Saturday, August 12, 2017

My Annual Art Retreat

Once again, a wonderful week away doing nothing but make art and swim.   It is always refreshing, the water calms my soul.   Most of the work that I did consisted of starts but I did finish three that are just for me.  The one above and the next two... using family photos that I don't want to get rid of but that are taking up space. 

Now to find a place to hang them....
The water.... that's the other part of the retreat, my artist friend Terry and I swim every day, 2 and 3 times a day, in this beautiful body of water.
And we make art, here are all of the starts I did.  Some of them I may decide are finished.  Others I already know will need a lot more work.  I didn't think about anything other than getting things down on the paper using my gelli plate and a bunch of collage papers I took along.

It was a great week!  Now to get to work on finishing some of these.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Crack #8 Continues to Evolve

I posted this one awhile back thinking it was done; however, the more I looked at it the more I began to think maybe not.  Today I started playing with it a bit and I'm beginning to like it better.  There is still more I see that I want to do but it's wet, had to stop.  I'll post again when it's finished.

Friday, June 2, 2017

New Work And A Great Day

This week I finished two more of my series of 8x8 monotype colleges. A Walled Garden Gate and another Cherub, Just Restin;.  Stone walls, shacks and cherubs are three favorite subjects... and, of course, old boats.  But old boats don't lend themselves to the monotype collage technique that I enjoy playing with.

Another fun thing this week, an afternoon at Meijer Garden with my good friend Terry Brancheau. She's another artist and if she had an art site I'd put a link... she doesn't. She's also one of my dearest friends so getting to spend the afternoon with her visiting such a lovely place...perfect!

And on my morning walk this morning.... another photo to add to my sidewalk crack collection but this time a stone wall...
Now it's time to get back into the studio....

Friday, May 26, 2017

New Journals And A Start

I saw a demo on this type of journal and thought my class would like to try it.  First I had to know what worked and what didn't so had to make at least one for myself.

Then I had to make another to demo how to do it.  And then, just because it was fun to do, a third one is in the works.  I do journal regularly so they will get used.  What I liked about this journal is the binding.  It's elastic and the pages can be slipped in and out easily.  The base is an old book.  First step is to remove the inside which can be saved for future use as collage paper.  Then play with paint, stamps and stencils to do the cover.  Add elastic, ribbon and paper and you have a journal.  I may use one of these as an art journal.  The middle one is going to be my morning journal when the current on is full.

The start is something that has been hanging around my studio for a few years.  A friend had been given a sign for their cottage but she didn't particularly like it so she asked me to do it over.  This isn't something I normally do so it's been sitting.  However, her 14th annual remission picnic is coming up so I decided it's time... get to it.

It's been sanded and a coat of gesso covered everything.  I sketched the background and two loons.  The background and loons are from a piece of fabric she gave me that she used in the cottage.  Loons are not something I usually paint so this is probably going to stay like this for awhile.  The picnic isn't until July so I have time.
Another thought that keeps cropping up..."Save the Catwalk"  Our town has a pier and a catwalk that no longer provides access to the lights in high water but does provide a sense of safe pier walking for town folk and tourists alike.  It needed repair so it has been removed.   The "Save the CatWalk" group is trying to raise the money needed to put it back up. I don't do pier paintings normally; however, a few years back I did do one that I really liked.  The painting has been sold but I still have the image in my file.  I'm thinking of making note cards and selling packages of 6 or 8 cards with most of the proceeds going to "Save The CatWalk?.  What do you think?  This is the image....

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Lots of Starts and a great weekend

This one is ready to go to the gallery.  I have a few more started, the monotype part is done; next I add collage.

I got these done today and not being one to waste paint or ink, I cleaned up the plate with paper to add to my collage stash.
Yesterday was productive too.  I don't know if these are done or not, I have to live with them for awhile before I decide.

And the weekend.... I come from a very small family, two sisters are the only one's who had children. I have 4 cousins and they all got together near me this weekend along with some of their children. Here is the gang... and this is only part of their side of the family plus me.
And here I am with cousins and their spouses. I'm in white with the white hair the other two sitting on my left are the other two elders; behind them in hot pink and in grey are their younger siblings.  We don't see each other often as no one lives close but when we were growing up we did everything together since we only lived a block apart.... that and our mothers were very close.

It was fun seeing everyone, celebrating a graduation from UofM Law School, an engagement and a retirement.  Lots of reminiscing, lots of laughing.  We're getting to an age where we need to do it again every year.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Inspired is the exhibit opening at the Gallery Uptown, Friday, May 5. I'm part of the exhibit and thinking about what inspires me. So many things... other artists, old boats, textured walls, sidewalk cracks, colorful gardens, old structures, garden statuary, other art, even by things I’m working on at any given moment.

There are so many things that inspire me that it is difficult to zero in on one.  Different inspirations mean I produce different works. 

For this exhibit it’s a combination of techniques I've learned from other artists, texture, sidewalk cracks and a challenge from yet another artist.

When using acrylics I frequently pick up some of the paint on a piece of drawing paper.  At the end of a session I also pick up paint that’s left on my palette on drawing paper.  That paper I use for collage or to make into sketchbooks.  I used some of those sketchbooks for a few challenges a couple years ago and while I was working on the series of sidewalk cracks a friend remembered the challenges and wanted to see the sketchbooks so I got them out.
For the sidewalk cracks I start by putting down several colors of acrylic, some colors over another.  Looking at my sketchbook it occurred to me that I could use a better quality paper to pick up that paint and do a realistic drawing or painting on that paper.  That has started a whole new series.

As for the sidewalk cracks, watching another artist cover a piece covered in red with a couple coats of white and then scratching shapes with an exacto knife produced an interesting look.  For years I have collected photos of sidewalk cracks and the idea of scratching through a layer of paint to get the color underneath made me think of them, and thanks to a niece who gave me her hygienists tools, I had something to do some serious scratching with.  That and Leonard Cohen’s “There’s a crack in everything, it’s how the light gets in.”

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sidewalk Crack Series

I have collected photos of sidewalk cracks for a very long time.  Finally, for an exhibit opening at the Gallery Uptown in May, I'm doing some paintings based on those cracks.  I don't know if this will get in or not, he's not finished yet but yes, it is a sidewalk, repaired but a crack.  I've walked over this crack every school day since September, 2015. Here's the sidewalk
The opening reception is Friday, May 5, 5:30 - 8:00.  Here are a couple more of the cracks that I know will be in the exhibit...

There will also be a bit of whimsical realism.... like these guys....

I've got to get mounting, matting and framing done so I can't talk right now; however, once all is ready to deliver I'll be able to explain how all of these pieces are related.... there is a connection.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday Painters Today

We were at the library today.  I thought about painting the shelves of books but chatting with the group took up too much time, settled on another of the many plants that are there.

Last week we were at Church of the Dunes looking out its library window.... We get a similar view in the sanctuary so if the sermon is boring... well it isn't often but if it is....
 Yesterday I came across a sketchbook that I had started last year.  Some of the pages had been taped so I could do something small.  I haven't added paint yet but once I started on the tulips they grew... this is my birthday flowers so I will add color.  And the apple.... got it out for my grandson but decided I liked the crooked stem so kept it to draw and gave him a different one.
The reason I found above sketchbook.  I am doing some serious de-cluttering and reorganizing a very messy studio.  I have way too much stuff in there and some of it has to go.  I've found all sorts of treasures along with lots to get rid of.  This corner is partially done... still a ways to go but it's getting there.

Friday, March 10, 2017

More Pears and Clearing Clutter

 This is the last one I did.  Shopping at Meijer, saw the lumpy pear and had to get it.  The next one is the first day I brought it home.
 Day 2....
 And day 3
The Tuesday Pear was done with my Tuesday Painters.Group.  We were here that day doing still life paintings because it was wet and cold.  The rest were all quick sketches so I could get back into the studio to do more clutter clearing.  Since I'm digging out stuff, sorting and getting rid of things I haven't used in years there is more mess now than there was before I started.  

And, since I need to get more bookmarks done for an order, you can see them in process among the clutter They're circled in black.  Those one the left are ready to pull.  The ones on the right are mounted, ready to cut apart when I get the cutting mat cleared.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Having Fun With My Gelli Plate

I started some pieces for my crack series using my gelli plate.  When it was time to clean the plate I decided I really don't need more collage paper so let's use mailing tape.  I had three gelli plates going so time for a bit of experimenting.  I added a bit more paint, used a stamp to let the previous colors come through, let that dry, did some stamping, let them dry again, pulled the print and these bookmarks are the result.  Original monotype bookmarks ready to use..

I think I'll take them to the gallery tonight.  I have more that are drying now, just need to cut them out

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Trying Some Freeform Crochet... And A Bit Of Mixed Media work

I learned basic crochet from my grandmother, embroidery too, but didn't really take to either of them as a child.  I preferred knitting and needlepoint.  Many years later when my aunt and I had a Knit shop we both taught knitting, she taught crochet.  I still wasn't to taken with it though I did have her give me some lessons so I could help customers who had a problem.

A few years ago I saw a piece of freeform crochet and thought that was something I would like to do, definately not my grandmother's crocheting.  However, I didn't do anything about it since my skill was limited. I could do your basic single, double, triple and make a granny square.  In fact I have a lovely ruana that I made back when we had the shop and I still love it.  I've also made a couple granny square lap robes and given them away.  

Recently I saw a class on the internet.... Freeform Crochet.  Guess it was time to learn  I was suppose to get all the same yarn in 5 or 6 colors.  I think I once posted about giving up sewing but still buying fabric.  Well I still have a stash of yarn too even though I no longer knit anything more than a scarf. So I'm using what I have and already knowing I like doing this and I have some ideas for other things.  What we are suppose to be working toward now is a purse.  I've also discovered that crocheting doesn't cause my hand to go numb as knitting did.  The numbness is the reason I quit knitting.  The pieces I've done so far aren't blocked because I still plan to add more color and stitches to some of them. 

A plus to taking up something new... again. This time I really don't have to go out and buy all of the equipment.  I already have most of what I need.

I've also been doing a bit more in my studio.  In the process of clearning piles I came across some monoprints that were waiting for me to go in with the collage elements.  This one is a start.  I don't like the dark blue and I think I'd like more green, partly in the bush on the left.

 Photoshop lets me play a bit and see what would happen if I lighten and add... here is that version

Now I need to see if I can do it on the actual piece.