Tag Archives: Journaling

Journal Play

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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.

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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.

Messy Studio and Imaginary Flowers

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New page for the artists book “The Orphan Train”

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My studio is a big mess while I work on this project artist book, The Orphan Trains.  I’m going to share what a big mess I make when creating – I think because it really does bother me that I can’t maintain some kind of order when I’m creating!  I wonder if I had a separate studio that wasn’t an extra bedroom down the hall from my bedroom, would I be less constricted about mess making.  I think I probably would!

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My work table under seige.  The heavy iron/steel thing sitting on the red plaid paper is something I found at an estate sale – it weighs about ten pounds and makes a perfect paper weight to smooth paper or hold until glue sets!  I’ve no idea what it was originally intended for, but I use it all the time for weighting down glued pages.

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A close up of the paper I’ve been aging for this project.  I’ve squirted lemon juice on regular text weight copier paper and baked it in the oven til it reaches the desired aged-ness.

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The Dorothy Parker book has nothing to do with this project!

Now for something more fun than messy work tables!  Make believe flowers!

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I am ready for spring! Dreaming of planting my summer pots and creating my garden, I started to doodle some imaginary flowers that are unlikely to be found in any botanists catalog, or garden wish book.  Once I finish the  artist book project – I’ll begin to seriously do some gardening!

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A strange little kitty – not saying ‘hello’ either – maybe a naughty kitty.  I had to redo her eyes with a piece of paper pasted over the old ones.  They just looked too naughty! ( journal pages)

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.

Oil Painting…un-ness

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untitled and unfinished 5 x 7 inches – oil

I went and bought a very inexpensive set of water soluble oil paints – okay – really cheap set!  I just wanted to see how I liked them, and I’ve got to say, I really don’t.  I don’t like the forever drying time, I don’t like how if you aren’t very  (read extremely) careful the paint all smooshes around and gets muddy.  I can’t find my way around a canvas with oil paints.  I see a spot I want to work on, right then and there, but I can’t without losing the good part of that spot when I change the not so good part.  So I am probably not going to experiment further with oil painting, I guess.  I still like the idea of it, but it takes so long to dry – I am trying to change my way of approaching painting.  But is it worth it?  This is an example of a small canvas I was working on with the oils.  I do notice the luminosity of the skin tones, but I think I can duplicate that with acrylics.  You will probably notice I tried not to use my usual blues in this little oil painting, that part I liked.

I’ve been stuck in this sort of in-between state all summer.  I’ve tried to nudge myself along – and I’m blaming it partly on the Portland summer, or lack thereof.   Summer comes late to Portland.  Usually after the 4th of July, we have a few record breaking dry days, like maybe nine in a row.  This usually prompts some panicky weather predictions; like measurements of last winter’s snow melt, lots of finger pointing at dry curb sides, predictions of coming water shortages, maybe drought, probably pestilence… and what the heck, throw some starvation in there too – it might raise the ratings!  Anyway- I’m just sayin’ – I have to find some reason for my lack of painting interest.  I thought it was good that I tried the oil paints – but I’m still 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.

 

 

I dreamed of a baby horse

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I haven’t been working on any art projects lately, but I had a dream some nights ago that stayed with me.  It was about a baby horse and my desire to take care of it; to protect it and keep it safe during the night.  I sketched out a very quick illustration and used a transfer technique with packing tape to place the words  of the dream over my sketch.  The type should have come out a little darker, but I did it several times and that’s what I got, a gray typeset, almost like a watermark, which would be very nice in some situations, but I wanted the words to be foremost for this, since my sketch was so crude.  It’s a journal page, right?  Doesn’t have to be perfect.

Here’s what it says:

I dreamed of a baby horse that needed my care.  In my dream, someone told me that I should find a safe hiding place for it during the night – maybe make a nest in “the bushes.” as its mother would do.  Cait was walking beside me, and I said to her, “I would never leave a little horse all alone in the bushes all night.   Anything could happen.  “If I had a motherless baby horse to take care of I would take it right into the house with me at night.”  Suddenly we were walking together toward an old farmhouse and I was carrying a foal in my arms.  I seemed quite strong and very able to carry the horse and walk the long distance to the house without any trouble at all.