Tuesday, November 18, 2014

making faces

Another day of layers and selfies. Yesterday's was created using the image I saw in the mirror. It's me and it's not me ~ and I seem to look . . . worried? Sad? The self portrait is an odd thing, broken down into parts and being objectified, but then there is something that surfaces. (Dare I say, another layer?) And so it's me and it's not me.

Today's image was drawn from a photo I cropped with a six inch circle cut out. The image was reduced to the profile ~ eyes, nose, mouth. What I get to notice when drawing from a photo are the mistakes I make. Mistakes in proportion and shape; mainly because I'd draw how I thought it looks rather than really looking. The line between the nose and upper lip is actually a little longer, for instance. What's also noticed is where I did pay attention; how the eye's color wasn't lost in shadow and the reflected light was actually a circle instead of the usual tiny dot I'd place near the pupil.

Such is the work of this God . . .

Self portraits on the layered pages.

Yesterday's worrisome look (not sure why).

Today, looking up and out ~ even though my lips are closer to my nose.

Monday, November 17, 2014


What can add depth to many creations is the building of layers. It's something being integrated more often in my work these days ~ usually in the journal pages where I can really make a royal mess . . .

This painting on the easel got hit with another layer today . . .
then I moved to the journal spread . . .

images, tissue paper and medical tape . . .

layers of mauve and orange . . .

and again . . .

then a final layer of Titan Buff with a spray of Titan White acrylic . . .

all set to go for images. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014


For my birthday this year, a dear friend gifted me a Frida Kahlo mirror. A lovely thing and I love Frida, but hadn't realized what use I might have for it until this past summer when I played with Lisa Cheney's The Savage Mirror in 21 Secrets. It was an interesting process, but I wasn't pleased with those initial results. That may have been due to my discomfort with drawing or photographing myself ~ a discomfort not exclusive to me. Since then, that has changed (incrementally) and I am more at home with the self portrait.

Looking at today's journal page spread I wanted to create this new face again ~ with a different mind, a new view. It is important for me to draw like me, but sometimes that requires borrowing from someone awhile. Certainly, I can't patent this process Lisa has created as my own, but I can borrow the ideas, play with them, get comfortable with them until my unique talents begin to emerge. Gotta start somewhere.

How handy to have that Frida Kahlo mirror! What I like about using this mirror is how it reduces the view of me. It is but a snippet of my face, just my eyes or only half of my visage showing. That alone reduces the anxiety of trying to sketch my own face. It's no longer My Face, but eyes, the curve of a cheek bone, hair brushed rakishly to one side. The image is reduced to shapes and lines and shadows. Safely contained in that mirrored circle.

Today's Savage Mirror Revisited felt more integrated. The journal may see more of these snippets of self in future as a result. It's all Play anyway.
My first attempt at The Savage Mirror this past summer.

The Frida Kahlo mirror and me.

And a detail.

Friday, November 14, 2014

playing with layers

When all else seem to have been done in the day ~ even the baking of banana nut muffins ~ I make my way to the studio to play with things printed on cloth using the inkjet printer and freezer paper. Bennie and I will have other uses for these printed items, but for this evening, they made their ways into a work in progress. It's only the beginning. These images will most likely disappear deeper into the textured layers as the painting evolves and, creatively speaking, that is as it should be. Evolution is not precious.
Of textured and layered beginnings . . .

because a roadrunner made an appearance in Journey. . .

and an Instagram of a medicine wheel.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

settling in

Pumpkin soup has been simmering awhile on the stove. The weather is doing what weather does this time of year ~ generally misbehaving, kicking leaves and branches around, knocking over chairs and tables left in the yard, umbrellas have gone missing . . . And why should we expect anything other than this? These are the first days of winter, darkening days, cold nights, chickens avoiding frost bite.

There are a great many things I could miss about easier weather. The long days in the yard or by the lake, grass between the toes, flowers to name a few, however, the onset of winter holds a different flavor for me. That turning in, getting cozy, times of a fireplace lit, spinning and knitting. I still manage to get outside no matter what most days to tend the flock or just to get out. Fresh air and ground 'neath the feet (despite the footwear) are an artist's soul food. A cold snap does a fine job of getting the gray cells going.

And so pumpkin soup with a dollop of sour cream sprinkled with pumpkin seeds for dinner then my attentions turn toward a more tactile creativity of spinning and knitting. (There is an awful lot of spinning to do. Grumpy bags of fleece and processed wool glare at me from a studio corner.) The knitting plan is based on this lovely pattern from Knitty. What I like about it so far is its flexibility and all based on one's gauge. Any yarn can be used for this pattern once a gauge swatch has been knit up. I rarely ever bother with gauge so this is a small challenge for me, but one I'm willing to manage as there will, hopefully, be a better fitting cardigan once done. Hand spun has been selected ~ brown alpaca and blue-green mohair blends. I'm thinking panels of alternating colors as it's a sideways knit. See how it goes. I've already done the gauge work, I think I've earned a little knitting recklessness otherwise.

Now. What is on TV tonight? I've a mind to knit!

All set to knit!

Bennie tried her hand (and feet) at weaving with the ol' LeClerc Fannie today.
She basically finished off the saori I've had on the beam for a couple of years now and is rather eager to warp the loom again.
Now, in fact.