Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Today I got to work and made three Christmas gifts for friends (after ruining about six tags that didn't come out right!). I had sent an e-mail to a special group of friends asking them what their favorite or special word is; everyone responded, so now I'm in the process of hammering out necklaces for my select group of friends. Two of my favorite responses? Paratum, a Latin word, and GROK, from Robert Heinlein's sci-fi book, Stranger in a Strange Land. My Mom is sure going to be surprised when she receives a necklace with the word GROK emblazoned across the tag!
Monday, December 3, 2007
I had registred a while back for a one-day workshop to be held on Sunday, December 2nd, but after what I (we) had been through, I was a little hestitant to leave the house. Hubby encouraged me to go, but if it weren't for the fact that I had promised a ride to my new friend, Deirdra, I might have bailed and stayed home. Man, am I ever glad I went! The class, "The Artful Journal: Finding the Way," was led by the vivacious, talented, gracious, and fun Judy Wise. The class was offered through Innerstandings in Diane Havnen-Smith's beautiful, inspirational studio.
The class itself was phenomenal. Judy guided us through the painting of several pages to use as backgrounds, and along the way demonstrated several new techniques. I was introduced to writing words using twigs and Sumi ink, the unexpected surpise of applying water to watersoluble wax pastels, and learned how to carve my own rubber stamp! But an added bonus was the delightful group of talented women artist's who were in attendance. Besides Diane, Deirdra, and Judy, there were several notable participants: Katie Kendrick (I took a class from her at Art and Soul in Portland in October), Linda Womack, the queen of encaustic painting (I've taken a class from her at collage in the past), and Lisa Call (also an instructor at Art and Soul), not to mention several other inspiring women artists. It was like a Who's Who of my favorite artists and I was sitting in their midst!
After the exhaustion and fear of Thursday and Friday, my spirit was restored and nurtured after spending a day making art.
Here's a photo of me with Judy Wise.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
In our second week, we were introduced to Touch Drawing, a technique developed by Deborah Koff-Chapin and the author of the book Drawing Out Your Soul: The Touch Drawing Handbook. It was so much fun! We took block print ink, applied a small amount to a glass square, brayered the paint, threw down a piece of rice paper and scritched and scratched and drew and pushed, changing the paper as the designs emerged, spreading the paint around in between, adding paint when necessary. I was in kindergarten again!
When we tired of being printmakers, we had time enough to dive into mask making. Again, Bridget had brought her bins and tubs of delightful papers, fabric, fibers, and lots of things that sparkled. We were given a mask and the four of us set about to make a glorious little mask.
Two weeks ago our project was prayer flags. Bridget provided us with torn pieces of PFD muslin (“prepared for dying”), fabric paint sticks, rubbing plates (I didn’t even know what these were!), fabrics and papers galore, fusing material for ironing on the bits of fabric, buttons, rubber stamps, paints, glitter, and more more more. I didn’t complete my flags, but I have three squares in process.
Last week was the beginning of three weeks of shrine making. Small shrines? Oh no, we each got to choose a drawer, a big drawer! In this large open space we will be making niches, adding paint, paper, and finally embellishments. I’m a little dizzy with the possibilities!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Itty Bitties are what I call the little 1.5 x 1.5 chipboard squares that I have been working on since early summer. I dug them out today because I had some unexpected time and wanted to work on “art,” but was feeling stymied and overwhelmed as to where to begin. My eyes landed on the tiles I had finished earlier and I decided to spend a few hours making more. I like my Itty Bitties because they are small, not very intimidating, and each little square is a finished piece of art. It is also a fun way to practice and experiment with new techniques in a safe little space. In order to have consistency, I use repetition in the basic procedure:
*Cover the chipboard square with paper; this can be a section of words from a book, a picture from a magazine, or just a bit of pretty paper.
*Cut out a head from a photocopied photograph (I make my copies at a place like Kinko’s so I’m getting copies made from a toner copier). I have been making my chips using black and white photos of relatives, again to give some repetition and continuity. Decide on a placement and glue the photo onto the paper.
*Add a word from the dictionary that represents the person, i.e., “uncle” or “sweet” or “daughter.” You get the idea.
*Paint the edges and back with coordinating acrylic paints.
*Embellish away with any and all sorts of cutouts, flower petals, whatever . . . this part is unlimited. I like to think about the person I am “working on” and add little bits that remind me of that person’s life. What a flood of memories I’ve had this afternoon as I cut, glued, and then added pieces to represent my grandparents and a great uncle.
I hadn’t planned to share the directions, but what the heck. If you need a small, safe project and want instant results, Itty Bitties are a great way to break through and create some miniature pieces of art.
Hey, why are you still reading this? Go get your scissors and get started!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Oregon's Poet Laureate, Lawson Inada, was present and spoke about bridges and images and challenged us to keep our minds open and alert to new possibilities. Because he had what he called a "gimpy leg," he was not able to join us for our walk, but promised to meet us in the rose gardens outside Union Station later in the morning. Lawson is sure a warm, engaging man, and his enthusiasm is infectious.
Friday, October 19, 2007
1) There are several beautiful blogs out there that I read on a regular basis and I am so inspired and uplifted, not to mention the element of titilation of peeking into another person's personal life. Oh, that's right, I was writing about why I wanted to join the blog crowd. Well, I want to be an inspiration for others, to show that a 50-something woman can be a whirlwind of creativty . . . . and I just want to be the creator of a beautiful blog. At this point, I'll just settle for being the creative force behind a blog that is functional and readable.
2) My wish for this week is that my "art will flourish." Well, I'm hoping that with plans to post reguarly (self-imposed plan), it will be the catalyst to create - my audience is waiting!
3) I've always had an interest in writing. I'm a journaler and use the page on occasion to figure things out and at least record what I did yesterday and plan to do today, but with a blog, it will force me to the keyboard and give me the needed nudge to play with words and arrange them into some sort of pleasing order knowing that others will be reading what I have written. I want my words to be worthy.
So that is my motivation. Enjoy.