Sunday, December 29, 2013

Something new - Yellow Floral

I'm still trying to get a painting done for the class which uses black India Ink to outline elements of the painting.  Here is a start, the basics are done.  Now, I need to finish the embellishment of the elements, perhaps adding doodling and words.  I have to think about what it needs....

Thistles on a Cloudy Day

I have finally completed the thistle painting I started a couple of weeks ago.  I had set it aside for a while, when the Holidays started to take a lot of extra time, and just got back to it this weekend.

Like the Funky Parrot (entry below), this painting uses Twinks on Yupo.  Again, the class lesson called for outlining the flowers and stems with black India ink, but when I started to do that, it looked terrible,  Once again, I removed the ink -- and that also took the paint off in that area -- repainted the damaged section, and stared at it for a while.  I decided to use ink, but instead of black, which was too harsh, I used a deep purple ink around the flowers and deep green along the stems and leaves.  I also enhanced the sky, added clouds and shaded the clouds with graphite.  This I liked much better, so here is the final painting.

Thistles on a Cloudy Day

Funky Parrot Painting

This funky parrot painting was inspired by a mola that I received as a gift.  I needed a simple design for a class I am taking and, since I'm tired of painting flowers, this fit the bill quite nicely.

The painting is done with Twinkling H2Os, sometimes called Twinks.  These are a watercolor paint which is full of simmer and glimmer from the mica ground into the pigment.  The :paper: is Yupo, a plastic that looks like paper but is made from recycled soft drink bottles.  It is very different to work with, and can pose challenges and provide great fun at the same time. 

Although it doesn't show well in this snapshot, the background is a mottled pink.  The design was first drawn with a squeeze bottle full of Pouring Medium, using a very fine tip.  Then you essentially paint inside the lines.  The plan was to use India ink inside and outside the lines, but my pouring was too thick and the ink looked absurd.  I removed it and repainted the area where the ink had been applied (one of the benefits of Yupo...).  You can see the clear, shiny lines of the pouring medium.  I think if I did this technique again, I would first color the medium black, so that I could have black lines and a stained glass look without the inking and wide white spaces. 

Funky Parrot

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Snow Update

The level of snow on the garage roof seems pretty much unchanged from the 23rd.  And today, it has begun to snow again. 

I have already begun to dream of going to the Bahamas.  Usually, I don't get this way until late January or early February.  If I'm dreaming of a vacation to a warmer clime at this point, what will it be like in a month or two? 

Garage roof on 12-26-13

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Pay It Forward 2014 Reminder

The second challenge I am issuing is one of Pay if Forward.  This is a very, very easy challenge that is almost no challenge at all.  The concept is that you give to anyone of your choosing a small, unexpected gift at some point during the course of 2014.  Maybe the person is undergoing a difficult spell, or needs a pick-me-up, or you just decide that you want to send someone something that will make them happy or surprised.

How do you sign up?  Leave a commend that says you want to play.

The pay it forward spans the entire year, not just one month, and all you are committing to is sending one surprise item to someone during that year.   Since I issued this, I will be sending out dozens of items to dozens of people, but they only commit to one surprise gift to anyone of their choosing.  Pretty easy. In other words, when you have signed up,  I send you a small gift of some type during the course of the year -- it may be in January, it may be in May, it may be at the end of the whim.  In turn, sometime during the year, you send someone else a little gift whenever the mood strikes you.  You have the full 12 months in which to send off one gift to someone of your own choosing.  It isn't very time consuming, and it is a small item --  a picture, a package of tea, some fancy paper, a yard of ribbon, some beads, a charm or two.  Something that will fit inside a regular envelope and use regular postage works just fine.   Or it can be a gift OF you -- a gift of your time, help with a project, a ride on a sunny day for someone who is housebound, the offer of a simple picnic.  What you give is purely up to you.

I've done this for the last several years, and I have enjoyed it immensely.  I hope you will choose to join me in this during 2014.  If you want to play, please let me know by Dec. 31st.  I want to start the New Year right.

Art Every Day Reminder

I'm just sending a quick reminder about my Art Every Day Challenge. 

This is one of two challenges I am issuing.  The other one is Pay it Forward, and I will send a separate reminder about that one. 

Art Every Day is a challenge ONLY for the month of January.  For that one month, you create something and post about it -- on your blog, on Facebook, or Flickr.  If you don't have any of those -- if you want to participate, you can message me with the picture of your work for the day and I will post it on my blog and Flickr accounts.  I have started a new set for challenge pictures on my Flickr account.  The work that you do every day need not always be finished that same day.  For example, if you are knitting a scarf, or pair of socks, you simply take a picture of the sock or scarf each day, showing how much -- or little! -- progress you made that day.  If it is a piece of CQ, a picture of the motif or seam or beading done that day is what you would submit, plus a sentence or a few sentences about what the project is and what is shown in the picture.

We all know that this will require a bit of time, that is why it is a challenge.  But, in truth, most of us have something to report every day.  Even if it is just two rows of knitting or a square inch of stitching, a few lines of paint, a 4 line poem, a flower arrangement, a different way of decorating your home,  a created garment, whatever.   What I am challenging you to do is DOCUMENT the wonderful things you do every day and be proud of your accomplishments.

I currently have a few folks who plan to play along for January.  My intention is to continue this challenge for myself for the entire year.  SO, I will be offering this challenge to each of you on a month-by-month basis.  If January is a rugged month for you, maybe April is better.  Your choices are many.

I do hope that you will consider joining me on this challenge.  I think it will be fun, and help us to recognize and appreciate  just how much art is in our daily lives.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Going but not gone

The snow is slowly going away.  The near-constant rain of the last couple of days is helping, but even with slightly warmer temps, it takes a while.  Here is yet another view of the garage roof, so you can compare to the previous photos.

Garage roof, 12-23-13

A Christmas Wish

On one of my Yahoo groups, there are two very talented artists, Eugene Smith and Wings Haliaeetus.  They have created a wish that is perfect for animal lovers everywhere.

This is a gift I wish everyone would receive.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Art Journals For GIfts

This year, I made art journals for some of my stitching friends.  Since I gave them away at our Holiday party yesterday, I can print pictures of them now.  There are ten of them shown.  Each journal has a number of blank pages, some decorated pages, and a pocket page with an enclosed handmade postcard.  Each journal is ring bound, covered with fabric inside and out, and measures 7 inches square. Many of the inside fabrics are hand-dyed to coordinate with the exterior fabric.

What a difference in just a few days

This last week has been a weather roller coaster. From below zero frigid days to a high in the mid-40s today...and two feet of snow in between. Last Friday, there was no snow, all the ground was clear. It was really, really cold. Then Saturday/Sunday we had snow, just over a foot.  It stayed cold, and then on Tuesday, another snowstorm hit.  This one also dropped a bit over a foot of snow, to leave us with over two feet.  Here are some comparison pictures, snapshots from the cam, starting with Sunday morning.  I didn't quite get the distance the same each of the times, but you can see the levels change (look at the little branch coming in from the upper left).

Sunday morning, 15 Dec 013  just over a foot if snow.
Wednesday morning, 18 Dec 2013, just over 2 feet of snow
Friday morning, 20 Dec 2013, melting fast...

One week, two major storms, and such big changes. According to the calendar, it isn't even winter yet.  Normally, the snow that we get in the late fall stays with us and is the last snow to melt in late spring.  Maybe this year we'll see it melt before we have another snowstorm. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Seascape preliminary

This is a preliminary work for a seascape. Right now, it is just at the sculptural/gesso level. I really like the white-on-white look, though...

seascape preliminary by VTpicturesPPP
seascape preliminary, a photo by VTpicturesPPP on Flickr.

From a Worm's Perspective

I just did this preliminary painting for a class in using Twinkling H2Os on Yupo "paper." I use the term "paper" but Yupo is actually a product made from 100% polypropylene. The class is offered by Jody Ohl.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Art Every Day

Okay. I keep hearing about events like December Dailies and Art Every Day in November and I always hear about them halfway through the month. Too late to start or participate.

SO>>>>> I am going to start my own challenge, to begin on January 1st 2014. Do part or all of one piece of art -- a post card, a tag, a painting, a scrapbook page, a CQ block section, a quilt square, a placemat, a poem. haiku -- whatever, EVERY DAY in January. And post it on your blog,  Send me the link to your blog and I will add it on mine. I guess that is sort of a doable New Year's resolution. Not a diet, not exercise, no broken promises to myself. 

Every.  Day.  Yep. A big challenge. I will win this fight with ADD.

Two things, then:

1. What shall I call this challenge? Any ideas? Maybe ADD - Art in Daily Doses ... CLOD - Create Little Objects Daily ...

2. Is anyone else willing to take on this challenge?

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Book of Quotes

2013 - 0312013 - 0012013 - 0022013 - 0032013 - 0042013 - 005
2013 - 0062013 - 0072013 - 0082013 - 0092013 - 0102013 - 011
2013 - 0122013 - 0132013 - 0142013 - 0152013 - 0162013 - 017
2013 - 0182013 - 0192013 - 0202013 - 0212013 - 0222013 - 023

The Book of Quotes, a set on Flickr.

I just added 68 new photos to Flickr, in a set called "The Book of Quotes." As I come across a quote that appeals to me, I create an art tag to suit the quote. Over time, this book will continue to grow. I hope you enjoy the tags and the quotes.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Early December 2013: Catching up, again

It's hard to believe that it is already early December.  This year has really sped past!

I've been doing a ton of artsy stuff, and need to have a really long post to show you some of what I've been doing.

This last month, I took a great class from Jody Ohl called "Texturize This!"  Jodi is a great teacher and her video tutorials are in-depth and very friendly.  She has a very distinct, fresh painting style that is great fun and not in the least fussy or rule-ridden.  No rules???  That's right up my alley.

We had a number of exercise pieces to do during the class.  The first was to create an landscape of three colors.  Here is the first layer:

Exercise 1: First Layer of three color landscape

 And here is the final version:

Final Version:  Forest Sunset
Then, we had to do a second landscape, again using just two or three colors, and use alcohol and a heat gun to distress the paint.  Here is my draft:

Draft:  river landscape
And here is the final version:

Final Version:  River Running

I like the way the bubbles produced by the heat gun look like trees or brush in the final version.

Next up, a two-color landscape that was to be water and heat gun distressed:

Draft:  Exercise 3
And, here is the final version:

Final Version:  Desert Starlight

For the fourth exercise, we were to use stencils and white acrylic paint to add texture to the claybord, as a resist for color.  Then, add color and wipe it back to reveal the stenciled designs.  I have not yet completed the final version, but it won't be much different.

Draft:  Exercise 4

Our next exercise was to carve a simple design into the claybord and flood the carved areas with black India ink.   My arthritic fingers refused to work when I used the Speedball carving tool, so I slapped the engraving tip onto my little Dremel tool and went to work.  It was a great idea!  Then we were to wipe the black off the surface, leaving only the ink in the grooves.  This was really messy and I got ink everywhere.  And my enthusiastic wiping back removed ink from some of the grooved areas as well.  As I was reluctant to do that messy business all over again, I decided to use my dip pin to add ink to the grooves.   Clearly the biggest part of this exercise was to improvise...

Then, I added paint.  That was easy enough.  I used the heat gun again, this time to add bubbly, rough texture to the center of the flower.  And here is the completed piece:

Final Version:  Sun-flower

That's it for this post ... I need to take more pictures!