Thursday 30 March 2023

Having friends in the studio... a great treat!  Louise Olinger is a long-time friend who was visiting in the Creston Valley this week, so we got to play together a couple of times.

She was working on a couple of bookmarks while in the studio,

and I know her little grandson, Nolan, is going to be delighted with his (on the left).  Wonder who's going to be the recipient of the one on the right - Louise was keeping pretty mum about that!

Meantime, one of my 'red' canvasses was sporting a thick layer of Kroma Crackle - it's going to take another couple of weeks to dry so I can add some more colour (because it's obviously much too quiet right now).

I had a blast taking this screeching collaged piece a step or six further, and can hardly wait to see where it goes from here.

Another piece got some more layers as well, including some alcohol ink pens that bled, and bled and bled. Goodness knows whether it's salvageable.  Lesson learned (perhaps, although I know I've done this before.  Mom always used to say that 'repetition aids comprehension', although in my case, I'm not sure that's the case).

And last week's 'dog's breakfast' is turning into a garden, so that should be interesting as it runs for the finish line.  Goodness knows where or when that may be.

Here's to making the world a more colourful place, bit by bit!

Thursday 23 March 2023

The stacks are getting higher...

...and it's very colourful in here.  One of the large tables is covered with works in progress that require 'something other than paint'.

Another table is massed with bottles, tubes and pots of paint, along with works that are crying out for new applications.

The middle table is a catch-all for projects that await decisions, cutting, or inspiration.

I've got a journal signature in progress somewhere (it will go in the traveller's journal) that has a start of colour on the spreads ranging from turquoise to hot pink to red and a green 'sludge' paint gifted from a friend.

With sixteen spreads in the signature, it's going to be colourful to the max, even before I start adding Posca pens, ink and whatever else comes to hand when I'm out 'in the wilds' sketching with friends.

One of the larger pieces in the works has some interesting sections,

that have me wondering how many layers

are really on there? 

The whole looks like a dog's 3-day old brekkie,

but I'm determined to keep adding to it until I reach a cohesive whole.  It's possible it will weigh 20 pounds by then.  😖😉🤣

How's your week been going?  I hope that in your part of the world spring is peeking out from every corner, the days are warming up and Mother Nature is starting to sing.  

Thursday 16 March 2023

Practice, practice...

...and more practice.  I'm still on a huge learning curve, and this week I've been painting with eye droppers and dried vegetation.  The former is with inks, and frustrating enough. 

The latter is so beyond frustrating (it's supposed to be with freshly picked flora and fauna which is hard to find in our late-winter landscape, so dried was the closest substitute) that I deleted the only photo.  I'll continue this one with other techniques until Mother Nature cooperates, with thanks! 

I consoled myself with tearing the edges of the book-in-progress which was most satisfying.

I auditioned some beads without success, and need to hunt down my jewelry findings in order to put together some more options.

After reviewing last week's test run, I added yet another layer of (darker) grey, and still feel like it could go darker yet.

I worked on a graffiti piece and have to tell you that the scribbling part was great fun, so much so that I think I'll try it with some ink and eye dropper.  😉

Meanwhile, the pile of in-progress pieces grows by leaps and bounds, and my studio cries out for a tidying.  Will it get done this week?  Doubtful!

Thursday 9 March 2023


Like most creatives, I'm easily distracted.  I'm 'supposed' to be working on Tracy Verdugo's Abstract Mojo course, and I am - truly.

But each month I pull an art prompt from the stash (some of which I've created, some suggested by other artists, and some from Tracy.  The one for March was the latter, a request that we choose three disparate shapes and  and draw them in different sizes, layering as desired, to create an abstract.   I used a background 'in progress' piece to start and chose a necklace, a slotted spoon and a mask for the shapes.

I wanted some more punch in the shapes, so I added a yellow highlighter to all the masks, a green highlighter to the necklace, and a blue one to the spoon.

The desire to move the background into the back had me adding grey to those areas, and while I can see progress, I'd like to push it back even more.  That would be great, but - squirrel!

I received an email from Ali Manning at Vintage Page Designs to let me know that she is participating in this year's 6h Annual Sketchbook Revival, and her segment features a free tutorial for an upcycled Traveler's Journal.  So of course, I had to start one right away.  I headed down to Gleaner's (our local upcycling place extraordinaire) to purchase a book or two.  For $1 each, I found four of them, three of which are of a size that will host a project that has been sitting on one of my tables for months  years for lack of knowledge.

After removing the book block in the first one, I've added the not-yet-dried fabric to the spine, and enhanced it with my crystalline paper over part of the gorgeous endpapers on the inside cover.

I'm not certain how Thoreau would feel about the situation, but rest assured, the rest of the book will be used as well.  His writing is exquisite and will make lovely additions to collages.  I'm just so enamoured of the stunning end papers I could eat them.

Meanwhile, the in-progress abstracted floral sits on another table, waiting for some extreme help!

And a birthday card had to be created for a gym buddy - he is the most dedicated fitness guru I know, having worked out for over 50 years.  It's hard to imagine he's turning 76 - he looks well over 20 years younger.

And another table holds a host of in-progress pieces that require further extensive enhancements or more experimentation.  Truly, who could have a better life than an artist?  It's hard to imagine!

Now I'd better get back to the - oh, SQUIRREL!!!

Thursday 2 March 2023

It's wild in the studio...

 ...and a wee bit earthy (or at least as earthy as I ever get), with the latest lesson in Tracy Verdugo's Abstract Mojo.  The assignment was to create a raft of organic-looking marks on both white printer paper and kraft paper using bits and pieces of things gathered from the outside.  Naturally, the day I was doing this, it snowed.  I improvised by using some of my dried greenery for mark-making, some of my hand-crafted stencils, and a great deal of imagination.  It was, of course, near-impossible to stop, 'cause you know how much I love to make paper!  

Step two was to paint a background for the papers on a sheet of watercolour paper, another fun playtime.

In the demo, Tracy then collaged the papers over the entire piece before cutting into three pieces.  I did the reverse, and either way is fine.

I lay the torn bits of paper out before applying liquid medium to stick 'em down.

I did some additional mark-making in both the background and on the torn pieces to create some push-pull.

Although well out of my normal colour comfort zone (I am in major experimental model with both colour and technique), I think they make interesting strata pieces.

And during some play with the camera, I found this 'Noir' mode, which I like as well.  

I will play with these some more, adding more layers, and no doubt pushing them well beyond acceptability - what could be more fun?!

Hope you've had a lot of creative dance in your week - tell me what you're doing in the comments below, please?!!!

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