Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy New Year's To You


A new year is beginning to peak through
softly beautiful and different like new falling snow,
each day unique and shaped just for you.
Your life adding something as each day does grow.
My wish for your new year is beauty
and softness with surprises thrown in for delight.
Love for each day bringing happiness to you,
making your life a scene of sparkle and shining sunlight.
- Author Unknown

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Giveaway 2011 Calendar Winners

The 2011 Art Journal Calendar winners are Lilylovekin and Createology. I'll email both of you. Thanks to all of you who commented. I plan to continue the giveaways during the new year. I appreciate everyone who reads my blog and is a follower. New friends have entered my life through blogging. It's wonderful how sharing one's artwork touches someone else in the world. Your friendship and blogs inspire me to keep my blog going.

With one week to Christmas, we're decorating the house, baking cookies, shopping and enjoying the season with friends and family. Hope your holiday season is bright, too.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Little Holiday Cheer

We sketched at Monticello Antique Marketplace and visited their Old Fashioned Christmas Show. It's fun to see collections from Christmas past. Seeing friends Christmas decorations and collections inspires creativity for the holidays and good cheer.

Last week, we celebrated my mother's 90th birthday. The guest book holds memories of guests and photos from her party. She's healthy, independent and active. I'm so fortunate to have her and enjoy our times together. Her party added holiday cheer to our lives.

I made this book by sewing panels of fabric together, adding a layer of sheer, light turquoise fabric with stitched flowers and my free-motion stitching of flowers on top in red thread. It's bound in a peach-colored satin ribbon with a dragon button from the Button Emporium in downtown Portland. Hope you're enjoying this holiday season.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

2011 Art Journal Calendar December Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who came to the Portland Art Collective Art Show and Sale this weekend. It was great to see you. We had gorgeous weather both days and lots of shoppers. As a thank you to my blog readers, I'm giving away two of my 2011 Art Journal Calendars. Comment on this post to enter and I'll draw two names on Saturday, December 18th. Good luck!

Lots of ornaments, danglies and charms graced the tree and table at the entrance.

Many sat and read member art journals. The variety of journals and journaling styles inspired several readers to want to journal themselves. One goal of our show is to promote creativity.

Frosty the Snowman came by to say hello and get us into the holiday spirit.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mandala Paintings

"Aztec Dream"

Six months ago, I started a series of mandala paintings. Several artists recommend working on more that one piece at a time. This process worked really well with this project. While letting one painting dry, I could start working on the next one. By the time I finished the process with each one, the first painting was ready for the next layer.

"Mandala Rose"

I covered each canvas with collaged maps, applied gesso, transferred my mandala pattern, painted it with acrylics, added gold leaf, three dimensional fabric paint, drawings, more background stamps and used amber shellac for the final coat.

"Blossom Meditation".

"Pyramid Mystery"

Working on these mandalas was very meditative with repetition of line, color, pattern. I plan to work on more series in this manner. It's very satisfying to complete several paintings by the end of the process. For more information about Mandalas go HERE and HERE.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Early Snowfall- Will We See Snowflakes Tonight?

The weatherman predicts snow tonight. It's an early snowfall for the Willamette Valley. So far only the hills are dusted in white. These beaded snowflakes are my danglies for the Portland Art Collective Show coming up in a couple of weeks. Each year, we have a dangly tree with all kinds of ornaments. Here's a photo from last year's show-

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pomegranate Sketch

Yesterday, we sketched at Monticello Antiques. When it's cold and raining, we move indoors to draw something we've brought or an interesting antique from the showroom floor. I brought the large pomegranates and Martha came with the small ones from her family's Texan garden. With good friends, conversation and a cup of java, who could ask for anything more.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Portland Art Collective November Giveaway

Jan Harris is giving away one of her one-of-a-kind journals. This book has a single stitch coptic binding with a collaged cover measuring 4" by 5". The two insets in the front cover feature a repousse pewter heart and turquoise scarab beetle. There are 12 signatures of sturdy paper that should withstand light water media or collage. Be sure to leave a comment with your name and email address Here to enter the giveaway. Good luck!!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Keys to Life

This week, I worked on adding embellishments to keys that I flooded with solder and stamped with words and phrases. After taking Stephanie Lee's Homesteader's Metalsmithing online class this summer, I got the idea to use safe deposit keys supplied by DH for pendants. They come in different sizes and shapes. With added soldered wire links, beads and a bit of ribbon, they became great little necklaces. I'll be selling these at our Portland Art Collective Show in December.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ruth won the Art Journal Zine Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who commented on my art journal zine. Ruth is the lucky winner. Your comments and support continue to inspire and encourage me. In December, I plan to post a giveaway for my 2011 Art Journal Calendar. Stay tuned for that post and you may become the lucky winner.

This week, I spent five wonderful days on the Oregon Coast being with friends, creating art, walking on the beach between storms and feeling pampered. As soon as I take photos of my artwork, I'll post them. Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Art Journal Zine Giveaway

The past month, I've been busy finishing an art journal zine for a swap with my Guemes Island retreat friends. I made a couple extra copies and want to give one away to my blog readers. Comment on this post and I'll put your name in a hat and draw a winner next a week. The big announcement will be November 12th. Good luck!

I've always wanted to create a zine. When I tell people about it, they ask "What is a zine?"

Wikipedia defines a zine this way- "A zine (an abbreviation of the word fanzine, or magazine; "zeen") is most commonly a small circulation publication of original or appropriated texts and images." I call it a self-published, mini-magazine.

Alma Stoller sponsors an annual zine exchange. iHanna has a great post about zines on her blog. Art zine themes vary from fiber arts to painting to collage. Our group chose art journaling for our zine theme.

This zine includes art journal techniques that I enjoy plus a bag of goodies to use in your journal.
This next week, I'll be working on our upcoming Portland Art Collective Sale and Show. Stay tuned for photos of what I'm creating and selling in December.

Friday, October 22, 2010

More Sketches and Photos from Mexico Trip

Two of the many reasons I love Mexico and Mexican culture are its diversity and duality of ancient and new- the traditions, many years of ritual and practice passed down from one generation to the next.

We sketched one morning in the desert botanical garden el Charco del Ingenio. The Four Winds Plaza, a ritual and scenic space, was inspired by Tolteca-Chichimeca indigenous beliefs. The outer circles indicate the four cardinal directions in their classic colors- Flora (agave) yellow East; Fauna (coyote) red West; Earth (hill) black North; Water (spring) blue South. The inner circle represents the Sun at the moment it is covered by the Moon. It's a testimony to the 1991 solar eclipse, the astronomical date of the founding of the garden. In 2005, the Dalai Lama proclaimed this place's energy a movement toward a new consciousness for peace.

We spent another afternoon at a newly opened toy museum called La Esquina. It's one woman's collection of over 1000 popular Mexican toys. I enjoyed the carnival toys and dolls.

We visited Atotonilco and the Sanctuary of Jesus Nazareno of Atotonilco. In 2008, this church was designated a Cultural World Heritage by UNESCO. It's on the 100 world monuments watch list. The state of Gaunajuato received funds to restore the interior frescoes. The paintings represent the syncretism of Catholic iconography mixed with native religious beliefs.
Visits to three artists' studios made for another highlight of our trip. Anando McLauchlin showed us his office, new studio, house of many colors, and garden - a work of nine years.
He creates assemblage pieces, jewelry and incredible interior and exterior designs. Anado referred us to two other local artists. Leigh Hyams paints and colorful floral acrylics. She's written a book entitled How Painting Holds Me on the Earth. Edward Swift creates wonderful paper mâché figures that look like stone. He showed us his process and said that Clyde Connell is one of his muses. He uses her paper mâché techniques. It's so inspiring to see how other artists work and what influences their art. Mexico has left its imprint on each of these artists' work.

Bill LeVasseur showed us his collection of 500 Mexican ceremonial and performance masks housed in his museum called The Other Face of Mexico. The masks represent 62 different indigenous groups in Mexico with their own language, culture, food, customs and rituals.
We watched a video that showed the dramas and dances with performers wearing the masks. All of these experiences reinforced my awe of Mexico with its diversity and traditions.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Portland Art Collective October Giveaway

This month, Tory Brokenshire gives away one of her beautiful chandelier glass journals. Comment Here to win and get more information. Good luck!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

San Miguel de Allende's Monjigangas

Las Monjigangas, giant puppets, teeter and dance to the music down Canal Street during a parade to celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Michael the Archangel or San Miguel.

The puppets stand nine feet tall and weigh about 30 to 35 pounds.

We visited the studio of Hermes Arroyo, a local monijganga artist. His nephew showed us how the puppets are made- metal/wood frame, cardboard and plaster, acrylic paint and then they are dressed. Each one has a personality. The artist often sits in the main plaza and sketches faces and characteristics of people he sees. The inspiration is transformed into his puppets.

The construction of the hands impressed me.
He lost his ring during the parade.

Monjigangas also represent historical figures. Brides and grooms often commission puppets of themselves to celebrate their wedding day.
The studio also makes smaller puppets for wedding guests.
It's a festive and fun art form from Mexico. Viva la vida de Mexico!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mexico- A Feast for the Senses

Cynthia, Robin and I traveled to San Miguel de Allende to experience the culture, art and festivities of Mexico. We filled up each day with lots of different activities.

All across Mexico, everyone celebrates the Bicentennial of their Independence from Spain and their Revolution Centennial . The state of Guanajuato is where the Mexican Revolution started. September 16th is their Independence Day. In 2010, it's a year long fiesta. Merry Calderoni's artwork this year focuses on the soldiers of the Revolution. I took liberty with one of her paintings and sketched my own lines outside the the box.

During our stay, the city of San Miguel de Allende celebrated La Fiesta de San Miguel Arcángel- their patron saint and namesake- with parades, fireworks, and music.

The sounds of the city impressed me- bells ringing several times a day, traffic noises, water falling in fountains, birdsong, children playing and laughing, dogs barking, the drum beat, band music, mariachis singing, fireworks and loud booming bottle rockets.

The colors of the city- folk art, flowers, architecture, flags, sky, doors- plus the smells- of the bakeries, street food, restaurants, horses, plants blooming and flower bouquets

It's a rich culture full of history, tradition and wonderful people. The next few posts, I'll share more of the places that we visited.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Full Summer - My Art Journal Calendar

My art journal calendar filled up fast this summer with lots of activities with friends and family, creativity, travel, reading and sketching. (June above)



It may be awhile till my next post. I'm off to Mexico with Cynthia and Robin. We're bringing our journals and art supplies. My next posts will include photos and journal pages from our trip.