Sunday, October 19, 2014

Seasons challenge at IA

It’s Autumn

The challenge theme at Inspiration Avenue this week is Seasons.

Here is my (undoubtedly) unpopular view on Autumn.

The Autumn always gets me badly, as it breaks into colors.
I want to go south, where there is no autumn, 
where the cold doesn't crouch over one 
like a snow leopard waiting to pounce.

~ D. H. Lawrence

Me, thinking about winter.

I hope you're enjoying the weekend, and if you love autumn
like everyone else I know, may you have plenty of colorful leaves,
apple cider, pumpkin carving, and brisk walks through the fallen leaves :-)


Monday, October 6, 2014

Studying Modigliani

The Magical Journals have traveled the full circle.

Here is the last journal that I will do (until next time).
It belongs to Priti Lisa and went off in the mail to her today.
Her artist is Amedeo Modigliani, and as I thought,
he was not easy! But every one of the artists chosen 
were or are masters of their techniques, 
so how could they not be difficult to emulate?!

This is a photo transfer of a portrait of Modigliani.
He was a handsome man with very regular features,
so other than the part of his hair being on the wrong side, 
I don't think it's too obvious that the picture is reversed.
I like this quote, although it could be interpreted 
as being rather self indulgent. But maybe a lot of artists'
self indulgence allows them to do their best work.

Who was Modigliani speaking of when he said this?
Was it Jeanne Hébuterne, his lover and mother of his child?
Or the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova who influenced the course of his art? 
Anna outlived him by many years and died an old woman.
Jeanne Hébuterne, pregnant with their second child,
stepped out of a fifth floor window a day after the death 
of Modigliani from tuberculosis at the age of 35. 
Jeanne was only 20 years old and died along with her unborn child.

Lisa's book is square (or almost square?). I don't know why I chose to
use the full length of the folded pages, except that Modigliani's
figures are always elongated, especially the faces.
Somehow it seemed like the thing to do.

I hate it when I make stupid mistakes.
I'm so irritated that the words,
"Never stop dreaming" are facing the wrong way.
They should have faced the same way as the quote
under the portrait since they are partially visible
when the pages are folded.

The fact that the pages were all unbound this time
has thrown me off again. Maybe I have some
syndrome like dyslexia that doesn't allow me to 
visualize how the pages will appear in a bound book.
I'm always putting the fold on the wrong side.
Or something like these flipped letters.
I hope Lisa can make the best of it when she binds the book!

I'm so looking forward to seeing my own journal,
filled with art in the style of José Manuel Merello.
Blog post coming on that, for sure!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Magical Journal Journeys

Inspired by two very different artists . . .

A double blog post for our Magical Journal Journeys collaboration
because I'm so far behind and trying to catch up.

What have I been doing to cause these circumstances?
I'm blaming it on the veggie garden. I've either been out there picking
tomatoes, peppers and eggplants or I've been in the kitchen
cooking, pickling, freezing, drying, jarring etc. so they don't take over the house.
I'm not complaining. I'm just saying. That's my excuse.
It's great to have a productive garden ~
I'm just saying I have a lot of respect for farmers. Imagine if you had veggies 
coming out your ears and still had to take care of the cows, pigs, and chickens.

Enough of that! I'm supposed to be talking about artists.

Lisa Wright's chosen artist is Matisse. 
He was a master of color and had no fear of it. He even went so far as to say, 
“Seek the strongest color possible. The content is of no importance.”

He often used many different amazing patterns in one painting.


I used two of the patterns I painted in Jeanne Oliver's 
“Studying Under the Masters” class to create a double sided tag 
with 2 of Matisse's paintings attached.
It was so much fun copying Matisse's patterns
and I love the way he never bothered to make everything perfect.
They were so much more beautiful for not being 
laid out with a ruler and painstakingly painted.


He did many figures, mostly women, and many of them were nudes.
Again, they were never a perfect representation of the human body
but still had such substance and realism anyway.
That was something it was very difficult for me to imitate. I tend to fiddle too much 
trying to make something perfect (which of course is impossible!).

I don't know why Matisse had a longing to be a vermilion goldfish,
but I think there are worse things to be. They are quite beautiful, 
and don't have fishermen angling to make them into supper.
Lazing around in a pond all day could be quite the Zen experience. ;-)

Next journal arriving at my door was Katina Wright's whose chosen artist is 
Jennifer Judd McGee

I was not familiar with JJM's work and it was a delight to discover her.
Her pieces are very modern and 21st century. But I can still see that there is
something similar to Matisse's work...maybe it's the use of patterns!

I had a bit of a technical (or tactical?) error with Kat's pages.
I did a fold-out panel but did not think to put it on the right side instead of the left.
All of the journals are traveling unbound this time and I didn't think 
that I was putting the panel on the side that would be bound (smacking self in forehead).
I'm hoping when the ring binding is in place it won't matter...

I had fun with the multitude of patterns and the zentangle-like pen work!

Jennifer's landscapes and towns are like fantasy places and 
I immediately thought of Oz and added the hot-air balloon
and the quote by Glinda, the Good Witch of the North.

Kat cleverly added a sign-in page with a square for each artist to fill.
I had done these zentangle-ish illustrations for my main pages
but didn't use them. They fit perfectly on my sign-in square!

There you have July and August!
I have the very last journal on my desk here in September.
It happens to be Priti Lisa's whose artist is

I'm thinking Modigliani won't be TOO hard, 
but that's what I thought about the other six artists, and I was wrong.
(Okay, I should have said seven artists. 
My own choice, José Manuel Merello, 
may have been the most difficult of all.)

So, off to the garden with hopefully some time for art this afternoon!

Since I haven't participated in Paint Party Friday in ages,
I'm linking up there also.

Have a great weekend!


Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Man in the Moon and the Moon Rabbit


I love Niina's theme this week at Inspiration Avenue.

On August 10 we had a super moon, an event where the full moon is 
at its closest position to the earth in a given month. This makes it Big! and Bright!

With my less-than-sophisticated camera, I was able to snap a few photos just after dusk.
I'm surprised they turned out at all.

I think the Man in the Moon is tired of all the super moon hoop-la 
and he's nowhere to be seen in these photos :-)

Everyone's heard of the Man in the Moon, 

but did you know there is a Moon Rabbit?

The Moon Rabbit in folklore is based on markings on the moon 
that resemble a rabbit and a mortar. In East Asia, it is seen pounding 
in a mortar and pestle, but the contents of the mortar differ 
among Chinese, Japanese, and Korean folklore. 
In Chinese folklore, it is often portrayed as a companion of the 
Moon goddess Chang'e, constantly pounding the elixir of life for her; 
but in Japanese and Korean versions, it is pounding the ingredients for rice cake.

You can read more about the Moon Rabbit on Wikipedia.

The Sleeping Village painting above is available in my shop.

The two paintings below have gone to new homes . . .

Have a great week!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Summer is fleeting

Some pictures from my garden.
Flowers this time.
Veggies later.


A calla lily that I thought would not come up this year 
after the nasty winter we had.

It has that motto that I like ~
Never ever ever give up.

I planted some Four O’Clocks a little late, 
but I hope it means they'll still be blooming in September.

Here's what they will look like if you are not familiar with them:
Photo courtesy of Burpee.

My grandmother always had four o'clocks in her garden.
It's true ~ they bloom at 4:00 in the afternoon (or thereabouts).
Things were simpler then; we kids thought it was exciting and cool 
that flowers could tell time :-) Kids today might just think it's a big yawn...
More exciting things happening on their smart phones.

I'm gonna have to pay more attention to framing my photos.

Garden implements photobombing both of these pictures lol. 


I decided to post these pics now because I just noticed 
that even though these were taken only 4 or so days ago, 
everything has changed already! 

Summer is flying by . . . I guess we are about half through already.

How is your summer going? How does your garden grow?


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Studying Duy Huynh

MJJ Month 4 ~ Another Challenge . . .

Each journal I've received in this year's swap has
had its challenging moments!

Tammy's artist is Duy Huynh, a North Carolina artist whose art
is serene, surreal, ethereal, and dreamlike. Oh. I forgot to mention.
It shines with a perfection that is impossible to imitate!
But our task is to give it a try and I had so much fun
with his whimsical subject matter.

I was so frustrated with my first attempts to imitate Mr. Huynh's style, 
until I realized that his backgrounds were brilliantly every bit 
as important as the subject in the foreground.
Once I began concentrating on making the backgrounds
bolder, I was a bit happier with my pieces.

I hardly ever paint any subject matter twice,
but the one above is another version of a painting
from a few years ago:
I didn't set out to make the floating girl look the same.
But darned if she isn't the same girl all grown up!
Different cat, though.
(This one's available in my Etsy shop)
This painting has now been sold! Thank you so very much, Darla!

I think this simple balloon painting might be the one I like best.

One last one:

. . . and a tag:

The reverse side says: "Bee Happy"

It's been fun connecting with the different artists that
were chosen by each of us. 
Some, like Duy Huynh, I was not familiar with. 
Now, I would know a painting of his anywhere.
And I'm so glad about that!

Next up is Lisa Wright's Matisse journal.
I've already received it and can't wait to start.
Somehow, I'm thinking Matisse will be a bit easier,
but after 4 journals so far, I know not to even think such a thing.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Studying Anahata Katkin

Kim's Journal

I finished Kim's pages and have sent them on to Priti Lisa.
Kim's artist is Anahata Katkin, whose work I love!

Anahata's paintings feature flowers and sometimes birds and other animals. . .
many beautiful faces. . . and flowing lines and pretty text. 
Since I love images like this, it was so much fun trying to work in her style.

Kim included some amazing cut-out hands for us to sign in with.
Here are the front and back of mine.

The back side of my two "Pink" ladies:

(I wish I could follow this advice, but I need to work on the faith aspect.

I tend toward a Murphy's Law philosophy... more like ~
“Leap, and then wonder what the H-E-double-toothpicks were you thinking”!)

The first four artists who work on each journal collaborate
on the front cover. The last four collaborate on the back cover.
I can't believe we are now half done, but I was the fourth one
to work on Kim's front cover. It already had such awesome art
on it and looked to me to be finished! So I added some swirly
designs ala Anahata in spots where I could!

Anahata's designs are much more graceful than mine, but it was
fun and calming to draw these, kind of like doing Zentangles :-)

Have a wonderful and safe weekend!
Happy (3-day) Memorial Day weekend, if you live in the US!