Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Eclipse the Movie (art journal page)

How perfect is it that this week's Drunken Stampers challenge corresponds with the art journal page I was working on about going to see the movie with DD Clara.  Background is tissue paper, adhered with gel medium.  Paint splattered and "Eclipse" stamped in paint.
Will you be going to see the movie?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Favorite Summer Quote on a Skinni

Just when I thought I had heard of all the different sizes for stamping (inchies, twinchies, thrinchies, moos, ATC's, fatbook, art money), the wonderful challenge blog "Something Completely Different" introduced me to something, well, completely different - the "skinni." It's a 3x5 inch little bit of happiness.  This week's challenge theme for a skinni is "flora and fauna," so I took one of my alcohol ink monoprint backgrounds from Monday, added one of my favorite flower stamps and finished with one of my all-time favorite summer quotes, "In summer, the song sings itself."
Are you partial to any particular stamping size? Do you have a favorite summer quote to share? Love to hear it!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Alcohol Ink Monoprint Cards

This week's challenge at Studio L3's Tim Holtz Compendium of Curiosities Challenge is the alcohol ink monoprint technique.  To mix things up a bit, I tried block glossy paper, instead of white.  The metallic mixatives showed up well, but I had trouble getting much color from the other inks to show up.  Once I had the backgrounds made, I chose to use Tim's South Africa stamps to make two cards, in honor of the World Cup and because they seemed to go well with the darker shades.  I also stamped some of his birds on another background I had but decided to hold on to it for now.  I'm sure it will go nice on a Halloween tag later this year.
Once I had my supplies out, I made a bunch more backgrounds! 
Here's a card I made with white glossy paper:
The stamps are from Club Scrap.  I hope you like this background, as you'll be seeing more of it this week (LOL!).  I'm loving these challenges and wanted to say a big thank-you to Linda for linking folks to my book review of Compendium of Curiosities.  The Review featured a few other creations with alcohol ink monoprinting.  You can read the review and see those creations here.

Paranormal? Is that what they're calling it these days?

A rare second post in one day for me, but I really wanted to get my entry into this week's challenge at Burtonesque Dolls before it closes at 10:00 p.m. tonight. So, here's my Beetlejuice toe tag.  There's some really great quotes in that movie, including this one.  The prize this week is the ability to be a guest designer, and that's something I'd love to do! So, wish me luck.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Grateful for Summer and Linky Goodness

Thank you all for the nice comments on the summer-inspired letters I wrote to my kids the last two days.  They were fun to write and a nice way to capture summertime memories for which I had no pictures.  The art which accompanied the posts (here and here) are pages from my Gratitude Art Journal called "Pieces of Me."  The pages are made from plaster, and I am teaching a class on how to make this journal in August.  You can check out two other previously posted pages from my journal - grateful for my town and grateful for each new day.  Today's artwork features the cover and first page of the journal  (thanks to Jacky for the wonderful rusty stars on the first page).
The letters to my children were inspired by a couple of things I have seen recently on the web:  Ali Edwards current series on capturing summer (especially this piece on "Why We Write"),  and Tammy Lee's post about simple summer fun, inspired by Bigger Picture Blogs.
I've seen a few other cool links about summertime including Reasons to Stamp in July over at Gingersnap Creations, which I found through Linda Ledbetter at Studio L3.
Do you have any good summertime links to share?

Coming this week on my blog:
A review of Creativity Boot Camp (and I'll be participating in Madeline's Sunday Creative, the weekly creativity challenge flowing from camp);
a submission for the Shades of Blue challenge at Gingersnap Creations;
and pages from my art journaling class.

Next week, Shimelle's Love Your Pictures, Love Your Pages class starts, and I'm enrolled in that.  In the longer run I'll probably participate in Club Scrap's Yah-Hey-and-So (because I'd like to get caught-up in my scrapping again) and I want to get started on pages for The Street Where I Live.  I'm loving and will continue to participate in the Time Holtz Compendium of Creativity Challenge at Studio L3 and Creative Therapy (biweekly art journal page challenges).  Plus, I'd like to get back to the challenges at Something Completely Different.  Three challenge blogs I have on my radar but haven't participated in yet are Drunken Stampers,  The Burtonesque Dolls and the Copy and Paste Project.  My local mixed-media art group is starting an altered book round robin, so I need to come up with a theme and book to pass around - I'm leaning to the theme of "The Intertidal Zone" or "Seashore" or something like that.
What do you have on tap for your blog this summer?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Frida Inspired Photograph Layout

Shimelle posted a challenge to share a photograph you love - scrapped or otherwise.  I've been meaning to scrap this photograph and add it to my "Photos I Love" minialbum, so this weekend seemed like the perfect time.  You can read more about this photograph in my post here. And learn about my minialbum at this post or this one.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summertime Girl

Grateful for Clara (art journal page in gratitude journal)
It's summertime and that means there's sand in my car and sand in the front hallway.  There's sand in the clothes dryer and a wetsuit hanging by the front door. It's summertime, and there's a pile of wet towels in the laundry room and a bit of sand on the shower floor.     It's summertime, and you are called to the ocean.  You spend everyday from 10-3 in the HMB Junior Lifeguards program - running on the beach, paddling in the surf, racing to the buoy, splashing after water flags; coming home dripping wet,  full of sand and salt and totally content.  I'll put up with all the sand to see your smile and hear your laughter.  Because it's summertime, and you are my girl.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

When did you become a champion?

Grateful for Henry (art journal page in gratitude journal)
When exactly did you become a champion?  You've always been a good baseball player, and we expected to see you get your share of wins and individual awards. But, lately, something has changed.  You and your teams have started to win championships.  Championships are hard.  You have to win a lot of games, and, during the playoffs, if you lose even one game, you go home.  Your first championship was a long time in coming - not until you were 11 years old and playing on your first majors team.  After that, your travel teams won a couple of local tournaments and eventually a USSSA tournament.  Last year, your all-star team won its first every District Championship and brought home a coveted banner.  Then, this week, in the space of two days, your teams won two championships!
I see the difference in you, too.  Thankfully it's not obnoxious over-confidence and conceit.  It is simply the quiet confidence that you can win consistently enough to always be in contention.  I witnessed it during one of the recent semi-final games when your team played a grueling 14 inning game, and you pitched 7 shut-out innings to keep your team in contention.  I knew that you knew, every time you took the mound, you would not let them score.  I could tell just by looking at you.  And it made me so proud of you.  
Two days later, you pitched a complete game as your other team claimed victory in the league championship game. When I congratulated you on that championship, I said, "Two championships in two days - you've been on a pretty good run."  You smiled and replied, "Yeah. I haven't lost in a while." You've always been a winner, son, but what's different now is that you've become a champion.  And I am so grateful to have been a witness to it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pairing Collaged Fragments with a Stamped Image

Did I mention that I find fragments addicting? I had such fun using a variety of ephemera to make these collaged fragments for my upcoming card class.  At first, I thought I would pair them with a collage image but then decided to try out some of my funky stamps.  I settled on this Invoke Arts bird and colored her with with twinkling H2O's.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Art Journal Manifestos

One of the exercises I had my students do in my art journaling class was to create a "manifesto" for the first page of their journals.  I remember doing something similar in two of the best online classes I have ever taken - Journal Your Christmas with Shimelle and Got Paint? with Emily Falconbridge, so I decided it would be fun.  These were the two "samples" I showed.  The first one says, "I am an artist.  I have a right to creative time.  I can express my thoughts, feelings and daily activities through images, words and color.  I am an artist."  The second one starts with the Picasso quote:  "Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working." and continues, "The is my place and my time to work artistically.  Inspiration . . . come and get me!"  I hope to share some of my students' work next week.
Have you ever done a "manifesto" page at the beginning of a project?  Did you like it or find it corny?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cards with Ephemera and Fragments

Studio L3 is continuing their weekly Tim Holtz Compendium of Curiosities challenge, this week featuring Tim's completely addicting fragments as the challenge.  I'm working up some samples for a card class I'm teaching in July called "Creating Cards using Ephemera," and I thought that fragments would be a wonderful way to add the perfect touch to cards with collage images and patterned paper.  I'm quite pleased with these two samples, if I do say so myself.  Though I do wish the scan were a little straighter!
In other news, the summer is getting very busy.  I'm starting week 3 of the seven week class I'm teaching at the law school this summer (two nights a week, 6:30-9:15 pm).  My Art Journaling 1A:  Art Diary class is going really well (two Sunday morning classes down, one to go).  DS Henry is currently on four baseball teams! His "travel ball" team won a tournament this evening.  To qualify for the championship game, his team won a 14 inning game last night (7 is the typical length), and Henry pitched seven shut-out innings (innings 5-12) to keep his team in the game.  His "regular" little league team plays for the season championship tomorrow night and then that one will be over.  His little league All Star team will then begin training for their tournaments, which take place in July.  When he's free, he also plays for a high school level American Legion team.  DD Clara happily goes to Junior Lifeguard beach camp everyday from 10-3.  So, if I miss a day of blogging now and again, you'll know why!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Class Review: Get Out of Auto Mode

I have such mixed feelings about this class.  On one hand, I learned a ton about my camera and how to use the various creative settings (all the little icon settings, as well as program mode, aperture priority and shutter priority mode). It allowed me to take the portrait of Henry above (which I love) and understand how the various settings (shot in aperture priority mode with f5.6, WB auto, etc.) worked and how I might improve it (set WB to full sun to warm his skin tones; switch lenses so that I can use a lower f stop and blur the background even more; position him just a little to the right to get rid of the triangle of sun on his right cheek).  I could not have done that before class, so I clearly learned a lot.  On the other hand, it wasn't a really fun or pleasant class, and there were a few changes that could have made it a much better experience (although I'm not sure I would have learned a lot more).  Overall, I would give it a B+. And I am not rushing to sign up for the next in the series (Move Into Manual).
There were many positives.  The instructor Elisha Snow is very knowledgeable and writes very clearly about photography.  I think that's harder to do than many people realize.  She covered all the basic elements promised in the class.  She answered all questions posted in the forum in a thorough, clear and informative way.  She added a couple of wonderful tutorials in the class blog.  She gave a helpful, detailed critique at the end of class on one photo submitted by each student.  Also, BPS was very responsive to student feedback and  complaints about how the galleries were initially organized.
So, what didn't I like?  First, the weekly downloaded lessons were waaaay too basic.  The material contained in these was very thin.  I didn't do a word count, but I bet that some were just a few hundred words.  Each week, there was a "bonus" hand out, which generally contained useful information. The class could be vastly improved by taking the useful information from the supplemental handouts and putting them into the regular handout.  The best way to get information in this class was to post a question in the "Ask the Teacher" forum. As I mentioned, the answers to these were very good.  I took to posting a couple general, follow-up questions each week, and the responses were incredibly helpful.  This is the type of information that should have been in the weekly lessons, in my opinion.
Second, the instructor had a policy of not commenting on photos which students posted in the weekly gallery.  I asked about it, and here is her response:
The class gallery was set up specifically for you and other students to post their photos for me and the other students to see and enjoy. There are literally hundreds of photos in the gallery, and while I'd love to be able to comment on every single one of them, it's virtually impossible. That is why it was decided from the beginning that it would be most beneficial for the students in this class to take everything they've learned at the end of class, apply it to one photo, and post it in the gallery for me to critique. When I do critique your photo at the end of class, I take a lot of time to carefully look at each photo and leave both positive feedback and any constructive criticism I may have. If you have specific questions about a photo you've taken, please direct me to it in the gallery and I'd be more than happy to help you one-on-one there. 
Sorry, this response just didn't do it for me.  In every other course I've taken, the instructor has at least poppped by and left a few comments.  Even something basic like, "oooh, cute kid" or "nice background blur" would have made the class feel more warm and inviting and would not have taken much time.  Let me add that at the time she posted this response, there were seven photos in that week's gallery.  Seven. Did this affect how much I learned in the class? Probably not, but it left me with a cold and negative feeling.  Perhaps I should have actively asked in the "Ask the Teacher" forum about specific photos each week.  But I don't think that responsibility should be on students.
 Finally, there was a lack of community in the class.  I met a couple of nice people, but no real community developed.  I think the reason for this was because the initial gallery set-up was very difficult to navigate.  BPS switched things in response to complaints, but, by then, it may have been too late to generate that nice class community feel. BPS sent out a class review form after the class, and I filled it out to give this feedback.

So, what do you think?  Am I being too harsh? Am I expecting too much to want the main content offered up front, rather than in response to questions?  Is it unfair to expect a fun, enjoyable class experience in addition to good content?  The class was $60, more than I usually pay for an online art class, but pretty reasonable for online photography classes.  This was the second time the class was offered, so the instructor did not need to create the content from scratch. Any input from others who also took the class?  Alternative opinions definitely welcomed!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Each New Day

Well, Creativity Boot Camp is over.  I'll post a full review with my thoughts in a few days.  In the meantime, the final prompt was "smile," and I'm posting a page from my plaster gratitude journal with a quote that always makes me smile:
As the sun makes it new
Day by day make it new
Yet again make it new
Confucius, interpreted by Ezra Pound
This page also reflects the last journaling prompt which encourages you to think about being creative every day.   For those who participated in Creativity Boot Camp, I'd love to hear what you thought about it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Smooth, Alcohol Ink Tags

I love plaster because it is so highly textured, so it was difficult to figure out what to do with today's prompt at Creativity Boot Camp - "smooth."  I decided to smooth it out by adding several coats of gesso on top of it.  I got it so smooth that I was able to get alcohol inks to "stick" to it!  I love alcohol ink and am happy to find another surface to use them on.  I'm making another set of tags for my art journaling class which continues this weekend.  I can't find my hole punch, but I will punch a hole and add some nice ribbon before I give these out on Sunday.  Art journaling and scrapbooking have both helped me come to terms with my handwriting because I do not do any computer journaling - it's all by hand.  Have you learned to love your handwriting yet?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I absolutely love how this turned out! It's a scrapbook page on plaster that will go into my "favorite photos" album that I created in Shimelle's Something from Almost Nothing class.   When I was reconstituting this piece of plaster, I used water that had some paint in it from my brushes, and I loved how it gave it a very light tint. For this background, I decided not to paint it or add any other colorant.  When I read the prompt for today's Creativity Boot Camp assignment, I thought of this picture of a nest I found in a hollowed out tree on a nature hike this spring.  I stamped the title and feathers and am just really pleased with it! In fact, instead of putting it in an album, I might frame instead!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Art House (Full Bodied Acrylics)

I'm working on finishing up my ATC's for a swap with my mixed media group. The theme is "new home," "new beginnings" or anything to celebrate our new studio.  So, I made these little art houses out of plaster.  I stamped the circles with heavy bodied acrylic paints to get a lot of texture.  Inspired by the "full bodied" prompt for creativity boot camp.

Monday, June 14, 2010

It's Raining Tim! Hallelujah! (drizzle)

There's a new Tim Holtz based challenge going on in blogland! It's being hosted by Studio L3 and features challenges from Tim's A Compendium of Curiosities.  The first challenge features the water stamping technique found on page 35 of the book.  I've been thinking about umbrellas and Tim's umbrella man stamp since the Creativity Boot Camp prompt, drizzle, went up last night.  I decided to see how the water stamping technique would work on plaster, and I'm thrilled with the results.  In fact, I think it works even better than my attempt to use this technique on paper, which you can see here.  I put two layers of gesso down on the plaster before the distress inks, and I think that helped a lot.  I can definitely see using this technique to create very cool backgrounds for larger plaster pieces.  Anyone going to join me in this Tim challenge?  In other blogland announcements, Shimelle posted a bit about her summer class.  I signed up already.  Have you?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Four People Twelve Times (World Cup Edition)

Some friends came over Saturday to watch the opening game for the US team in the World Cup. The much anticipated match against England ended in a 1-1 tie and will be remembered for British keeper Green letting a ball dribble through his hands for the equalizer.  Our friend Molly was nice enough to snap this picture of the four of us.  I'm learning to love photos that capture the emotion of the day, even if we aren't all looking at the camera.  For an  explanation of the four people twelve times project, you can see my post here.  
Here's Molly and another friend Joan:
And the other picture Molly took of us (it doesn't look too bad small, but if you click on it, you'll see that it's pretty blurry and our eyes look funny from the flash):
Informal survey:  which "4 people 12x" pix do you prefer?
P.S. Thanks for all the good thoughts about my art journaling class this morning.  It went well!  It continues for two more Sundays.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Little Bits of Fun (Ornament & Fly)

I'm really pleased with these little plaster tags I made as gifties for the students in my art journaling class on tomorrow (Sunday).  They are little ornaments that I will put on top of their package of supplies and fit the Creativity Boot Camp Saturday prompt "ornament".  Each one has an inspirational quote about art journaling:
*Trust that small still voice that says "This might work and I'll try it."
*Painting is just another way of keeping a diary." and
*Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working."
I also made another ATC with a home theme.  It is response to the Creative Boot Camp prompt "Fly."
One of the reasons I have been making ATC's with houses is that my mixed media group is doing a "Home" themed ATC swap this month.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Getting into the fluid flow of summer

In the Harbor (acrylic paint on plaster)
Today's artwork was created in response to the Creativity Boot Camp prompt "fluid."  Today's prompt also suggested creating something outside your typical style.  So, I went with an abstract piece.  Definitely not my style, but I'm okay about trying out new things every now and then.  On the other hand, I really do like developing a particular style and creating within it right now.  I think it's really helping me create art that is uniquely me. And I'm not wild about this piece, called "In the Harbor."  It reflects some of the things I saw in my walk around my harbor neighborhood the other day.  I really struggle with abstract pieces and don't see myself doing many more of them. How do you feel about abstract art?

"Fluid" also made me think of the start of summer . . . The kids' school ended on Thursday, and I'm thrilled to be out of the "up at 6:30 am; run around all day; oversee homework; put them to bed" rut!  
Oddly enough, I did get up at 6:30 am this morning anyway, but it was to watch the opening game of the World Cup - South Africa v. Mexico!  We'll definitely be watching a lot of soccer this summer, as the whole family are big fans.  DS Henry and I watched the game this morning on the Spanish language station, Univision, instead of ESPN.  Even though ESPN has credible announcers (not as good as the BBC) and even though I don't speak Spanish (Henry does), it was still way more exciting to watch it in Spanish!  Tomorrow of course is the biggest game of the qualifying round for us  - U.S. v. England.  I don't hold out a lot of hope for our boys, but, given England's propensity to self-destruct (apologies to all my UK followers), anything is possible.
On tap for this summer - DD Clara starts Jr. Lifeguards on Monday (five hours at the beach everyday; she loves it).  Then she'll go down to Southern California to visit cousins.  In August, we'll head up to Lake Tahoe for a week.  DS Henry is playing on three different baseball teams - as long as the games don't conflict with the World Cup.  He's also got a regular volunteer job lined up starting at the end of the month, working at a sports camp.  I'm teaching a class two nights a week this summer -alternative dispute resolution.  By doing so, I'll have a much lighter teaching schedule next year.  I actually started back this week already! During the days, I hope to spend time in my art studio and work on some research and writing for my real job.
So, what's up for you this summer?  Are you World Cup followers? Any big plans?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

She wondered if she would ever grow up

She wondered if she would ever grow up enough to wear a real party dress
Thank you for pushing me to continue thinking about the "On the clothesline" series.  For this art journal page, I did experiment with cutting a dress out of plaster and applying to a regular page.  It's in response to the Creativity Boot Camp prompt, "grow." The journaling is written on the clothesline.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Heavy Metal Relatives & Inspiring Photos

Favorite Relatives (art journal page)
I have to say that the process of taking the Creative Bootcamp Online Class - focusing on creating something everyday in one medium and working with a random prompt - is really ramping up my creativity.  When I read the prompt for today, heavy metal, I groaned because I had no idea how to incorporate it into my plaster work.  Twelve hours later, I had four competing ideas:
  • Using some fabulous rusty stars on the dedication page of my gratitude journal.  These are very special and wonderful stars that were sent to me by a very special blog friend
  • An art journal page responding to the Creative Therapy prompt "A favorite relative" and that features a picture of my Aunt Vera and Uncle Nano riding a motorcycle together in the 1930's.  I would use plaster to create a road for them to ride on and some wings to go behind a skull.  Journaling reads:  Aunt Vera and Uncle Nano.  How could these two not be my favorite relatives - just look at them!  I became close to them when my parents sent my sister and I to stay with them one summer in Houston, Texas.  Years later, I inherited lots of memorabilia and heritage photos from her when my sister and I handled her estate.  Even though they're gone, they live on in my art.
  •  Making tags out of plaster and seeing if I can put eyelets into the plaster.  The tags would be for my art journaling class that starts this weekend and each would have a quote about art journaling.
  • A piece for the "On the Clothesline" series, a heavy metal t-shirt painted black with a silver skull and skinny jeans with teeny brads for rivets.  On the front, the journaling reads: "On the clothesline . . . her heavy metal clothes were waiting."  On the back, I would write, "As her soul softened, she sensed her heavy metal uniform no longer fit her."
Now, it's 20 hours later. I have completed the gratitude dedication page and the "favorite relative" art journal page (posted above) .  Plus, I formed the tags but haven't had a chance to add eyelets, color or quotes.  The "On the Clothesline" piece will have to wait for another day.
I also worked on the bootcamp inspirational assignment to go for a walk and take pictures of things that inspire you.  I walked around the harbor neighborhood near my studio and found these inspiring things.  I encourage you to click on any of the ones you like to see them bigger:
Jeff Clark's Maverick's Surf Shop is right down the street.  If you're a surfer or know surfers, then it will mean something to you that Jeff Clark lives in my town, and the Mavericks Big Wave spot is walking distance from my studio. He has a bunch of old rusted out trucks in front and an assortment of surfboard.  I would love to take portraits in front of these!  For now, I really loved this perspective, sky and color combination above.
You may recall that I love graffiti photography, and I loved this landscape of the bluff above Mavericks, which was painted on a container outside the surf shop.  I can tell it's an old painting because the satellite dishes shown on the bluff top have been replaced by new, more modern versions.
One of my neighbors.  I love the industrial nature of the harbor. I also find inspiring the weathered red metal, the blue, blue sky and the shapes in this photo.
I'd love to take portraits in front of this weathered wood wall.
My favorite find of the day - a beautiful statue of an angel reading.  I'm submitting this photo as my "final" for the Get Out of Auto Mode photography class.  It was taken in aperture priority with an fstop of 5.6, ISO 200 and WB set to full sun.
Crabpots, weathered wood and rusty metal - wonderful textures.  Crabpots are everywhere, and I love them.  Here's a look inside one:
I find the jumble of robes and floats and metal very intriguing.  I also love the barnacles and shells trapped inside. Next up, s simple flower photo.  I found the color and shapes very inspiring, but admit to having trouble getting a proper focus:
And finally, I took a real (not an i-phone) photo of the red truck and green tree outside the studio:
I have no idea why I find this view so inspiring.  The colors and the old-fashioned feel of it are definitely a part of it.  Sorry for the long, long post today! I hope you found something inspiring in it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Town (multilayered plaster aj page)

"Where I was born, where I was raised, where I keep all my yesterdays." Montgomery Gentry
"There's only one place they call me one of their own." Bon Jovi
Multilayered techniques are right up my alley! I am working on a Gratitude Art Journal, with plaster pages.  Each page in the journal will complete the phrase, "I am grateful . . ."  This page is about how happy I am that I grew up in a small town and lived there my entire life, until I went away to college.  I am happy to be giving my children the same experience, even though it's in a different town than the one where I grew up. The quotes today are from country songs.  I always use a lot of quotes and words in all my art.  It is a definite part of my style.  The technique I used for this involved collaging patterned papers on to a plaster page and then painting over it with several layers of paint.  I journaled in between the layers of paint and used a glazing technique for the top layer, so that some of the underneath would show through. If you click on the image above, you can see the details better and read the journaling. This is the same technique I used for my creative circle blog hop post, which you can see here. A different art journal page I did about where I grew up is here. Thanks for all your lovely feedback on my recent posts!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Picnic Dress (collage on plaster)

She wore this dress to the picnic, and memories of the day lingered in its folds. 
Day 2 of Creativity Boot Camp, and the creative prompt is "picnic."  WTF???  I take a deep breath and think about some of the things I have been wanting to do with plaster (my chosen media), and one of them has been to create certain shapes and collage on them. One of the shapes I have contemplated is a simple dress or shirt.  I figure I can make a nice, spring dress that someone might wear to a picnic and then collage on a variety of flowers and heritage images of women.
As I look through my collage images, I find one of my favorite images. . . I don't know who the couple is exactly (beyond friends or relatives of my Aunt Vera) or what the circumstances are, but this photo always reminds me of budding romance.  I imagine that the couple met each other while attending a picnic.
As I start to sketch the picnic dress on to the plaster panel, I am having trouble imagining it as a freestanding form, but I really begin to like the idea of it as a dress hanging on a clothesline.  I have always been fascinated  by clothes hanging on a clothesline, and you can see a favorite photo here and the art journal page it inspired here.  As I continue to paint and collage and create, an idea is born for a series of collages on plaster.  The series is titled "On the Clothesline," and today's collage is the first in the series, "She wore this dress to the picnic."  On the back, I have written, "She wore this dress to the picnic, and memories of the day lingered in its folds."  ETA: I came up with the words to tell the story; they aren't a quote from someone else.
I hope you enjoy my creation (and its story).

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Media, Take 2!

"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home."  Twyla Tharp

I'm very excited about taking the two week free class, Creativity Boot Camp, which you can learn about here.  Participants are to choose one media to work on during the two weeks, and I have chosen to work in plaster.  It's a media I love and one that I think can really become a signature of my artwork.  Sorry for the odd post yesterday asking about your media (the only content was an "x").  Not sure how that happened, but it was interesting to hear that many of you are still undecided . . . a couple of photographers, an art journaler and a digi-gal round out the list.  Really hoping people decide to do a variety of things.
The creative prompt for day 1 was "ivory," so I made this ivory house out of plaster and put it on an ATC titled "Run away. . ." The idea is based on the Twyla Tharp quote above.

What's your medium for creative boot camp?


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Girl Power (photos to scrap)

DD Clara turned 12 last week, and she had so much fun!!!
Here's how it went down:
3:00 girls show up at our house, and we head to the shopping mall for a scavenger hunt (they had certain things to buy and certain things to find/photograph with their cell phones).
6:30 Scavenger hunt declared a huge success. Although mom had to waive the rule "you're disqualified if you get into trouble with mall security." Because both teams got in trouble with mall security.  Several times.  Apparently you're not supposed to run in the mall . . . we laugh on the way home remembering Paul Blart, Mall Cop.
9:00 - 10:00  After pizza at Round Table, time for makeovers and really loud music.  Mom and dad hide downstairs and pledge to be "cool" and not ask them to turn it down until 10:00 p.m.  We just make it.
 10:00 pm - ??? Clara loves the idea of having birthday cake at 10 pm!!!  Then it's presents and movies (a scary movie, a funny move and a romance).  
9:00 am the next morning   I guess they stayed up late, since they were still completely sacked out the next day well into mid-morning.  
Oh, to be 12 and have good friends and be so full of girl power that you feel like you're going to burst! I love it!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Two Views from My Studio

Hipstamatic pictures, taken with the hipstamatic app for iphones, are quite the thing these days.  Shimelle had this fabulous tutorial on taking and scrapping hipstamatic photos.  Sian had this fabulous post.  Kerry took these fascinating shadow portraits in hipstamatic  mode.  I bought the app but hadn't really played with it much.  And then yesterday, I was in my new studio space, admiring the light and the environment.  When I saw the view above from the front door, I thought it would make a nice hipstamatic photo. 
That image stayed with me all day, as did the excitement of having studio space.  It moved my muse to create an art journal page.  A hipstamatic art journal page, actually. The page below.  The journaling reads, "There is a red truck and a green tree and I will go there to make art."
Have you tried the hipstamatic app yet?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Girl Power AJ Page

Here's a quick and fun art journal page I made about DD Clara's recent birthday party.  I painted the background and then played with foam stamps. I stamped the white flowers with gesso, and the letters and numbers with black paint.  Then I doodled and doodled and doodled some more!  The page is also inspired by the Scrappy Tree Art Journal Challenge for this month:  Animated.  Believe me, there's nothing more animated than a group of 12 year old girls running around a mall, high on sugar and life!  The pictures and story of the party will post later this weekend.  I'll be off at a work conference for a few days but am leaving some autoposts for you to enjoy!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Assemblage Menagerie

Thanks for the nice reception you game to my vintage dog assemblage piece last week.  I created it quite a while ago when I was teaching classes on assemblage.  The one I featured last week, I call Vintage Dog:
He was inspired by my childhood dog, a border collie named Happy, and his embellishments are all about nostalgia for a happy childhood.  
This dog, Lucky, channels the 1910's era; I feel like he could be one of those dogs that you see in pictures playing poker and smoking cigarettes.
The cats were created to feature different ways to use texture mediums in assemblage and also to  incorporate the ideas of the mysterious:
They were all very fun to make.  The base were these manikins from Dick Blick.  Tim Holtz has done some altered birds which are a little similar, but I couldn't find them easily on his site - anyone have a link? I don't see myself teaching the animal assemblage classes again, but I do have a class outlined that uses a human manikin as the base.  Have you ever done a similar altered project or assemblage?  The animals are curious . . .