Sunday, October 25, 2015

unplugged

It is, perhaps, not the correct action to write a blog post when being "unplugged." Do it anyway. Here's the thing: It's important to unplug, disengage, find something else to do other than check e-mails or the daunting Facebook feed or other blogs for that matter. Playing with paint and paper helps, but the computer is still too dangerously close. Setting aside the Android and laptop is easier done when I'm gathering my wool. Cleaning and carding, getting it ready for spinning. It is an activity that can be done if (gods forbid) the power went out. Well, not so much the cleaning. Hot water is a necessity when cleaning excess lanolin and dirt from sheep's wool ~ waiting for it to boil on the gas range makes it an all-day affair, inducing all manner of grapefruit spoon eye gouging fantasies. But beyond that, electricity isn't needed to card and then spin the cleaned wool. Pretty lo-tech.

So. I let my mind dance between complete mindfulness and random thoughts as I card wool. Truth be told, though I love spinning wool, it's meditative quality of repetitive movement, carding it is dead boring. Which is good, I guess. We've lost the ability to be bored in this hi-tech society. In fact, we do whatever we can to avoid boredom at any cost. Time spent carding in the afternoon gives me ample wool to spin during the prime time TV hours ~ enough to spin during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or The Blacklist or Sleepy Hollow. If the power is out, I can ride the rhythm of treadling as the wheel spins ~ a woolly shaman of sorts.

And then I actually got outside for a little while to collect eggs and take a walk to the lake. Serene beauty!
A spread layered with paints . . .

creating a shiny, rusted landscape . . .

a little crackled paint technique using tacky glue . . .

Interference Orange and Blue Sky dots . . .

magenta and black.
I'm not sure what to do with these pages.
I wrote on them. It seemed to be Enough.

Delicious carded wool in my unplugged moments.

Summer gone and so is the Backyard Oasis.
Gather the chairs for time at the chiminea instead.

And the garden is tired. She's ready to go to bed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

ancestor worship

This spread was actually started last week.
With the setting up of decorations and altars and enduring colds, the pages were worked in fits and starts.
The start here is gesso brushed on and splattered.
Drying time was spent in a cozy spot binge watching The Fall and snuffling with tissues.

Various ink sprays added at this juncture.
Then back to the cocoon.

I wanted to do a gel medium image transfer for these pages. It required a flip through an old family album, flopping the image in Photoshop (making me a flip flopper), spreading the medium and then letting the image set.
This meant more delicious drying time and continued binge watching of The Fall.

The next day, I got around to the careful peeling process . . .

The thing with gel medium image transfers is their unpredictability. One is not always certain how the image is going to set into the medium even with the best of conditions. It's what I enjoy about this process ~ it's always a surprise.

Though the face in this image is faint, ghostly, it's fine . . .

What really drew me to this picture was the pattern of her dress, the curve of her waist and arm and those elements
came out clearly.
Perhaps the medium intuited my preference?

An enlarged and cut out copy of the photo was added,

with yet another copy at the original size and graduated circles from a drafting circle template.
What can you find in your old family albums?

Friday, October 09, 2015

you are loved

These pages begin with the big Crayola mess from the previous spread . . .

a layer of gesso scratched and scumbled . . .

Stabilo pencil and Dylusions sprays . . .

Stabilo spreads and eddies with the sprayed inks . . .

images added from Instagram and vintage photos . . .

I guess I can be thankful now. Right?

Adding some Micaceous Iron Oxide here and  . . .

there.

A go-to creature of late . . .

bubble wrap stamping.

And complete. For now.

Left page closer . . .

and the right.

You are loved.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

beeswax and crayons

I wanted to try some sort of encaustic painting without buying more supplies and equipment . . .

a beeswax candle, Crayola crayons and an old hair dryer were employed to create these wax blotches . . .

and these.
Adding a tiny bit of collage just to see what would happen.

A layer of gesso was applied.

Then wiped away in some areas . . .

and left to dry.
(No more hair dryer use at this point. The page was too delicate ~ wax melting everywhere.)

Black paint added . . .

and here too.

My favorite bubble-wrap stamping with bronze acrylic . . .

We've been playing with acrylic Interference paints . . .

enjoying the pop of these colors.

Images from recent Instagram photos added . . .

a place for me to write on in white ink.

Layers of wax and gesso and collage and paint.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

small obsession

Starting a fresh page . . .
gesso added loosely, letting the paper stay exposed in some places . . .
where the gesso lays, excess paint is wiped away, while the exposed paper soaks in the color . . .
adding a layer of copper . . .
letting the red splatter and drip . . .
dribble in sepia tones and spray with water . . .
recent Instagram images added . . .
another smudged layer of something white . . .
coppered edges . . .
more smudging . . .
not quite complete . . .
Complete.
(The white rings were a sweet technique shared by Orly Avineri in 21 Secrets.)
Scars.
Hotei.
(Feathers are from our very own Guinea Fowl.)