Sunday, December 16, 2012

More tweaking . . .

More tweaking . . . with Online Design & Print Online at As I vary the
design, the free software allows me to print as few as one card. Next month, I start a photoshop class for calligraphers. I used Photoshop, years ago, but a refresher is in order.  It should be a LOT easier doing this with the right software--many more ideas are percolating.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Playing around with more card designs

A friend, Elaine, suggested three pears, which sounded good to me, so here's my first version of the Three Truncated Pears.  Another friend doesn't like them cut off at the bottom.  I do like them running off the edges, rather than the expected full pears, but,  lots more playing ahead!  Maybe I'll overlap, next.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

New Business Card - Version One

I wanted a card that better reflected the work I've been up to lately. Since I prefer a very clean look, the most contact information is printed on the back.  I have alternative designs in mind and will play with those another time.  Which of these two do you like best and why?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

New Class - Adventures with Romans

Samples from the new mini-class I'm teaching, Adventures with Romans.  We start with traditional Roman letters and tweak them in fun ways for journal pages and mail art. 

I rejoined the San Diego guild, with the goal of studying with Pat Blair in March (lead White House calligrapher). 
Colorful Counterspaces: I'll play with more variations along this line.  The squirrel is a modified version of one I saw in Sachiko Umoto's book, let's draw cute animals. I modified the cheeks to be more puffy like our pet, Suzy's cheeks, which are always stuffed with as much as she can possibly hold.  My version also reflects the fact that a squirrel has claws for climbing and digging, not fingers--maybe squirrels in Japan have those? :-)  Here again is a link to our videos of sweet Suzy: .

Envelope Exchange - Opposites

Last month, this envelope happily arrived from Mark B Hill. Since my husband is used to seeing more light-hearted envelopes arrive for my various exchanges, he was quite curious to know who sent the "macabre" design.  Thanks, Mark!

I don't "do" macabre, although it's a goal of mine to master shading with pen-and-ink--Mark does such a fantastic job with that!  So, Mark will receive a thank-you from me with an envelope design that's the opposite of his--light and airy. These leaves were cut and scored from Fun Foam.  I now need to make some in the shape of the amber gum leaves on the lawn in my yard.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Canvas Sneakers

I FINALLY got my sketchbook back from the Spring semester.  It seems the instructor kept it, rather than returning it with the other students work.  He didn't tell me he was doing that, but later he showed it to his classes as an example of a how a sketchbook can be used.  While all the drawings are not top quality, they represent further exploring the topics assigned.

Later, after doing this sketch, I created a larger color-pencil version.  I like this one better.  I think the larger version is a little to lanky.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

ATC - Collaged Pear

Torn piece of printed tissue
Pear drawn, then traced on artist's tissue, applied with matte medium, painted with watercolor. Red square cut from magazine cover.

ATC - Stamped leaves

July 2012
Stamp cut from fun foam, with veins scored.  Stamp with pigment ink.  "Frame" drawn with Hybrid Technica pen and filled with various mixed shades of watercolor.

ATC - Pear

May 2012 Exchange
There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear where it is perfect to eat.

ATC - Robins in her Hair

March 2012.  I had given myself a goal to master painting watercolor trees and thought that ATCs would be a great way to experiment.  I must have painted more than 30 different trees.  Not all were of a quality I'd want to share.  I had a lot of fun with it, though, and learned a lot. 

The text is from Joyce Kilmer's famous Trees poem.  Did you know that Joyce was a man?  I found that when double-checking the author.  He had five children before he was killed in WWI at age 31.

ATC - New Year

I started a new invitational exchange coordinated by Christine Richards.  This was for our first exchange.  Each I made used various ephemera and I experimented with techniques, so each was different.  The watch was cut from a scrap of tissue paper I found in my collage box.  The 2012 was drawn, then filled with Prisma colored pencils.  I should have taken more time with the lettering, which was rather sloppily done :-(  . 

ATC - Celebrating retreat at Casa de Maria

In 2008, at our annual Memorial Day weekend Santa Barbara retreat, I led an ATC session and everyone got involved making them.  Unfortunately, since mine were all unique and I sent them off for the Cyberscribes exchange, I don't have any of those to post. 

In 2009, Kerri Judd decided to challenge the participants to make her a ATC that represented what our time spent at La Casa de Maria meant to us.  In return, she gave us each an ATC.  I made several, giving them away.  They were all unique.  I made this one for my own collection.  Thanks, Kerri, for the inspiration!

Description:  Collaged with pictures and text clipped from brochure.  Background paper was scrap from Carrie Imai's demo of new Golden luminescent glaze.  Blue-green scrap was from the acrylic "skin" I made--one of our retreat projects that year, taught by Annie Lawrence.  Punched heart found in my ATC supply box, as weel as the Time Flies sticker.

ATC - "Use Something Up"

December 2008.  The theme was "Use Something Up".  That had been my New Year's resolution the year before and I had suggested it as a theme for our ATC's.  I guess it wasn't a favorite, since it was scheduled last :-)  .

Here was my colophon on the back of the card:

Backgrounds from paper I've been saving for a "rainy day".  Collaged with materials left from past projects.  Used up a spool of metallic machine embroidery thread--a brief hobby from 25 years ago.  Lettering done with gel pen--several went into the trash before finding one that worked.

For this project, I ended up looking through many drawers and I found a lot of stuff I didn't know I had--very handy for upcoming projects!"

This is a great reminder for my upcoming exchanges--my craft room is full of things I need to use.

ATC - Pink

October 2006 with theme "Pink".  Again I incorporated a couple favorite symbols--hearts and a spiral, both cut from decorative paper.  24K Spectalite lettering

ATC -- Love

January 2006, the theme was "Love".  I had decided to use red mulberry-paper hearts throughout my art, when the opportunity presented itself and this was perfect.  Again, I used the 24K Spectralite.  The pink stripe was made after a brief lesson on painting dry-on-dry.

I also used this theme to make Valentine's day cards.

ATC - March Forth

Another Cyberscribes ATC exchange, this one themed, "March Forth" in 2006. The flowers are actually a little more subtley-colored than they appear here. I used Dr. Martins 24 Karat Spectralite ink. The point of this exchange was to try something new. I had owned a hot foil pen for some time and this was my motivation to try it. The border on the right side and the dots at the centers of the flowers are foiled. I've used the hot foil many times since, although, not lately.

ATC - July 2005

Created July 2005, the theme was "Travel".  This brought back memories of one of a favorite earlier trip, when I spent ten days in New York City in early December.  I attended a class and added on a weekend and a vacation day to do a little sightseeing.  The class was across from Rockefeller Center and my hotel was near the Empire State Building.  I never took the subway, preferring to walk a different route to and from class every day.  I'd love to go back someday.

The pictures were cut from a magazine ad and collaged on top of a background cut from my map.
My second ATC, created in May 2005.  The theme was "Celestial".

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bruges rooster

This is a Tombo pen drawing of the ceramic rooster that started my collection of rounded animals. I bought this in Bruges during my first trip to Europe. They were made by a Flemish artist, Catherine Hunter: . I love their lively attitudes. I've since seen them for sale in the U.S..

New Mexico Folk Art Rooster

This is the lower portion of the wooden folk-art rooster that I picked up many years ago in New York City.  I wanted to draw it larger, so the straw tail and wooden comb are not on the page

New Mexico Folk Art Bird

I enjoyed sketcheing the folk art bird that I brought back from Abiquiu in 2009.  It display it with a larger rooster that I had picked up at the New York Folk Art museum over a decade ago.
I think I'll leave these two--sketched in pencil, then in ink, and the countour version unpainted, except I'll add a subtle cast shadow.  Since I paint these in the evenings, the shadow is not too strong.

Succulent Rosette

I've been so busy admiring other people's lovely artwork, that I have neglected to post my own since last May :-( .  I'll remedy that starting with this picture.  For the month of August, while there is a lull in some other activities, I've decided to draw something everyday.  Most evenings, I've sat on the patio, sipping something cool and sketching--heavenly!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The way to learn is to do.  I no longer mind sharing my mistakes--it's uphill from here!
   I had quinacrodone gold on hand and used that to paint the metal--too grainy and flat.  I've been asking around and received suggestions for layering various combinations of colors.  I'll also check books and the web for recommendations on painting metal.  I'll paint a page of tools again, soon!
   Also, I used the corner of a cheap brush for the resist (highlights), but the solution thickened and the highlight was too wide.  Someone told me to use a ruling pen--I'll give it a try!  I ran out and bought some inexpensive smaller brushes, and I'll try those, also.  I'll post after experimenting and will report on the results.

Happy painting!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I notice that I look at this work with new eyes when I get ready to post it.  I'd like to add a little more to this page.  I suppose more text, remembering this day and what was special about it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Journal entry for Sept 4, 2011 - France

Interesting history for this church.

This abbey was spectacular, even in it's current state of disrepair!

Tennis Shoe

Done for drawing class--watercolor pencils.  This is done on drawing paper, so I won't hydrate.  This would be a good one to re-do with watercolor on heavier paper.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Catching up on journal pages from last September's France trip.  I added some pumpkins on a tabletop at the green market, where we stocked up on food that would be for that morning's breakfast and for several day's lunch (bread and framoge, mmm).  I like the quick upper sketch despite the perspective being a little off on one of the buildings along the beautiful marina.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My latest watercolor
topic -- pears--done in conjunction with Martha Lever's fun class.
 Loose pages destined for a journal.  The lettering is done in pencil.  I'll probably redo the top page using something more legible. I think the bottom page will be a draft. I like the background, but it needs  I'll contrast--I'm thinking something reddish and circular.  The lettering will be redone--better layout and not so sloppy
A couple things keeping us busy are the pets.  Suzy, the one with the puffy cheeks, was our backyard "rescue" in April 2011.  She's survived the coyotes, bobcats, falcons, hawks, etc. and is now on her second litter of babies this spring--VERY prolific and a very diligent mother.
  Here's a video of her gathering nesting materials:

Fuzzy, on the other hand, was a from a friend who got a hedgehog.  A week later, she looked in the cage and there were three!  She's not the friendliest pet--quite a contrast to Suzy.  She interesting, though and getting her to come out for a run gives D and I a project each night.
I haven't posted for awhile. I've been busy with creative endeavors, though, and have decided I'll start posting more regularly. To start, here's a picture of the birthday gift I received this year, from the very handy husband. It's so fantastic to now know exactly what paper I have, and where it is.