Monday, August 29, 2011

Never too many layers

The recipe goes like this:  Start with scrap pieces of fun foam.

Cut some shapes for stamps.

Add new stencils that you just had to buy.

And a pinch of Pearscent watercolors for the background.

Judiciously add a hint of acrylic.

Humm.  The hint was too strong.  Not to worry. Brush with a mixture of gesso and matt medium.

Add a sprinkle of stamps and stencils in the corner.  Voila, a journal page ready for the next layer.  Focal image?  Pen work?  Writing?  

A little collage, yes. 

On another example of layering, I test paint colors on paper that I can use later for journal pages.  A layer of gesso was painted over the test colors.  Then alcohol ink was brushed on the stencils.

Finally a mixture of ink and acrylics were stamped with many of these hand carved stamps.

The results remind me of a tropical ocean floor and will be a colorful journal page.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Inspiration to Creation

I love the Tetons!  The angular shapes are very different from the familiar Rockies.  But splendid indeed.  I had not been there in almost fifteen years.  Way too long.    But finally, here I am.  

I wanted to take in two sights.  One was these magnificent mountains.

We got a closer look by taking the new tram at Jackson Hole up 4600 vertical feet.   It was sunny and warm at the bottom and cold and windy at the top. I didn't think about weather change so I wore only my t shirt and shorts.  But there was always the next tram down to the warm valley bottom.  Instead of doing it the easy way, we  decided to hike all the way down.  Almost seven and a half miles.  Were my feet sore. Luckily there was a Four Seasons waiting at the bottom with a nice cold glass of wine.

The other thing I wanted to see was a moose.  There were moose sightings everywhere.  Napkin rings.



Even butter molds

I followed the line of parked cars and people scurrying across a field in the Grand Teton National Park.  I knew there was some sort of sighting.  There was my moose.  He stood in the river, as close as a house across the street, half hidden in the brush.  I laughed out loud.  Moose are huge animals.  And funny looking.  He watched us and chewed.  I could see his teeth and  tongue through my binoculars.  He spurred me to paint this, my version of a moose.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

First Book I Made

In the fifth grade at First Street School in  East Los Angeles,  my best friend Georgiana Yamaguchi and I were the artists in class.  While the rest of the class studied geography our teacher, Mr. Lingenhaus let us make a book on dogs.  We chose the topic.  Since we both loved dogs, trained the neighborhood dogs and held dog shows it was an obvious choice.   

The other day when I cleaned out my papers I found the book!

It's funny because all these years later I remember sitting at our desks side by side drawing these dogs.  The book is held together with white yarn.  Most of  the yarn has disintegrated but a little remains.

We colored in the dogs with crayons.

And drew light pencil lines on the paper so our sentences would be straight.  After we wrote the text with a ball point pen we carefully erased the lines with a pink eraser.

This post should be titled "Back in the Good Old Days."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Practicing Faces

 Like many things that do not come easily to me, I avoid drawing faces.   But I did take the step of making the little book and prepping the pages . . . . so I decided that more practice was in order.  

These are from magazine photos, sketched and painted with acrylic paints.

I tried something different and sketched this face upside down.  Some of these are from Tina Berning's book.  I like this because instead of  thinking, this is a nose or eye, I look at the shape I just draw.

Then filled in with black acrylic ink mixed with mushroom alcohol ink and acrylic paint.

Another face painted upside down then painted with black acrylic ink.

Thank you for visiting.  Enjoy your day!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Image Transfers

Image transfers have been an issue for me.  I just can't make them work.   Then I discovered the contact paper method.  Still, it has its limitations.  There are times when I do not want the contact paper surface.  I  don't consider myself a quitter but I almost gave up until recently when I practiced different techniques with Amy Shawley.

On a painted background I used fluid matt medium, burnished the laser jet image face down, let it dry and then rubbed the paper off.  Here the images are being revealed.  There is something so relaxing about  the repetitive circular rubbing that needs to be done before all the white paper is removed and the magic of not knowing whether or not a full or partial image will appear.  


I did not burnish this image enough or did not apply enough medium so that some of the image did not adhere.  I like the effect though.  It adds to the vintage look.

A little bird image from Judy Wise was transfered into one my journal pages and chirps words of wisdom for the day.

A muslin transfer and

A partially revealed transfer on canvas.

Lorraine brought this image back from South Africa.   I made a contact paper transfer for a journal cover.  Now I think of my friend when I open my journal.

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I have been curious about SoulCollage.  My friend Fran Pullara generously offered to teach me some of the basics.  There is a system and process by which you can access your deeper self but for a starter, I wanted to try making a few cards.   This first card has an image of my mother's childhood wood paddle used for a game similar to badminton.  It is painted and carved on a soft wood.  The back side has her name burned into the wood and little indentations where the ball was hit.  I  get such a good feeling seeing this image that I have it as my screen saver on my iphone.  I paired it with a photo of my mother as a young adult.  Her sweet smile is reflective of the person she was.

This second card is a photo of my Iwataki great grandfather.  I did end up writing about both cards and found it a powerful way to access inner thoughts that are lurking but my not have made their way out.  I am excited to make more of these cards.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Face book

I made a little book from tri-fold paint sample pamphlets.  I like the rounded corner detail.  First I gessoed both sides of the pamphlets.  Then I put the pages together using Kelly Kilmer's directions on her online  workshop, Journal of You.  

The gesso beaded because of the slick surface but I thought I'd go with it and not gesso a second coat.

When the third side folds, there is are two hidden pages underneath.

It looks like this when it's closed.  

I have wanted to practice drawing regularly, especially faces but have procrastinated.  This little book will make an honest woman out of me.  Here is the start.

Then I decided to add a little color.  I sprayed her with gold Perfect Pearls mist (you can barely see it),  painted  turquoise into the background and dark brown for highlights and shadow.

I drew the same face on fold out.

Added a light wash.

Here they are side by side.