Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Off to the hills

My favorite flea market is this weekend, so have guests coming and art girls too. We are all descending on the FM to see who can get the best buys. The linen room is first on my list. Since I'm not buying assemblage pieces - I shouldn't come home with as much this year. LOL We'll see. If I get anything fantastic! I'll post pics when I get home. The art girls are going to be playing with printing on gelatin plates. Hmmm..... Should be interesting.

Packing up for the dogs is like packing up for a baby. Now, where are the favorite toys, and do I have plenty of doggie treats with us? they have been watching me gather things up and know we are about to do something special. They haven't figured out what yet. All my friends will want to walk the little dogs and drive them around in the golf cart. They are in for some royal spoiling! See you next week.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mixed Media Artists of Northern California

Today was our monthly meeting. We had a couple new members and a guest. The temperature was 100 degrees outside so we had a good turnout considering the weather. After our introductions and show and tell, Rebecca showed us her favorite ways to alter dominos and other game pieces. She had us all diving in and making them using a variety of techniques. It was a fun day.

The photo shows 3 Rummicube pieces I drew on a long time ago with a fine tip permanent pen, and colored in with colored Sharpies. I was having so much fun today I forgot to take pictures. In fact I don't think I saw anyone with a camera.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Where's Nikki

I can find Lulu, but where, oh where is Nikki hiding?

Challenge - masks

Here is my entry in this week's challenge for

I should have explained how this was done. It started as a collage with a photo of a mask with the paper eyes glued down behind it. Then I painted over it, added crystal clear glaze to the eyes - really makes them look lifelike - and finally I went digital. I used gold and a copper patio metallic acrylic paints to get that color. I was trying to make it look like a restored antiquity.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wackos descend on Char

Another one of those wonderful play days with the Wackos. Rosemary gave each of us a new pink cowgirl hat for our Wackettes. They are so cute. Char had set up two work tables and the plan was to use her materials to make paper dolls which we would then exchange. But, instead, we did use her materials (didn't even make a dent) and made fun things. We also had a pot luck salad bar followed by brownies and trifle supplied by Nancy and Pat. Yummy. Here are the dolls.

New blog announcement

I am starting a new educational and I hope inspiring blog to exhibit Altered Books and Book Arts and will also have discussions of techniques and tools used to create them. That way, those of you whose main interest here is to follow this line will have one spot to go to and you won't be bothered with all the personal, family and friends chatter. I'll be dragging over the posts related to book arts soon. Here is the new blog address, you might want to bookmark it so you can get back to it quickly. I'm hoping to exhibit my books and provide some educational materials at the Book Arts Jam this fall. More info will follow.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Critique Meeting

Our small critique group met today in Sac at W's house (the pic). The whole experience is rich with friendships and swapping tales. And we found there is very little we can't talk about together, whether its broken ribs, art techniques, sadness, remodeling, book arts, the economy, etc.

Here is a pic of me. I needed a new photo for an online group. There must be good tricks to taking our own pictures that I need to learn. Hmmmmm..... maybe later.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wild Horses

Here are two new practice pieces. I used crayons toned down with Titan Buff, a Golden's fluid acrylic. Pencil, pen, and a tad of white paint. Wild horses make me remember my early days in Nevada where horses still run free. The photo is one I took of my brother Bob taking pictures of the so-called "wild" horses.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday happenings and a new painting

What a delightful way to spend a Thursday. Rosemary finished a lovely collage for Nancy's belated birthday. Here's a pic. Nancy, Rosemary, Sally and I had lunch and loads of chatter and laughter at "our place" - then on to the Haggin Museum for the Mattise Book Arts Exhibit. Awesome. He's one of my favorite artists. While we were there we ran into the printing teacher from the SICL program and he has us all enthused about taking his class in the fall. It was fun to look at this art with him there, to hear his comments and the way he looks at things and how he recognizes the differences in the processes with just a glance. Then we set off for the Friends of the Library Used Book Store - but they were closed. It was almost 100 degrees outside and that was enough for one day, so I came home and took a nap with my little dogs, who were feeling neglected.

In the evening, I watched my favorite TV shows "She's Got the Look" about older women vying for a modeling contract and oodles of money - and "Fashion Show" where the young designer hopefuls are trying for a leg up on the runway and a chance to make a lot of money and step up their careers. Also the "So you think you can dance" is down to the last 10 dancers, and two had to be eliminated from the finalists.

After all this excitement and tension, we went down to the studio to close up for the night - so no unwanted animal visitors will enter. It was so pleasant there, with a nice clean table, materials organized, and the weather just perfect. That's when I started this little piece. All inspired by the Matisse use of stencils (pochoir). See, we learned a new word. I often use stencils. I love silhouettes and how you can layer them and make some of them more transparent than others. We were in the studio until after midnight - it was too nice to come in and go to bed. This a.m. we got up early to go to the dog park before the temperatures rise to over 100 degrees later in the day. The dogs had a good run and met lots of new friends that came right after we got there. I think we'll have to go in the mornings more often. It's not as crowded, and the people are all so friendly and watchful of their pets. Here is the new piece. "Spirit of the West".

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sierra sunlight and showers

I've been in the Sierras for a few days of R&R. Saturday was delightful with intermittent showers and sunshine. It stayed warm throughout, so with a light rain jacket I leashed up the dogs and out we went. Nothing smells better than the woods in the rain. After a minute or two they forgot the rain and just went prancing along like usual, sniffing and pulling. When we got back they got nice rubdowns with a fluffy towel and then they started their wrestling chasing racing matches around inside. Even Buddy was so refreshed he joined in for a bit of the fun. Sunday was a perfect day. With hardly anyone in the park we had a quiet time, I finished a good book "Summer Island" and made 36 bookmarks for the La Selva Fall show.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Clearing the clutter

Well, my friends, I have to tell you I have made lots of progress shoveling out the mess in the studio. But, you should see the patio. It looks like a tornado came through. A pile for this friend, a pile for that friend, one has already been here and hauled a bunch away. My car is loaded with stuff for another friend. One stack is to take to Mixed Media Artists of Northern Ca meeting at the end of the month for the freebie table. I'm already feeling liberated. It will be awesome to have some room to stretch out, room for three big cushions on the floor for the dogs - and all my things organized again. Right now the weather here is in the 80's so it's perfect for working in the studio - warm and pleasant in the morning, too hot in late afternoon, but the evenings are just right. I find myself staying out later and later. Just me and the dogs and NPR.

The shoveling image is from: The other image is in my database.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Another Altered Book completed.

This book is one I started awhile back when a woman with a famous boyfriend had been severely physically abused and she went back to him. It was on the news for days with people asking how she could forgive him and go back for more. It bothered me so much that I awoke at 2 in the morning with the poison bottle concept in my mind. I planned to take clear capsules and put poisonous words inside them, then put a cap on the bottle and put the message - do not remove stopper on it. I ended up typing the words and glueing them to Bayer Aspirin with Calcium for Women tablets. They are too big to swallow, so seemed appropriate. Later, I thought I should have a way to exhibit the bottle, and I had wanted to do a crime book at some time using the Miranda Rights as text. One of the artists at the Book show last October had done a simple book with stunning photos and only that for text. So, that was another inspiration for this piece. This book has only the one spread and niche. I think the one spread says it all. The red piece on the right page at the top, is from a McDonald's bag. You never know where you will find the right piece to set off your pages. I hope to exhibit this in the Fall. Let me know what you think of it.

New Altered Book completed

This book is a different type of Altered Book than I have done before. I have this beautiful book of ruins that my aunt gave me a long time ago. The photographs are stunning. But the paper the text is printed on is deteriorating and I'm allergic to it, so I cut out most of those pages and disposed of them. While I was cutting, I thought it would be fun to cut up the good pages and make them overlap each other in interesting ways. My only tools were a cutting mat, a box knife with plenty of sharp blade edges, a black pen and a few colored pencils. I'll be putting more photos in an album here: . Here are a couple to whet your appetite.

One more little mishap

My girls were tussling and racing around the living room and somehow cut open a gash about an inch long on my foot, right on my hideous bunion. So, I am staying home a few days to let it heal. All my shoes and sandals rub that spot and it opens the wound again and it bleeds. My little dears meant me no harm. Don't they look like little angels?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What a week! Everything went wrong!

Just about any kind of infection (bugs, worms, viruses) one's computer can get landed here in the last few days. All of a sudden. Two times recently while clicking on a link to other people/s blogs, I got pink warnings that they were infected sites, so I closed them out immediately. But, I guess that's all the time it took to transfer them to my computer. So, today with the help of Malware I ran a whole system check and it located 276 places that had been infected. They are all cleaned up now. And my trusty computer is again running well. Note to self - keep antivirus software updated!

And the car has a new radiator and is running fine too. What else can go wrong around here? Two big black Scottish terriers scared Lulu at the dog park, and she made shrieking sounds and ran, which led to a big chase, with her out front running for her life, or so she thought. As she continued to shriek it caused other dogs to join in and soon there was a whole pack. I intercepted as she was about to dart past me and snatched her up. She needs some more work on socializing. Nikki and Buddy stayed out of it all, like good experienced dog parkers. We'll be working on this.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New challenge. Werewolves

Werewolf family portrait. digital plus colored pencil.

Car talk

Where oh where is there a man when the car acts up? My ailing vehicle is sitting in the driveway waiting for my son to come look at it. It overheated yesterday, the first time it ever happened. And I know NOTHING about cars. Here is a picture of my dad back in the 50s - he would know what to do.

Clearing the clutter

For days and days now, whenever the temperature permits, I have been cleaning the studio. Clearing the clutter is exactly the way to describe it. I've already given away a lot of stuff, and each day I put out more and more as I organize what I want to keep and will get rid of the rest. My aunt's studio was like a bottomless pit. After her death a lot of her stuff came here - for me to find the right artist to give it to. I've worked through most of it but what is left now - if I can't find it a home or donate it right now - it goes to the dumpster. And my own collection of stuff too.