Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rose Garden Sketch with Costa Rican Artistas

Today, we sketched with artists from Costa Rica at Portland's Rose Garden in Washington Park. June is the best time to see the garden in full bloom. Clouds covered Mt. Hood but we got a good view of the city and the roses.

One of my favorite roses-

From left to right- Carolina, Cynthia, Rosmery, Sonia, Jeannette, Raquel and Ana.

Rosmery gave each of us one of her watercolors that she painted while in the garden. I'm going to have to play with using just watercolor with no pen. I love the use of water and paint to get different textures. Muchas gracias Rosmery!
The artists, Rosmery Vega, Sonia Alfaro, Jeanette Trejos and Raquel Mora, will show their artwork Saturday, July 10th from 3-8 pm at Onda Gallery on NE Alberta in an exhibit entitled, "Place and Imagination".
Please come to their artist reception, meet them and see their art. They belong to a woman's art collective called Jadeazul from Grecia, Costa Rica. Their trip to Oregon is hosted by Partners of the Americas.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Travel Art Supplies with M. Graham Watercolor Palette

Our sketch group is hosting a group of women artists from Costa Rica this next week and we made them travel art supply kits with a M. Graham watercolor palette. The kit includes a sketchbook with 15 pages of watercolor paper, a glue stick, a water brush, a pen, tissue paper and a palette.
I learned how to make these palettes from Cynthia Mooney. I used 150 grit sandpaper to give tooth to the Altoids tin surfaces.
Then I conditioned some Sculpey clay, put some Sobo glue on the bottom of the tin and then pushed in the clay. The Sculpey clay is heavy. Cynthia says she prefers to make these palettes with paper clay which is much lighter in weight when dried.
I formed wells in the clay with the end of a marker and baked them in my clay dedicated convection oven at 275°F for 20 minutes.
I covered the bottoms of the tins with red suede paper and the tops with garden sketches using the adhesive from my Xyron machine.
Then, I added the M. Graham watercolor paints. These are my favorite travel paints because they do not dry out and go onto paper smooth, with great color. Make yourself a travel art supply kit and enjoy using it on your vacation this summer. You'll remember your travel art as much or more than your photos.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Let the Sun Shine

Today, we sketched at the Sara Hite Memorial Rose Garden in North Clackamas Park. The overcast sky cleared and the sun shone- a rarity here in the NW this month.

The Rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the Rose
William Shakespeare

The world is a rose,
Smell it and pass it to your friends
Persian Proverb
It's so relaxing to sit and sketch in a quiet place, forget about time and take in the beauty.
Next week, we'll be sketching at Washington Park's Rose Garden.

It is at the edge of the petal that love waits.
William Carlos Williams

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What is the name of this flowering bush?

We sketched this week at the Lan Su Chinese Garden. I love this yellow-flowering bush but cannot seem to identify it's name. The flowers have five petals on purplish vines. I don't think I could ever be a botanical illustrator. Some of my flowers have only four petals.
My handy reference guide is Sunset's Western Garden Book. At first, I thought it might be a Bush Poppy or dendromecon but their bright yellow flowers have four petals. What about a Bush Anemone or carpenteria california? The book says this plant has white flowers. Now, I don't know what it is. Gardeners out there, please help me out. What do you think it is?
It's probably imported from China. I'll have to ask the gardener on my next visit.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Woodblock Printing with Debby Neely

Sunday, I had a great day in the country learning how to make woodblock prints with Debby Neely, a Local 14 artist. She prints incredible wildlife art with her carved woodblocks.
The country drive, fields, flowers and sun uplifted my spirits
along with spending the day with friends making art
First, we drew our design and traced it onto our wood block
Once transferred, we carved the woodblock
Then printed it-
I have a whole new appreciation for woodblock prints and all of the work that goes into designing, carving and printing them. Check out some other print ideas Here at MoonTea Artwork by Kristen.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Portland Art Collective Giveaway from Jennifer Campbell

Comment on the Portland Art Collective blog this month and win a Jennifer Campbell HeARTwing pin. You can also check out her new book Here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hope for the Future

Chicago Peace blooms in my garden- it's first bloom the most spectacular. I attended a graduation ceremony this weekend and came away hopeful for the future. The Millennium Generation is "confident, connected and open to change". I need this optimism in my often cynical world. The roses bloom every year and honor us with their beauty. I felt honored by the beauty and energy of the young graduates and want to see how their lives unfold and blossom.
Last week, we sketched at Cornell Farm. I enjoyed the roses there and this sleeping beauty.
The begonias spread their colorful blossoms, too. I feel a connection to nature more intensely after reading Margaret Atwood's book, The Year of the Flood. She included in her novel Hymns of the God's Gardeners which I downloaded to my iPod to enjoy the music. The hymns add another dimension to her novel. It's a very thought provoking read.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Knitted Cranes and Book Power Artist Date

Yesterday, I went downtown to see the "Knit Not War 1000" installation at the Ace Hotel. Edina recommended that I see it and writes about the project in her blog HERE. One of her knitted cranes is part of the exhibit.
It's amazing to see what women can do to with their talents to make a statement. The installation continues all weekend. The colors, softness of the wool and number of cranes sure impressed me.
After seeing the knitted cranes, I headed for the 23 Sandy Gallery to see their Book Power exhibit. It's an international exhibition of artist books addressing our social, political and environmental world. Being able to handle the books makes this is one of my favorite galleries.
The artists challenged my thinking and beliefs in very different ways- through their words, visual images, book construction and use of different mediums. The exhibit runs through June 26th and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Remains of the Day Journal with Peerless Watercolors

This week, I made another "Remains of the Day" shabby journal for a graduation gift for a writer. It's fun to work with different fabric scraps and the tie is made with Dupioni silk.
Below is the outside cover
For the inside cover, a pocket was sewn in to hold a Sakura black permanent ink IDenti dual tip pen (my new favorite with fine and extra fine tips), a Niji water-brush and a Peerless watercolor palette. The paper is 93# heavy weight drawing paper that takes wet and dry media. I left the paper signatures blank for the graduate to fill up with her writing, drawing and maybe some color.
The Peerless Transparent Watercolors make a great travel palette. I covered a piece of 140# watercolor paper with decorative paper and tape and put an eyelet to hold the palette together with waxed linen.

The water colors come in concentrated form on papers that can be cut. I taped them to each side of the palette with masking tape, labeled them and painted a swatch below each color.
On one side, I taped in a piece of waxed paper to keep the colors from running into one another when wet. I've used this palette many times for travel and outdoor sketching. The colors are bright and clear
When a color is used up, another Peerless water color paper can be taped on top. The fabric scrap journal lends itself to many different uses. I just love making these journals.