Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Art Playtime

Diane of the Sac Mixed Media group brought in samples of papers she created using National Geographic magazines and CitraSolv concentrate, a cleaning agent sold at some health food stores.
What it does is saturates the inks and takes them back to a liquid, so when the pages are pressed together the inks run and smear and bubble up and do fantastic things. The CitraSolv web site has an artist section with directions how to do this. My one addition is - if you use the product, puncture only a tiny pinhole or two in the foil cap because it comes out faster than you expect. Here are only a few pictures of some papers I can now use in collages that I made with this method. Pardon the dark shadows - I was on my deck. This is a technique that needs to be done outside. The fumes are a bit on the strong side, and it's drippy and messy. If you have not tried it and like seredipitous experimentation - you gotta give it a go. Thanks Diane for showing us your samples, it's just what I needed to get me enthused. I'd seen pics online before but they don't show well. You have to see it in person.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Inland again

Whew, that was a quick trip to the beach. I gave a talk on altered books to an art class there put on by the Santa Cruz County Recreation program. Great class, interesting and interested people. This was a get away for art pals, and we had the advantage this time of having another house to stay in. One of the art gals has a house within a mile or two of our family place, and three of the gals stayed there, while my best pal stayed with me. Neither of us were feeling really good to start out, she's been sick for the last week, and I've been plagued with mouth issues. I'm on antibiotics and will have oral surgery on Monday. Just a pesky, tricky wisdom tooth and the roots of two other molars that snapped off. Doesn't sound like much fun does it? I stocked up on sorbets today and expect to be miserable a few days - then all should be well again. I'm signed up to work at the gallery on Friday, so that's all the time I'm planning on being incapacitated. Picture is the view from Bev's place at the beach. Yes, that's the ocean out there. We managed to squeeze in some good eating, shopping, art work, and fellowship. It was great. We came home feeling much better than we did when we started out - unlike my friends who travel abroad and come back only to be sick for a week or more. I like lots of little vacations. It works for me.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring in the garden

Mid-March and the garden is blooming. Just a few things to start, but soon there'll be much more. I planted more pansies, orange wallflowers and white cosmos. Here and there a little white alyssum and more johnny jump ups. And strawberries and spinach. It's been warm and sunny now for several days in a row and it feels so good to be able to open up the doors and windows and let the freshness inside.

Right now I'm battling an infected wisdom tooth and accompanying side effects from meds. My pals and I are headed to the beach for a few days and when we return I am scheduled for oral surgery. I'm cutting egg shaped accordian books for the art pals to work on at the beach. Tuesday will give an altered book talk at the club house. Then play for a few days.

I've been busy hemming the curtains for my son's motor home. And did my time at the gallery in Lodi this week. Got a haircut. Not much else of note. Today I hope to get out to the big art show at the winery. The boys will go with me to see how it looks hanging. And just for a nice little outing. They were so helpful on judging day, they feel a little connection to the group now. Artwise, I sent off a bunch of bookmarks for a swap, and made 40 color copies of a steampunk piece for another swap. I used the steampunk collage I'd done, inverted the color, pumped up the saturation a bit, and printed on a cream colored cardstock.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Another monoprint

I experimented with monoprinting again, this time using fluid matte medium instead of water. I also used deli wrap instead of the acrylic sheet. I had done some painting onto deli wrap a couple years ago and making a fast transfer onto paintings, and this is much like that - except using the fluid matte medium and the water soluble crayons - it is much easier to control what transfers. I'l be doing a lot more with this now. Here's some new pics.

Bird droppings

Some wild finches got drunk on the berries in a neighbors yard the other day and sat in the tree above my driveway to have a party. They were there less than half an hour and managed to cover my car in droppings - and the driveway as well. Here is some original bird art. The guy at the car wash got an extra large tip to clean it up!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another monoprint

When I lifted this one, the outlines didn't print, so they have been touched up with a black crayon.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Old Toyotas are the best.

This was the week for smog testing, and we flew through with flying colors. There are only 150,463 miles on my car, so I figure it will outlive me. With all the news about safely issues with Toyotas, I'm always happy to find they are not the older models. This car has given me wonderful service, I am so glad it is as dependable as I hoped it would be - and I think it's pretty cute too. Looks like a big toy.


I have been reading Mixed Media Self Portraits by Cate Coulacos Prato. One of the techniques used was to place a photo of yourself under an acrylic sheet, then using water soluble oil pastels or watercolor crayons to trace and color in the image. Then to take a dampened sheet of watercolor paper and place it down on the colored image, and press well with hands. When it is pulled up, the color will have transferred over to the wc paper. I recently purchased a couple different brands of watercolor crayons to test the colors, so I was excited to have a good project to use them on. I decided to use book pages to print on rather than the watercolor paper, as images transfer to them just as well, and it's a "greener" way to do things.

Here are three that I did, with the original as pulled and then with the contrast and darkness digitally enhanced. It's quite obvious I'm a beginner at this.