Monday, July 31, 2006

Another treasure flew into my hands...

Please click on the following LINK and meet an inspiring and very special lady. I was lucky to "meet" Frances Groves on the yahoo papermaking group years ago. We had many swaps in the group, and unfortunately I never received her book... but she did receive mine. Now, after several years she found my email (and noticed that it is my name backwards aanaroz @ and told me how she loved the unusual construction of my book and that she will be teaching it this fall. I am so flattered I can't even say how much!
She mailed me a stash of her beautiful handmade plant papers (click on the picture to see the textures and colors... amazing). The letter that came with the papers is not the usual everyday letter (not that I get letters every day). It is inside this origami little booklet (blue one with the feather). And she took time to send me instructions so that I can make a similar one. Isn't that amazing?
Here is a part of her letter. I believe we can all learn from it:
"I never have been any kind of an artist, although I would love to be one. I was told in about 3rd grade that I couldn't draw, and lived with that all my life.
Ed Hutchins came here to teach last year, and he had us drawing something, and I got nervous. He said, "You are all grown up now, FORGET IT!!" He yelled that!! Too bad I didn't spend part of my life taking art lessons.
For 30 years I taught Ikebana, Japanese flower arranging. I have been a papermaker for 18 years, and about 11 years ago I saw a sketch of a book, by Michael Jacobs, and I wrote to him, saying I was 78 and had to hurry to catch up to all these artists. He has been writing to me ever since, and I have a fine collection of his MailArt."
I so often wonder if I'm making a mistake trying to be an artist at 40 (I too was told in school that I have no talent). I feel very grateful right now. It is as with her thoughtful letter Frances just shouted in my ear "You are all grown up now... forget it! It is never too late!" So, let's create something and let's teach somebody something.... anything. It can only bring good.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Dance Your Art Out....

Dance Your Art Out... That's what my friend Claire wrote me to help me decide what to do. I love how that sounds!
"Taking time out for yourself is one of the best things you can do in this busy, crazy world. Everyone needs time to just be in nature, play, be silent, gather ideas, commune with other artists, and get away from your everyday lives for a few days.It allows you to refresh and pinpoint directions you want to go in your life."
Teesha & Tracy Moore

Isn't that true? I agonized so much whether to go to Art & Soul Retreat... and now that I made that decision it was so easy to decide to go to Artfest too! I guess I am at the time of my life when I need to search, learn and allow myself to express whatever there is inside that wants to express itself..
I couldn't wait for the list of workshops for ArtFest. When I checked at midnight it was not there... but early in the morning !!!YAY!!! I did the happy dance.
Of course - my learning process will cost more money than I ever spent on myself... but I am sure that the stars align in the right way when you have a direction... it will work out somehow.
I think I made a choice of classes. It may change, but I think that this is what I would love to learn:
Resins (creating transparent paper & pages ) - Susan Lenart Kazmer
Acrylics (The basics and beyond) - Anne Bagby
A Box to Treasure - Misty Mawn

Who will join me?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The weather changed

The weather changed... the heat wave has passed... the wind is again cool and refreshing. And for some reason it left me very tired and sleepy... Is it possible that the big temperature change can influence my energy level that much? I don't know. I know that I wanted to do so many things today, but couldn't. I played with this little wooden bird... that's all. It says 'inspire'. Well... I don't need inspiration. I am inspired by so many artists that my head hurts. I need to find my own voice, to define my art and somehow put to sleep this deep desire to want to try and do everything.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Some days are just better than the others...

Wouldn't you agree? Today I was able to put on a pair of jeans that were so small that they made the dreaded V shape where the zipper is. I know I sound stupid, but that made me simply happy! And just so that you know that I'm not completely superficial - there is a deeper meaning to it... I decided that at 41 I have no idea what I really like... and that it would be the right time for me to find out. So I scratched my brain and started with food, the way it makes me feel and the way I would like to feel. I figured that I actually love what is considered 'healthy' food, that I enjoy eating fruits and vegetables and grains... and that bread and pasta make me sleep. Also - that I love to exercise (or better - the way I feel after exercise). So, I've been doing that, feeling fine and the smaller jeans just made me dance around! Maybe I should find one of those lists with 'deep' questions and really start thinking about the other things I like (or dislike).
I made a second 'big fat journal'. I challenged myself to make 10 similar big journals if I decide to go to "Art & Soul Retreat". Since I'm going (YAY!!!! - thank you for the letters and comments supporting me in that decision) - I started with book #2. My goal is to work faster and more spontaneous and to learn from it. I added many fun things to this book and used my beautiful fibers... great fun! It's not completely finished, but the main part is done.
I wanted to try liquid polymer clay transfers for the longest time. Finally, after finding out that DJ Pettitt has a blog, and after looking photos of her work I knew I had to try it NOW. Here are my first attempts. I used laser printed images. Obviously, the colored ones don't work so well... but the black and white one turned beautiful! Now I need these pens to color them... I love the feel of these transfers and I'm sure I'll be experimenting more with them.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Happy fibers

I received a bag of fibers today. They are so perfect! I can't stop looking at the colors and textures. I can "see" journals, art cards and dolls embellished with them and I can't start creating.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Illustration Friday - Opposites

This is so not my style.... I had other, more serious ideas for this subject in my mind, but this pink elephant with his butterfly friend just wanted to be drawn.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Sun, birds, drinks, peace

"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."
Mark Twain
I usually agree with the above quote, so I'm trying to remind myself not to complain about a few hot days. Soon enough it will be cold again and I will wish for warmth of the past days.

I was looking through our photos, trying to see what were we doing at this time in previous years... and I stumbled onto this picture. Unreal colors! But true...
I really shouldn't complain. I was sitting this afternoon in a shade by the swimming pool. My daughter was playing with a friend; they were splashing, diving, racing... had great fun. I was sketching my funny colorful birds (not finished yet) and listening to my iPod.... when all of a sudden my husband appeared with the most beautiful cocktail - 'Tequila Sunrise'. And as I was enjoying it, I couldn't stop thinking about people in Lebanon... and how we were in a similar situation years ago and how I knew at that time that other people in the world are carrying on with their lives, not knowing how vulnerable, little and insignificant you feel when politicians play their games... Nothing much to add there. Pray for peace.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Nothing much....

I am soooo tired... The last two days have been very hot and I couldn't sleep at night and all together I'm not in the best mood. I've been debating whether I should go to "Art & Soul Retreat" in October... I would love to learn new things from the artists I admire, but I'm not sure if I'll fit in or will I be completely out of my league... I don't know. I think that I will regret it if I don't go... and I am kind of afraid to go...

I listed my mixed media wood piece on eBay. It was listed on etsy two months ago and sold the same evening. I was so happy that someone liked it so much to buy it as soon as she saw it. Unfortunately, I was wrong... The buyer never paid. I wrote several times asking if she changed her mind... she asked for my address to send the payment... but it never happened. Oh well... It never happened to me on eBay, so we'll see if it goes better there.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Happy Friday Mail

What a happy mail day! I received a package from Tejae with a real treasure inside. Look at the lovely nested heart! I don't know how she achieved these colors in clay... but it is unbelievable and my photos don't do it justice.
Tiny words on the back are: "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." So true! Take a look at Tejae's blog - you will see amazing art and great links.
There was also an envelope from Claire with this beautiful ATC.
I do dream in color (colour). Do YOU dream in color?
The two lovely gifts I received today were a result of a swap. I added a tiny link on the bottom of my webpage with cards I have for trade.
Would you like to swap with me?
Just go to my webpage, choose something and drop me a note.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Illustration Friday - Skyline

San Francisco skyline (seen from Angel Island) It is an odd thing, but every one who disappears is said to be seen at San Francisco.
It must be a delightful city, and possess all the attractions of the next world.
Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wish Birds - revisited

Also, if you collect ACEOs - take a look at the following link. It's new and 'different' - shows how you can display and wear your art at the same time. FUN!

Here are my new little canvases:

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Big, fat art jounal finished!

I finished my big, fat book! It has everything but the kitchen sink (although the sink proved to be useful in some creations). There are painted papers, paste papers, vellum, handmade papers, big envelopes, little envelopes, machine stitching, hand sewing, beads, fibers, book on a book, clay, metal..... everything! It was so much fun creating it! A lot of work, but the work I like the most - fun and 'unleashed'.
I laughed when I read one comment on ACEO group. Bohemian-weasel (eBay i.d.) wrote:
"Zorana - my god, what an epic piece! Did you even see daylight for the days/weeks/years that took? It looks fabulous though, I hope it does stupendously!"
Me too, but I don't have high hopes because mid summer is not the best time for good sales (for me). Click on the picture to see it bigger.
Click HERE for the auction.

Saturday, July 8, 2006

Ocean beach

I wanted to write about the lovely afternoon on the beach, but I spent more than two hours reading many Photoshop tutorials to create this corkboard and I am tired... Three different types of torn edges (I don't like any of them), two different sticky tapes (fun) and a non-realistic push pin. Gillian don't laugh if you see it...
Oh well... it was wonderful being away from the computer, breathing the cool ocean air, searching for beach treasures and listening to the waves

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Work in progress - part I

After four mostly unproductive days I finally had a day to play. I couldn't wait to spread papers everywhere, to bring out paints, brushes and other fun stuff.
Unfortunately I didn't finish all that I planned, but it's easier to see the final result now. I want to bind a book/journal. It will be full of all these colorful papers, collages, envelopes, paintings, scribbles... I want it to be rich with colors, textures, ideas and at the same time open for someone else to work in it.
I prepared seven signatures, but it turned out to be too much, so I settled for five. They are sewn and ready for embellishments. Hopefully tomorrow it will be done.
BTW - after reading Anna's post
about Damien Rice, I bought the album and must confess that I am completely obsessed with it. I can't stop listening to it... love ALL the songs. He also sings in my dreams (all night - which is definitely a sign of music overdose).

Monday, July 3, 2006

Try It Tuesdays - Rusted Background

Another interesting technique on "Try It Tuesdays"! We had two weeks to complete it and I waited for the last minute... It is not even dry yet - I couldn't wait (didn't want to loose the light - I don't think it would look the same scanned). I used Golden Azo Yellow and Azo Gold liquid acrylics and three different types of walnut inks.

Funny thing is that I'm not sure if I like it, but my husband wants me to do the same technique on a BIG canvas. Talk about being supportive!