Friday, June 29, 2012

Celestial Painting Session

My niece Celeste, whom I sometimes have called "Celestial", came over this week to paint. She had an in-progress canvas and wanted me to advise her on where to take it next. Celeste is as fearless a painter as she is in most parts of her life. She'd been experimenting with texture. My advice earlier had been to add some complementary color and lighter values to the dark blue. She was not happy with the result.

I brought out the pastel pencils and chalk pastels so she could experiment with color. Once sprayed with fixative, most of the pastel disappeared, but it did show her what adding depth and highlights with color would do to the painting.

I brought out the paintbrushes and paint then, and she painted in some lights and darks. She achieved a look of depth and mystery, I think. Some of the larger crevices look like places to be explored.

I thought the painting had an under the sea look, but Celeste thought it was celestial. She took it home to work on it some more, but before she left she humored me with a Vanna White impression.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mini Tutorial for Lettering on a Photo Mat

I recently lettered a poem onto a photo mat and though it's something I've done many times before, this time I documented the process a little so I could do a tutorial on it.

As the picture below shows, I do this in three stages.

The lowest layer shows the poem printed out from my computer in the approximate layout that I want and in the approximate size I want.

The next layer shows it lettered on paper with the same pen and ink I will then use for the finished mat.

The top layer is the finished mat.

I type in the words of the text on the computer and try to pick a font that will take up approximately the same space as my lettering. This part is not critical, but it is helpful. Once you commit to the final lettering on the mat, there is no turning back, so I try to take out all of the surprises that I can.

Then using the pen and ink I plan to use for the project, I letter the quote on graph paper or copy paper the size of the mat.

I measure the center of the mat and draw a light pencil line on it. I measure the lines of lettering and adjust spacing. I draw the guidelines lightly onto the mat. I now letter the text, holding the practice paper directly under the good paper, trying to match them, space-wise, as well as possible.

Let the mat dry for an hour or so, or overnight before erasing the lines with a soft white eraser.

Here are some detail photos of the mat in progress.

These make wonderful gifts

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Minor Attempt at Gestural Writing

I have been in envelope mode for ages. Even so, I have been anxious to try some of what I've learned in my past two workshops. What supplies were close at hand? Envelopes! A spoiled (but high quality) envelope netted this experiment. A little acrylic paint was brushed on. A little gesso over that and over the inked lettering on the envelope. Yves told us to consider first the composition of the overall piece - what would draw a person to come in for a closer look. My attempt unexpectedly took on a life of its own. To me it had a wintry look. The black ink yielded black tree trunks out of a white gesso snow and blue acrylic shadows. Had it not done so, I might have made a more Yves-looking piece. Instead I capitalized (no pun intended) on the wintry feeling. Yves said texture would draw a person in to look more closely. The gesso, brush strokes and tiny graphite lettering produced texture. He said the lettering should be small and perfect - only large enough to be read close-up. It's a different way to do calligraphy. I'm sure I did not do exactly what Yves would have done, but I am pleased with the result nonetheless. It's a paint, ink and gesso coated envelope. A fairly quick piece evocative of an early winter evening. I lettered in graphite pencil the Camus quote "In the midst of winter I found there was within me an invincible summer." I wanted to practice the gestural writing I'd attempted to learn so 'summer' is sort of gestural.

Until my next opportunity to play with it, this will have to do.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Organized Lady - Artist Gaye Medbury

Book Artist Gaye Medbury has an annual artist yard sale for friends only. I am glad to be one of her friends. There are always amazing bargains to be had...because she has the coolest stuff! In the photo above are Pat Pleacher, witty author of the wonderful Artkerfuffle blog, Gaye, Florida mixed media artist and calligrapher Diana Hutchison, and book artist and calligrapher Connie Newbanks. We have all known each other for many years, and this art sale was a good chance to spend some quality time with each other again. They are in Gaye's brightly painted kitchen. Below is the artfully fun entrance to Gaye's downstairs studio, where the sale was held.

Diana sorts through the fat quarters fabrics Gaye had arranged for sale. Behind her is Gaye's worktable filled with the rubber stamps she was selling.

Fabrics for sale!

The wall facing the stairway entrance, from left to right.

Gaye's metal working corner. Gaye makes beautifulluy bound books with exquisitely detailed metal covers to drool over.

Gaye's sewing corner. The boxes are not usually there - on this day they held objects for sale.

Love this lady with her paper clip hat! This was our line of demarcation. Unfortunately none of the treasures in the rubber stamp/computer area were for sale.

I couldn't resist taking a photo of the pencils in their can. Pencils are always so cool to see displayed this way.

The rest of Gaye's house is as much fun as her studio. It was featured in the Louisville Courier Journal once for its artistic originality and beauty. Gaye's personality shows in every room. What a fun way to live!

One of my purchases was this neat little kit of 'weathering powders'. I paid $1. for the box and it sells for twenty times that!

Gaye's organization, originality and talent for display were obvious everywhere I looked. I wish I had that gene. Her books, on display throughout her studio, are true works of art.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Artsy Days With Friends

Where does inspiration come from? For me, it can come from almost anywhere, a passage in a book, a FaceBook post, a seen-by-no-one-but-me image in a floor tile, a museum visit, paging through art books, workshops, and especially fun days exploring with art-minded friends. Here are a few photos from recent and not so recent friend fun days. Rob, Laura, Steve and I went to Nashville IN for a joint birthday/anniversary outing in March. These photos from a general store feed my artful soul.

A trip to Indianapolis and Carmel IN with two calligrapher friends was fun and full. In Carmel I got these photos of Doris Sisk, Jen Grove and myself along with a few locals.

Here's Jen thinking about the day's news while Doris 'reflects'.

Jen and I trying to help Grandma shop.

Jen had a little brush with the law.

A few years ago my friend Donna Hacker joined me in the NuLu district of Louisville for a trolley hop where we had these photobooth photos made.

That photo memory resides on my 'new' antique library drawers. I'd love to have a wall-full of these!

And today I had another great art Gaye Medbury's annual art sale for friends. Here are Pat (Artkerfuffle) Pleacher, Gaye Medbury, Diana Hutchison and Connie Newbanks...all wonderful artists/calligraphers, and I'm proud to say, my friends.
Well, La Dee Da!

I love art. Even more, I love my friends.