Monday, February 14, 2011


watercolor and colored pencil on kraft tag

my tag love continues... i got some large (3 1/4" x 6") kraft tags here, and they are a joy to work on. right away i tried watercolors and they work great - very little buckling.

watercolor and oil pastel on kraft tag

my plan is to put them on book rings, which i found here for a very reasonable price. this is about as complicated as i want to get with book making these days!

watercolor and oil pastel on kraft tag

a big fat stack of them on a ring... and i can make covers if i want.

watercolor, colored pencil, gouache, and oil pastel on kraft tag

the great thing about working on kraft paper is that the brown background does a lot of the shading for you. all you have to do is not cover it too heavily (and this piece is not a good example of that).

gouache, watercolors, pencil, colored pencil, and casein paint in 3" x 5" journal

in my zecchi (aka pen and ink) journal... picking it up and painting another page when i feel the urge...

and wood burning! did you know it's called pyrography? i had no idea! this magazine practically jumped into my hands last week at barnes and noble. if you have an inclination to learn more about pyrography, i *highly* recommend it. it covers everything a beginner (like me) might want to know. it appears to be a one time issue - a supplement to 'scrollsaw' magazine...

you can imagine that i was practically drooling in the store as i looked at these examples of patterns that can be made with the three basic tips (which i now know about). i left this especially huge so you can click and read...

i came home and got my woodburner out (trying not to covet the $200 'machines' - that's what they call them - in the magazine). i filed my fine 'writing' tip so it worked better and burned the lines on the bead (only partially colored in with colored pencils here), her face and clothes... her head is a knob and her body is a sawed off piece of stick. the other side of the knob and stick have another face and body on them. the knobs are 12 to a bag at michaels...

and blocks! also from michaels - 13 in a bag. i was going to burn them but oil pastels, ink, and inktense pencils are so much easier! i got the idea for this from robyn's tumblr... she posted an image of a stack of painted blocks, and i thought it was such a fabulous idea; thinking about how you could switch them up and have a different 'painting' every day. i've slowly been working on them - i added the heart today. these could be a form of journaling...

tim holtz distress inks work great on these. the red behind the heart is the color 'fired brick', and the heart is caran d'ache creme oil pastel. i'm not putting a varnish or finish of any kind on them. i like them just as they are. i do take a blending stump and push the oil pastel in, though, so it doesn't smear as easily...

i continue to go back and forth, back and forth, about blogging, so i'm going to take a break for a month and see if that brings more clarity... i want to leave you with a few links, though... some of my favorite new artists from the last couple of weeks. but before i do that,

happy valentine's day!

dominique goblet

dominique goblet
(click on 'peinture' at the bottom of the page to see her paintings)

inez storer ~ a warrior of unknown origin

inez storer

alice leach ~ momentary anger...

alice leach

* * *

"Dare to be naive"

~ Buckminster Fuller, via tumblr


Sunday, February 6, 2011

tags and pages

i don't know which i was more excited about last week - painting on tags or the fact that the thin pages in 'war and peace' can stand up to watercolors...

this is the back side of the page, and, as you can see, there was practically no bleed-through, not to mention buckling. i had stalled out on working in 'war and peace' because i really wanted to use watercolors, but i thought the pages were way too thin. a few days ago i decided to see exactly what would happen, and once again i'm impressed beyond words by the paper that's used in books (at least some of them). it's like magic paper...

big if you click

here's most of what i put on the page - the water bowl is in the shot because i used *a lot* of water. besides using it while painting the face, the last thing i did was dip my finger in it (over and over), and smear everything around. and still the page lays almost perfectly flat. i also used oil pastel and colored pencil. just amazing...

casein paint, watercolors, gouache, colored pencil and oil pastel on mail tags

the other thing i've been delighted with is painting on tags, an idea i got from sarah wallis. thank you, sarah! i believe i have a tag addiction now... i love that they're practically indestructible and useful! perfect for leaving them around out in the world, or for sending with packages. i'm leaving them leaned against the back of my watercolor box because it seems a perfect easel... (and they can talk to me while i'm painting)

on tumblr i found the art of ilka gedo. i don't think there's one piece that she painted in her life that i don't love with every fiber of my being. this sketchbook drawing is from her childhood, and there are many pages of them to gaze at here.

her oil paintings are here...

and 'colour patterns' here...

the quote below seems to me to apply to art making as much as writing.

i love it...

* * *

“Kierkegaard said, ‘Drink from your own well.’ And I like that, taking it to mean that each of us has an individual source for our best work, and that to reach deliberately elsewhere is to neglect something essential in our writing.

So when I get up in the morning and settle down to write, I do not reach for what is timely or in style, but for something that suggests itself to me right at the moment. It can be any trivial word or even syllable, or a sound from the tree outside, or what day it is, or that the sun is about to come up—anything. And sometimes I feel that the more trivial it seems the better, for with nothing to live up to I can relax and catch onto a current within me.”

~ William Stafford, from his brief essay “Reaching into the Well” in Crossing Unmarked Snow: Further Views on the Writer’s Vocation (The University of Michigan Press, 2001), via tumblr