Saturday, July 24, 2010

Birds - Seagulls - Journal Pages

Here are more pages in my Black Journal, these combining some of my photos with other sources (the birds on a wire and the 3 vertical birds aren't my own photos).

I used 3M Spray 77 to glue the photos to the black gessoed pages. I like this glue a lot for some purposes, especially for journal pages, though I isn't as permanent as I like for stand-alone collages. 

My setup for using this spray glue includes a large flat plastic bin with a lid, a magazine and the spray can. I lay my paper face down in the bin, take off my glasses and put them under something so no drop of glue touches the plastic lens (it doesn't want to come off once stuck to the glasses), and give the back of the image a quick spray. Working quickly, I lift it out of the box, close the lid, and put it in place in my journal. 

Why all the care? It's a SPRAY and it likes to float around the room, landing on all surfaces and leaving a tacky mess behind. By quickly closing the lid I allow very little spray to escape the box; it harmlessly coats the inside of the bin. When the magazine page gets too sticky I turn the page and have a fresh, non-tacky surface to lay my work on.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Decision Portrait Series - Pat Albiston

Today I'm proud to introduce you to my friend, Pat Albiston, of Seattle who is featured as "volunteer" with her stitched self portrait in Susan Lenz's Decision Portrait series here . Susan recruited people from all walks of life to tell their stories regarding a particular decision they made.

Some months back someone told me about this project and when I read the list of decision-makers who were still needed my eyes lit on "volunteer" and I just knew that Pat would be the perfect representative of "volunteer". She contacted Susan and the result is this lovely work. Pat volunteered 4 to 5 hours a week (and probably a lot more) for 31 years at the Henry Gallery's textile collection, identifying, recording, and eventually computerizing all the embroidery stitches (hundreds) in their immense collection of textiles from around the world.

Another friend, the late Virginia Harvey, designed the storage system for the collection, a marvel of drawers and tables which stores and displays the textiles in such a way that they are protected from excessive handling and exposure to light, yet be available for textile research.

Congratulations, Pat, for a job well done.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

OAK... collage on sewn papers

8.5 x 11"
drawing on collage

For this drawing I brushed Golden GAC 100 over the sewn collage prior to drawing. One reason I'm searching for an appropriate coating for the papers is that so many of these scrap papers I'm using are either vintage, with its problematic acids, or ink jet prints which are water soluble. Both the clear gesso and the GAC 100 smear the inks, so that's out. I'll do a few on uncoated papers next. After all, these are experimental drawings that aren't meant to be long lasting.

I'm so appreciative to all of you readers who took the time to comment on my last post and to leave helpful information about clear gesso. Be sure to read the comments on the last post. There are those who use it to great advantage in their work and others who don't like it a bit. Read what Liquitex has to say about the product here.

About this January a few years ago my brother and I visited a family cemetary in Arkansas, one that a maternal great grandfather established on a hill on his land. The small cemetary is surrounded by big oak trees and I shot several tree portraits as I often do when I find wintertime trees that catch my eye.
Here's my brother leaning against our grandfather's headstone with Mom's headstone next to his. See the oak in the background? There are many other similar trees.

Lisa Pressman is doing a series that she call Outside-Inside and she asked for photos of the view outside artist's studio windows as well as a photo of a piece of art. I'm honored that she chose to post the pictures I submitted. Go have a look here.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bare Bones

Bare Bones
Collage + Drawing
8 x 10"

Early this week I made lemonade out of a lemon of a night's sleep. Too much caffine in my iced tea led to sleeplessness so rather than lie abed even longer I went to the studio at 3 a.m. and cut and glued 17 scrap pages, then later that day I spent an hour on the sewing machine getting them ready to be the substrate for more tree drawings.

I painted one of the collages with clear gesso, thinking that would add substance to the page and perhaps preserve some of the vintage papers, but it wasn't helpful that way and caused some of the papers to buckle. This afternoon as I was drawing this tree with a Pentel brush pen I realized that the rough gesso was probably acting like sandpaper on the fragile brush; it was certainly slowing down my penwork. I won't use gesso this way again.

I can't even remember why I bought the clear gesso. What use is it anyway?  How do You use clear gesso?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Flat Files and New Work

Flat Files and Vintage Pattern Cabinet

DH and I moved my new flat files into the studio last week and I immediately rounded up all the large sheets of paper, sorted them all, and laid them into their labeled drawers. I've wanted flat files for a long time but made do with some homemade storage on closet shelves, under the bed, hanging from skirt hangers behind the door, and in cabinets.  

I've always liked functional antiques and when I spied this pattern cabinet in an antique store 35 years ago I grabbed it. It's served several purposes... but mostly for storing patterns, and now for paint, supports, and other art supplies. I also have an old type face cabinet at the other end of the studio which is perfect for rubber stamps, embroidery and sewing threads, and buttons.

15" x 22" (38.1cm x 55.9cm)
Collage on Paper
$75 plus $4.95 shipping and handling in the US
E-mail me for International shipping rates or other inquiries.

As always, the process of handling the large sheets of paper stimulated creativity and I've been working larger again.

HOME - detail

The photo is my own, of course, combined with several kinds of Washi (aka Japanese rice paper). The thin papers present a challenge when the glue is applied so I carefully spread soft gel medium onto the substrate (140# Arches) and laid the washi in place. Then I used a tacking iron to heat the medium and fuse the papers in place.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Flowers and Fountains


Watching the fireworks Sunday night ,with one eye on my camera's viewfinder and the other on the awesome display, I was quickly propelled into my right brain, mesmerized by the colors and forms that appeared, slowly faded, and disappeared, to be quickly replaced by another bit of amazement.

Not knowing a thing about fireworks I found myself referring to the images as Flowers and Fountains. Then on my morning walk I found a cache of spent fireworks clearly labeled Fountains and Blossoms. Now I know.

I shot 156 images, thanks to the minor miracle of digital photography, and while none are worthy of publishing or even printing they are giving me some ideas for paintings which I'll start on as soon as I bring order to my studio.

Fountains and Flowers
Daily Collage

Sunday, July 04, 2010

God Bless America

This morning in church we sang God Bless America, written by Irving Berlin in 1918 and revised in 1938. I didn't realize that this song is a prayer for our nation, written and revised during our two World Wars. This will be my prayer, too.  Join me, won't you?

God Bless America
Irving Berlin

Spoken Introduction:

"While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains To the prairies,
To the ocean white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home."

Vintage image thanks to Elizabeth Golden.

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