Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Technicolor Animals

I had a lot of fabric scraps left from other projects- some marbled fabric and pleated pieces with acrylic paint. So I made a bunch of ATC (Artist Trading Cards) backgrounds to use up the bits and pieces.  By adding the pleated scraps to black cards and covering others with the chartreuse and orange marbled fabric, I ended up with a nice collection of cards with  intense colors schemes.  I had been perusing some old books for another project and was intrigued by some of the vintage animal drawings.  The zebra seemed perfect for the strong black background and with the limited space on the ATC (2.5" by 3.5") I decided to just draw the head.  Then somehow, the pink and yellow got in and the final result was a colorful zebra with a green border.  That was so much fun it turned into a series of animal heads.  All were drawn on cardstock with Micron felt tips and colored with Prismacolor pencils then cut out and glued to the backgrounds.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sunflowers from Mahala

Fellow gardener and good friend Mahala gave me a sweet bouquet of sunflowers and zinnias.  She is lucky enough to have some acreage so her flower and veggie gardeners are pretty spectacular.  She has a long row of sunflowers in her garden - I only have room for a few in my perennial beds.  I put the sunflowers in a blue glass vase and the colors together were so happy and energetic- very Van Gogh.  Took a few minutes to sketch them.  Thanks Mahala!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tons of beads

I used the Jacquard Marbling Kit and made lots of beautiful fabric pieces.  This one had irregular circular shapes that looked like flowers.  I used some collaged paper and cut out leaf shapes then used red, orange and yellow orange beads to accentuate the circles and create the flowers.  I added the 2 ATCs (Artist Trading Cards)for a focal point.  Beading and copper wire integrated them into the background.  The swirly lines created by the marbling gave a great linear movement to the piece so I added French knots to play them up.  It took hours and hours to do all this beading but it was really relaxing and meditative.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


If you aren't familiar with the publications from Stampington & Co. be sure and check them out!  http://www.stampington.com/    They publish over a dozen beautiful mixed media and lifestyle magazines.  Many are available at Barnes & Noble or from their website.

The card above is from the July/Aug/Sept 2012 issue of Stampers Sampler.  The background was created with newspaper painted with acrylic paint and collaged with brocade and joss paper.  Machine stitching unites the layers.  3 pieces of faux postage highlight the poem by Mari Evans.

The 2 journal pages are featured in the Summer 2012 issue of Art Journaling.  The complete journal was titled Better Than Blank Book.  The book was a simple construction of vintage drawing paper with a sewn spine.  Each spread was decorated with ATCs (Artist Trading Cards), fabric  from indigo and marbling experiments, faux postage, trims and  much more.  Essentially, I did a studio clean up and used it to decorate the journal.  This work also included lots of simple drawings like the yellow flowers above.  The purpose of the book was to create a beautiful place to write and sketch without having to face the dreaded "white page". 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Back from Paris!

Paris is such a visual treat - but all of your senses are engaged when you relax into the experience.   The food choices are amazing from traditional French to ethnic choices from around the world.  The egg flan from our local boulangerie will be on my hips for months!  Listening to the French language with its distinctive cadence is a real pleasure.  I understood bits and pieces of conversations but preferred to hear the beauty of the sounds as conversational music. My olfactories were engaged in a less than pleasant way on the Metro but that was balanced with delicious food smells from the sidewalk cafes.  There was an incredible scarf store on our street and we touched every silk, cotton and exquisite wool scarf they had.  And finally, though not a real sense we were PETRIFIED at the top of the Roue de Paris pictured here.  It seemed like a great idea to see Paris from the top of this ferris wheel- until we were stopped at the top and the wind made the car swing precariously.  My goddaughter Jennifer and I were laughing, screaming and holding on for dear life. When we finally calmed down and the car stopped rocking we got some great pictures of the city laid out below us. 
For me, the best part of a juorney is coming home to the beautiful place I've created for myself with my cats, my wonderful friends, my sweetheart Greg, my house and garden.  I appreciate each part of my life so much more and am happy to return to it.  Can't wait to get in my studio and let my new ideas and inspirations take form.  I do miss that flan though.....

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fascinated with butterflies

I was working on a new journal and already had the layout with fabric and ATCs (Artist Trading Cards)finished but I needed something to make it really pop.  I noticed that quite by accident most of the ATCs had images of butterflies- from old postage, ephemera, etc.  So I started looking for butterfly images and found some great old engravings.  I started drawing butterflies with a Sharpie marker in sizes to fit the void areas in the journal. None of them are actual species- I made up shapes and coloring based on the engravings.  I colored them all with Prismacolor pencils then cut them out and glued them to the pages.  The 3 images above are all on pages covered with hand marbled fabric made with Jacquard's Marbling Kit.  Still drawing more butterflies to have on hand but I'm thinking about tropical fish next...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Finally out of the chaos

So all the faux postage is done and now all the ATCs are finished- over 200 of them!  The floor was finally bare so I could vacuum again and I have oodles of great components for new pojects.  Julie, an artist friend, pointed out that my method for working seemed very clear to her.  It involves creating lots of small pieces of art, like faux postage and ATCs with very fine detailing.  Then these intricate pieces become part of  larger works like art quilts and journals.  These larger pieces are also very involved with lots of painted and sewn backgrounds as foils to these smaller creations.  The finished result- like the middle image above from a new art journal- results in a richly layered effect with lots of eye candy.  The structure is very simple but each part is lavishly detailed so the total effect is quite complex.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Out of the Chaos #2

So, all of the faux postage is done! There are several different sizes to use in my art journals, ATCs and art quilts. I get my blank postage sheets from 100 Proof Press- they have great templates to match the various sizes too. For the backgrounds on these pieces I used paint chips, wrapping paper and fabric and paper scraps. Focal designs include tiny tags and brads, old book images, copies of my doodles and feathers. This is a great way to use up tiny snippets of great paper and trim you hate to throw away. One whole sheet was cut from a Van Gogh calendar my sister-in-law got in France- thanks Mary Lynn! My next step is to match faux postage with the stacks of ATC bsckgrounds I've started.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Out of the chaos...

It looks like a thermonuclear device went off in my studio but there is a method to my madness! I had this NEED to restock my ATC and faux postage collection and once I started getting things out to use it went from the desk to the floor to the whole room. I'm using a lot of supplies that have been hanging around the studio for ages- tiny tags, paint chips and fabric scraps- and incorporating them into this massive project. So far, the floor has been like this for 2 weeks but the faux postage is almost done and the ATCs are well on their way. I'll post the results from all this craziness in subsequent posts.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Better than Blank

I've been making a series of blank books- I call them Better Than Blank Books. I used beautiful old drawing paper for the pages and made a quick machine sewn seam to put them together. The pages are decorated with paper scraps, fabric strips, ribbon, old ATCs and remnants of unsuccessful projects- anything that was laying around my studio. It is like a giant collage with each page adding to the whole. On the first stage of the project I created the coordinated page spreads. Now I am going back and adding doodles, quotes and finishing details to act as prompts. The final stage will be actually using the book as a journal. Each page will be a visual delight and there are no dreaded white pages in sight!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Share your ART!

My yoga studio - MindBodyFitness Yoga (www.mindbodyfitnessyoga.com) is celebrating the Winter Solstice with a Mala. This beautiful, peaceful practice gives us all a chance to relinquish the burdens we no longer need and embrace our good intentions for the coming year. We all bring food for the local food bank and this year we will celebrate with live music and snacks too. For the past 2 Winter malas I have made ATCs ( Artist Trading Cards) to share with everyone. Each one has an inspirational quote on the back. It gives me great joy to share these little pieces of art with my yoga community. Where can you share art in your life? With friends, family- maybe even strangers if you like the idea of guerilla art. The world can always use more beauty so think about sharing your art this year.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Belated Halloween Treat

If you are a cat owner you know how much "help" they are in the studio. Sammy takes his duties very seriously and he's so darn CUTE I can never resist his charm!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Power of Complementary Colors

Color is the most powerful tool at your disposal to evoke mood, emotions and the WOW factor in your work. I naturally gravitate towards complements- colors opposite each other on the color wheel. The best known pairs are red/green, blue/orange and violet/yellow. These combos, in their purest intense forms, are really active and sometimes garish. However, tweaking and toning them down doesn't diminish their power. In the detail of my mixed media piece above, the indigo dyed fabric and orange accents give this piece energy and a playful mood. Without the orange, the blue and pink would have been pretty, but predictable. Even pastels and muted colors have complements. Study a detailed color wheel and you will see the possibilities for adding a pop of color magic to your next piece.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sigh- working out of a slump

We all get them, we all suffer with them- the inevitable creative slump. The ideas dry up, the energy ebbs and your studio makes you feel guilty every time you walk through the door. Why can't you just sit down and work- where's the joy and energy that are as natural as breathing? I have projects all over my studio- all in the beginning stages and they have just been sitting there for over a month. I feel like I've run out of gas. So, to ride out the down time, I've been working on TINY little faux postage. I use a full sheet(www.100proofpress.com) and they can be separated so it's easy to trash the rejects. This is very freeing and feels like play. I leave all my supplies out and just take a few minutes here and there to work on them. Above is a sheet in several stages of completion. They all start with little doodles, then Derwent watercolour pencils then a touch of acrylic medium on the higlights and a sprinkle of Martha Stewart glitter (LOVE her colors and it's super fine). It's not much but it's fun and I know I can use them on ATCs and collages in the future. And funny thing, this morning I picked out beads for one of those projects gathering dust and I think I'm ready to start!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

LOVE Mingle Magazine from Stampington & Co.!!!

Stampington & Co.is famous for their original paper arts publication Somerset Studio and now they have added another fantastic magazine to their 30+ titles. MINGLE is a visual treat with amazing ideas for unique gatherings. If you love making life special for your loved ones, this magazine will be a catalyst for so many festive occasions. As always with a Stampington publication, the magazine is so beautiful you return to its pages again and again for inspiration. To get your copy and start planning some magic for your next get together, visit www.stampington.com