Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Stillman & Birn Alpha Series Sketchbook

Art journaling in the Stillman & Birn Alpha series sketchbook is a joy! Yesterday I received the hardbound S&B Gamma series sketchbook. I've been ordering from Utrecht. I chose a larger book this time. The paper looks creamy and lovely.....but haven't explored the pages yet. I'm closing the year 2012 a dedicated fan of S&B sketchbooks. When I was visiting Lynne Hoppe's blog she inspired me to use S&B.(Thanks Lynne)  Next on my list of must have art supplies? Sennelier pan watercolors.

May your new year be happy and may you find new creative adventures to explore,

Friday, December 21, 2012

Is Seth Apter Santa Claus?

Did you know Santa Claus has many names? Today (at least at my house) his name is Seth Apter. Seth is a mixed media artist and has a fabulous blog titled The Altered Page.  His package arrived today.

As I told you yesterday, I won this book as part of a Giveaway on Seth's blog. He is a a key player in the mixed media art community and he finds creative ways to inform, delight, and surprise us. One of my surprises was winning this book. I had this book on my "To Get" list. The authors are Susan Tuttle and Christy Hydeck. I opened to a random page and the title was "Woodburning and Watercolors." Eek! I'm in. If I would've been in a bookstore and saw these two pages I would've bought the book just for that. If you need help transforming photos into art this is the book for you. I can't wait to get into it. Thanks for the win Seth!

Look. Make. Meet.
Visit  WWW.CREATEMIXEDMEDIA.COM for daily inspiration

What else was in the box? The art piece I purchased from Seth Apter. I knew I'd have to buy his art one day, so I made it a Christmas present to myself. (I'm focusing on staying out of the big stores and buying locally, and/or from artists.) The wrap itself was a visual treat. I will use the paper and string in art. How? I'll embed the string and some other fibers into the paper. Here's a quick tutorial on how to do that:

1.Lay the tissue paper on plastic sheet. Dilute polymer medium with water. Paint this onto the paper. Use gentle strokes. 

2.Immediately lay the string and fibers (or plant stuff) in a desired pattern on the paper. Use more diluted medium to glue the items down.

3. Place another piece of tissue on top of this while it is all still wet. Then add more diluted polymer medium. Then just let this all dry. Once it is completely dry  you can peel the fiber piece off the plastic sheet.

4. You can use the piece as it is or you can cut it into pieces.

Note: Sometimes I add a thin layer of diluted paint in areas (add water and glazing medium to Golden fluid acrylics) in step 3.

So, I unwrap the tissue with anticipation and voila! This is a piece that I kept turning around, flipping it over, etc. to try and figure out how he achieved these layers.

I can't wait to take it to the framers. He suggested a floating frame and I think this is what I'll go with. I'll post a photo of the framed piece when I get it done. It is amzing to have this at my house...I truly can feel his energy. I'm going to hang this above the table where I work on watercolors. Thank you Seth. It's brilliant. Visit his FB page or blog to stay tuned to the mixed media world, and to see where he is teaching. (That's next on my list....)


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pam Carriker's "Journal 365" and Seth Apter's Art

Journal 365 by Pam Carriker is one of the Christmas presents I bought for myself. The other was a piece of art work by Seth Apter. (I told you I'd own his art someday.) I'll post a photo of it when I receive it. I also won Susan Tuttle's Photocraft book from a giveaway on Seth's blog, The Altered Page. The Christmas presents are rolling in.

Back to Pam's new DVD. Journal 365 consists of 12 video lessons. Each lesson was intended to be a starting point from which to create many journal pages over the course of a month. So with 12 lessons I'd have inspiration for my journal pages for an entire year. I don't have trouble being inspired or finding ideas for my pages, although I love to watch another artist demonstrate their techniques, and reveal some of their signature secrets. I've watched six of the lessons and they are all fantastic. I started with Lesson # 4...Recycled Collage. I just happened to jump in there and start with that lesson, but I will go back to Lesson #1 and proceed in order now.

Above photo is the journal spread from Lesson #4. This is in my Stillman and Birn Alpha Series sketchbook. Oh yes, another Christmas gift will be coming in the mail for me. I ordered a Stillman and Birn Gamma Series sketchbook which I can't wait to use with watercolors. Don't tell anyone but some other art supplies are coming, too. (I'm out of control...but in a good way.) And why don't you go on and join me with the out of control bit and order Pam's DVD. Seth Apter also has two excellent DVD's out.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Art Journaling with a Stillman & Birn Alpha Series

This is titled "Enlightment." I used watercolors...Yarka pans, Prismacolor, and Caran D'ache watercolor pencils. Plus a bit of Squiggles glitter for fun.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Stillman & Birn Art Journal

I primarily used Yarka watercoulors and india ink with a dip pen on these pages. This is a S&B Alpha series sketchbook. I don't like to be anywhere without a sketchbook and at least a Precise V5 pen. The S&B is a good, sturdy book to carry around. A lovely hardbound black cover and the book lies flat when it is open. I want to get the 4x6 Gamma series book next with watercolor paper in it.

Stillman & Birn Alpha Series Sketchbook

I'm happy with the results of using watercolors, colored pencils and ink on the S&B pages.
This book is 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 

Here are the supplies I used:

Faber - Castell Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils
Copic Markers (the light colors don't bleed to other side)
Faber - Castell Gel Crayon in white and black
BIC cristal (smooth writing) pen in pink
Precise V5 pen in black ink
Prisma Colored pencils (These pencils layer well over a wash of watercolor)
Blue artist tape


Oh, here is a little thought:
"To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it."
Kurt Vonnegut

Thursday, December 6, 2012

6x6 Watercolor and Mixed-Media Art Journal

Here is a peek at the art journal I'm working on. It is 6x6 and looks like it may become a chunky book. I may have to divide it and make two books. Here is a perk to where I work. Lots of cardboard...some in interesting shapes that I can use to enhance pages, become pages, or in this instance, be the storage box for the pages. This held microwave popcorn. I painted it with gesso and will add watercolors or paper ephemera to decorate it. This box is perfect for holding Moleskines, too. I've used them to collect paper scraps. You get the idea.

This is the cover so far.

Looks like I've jumped into a theme of faces without realizing it. I gessoed the pages. Added some stamp images with Golden Fluid acrylics. Collaged some images. Added torn pieces of copies of my previous art work. (Love to do this. I rarely use commercial images.)

A ribbon tied through a punched hole. I've painted the faces on 140lb watercolor paper cut the size of an ATC. (I used to buy ATC's, but why when it is so simple to make your own. Just trace a card from the deck of playing cards.) I attached them to the page with YES paste.

A wax seal holding airmail stamp in place from an envelope from online artist friend. I will also be writing in this book.

I'll keep you posted as it progresses,

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Quote Paperdoll for "Roses on my Table" Group

This is a paper doll I painted on watercolor paper for a swap. It was to be a Quote Angel. I chose "Love is Life" a shortened version of Mahatma Gandhi's quote, "Where there is love there is life."

I used to sit on my front porch and make paperdolls as a child with my sister and neighbor friend. We collected them in a shoebox and sometimes we traded them. I used colored pencils and crayons then. Today I use watercolors on watercolor paper. The wings has a layer of Crystal Effects and Martha Stewart Tinsel Glitter. The skirt is a layer of pink tuelle netting and pleated crepe paper with a bit of pearls at the waist. This particular doll reminds me of what I made as a child. When I make paperdolls I feel like an eight year old playing on the front porch again.


The Pulse of Mixed Media 5x5:Chapter 5

My second little 5x5 painting is featured on Seth Apter's blog:  
Go there to see mine and other artist's work depicting the question, "Who has had the most impact on your creative life?" Once you are there click on the artist's name to visit their web or blog. This is an online extension to his book, "The Pulse of Mixed Media," highlighted every Sunday. He is a dynamic spirit in the art community...much to experience on his blog, plus he has two workshop DVD's out and is writing a second book. Oh, yes, his art is fab and he sells on Etsy. (I will own something of his one day.)


Monday, November 26, 2012


Some fun stuff in my studio. The metal plates on the shelf are by Mattel...the original plates from the Creepy Crawly toy. The long wooden box holds photos to use in art.

I usually work at a large antique counter but I set this smaller space up just for working on watercolor illustrations for a specific project. I see this area and I know it is designated for this project. I sit down and work. Trying out new ways to keep from getting distracted and/or jumping from one project to another. I found the wire carrier at a flea market. Perfect for holding my water jars to rinse my brushes.

A messy bookshelf. Don't we all have those? The stack of books in the middle are ones I recently read.

This is the end of the big old antique counter I usually create at. The front has 12 large deep drawers for holding art supplies and papers.(Whoo hoo) This side holds my camera collection.

Another antique shelf that holds sketchbooks, paper, prints to mail, clayboard, etc. The top has a pull down door and inside are two more shelves to hide stuff.

This is just a bit of my studio space. I'll show more later. (Might have to clean up first...)


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dawn's Journal Journey

This is an art journal book I am creating. I have made the cover and first page to reflect Dawn's Journal Journey theme for November. Click on the photo in the left sidebar to go there and visit Dawn's blog, plus see the other participating artist's work.

I like being a part of this journey adventure with her and others. I've found some great blogs there which I revisit now for inspiration and friendship. I met Dawn a couple of years ago in the Strathmore workshops. It was my first on-line class and I'll always remember how Dawn felt like one of those neighbors who'd drop by with a basket of chocolate cupcakes to welcome you to the neighborhood. She just sent me a piece of art and a little bag of goodies to use in mixed media art. I didn't win a giveaway...she was simply thanking me for participating...November is the month of thanks. Thank you Dawn!

Hugs and Namaste,

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Seth Apter's "The Pulse of Mixed Media 5x5 Project"

Seth Apter, mixed-media artist, wrote the book, "The Pulse of Mixed Media." The book is a creative representation of an artistic community where artists shared their secrets and passions, and their art. Seth had such a great response that he is doing an online version of this on his blog, The project is titled "5x5, A Collaborative Art Project."

Seth asked artists survey questions and the artists had to create art (5x5 piece) based on their answers. The questions were:

1. If your artwork could talk, what would it say?
2. Who has had the most impact on your creative life?
3. What is the one thing you have never shared with the creative community?

Seth will be posting each submission every Sunday through the months of November and December. Part of the 5x5 project was also featured in the November/December 2012 issue of Somerset Studio magazine.

I submitted art to all three questions and my first piece based on question #3 is posted on his blog now. I would post a photo here but it is more fun to find it on his blog, plus it is worth the trip over there to see the other work. This has been a goal of mine to be featured on Seth's blog, so scoot on over there now and take a peek!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wade Rouse Writer's Retreat

A sunny spot with Mable in the formal living room after two rainy-cold days. Mabel is Gary Edward's and Wade Rouse's dog. Cool that she travels with them.

Mabel helps me relax. I'm sooo nervous thinking of reading some of my manuscript aloud.

Wade's partner Gary Edwards. Gary's eyes are as large as his dog's Mabel. He has long, long eyelashes, too. (Gary...not the dog)

Wade Rouse signing his book, "All's Relative" for me. All I have to say is this man has great hair doesn't he?

Wade discussing query letters. I loved how it was an intimate group of eight attendees sitting around a handcarved dining table in the dining room. Andrew Kohn, one of the owners of the B&B was also the cook and just five minutes before I snapped this photo he had set a plate of brownies on the table. Now do you think we were listening to Wade talk about query letters when we could smell brownies baking?

Gary Edwards and author Wade Rouse. I have tried to attend Wade's Writer's Retreat for two years held in Michigan. This workshop was held at The Orchard House in Granville, OH just 50 minutes away from me, so finally I met them. They are beautiful to look at, have beautiful, caring, and loving personalities, plus any time spent with them is time laughing...and I mean laugh out loud belly laughing. I am so grateful I got to interact with them. I'm still smiling.

The entrance to The Orchard House Bed and Breakfast in Granville, OH. Beautiful farm setting just minutes from Granville. I will schedule some time there just to write. If you go eat dinner at Bella's an Italian restaurant owned by friends of Andrew and Don's. The food is homemade and the butter served with the bread was practically a dessert.