Tag Archives: Drawing

Stamping into Spring!

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I’ve been trying my hand at stamp making by carving the stamping material rubbery stuff called “easy-cut” or “quick-cut” made by Speedball.  Its very simple really just draw something onto the rubbery stuff and then use a small tool to carve out the lines!  Pretty easy!

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This is the actual carved stamp.  I used both types of carving material and this one is the white kind and it is very crumbly as you carve – but the crumbles seem to add a little depth to the stamped picture.

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These are the tools I used.  You can see the different sized blades.  These tools come with a set of blades in the handle, and you just unscrew the plastic cap on the end to take them out.  The fit into the other end which has a chuck that you can inset the blade into.  I didn’t want to keep changing the blades so I got three sets  and I can just leave them set up to go.

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This was my original drawing for the standing bunny – nothing complicated!

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I used the pink material for the duck.  Its much firmer, and doesn’t crumble.  Its very smooth.  The pink is the stamp, the image on the right is the printing of the stamp.  I just spread some Speedball water based print ink on a plastic pallet, put the stamp on it face down, and then lifted the stamp and lay a piece of printing paper over the inked stamp  and pressed it with my fingers.

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A funny little star clown!

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Jack Rabbit.  This one with more lines, some carved background, getting fancier here!

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A very simple sunflower.  I didn’t carve any background lines and I can go back in a cut away the plain space and turn it into just a sunflower stamp by itself, no background or block around it.

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A simple leaf shape which I intend to carve away the space around it to make it just the leaf shape by itself, and then it could be used as a border on a journal page or something like that.

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Sketches and Spring

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 Yesterday!   From my front door, looking up!

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I’ve been sketching in a little book I’ve made myself.  The pages are long and narrow 11.5×4.5 inches.  I’ve been trying to fit the sketch onto the page and making the subject matter long and narrow too.

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Then I started thinking of the old classic film, The “Children of Theatre Street” filmed in Russia about 1950 something or very early 60’s about the Vaganova school of ballet. I decided to make my figures beginning ballerinas!  I don’t have the film anymore, wish I did!

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Double page with two ballerinas.  The one on the right I sketched her head on my work table cover paper several months ago.  I cut it out and glued it on the page and added the little body.

 

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This one must have decided to forego ballet class and explore the outdoors!

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This one may be a grown up ballerina — but I copied her face from a fashion magazine — so she’s actually a model.  I like to sketch from magazine photos – its so easy to see where the shading goes!

Sketchbook Abstractions and ‘Strangelings’

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I continue to move paint around in my sketchbook – now I’m adding drawings on top of the background paintings.  Nothing serious — just moving the paint and charcoal around — if things are out of proportion, good!

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A Strangeling with his red heart on view.  Acrylic, charcoal.

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An angel standing on the sun.  I loved painting this sphere so I did it again on another page.

 

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I’ve been trying these matte acrylics put out by Dick Blick.  I really like them for journal work, but they might be too flat looking for paintings.

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Another little stranger wearing woad! haha.

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The background painting is fun to do.  I did this one by painting one side and laying the top page over it to create a print.  Then I drew in the figure with charcoal.

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This angry looking stranger didn’t warrant filling in with paint.  Just a charcoal drawing.

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This strangeling may be off-putting to some, but he has a pleasant demeanor, really!

I’m thinking summer has arrived in Portland – the cottonwoods are blooming or whatever it is that they do, and the air is allergy inducing!  I’ve been spending my days sewing myself some new summer things to wear.  Haven’t done that in a very long time!  My evenings I’ve spent painting these strangelings, or maybe they are changelings.  They do appear somewhat mysterious.  I haven’t been posting much this last year – life just hasn’t been very creative — but I’m always thinking.  Maybe my dry spell has worked itself out and I will soon be turning out canvases again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sacred Life of Trees – artist’s book – Illahe Gallery in Ashland

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The Sacred Life of Trees – artist’s book – Illahe Gallery in Ashland

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9×10 inches.  140 # watercolor paper with muslin glued to surface of pages.  Watercolor, acrylic, oil pastel, graphite, collage.

The Sacred Life of Trees an artist’s book I created from an idea I had about how much I love trees, and how much everyone values and loves trees.  It seems, from my research, that trees have been a source of mystery from the beginning of time.  I wanted to do a more in depth study, but was unable to complete the whole thing in time for the Illahe Gallery Invitational Artist’s Book Exhibit in Ashland, Oregon!  So I concentrated on the most loved concepts of sacred trees.

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Double page spread.

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The Tree of Life with a guarding snake, and golden fruit!

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The Apple Tree – worshipped by ancient celtic cultures for the bounty of her fruit.  Some think it was an apple tree that instigated the downfall of man in the Garden of Eden!  Maybe, maybe not.  But she is lovely!

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The quiet little Hazel Tree – also bearing life sustaining nuts.   The hazel was considered by the ancient celts to be a magical tree.  Her wood is used for making dowsing rods to find water.  A hazel wand is very strong – be sure to thank her if you take her branches!

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The Ogham is an ancient celtic alphabet – often referred to as the Celtic Tree Alphabet.  The marks were made vertically on standing stones, many of which, are still standing in Scotland, Ireland, England.  They are read vertically from the bottom up.  I have written the Ogham name for each tree on the right hand bottom side of the drawing.

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The beautiful Willow Tree – known as the Lady of the Moon.

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The Birch Tree – Lady of the Wood.

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The Oak Tree – royalty of all trees.  Very strong, long lived, the king of trees, in this case the queen!

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The sacred Hawthorn Tree – the wand made from a hawthorn twig is truly magical.  The ancient celts believed the tree to have healing qualities, as well.  If a hawthorn self seeded next to a natural spring it was believed that dipping a scrap from a piece of clothing in the water and tying it to the tree would bring good health, and good luck.  Many of these are still honored in this way in the celtic countries and are laden with odd scraps of cloth.  They are known in Scotland as a ‘Clootie Tree’.  A clootie is a scrap of cloth.

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Final page with a verse from Loreena McKennitt.

I apologize for the lack of quality in these photographs.  The finished product really does look better than this.

 

 

 

Merry and Bright…

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“May Your Days Be Merry “

Journal page – watercolor and oil pastel 5 x 7 inches

Wishing you all a happy Christmas!  I’m flying out to Denver tomorrow to have Christmas with my 5-year-old grandson!  He has a lot of plans this year: 1.) hoping to catch Santa in his task of stuffing stockings, so possibly sleeping under the Christmas tree Dec 24, this undoubtedly includes me as well.  2.) A visit to see Santa and we won’t tell him our plans to surprise him!  heehee

 Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year ahead!

Sketchbook Pages

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I have been working sporadically in a thin sketch book – hoping it wouldn’t be so daunting to fill up the pages.  I seem to have lost momentum this year, and have very little to show for myself for 2013.  I can’t say specifically what the problem is, because I honestly don’t know.  Whatever it is, I hope is works itself out soon and I will emerge with a more clear idea of what I want to say in my art.  For now I jump all around and and envy everyone else for their ability to concentrate, to produce, and to know what they want!  Watercolor, charcoal, graphite.

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The summer Crow Wars seemed to have calmed down a little with the beginning of autumn.  They fought like crazy all summer, often leaving small caches of feathers beneath my deck.  The sparrows fought with them, the jays fought with them, and the crows fought with vocal curses at one another all through the sky- blue days of summer. Watercolor and graphite.

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I don’t know what this is about – just some sadness that came over me one evening and stayed around until I sketched this out. Charcoal and watercolor.

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The Fawn’s Child.  Pastel, oil pastel, graphite.  Sometime I try to imagine what it would be like to live outside all the time.  To know the darkness as well as I know the circles of cast light in my house.  To know time through the seasons of the earth.  It seems so magical, so impossible with all our contrived conveniences and measured time.  But still, I can imagine a great unknown forest with creatures defined by that space.