Monday, August 29, 2011

Goodnight, Irene

Dear Friends,

I am happy, and grateful, to report that we were relatively unaffected by Hurricane Irene, though many friends and family were not so lucky.  Certain areas nearby were without power for hours, and my brother and his family were unreachable by telephone till today.

My prayers and good wishes go out to those who experienced damage or worse.

This evening, I took a walk to one of my favorite neighborhood spots.  The creek leads to a local swimming hole, through a tunnel under a highway--but I wouldn't want to have to walk through the tunnel, or even take a swim at this point.

Here's a link to a photo I took in October 2009.  This is usually what the creek looks like.

I tried to capture the same view today, plus I took a few more shots of the rushing water. You can see it's a bit higher than usual--as well as rougher!

Another angle. 
And another.
I also saw some late-summer zinnias...

...and this old, weather-worn chair with vines...I thought I would try a special effect in Photoshop Elements. Do you like it?

Speaking of vines, I found this one, already turning red for the fall.  The nights have gotten much cooler.  I am looking forward to my favorite season.

What is your favorite season?  What do you enjoy most about it? 

Until next time, stay well, my friends.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Little Late Posting

Dear Friends,

I've gotten a little behind in posting my ICADs for the past week.  I finally finished up the seaside paper bag books I was making for my mother and a friend, and am trying to take photos (or rather, get my husband to take photos) of some Somerset Studio back issues that I will be selling in one of my Etsy shops.   I'll be sure to let you know when they are ready to be sold, in case you are interested.

Also had to deal with a dead mouse in the kitchen and sadly, a dead egg in my front yard, which was the inspiration for the August 16 ICAD.  I always cry when I find dead animals and I feel sorry for road kill.  What can I say?  I am a true softie.

The poor little egg was cracked, and I could see the dead baby bird inside.  We've been having some storms lately, and it must have blown out of a nearby nest.  Hubby and I buried it in the front yard.

Numbers.  Materials used:  vintage text pages, Tim Holtz stickers, Heidi Swapp decorative tape. 
Butterfly.  Materials used:  Vintage text page, Ranger Distress Stain, transparencies. 
Black Background.  Materials used:  Black ink pad, Sakura Gelly Roll glitter pens, Sakura Glaze pens. 
ICAD for Aug. 14.  Materials used:  Scrapbooking paper, Faber-Castell Gelatos, transparency.
ICAD for Aug. 16.  Materials used:  Watercolor with salt effect , ephemera, Glaze pen.
The text on this reads: "These birds are very sad. Their egg fell out of the nest and broke.
And their baby died." 
We are expecting another big storm (Irene) and I hope all the little creatures out there are safe!

Till next time--have an artful day!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Newest ICADS

Hi, Friends,

This will be a quick post, with my latest bunch of  ICADs.  I confess that I have not kept up with them every day.  I do try to make up for the days I've missed.

I've had some rough times these past few weeks, mostly about my struggle to find a job.  I've had a few interviews, but nothing has worked out.  I try not to complain on this blog about my personal life.  I want to keep it focused on my art.  But at times, I am very, very afraid about the future.  I don't qualify for any further unemployment compensation benefits, and I do not qualify for public assistance.  I'm overqualified for most clerical jobs (I was a secretary for 13 years) yet I don't seem to be qualified for a "better" class of jobs.  I can't lie about the fact that I earned a bachelor's degree--in fact, I'm damned proud of working through night school to earn one.  So, I feel rather stuck at the moment.  There have been many tears and hopeless thoughts.

But I keep trying.

Art is one of the only things that is getting me through it all.  That, and my pets, friends, and family.

So, without further adieu, here are my cards.

Le Lapin.  Materials used:  Pencil

Bubbles.  Materials used:  Rubber stamp, Faber-Castell Gelatos and Big Brush Pens.
Green.  Materials used:  Stickers, mulberry paper, paper leaves, sewn scrapbook paper.
Map.  Materials used:  Scrapbooking paper, transparency, image from my collection, postage stamps.
Stripes.  Materials used:  Images of Jack and Meg White (a/k/a The White Stripes), UPC code, various ephemera, PaperMate Permanent Markers. 
Owls 2.  Materials used:  Scrapbooking paper, ephemera, image from Alphastamps, faux postage from Artchix Studio, tissue pattern paper. 
Patriotic.  Materials used:  Vintage postage stamps, Faber-Castell Gelatos, vintage text from atlas. 
Postage Stamps.  Materials used: Vintage postage stamps, Faber-Castell Gelatos.
Pear.  Materials used:  Colored pencils.  This is a freshly picked pear, one of a bunch my husband picked.  Our pets have really been enjoying slices of these fruits of summer (as well as the branches and leaves from the tree). 

You'll notice I've been using a lot of postage stamps in my ICADs.  I plan to do a post on postoids, or faux postage, very shortly.  I've been creating some of these stamps in Photoshop Elements, and having a lot of fun.

Until next time, take care and stay cool--

Saturday, August 6, 2011

On Art Journaling

"When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college-that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared back at me, incredulous, and said, "You mean they forget?"                                                                                                  ~ Howard Ikemoto

Hello, Friends,

Welcome to a wet August! It's been raining here for a couple of days, but you won't hear me complaining about that. Just about every summer around this area, there's a prolonged dry spell and the news media starts screaming "drought!" My friend Tom calls them the Weather Nazis. They're the same people who declare every blizzard the "Storm of the Century."

Anyway...I'm still working on my ICADs every day, and finding an interest in drawing/sketching some of them, such as Owl and Linen. I've been drawing on and off all my life (see the above quote), and did quite a few sketches in my teens of various rock stars and other celebrities. As time went by, I abandoned my sketchbook for the written word (I've always kept a written diary) and eventually, art journaling.

But sometimes I missed drawing.

I don't feel that I draw very well. About 5 years ago, I tried doing Danny Gregory's Everyday Matters challenges.  Alas, I didn't stick with it for very long.  ICAD is the first art daily art challenge I've been keeping up with, even though it has been difficult lately.

Now, I'm thinking of keeping a sketchbook journal again.  I've started to draw every now and then, and am seriously considering some online classes in sketchbook journaling.  In a way, however, it feels strangely like a betrayal to collage and mixed-media.  I can't quite figure out why. 

Do you keep a journal?  If so, is it a written one, an art journal, a sketchbook, or a combination of all three?

Here are some artists I find inspiring.  Give them a visit--and if you know of anyone else whose work I should check out, please let me know.  I love finding inspiration out there, whether in Bloglandia or in real life.

  • Laure Ferlita offers "Imaginary Trips" to places like Italy, Paris and NOLA, plus basic art journaling classes.  
  • Jane LaFazio's next class starts on August 11!
  • Visit Watercolor Journaling for all kinds of fun.  These two ladies also offer a DVD for purchase if you're not in their region for a live class. 
  • I like Gwen Diehn's books, "The Decorated Journal" and "The Decorated Page," but sometimes I feel she looks down on the kind of mixed-media art I enjoy doing.  In one of her books, she talks about purchasing images of, say, Victorian children, and how one should avoid those types of packaged ephemera because they are not original and are somewhat meaningless in our lives and art.  I tend to disagree, because if it were not for my love of vintage photos, I probably would not have become a mixed-media artist. Maybe this is what is contributing to my above-expressed feelings.

    Till next time--