Saturday, December 31, 2011

Art Journal Pages/Mixed Media Collage and Doodles

This is a two page spread with a fold out flap on the left side. It is a handmade journal (Teesha Moore's 16 page model). I cut copies of my art to use as a border and I draw in images, then layer with paints and india ink. The first workshop for Strathmore started today and it is with Traci Bautista whom does fantastic doodle art. So I added some doodle flair to these pages. Click on the cat in the sidebar to enter the Strathmore online workshops. You must be a member (free) to access so take a few minutes to sign up. There will be three instructors presenting from Jan thru May. Hope to see you there. Strathmore was the very first online workshop and artist chat group I joined.















Namaste,

Darlene




Friday, December 30, 2011

Published in Art Journaling and Cloth Paper Scissors Magazines


That's my self-portrait in the bottom right corner.  I have been devouring the pages of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine for years. It is the first place I heard of Michael DeMeng and other amazing artists I admire. My self portrait was chosen for the "Little Me" challenge in CPS magazine Jan/Feb 2012 issue, page 88. I knew I had been one of the finalists and then some of those would be published in the magazine, but I didn't know if it would be accepted until the magazine came in the mail. Now that qualifies as exciting snail mail.

And.........

I submitted a regret art journal and essay to Art Journaling magazine and two images from that journal were published in the Gallery section of the Winter 2012 issue. This mag is published by Somerset Studio and if you haven't explored any pages of their many, many art magazines you must take a look today.






Cheers-
Darlene

































Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Painting Layers and Layers and Layers

I painted this maybe two years ago. Acrylic and oil. There was a point where I thought it was done...or was it?


This year I decided that it wasn't done. I painted the stained glass in the window and added blue edging around the figure. HHmmmm. I propped it up on top of the piano where I was forced to look at it. I was lost about what to do. It seemed constipated to me. Too forced. Not raw enough. Two nights ago I was ready to move on with it. It was after midnight and I brushed white acrylic mixed with glaze medium over the window and other features.


I was liking the ghost effect because this is a painting of my estranged daughter whom I love dearly.


She has mystifying, beautiful blue eyes.


I add an arm and hand and strokes of vertical lines in purple.




I smear the background paint with my fingers. (Remember finger painting?) I love the wildness of this. I feel wild remembering her and I quickly scrawl the word "Remember" in the wet paint with a caran d'ache oil crayon. When the paint dries a bit I go over it again so the black shows up better.


I add the red and then take it out.







I go to bed around 2:30 am and can't wait to get back up to work on this painting. The next morning I only have about an hour to work on it. I have to be to work soon. I'm not able to concentrate. Too many distractions with people in the house, etc. But I work anyway and the results start to scare me. Have I ruined it?



And what's with the blue spikey wig bit on her head. Where is this coming from?



I like some of the other colors I added to outline but I feel like I'm using someone elses hands to paint. I'm not fully into it....
Perhaps I'm thinking too much....



I put some glaze medium on a wide soft brush and drag it over the face to pull color from the pupils...black tears. I like this.








That evening after work I quickly cover the blue hair with gesso...maybe then I can sleep.



Now she looks like Judy Jetson waving hello. Oh well answers will come tomorrow.






Today I have the house to myself for two hours before I go to work. I put on music...something that sounds tribal and I paint free of myself. I'm chasing after myself I am moving so quickly. It is easy today.

This is what it looks like now........ The words "No Exit" (Huis Clos) are put back in. This is the title of one of my favorite plays by Paul Satre. Hey, I played Estelle in this play at college.






Building layers as I paint, like how I do mixed media collage, has helped my painting style evolve.
In order to do it I have to let go. I've taken photos along the way so I can see where I started and I also like to make copies of these to use in my collage work. I hope you come back to see the finished painting.




Namaste,


Darlene

































Friday, December 23, 2011

Encaustic Crackle

I finally tried a wax piece....encaustic art. The interesting part is that I did not buy anything on my long list of encaustic art materials to do this piece.

I typically think I have to have all the best quality supplies to start a new art project but since I have never worked with wax before (other than melting crayons to make chunky crayons) I decided to use what I had or what I could find close by.

I did have to buy some shellac at the hardware store for the "shellac crackle" effect. After I apply layers of wax, then fuse it with a heat gun, I spread on shellac, then light it with a torch to get the crackle effect. I bought some organic beeswax from the neighboring bee keeper....only $1.25 a block. I even used crayola crayons to add color to the wax.

You can see I stayed true to loving mixed media and used paper ephemera and found objects. The coolest piece I used was one of Dave Hunter's handmade eyeballs. Cool huh? And the photo image in the top left corner was recently given to me by another artist friend Jackie. We send art materials back and forth to each other.

I admit I'm a bit afraid of encaustic art but it has been calling to me for years, so here I go. I'll keep practicing and I'll try different products and techniques until I can relax and loose myself in it.

P.S. The smell of natural beeswax is wonderful.









Thursday, December 8, 2011

Snail Mail Art Returned to Me

Isn't this lovely? Elaine (New Zealand) sent this snail mail art to me. She told me she put color down and then drew the image out of that design. You might like to try this. Put some color on the page. She used watercoulors here. Then prop it up and look at it until you see an image. Draw in the image with a black pen after the paint is dry.

Thank you for sharing Elaine,
Darlene

Snail Mail Art

Snail Mail Art #13

If you are just joining me here I have started an art project where everyday I am mailing little pieces of art to people I know and love and/or to people I may not know at all but admire. I hope this project helps keep snail mail alive. Mail something to someone today.

I mailed this one to my sister Donna Hamilton. Donna and her husband have their own business. Their two sons work for them. If someone asked me what is most important to Donna I'd answer without hesitation: Family & Faith. It is at the heart of every day for her. She is the one in our family who keeps "an eye out for everyone" and makes certain we gather together when we forget and go round and round with our busy schedules. Donna extends herself to anyone in need. One winter right before Christmas my stove broke. Guess who made sure I had a new stove in time to make Christmas dinner?

Namaste,
Darlene

Snail Mail Art

Snail Mail Art #12

This piece is mailed to my friend Toni Lyons. Toni is a Kindergarten teacher and the mother of my two favorite boys. (My husband and I like to consider them our grandchildren) I was their nanny for several years. I'd sit them during the morning before I went to work from 2 to 10pm. Toni has an absolute prescence about herself that makes me light up and smile when I see her. She is calm, creative, happy, and lovely. And of course, her sons are very much like her. Although Toni is younger than me (the age of my oldest daughter) she has often elightened me and taught me new ways. She is someone to pay attention to.

I made this background black & white to resemble work on a classroom chalkboard.

Namaste,
Darlene

Snail Mail Art

Snail Mail Art # 11

I've been creating snail mail art but got behind posting them. Let me catch up a bit.

This piece goes to Dr. Matt Kola. Matt is a remarkable young man who met my youngest daughter during their freshman year at college. Matt has a sophisticated style, and a simple way to make you laugh and relax. He is extremely talented in music and art...or pretty much anything he chooses to involve himself in. He is beautiful both physically and in spirit. I am grateful he is a part of my life.

I made this piece from a vintage photo. I found the ribbon in one of those teeney Bibles.

Namaste,
Darlene

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Snail Mail Circles Back to Me

If I were giving out blue ribbons for snail mail activity I'd give it to Jackie in NY. I mailed her a little piece of art encouraging art through snail mail and she immediately caught the fever and mailed to her grandchildren and several things to me. She created this beautiful blue hues ATC titled "Believe." I'm going to frame this and allow the Ice Queen to watch over the activity at my art table.

Jackie is involved as an art group leader on "Roses on my Table" site and she is also involved with an artist group that swaps artistic tags. This one is titled "Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss 1794" (How did she know it was just what I needed?) Photo taken at NY Metropolitan Museum. I love how little pieces of her are coming my way through snail mail art.


I hope you are inspired and will send someone something today through the mail. Keep snail mail alive.


Namaste,

Darlene



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Paper Doll Swap



I'm in paper doll swap group on "Roses on my Table." I used 140lb water colour paper as the base and painted it with a combinaton of acrylics, water colour, and Derwent Inktense pencils.



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Try NOT to Express Yourself

Have you ever tried NOT to express yourself creatively? I can't do this on purpose, but often things roll in like Thanksgiving, or helping a friend, or decluttering the house, and before you know it shoulders are slumped, I feel out of sorts, and when I go to my journal pages to write it comes out that I have not been expressing myself creatively. Uh, oh, spaghettios.

I have to put my creative thoughts on paper through writing, or mixed-media collage , or painting. I have many avenues now for creative expression but I remember years ago when I wasn't creating or writing, and I knew I had to start again, or I'd certainly burst, I went out and bought crayons and a coloring book. The smell of crayons makes me eight years old again. (The eight year old in you will remind you of who you are again.) I simply colored. The motion of putting color on the page was similar to meditation. As I colored creative ideas came. Suddenly I was rushing to the art table to create. As I created ideas for writing came. Each creative project led to the next. Lettters to friends got written. The flowers my dad loved got planted at the edge of the garden. I started to go out every evening to look at the night sky. I felt very free. Changes were happening inside me because I was letting the creative energy out. If you're stuck or you need to start your creative life become eight again. Play with play-doh (remember to smell it), sprinkle some glitter, make turkeys out of pinecone and feathers, make homemade paste. Be free again......

Namaste,
Darlene

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Snail Mail Art

Snail Mail Art # 10

I'm sending this piece to my daughter Stacy Campbell who will be moving to a new place this weekend. I'm hoping it will be her first piece of mail at this address. She has an apartment that overlooks the square of the historical section of this town. She'll be moved in just in time for the Christmas parade and to put up her little vintage silver tree (that the cats will promptly knock down).

Stacy is a writer (mostly on a typewriter instead of a computer) and has a passion for film. She recently played the lead role in "Wait Until Dark," with a community theater group. She is a vegetarian but can't cook many vegetarian dishes, hates when I cook bacon, (she calls it pig butt), adores chocolate (the really good stuff), and can bring a dying plant back to life. Once I commented about her lovely plant and she reminded me it was one I'd thrown away. Stacy has a sophisticated style, and an aura about her that pulls people in easily. I laugh a lot when I'm with Stacy... cry, too, but then that is how relationships are built...going up and down the hills together. Thanks for walking along side me all these years Stacy. (Well, more like ahead of me. She has long legs and takes long strides. I have to run to keep up with her.)

My love and best to you in your new home,
Namaste,
Mom

Monday, November 21, 2011

Snail Mail Art

Snail Mail Art #9

This piece titled "Kiss Cat Lips" will be mailed all the way to New Zealand to Elaine King. I met Elaine through the Strathmore online workshops. Elaine is a writer, poet, and artist. She just returned from a trip to Figi and has another planned for Vietnam. She inspires me with her use of water colours. (I'm still a bit afraid of them.) I love that she has tea at 4:00 pm with her mum and this has reminded me how important it is to stop mid-day and relax or kiss a cat if you wish. Oh, yes, Elaine's birthday is coming up. Happy Birthday Elaine.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Snail Mail Art

Snail Mail Art #8

Well, I made it past the one week mark. Tra, la, la. We're really moving now.

I'm sending art piece #8 to my sister Debra-Rettig Hannah. Debra is an artist in the studio as you might expect, but she also brings art spirit to her yard, the kitchen, the living room, and even the way she dresses. I am living in our childhood home that has a huge stone wrap-around porch and a big yard. When we were children all of the neighborhood kids wanted to go to the "big yard" to play, or if it were raining to the "big porch." Often we made hobby horses, paper dolls, large tissue paper flowers, etc. Debra wore the crown when it came to creating. All of my sisters and brother were creative but Debra had the edge to it. I pleaded with her to make my hobby horse when mine looked like a limp sock hanging off a broom handle. She taught me to knit and crochet and she could make fudge and cook. Me in the kitchen? Nope, you could find me reading a book. (I'd like to report that I make great fudge and can cook now.)

Debra's art is insanely original and her dolls and creatures are made with vintage fabrics and embellishments. I wanted to show a photo of one of her creations but I didn't get her permission before I was ready to post this. (Maybe in the future...) Visiting her house is like going to an artist's retreat. You leave refreshed, peaceful, and full of inspiration.

Namaste,
Darlene



Today she makes

Friday, November 18, 2011

Snail Mail Art

Snail Mail Art #7

I am mailing #7 to Jenn Mason. She is an artist and the editor of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. This is an exceptional creative discovery magazine. Collage, mixed media, art assemblage, etc are featured by artists in this magazine. Discover artists like Teesha Moore, Michael DeMeng, Kelly Rae Roberts, and Pam Carriker (just to name a few) on these pages. It is a wonderful magazine and I make certain I have a subscription so I don't miss any. I suggest you sign up for the online newsletter and visit their web, in addition to getting the subscription, of course. Thank you Jenn for the wonderful job you do with this publication.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Snail Mail Art

Snail Mail Art #6

I'm almost a week into the snail mail art project where I've decided to mail a little piece of art to someone everyday. The next one could come to you. While you wait send something in the mail today.

Today I mail art to an artist and photographer Andy Spessard who lives in Columbus, Ohio. Yeah Andy. He graduated from CCAD and has a studio somewhere out there and takes wonderful photos somewhere out there. Take a peek at his web to see his work. I love his photo collages. Very unique. His personality definately shows up in his work. Speaking of personalities Andy is hilarious and fun and if you ever meet him you will smile days after the interaction. He's one of the coolest, zaniest people I've met. I'm grateful he is friends with my daughter otherwise I may have never met him.

www.andyspessard.com

Namaste,
Darlene