“Winter’s Rest” acrylic,oil pastel, graphite on Strathmore mixed media journal page.
I don’t really like the paper used in this so called “mixed media” journal, but I feel I should use it up rather than waste it! It seems to be a bristol board type paper, very smooth and kind of slick. I used white gesso as a first coat then added some color then I went over the color with black gesso blotting it off to create more texture. Then I sketched in the face and painted with acrylic and oil pastel over the acrylic.
I am happy that winter has mostly ended for Portland. Flowers are beginning to bloom, the trees are leafed and many are in bloom! I love the flowers!
Yesterday! From my front door, looking up!
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.
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!
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.
This one must have decided to forego ballet class and explore the outdoors!
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!
January light in Portland is often filtered and without shadows, gray and flat. I try to get through this long month as best I can! Sometimes a surprise will happen and we get nearly brilliant sunlight for a few hours – a true gift! Today was such a day! Bright skies, stark January light, an infusion of hopefulness! So I pulled out some paintings I’ve been working on but haven’t finished.
I know its been a long while since I’ve posted anything – I have no excuse other than … I don’t know…. just haven’t been doing much and feeling very guilty for it. Making many half attempts, and not finishing much of anything. Maybe tomorrow will be a bright day too!
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!
A Strangeling with his red heart on view. Acrylic, charcoal.
An angel standing on the sun. I loved painting this sphere so I did it again on another page.
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.
Another little stranger wearing woad! haha.
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.
This angry looking stranger didn’t warrant filling in with paint. Just a charcoal drawing.
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!
I’ve been making sketchbooks, or what I call workbooks, from leftover papers I’ve had sitting around for years. I’m not very good at coptic binding, but I like how this binding method allows the book to lay flat when open. There is room for improvement in my technique!
I’ve started to play with paint in the first one with the painted cover. The cover is heavy watercolor paper that I happened to have some leftover scraps. It’s about 8×12 inches. That’s as big as I like to go with journals. It has about 64 pages, counting both sides. I’m calling it “Abstractions” because I am just playing around with color and shapes. I don’t like to use more than about 64 pages per book – I seem to get overwhelmed artwise when there too many blank pages! That’s why its nice to make your own, you can choose size, paper, etc.
This is the one in the middle – about 6 x 10 inches. I used brown paper called “bogus rough” and gray tone paper. It has about 64 pages counting both sides of each page. The cover is 140# watercolor paper, which I will paint when I decide what I’ll use the journal for.
This is the one on the right. Its tall and narrow – due to leftover paper sizes. You can see how nice and flat they stay open! It has a cover made from the back of a used purchased sketch pad.
Here’s what’s happening inside the first book. I’m using acrylics on gesso coated brown pages.
I wish acrylics were’nt so shiny, but they’re great for journals because they dry fast. Sometimes the pages do stick together a little bit. But for now, I’m just painting!
I have been creating patterns on fabric with rust. I mostly used steel wool in a half and half solution of apple cider vinegar and water. Before the steel wool fully rusted I dipped the linen into the solution and got the lovely soft gray color. Then I lay a piece of the steel wool on it to create the subtle color change. After the steel wool rusted I took out pieces of it and lay it on the wet muslin after a few hours the patterns shown are the result! I’m using the rusted pieces of muslin and linen for the pages of a handmade book. Gluing them down to folded heavy watercolor paper to create signatures for a handmade book. I intend to incorporate the rust patterns into the pages, although that didn’t happen below.
This is one of the pages I’ve created for my book, I’m calling it “The Sacred Life of Trees.” Using watercolor, oil pastel, pen and ink for 12 original drawings depicting the spirit that humans have given to trees through folklore, religion, and daily life. The letter “A” is painted in bright gold paint. I like the kind of medieval look of the gold paint – kind of like an illustrated manuscript. This is my first page so I may discard and have a “do-over.” haha
I’m creating the book for the book arts exhibit at the Illahe Gallery in Ashland, Oregon in April for their Fifth Annual Artist Books Invitational and Printmakers; Also, the “Community Press” work by community members. First Friday Art Walk April 4, 5:00 to 8:00 PM