She Likes Bright Colors

shelikesbrightcolorsacrylic, collage on w/c paper

she likes bright colors

so she spreads her colors out 

captures night, sunrise, heat of midday, and sunset

she dyes her world with kaleidoscopic splashes 

sometimes it is her only way to fly 

The lesson this week was to make our own collage paper using glassine paper (which I inherited a big roll of – it’s transparent when glued down with gel and somewhere between tracing paper and wax paper in consistency) and used fabric softener dryer sheets (which a student had given me ages ago).

The method:  lay some stencils (3 here) down overlapping on the paper, squirt 3 colors of fluid acrylic on, roll over them with a brayer.  Then take the juicy painted stencil and turn it over on the glassine/dryer sheet/tissue paper, etc. and make a monoprint of it.  Make sure you use every drop of the extra paint on the brayer for more stenciling or just dry rolling. Let it all dry and then use the extra papers on top of your (original) paper piece for collage.  Since the designs and color palette are the same, it is not too hard to integrate it.

I had just finished reading I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban  written by Malala Yousafzai  and Christina Lamb.  In this piece color became my metaphor for freedom and perhaps my way to show solidarity for girls and women throughout the world.

The Tracks We Leave


acrylic applied with roller, stencils, collage, acrylic skins on w/c paper

Life is not a private affair. We leave prints with each step, each word. And when we get run over, the groove where we’ve lain has our signature on it. The tracks of our existence cannot be concealed.

It started, as these art journal pieces usually do, with my sharing some mixed media tidbit with the Muse Group.  This time it was my new sponge roller set- four different mini rollers with different design cutouts which I ordered online for $10. And so with a couple rolls of the paint I established the tracks.  To save the paint residue left on the roller I ran it over some glassine paper I had and later glued a circle of that on the piece toward the top.  It’s always good to suggest a sun or moon somewhere in a piece. And the next day the dried residue of acrylic paint – blue and bronze – got pealed up from the palette and added in a spot where it was needed.

Still with nothing in mind I wrote – 5 minutes worth of free association, which we do together in Muse Group.  The tracks, like the path from house to studio which I traverse several times each day, are quite established.  I can go way back to childhood to find their roots, back even perhaps to my maternal grandmother who wrote poetry.  Ironic perhaps that in the face of such overwhelming evidence that at this age the tracks are well laid, I would strive so insistently to create art that falls outside those tracks.  And yet. . . this groove I find myself in has my signature all over it.




acrylic inks, Citrasolved papers, collage, stenciled shapes on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

it’s not time to rush out and start

                    she is pregnant with possibilities in six spheres of life 

                    she watches the six heading out 

to higher ground, higher skies

and if she keeps her attention there

not letting any of her children stray too far 

then her task will be done


for now, the incubation is enough

If you blink at this time of year, anything green grows an inch, any bud pops open, any caterpillar doubles in size on its leafy diet.  I hate to miss a moment of it by being too serious about accomplishing something.

Luckily in my Muse Groups we’re all about play.  So when the Muses showed up yesterday I invited them outside with me with the excuse of turning National Geographics into Citra Solved art papers.

Have you tried this yet?  Poke a hole in the seal on a bottle of Citra Solv concentrated cleaner and splatter it onto the full color pages of the magazine.  Let it sit for a few minutes, then tear the pages out and let them dry.  There’s a bit more to it, but you can go to the Citra Solv Artist Site and watch how to videos and even enter their art contests!