Art Journals

Inks and Gesso: Another Free Lesson

Ready to try another free Muse Group lesson?! I’ve taught this one over and over for at least 12 years now. It’s a foolproof way to get excited about making art and to activate creative fancy. You’ll need watercolor paper, inks (preferably with droppers), gesso, and optional: scrapers, rollers, and rubber stamps.

inks_gesso

Click here to watch the video demo. But don’t stop there. Give it a try!

 

Sheltering

As I closed up my studio last night I thought that I had let another day end without completing the various art projects I have going. Common enough. Then I remembered that there are no longer appointments, gatherings, events, classes to compete with my free art making time, and I added this to a growing list of much needed silver linings in these anxious times.

Yesterday I got out a pile of unfinished Muse Group demos, hand made papers and more and started putting things together. There was something about the “leftover” shape of the blue piece below that suggested house so I made it more so, but not overly literal, and here’s what came.

shelter

Powdered graphite patterned textures, acrylic and collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11

What would you find if you pried the roof off any house now?  No, no, best not do that!

Come up to the door and knock softly. Carry a rose to show you care.

Be ready to say “Your lawn is so beautiful and green, your landscaping so artful, your windows so cozy.” Be ready to say “hope all is well with your family.”

Be ready to step back as the door gets closed in your face because you stepped too close.

Go back to your own Place and don’t cry. The people who loved you before still will, but only if you keep your 6 feet, or is it 10 now?

A friend brought her laundry over yesterday to use our machines. We managed a clever hygenicly safe protocol dance to protect both sides from the virus which, most likely, neither of us has, but we suppose could have. Then we stood a good 15 feet apart to chat for a while before moving on with our days. I’m sure others are as curious as I about how other people are coping, hence the desire to “pry off the roof”.

piles

A peek here at the unfinished pile of mixed media work from which I drew to create the piece above. I just measured the pile at 4 inches tall. It’s really a gold mine from which I shall continue to extract gems. The serendipity of the raw occurences ends up being the most satisfying to me.

If you’re a mixed media artist you doubtless have hoarded treasures galore. Now is truly our chance to play with them, and to realize that we may actually be afforded lots of time now to do so. And it costs nothing.

Stay tuned for another video lesson.

The Muses

We all have a Muse, whether we know it or not. And I have at least 7 or 8 all the time these days! They come to my studio out in the country bearing bags filled with art supplies. They let me share a mixed media technique and give them full permission to make it their own.

And my goodness but they do! Each person’s piece reflects her own Muse style. We are often in awe of each other and the way the creative energy flows through us. So I wanted to share some of the students’ work from the last series of Tuesday afternoon classes of lessons like fabric collage, color mixing and more.MusePat

Muse Pat

MuseMuriel

Muse Muriel

MuseRuthMuse Ruth

MusePamelaMuse Pamela

MuseBrigitte

Muse Brigitte

MuseNyna

Muse Nyna

MuseNancy

Muse Nancy

MuseJudy

Muse Judy

Of course now we are all in Shelter in Place mode, but trying to continue making art on our own and sharing it on the internet. It’s not easy.

This morning I wrote out all the art activities I want to engage in, both to keep myself sane and to build skills. I sketched buds in my garden and my car for a drawing challenge on the S.F. Urban Sketchers meet up, and I played with my new Fude fountain pen. It got me out in the glorious spring garden where everything is coming to life and nothing reminds me of a virus.

And then I listened to the evening news and realized that the art was not frivolous time-filling activity. It has become an essential activity almost up there with hand washing!

Get Your Art Groove On: Free Lesson!

OK, is your sock drawer straightened up yet? Larder stocked? Then it’s time to sit down for some art fun. Here’s a lesson I videotaped 7 years ago as part of an online course called: In the Company of Muses: Adventures in Mixed Media Art Journaling. I think it’s time to release it again.

griffin

To watch the video demonstration click here.

Have a go, have fun, and let me know how it goes! And I’ll post another lesson next week.

 

Gloss Medium and Passion Vining

We wrapped up another 6-week series of Tuesday Muse Group this week with a lesson I haven’t taught for years – painting on a glossy surface.

First you coat the paper with a couple layers of gloss medium and let them dry. What you get is a surface with a shiny plastic-y surface which makes for some particularly odd effects when you paint your acrylics on.

I like to use fluid acrylics and wet the surface lightly in places so that the paint starts to move and colors blend. If you spritz the paint lightly with alcohol just before it dries, you get even more surprises as the alcohol pushes the paint around some more.

I can’t quite remember when the floral garland here grew the native face and then the feather? headdress appeared. There’s always a matter of brain off-line and resulting hallucination involved. The passion vine flower came into the picture as it resembled the flowers outside on my studio wall that lure the butterflies and mess with the mind of visiting artists as well.

nativepassionvine

acrylic and collage on acrylic gloss medium coated w/c paper, 10 X 11″

a native plunges ahead on the trail of passion’s twining

clad in fragrance of meadows and dark sky

of floral garland and warrior headdress

         . . .destination unknown

        (and unnecessary)

For more painting on gloss, you might want to visit another lesson on my blog and try it out.

A Regatta in Fabric Collage

The students in Tuesday afternoon’s Muse Group arrive early and unpack their paints and brushes and start enjoying each other’s company. We are mostly women of a certain age. An age of experience, of wisdom one might say. And sometimes the conversation veers in the direction of age itself, which we are mightily involved in understanding. After all, aren’t we all, at any age trying to figure out what exactly it means to be 20 or 30 or 50 or 70?

At my age  the discussion revolves around the question of “how much longer”? Small wonder then that issues around this very question arose as I worked on finishing my demo for the fabric collage lesson.

regatta

fabric and paper collage, stamping on acrylic monoprint, 10 X 11″

A regatta of tombstones. Jump on and they’ll carry you downstream. On your merry way you will pass the others, the ones who have already passed. But don’t worry. They don’t mean to frighten, though they are a gentle reminder to wake up, enjoy the river’s currents, the flowers along the banks, the flags waving in the breeze. This regatta is not really a race, but don’t dally in the reeds. There’s not much time left for this journey.

Another note I must add. The delightful KQED Masterpiece Sanditon episode I watched on Sunday involved a regatta. That’s all it took for black and white striped ribbon cut outs to become flags and the blank white spaces to become a blue river!

Love is the Cure!

My gift to you on Valentine’s Day is Rumi and a painting inspired by his ecstatic poetry. First, the poem. . .

Love is the cure,

for your pain will keep giving birth to more pain

until your eyes constantly exhale love as effortlessly

as your body yields its scent.

loveisthecure

acrylic and collage and gel pens on acrylic textured w/c paper, 10 X 11″

In Muse Group this week we painted larger, on 1/2 sheets of watercolor paper (15X22″), in acrylic and then used cropping borders to find the painting “gems” within the borders. Some of us left the painting whole and others (like me) cut it up.

Here’s the painting before carving.

hearts1

Now I also have an assortment of interesting “remnants” to put together in another painting, which I may share. . . if and when it comes together.

Now enjoy your chocolate and whatever lovemaking of the emotional, carnal, and/or spiritual kind you have in mind for this lovely non-holiday.