Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Summer Visual Calendars

It's been awhile since I shared my visual calendars. The summer goes by so fast and it's starting to feel like fall with cooler evenings, shorter days and a few leaves changing color.

LinkMy visual monthly calendars contain books read, artwork, sketches, travels, appointments. The artwork on the right is one of Robin Olsen's fabric pieces.

Go HERE for an older post on how to make your own visual calendar. The art on the right above is from Suzanne Reynolds. Visual calendars are great way to look at a glance and see what you've done during a month.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Japanese Garden Treasures

We sketched in the Japanese Garden last week. The summer garden's layers of green create a quiet, peaceful place.
A few hostas and hydrangeas bloomed adding a little contrast and color. I overheard one visitor say the verdant greens and mosses do not exist where he lives. I often take this beauty for granted.
In 2012, the Garden celebrates The Year of the Healing Garden. The leaflet had this wonderful quote by Hoichi Kurisu, Portland Japanese Garden Director, 1968- 1973-

"Strolling through a pine forest, viewing rock formations, and cascading waterfalls, pausing to ponder the quiet surface of the lake and shoreline- little by little we are encouraged to lay aside the chaos of a troubled world and gently nurture the capacity within to hear a more harmonious, universal rhythm. We exchange burden, boredom and despair for renewal, inspiration and hope. Or from the joy we already feel, we discover an even greater capacity for good. This is the tremendous power of the Japanese garden."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

File Folder Journal

One of my trips this month took me to Guemes Island and an art retreat with Seattle and Vancouver, BC friends. One of my goals was to complete a file folder journal. I first read the instructions for this journal in the January/February 2011 issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors in an article by Heidi Sekovski and Karin Winter on making art from office supplies. My friend, Robin Olsen, made her fabric version of the journal seen HERE.

I like the idea of removable cards to write on both sides and add drawings or photos. The cards fit into neat little pockets made by folding the file folder up and sewing it into place. CELESTE brought her sewing machine and I had fun using different decorative stitches for the edges of the cards. Her blog shares photos of our retreat. Below are the next set of pockets and cards. I used a teabag colored distress ink pad to tie the pages together and give it an aged look.

Here's the back cover-
I've had so many wonderful experiences this summer- the beach, the mountains, art retreats and workshops, bicycle rides and hikes. It's felt so good to be outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. Our summer came late this year in the Northwest but has rewarded us with many sunny, warm days. I plan to chronicle my summer in this little journal.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sketching at the County Fair

Last week, we sketched at the Clackamas County Fair. We visited all of the animals; watched young children receive ribbons for their hens, cows and goats; and ate corn dogs and berry pie a la mode. Yum! I like the sign by the pies, "pie fixes everything".

I channeled some Roz Stendahl-energy to draw chickens that won't stand still. Her blog posts show her great ability to sketch animals. She also shares lots of tips on what papers, paints and pens she uses.

County fairs represent a bit of Americana, fun for all ages and a place to remember farm life and the varieties of rabbits, chickens, goats and cows that we have- a rural experience for an urbanite. Going to the fair is one of my favorite summer activities. It reminds me of my childhood experiences on my grandparents' farm near Gervais, Oregon. So many children today do not know the origins of their food, how it is grown and raised. I feel so fortunate to have fed the pigs, collect the eggs, pick the tomatoes and milk the cows.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Summer Vacation Projects

This summer, I've enjoyed several mini-vacations and art projects with friends. Donya and I created these fun bookmarks one evening. We applied watercolor, acrylic paint with stencils and stamps, napkin tissue paper flowers with added line drawings and punched squares.

I finally discovered an idea for my watercolor exercise book covers. The triad for the front cover is Hansa yellow medium, Quinacridone red and Phthalo blue red shade with some titanium white mixed with them. The back cover triad is Yellow oxide, Burnt sienna and Payne's gray with titanium white. The acyclic colors are dabbed and layered onto the watercolor paper. It's a great way to explore color combinations. You can check out the posts about my watercolor exercise book HERE and HERE.

I got the idea for triad painting from Mary Beth Shaw's new book, Flavor for Mixed Media- a feast of techniques for texture, color and layers. Her book is chocked full of great ideas. I especially like her color section. I'd highly recommend getting her book.
I'll be sharing more summer projects in future posts and plan to get back to posting weekly. The gorgeous summer weather beckons me outside to garden, bike ride and walk. Hope you're enjoying your summer, too.