Sunday, April 29, 2007

More Drawings

Another charcoal drawing. I'm a little happier with it. You can see the photo I used as model here.

This one is still in process. I hope to finish it tomorrow.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Dark Boy

Another charcoal drawing of this image from flickr. I really need to practice on faces. They're really hard. I guess I'll just have to keep at it.

Friday, April 27, 2007

First Charcoal Attempt

Drawing from this week's drawing class. First time to use charcoal. It's a lot of fun. Next Tuesday's class we'll have a live model. I'll report back on how it goes

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Remarkable Gift to Philadelphia

I'm taking my very first drawing class...and it's FREE.

One of the amazing things available in Philadelphia is the Fleisher Art Memorial. Due to this remarkable place, anyone can receive professional art instruction for free. Drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics. Some of the classes are limited in size, but the beginning drawing classes are available to just about anyone who wants to take them.

The piece above I drew during last week's class. I realize it's no masterpiece, but I thought I'd post in anyway. Maybe I'll be able to show my progress at a later date. I don't aspire to incredible realism in my drawing, but I would like to feel free to use drawn elements within my art without fear or a sense of complete ineptitude.
Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Look what the mailman brought me!!

Carlene was so generous. Now I have all the vintage wool I could possibly want. The question is what to make?

I've been very inspired by some of the unique pillows I've see out there. Geninne's pillows here and here are great. What about something like the ecstasy pillows for sale here? Or maybe something completely different... Like the pillows at matthew izzo. I even have a picture in mind.
I recently fell in love with this pitbull's photo at a California rescue group. I ran the photo through dumpr's sketch maker and now it looks like this. Can't you just see the outline embroidered for a one-of-a-kind pillow?
But really... I think I'm going to do some rendition of Gustav Klimt's beautiful Tree of Life. Check back to see the progress.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Here's some red, as well as a lot of other colors, and my sweet kitties, Gilbert & Sprite.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Yellow post for Handmaid's Color Week. Another flower collage inspired by this photo. This is my first attempt at painting clouds. I'm not unpleased. Really enjoy making these collages, although I'm not sure they have artistic merit or are display worthy.

Check in for Red tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


These are some of the trades I've made for the Art & Soul retreat I'm going to in May. I used Juju's tutorial to make them. I'm sure I'll use my Purl purchases to make some more, but first I'm anxious to tryout Moonstitches little owl tutorial. They're just as sweet as they can be. I had hoped one day to have some tutorials here, but that feature isn't available through Blogger, only through typepad.

See you tomorrow with some yellow...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Here's another handmade book I made a few years ago. It's a little worse for wear after being used as my personal journal for about six months. The cover is a paste paper I made. Paste paper is a favorite for book covers, but messy to make. My favorite book on the subject is The Art of Making Paste Papers. Check it out. Truly inspiring.

Monday, April 9, 2007


I've decided to play along with Julie's daily color post this week. Today is turquoise.

Above is a handmade book I made last year for a co-worker to give to her daughter. The book itself contains letters of encouragement from her friends and family on becoming a woman, presented to her upon her first menses. Personally, I was overwhelmed at the amount of love contained within its covers and felt it was an appropriate gift for any young woman... a place to visit when life's bumps come along. Although her mother was uncertain about how her teenager would respond to such a gift, she reported back that it was well received and even shared with a few close friends.

I really enjoy making books. Although confidence is not my strong suit in most of my artistic endeavors, it's not lacking in making books. All that measuring and precision cutting is right up my alley. My xacto knife is my friend. I'm really looking forward to the Doris Arndt's class I'm taking at Art & Soul in May. I just couldn't resist the beautiful book pictured with the class description.

If you'd like to explore the process yourself, I'd start with a couple of books... Cover to Cover and Making Books by Hand. The material in Making Books by Hand is included in a larger book, Making Memory Books and Journal by Hand and I'd recommend this larger book for all the additional material included.

Look for something Green tomorrow...

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Gerber Daisy Collage

Here's what I've been doing over Easter weekend. I enjoyed the results of my fatbook page I so much that I decided to try some more flowers. It was inspired by this photo. The paper for the petals all came from mail order catalogs. I love it when free art material comes in the mail. The color scheme is one of my favorite... so much so that I've decide to use this palette for my living room. Now if I can find that perfect chocolate couch.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Collage Technique

This is a large photo collage I made for my grandmother's 90th birthday. It's an example of the collage technique I want to share here. Although I was going for a random look in the piece, I didn't want to cut people's faces off, so I needed to arrange all the photos before actually glueing anything down. Jonathan Talbot's technique for collage without liquid adhesives is the approach I took. I bought his slim book that details this technique 5 or 6 year ago when I first got started doing collage. Although I use any number of techniques in my art now, I still find his process very helpful, and I'm glad to include it in my art technique arsenal.

Here's the technique:
  1. First cover the front and back for your collage base with acrylic medium. Golden Polymer Medium is what I (and Talbot) recommend... the shiny kind, not the matte finish. If you want a matte finish to your piece you can use matte finish acrylic as a final step in completing your piece. Covering both the front and the back of the base cuts down on the possibility of buckling.
  2. Then cover the front and back of all collage elements you want to use in the piece with acrylic medium.
  3. After everything dries you can "work" the collage, arranging the elements on the base to your heart's content.
  4. Once you have the composition the way you want it, you cover the piece with silicone-coated release paper and iron everything in place. The heat from the iron reliquifies the acrylic medium and fuses the whole piece together.

I bought both the release paper and a small craft iron from Talbot's site, but really the release paper and a regular iron is all you need to get you going on this technique. Release paper can be purchased at or any number of other art supply sites, but Talbot's site offers the best value and they last forever.

Pros for this technique: 1.) It allows for maximum flexibility in compositional alignment without having to deconstruct your collage to glue everything down. 2.) The bond created in this method is very strong. 3.) This technique eliminates the bubbling that can happen when using magazine paper in your art. 4.) It's archivally sound, creating an acrylic barrier between all elements in the piece.

Cons for the technique: 1.) Coating all the elements you want to use is pretty tedious. 2.) You need to allow for drying time before moving forward. 3.) Not the best technique for creating lots of texture in a piece.

Just thought I'd share. Questions to clarify the process are welcome and I'd love to hear from others who incorporate this technique in their art.

Talbot also has a great list of other collage artists to peruse. Check it out.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Trekking to Purl

This weekend I made the journey to NYC to visit Purl Patchwork in person. Although I'd originally planned to go with a friend, her plans had to change and I decided to take the trip anyway, going solo. It's very easy to get there and the Chinatown bus in Philadelphia is a great deal at $20 round-trip.

So I arrived in NYC's Chinatown around noon Saturday. The weather was gorgeous and Canal Street was hopping
Lots of bling, but too crowded for me.

Once I got to Soho it was quieter.
Passed Purl Patchwork's sister shop,
Purl on my way.
Final destination! It's really just as wide as the storefront you see here. And yes that is a glimpse on yours truly in the window's reflection.

So here's some of what I brought home...
Sweet, sweet bundles

And tiny birds & bees

These sweet flowers made me grin.

More little bundles.

Here's my slice of Liberty of London. The pattern is called Enchanted Garden.

I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with all this fabric. I have a number of ideas percolating and the projects on The Purl Bee are inspiring. I can't wait to use them....

Sunday, April 1, 2007

It's time to take the plunge

This year is offering many forms of creative inspiration for me. One I'm finding surprising (and apparently boundless) is the world of artblogs. I've looked at artists' websites for years, but when I started exploring the blog links for a number of teachers I'm interested in taking a class from some day, a new world opened up to me. There I found an inside look at the daily triumphs and trials of women artists, like Misty Mawn and Claudine Hellmuth, whose work I've admired. Soon I was finding blogs by other women; mothers and secretaries, students and graphic designers, who spent as much time as they could creating... and sharing that part of themselves with anyone who cared to explore and read. Be it Geninne in Mexico, Juju in England, or Moonstitches in Japan, I'm very thankful for all they're willing to share and it's given me the courage to want to join in. So down the rabbit hole I go...