Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sketchbook Patterns

Sketch - gouache and ballpoint

Attempting to understand the notion of repeats...

Sketch - gouache and india ink

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hand-colored Mono-Prints

Hand-colored mono-print
7" x 9"
Well...no "lace leaf" prints yet, although I did manage to get back to the Star Magnolia tree to collect some more of the semi-decomposed leaves for a future printing session.    Many hours of printing on Saturday produced plenty of frustration and many fragments of useable decorative papers.  Here are two prints that became more complete with the addition of Prismacolors.

7" x 9"
I've had several wonderful days with family -- time always passes much too quickly.  Now I'll turn my attention to getting caught up with what other artists have been creating -- another treat.  

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Words to Live By

Ornaments made with gold ink and art papers glued to salvaged packing cardboard.

Again, some work from several years back. But "love," "peace" and "simplify" are always current.

 Light-colored handmade paper (by me) from dried Spartina grass.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Small Paintings and an Altered Sketch

Acrylic on Paper 4"x6"

In lieu of new work, here is old.  A simple painting, above, in which acrylic was used like watercolor.

Colored pencil on paper 8" x 8 1/2"

And above, a doodle on copier paper, that became a bonafide sketch of an imaginary woman.  And yes, it has some issues, but still, I find it rather interesting.

And I like what the computer did to it, above.

Ink on paper 4" x 6"

And here, another small painting with a relief print added.  All done with inks on Italian paper.  (If you click on it, you might get a sense of the delicate, reflective gold lines and dots.)  And today, I went to see Elizabeth Bauman's show and she had done so many lovely paintings.  And I'm thinking ahead to the weekend and the prospect of creating new work.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Views of Nature and A Painting in Flux

Loveliness abounds away from the city.  It's amazing how an intention to photograph can enhance one's viewing experience.  A non-native Star Magnolia, above, with last fall's leftover leaves-- now lace-like, below.

Click on the photo to see the delicateness.  (Watch for lace-leaf prints in a few weeks. )

Skunk cabbage with mono-petal.....
...and without.

And not to be outdone...the Pussywillow in full regalia.


...And grateful inhabitant.

Cedar and lichen up close.

Lovely Spirea ready to bust out its leaves.

And remember this painting??

Here, its current state-- rotated-- with gold circles rescued from the green, a reduced number of sections, and leftover barn-reds.  (Still in process -- of course!)  And by the way, if you'd care to comment on which version you prefer, I'd find it interesting to know -- although at this point, there's no turning back... 
Hope you had a great weekend and you have a great week ahead of you!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Julie Whitmore's Enchanting World

Illustration on hand-formed French Faience Pottery
by Julie Whitmore
Welcome to the enchanting art and world of Julie Whitmore. Of the two, I'm not sure which is most delightful; and when I say, "world," I do mean it. Visiting Julie's blog will transport you to the English countryside and all things pertaining to cottages and gardens. Except that come to find out, Julie lives in the U.S. on the coast of central California! No problem -- this simply means your visit to her blog will be like taking two mini-vacations at once!

All photos courtesy of Julie Whitmore
Filled with photographs of her lovely, whimsical, French faience pottery, Julie's blog also provides ample glimpses of her home and studio, her daily activities and many interests, and the natural beauty of the region. Add to all of that the fact that she has created an amazing, imaginative world full of lovely women, birds, butterflies, bees, dragonflies, and charming woodland animals, (all painted on undulating clay, mind you) and it all makes for a wonderfully good read and a grand sense of contentment.

Faience Pottery by Julie Whitmore
When you visit Julie's blog, be sure to look for her posts showing photos of those nattily attired woodland animals, and also the ones about the lovely necklaces she makes from pottery that has broken along the way. Lucky for us, Julie's pottery is available for purchase in her Etsy shop, here. Have fun in Julie's corner of the world!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

From the Textile Studio

Relief and screen prints

Well, the weekend's almost over and I have had a wonderful time in my studio "metamorphosizing" the last acrylic painting I posted (I'll show you the new version in a few days) and printing on fabric. Of course, I didn't do everything that's on view here this weekend, (far from it) but I'm starting to get enough of "this, that and the other thing" to group some of those "things" together. Hence, the photos. Actually, in thinking about it, the studio time was a bit frustrating in that I basically ruined a couple of previously printed pieces. However, in the process, I learned some new techniques that I can employ in the future so all was not lost.

The brown, "set" pattern, below, was made with a carved rubber block. I wanted the motif to be spread out and light in feel so I printed it on a hard surface without cushioning so that some of the recessed areas of the block would not make contact with the fabric. If you click on the image, you'll see the irregular lines of the block. The yellow/brown print is a screenprint and the last imprint on that fabric (on the lower right of the photo) also incorporates machine stitching.

The fabrics below represent a combination of handpainted, relief printed and screen printed techniques on cotton, linen and silk. (I thought it was about time to shift into a spring/summer palette!) You'll notice an orange print that features the same block that I used for the brown print, above, only this time I brought the motif in closer and printed it on a cushioned surface in order to pick up more of the line detail.

And on the subject of spring/summer.....tomomorrow, I'm going to post about an artist whose work will give you a major case of spring/summer fever so be sure to check back! Cheers!

Friday, March 5, 2010

In the Works -- Relief and Screen Prints on Fabric

Mixed media on fabric
4" x 6"
The above is something I did a few years back. I painted the placket of a chef's coat (reclaimed from a barrel of scraps destined for the dump at a local industrial rag manufacturer), printed it with a paper stencil, added small fabric scraps and bits of paper I had previously painted and printed, and machine stitched it with gold thread.

Below, are a couple of textiles in the works. The first one was screen printed on wonderfully deep green linen purchased at a garage sale, using a paper stencil. (Trust me, the scanner did not do it justice!) I've begun to add a red running stitch to it which is barely visible, but if you click on the image, you can see the stitches and also get a sense of the structure of the fabric which includes a black warp thread and alternating dark green and natural linen weft threads. The central image is approximately 6" x 6" and the surrounding square is about 8" x 8" (too large for the scanner).
The second one was block printed on inexpensive muslin. I used this same block in some of the prints on paper that I posted a few weeks ago.

Oh -- a question: I've been using the older version of the editing program and just recently discovered a newer version exists. Has anyone had experience switching from the old to the new? I'm a bit reluctant to make the switch fearing it will get the best of me and my blog!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Betsy Best Spadaro -- Maker of Vibrant, Masterful Relief Prints

"Mish Mash" by Betsy Best Spadaro
36" x 36"
Layered lino-cuts on Japanese papers

Betsy Best Spadaro is one of those artists that is able to totally "nail" gestural poses with a minimum of drawn lines. And since her primary art medium happens to be relief printing, she has developed the ability to masterfully cut away or incise those drawn lines with the same precision. Add to that ability a wonderful sense of color, an eye for composition, an interesting take on roles and relationships, and a sense of humor, and the result is amazing, vibrant art. The above piece, from Betsy's "Housecleaning" series, was done several years ago to use up leftover bits of printed papers. The piece below, from her "What the Water Told Me" series, is one of twenty prints viewable on her website with below-the-surface imagery in beautiful combinations of colors.

"Swimmer II" by Betsy Best Spadaro

9" x 6"

Wood and linoleum relief print

"Circus Mom XI - Egg Balance" by Betsy Best Spadaro
10" x 6"
Linoleum relief print

The above image is one of a series that speaks to the many directions women are pulled in and surely resonates with moms everywhere. And the accordian book, below, provides a gallery of beautiful prints all in one compact format.

"Balance - Picture Book" by Betsy Best Spadaro
5.5" x 77"
Linoleum relief prints

In 2009, Betsy was extremely fortunate to have participated in three residencies in rapid succession. You'll find posts about her time in coastal Washington, in Italy and in Japan, as well as images of her most recent works on her blog. Be sure to visit her website, too, so you can see the depth of each of her series. So inspiring! Oh, and if all of the above isn't reason enough to go to her blog this instant, you simply must go to see the glorious photos of clouds she posted a few days ago. Cheers!