Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New Altered Book - Cats

A new creation is taking form. I am using a book of photographs of cats, altering the photos and adding text. I might use lyrics from Andrew Lloyd Weber's musical, or from the poetry that inspired him. I'm still thinking that one out.

This book won't require a lot of gathering as there are so many good images to use already in the book. The one little white kitten has gotten into Momcat's make up. She is a naughty little kitten. The three little kittens set out to sea to catch fresh tuna. There was a fourth, but it has been painted out. The boat had been a basket in the original photo.

I got to thinking about the photos I've altered. I started by altering victorian and edwardian era women and children, then moved on to fashion photos. When I finished the altered book using all fashion models, I knew I needed to find a new subject - and one I haven't seen anyone else doing. I considered wild horse, which I have done in the past - but I wanted to keep it really light and fun - humorous and touching. I always seem to inject philosophy and religion into my books - and I am challenging myself to keep it light in this work. We'll see. I have 5 books of cat photos on the shelf - so I just picked on at random, hauled it off to the studio and attacked it.

If I don't use the quotes mentioned before, I may just give them captions, sort of cartoony stuff in some cases, and more serious when the image brings that aspect to the book. I have a couple good friends who are great with words and captions, so if I get stuck - I'll just ask for help. It will be fun tackling a totally new subject. I'll post more as it progresses.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Postal Art

I made some postal art with gesso transfers, paints, rubber stamps and crayolas. This is one I just sent to my art pal Jackie.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Baked donuts - world's easiest recipe

Now, here is my secret recipe. It's very complicated. You have to understand I don't measure, so I'm only guessing at amounts. Take one pouch of Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix and dump it in a bowl. Then dump in some oatmeal (I use the 1 minute type) I'd guess about 3/4 cup. then a big handful of chopped almonds, and another of raisins or dried cranberries, or tropical fruit. Then a handful of semi sweet chocolate chips. sometimes I'll throw in some Cheerios, or other cereal if I don't have enough oatmeal. If I have a banana that needs using up, I mash it and throw it in. Then unsweetened applesauce - enough to make it all stick together and moist enough to mix well and drop from fork. Amounts don't seem to make much difference. I've done all kinds of variations and they always come out fine. No eggs, no fat, no other liquids. That's it! I spray the donut baking pans with butter flavored Pam, and drop in the dough and smush it around with a fork. Don't fill it to the top of the donut section - it needs room to rise. I bake at 350 degrees until it smells ready and starts to brown on the top. I let them stay in the pan for a couple minutes then turn them upside down on wax paper and shake them loose. They usually come out easily. But if one breaks, I eat it!

These little goodies freeze beautifully, take no time to make, always come out great, and are a hit wherever I take them. I recommend them for picnics, hikes, camping, and quickie breakfasts. They dunk. They are good with coffee, tea, fruit juices or milk.

I think you could probably throw in wheat germ if you like it. Sometimes I add a little fresh squeezed orange juice, or lemon juice. On rare occasions, I'll throw in some peanut butter with nuts. Wow! Those are really good, but it defeats the no fat aspect of them. You should see the grandchildren gobble them down. You can also add some powdered cocoa if you want them to be chocolate flavored.

Go forth and bake! Martha and I will be proud of you.

These pages are done with Golden fluid acrylic paints on watercolor paper. Rubber stamps were used as well as a transparency of architectural elements. I also used the Color Mists and some kids spray mists made by Crayola. The blue tiles are done with Lumiere paints.

These are being made to construct small journals to sell in LaSelva's fall art show.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Found text exercise

Mixed Media Artists of Northern California is having a "found text" challenge. We are using a piece of text from the Erasures web site. Here is what I did with it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Back from ART CAMP II

Art Camp is over for this season. And I'm ready to relax and just enjoy the country and what little of summer remains. It's 100 degrees today so I think it may be with us a little longer. Here are a few pictures of the Art Ladies at camp.

Rockin'girl Blogger

Evie nominated me for as a Rockin' Girl Blogger. I'll be making some nominations myself after I catch my breath. Thanks Evie.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

SICL - Stockton Institute for Continued Learning

Today was registration day. It was set up in the Locke lounge which made it so nice. It was not crowded, and the flow of people was pretty steady and all in all, I thought it went beautifully.

I signed up for the Duck Tour in San Francisco, the Printmaking Class, the Art and Artists class and the Sewing Class. The sewing class will be more like a group of ladies who just like to sew with others and chat. We can use the Bernina machines there, which is a great reason to take the class. The Printmaking class looks like it is mostly men, but that will not keep me away. I'm very anxious to try out the different methods and see what everyone is doing. I hear it can get messy with inks and all, so I guess I'll either wear aprons, smocks, or all black. That is probably the safest way. Of course my hands and face will probably be spattered and smeared too. What fun! The Art and Artists class is one I take every semester. I like the instructor and the people who attend. I'll probably take it forever, as it is a nice place to share art and make friends. Classes start right off in Sept. so I guess my summer of fun is about over. I'll be free Fridays thru Sunday, so I can still have time to play. I want to continue to spend as much time in the country as possible, and get to the coast too. Not enough time! Isn't that always the way, either too much to do, or nothing at all?

Altered books - practice book

In my last practice book I used one page of found text to illustrate the technique, and I also used a cut out Sudafed pill container to make glasses for an image. Here are pics of both.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Altered Books - some thoughts

In the process of gathering materials for my next altered book, it occured to me that there are many types of altered books. There are those who rely on techniques such as structural changes (tearing, cutting, niches, shapes, etc.) , those who make eye candy (using images and colors to create an object of beauty - a feast for the eyes), those who use altered books for journaling or for scrapbooks, or found text, or those who work more like I do, as an artist/anthologist. I have given myself that title now and may just add that to my business cards.

My next book (food poisoning) will be an anthology. The research and gathering process is so seductive and enriching (reminds me of working in the library) that sometimes that's as far as I get with a project. It will have two common threads weaving it together. Odd food experiences, and Shakespeare's voice. I'm never happy with just one thread. I usually like to aim for three and by the time this altered book is developed, it may have that many. I self impose a limit of three, feeling that more is not better, it is simply distracting and confusing. Although if I were to do a book on improvisational jazz, it would have many voices or threads.

After this food book, I plan on doing an Anthologie of Anthology definitions. I have exactly the right book to use. I'm also currently working on a found text altered book, in a small book about gambling. How bizarre is that! I am finding poetry in it!

After that I have some interesting titles to pursue - Altered States (to be about mental health issues such as phobias or about morphing art images), Small Vices (which might be about smoking, chocolate and an unnamed third surprise vice), and The Gossamer Cord ( which might be about relationships) - to name just a few. I have yet to do the book on Aging that I have been researching.

For years before I retired from the library, I told everyone I was going to work on an anthology of chickens - in art, poetry, advertising, music, cartoons, etc. I have yet to do this, although I am collecting materials and someday, it will hatch when it passes the incubation period.

Whatever type of altered book you choose to work on - it will become your own creation, and may be a mix of the styles. Or, you may develop a new style all your own. I wish you happiness in creating. Janene

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

New technique

I've been thinking for quite a while about using recycled popsicle sticks in my art. Today, I carried some down to the studio and decided to go for it. The first thing at hand was a Smithsonian magazine which had some interesting images - so I looked for things that would fit on the sticks and still leave some exposed. This is Caravaggio's David with the head of Goliath. The map was in the same article, as was the text used. I found this was very labor intensive, and it took a lot more time than I usually give a project - but as I had never seen this done before, I thought I'd give it my all. Here is my new creation.

Monday, August 13, 2007

New art work

I signed on for two swaps with the Cloth Paper Studio group. ATCs with texture and geometric designs. So I made ATCs. Here are a couple of spares. We only had to make three to get three back. One of them I just made for the fun of it - it is not the swap theme. You can see I'm playing with Shakespeare quotes here.

The second swap was for 5 x 7 journal pages, a 10 for 10 swap. I mailed my ten in today. In a month or so, I'll get back 10 pages by other artists. Then I'll construct them into a little art journal.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Home again

The quiet of the hills was disrupted with the constant chattering of two eleven year old girls for the last couple days - and screeching and giggling in the swimming pool. The squirrels and birds can come out of hiding now. Next week I plan to take Trevor, Nathan and Candis. This will be their last outing before school starts the following week.

Now, out to the studio, if it is still there.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mail art

I finished up some post cards - they are going out in the mail today to CPS birthday girls. Here are the pics.

Monday, August 6, 2007

New altered book idea - Food Poisoning

I am going to work on an altered book entitled "Food Poisoning". Its is little odd old medical book I bought at the flea market.

We had some odd eating habits in our family. We never ate anything with cooked tomatoes. So, no tomato sauce, no spaghetti, no pizza. We would put ketchup on macaroni and cheese and call it spaghetti. We never ate out, so didn't know the difference. None of the family are very adventurous cooks. We have a few things we cook well, but more things that we don't. None of us were ever very impressed with food so didn't develop very sophisticated palates. We ate to stay healthy - good healthy meals, but rather devoid of much flavor. Mother was an Iowa farm girl, so big meals, lots of meat and potatos were the common fare. My dad was always a gentleman and thanked and complimented her every day for dinner.

This book will feature the mistakes, the errors in judgement, the burnt beans, the creamed tuna made with plaster of paris, the lead-like buckwheat pancakes, and what we used to call candy - which tasted more like medicine (Mother bought them at the health food store) - Horhound drops. Yuch. No wonder I never developed a taste for hard candy. After spending the weekend with my brother talking about our childhoods, I realized there was an altered book just waiting to be constructed on the memories of food that are sort of unique to our family. My daughters-in-law cook, the grandchildren cook. Maybe I can tap into their horror stories too.

So now that the book is chosen, and the theme is developing - the next step is gathering the images that will help illustrate it. Family photos of course, and other found images. Maybe some old recipes. I think the whole thing is a bit silly, but I think it will be fun. I have photos of animals in strange contortions that will probably be used to illustrate tummyaches and so forth. I think that this will probably develop pretty fast. It's kind of a family journal of our eating history. I guarantee this is one of a kind. I'm so glad I found that little book at the flea market. No one else would have bought it. Indeed they had boxes and boxes of books that were not selling. If I could have gone back in the afteroon, I would have got more for next to nothing - but I was back in camp waiting for Ace hardware to deliver my new lawn swing. Oh well, I probably have enough books for awhile.

Since posting the beginning of this post, I have been in the studio where I picked up a book of Shakespeare quotations which I think I will use in this book. I seldom quote Shakespeare - but maybe just this once. Things like "Good sooth, she is the queen of curds and cream." or, "For this, be sure, tonight thou shalt have cramps."

I'm already envisioning a page stamped with real green beans in black ink to commemorate my mom's penchant for leaving them on the stove until smoke filled the house. Then later, we would get out the ladder and wash the ceiling and walls. Not one of my fondest memories, but it does give me a giggle now, looking back. She was the greatest baker of bread and cinnamon rolls. She and my aunt Verna Mae. I'll never have cinnamon rolls like that again. Maybe this winter I'll try to duplicate them. Yummm. All the family loves them. "Then to breakfast with What appetite you have." Yes, Shakespeare is going to work out fine for this one.

Then there was the night my high school sweetheart came back from the beach with gunny sacks full of tiny little fish for us to "cook?" My mother was not pleased with this great gift and my brother and I were dispatched to the backyard to bury them. "thou deboshed fish thou."

Yes, a food book is in the works.

Back from the hills

I've been missing in action again. The hills were calling and I answered. My brother and sister-in-law were with me for the long weekend. It was our annual trek to the White Pines Flea Market just outside of Arnold, CA. It is always the same weekend of every year and we mark our calendars ahead. It starts at 8 a.m on Saturday and Sunday. I got some books, mystery puzzles, Hawaiin shirts for the boys (and one for me), some interesting things to do rubbings of, and a Yamaha keyboard (WAHOO!) Look who thinks she can figure the thing out. A grandson has one nearly like it - maybe he can teach me. We took lots of nice walks and found that the campground now has Yfi in the adult center so we can catch up with emails there. Also, we watched the new DVD Bob produced on their trip to China. It was fabulous, particularly the layout of the work and the way he wove the music through the photos. I' m so proud of him.