Tuesday, February 26, 2013

and so plans changed

The painting as of today. See what tonight brings . . .
Well. I didn't really have any plans. However, I'd have liked to do some other things. Like continue exploring the present painting on the easel and maybe gesso a second canvas. So. Staying flexible, rolling with the punches, Little Things were done instead. A small run to AC Moore's to spend that last $10 voucher before it expired. (New very fine-point Sharpie, Loopy Loom loops, a Micron pen for Bennie ~ zap! There went $10.) Adding to my journal pages for today took all of 15 minutes. We napped to X-Files ~ couldn't tell you which season. Just clicked on Netflix and let 'er rip. (Although, I vaguely remember this episode as we dozed.) Dinner has been managed, loosely, and I have the evening to play with some paint before turning for the night. That could do.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

art as play

The blank canvas! It taunts us!
Recently, I'd found this book in my possession and made the time to read through it. Hearing about Flora Bowley on line in other blogs and such, my curiosity was piqued. It's something I bought awhile ago as the title was interesting and I like to see how other artists do their stuff. The book is my cheap way out: I can't always afford on line classes. As a result, I'm sort of flying blind and by the seat of my pants with this process.

Which is why this canvas had been sitting on my easel untouched since getting a coat of gesso for about three weeks. I was feeling apprehensive and in no way brave or intuitive as Flora's book suggests. However, I reached a point where, really, there wasn't anything else to do in the studio. I'd cleaned and sorted and reorganized . . . those things that are important, but don't quite feel like Creativity. So. Blank canvas. Blocked artist. Go ahead and do it anyway!

Having tons of tempera, I used that as the main medium (thus far ~ who knows what'll happen tomorrow) and laid the canvas on the floor to make a primitive mess. Feeling tentative, I used only three colors ~ green, turquoise and white ~ to avoid making, well, the color of mud. These colors were applied directly to the canvas and then smooshed around with a sponge brush. I enjoyed the juicy feel of paint gliding on canvas and began to loosen up a bit.

At a certain point (not wanting to stop just yet), I stood the canvas on one side and sprayed the surface with water. It was fun shooting the spray into the colors and watching them run. In fact, I may have over done it as the entire painting dripped onto the paper. But that was okay. I just turned the canvas one quarter and sprayed a little more to see what would happen.

Laying the canvas down on the floor again, I played with the paint using my fingers and the white tempera. The finger blobs were etched out with an old knitting needle, making these strange spiky blobs. And that is where it stopped. For the meantime . . .

It is suggested that if you are feeling apprehensive about painting again, to move your body. Do yoga. Go for a walk. Since I want this layer of colors to dry before applying others, I went and made a toasted cheese sandwich. I think that counts as movement.
Okay. Moving along. Not too scary . . .

Some fancy shootin', Tex!

Hmmm . . . Perhaps a little too much shootin', Tex.

A little finger dancing before letting the paint dry.
See what later/tonight/tomorrow brings.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

saturday night stuff

My completed Energy Compass.
A journal spread from the past week.

A spread for BOD Boot Camp Live 2013.

The tag . . .

under the tag.

Learning how to play with textures in
Photoshop here.
I think the Spirit Doll approves.
(Still awaiting a name.)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

what's going on here?

Bennie's creations on my easel, thank you!
We've just come off a five-day weekend from school. I'd rather hoped to be a little more productive creating in the studio, but it seems Bennie got the jump on me in a big way. Borrowing images from here and here, she sketched Faeries and Gnomes in charcoal, ink and watercolor. These are all waiting on my easel ~ where a still-blank canvas sits ~ for fixative spraying.

I am proud and chagrined all at once.

In the meantime, I've finally had the odd moment to begin creating my Energy Compass as suggested by Cat in the VisionQuest 2013. By accident, I discovered one can rub the back side of a magazine photograph with a pencil (which is best so it can be seen where it's already been burnished) and transfer the image to drawing paper. Some bits of that experiment turned up in my compass-in-progress.

There! Take that Artistic Complacency! Now. What to do for lunch  . . .
My Energy Compass, by golly!

Monday, February 18, 2013


American Gothika ~ a story of
desperation and forgetting.
My external hard drive crashed this past summer. Literally. It hit the floor and crashed, exiting in a most Queenly fashion. Nothing was retrievable. My art, my writing, my everything. Gone. Between office re-organization and other various chores, I spent the day scanning all of my SoulCollage® images. All 95 of them. A number I'm astounded with. Ninety-five. Yes, it still reads like a lot even when written out. With that number, the scanning took all day, but I got it done.

As I had to handle each and everyone in scanning, I felt as though we were all getting re-acquainted. Some were old friends seen frequently. Others have never been drawn, not even in the more organized readings that go beyond the Daily Draw. Ninety-five precious parts of Self depicted ~ some named, some not. Some with clear and easy stories to tell; others needing patience, no coaxing, just witnessing. Many had the patina of use, edges of images rubbed away from gentle shuffling (basically stacking and re-stacking little piles ~ matte board doesn't shuffle well). A few were brand spanking new coated in fresh Mod Podge with smooth, silky bumps and swirls from the brush strokes.
Anxiety ~ a story of eating away
at one's self.

Today was a labor of love and attention worth every minute. I'm feeling rather accomplished. Some random favorites and those of questionable favoritism are included in this post tonight.

Arddhu (arthee) ~ a story of the archetypal s-aging male

Dragonfly ~ the story of what's
living in my Crown Chakra

Dreamcatcher ~ the story of
catching, well, dreams and ideas

Green Athena ~ the story of
Nature's intelligence and beauty

Hierophant ~ the story of the
Inner Guide and Teacher

Jewel of Solitude ~ the story of
one's own sweet space

Memento ~ the story of the
memories one carries

Picasso ~ the story of an artist
and his flaws

The Moonhut ~ the story about
finding wholeness despite the
fractured self

The White Tara ~ the story of
the archetypal compassion

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Crayons waiting to be melted.
Amazing what a 60 watt bulb can accomplish.
Sometime back in xmas, Bennie had gotten a crayon melting machine-thingy. It was forgotten until yesterday when I found it doing a little early spring cleaning in the studio. Well. We had to try it! First, I locked us out of it by turning the timer knob before trying the bulb. Then we discovered the machine had to be plugged directly in the wall ~ no extension cords ~ but had to wait again for the timer knob to let us open the lid again. Then Bennie hadn't loaded the tipping tray in correctly whereupon an expletive was emitted at this realization as it meant, yes, once again, we had to wait for the timer knob to unlock the lid. The fourth time was a charm in this story as we were finally able, without incident, to make some funky crayons. They will be great for resist images in painting and journal page creating.

Funky crayons.
Today, I was able to play awhile in the newly cleaned and arranged space. Tossed a lot of stuff. Mainly Knits and SpinOff magazines mainly because I can find patterns on the internet and space is at a premium. As for those magazines used for SoulCollage®, I'll have to go through them and figure out which ones I'll keep longer for creating images. So. Finished out the week on my Book of Days on one spread and started another for next week using some very old mulberry paper. Ruminations @ 11:00.

The Valentine's Day week spread.

Flaps lifted (for take-off).

New spread before adding mulberry paper.

Ready for more embellishment and writing during the week.

Oh. And another hat in the making.
I need to find another large knit project.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Out for a snowy ramble and a little sledding.

To the north.

To the west.

To the beach.

Walking on the lake.

A happy hemlock.

Crystal helping Dirk with a snow angel on the ice.

Bennie joining in on the snow angel.
I stayed on the shore and took photos.
That's snow angelic enough for me!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

the house rooster is in

Brownie enjoying an afternoon reverie in the sun.
So. Unless you're on another planet (not that there's anything wrong with that), you might know a fair portion of the Northeast is digging out and trying to cope with the copious amounts of snow. While I'd measured a 13 inches on my front porch this morning, I'd not taken into account the drifting. We actually got about a foot and a half. And so now there are Mole Tunnels leading to various important parts of the yard ~ the cars, the compost, the bird feeder, the coop. The chickens are not amused, flying from the coop and trying to make landings, as gracefully as a chicken can, to the cleared areas of the driveway.

Brownie, however, has been enjoying a warm and weather-free existence for a few weeks now. Dirk is a big softy when it comes to the Old Fellas and Brownie is one of the last. On the whole, he's pretty good as far as roosters go. He doesn't bother leaving the floor. He's relatively clean. He doesn't scurry at the sound of the vacuum cleaner. The dogs have come to accept his presence in the house as Something Not to Chase ~ Or Else! For a rooster, he's pretty chill. I may miss him when real spring time rolls around. However, Brownie needs to be under the sun and on the earth, scratching for grubs and loving up the Ladies. It's what roosters are meant to do.

And Spring may indeed show her loveliness soon. At 4:00 o'clock EST, I glanced out the window and then at the clock on the sill and noted the sun still beaming in the west. Moving out of darkness.

Friday, February 08, 2013

spirit dolls

Thursday afternoon, we received a lovely package from
Lyn Belisle Designs . . .

EarthShards! Perfect for Spirit Doll making!
And just in time for some hunkering in during a snow
storm with tea and Downton Abbey.

Bennie's choice on the left, mine on the right.

And after adding Pearl Ex gold pigment with matte medium.

Bennie working fabric for dressing her doll.

Me and mine nearly done . . .

My spirit doll finished!

She carries a pendant of Frida Kahlo.
I'm waiting for a name.

Bennie's finished spirit doll with a
sodalite crystal hanging far to the right.

Such a sweet face! We couldn't have
made them ourselves.
It was a great snow day!