Now that I’ve finished the artist’s book project – I’ve been cleaning up my studio room, and playing with paint and some fire in my daily art journal (which is rarely daily!) I have a sheet of heavy paper that has strings running through it, and after I finished this profile sketch I decided to cut some holes in a strip of the paper, but the holes were too uniform so I lit a candle and held the hole over the flame for a second to burn the edges – I think it was just what I wanted to happen. Before I did the sketch I had pasted down a bunch of leftover “aged” paper from the book project. I love the brown color. That little face upper left was a paint blob that I had to draw in.
This was the same background, but I painted indigo blue watercolor over it. I used the cutout circles from the strip I burned. I don’t know what kind of paper it is, but I’ve had it forever and now I wish I had more of it, but I’ve no idea what its called. If anyone knows, please let me know. Its a natural color, heavy wt, but soft, and there are vertical and horizontal threads running through it. It burns pretty quickly too!
These pages are 8.5 x 6 inches. Handmade watercolor paper, about 200 lb. Made in India. Its very bumpy so it isn’t very good for drawing, but its very nice for watercolor and gouache. Paint puddles and runs creating interesting patterns. I used oil pastel, pencil and some brown and some blue watercolor for the sketches.
“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
5 x 7 inches pannelli telati canvas panel, Untitled #2 – oil
I am still playing with the water soluble oil paints, and I am beginning to like it better than I did – it takes forever to dry, but its nice to be able to return to “fix things” that you always notice later. I know that this face is a little wonky – I kind of liked it that way so I’ve left the wonkiness – but if it really begins to bother me, its really nice to be able to fix it without painting gesso over the whole area and starting over, which is what acrylics require.
My “studio” is a big mess, and it seems this summer evening humidity just makes it too hard to clean things up – I go in and as soon as I move around much I begin to feel sticky, and the back of my neck feels damp, and then I feel cranky and useless. We’ve had the painters outside for the last week or so, and I ‘ve been surprised more than once upon looking up and finding a big hairy face at the window – and cigarette smoke blowing in through any crevices, so I’ve had the windows closed, and the shades drawn – no wonder it feels close and sticky! It is! I had to take my entire garden off the deck so it could be POWER washed. Going up and down a flight of stairs carrying potted plants, bistro sets, and a variety of garden ornaments in 90 degree weather is unsettling. I’ve had to carry buckets of water out from the laudry room to water everything while it waits in the grass to be returned to the deck – but the railing looks nice now that they are nearly done!
You can see here I’ve got the pupils of the eyes different sizes – but I’m not sure it really matters. We’ll see how long I can leave it alone! Ha!
These Pannelli Telati cotton canvas panels are very nice to paint on, I like the fine texture, and they are very inexpensive. They would have to be framed, unlike a stretched canvas, because the edges are not finished. But I do like the firness rather than a stretched canvas which bothers me with the bouncing as it meets against the brush strokes. I find myself placing my hand against it to stop it from bouncing.
I found them online.
This is what the edges look like, they are nicer than the inexpensive canvas panels I’ve seen in the art supply stores, because they don’t become warped, they stay firm and flat.
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.
I know these are perfectly ridiculous – but I have nothing to say for myself! (haha) It was fun. I was telling someone I couldn’t draw animals…and then I thought, but this is in the realm of “what if”, so it doesn’t matter if I don’t know exactly how an animal looks – these are imaginary people I might know!
It’s been cold (actually turned the heat back on) and rain, rain, rain here and I’m tired of it! We had two days of spring weather last week – nothing more predicted! Thought I would entertain myself with a few whimsical drawings for the fun of it.
“Simon Hausparrow, Rainy on Monday” Oil pastel, gouache, watercolor on journal page.
“Mlle Minou – Ready for the Dance” Oil pastel, gouache, watercolor on journal page.
“Bunny, a Girl With Questions” Oil pastel, gouache, watercolor on journal page.
“Katness Looking into Herself” – journal pages – oil pastel, gouache.
I did these drawings a couple of months ago while I was reading the Hunger Games and I visualized the character of Katness Everdeen with dark hair and grey eyes. I admit I got caught up in the social and cultural aspect of the whole story! I haven’t seen the film and probably won’t. But the books created visual images for me and I wanted to try and draw this young woman warrior. I read a lot, and I often gain ideas for art from the characters I read about.