Monday, September 27, 2010

Citra Solv and The New York Times

I promised Citra Solv that I would do  a mini tutorial on how I used its product to alter the look of the pages in the New York Times Magazine.  It occurred to my addled mind that some of you might also be interested.

The supplies I use… a squirt bottle, Citra Solv and the magazine. 

citra solv 1

I know some artists use National Geographic and Citra Solv; however, the only magazine I’ve ever found to give me the results I’m looking for is the New York Times Magazine.  I need to do more experimenting with National Geographic.

I hang the magazine using clips on a small rod in my studio, a clothes line would also work.

citra solv 2

If you use a clothes line you can lay the magazine out flat and spray each page, then hang it over the line.  I hang it like you see above and then lift all of the pages and begin lowering them one by one, spraying each and then let it drop.

citra solv 3

I let them hang all day or overnight before opening the pages to see what I got, sometimes I hang it back up and spray again.  These are examples of the results from the one I’m spraying above.  Some of these I’ll leave as is, some I’ll spray again

ny times page 1 ny times page 1b ny times page 3  ny times page 3b ny times page 2 ny times page 2b

ny times page 4

I’ll use the resulting paper for collage, mixed media work and to cover wood frames. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Sketchbook Project

sketchbook project

I signed up this morning after reading about the project on Diahn Ott’s Facebook page.  I’ve been a member of The Art House on-line cooperative for awhile so I knew about the project and every now and then I’d think, yes, I should do that because I do a lot of sketching.  Reading Diahn’s post and the interesting theme she got grabbed my attention again and this time I acted on it.  My theme is “In Five Minutes.”  Details about the project are here if you’re interested in participating or if you just want to know a bit more about it.  Once the sketchbooks are done they will be traveling around the country.  One stop is Chicago and I plan to see them when they are there.

I’ve also started a studio Facebook page, Helen Percy Lystra Studio, where I will be posting what’s going on in the studio.  Currently I’ve got three paintings in process and my mind is churning around two more.  I’ve agreed to do a water themed exhibit in March so that will be my concentration for the next several works.

pirate 2

These are reference photos for one of the paintings though I may not be able to put it in the exhibit.  This is “Pirate”  A Seawind Ketch that we sailed for 15 years.  She may have to hang here at home once the painting is done.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Rusty Old Truck and Journaling

9 11 wde

This rusty old truck was one of the images over at the wetcanvas weekend drawing event.  I love texture and old rusty stuff so I had to do it.  I’ve also discovered that I really like doing a watercolor sketch right over the top of my journal entries.  They aren’t covered up, it’s all still readable… if I don’t care if someone reads it.  If I do care a little gesso over the writing takes care of it and that makes for a totally different look that I also like very much.

7 11 for notes Pears for Jamie

These journal pages originally were just for my own pleasure and to be sure that I do make some sort of art every day no matter what else is on the docket.  I’m thinking that they might make nice note cards to sell on Etsy.  I may to more fruits and veggies since the flower season is pretty much done here in my corner of the world, except for the fall mums.

Meanwhile, I’ve also started two new paintings… here’s the drawing for one that will be a 16” x 16” watercolor.

lis gas can  my outlineMore on that as the work progresses.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Wine Bottle Dolls

Last week I had a couple of my creative friends over for lunch and stimulating conversation that always happens when creative friends gather.  The next day I went to the opening of a new exhibit at the Gallery Uptown here in Grand Haven, more stimulation. 

Several weeks ago I had the idea that a wine bottle bottom might make a doll body so I asked a glass artist friend to cut a couple bottles for me.  Saturday I finally got around to doing something with them.  One is a garden doll with beer bottle caps for legs and a polymer clay head.  (I drink the wine but the bottle caps come from friends.)

garden doll


The second doll is still in process.  I decided mid-dollmaking that she would be a bell; however, not having planned that in the beginning she has no way to hang.  That doesn’t matter to me since she’s the experiment.  I’ll rig some way for her to hang and I already have an idea how to do the next one so it can hang properly.

bell doll

I’ve also decided to use both parts of the bottle next time… that way I don’t have to make a neck.

Today is grey and wet here so I plan to stay inside.  I’ll work on her and maybe even get started on a painting I have had sketched ready to do for a very long time.  It’s time to get back to painting.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Citra-Solve and the New York Times Magazine

Today was a grey, rainy day here in my corner of the world so I decided I needed to bring some color into it.  I have several small frames ready to do something with so today I decided they should be covered.  I pulled out some New York Times magazine pages that had been treated with Citra-Solv and found some wonderful greys and some beautifully muted colors.  That was it… I spent the day covering small frames and one block of wood that I found in a dumpster.  I know the frames will get small watercolor paintings when I get some done.  The frames will also get an encoustic finish.  The block of wood is another story… a coat of clear Gesso first and them we’ll see where we go from there.  Meanwhile, here is a photo, not very clear but you can see the colors, aren’t they wonderful?!

citra solv