Tag Archives: Drawing

Winter, Sky, Trees, Moss –

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Winter,Trees,Sky,Moss 2013 001

“Winter, Sky, Trees, Moss”   7×5 inches 8 pages.  Watercolor, collage, graphite, textile, paste paper.

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In Portland, winter can be mostly gray, and doesn’t change much from day to day.  It was supposed to be dry today with a predicted weak sun, but when I woke up this morning I could hear the rain on the street as cars went rolling down the road.  So another gray day.  But standing outside later, I saw such beauty in the drape of bare tree branches, and gray sky, and here and there the brightest little green tufts of moss, clinging to rocks, and the concrete stairs leading up to the street.  I love those little tufts of tenacity; clinging patiently through the dry times, coming carefully back to brilliant color in the rain of winter.

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Winter, Sky, Trees, Moss 2013 004

Paste Paper

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I’ve been making paste paper and tearing into book size pieces, and pasting other things on top if it.

Paste paper is a concoction of wheat paste, or cornstarch, and water and pigment.  You can use acrylic paint for the pigment, or watercolor, or gouache, or even powdered poster paint pigment.  I’ve been running it through the printer after its dry using scanned images over the paste background.

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The red background of this paste was made using a vintage piece from an old erector set.  You can see the little circles at the top of the photo from the edges of the metal piece.  I used a scan photo and ran it through the printer a couple of times trying to get some handwriting to show from another scan. It doesn’t show clearly enough, so i have another idea for it.

2013 Paste Paper 008These images are cut from drawing paper weight paste paper.  They are just laying on top of a large sheet, I intend to use them later, just not sure how yet.

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This scanned image is used over a piece of brown paste paper – its actually darker than this photo shows.

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If you would like to try some paste paper its very simple.  I used 1/4 cup of cornstarch and blended with 1/4 cup of water, add this mix to one cup of water and cook ’til you get a nice custardy mixture.  Keep stirring so it doesn’t stick to the pan, and try to blend it so no lumps form.  Take off the stove and add 1/2 cup cold water.  It might look too runny, but it thickens as it cools.  Put a few tablespoons of this mixture in small containers, I got mine from the $ store, and then add your color and stir up.  The recipe says to dampen your paper – but I didn’t I just painted on the color using a brush, or my fingers, or a sponge applicator.  The the fun began of making designs in the paste with various items.  A comb, making straight or wavy lines.  Rubber stamps, or handmade stamps cut from potatoes, or found objects such as leaves, or rocks, sticks or whatever you have around the house.  The paste mixture should be thick enough to hold the impression that you make giving it a kind of 3-D look.  You can save the paste covered in the fridge for a few days if you want to use that particular color again.

I’ve made it before to use as wrapping paper, but you have to use a lighter weight paper so it doesn’t crack when you fold it around a package.  I used plain white kraft paper for this – once again, from the $ store.  I’ve also used the back of regular leftover wrapping paper.  I find that my colors sometimes come out more muddy than I wanted – I suspect I was too anxious to add more color without waiting for the bottom layer to dry a little.

Work in Progress, and a 4th Birthday Collage

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I’ve been working on a painting for the last couple of months or so.  I can’t seem to finish it because I don’t know where its going.

It’s called Pearl’s Mother and below is a detail from the painting.  The medium is oils.

Below is the original sketch I did in August, on a piece of notebook paper.

On another note, my grandson celebrated his 4th birthday on the 13th of this month.  I made him a collage to celebrate Number 4, and his love of race cars.  His new bedroom decor will now be all about race cars, including his bed!  I thought this little collage would be fun to hang in his room!

I did this using a a cradled wood mixed-media art board.  My youngest daughter, the graphic design artist, helped me make the paper for the backgroud using photo shop and some stock photos from the internet.  I had a little collection of various vintage wheels,tires, and other trinkets, and I recently purchased the little racing cars from ebay just for this collage.  They are about one and a fourth inches long and made of tin, their graphics are lithographed. The green car is #4, and doesn’t show well in this photo.I covered a match box with a paper print of an old stopwatch and the number four (about 2 inches long)I’ve had for ages – just proves that artist’s eventually do find a use for all their little collected bits and pieces!  The entire size is 11 x 14 inches.

  On the back I put a cutout of the Beatle’s and a verse from “All Together Now.”

Thread

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“Thread”  Mixed Media. Oil.  Tea bag and found object collage on Pannelli Telati panel – 8 x 10 inches.   I have been intrigued by the classes Roxanne Evans Stout from  rivergardenstudio.typepad.com/is teaching called, “The Thread That Weaves.”  I think her ideas became  the inspiration behind this little painting, so I just called it “Thread.”  If you take a moment and view her website to read about the classes she has created using found materials to make beautiful little artist books you will probably surely get inspired too!

I painted the figure some time ago on a large manilla tag (7.5 x 3.5 inches), knowing I would use it for  collage eventually.  I glued the tag to the panelli panel, and then began adding other papers.  I added the very fine copper wire from some kind of electronic component I found.  The wire was so fine I had to twist several threads of it together for visibility.  The leaf is one I saved from last fall – I always save a few and dry them in my big Shakespeare book so I know where to find them when I need them!  The hand comes from a sheet of handmade paper stamped with them, which I purchased from some flea market or other.  I’ve used them several times and will miss them when they are used up!

detail of face

Finding My Way Out (of un-ness)

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Journal page – 8.5 x 11 – oil pastel, gouache, watercolor, pencil

I’ve been reading some fairy tales lately, well not, “once upon a time,” but  a book called “Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters” by Kathleen Ragan.  I think this is going to influence my art for a while, content wise anyway.  I love the idea of being able to fly – it is such a mysterious thing; only allowed birds, fairies, and angels (and insects).

Journal page – 8.5 x 11 – oil pastels, gouache, watercolor, pencil.

This is where I’ve been sitting, thinking, and reading.  Watching the hummingbirds visit the salvia, and dreaming about big beautiful paintings!

There’s the Madonna of the Marigolds, no  marigolds this year, but she is carefully watching over the seedling japanese maple that Cait gave me from her backyard, there’s a larger version behind her to the left, I bought that one last year at Farmer’s Market in Hillsdale, just a walk away from my house.  I’m going out to rearrange things today – the larger Japanese Maple is getting too much direct sun, I can see the leaves are being burned, so strange since I was only complaining about the lack of summer weather recently – apparently its enough to crisp delicate growth!  Beginning to become less un.

What ….? Un-ness.

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I don’t know what I’ve been doing.  Waiting around for some kind of inspiration to kick in.  Its been weeks, and I still haven’t got much going on in the studio.  I haven’t really been busy.  I went to Denver a couple of weeks ago, but other than that I’ve mostly been waiting…. and I’ve got nothin’.   I bought a can of chalk paint to paint my bookcases – but the can is as yet unopened.  And it cost a lot, and I really wanted to paint them white, they are currently black, but – well – the paint is still unopened.  I went downstairs and dug out some canvases that I had stored away – not old paintings, just blank canvases.  But so far, nothing has happened and they are growing dust waiting for me to get going.  I’m waiting for the summer – but in Portland, summer is just an idea that has its own time – kind of like my creative-ness – or un-ness, right now.   Even the journal is not filling up like it should be – that’s the thing.  “Should.”  I “should” be so happy to have the time I’ve never had before I should be more creative I should be painting a canvas everyday I should just jump in and get going…I should….. I know, I know, I know.  So here are my journal pages – strange meanderings of the un-ness.