Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rising from the Mud

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"I rose from marsh mud
algae, equisetum, willows,
sweet green, noisy
birds and frogs."
― Lorine Niedecker

You may remember that last week I was struggling in mire, just digging myself deeper and deeper into the ooze.  I love, love, love, the color brown, but I'm discovering that when on paper or canvas it helps to create mud very easily.   Earthenmagic sent me a message about last weeks post and her insight was extremely beneficial.  Walk away and refocus intent.  I set my BOD aside and worked on playing with beautiful faces and copic markers. If you are interested to seeing them, they are on Flickr.  On a side note, my flickr gadget key code, blah, blah, blah quit working so I had to take it down.  *grrr*

I pulled out my Vol. I BOD to finish up that final page spread with tip in.  For some strange reason I started thinking about centerfolds.  I started sketching while watching the movie Due Date, HILARIOUS by the way.  My centerfold is sketched and all I need to do now is add some color!  I was left with a prepped tip in and I moved it forward a page and continued the doodles I had there on to the tip in.  Why didn't I think of that before!?  Doodling fun.  

I finally pulled Vol. II back out and just started removing the images I had attached from the front of the cover.  I really like the images I had chosen, very turn of the century botanical garden-esque.  I then reached for the gesso and had at it.  I even removed the binding tape from the spine and started over with a new piece "dyed" with watercolor.  The left image is the new Book of Days 2012 VOL.II.  The two right images are of the original cover & journal sleeve.  What do you think? What are your thoughts on my journal sleeve? Creepy or cool?

I want to thank Artistcellar for the FANTASTICALLY AWESOME rose window stencils and the Stewart Gill Byzantia paint.  This is my first use of Stewart Gill and the color is so Intense, love it.  Also, the watercolor effect of the window was inspired by Earthenmagic's Magic Tree.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How do you save muddy?!

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Focus and simplicity... Words that I need to live by, especially simplicity.  I over think things all the time! I've been thinking, thinking, and more thinking about the last page in my Vol. I Book of Days.  I even have the tip-in prepped and ready to go.  I attended the Girl's Night Out Event at the William King Museum of Art last Thursday and I had a blast with the other ladies. Of course, I over thought my design.  I can still hear Nadia in her beautiful Russian accent going..."Why are you erasing?! It was gud, it was gud.  No, no no.  Don't erase!"  I drove her a little nuts.  I have a painted canvas, but no design...YET!  I was so mired in the murk of my own meandering mind over that last page that I decided to move onto the cover of my Vol. II Book of Days.  Vol.I, I keep with a Smash book rubber band around it to keep it closed. So, I thought that I would make a "corset" for Vol. II.  I have and I HATE it!  hummm... maybe that's too harsh, but I am NOT happy with it.  I set it aside and moved on to the actual cover and now I think its too muddy.  I'm so frustrated with myself!!!  How do you save muddy?  Paint over it?  Highlight it?  Grrrrr...  I'm sure I'll work it out.  

That's been one of my mantras - focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
Steve Jobs

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

10 Things I can't ART without!

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  What a crazy cram packed week/weekend!!!  Working late or working at home this past week, shewwww... but I've managed to get caught up and Mr. Bink has been just as busy if not more so than myself.  Saturday was supposed to be an all day ART affair, but I soooo overslept and woke up with a nasty headache.  Made for a slow going beginning, not to mention the absolute dreary weather. I felt like I was stuck in a Bronte novel. I did manage to totally destroy 1 sheet of 22X30 Water color paper. Okay, maybe I didn't completely destroy it, but it got maimed real bad! Manage to make Vol. II of my Book of Days journal.  There's a sneak peak of it in photo.  I made it 8x8 to give me some more room on the pages and I stuck close to Teesha Moore's 16 page design, so lots of extra pages and a sheet for easy assemblage of any tip in.  Neverness saved me from myself and we went into town.  I picked up some bamboo brushes to try out and a cool new art book from Barnes and Noble, plus choose a fabulous Mexican dish from Cacula, which could feed 4+ people.  LOTS of leftovers...  But Neverness and I are finally taking some baby steps towards our collaboration, its a work in progress.  I'm excited!!!  Hey, Neverness!!! Where's my sketches?

I've got this idea for my final spread in my Vol.I journal, but it's going to be a bit tricky.  So, I've been pondering and musing on how exactly I'm going to put it together.  When I do, you'll get to see it!!!  For this week I've been thinking about those things that are my table that I just can't art without, was and wasn't to pick them.  Some things got excluded and others I'm gonna lump together.

my desk! Thanks ever so much to Mr. Bink!!!

  1. Strathmore - 400 series Cold Press Watercolor paper
  2. Stamps - couldn't pick just one... I'm addicted 
  3. Tim Holtz Distress Ink - Love Love Love.  I love to use them like watercolor
  4. Ranger Craft Sheet - saves my bacon when I spill things and I mix my watercolor or gouache right on it and wipes right up.
  5. Artist Pens - Micron Sepia, Pitt XS, and my new discovery Copic 05, doesn't bleed with Copic markers!
  6. Scissors
  7. Mini Mister - a. water, b. alcohol, c. water+perfect pearls
  8. Golden's Matte Medium
  9. Sketching pencils and kneaded eraser for faces
  10. Heat Gun.
  *  This is a new tool.  It works fabulously with my BOD.  I was having issues using masking tape.  It would  NOT take my watercolor or ink.  This is tape that the hospitals use and it acts like a fabric and absorbs color like a dream.  
  So, whether you're a practicing Artiste or miniature painter, what are your 10 favorite things you can't work without?!

So Long Art fans, wherever you are!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Beautiful Disaster

Pin It Now! What a day! The all day drizzle brings out the need for a great big mug of Caramel Hot Chocolate with marshmallows!  Yumm, yumm... Its a good consoler after all.  I've been feeling a little strung out due to my minions not showing up to work, causing me to spend my days on the production floor and not in my office. There is so much that I want to do and I am finding that I'm sacrificing some things in order to do others.  I want to do it all, dang it!!!  Cue QUEEN:

I'm a man with a one track mind, 
So much to do in one life time (people do you hear me)
Not a man for compromise and where's and why's and living lies
So I'm living it all, yes I'm living it all,
And I'm giving it all, and I'm giving it all,
It ain't much I'm asking, if you want the truth,
Here's to the future, hear the cry of youth,
I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now,
I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now,

The boys were watching crap on YouTube Sunday afternoon.  I'm supposing because they had a hard day filming on Saturday.  It was bad enough that Hanzmo spent more time in at the art desk with me than with them.  We concocted a clever plan, let us go to the MOVIES!!! Worked too... no more listening to crap videos from the other room.  We went to see HUGO!  I found it a pleasant escape for a Sunday afternoon.  Visuals were stunning.  I found it rather Steampunk-ish.  There were steampunk elements to it, such as: clocks and automatons.  It wasn't dark and dank, but light and expectant.  One key shot was of the main character, Hugo, standing looking out the face of a clock tower.  That particular aspect stayed with me and it is the basis for this week's Monday spread. 

I had a horrific disaster at the art desk.  I had painted my background and working on building layers of color.  I was using Eucalyptus Walnut Ink. Makes a fabulous stain.  Not quite sure how I managed to do it, but I knocked over the bottle and 90% of its contents went across the desk.  Luckily for me it missed my Book of Days Journal.  It was a really good thing that I had my craft sheet down too.  After a couple of failed attempts to "clean" it up, I had to holla for the Bink.  Through great team work we managed to get 80% of the liquid back in its bottle.  The rest was everywhere like a thick dark green swamp.  The Bink's solution... Kleenex... 1 Kleenex...  I was going for the roll of paper towels on the desk, but he was back so fast and was already wiping up.  We both had green hands after that fiasco.  The Kleenex held up, but the layers came apart easily.  Bink is going, "It looks like Camo!"  He looks at his hands and goes, "It'll wash off, right?!"  Sure will, at some point.  

beautiful Disaster
Week 5 PROMPT: Affirmation
Challenge: Use an envelope 

Kleenex + eucalyptus walnut ink
After the clean up I was ready to call it a night, but as I stared at the Kleenex wad on my desk I had an idea.  I treated it just like tissue paper and placed it down with Matte Medium.  I let it tear and wrinkle when it wanted too.  I then went to bed to let it dry. 
I removed any excess hanging over the edge and any parts that didn't adhere well.  Shabby, shabby... right on track... It was very dark once it had dried.  I really wanted the texture to stand out, but not to lighten it.  I wanted that gritty Steampunk feel. I decided to fall back on a miniature painting stand by ~ drybrushing.  I hadn't used that technique yet and so I went to it and worked fabulously. 

close up of the texture
My envelope tip in.  I got such a tremendous response to my Pen Pal envelope that I decided to do another.  She looks a little frustrated or disgusted don't she. 
Clock "Face"
 Its missing something...  I'm sure that I'll continue to tweak it.  
Final with Envelope tip-in.  

Check out the rest of my week of journal pages at Flickr, follow the link at the top of the page.  My parting gift of chocolaty goodness.  So Long Art fans, wherever you are...