Wednesday, May 26, 2010

no order

'leda' - acrylic paint, oil pastels, colored pencils, inktense pencils, matte gel medium on plaster cloth

i've been thinking about how there is no order of satisfaction when it comes to creating. well at least when it comes to the things i'm doing now... i felt so happy when 'leda' was done,

colored pencils in moleskine pocket sketchbook

and equally as happy when i did this page in my moleskine a few hours later. i worked on one on and off all evening, with repeated cycles of elation and frustration. the other was done in about 30 minutes, just sitting quietly writing and coloring with colored pencils.

i find this amazing... really.

i'm just tickled when i do something as simple as glue this picture from the hundertwasser calender in the moleskine.

or redo something that wasn't making my eyes smile....

it's all just pure delight in the end.

* * *

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You."

Dr. Seuss, at L.K. Thayer's Poetry Juice Bar


Sunday, May 23, 2010

flowers everywhere

colored pencils in moleskine sketchbook

hat man in oregon... whew! what a trip he had - he's just now feeling rested up!

one of the roads that i took to salem was rt. 58, which goes through the willamette national forest, past high mountain lakes and fast moving creeks. i stopped to gaze at the wondrousness of it all many times on the way up...

a totem pole in a park in oakridge, oregon, the last of my stops before getting on I-5 near eugene.

i saw so many incredible flowers every day that i was gone. the two that always stopped me in my tracks were the lavender roses

and the orange azaleas. i mean really...

i brought this chair back for my art table... i think it was a piano stool at one time - it swivels!

and these... i was absent mindedly feeling the softness of a pillowcase in a vintage/antique shop when a lightbulb went off - here was the perfect fabric for journal making! it's so soft and so fine, like the finest egyptian cotton or brushed sheeting. my next books will be made with these...

i went here , where i got this eraser, some yupo 'paper', and a turquoise green oil pastel. this eraser is *the best*! the main thing that i love erasers for is lifting and blending, and this one is great for that, as well as completely removing pencil lines.

i worked in my moleskine when i had a chance...

this was on a postcard that i found in the art store. oh! i'd love to touch this sculpture! michele's website is here.

since i've been back i've been slowly starting to work in regina... i added plaster cloth to the page on the left (regina is on the back of this page).

this is an image transfer from one of my photos - i used my new inktense pencils for all of the color here. i'm just learning how to use them, but i can see right off the bat that they have great potential for coloring/tinting image transfers. once they're dry the color really is permanent so you can brush gel medium (or whatever) right over them.

thank you everyone for your kind comments in my last post!

* * *
"There are flowers everywhere for those who wish to see them."

~Henri Matisse


Friday, May 14, 2010

hat man

inktense pencils, colored pencils, oil pastels, acrylic paint, matte gel medium on muslin

these men with hats are awfully nice to draw... and they seem so somehow solid, don't they? the inktense bird is underneath him - i ordered about 25 more colors yesterday from dick blick. they're reasonably priced online, only $1.21 each. ha! now i need a case for them! maybe i should call 1 - 800 - 4CP - HELP. ; )

by the time this goes up i'll be in oregon, visiting friends. i'm taking my pocket moleskine, colored pencils and a glue stick. that oughta hold me for a few days...

the sun is shining!


Monday, May 10, 2010


acrylic paint, oil pastels, colored pencils, matte gel medium on muslin

'regina' was the name of a journal with a funky red fabric closure in my etsy shop; she was there for a couple of weeks before i decided to take her out and use her for my next journal. i felt that she might be a journal that only a mother could love! so saturday night i was painting away on the face above, not sure what i was going to do with it, but it fit and felt right in only one place - 'regina'. the next day i sewed it in there, even though i'm not finished in my other journal, feeling a little puzzled as to why this face had to go there. and all at once i knew! this is regina, showing up to grace her journal!! oh! i was smiling!

earlier i'd stamped her name on the back... this may well have been all she needed to show up...

watercolors, oil pastels, matte gel medium on muslin

sabine, in the 4 1/2" x 5 1/2" journal that i'm almost done with. first i used watercolors ala henry miller, then i took some oil pastels and scribbled here and there - on her skin, the purple flower, pink lips, and dark streaks in her hair. heavy application of oil pastels! which i used to worry about smudging on the opposite page, but now i take a small brush and cover the oil pastel places with a light coating of matte gel medium. then they stay put. i think there are a lot of possibilities with this watercolor and oil pastel combination...

oil pastels and colored pencil on muslin

acrylic paint, bits of paper, oil pastels, colored pencils, matte gel medium on muslin

the last page... a daffodil (sort of) pressed between two layers of wax paper, which i sewed around and then taped to the page with masking tape.

the inside of the front cover of this journal - lately i've been saving the front cover for last. i feel like i can put something there that reflects the 'flavor' of the journal... but what excites me about this page is that i used inktense pencils, which this kind person took the time to write to me about. i've had a set of 12 for a couple of years, but i'd never used them on muslin. they're watercolor pencils that dry permanent!! oh my, how could i have overlooked this aspect of them for so long? i am so happy to be able to use watercolors in these layered pieces... the bird is a little dimmed down because i've already put some gesso on him (and i've drawn the outline of the face in). yeah, i'm studying the dick blick catalog to decide what colors to get next... do you have any suggestions?

in my moleskine pocket sketchbook using colored pencils...

a piece from the hundertwasser calendar, and i used my new .005 micron pen. what a nice, clean line it makes on this paper!

the page i'm working on now... i cut this image out of a book, and then i took a red oil pastel and rubbed it on the hat and chest. i talked about this effect a while back in a video, and here it is again... the oil pastel takes most of the ink off of the the page and creates a sort of highlighted look. i know it works on nat'l geographic pages too - i'm not sure about other magazines...

the tall, dead tree that i mentioned in the last post. near the top is the most beautiful moss and lichen...

surely it eventually reaches the soil, but still...

i climbed on the rocks behind this tree to investigate how it could make it to the soil, and there was this. but i couldn't see how the tree reached the soil...

* * *

"To begin is the thing, begin anywhere, anyhow. So it goes. What results is not of my bidding. It's either the work of the devil or my guardian angel. I can take no credit for the performance. One might think in this frame of mind I would pay no heed to the dinner bell but keep on while the going is good. Not the case, I am sorry to say. When the dinner bell rings, I drop everything, trusting to the Lord that when I invoke the spirit again the hand will be ready to do its bidding. I do the same thing when writing. I can stop in the middle of a sentence and know that I shall be able to finish it when I sit down at the desk again. And supposing I can't? Why then I eliminate the unfinished sentence and begin another one. What's inside will out, whether one starts at the beginning, the middle, or the end. All one really should be concerned about is how to reestablish the current, not how to complete the sentence or the painting."

~Henry Miller, Paint As You Like And Die Happy


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

henry, etc

muslin, plaster cloth, pieces of paper, acrylic paint, oil pastels, pencil, colored pencil, matte gel medium

for the last couple of weeks i've been savoring the books below, each about henry miller and his paintings. they're out of print now, but you can still find them online in the $20 - $25 range. i don't think that any art books have ever given me more smiles; more nods of agreement...

in "henry miller - the paintings: a centennial retrospective" every page has one of henry's watercolor paintings, as well as a brief passage by either the person the painting belongs to, or henry himself. although the images are fairly small (a third to half the page) they're still an utter delight, and the words are priceless. people remembering when henry gave them their painting, or what they bartered for it, etc.; henry's words are from his essays, which are printed in full in the book below.

"paint as you like and die happy" alternates between sections of henry's paintings and his essays. there are duplicates of some paintings in each book, but also many different ones. in this book, though, it's the essays that thrill me most. his thoughts on painting and all things related to painting are fresh and insightful. just a pure joy to read... everything from his young life in paris to his later years in big sur.

if you appreciate great writing and art, as well as a free spirited and generous approach to life, i think you'll love these books...

so the weather's been nice! and i've been out wandering as much as i can... wet weather streams are flowing like crazy and flowers are beginning to come up. i found a new area of springs and was mesmerized by waterfalls like this one.

i've never seen this before - the top of a tree that broke off and stabbed itself upright into the ground. how strange it was to walk up on a 'tree' that was narrower at the bottom than the top!

this tree was so tall and seemed to be held up by the ones beside it. i thought it was the tallest dead tree i'd ever seen, but today i saw one even more decayed and just as tall. the strength of trees, even when they're practically hollowed out by insects having a good meal, just blows my mind.

i took this last night of 'cyrus' (the contemplative being at the top of the post). this is what it looked like before i put paint (or oil pastels) over the parts i'd etched/dug out with the awl (that's my trusty awl there - if i can't find it i go on a major hunt until it's found!). at this stage i always think that it doesn't look like much. but a few minutes later i'm amazed... the face seems to just magically pop to life.

oil pastels, colored pencils, watercolors, matte gel medium

in my muslin journal...

colored pencils, pencil, moleskine pocket sketchbook

and the Pale sisters, juanita and geraldine, at the beach...

i found this rusty spam lid last week, just like this - i haven't done a thing to it besides add kwan yin and the crystal. the thing that really sends me is the way the key and twirled metal are poised there so artistically...

tree love... there's no such thing as too much...

* * *

"Discontented with our slow progress towards the proficiency of a Leonardo, Henry and I quite shamelessly tried to fudge masterpieces by holding our water-colours under a running tap - searching for chance effects; or taking a bath with them; or even putting them down in the street to let taxis run over them and print their tyre marks on them. No effort was too great to reach perfection..."

Lawrence Durrell in the forward to 'Paint as You Like and Die Happy'