Tuesday, March 31, 2009

ArtFire and ProBlogger Resources

Last year, I set a goal to take my art to a new level and make it a small business. 2009 is the time for me to set up an online shopping account to sell my art and to figure out how to improve my blog. I discovered two resources to help reach these goals from friends last week. Thank goodness they offer me the help and support that I need.

ArtFire Handmade is a new online site similar to Etsy to sell art and crafts. In the next few months, look for my new Creative Journeys studio where you can purchase what I create online.

Darren Rowse from ProBlogger offers a free, online course called "31 Days to Build a Better Blog". His workshop starts April 6th and you still have time to sign up. He already has 6000 students registered! With his help, I plan to give my blog a new look.

Check out these resources and see if they can help you reach your goals. I'm excited about the opportunities both bring to my work.

Sketch at Townshend's Tea

Today, our Tuesday sketch group spent a quiet morning at Townshend's Tea on Alberta Street. It's still cold here and it felt good to be inside a warm place drinking tea, talking with friends and sketching.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Book Art Exhibit at Multnomah Central Library

The Collins Gallery on the 3rd floor of the Central Library downtown Portland exhibits contemporary artist's books from their John Wilson Special Collections through May 10, 2009. Local artist Shu-Ju Wang created her book Fatherland using a Gocco printer. Kim Newell's small book of linoleum cuts called Anatomics is in the collection. I had seen this handmade book a couple of weeks ago while on Vashon Island visiting a friend who owns an edition. Kim also did the linoleum cuts for another book, Volcano Blue, made by Vashon artist Catherine Michaelis with poetry by Ann Spiers. The book marks the Centennial of Mt Rainer National Park in 1998. The 3-D image of the mountain shows the blue west side and the red east side.

Catherine also created the book pictured. The dresses reminded her of the ones her mother used to wear. It's well worth a trip to see the library's collection displayed.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mt Hood Landscape for Nature Gathered Challenge

I used Alma Cox's telamadera fusion technique to make this piece. She was a featured artist on Oregon Art Beat in February. Her work inspired me to do a piece on wood with burnt-in lines of my sketch, acyclic paint and fused fabric. In Spanish, tela is fabric and madera is wood. She also wrote an article about her process in Cloth Paper Scissors March/April 2008. I see she is teaching at Art & Soul in Portland this year. I left the mountain and sky painted without fabric and burnt into the wood the fir trees. It's a fun process.
I wanted to play with color and value studies using Photo Shop. It's hard to distinguish differences from this scan but it did help me see what colors to lighten or darken.
This is my final study before I put finishing touches on the piece.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Canadian Arctic Adventures

My friend, Gwen, loaned me this wonderful novel by Canadian author Elizabeth Hay. Set in the Northwest Territories in Yellowknife, the story chronicles the lives of coworkers at a small, local radio station in 1975 and their incredible journey in the North back country. Her sense of place and the landscpape makes you feel like you are there. It's a great read and I highly recommend it.The story reminded me of an altered book that I made in 2002 for a round robin exchange. I bought the book at the Canby library for a dollar. I became engrossed reading Sheila Burnford's One Woman's Arctic. She told of her stay in the early 1970's in the Inuit community of Pond Inlet in Canada's Arctic on the northeast end of Baffin Island. I called my altered book "Arctic Field Notes". Each artist contributed her work in the book based on the theme. We each had a month to work in one another's books.
On the explorers' sign-in page, each artist created her own name tag.

One page that I made included a flag book with different Arctic animals, maps and scientific charts.
Taking a book and altering it with visual art is one way to tell a story. We glued pages together, painted them, used book text as art, added collage elements, drawings and other images. The fun part is seeing each artist's interpretation of the same subject.