Friday, June 27, 2014

Art Journals considered

There are a lot of ideas and implementations of Art Journals, as many as there are people making journals I would bet.  I have at least 4 different journalistic things going on that can be described as art journals and in addition I have a "line a day" journal and generally do about 2 pages a la The Artist's Way, so I do not live an unexamined life by any means.

Today, I want to show you a new iteration and talk about what it is and where it comes from.  I have been doing stints of GelliPlate printing.  Not all of my GelliPlate prints are worth looking at for a long time as a single image or as one of a string of images with a theme.  BUT, and this is the sticking point, I can't seem to throw them away.  (Now, there are several people out there who would say I can't throw ANYTHING away, but at the moment I am only looking at not successful GelliPrings OK?)

I also have a lot of Paper.  I am, without question, a paperholic, and I can't get more til I use some of what I have, so I am looking for places/ways to use up my failed prints and other bits and pieces of paper.   Here is what I am doing:
I have made a bunch of pamphlet stitched assemblies of about 20 pages or so.  I have mixed pages that are made up of failed prints with blank pages, and sewed the failed prints right down the middle.

Also, I have mixed pages of different sizes just to add a bit more craziness:

I have done a variety of pages, some incorporating what was printed, some not.  I am just showing a sample here of some recent ones:

Two unrelated prints that ended up next to each other in the "luck of the draw". I added washi tape, color, and bits and pieces of builder's scrim.  (Thanks Gill!  who brought it to me from the UK.  For some reason I haven't been able to find it here in the hardware/home supply stores!  I love it)

 More builder's scrim, a print that I made for a Christmas card years ago and still have some hanging about that I cut up into circles etc. On the right side half page is a page from an old poetry book with the poem "Pippa Passes" printed on it.
A shredded leaf from an orchid, some dried out petals from a flower, paint etc etc etc on a page that originally just had some red strips on it.

the print here was made from a magazine closeup of a face that I made into a stencil.  It was ok, but not special, here there was only half the face because of the stitching holding the booklet together and I added color and collage bits. 

an old photo of Rich's store in downtown Atlanta that i found ages ago and dyed here with shoe dye polish and some white pen for highlights.. 

these are typical, the majority of the pages have some collage on them, some on blank pages, some using the print underneath. 

I find these little booklets liberating in a way, since I can do almost anything on them, and don't feel constrained. Also they are not very big, so they look more like they are almost done than like an intimidating amount of pages just waiting to be filled.  This one, that the pages above are from, is almost filled already and I have only been playing in it a couple of weeks.I have a tendency to think that if I am going to make a journal it has to be exposed spine, lots of pages etc. but these are just a 5 minute pamphlet stitch and they are done.  Later, if I want, I could sew 4 or 5 of them together through the already punched holes and have a larger journal, but only after all of them are filled.  Isn't it fun??

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

shape shifting paper?

This is the second in a run of stuff for which I have only links, no pictures, so I will make it short.  The University of British Columbia has a post here about their discovery/invention/find  of paper that could be shipped flat and with heat applied forms 3 dimensional shapes.

NOW.... what to do with it besides the obvious commercial uses.  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Sunday, June 15, 2014

How could I have missed knowing about this???

Whole Foods, of all places interesting to start with, has a FREE online magazine, and it is NOT your usual food magazine advertising the store and its deliverables.  The current issue, number 19, is called Art and it is really an interesting read.  Yes, there are foodish themes, but they cast a wide net in their subject matter when including artists and art.  The people it showcases are good at talking about what they do and why they do it. The photography is not glamour shots, but enhances the stories by being both informative and visually appealing.  The videos are well done and not intrusive, if you want to just read the story it is fine and the videos add more.  I am not a fan of all video all the time, so I really liked the format here and the videos were good viewing and well shot.

So far, i have looked at the first couple of issues from the archives, and in the first one there is a story about Julie Green who paints plates depicting the last meals requested by death row prisoners.  There is a great video where she talks both about her process and the WHY of what she does.

The second issue called Senses has a video article about Gerry Leary who is a coffee roaster in Texas, and who also happens to be blind.  He is a good talker and his take on the coffee bean roasting is fascinating.

The issue called Gather has In Living Color, Dyeing with the colors of nature about Sacha Duerr and her dyeing process.  It includes a chart of various plants and how the  mordant used affects the color that you end up with.

NOW.. I am an internet junkie, why did I not know about this little gem of a magazine?  Whole Foods, you do such a good job of publicity, where is the publicity for Dark Rye and why have I missed it?  Ok, everybody, take a look, it will reward you for the time spent for sure...

Other than having about 10 of their great bags in my house and eating their food a lot, there is no connection between me and Whole Foods, except now I am a subscriber... DID I MENTION IT IS FREE? to Dark Rye and delighted to be one.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


I have been a little slow to post about this, but this is my latest "project"
I have done a lot of different images in several calendars I have used in the studio.  I don't hang them on the wall, I lay them down on the desk and often make little pictures with a variety of paints, pencils, stamps etc in the day spaces.

 A couple of weeks ago I decided to turn some of the little paintings into postcards.  I limited myself to 15 (ended up making 17) and I turned them into postcards by printing copies of the pictures and integrating them into some Medioevalis large flat cards. I used wax on the surface to make them sturdier and ordered a stamp that says Postcarded from The Stamp Maker.  I mailed them out about 2 weeks ago and all seem to have made it through the mail. They look more like the top piece, but I added colored wax... shoepolish actually.... to prevent the card from showing through.

I am calling it the Calendar Project and have already printed the second round.  I am figuring I will do 5 or 6 about a month apart and then call it quits, but it is good to have a project to be working on!

My thinking on it all is that they all start out the same, but then the post office does its thing and each becomes an original..... we'll see how this goes..  I am so not good at multiples that making 17 is just about my limit...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What I found in the studio today.

I found this guy on the floor of the studio this morning.  Don't know how he got there or why he died, but there he was on the rug near the table.  He looks a bit like a bunny, doesn't he?  with the wings as ears and the shape of the yellow.  He is really beautiful and sad.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Well, it is not like I have been sitting around eating peeled grapes

Since it has FINALLY turned almost spring I decided to declare all of my winter uniform DONE.  So yesterday, I dug out all my winter uniforms and threw them on the floor around Romeo and packed them away.    

When you retire, if you are me, you wear only what you want.  I still have a closet full of clothes that need to be hung up and are spiffier than I am, but every day I wear ... in winter... jeans and Tshirts, either long or short sleeved and socks and sometimes a sweater.  That's it, I think I varied it twice last winter. 

 This is my wardrobe where my uniforms are stored.  I hedged my bets and kept a pair of jeans and a pair of cords and maybe 2 long sleeved shirts.  Other than that, before I dug out all my summer uniforms, this was where we were:
Then of course, Nature can't abide a vacuum, so I pulled out all my summer shorts and shirts and cargo pants and filled it back up again...
SO, that is what I have been doing,  I am planning to try to be here more, let's see how the summer goes.  I can't imagine it could be worse than last winter!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I've been printing....

And I've been playing with gelatin plates.  I wanted to expand what I did before when I made a plate with only gelatin and water.  I made several prints, some of which I was much in love with, some not so much.  I wish I could say that this time the results were better, but the word different will have to do.

First I made what is supposed to be a more permanent plate with water, gelatin and glycerin.  I used the Frugal Crafter's recipe for a 4 by 6 ish plate.  1.5 cups of water, 1.5 cups of glycerin, 6 Tablespoons of gelatin.  Easy peasy, or so it seems.  Let me start by saying that I am not the greatest measurer, but I ended up with a too big container, and the plate was too thin.  It disintegrated a bit over a couple of days.  In the meantime, I made about a dozen prints that I considered first step background.  This is what a couple of them looked like.  I need to say that I limited myself to black, white and grey in this process, as I wanted to see what I was doing and not get into color just yet.

There were many more, but these are representative.  I had a major cold/fluish and got tired after I had done a dozen or so and I quit for the day.  I came back on day 2 with the intent of playing with black, white and grey again on top of these plates.  The plate had not held up well probably because it was too thin, and it started to crack when I took it out of the tin I had stored it in.  I LOVE the cracks.  A clean edge does not interest me, so this was great.  An example of my  work with Polaroid Image Transfers will show you the kind of edges I am fond of.

I had cut a stencil from an ad printed on heavy paper, and I just used that to see how it would all hold together.  I used my two new 'colors' and my single stencil and did some playing.  The results, in part, looked like this:

The big cracks in the paint in these are all from the disintegration of the plate.  I am going to have to figure out how to make this happen when I want it!

after this I had to junk the plate, it was determined to fall apart. This is what it looked like. You can also see it was a bit thin....

 I intend to melt it and use it again. I want to work on the texture, however.  This felt very sticky to me, it could have been for several reasons so more about that later.   In any case, it was a fun 2 days and I think I am certainly not done.  I can use these prints to do more and I can work back into them with various color media.  More to come.