Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A new art journal, a purple miss, and Miss Lady

It's Purple this week at Inspiration Avenue.

I made a new art journal.
(and, yes, I have twenty or so journals which are barely started...don't remind me.
SOMEDAY I will fill them all. Of course I know that 
SOMEDAY, like TOMORROW, never comes. But I keep pretending.

This is a bit different from my other journals. The cover is soft, made out of canvas.
I made it by following Effy Wild's instructions for her Book of Days project.

My canvas was larger than I needed, so I'm adding a flap for closure.

Effy's Book of Days Boot Camp (the precursor to the actual Book of Days) is FREE.
Lots of good and fun info in many videos showing how to make the journal,
ideas for decorating the cover, and lessons on art techniques.
I have not even finished all of the videos yet.

You can find the Book of Days Boot Camp HERE.
Just join up (free) and you can watch the videos online or download and keep.

This was the easiest journal I've ever made. And feels very good to use.
Much simpler to sew than the coptic stitch, although I love how that turns out too.

My assistant, Miss Lady, who thinks she is here to sit for her portrait.

Have a great week...stop by Inspiration Avenue to see some pretty purple artwork! :-)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Journal page...

It's not the road you walk...

...it's in the walking.

                                                ~ Vatsyayana

The theme is “Words” at Inspiration Avenue this week.
Go check it out!



Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekly Challenge at IA

Is it still Autumn?

Deer Frida,
I couldn't portray you as a wounded deer...
I would rather see you running through a happy place
with no arrows.

Frida painted many self portraits. Wounded-ness and pain is a common
theme in her paintings of herself, and for good reason.

Frida's Wounded Deer painting

It's hard to believe it is still autumn, when the morning temperatures
are in the teens and hardly go up much farther during the day. Br-r-r-r.
But the calendar says yeah it is.

It's a Seasons challenge again at Inspiration Avenue.
Funny that I have another Autumn painting.
When I really don't like Autumn. 
But I like Autumn colors.


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!