Tuesday, October 26, 2010

brass tacks

watercolor, oil pastel, charcoal, and colored pencil on gessoed moleskine sketchbook page

here are the links... inspiration first, then books...

tilleke schwarz

bobbi studstill's tumblr is positively loaded with inspiration. that's where i found out about tilleke schwarz (above). page after page of art and artists, most of whom i've never heard of before. thanks, bobbi, for permission to link to your tumblr and for the inspiration from your blog!

many of these books I found out about through 'book forum', which comes free when you subscribe to 'art forum'. lol, so far i like 'book forum' more than 'art forum'. the best thing about the publisher's ads in 'book forum' is that they tell you how many color and b&w plates are in the books. yes!!

Everyday is a Good Day: The Visual Art of John Cage - the publisher's write-up says: "this essential first broad assessment of cage's art includes new interviews and extracts from a 1966 exchange with irving sandler. at its heart is a selection of quotes by cage with notes on key themes and influences'. 80 color and 20 b&w plates. at the top of my wish list...

i recently heard great things about Life, Paint and Passion, by michell cassou and stewart cubley, and have since ordered it.

Bea told me about the next two books... Drawn to Stitch, by gwen hedley,

and Creative Illustration Workshop by Katherine Dunn. i ordered Katherine's book within minutes of finding out about it because it's exactly what i'm interested in. plus, i've loved her work for a long time.

Maira Kalman's new book, The Pursuit of Happiness is also on my wish list, as are the next three books that I found out about in 'book forum'.

Picasso in the Metropolitan Museum of Art - a comprehensive catalogue of the works by picasso at the metropolitan museum - 323 b&w plates and 340 color plates!!!

Matisse Radical Invention, 1913 - 1917. 138 b&w plates and 515 color(!).

Antonio Lopez Garcia: Drawings - i seem to have ripped out the ad for this and can't find it now, so i don't know how many images there are in the book, but the write-up on amazon mentions 200 color plates.

that's it! if you have feedback on any of these books, i'd love to hear it!


"What I'm proposing, to myself and to other people, is what I often call the tourist attitude -- that you act as though you've never been there before. So that you're not supposed to know anything about it. If you really get down to brass tacks, we have never been anywhere before."

~ John Cage


Friday, October 22, 2010

one's love

watercolors and oil pastel on muslin

yes, i've had quite a few more small eyed boys (and one small eyed girl) visit me... i don't know much about them other than what i said in the last post, however i have learned that they

belong to a tribe called the 'free people'. well of course that made me love them even more...

colored pencil in moleskine journal

they visited my pocket moleskine...

colored pencil in moleskine journal

(the only girl to show up so far)

watercolors in zecchi watercolor journal

and my new watercolor journal, given to me by kathy dorfer...

kathy is an amazing giver of gifts... it's like she looks into my soul, sees what i want (or need), and then gives it to me. she also gave me a set of zecchi watercolors... these are the highest quality watercolors that i've ever used - they have only three ingredients: pigment, gum arabic, and honey, and for most of the colors i feel like all i have to do is wave the brush over them and the color jumps right up there. i can't say enough good things about them... i don't think they're available in the U.S. (she brought them back from italy for me. yeah...), but they're definitely available in italy and possibly other european countries, too. or, you can order them anywhere by phone. the paynes grey is exquisite - a hint of green as well as the usual blue; and dragon's blood and indian yellow! oh my! (yes, she gave me that travel brush too, in a smaller size that i'd been wanting; and some silk, and, and...)

later she sent me some pogo prints of windows that she saw in italy... now they're making my colored pencil case more beautiful...

so these watercolors are me fooling around in the zecchi watercolor journal (about the same size as a small moleskine watercolor journal)...

i saw a photo of a venetian horse statue in a book, so i thought i'd give it a try. my horses always look so unhorse-like!!

i've started doing more daily journal type stuff in my pocket moleskine, which i pretty much abandoned over the summer. i really *like* doing this kind of thing. it's easy... it's fun, hee!

the face was done with derwent tinted charcoal pencils that i just got. i really like them (if you click you can see the colors at the top of the page)...

i did this with charcoal pencils in the watercolor book and it worked great until i went to blend them, then bits of paper started coming off. shading with charcoal is such a dream... if you're a virgo (like me) and don't like getting your hands all charcoal-y, you might want to try it in pencil form.

i've been out walking some... i feel like the rain and snow can come now - i've been by all of my favorite trees one last time, and met a few new ones to boot...

this is a large area of springs that i discovered last spring. considering that all grass here is now bone dry and brown, this is remarkable. i was wondering if it'd still be green...

this is a new tree that i found a couple of weeks ago and wanted to go back to and visit. you can't tell from the photo, but most of it is dead, which is rare; junipers live so long you just don't see dead ones.

here are five entrance-ways for arboreal homes... the first four were in the tree above, and the last one was

in this tree, which is a completely dead juniper. this area has such a feeling of calm - i can't begin to express it... i was so glad that i got to go back and spend time there. while i was sitting there drawing, three deer 'snorted' at me. my thought when the first deer snorted was "wow, that was a loud exhale!" ha! i looked around expecting to see a giant buck, but it was a medium sized, very inquisitive doe. there were four of them, and they stayed near me for about a half hour. i was beginning to think i was sitting in their spot...

i have some links to share - books and inspiration, but this is already so long i'll stop for now and post them separately in a few days.

until then...

* * *
"One's art goes as far and deep as one's love goes, and there is no reason for painting but that.

~ Andrew Wyeth


Saturday, October 16, 2010


watercolor and oil pastel on collaged plaster cloth ~ small eyed boy # 2

eyed boys...

a couple of small eyed boys dropped by to visit this week... they don't manifest fully on the material plane (as you can see); they slip between dimensions to drop off a message (or two). i dearly appreciated their visits...

but mostly i haven't been visiting with small eyed boys or anyone else; i've been helping my dh figure out why our septic system stopped working. that takes top priority, you know...

this is the scene after we finished digging. all i can say (well not all) is that i'd forgotten how much energy digging takes!

i'm happy to say that we've found the problem... and that we'll be clearly marking the spot on the surface where the line enters the tank!!

i wish you all a happy, creative week... i'm gonna go see if i can find any more of those small eyed boys.

* * *

"Who is the man who triumphs? The one who believes. Let the "intelligent" ones doubt, criticize, categorize, and define. The man of heart believes. And the world belongs to him who believes most."

Henry Miller, 'Paint as You Like and Die Happy'


Friday, October 8, 2010

invisible school

my nicho on legs... i think that makes it a spirit house instead of a nicho (that's what someone said), but it needed legs! i left the class with a lavender turquoise-y nicho, and came home to repaint it and add legs... now i need to add something inside - and keep it out of the wind. it'll surely blow over at the first gust. ; )

i highly recommend cathy dorris as a teacher... she's patient, generous, and very good at what she does. she has *a lot* of knowledge to share... as i listened to her, little lightbulbs went off about things completely unrelated to nichos. for me this is the most valuable thing about taking a class...

before any more times goes by, i want two thank two fellow bloggers/creators for sending me gifts of their art...

the first is deb lewis from vintage moon studios. deb won a give-away that i did a few weeks ago and she sent me this incredible painting as a thank you. these eyes, these lips!! thank you so much, deb! it's on muslin, in case you can't tell...

the second is jan brattain, from laughing dog arts, who sent me 'dooleybobber # 6' even though i didn't win it in a give-away that she had. someone else won, and chose another piece... i did a teeny tiny bit of whining about not winning, and she sent it to me! along with a dvd of tommy emmanuel (amazing guitar player) and a vintage cloth napkin (i love those). thank you, jan!

this is what the second batch of rust stained buttons looked like after a week in a rusty can with water, salt, vinegar, and a little miracle gro (i added that towards the end). i like them more than the first batch; they're quite a bit darker...

watercolors on watercolor paper

since i've been back - working with watercolors and experimenting with different ways to paint eyes.

watercolors on watercolor paper

these weren't easy to photograph... everything is subtle, and when i try to brighten the image up (because it's a little too dark), the eyes get way too vivid and dark.

watercolors and oil pastel on old book page

here i am back on an old book page using the same technique as i did for the 'creek people', but still experimenting with the eyes. not drawing them in first, but sort of blocking them in with a pencil and going from there with paint.

eyes and lips endlessly fascinate me... the slightest change in either can change the expression completely.

a silk and muslin 'fragment'... oh, how i love muslin and silk together!

my copy of capacity was waiting for me at the p.o. on my way out of town last week. i can't begin to tell you how much i love this book; how much i appreciate the intelligence and talent of theo ellsworth...

* * *

"After I flunked out of High School in 1994, I secretly began attending the Invisible School of Art, Wonder and Imaginary Technology (ISAWIT). I was 18 years old. Attending an invisible school is challenging. It is up to the student to discover the curriculum, intuit assignments, and chart one's own progress. Most of the professors are imaginary, yet stricter than you'd expect. There is no escape. One of the biggest challenges for me was to keep remembering that I was an ISAWIT student. Finding my classrooms was also hard... "

Theo Ellsworth, at the end of 'Capacity'


Friday, October 1, 2010


before i go...

i found all of this in the woods this week.

a bobber and rusty can...

another rusty can

turquoise glass from an electrical insulator. all living at the green shrine tree now.

i was smiling...

have a great weekend... : )