Monday, December 29, 2008

2009 Art Journal Calendar

The past two years, I participated in collaborative Art Journal Calendars. I like to collage, sketch and write daily in my calendars. At the end of the year, I have a visual journal review of my activities, inspirations and dreams come true for the year. For 2009, I made my own art journal calendar using my artwork between calendar pages.
Here are the inside cover pages. Each page measures 7 x 8.5 inches so it looks like an engagement calendar.
For each month, I print out a calendar 14 x 8.5 inch paper. I space the calendar halves in Photo Shop to allow for the center binding.

I also include a list of art goals for the year to keep me focused on projects, mediums and accomplishments that I want to achieve.
I take the completed calendar to Kinko's to have them bind the book with a black, coil binding. Now, I'm ready for the New Year. Have a creative, happy, healthy and prosperous 2009.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Winter Solstice- a new beginning

first snow- the neglected yard, now perfect. Elizabeth St. Jacques

winter solstice- the waterfall, frozen in mid-air. Sandra Fuhringer

Monday, December 15, 2008

Nature Gathered Fauna Piece

It's cold here in Portland with snow, ice and wind at 25°F. It's given me a chance to do a piece for our Nature Gathered group. Karen Winter's article on quilted pet portraits in the Aug/Sept issue of Quilting Arts inspired my squirrel. I even felted in a little snow on the ground for him. Working with fabric and thread helped keep me warm and cozy today. Hope you are all safe and sound during this cold snap.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thanks for Making our Open Doors Show a Success

Thanks to everyone who came to our Portland Art Collective "Open Doors" Art Show & Sale this
past weekend. We had two sunny days. Many friends, family members and art lovers came to see and buy our art. I've posted photos of other Portland Art Collective members' art on the PAC blog. The creativity in this group always amazes me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mexican Field Notes for Nature Gathered

I'm getting caught up with my Nature Gathered posts. While in Mexico, the process of using natural materials for dyes really interested me. Both the weavers and the candle makers used
the same plant-based dyes for blue, green, yellow, brown or tan and cochineal for red. The colors are wonderful, rich and very earthy.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Más de México

Mexico holds many contrasts. This "dualidad" or duality makes the culture so rich. The country celebrates family yet has a high incidence of domestic violence. In Oaxaca, forty women die each month. Light and dark coexist. In the Panteon General or main cemetery in the city or Oaxaca, organizations that help women made altars and offerings to those who have died, to recognize their lives and to honor them.
In Xoxocatlán, we spent a quiet afternoon sketching in the cemetery. Families show their respect to their family members who have died. The offerings for Día de Muertos celebrate
life and welcome the loved ones' spirits to be remembered. It's a special tradition to stay connected to family through many generations.

We observed the faithful in the many of the churches and cathedrals that we visited. Hardship often makes one appreciate the little things in life we take so much for granted. ¡Gracias por la vida! Milagros- Mexicans believe in miracles.
Even in our hotel room, the sacred is remembered.
Las Flores- the flowers and gardens speak to the soul with tropical plants, peaceful inner courtyards.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hola- Back from a wonderful trip to Mexico

Our trip to Oaxaca and Mexico City filled each day with many adventures and sites for all senses.
The first day, we explored the city, visited Casa de La Cultura Oaxaqueña for a Día de Muertos
presentation, checked out a couple of artisan markets and walked everywhere. It's been
eight years since I visited Oaxaca and I saw many outward changes- lots of cars & traffic, abandoned buildings, more graffiti, empty restaurants and fewer tourists. It's taken a
long time for the area to come back from the government and teacher wars of 2005-2006.
The people welcomed us everywhere we went and appreciated our interest in their work
and culture.
Businesses, restaurants, hotels and homes set-up altars or ofrendas to honor their loved ones
who have died.
Pablo took us on an artisan tour of the Central Valley. We visited the home and studio of painter
Román Andrade Llaguno and his wife, Marta. He paints with gouache on Mexican amate paper
made of tree bark. His whimsical paintings contain the colors and symbols of Oaxaca with a
strong emphasis on family life. At the home of Zapotec weavers in Teotitlán de Valle, the use
of natural dyes interested us: cochineal- for red the color of life, indigo for blue; marigolds or
cempazuchiles for yellow; moss for green and nuts for shades of brown.
Often around a corner, we heard a band and then saw a calendra or parade from a local church, women dressed in their traditional clothes, throwing out candy to everyone on the street and celebrating Día de Muertos.
Thanks to Leigh, we enjoyed filling in our inchies with sketches or other ephemera. I will post more photos and sketches. This trip reinforced my love of Mexico- the people, culture and traditions.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Día de Los Muertos en Mexico

Hola, This weekend, I made my sketchbook for our trip to Mexico for Día de Los Muertos. Three of us from our Tuesday sketch group plan to create for two weeks in Oaxaca and Mexico City.
Check out Día de Bloglandia for more fun with Día de Los Muertos celebrations. For wonderful photos and information, Fran is writing a "Tales from Oaxaca" series about her 2007 trip.

Here's my calendar page to fill up while there with ephemera and handwriten journal entries.
Today, we sketched at the Lone Pine Cemetery, one of Portland's oldest pioneer cemeteries. The vibrant autumn colors filled the skyline with their beauty. Fall is one of my favorite seasons representing change and preparation for new beginnings.
In Mexico, I want to experiment and try out different drawing and watercolor styles and techniques- in other words PLAY.

I probably will not post again until the second week in November. Hasta luego!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Art and Soul 2008 Fond Memories

Art and Soul proved to be a great retreat this year. I enjoyed seeing friends and making new ones plus teaching and taking classes. In Judy Wise's class we learned how to stencil our family photographs. Here is a stencil I cut from a 1940's photo of my mother catching a large fish off the Florida coast. I sprayed the stencil on collaged paper, collaged cut-out swimsuit and fish on top and covered everything with bees wax for a rich, textured look.

Melissa Hackmann taught us how to make accordion books and use them for sketching.

Albie Smith helped us create fabulous decorated papers and this book with multi-colored pages.

Jacqueline Newbold demonstrated how she uses watercolor in her travel sketchbooks. I learned
new watercolor techniques and ideas for keeping a travel journal.

Flora Drawn and Collaged Nature Gathered Challenge

The layering of paint, collage and line drawings interests me lately. Here is my interpretation of our Nature Gathered flora challenge.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival

I made a new class sample little purse for my Art & Soul Retreat workshop this Thursday evening. It's a wet-felted bag with a crocheted flap and kumihimo braid. Saturday, I headed
to the Clackamas County Fairgrounds for one of my favorite local events.
The Flock and Fiber Festival fills all senses from the sheep to wool products to tasty lamb kabobs.
The yummy colors of the wool roving, locks and yarn make great eye-candy and feel heavenly soft.
Here's a close-up of more dyed locks. With free admission, it's one of the best deals around the area with spinning competitions, felting demonstrations and live music.

I'll be at Art & Soul and will post again next week. I look forward to seeing friends from all over the US and creating art.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Felted Flowers

I've been making free form felted flower pins to sell at our Portland Art Collective Show in December. The pins can be worn or decorate hats, bags or whatever else you want to embellish. I love the bright colors of wool roving and yarns. This weekend is the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds in Canby. I plan to do a little shopping in preparation to my Art & Soul Retreat workshop coming up Thursday, October 2nd (see side bar). There is still room for one more participant. Come join the fun.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Felting Machine Fun

A couple of weeks ago, I played with a felting machine that someone lent to my mother. I felted fabric to a 9x12" piece of craft felt, added wool roving, yarn, and some stitching. The idea came from an article by Pokey Bolton in the July/August Cloth, Paper,Scissors Magazine.
I cut-up the felted fabric to make ATCs for my upcoming workshop at Art & Soul.
My husband found a felting machine for me on Ebay and it arrived yesterday. Now I can't stop playing. Check out the wedding book cover Glenny made with the felting machine.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sketching at Hughes Water Gardens

This week, we sketched at Hughes Water Gardens on Stafford Road. With the waterlilies in full bloom, the ponds and container gardens captured our hearts. We plan another visit.

The tropical Victorian waterlilies only bloom at a constant temperature of 75 degrees F. The large round container-looking pods can hold a baby or small child- magical, a rare sight.
It feels like summer with warm days, sunshine, time to slow down and enjoy the water gardens.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

V-W Book

In France, Dalye Doroshow taught us how to make V-W books. The book covers are made with heavy card stock, covered with paper made with computer-generated layers in Photo Shop.
Each unit is made with a V or valley folded index card and a W with two valley folds and a mountain fold in the middle. I stamped a background on the V page and added one of my soul collage images. Then, I wrote a journal entry about my soul collage image on the W page and cut a diamond shape out for a window. The W page is then glued to the V page and five V-W units are glued together back to back.
Looking from the top, the V-W units show up better- three in front and two in back.
You can also make this little book with postcards. It's a great memento of a recent trip.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Portland Art Collective Blog & Nature Gathered

The Portland Art Collective started a new blog to promote their "Open Doors" Art Show and Sale December 5th and 6th, 2008 at the Multnomah Arts Center in Portland, Oregon. Members will be posting photos of their artwork. Subscribe to the blog and feel the enthusiasm for this new venture that we are undertaking. I feel very fortunate to be apart of this creative group of artists.

In August, the theme for our "Nature Gathered" project was entomology . I wanted my 8x8 to reflect the look of fossil images in contrast to crawling bugs. I used plaster of paris and party store plastic bugs to create the fossil insects.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Japanese Garden and Luscher Farm

Today in The Oregonian two items caught my eye. The Japanese Garden will be free this coming Tuesday. We went last week to sketch and see the "Beyond the Shoji" art exhibit. The garden is beautiful and it's worth a visit.
the view of Portland with the rolling clouds incredible.

Another article highlights Luscher Farm in Lake Oswego where we sketched this week.
We could spend hours in the community gardens.
My sketches