Saturday, December 27, 2014

and then there is knitting

I have been playing with this guy.  He is done now ...  I made a few changes, I changed the colors, obviously, and did a bit of improvising here and there.   Wings are a bit bigger and I had that lovely color and didn't want to waste it.  Nothing sewn on like beads or anything, the eyes are double French knots.

Friday, December 26, 2014

The other thing I do every year at this time

Is get crazy looking at what I have done versus what I have wanted to do and all things like that.  This year coming, 2015, I am going to try to be more organized in my work and work more.  I am right now going through the bags of things that collage people invariably collect.  I have a bag of "paper" stuff, a bag of "texture things" to use in Gelliplate printing, a bag of "game pieces and parts" to use in jewelry maybe?  Who knows.

Meanwhile, I have actually been creating some pages in old gelliplate print journal number 2.

This is a two page spread, so they are next to each other.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I do this every year at this time

I make a calendar from photos submitted by members of the Spanish Water Dog Assoc. of America.  Members send photos of their dogs and I create 12 pages and a cover and the club gets money to use for Rescue.  I spent the last two days immersed in photos of dogs in various activities and poses and am finally done.  It is GREAT when I can load it go the site and it is for sale.  Since I make the calendar I do have the liberty to assign certain dogs to certain months.  This is November:

and this is the kind of life some of these guys live.  Pacho surfs and hangs out at the Grand Canyon and the beach with his buddies.  Sienna and Tinta are not allowed to look at the calendar lest they drool on it in envy

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I started book number 2 in this series,

and I am back at the very beginning, but this is maybe done, or maybe not.  The right side is not done, but the left may be..
I have always struggled with words.  I like words, I like letters printed with wooden type in funny orientations so you are not sure what they are.  There was a time when I had set myself a goal to make found poetry out of headlines in the NY Times.  I had to make the poetry from the same day, so only headlines from today would make the poetry of today.  I did it for a while, but I didn't like what I was doing as the backgrounds (washy watercolor with no real focus) so I finally dropped it to see if I could resurrect it later on.

Now I tear out headlines that appeal to me and just stuff them in a (now pretty fat) envelope.  This was the first time I used anything from the envelope. We'll see what happens next.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

and I have been improvising...

Friends in my building that I don't know very well are parents of a new baby boy and I just could not resist whipping this up.
you know where I got the elephants..

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

And I have been knitting...

Unisex onesie, for a friend's baby.  Aren't those little ellephants to die for??? so cute. this is the Ravelry link to the project.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Second part of the completed journal

I was going to try to collage the before and afters but it just got too complex, so here we go with the last half of the art journal.

Pages 22 and 23 now look like this.  I blogged about the origihal version of page 23 here

I added the woman as an image transfer, as I did the menu from 1929.  The images and the original menu came from things I found in my father's stash of saved stuff. 

Pages 24 and 25 look like this ...

 This is the other half of the stenciled face that is the background for page 13.
and page 25 was originally blank.  I played with it for a long time.  The text is from an old falling-apart copy of Jane Eyre that I have used for a lot of things since I found it.  I have made found poetry from some of the pages and it made me go back and read the original when I realized how much I loved the book.  I still have the cover from this ruin of a copy and it may eventually get used somewhere. The falling asterisks are presstype lettering. I have a bunch of sheets and love the punctuation as much as the letters. 

Page 26
started as a gelliprint that I have worked back into  with pencils, watercolor and collage, including gilded builder's scrim and really just played with. 

This is 26 and 27 and a  view of how 27  blends in with page 29

page 29 changed as documented here and now looks like this with page 28 which I also tried integrating into 26. I am not sure this works any better than page 16.

Pages 30 and 33 were the pages that did not go together easily.   Pages 32 and 33 started out looking like this:

and ended looking like this

Page 30, on the right below, never set well.  I felt like I had thrown the kitchen sink at it and it never got anywhere I liked and I kept staring at it. and not liking it. 

Now it looks like this

It got there by peeling the whole thing back and starting again and used gesso, tape transfers and Purell transfers.

Pages 34 and 35 have changed about  10 times. This is the first picture I have.  They were two Gelliprints butted up against each other and I added some stencils and stamps, but they never looked right to me. They are half of pages 2 and 3. 
Then it got to this:
and now it looks like this.  This is where it is going to stay. You can see bits of the print still and I am liking the tape transfer effect. 

and, finally... if anyone is still out there besides me...
the back cover, at one point looked like this. Though it never really looked like that because the color was way off, but in any case, it now looks like this..

and now I can start to play with a new journal.  I am SO glad I documented this one and I certainly learned a lot doing it...
1. Keeping the total number of pages small
2. Not feeling that I had to work sequentially,
3. Not using anything just because I had it and could use it
4. Trying things out and letting it sit a bit before totally committing
5. Never stopping looking through it until I really declared it done 
were the most useful lessons for me.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Art Journal July - September 2014 done

I have a studio journal, which I keep in the studio till it is full. That is a journal that keeps track of process, ideas, things that inspire me, quotes torn out pages from the newspaper, whatever attracts the magpie in me. It is always there and gets replaced when full.  I have several of those, all full.

Art journals, to me were something else, I thought they should be full of drawings or collages or mixed media whatever and should have a LOT of pages. I usually think that when I am making a journal I should put a whole lot of pages in it.  After all, if I am going to fold and sew and make a cover etc I should have it to work in for a long time, right?  Well I just figured out that. for me, is WRONG!!!  I have a zillion quarter/half full art journals sitting around.  A few drawings that went nowhere, or a few that I liked and a lot of empty pages.

This time I tried something new. I had about 50 pages of prints from a gelli plate session, mostly printed on one side only.  They just didn't make the cut as standalone prints.  They hung around for a bit. (In my studio they could easily have hung around FOREVER!!) Some were just small pages, about 4" by about 6", some were about 7" x 11".  I folded them all in half, so if there was a recognizable image on the page, the image was folded in half and made them into groups.  I mixed up sizes so there were both sizes in each group, and made 4 books, Most were 9 sheets folded in half so about 18 pages, 36 sides.  I didn't add covers or anything but a pamphlet stitch binding.  Originally I thought if I finished all of them I would tie them together in some way and then make a cover.  I'll see what happens with that later.

I started early in June of this year and today, September 14th, I finished the last page. They all have something on them that I feel is complete and I am willing to move on and start another one.  SO!  this is the book, page by page.  Some got done in one sitting, some went through several iterations, and when I documented it, I will give you a serial view.  Lots of links, lots of pictures, I didn't do these in order, though I did several in sequence I think the first one done was page 4, so there is NO sequence other than how they are bound now and how they relate to each other across the fold,.  That relating across the fold is very interesting to me, and if I rebind these as one book someday that relationship will remain the same.

Finally, I only use my own photos or drawings or stencils or stamps that I have made.  so though I will manipulate the daylights out of a photo, the original photo is mine with one exception, which I will mention on the page that uses it.

See what you see here:

This is page 1, or the temporary cover.  It is a calendar square that I did a while ago, blown up and printed onto a transparency.  I did it to make a transfer but the transparency that I used would not release the ink, so this one got cut up and glued here.  This page was blank to start. 

Pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 are in this post.  They were done over several days, I occasionally dated them but somehow that got lost after the first few.  There were few changes, I know I added some thin lines on page 7 after it sat there for a while, but the images at that link are how the pages look now.

Pages 8, 9, 10 and 11 are in this post. These also are prettymuch unchanged from when I declared them done the first time. 

Pages 12 and 13 are here. The Longevity embossed paper was made from the top of a condensed milk container that I bought in Chinatown ages ago.  When I used the milk I saved the top and used it to deboss the word onto paper when I was playing one day.  The leaf is from one of my orchids, which was shedding like mad but has survived. 

Now we get to where some things started to change.  Pages 14, 15, 16 and 17 are here.
14 is the only image that did not start with my photos or prints or whatever.  I tore it out of something years ago and it floated to the top of the pile while I was looking for something.  It was originally a halftone black and white image of Rich's in downtown Atlanta, which is probably why it stayed with me all this time. Of these 4 pages, number 16 now looks like this as opposed to the bare look it has in the linked page. 
I added color in a trial at integrating it better with page 14, not sure it is successful, but interesting thought.  Later you'll see the page that suggested doing this. 

Pages 18, 19 20 and 21 are here. They have changes. and 19 now looks like this:

and page 20 now looks like this:
I really like the changes on these two, especially since they were not my favorites during the process.

OK, I will finish tomorrow.  The rest have a lot more documentation of before and after and I am going to try a couple of collages to see how that will work to show the progression.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I strayed a bit

from posting pages from my journal, and I have a bunch of before and after shots to share if it ever gets light enough in my studio to take photos... in the interim, this is the back cover.  It is not where it is going to be, but just as a record, this is my dad at probably 19 or 20 (around 1929 or 1930) when he was a steward on a cruise ship.  He has on his white waiter jacket, and I transferred the picture using a laser print and a Purell transfer.  I also painted the whole page with buff titanium gesso which is NOT as richly colored as it appears here.

More tomorrow or the next day when the weather clears.  I have a minor knitting addiction withdrawal going.  I knitted so much that my hands are addicted.  They assume they are going to be knitting every time I sit down and as a result are not happy doing anything else. They don't want to hold books or the Kindle. I may have to start another pair of socks just to keep my hands happy...

Monday, September 1, 2014

And to record the moments....

When I was thinking that I would not finish the blanket and needed something to serve as a placeholder, I made this little book.  It is intended that people who are at the shower will share things the baby should know about her mother and father... so I am including some pens in the envelope and it will go off in the box with the blanket now.

The baby is my own when he was about 4 months old but I decided that baby faces at that age are sort of unisex and I am not fond of using other people's art in my art so he is standing in for the baby girl.  When she comes along I can always change the picture for one of her...

The pages are lotus folded origami pages, all glued together and then tied up in red ribbons... no pink!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

My pretend daughter is going to have a baby girl...

and since I know she doesn't read the blog, I can show you what I made for her shower next weekend.  I can't be there in Atlanta but this has been a real labor of love.  She says "We are staying away from pink" and I follow directions at least marginally.  Coral is NOT pink.

It is from Mason Dixon, their Modern Baby Blanket with the modification shown by JMKB and others of the charcoal line between the colors.  I am in love and I was obsessed by finishing this blanket.  It has haunted my waking hours and seems that I spent every minute on it because now I am wandering about like a lost soul.

For those of you who know the size of my yarn stash, NO I didn't do it from the stash, I DID buy new yarn and now I have almost a full ball of each color left over... and it is Aran weight, not blendable easily with the tons of sock yarn stashed all over the apartment.  Something will occur, I am sure.  I actually started to make a striped (random) blanket and I may keep it up.  We shall see.  HOWEVER the next task is to get it wrapped, into a box and mailed to Atlanta before the shower.  That is, for me, almost harder than all the knitting.

Monday, August 25, 2014

I found a way through, I think

It needs to be seen close up, clicking should biggen it.  Who she is, I do not know.  Another one of the million photos my dad saved without any notes on the back or anywhere else.  She might be his first wife, about whom I only learned when my mom died and then he denied having told me she existed, so who knows?  No one to say.....Maybe she was there at the mystery party at the Berlin restaurant ...

anoither journal page

I found, after my father went to assisted living, that there was a HUGE trove of saved ephemera in boxes stashed all over the house.  As my son will now attest to, the apple does not fall far from the tree.  But here I am, many years later, going through some of it.  This is an amalgam of old envelope stuff and a menu from a Berlin restaurant.  The date on the menu is 6 August 1929.  Why he saved it I don't know, and there is no way to really find out.  He was 19 at the time and probably about to set off to sea as a steward on a ship.  I have his steward's book and a lot of sea connected things, but this is definitely Berlin in 1929.

As a page goes it is OK, but needs something, I am not sure where it is going.  it is interesting only if you know the story, I think...

Friday, August 8, 2014

A quick note to mention how quickly the world moves....
a while ago I posted a note about something that caught my eye.. paper that could be shipped flat that would, when heated, become 3 dimensional..

The idea intrigued me, and this is now an example of what it all leads to..
the NY Times today published this article about how Origami had facilitated the creation of a self folding robot.  The bot itself is flat and would arrive attached to two motors, two small power cells and a mini flexible controller.  When told to, from a remote controller, without any assistance, it folds up into a mini robot and ... at the pace of 2 inches a second... scuttles off on its mission.

What fun!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

This is reporting on a moving target sometimes....

This page was ok, as it was on Monday... but nothing exciting was going on, to say the least...

 I got interested in how the lines interacted and ended up here, with the window flap

and here with the whole page.  I really like this a lot better...There is some green in the lines too, but it is hard to photo and have it show, so this will have to do..

Monday, August 4, 2014

Journal Contents Part 5

This spread without the small page flap started out long ago as a sample of different media I was using, just little strips of color on the left page.  I just kept going somehow..

and I continued the geometrics on the opposite side... 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Journal Contents Part 4

This spread started with an old photo I found in my "tearout" file, from where I do not know.  It is of Atlanta's Rich's department store, the downtown store, at street level.  One thing led to another and here is the full spread:

This is another of the small/large page combos, so here are the closeups:
I treated the photo with blue wax and with red paint and some white ink
With the small page flipped over, it looks like this
and the other side of the spread is this:
 and with the page flipped, like this:

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Art Journal with Contents Part 3

This page was originally blank on the left side and had a half face print on the right.  I dabbled about with the face print, and at one point had a butterflyish drawing on the cheek and it bothered me ... too easy.  I am having a big discussion with myself about not using things because I can or because they are there.  Learning to look for the things that fit, not always the easy thing.

The circles are from a wrapper on a gift from Japan.  I liked the sketchiness of the script.

The other side is an orchid leaf that has been hanging around for a while, getting more and more beat up, which is when I really like them the best.  The embossing is from the top of a can of sweetened condensed milk that I bought in Chinatown.  When I popped the lid I looked at it and saw "longevity".  So I saved the lid, and embossed it onto a piece of watercolor paper..
There is a bit of smeary charcoal in there also.