Sunday, December 31, 2017

Instagram #2017bestnine

Last year, I really got into posting on Instagram. It's a good social media platform for me to share my art. I used the #2016bestnine website to see which photos got the most hearts. Click here to see #2016bestnine photos. This year I thought it would be fun to do it again with #2017bestnine website. As an artist, it's good to see what artwork people response to in a positive way.

#2017bestnine

It's encouraging to see that my "hope" art abandon piece made the best nine. The artwork in the top row center isn't one of my favorites sketches but it's nice to see that others respond favorably to it.

I want to thank those who have visited my blog this year. I look forward to sharing more artwork in 2018.

Happy New Year!


Friday, December 29, 2017

Time For Tea - mini sketchbook journal continued

I'm continuing to sketch in my Time For Tea mini (4.5" x 5.5") sketchbook journal. This book was one of the first books I made while teaching myself to book bind. I should mention that I'm continuing to practice book binding. It's an ongoing and inspiring new practice for me. To read about the start of my book binding journey, please click here. To see the sketches from my previous blog posts, please click here.

One of the good things about collage is that if the design is going in a different direction then you had intended to go then cover it up with paper. This sketch was not developing the way I had envisioned it so I covered up most of it was amber and orange painted deli paper. Much better!


 

This sketch was fun to create. I didn't have any preconceived idea of how I wanted it to look like. I just started adding layers of paint, pen marks and papers. Very improvisational. It's more of mess than a masterpiece and that's okay.



Sometimes it's nice to have a light hand when painting. I wasn't concerned about creating light, medium and dark values.



I thought about the elements that I wanted to add to this sketch before I started. The paint colors - indigo, light indigo (not grey), medium and light turquoise, amber splatter and translucent white paint. Addition of brown craft paper and crimson red pencil.



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Friday, December 22, 2017

Time For Tea - mini sketchbook journal continued

I'm continuing to sketch in my Time For Tea mini (4.5" x 5.5") sketchbook journal. This book was one of the first books I made while teaching myself to book bind. I should mention that I'm continuing to practice book binding. It's an ongoing and inspiring new practice for me. To read about the start of my book binding journey, please click here. To see the sketches from my previous blog posts, please click here.

Black fluid paint drips. Love doing this technique! I have been trying to incorporate it in one of my mini sketches.



The mixed media abstract using layers is the main style that I want to practice in this sketchbook journal. I'm happy with the way this sketch turned out.



This sketch was created in under 10 minutes. I painted medium blue over the original watercolor ground then glued tie dyed paper on top. The green peeping through on the right is a start of another sketch to be finished soon.



Comfort zone. Sometimes I need to create in my comfort zone. Geometric abstract collage.



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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Time For Tea - mini sketchbook journal continued

I'm continuing to sketch in my Time For Tea mini (4.5" x 5.5") sketchbook journal. This book was one of the first books I made while teaching myself to book bind. I should mention that I'm continuing to practice book binding. It's an ongoing and inspiring new practice for me. To read about the start of my book binding journey, please click here. To see the sketches from my previous blog posts, please click here and here.

This colorful sketch was created by using the initial watercolor ground as the inspiration. To me it feels calming and energetic at the same time. 

 

  
Another sketch using the watercolor ground painted before I stitched the signatures into the book. Sometimes it helps to have some color on the page instead of starting with blank page. I like the use of indigo as the darkest value instead of black.




I'm doing my best to use other dark colors instead of black as the darkest value. This sketch using dark purple. Incorporating words, quotes or part of sentences adds a nice layer to make a simple collage.



 I pushed myself outside my comfort zone for this sketch. Many layers of paint and paper...and no blue! The good thing about mini sketchbooks is the freedom to play, explore and experiment.



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Friday, December 8, 2017

Time For Tea - mini sketchbook journal continued

I'm continuing to sketch in my Time For Tea mini (4.5" x 5.5") sketchbook journal. This book was one of the first books I made while teaching myself to book bind. I should mention that I'm continuing to practice book binding. It's an ongoing and inspiring new practice for me. To read about the start of my book binding journey, please click here. To see the first 4 sketches in my Time For Tea sketchbook journal, please click here

This sketch is my favorite so far. I love the colors, textures, transparency and scrap book page from "To Kill A Mockingbird". The greenish-brown strip of paper on the left is a scrap from a monoprint.



This next one is a hodge podge of ephemera. I kept the watercolor ground that I painted before I stitched the pages to the book. The blue and orange scraps are deli papers that I monoprinted using a gelli plate. The tan paper is from a paper bag and the red dots were made from red cardstock using a hold punch.



Can you tell this sketch was painted in 20 minutes? I had some leftover paint so I quickly applied it to this page. Once again you can see the original ground of orange and pink. I took the narrow end of a triangle makeup sponge to make the hash marks. The turquoise paint was initially watered down so you can see some of the red paint underneath. 



This sketch was done this evening (12/8/17). The black Sharpie scribble on sketch is my way of releasing all the thoughts of my day job so I can focus on enjoying my weekend.


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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Time For Tea - mini sketchbook journal

My last blog post (here) I showed the books I have been created while teaching myself to book bind. These books were filled with magazine pages and watercolor papers. I wanted these books to be used as sketchbook journals not just book binding samples. The books filled with magazine papers will be used to collage. The books with watercolor papers will be use to create mixed media artwork. 

I decided to start working in the mini (4.5" x 5.5") Tea For Two because it has marked watercolor paper that will be used as a prompt or starting off point for sketches.
 


The first sketch I kept most of the ground of yellow and orange watercolor that was marked before the pages were sewn into the book. I dried brush red, purple and violet acrylic paint on top. Blue vertical stripes on the right was added using a stencil I made then accented with blue and white pen. The purple and purple/lavender/yellow/blue/green magazine paper were left over from a previous collage in one of my larger sketchbook journals. I'm not one to let scraps go to waste.



As with the sketch above, this one started by using the existing watercolor ground of peach and pink. I had some leftover red acrylic paint from another project so I dried brush it in the upper right area. The triangles were created by using a stencil I cut. The final step was to add blue lines with a Sharpie and gold dots with metallic pen.



I'm really happy with how the watercolor grounds are being used as a starting point for these quick sketches. Materials used: acrylic paint (orange and yellow), thin blue Sharpie and navy gelli printed deli paper scrap along the bottom.



Another sketch with the watercolor ground incorporated into the final design. I glued navy and orange gelli printed deli paper scraps. Detailed the yellow acrylic painted circles with black and orange Sharpies. The sketch needed more marks so I used a think blue Sharpie to add lines/hash marks along the middle and bottom of the page. Finished off the sketch with a square shaped section of white gel pen marks.





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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Simple Bookbinding

I have been working in 2 sketchbook journals since July. This practice helped me work through my creative block. I have enjoyed working in sketchbook journals so I'm keeping this medium in my creative practice. 

In my last post, I had finished creating in my 6"x8" sketchbook journal. Instead of using the same construction method, which was machine sewing the gesso primed muslin into the cover, I want to construct a sturdier sketchbook journal. Even though I gessoed the muslin, there was some paint that bleed through to the other side. Also, with my other sketchbook journal, repurposed magazine, the pages became bulky and hard to lay flat. I abandoned this sketchbook journal some time ago. I separated the completed pages to use as reference and will be using the remaining magazine pages in my future sketchbook journal pages and collages.

A few months ago, I started reading books and watching videos on book binding. Learning this skill will insure that my future sketchbook journals will endure over time. I started by buying an inexpensive bookbinding starter kit from Amazon. Click here.




I usually start a new practice using inexpensive materials. The first 3 little books I made were used with covers of magazines & brochures with magazine papers and watercolor paper scrapes as the pages. I will use these books for quick collages and painted sketches. From left to right: pamphlet stitch, long stitch and coptic stitch using waxed thread. Height 6.5" x Width 5.5"



The next set of books were made with card stock covers that I collaged on top. Again, using magazine papers and watercolor scraps for the pages. I used embroidery floss and waxed thread to stitch each book using the pamphlet stitch. Again, I will use these books for quick collages and painted sketches. Height 4.25" x Width 5.5"


Other inexpensive materials that can be used for book binding samples such as cardboard box from food items like crackers or cereal. This book was made from a cracker box, which I collaged on top of the front, inside front, back and inside back covers. I used heavy weight sketch paper for the pages. The book was bind using the coptic stitch and waxed thread. This stitch is the best to use if you want the book to lay flat when it's open. This book will be used for a sketchbook journal. Height 7.5" x Width 6".

front cover

back cover

inside cover

back cover

Now it was time to make the jump into book binding using altered used books. I checked before altering to make sure the books don't have any monetary or antiquity value. After this important step, I removed the pages in each book. I wanted to bind heavier weight paper so I can paint, collage and journal in these books without worrying that the paper will disintegrate over time.

I kept the spine of this book so I could use the long stitch to added the signatures (group of pages). I found some pretty washi tape to add to the spine to cover the stitched for a polished look. The paper used for the pages was initially marked by monoprinting that I will collage and paint on top. Height 9" x Width 6".



The final book I have made so far is this red book. I removed the spine so I can bind the book with the coptic stitch. I'm on a quest to master this stitch. Inside I use blank heavy weight watercolor paper for each signature. I keep this book by me when I'm painting so I can use up the extra paint by marking the blank pages. Height 8.5" x Width 5".



I will post more photos of the inside pages as I create in them. Thank you for checking out my blog!

Friday, October 27, 2017

sketchbook journal - update

I had ignored sketching in my 6"x8" sketchbook journal for awhile. Last Sunday I decided I had to create something...anything. I grabbed a pencil and sketched a quick doodle then filled in with acrylic paint and black pen. This action inspired me to create 5 more sketches in a similar way. One per day. After I finished the last one tonight, I realize that this sketchbook journal is completely filled with art. Yay! Time to make a new sketchbook journal!

abstract #1

abstract #2

abstract #3

abstract #4

abstract #5

abstract #6

Saturday, October 14, 2017

sketchbook journal - update

I'm surprising myself how much I like working in the smaller (6"x8") sketchbook journal. It less intimidating than trying to create sketches in the 10"x12" repurposed magazine sketchbook journal. Here are 4 completed sketches made from the smaller sketchbook journal. Two of the sketches I like, the other two...not so much. I keep saying to myself that's all about the process and journey. It's helping my art brain think of a direction I want to go with my art.

This sketch made with a mandala is the most detailed of the 4 completed sketches. The ground was made days before the mandala was created. I really pushed myself to complete the mandala in one sitting.



I created this sketch from start to finish in between getting ready in the morning for my day job. It's not an amazing piece of art but it serves the purpose of producing something creative that day. 



This sketch is the closest I have come to creating a whimsical piece. It just not a style I'm drawn to. Excuse the pun...and ending the sentence with a preposition.




I adhered the flower cut from a magazine when I first started this sketchbook journal. I wasn't sure if I was going to design around it or cover it up. As you can see, I eventually painted around it. 



Side note: Looking back at all 4 sketches, I see that green was using in all of them. It's my favorite color. It wasn't intentional. Just an observation.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

sketchbook journal - update

Lately, I am continuing to create in the small artist made sketchbook journal that's 8"x6". Posted here and here and here. The size seems to lend itself to quicker sketches. 

This sketch incorporated an used tea bag. I wanted to see what would happen over time if the used tea was kept in the paper. The ground was lightly distressed then hand stitched around the tea bag.  


 

I wanted to highlight the gesso covered muslin ground by adding thin layer of watered down black paint that reads as grey. The subtle texture gives reminds me of a stucco wall. 



Similar to the used tea bag sketch, this one was created to see what would happen to the leaves over time. I may incorporate real leaves in a larger piece. Time will tell...

 

It's fun to loosen up with a quick collage using magazine paper. This sketch was created in less than 15 minutes.



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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

6"x10" collage #09052017

This magazine paper collage was started back in May with the patterned black, light blue and 3 orange triangles papers. Then I stared at it in June, July and August while going through a creative block. Here it is September. I added the pink stripe and realized it is finished. I'm happy with the design.

To learn more about this series, please click here.

#09052017 6"x10" collage
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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

sketchbook journal - update

I stayed close to home this holiday weekend to keep an eye on the nearby fire in La Tuna Canyon. The upside was that I had time to finish some sketches. I have been creating in the small (8"x6") artist made sketchbook journal because the size lends itself to quicker sketches. More posts here and here

This 2 page sketch that I posted as WIP here. I added some black acrylic paint around the main circular elements to define the shape and focal point.



This is another sketch posted here as a WIP. It was created out of my interest in using red and green without evoking a Christmas theme. Adding the swipes of brown paint helped. 




This 2 page sketch is a cruciform collage that falls into my comfort zone. The pink acrylic paint was leftover from another sketch. I'm very happy with the way this sketch turned out. Probably due to the fact that it's in a style that I'm comfortable creating and that's okay. 

 


Now this 2 page sketch is outside my comfort zone. Layers of heavily painted and marked. I still haven't decided if I like it or not. 



Creating in a sketchbook journal allows me to play around with techniques. I have seen this technique of painting a ground, allowing it to dry then painting over the whole ground then scrapping away the top layer to reveal some of the ground. This sketch didn't turn out the way I had hoped because the ground color barely shows. I'm thinking the top layer dried too quickly that's why I wasn't able to scrap enough of the paint. I do like the texture that was created. I'll probably try this technique again. 



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