Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Art therapy

I'm all over the place this week.... a million things on my mind, so I can't really concentrate on anything. The best way I found to deal with it today?
Phonebook faces drawn repeatedly on many, many pages with your non-dominant hand à la Katie Kendrick. It felt so good to not really think, and just go through the movements of making marks. These are now in my journal and will probably be altered in the future, but for now - they were like medicine.
And just for fun - a little watercolor guy saying "HI".

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Random show & tell

This is what I see when I open the door to our backyard - gray, gray sky and pink flowers. It has been constantly raining for days... and as much as I love rain, I am getting a bit tired of it.
I have been playing with simple color combinations and making decorative paper that I'll tear and collage in my journal. This one made me happy.
This one too.
And these are three pogo prints. It is so easy to create effects in photoshop and alter the image any way you want to, but for some reason playing with different techniques of distressing pogo prints makes me excited. For the first one I used acetone and sand paper, second one was soaked and burned and I forgot what I did with the third one. Fun!
I have been commissioned to paint a 72" x 36" painting, which is pretty big... To try it out, I painted on three 9x12" canvas boards. That was easy, but painting it on big canvases will be challenging for sure.
Speaking of big surfaces and commissions, I don't think I shared this image:
It doesn't look like much on the photo, but I was really proud how it turned out. There were many glazes od different greens and I liked it. It's hanging somewhere in New York now...
I'll stop my random chatter now... my dh will be back home soon and I think we'll light a fire and open a bottle of wine (or make tea) and chase the gray away.
What would you choose - a glas of wine or tea on a cold evening?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

101 BIRDS - Painting #15

 It is a very gloomy, rainy day and I'm not feeling the best, so only colorful art would do.
The saturated, happy colors give me energy. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Many journal pages

I am working busily in my journal every day, just as I said I would. All my other journals have paintings, maybe a quote or found poem, but no real writing. Here, I am writing a lot, which complicates the blog showing part, because I want to write freely, without judgement and yet - the show-off part of me wants to present them here. 
 See the arrow in the above picture? It points to my first ever hand cut number stamps! Carving them made me ridiculously happy... and I love them in all their imperfect glory.
The following spread started as a quick painting inspired by a photo of two cats, and then came the writing, and the fish.... and now I can't paint over it because I like the background so much that I want to keep it that way. The good thing is that there are many more pages in the journal, so I can do just that, and maybe write over it one day if I get bored of the 'empty' space.
The art part of the journal workshop is easy and fun and I could do it constantly. The written assignments not so much... I promised myself that I will do them, and I am, no matter how uncomfortable they make me feel. I realized that I spend many hours not wanting to do them, procrastinating as much as I can, and yet - when I start to write, I can't seem to stop. So, my guess is that it really is good for me, just as Judy Wise says. 
 See.... a LOT of writing!
And then some more...  The videos and very unusual prompts are posted daily, and as much as I try, I am not keeping up with them. Maybe if I stop procrastinating, and actually start writing now, maybe I'll get there. It is really a lot of fun and brings me a ton of joy. Can't help but wonder if I will fill the journal, or get tired of it after a while and move to something else... We'll see...
More to come...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Elena and her companions

I felt very unhappy with myself after I finished this sculpture. I started it too late in the day, not expecting that the process will be so time consuming. I don't know why I thought that it would be easy.
 Being that I don't have much experience with paper clay, I wasn't sure if it would stay pliable over night (I thought of putting it in a zip-lock bag), so I did my best to finish it as much as I could and went to sleep.
 And, as it often happens, when we get some distance from our work and look at it with fresh eyes - things change. Well, not always... but sometimes they really do. So when I saw her the next morning my disappointment vanished and for some reason my mood toward her changed. I decided that for a first try, she really isn't that bad and we had a fun photoshoot together.
Lessons learned:
1. Don't expect to do something perfectly the first time.
2. Don't rush it. Give yourself time.
3. Don't judge yourself to harshly.
4. Enjoy the process.
5. Repeat.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

101 BIRDS - Painting #14

I have travel on my mind, so bird #14 reflects it... The weather is still pretty much like in this painting (plus wind). Waiting for the sun...

Friday, March 16, 2012

My new journal

 For years I have admired photos of Judy Wise's journals... I think that the way she mixes writing, collage, painting and puts it all in one book is amazing. I jumped to the opportunity to see how she works and signed up for her online journaling class.
Usually I like to watch how other artists paint and don't participate much, but this time I am very inspired and ready to work through all the prompts and exercises. And because none of my 65 ongoing journals would work, I started by making a brand new one, and filled it with watercolor paper.
We have had rain for days, and it is really dark, so I none of my photos do justice to the journal (the colors are all wrong). I used encaustic medium for most of the cover (the birds are covered with something else, so they have a different texture). I can't get over the wonderful tactile part of it... I just want to keep looking at it and touching the surface, which might trigger me into exploring encaustics some more...
I know what I'll be doing tomorrow... splashing color and words in it :-)
Have a happy weekend!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Do you use nail polish?

Do you ever feel that you are having too much fun instead of doing something useful?
I felt like that today because I spent too much time on silliness, but I just couldn't stop. I started with an intention to make a simple journal page with my bird friend from yesterday's post. I wanted it to be quick, so I chose to use just a pencil, some inks and white casein paint. 
And then I don't know what possessed me to use nail polish as "paint". It's probably because I saw the bottles and the colors were so vibrant that I couldn't ignore them (my daughter's, not mine... my nails right now are covered in paint). 
As fun and silly as it was, I knew that I couldn't stand to look at this as a permanent page in my journal, so I went back with more paint and graphite. I'm not sure that this is how the final page will look like, but I really need to work on something more serious now (like preparing tax papers....sigh), so I'll stop playing. Although I really feel pulled to paint some black and white stripes on her neck....

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I walked all the way to the end...
 And this guy came to talk to me...
I found geometric shapes in the city...
Saw lovely metal flowers.
 And vibrant real ones.
We wanted to have lunch in our favorite restaurant... but it was closed. 
 As were all others, except the following one. By the way, pizza was everything but that....
I never sailed on a sailboat, but I love looking at them. I wonder if I would be scared...
And just like last week in the forest, I found this heart for you.
Have an amazing week!

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Thank you for the amazing comments about bird #13. I had no idea that so many people consider number 13 to be lucky! I guess I should think about that and get over my file number "phobia".
I wasn't aware that I have the horrible word verification on!!! Who knew that blogger is so sneaky that you have to go back to the old settings to turn that thing off... Eva was kind to gently ask about it, so I changed it as quickly as I could. Thank you for putting up with it for so long.
Another friendly blogger, Lesley, whispered through my email that the links on the top of my blog are not working.... Yikes! I should pay more attention to things like that. I changed them, so the link to the workshop is active again. And I activated links to etsy shops, so that is back again too. 
So, that's it. I'm about to do the other housekeeping part, it's time for spring cleaning...
Have a lovely, happy weekend!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

101 BIRDS - Painting #13

I don't think that I'm superstitious, but there are things I don't do. Like - I don't use number 13 when I give names to my files. I simply skip it. I'll have files named something like: blog_11, blog_12, blog_14 etc. No blog_13. Weird, I know. I actually don't mind the 13th day of the month, even if it's Friday. But for my files - I just don't use it. Well, when you are making a series of paintings, you can't just pretend that the thirteenth one doesn't exist, so here it is.
The funny thing is that I think I like this painting the most. I'm not sure why. Something about the colors, or the fact that the bird is weird maybe... 
Speaking of numbers - PPF is celebrating birthday #1 and hosting a giveaway! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

101 BIRDS - Painting #12

Sometimes the details of the painting are much more interesting than the whole painting. This one is a good example. I love the close-ups of different crackle effects and hope that you will too.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Silence and beauty

My dh and went searching for silence and beauty this Saturday.
We escaped the trap of weekend chores and computers and followed a trail that took us deep into the woods.
I enjoyed the play of deep shadows and sunlit areas.
And the absolute lusciousness of early spring.
I admit - there was some tree hugging...
How do you know how old was a tree when there are no concentric growth rings to count?
HERE is what we saw last year. This time we were too late... but there was still enough to make us smile.

From afar it looked like delicate lace...
The next photo is for all of you: