Wednesday, November 13, 2013

World Of Color

No, I haven't been sick, on vacation, depressed, or abducted by aliens.  I've just been more or less uninterested in all things techno.  Which includes going online and blogging.  And while I do appreciate that staying off the computer has given me more time to do other things, I have missed my little blog, and so, here I am again, ready to share my artsy adventures.  I'm so far behind, I will be posting with no regard to chronology, so as not to put any pressure on myself.  Today I feel like blogging about the World of Colors collaborative journals I've been working in.  So, here they are.

First up, the page I did for Gloria.  Her chosen colors are teal,  cream, and a touch of black.


Carol chose blue and purple for her book.

Lynn's colors were the very bold and dramatic red and black.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

This And That

In between classes I've managed to do a few artsy things on my own.  Without further ado, here are some of them:

Michele of Little Bird Creations hosts ATC swaps, and I've enjoyed participating in them.  The current one has a circus theme, and did I ever have fun with that!

I started with this image.

And a sheet of circus acrobat images I found on the internet.  A lot of coloring and fussy cutting later.....

Doing multiples for a swap can be boring, so I like to keep to the same design but change things up enough to keep my this case, coloring each clown individually and differently, and using different acrobat images.
Over at the Everything Wendy Vecchi group, the monthly challenge is to use Wendy's embossing paste, but mix it with something else.  Since I belong to a birthday card club that sends 4x4 cards, I did my challenge piece in that format.



I mixed gold embossing paste with some green paint for the flowers (one of Wendy's stencils).  It didn't do much to change the paste, so I went a bit bolder on the swirls and dots (a Crafter's Workshop stencil) and star (a Tim Holtz stencil).  For those I mixed white embossing paste with a little Silks acrylic glaze in pomegranate.  The Wendy stamp I used is the small weed from her Botanical Art set.
I saw some absolutely gorgeous roll up brush holders at that Jane LaFazio watercolor class I wrote about recently.  They were made of fabric printed with Jane's gorgeous designs, and sewn together by a professional.  Like I said (twice), gorgeous.  I didn't buy one, because what I really wanted to do was see if I could make one myself.  Also, Jane's were sized for the water brushes she uses, and I wanted one large enough to accomodate some of my taller brushes as well.
I stamped some plain fabric with my own carved stamps, using archival inks (mainly the new colors under Wendy's name), because they are permanent.  I wouldn't want a still wet brush to muck up the stamping. 
 The outside:
The inside:

Rolled up, ready for travel:
I'm not saying mine is anywhere as beautiful as Jane's, but it is mine, and that makes me proud. I was happy enough to make another, this one for Teri's birthday.

Last of all, I recently received my friend Jen's field journal.  She calls it the Sisterhood of the Traveling Beaches, and everyone is to do a beach themed spread.  I've spent many a vacation in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and that's what I recall here:
I hope you enjoyed my little potpourri of projects.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


I already knew that Doreen Kassel was a gifted polymer clay artist, but last weekend I discovered that she is also very skilled at working with pastels.  I took a fun class with her at Michele's Little Bird Creations studio.  I have some pastels, rarely use them, and have never had any instruction in their use, so I was pretty impressed with what I did.

Pat and I sat together (what else is new?) and shared our pastels.  We used all sorts, crayon style, stick, pan, pencil, and according to Doreen, the softer the better.  How did we apply them?  Pretty much direct to paper and then moving them around with our fingers.

Doreen did a lot of demonstrations.  Very good for a class of newbies to this medium.

Two smallish practice pieces:


After our lunch break I felt confident enough to try two larger pieces.


As you can see, Doreen likes to add some text, cut or torn from magazines.  I like that too!

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Four Seasons -- Botanical Garden Style

Not long ago, I read an article written by one of my art idols, Lynne Perrella.  She wrote about a visit she and her husband made to the New York Botanical Garden (yes, the word Garden is NOT pluralized) to see an incredible exhibit.

Contemporary artist Philip Haas has rendered three dimensional representations of the work of Italian Renaissance painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo.  Arcimboldo painted portraits in which all the features are plant material corresponding to each season.  Haas' work is amazing.....fifteen feet tall, and made of painted fiberglass.

I quickly organized a mini road trip with Pat and Teri, and we had a wonderful day; first our visit to the Garden, and then, a great lunch at Roberto's in the Little Italy of the Bronx, followed by shopping for food items up and down Arthur Avenue.

First of all, here's a look at Arcimboldo's four seasons.

And now, what we saw at the Garden.
Summer and spring facing one another.
 Below, winter, an old man.

Summer, a young man, full of the bounty of the season, fresh fruit and vegetables.


Spring, a youthful boy, comprised of 80 varieties of flowers.

Autumn is a mature man, comprised of the nuts, gourds, and grapes of the fall harvest.

We did a bit of walking, and at every turn there was something beautiful to photograph.

The Four Seasons remains on exhibit until October 27.  If you live anywhere near NYC, try and get there (we used 1/2 price Groupons to get in; check and see if they're still available), and by all means, make a day of it and include a visit to Little Italy.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bunny Girl

This past Sunday I took a wonderful class at Michele's Little Bird Creations studio.  Honestly, when I signed up I thought I'd just enjoy hanging with my buds Pat and Teri, and never expected to love it so much.  After all, I am not much of a doll person.  But under Joanna Pierotti's instruction, I really did fall in love with my bunny girl.  What, you might be wondering, is a bunny girl?  She's a small (about 6" tall) bisque doll with a bunny ear hat on her head.  I didn't think to take a picture of how she looked when we started, but bisqueware is ceramic that has only been fired once, and has no glaze on it.  Joanna taught us her techniques for painting and glazing her so she looks like she just came out of a kiln.  And then we dressed her.

Here is how mine looked after the painting and glazing, before her arms were attached, her wings created, or her clothing put together.

Here is Teri's doll at the same point.
I believe this one is Kelly's.  Some clever person figured out that our detail brushes fit into the openings for the arms, and that made it very easy to hold the dolls while painting and glazing.
We used bits of fabric, lace, hankies, ribbon, layer upon layer, to form the outfits.
Here is mine, followed by Teri's and Pat's.

Although we all started out with the same doll, the way we painted and dressed them gave each a distinct personality.  We used plain old acrylic paints, and Joanna demoed her painting techniques, including how to paint the delicate roses on the bunny hat.  Painting the details of the face took a steady hand and a tiny brush.
I added a few things and took more pictures when I got home.

And then, in my box of miniature items, I found the perfect place for my bunny girl to live.
I made a very girly, adorable doll!  Who'd a thunk it?????