to all sentient beings".
That's all I have for today. xo