Occasional ruminations concerning painted pages, hand bound books, the use of photos in journaling and the contemplation of various other pursuits.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fabric and Photos

One of my books was made in a class with the Huskamp ladies at Art Unraveled.  We took the pages out of a Reader's Digest Condensed Book and covered the covers with fabric using iron-on adhesive.  Watercolor paper was also covered with fabric and fabric hinges were used to make an accordion book from all the pages.  Then collages were placed onto the pages using fabric, stamped fabric, quotations printed on fabric, and photos printed on fabric.

Some of the collages have been stitched on the sewing machine before being place on the pages. Some had items added with adhesives. Writing can be added.  Looking through the pages and feeling all the textures is wonderful.  There were so many variations displayed by the students in the class. It was truly wonderful to see the results of all those imaginations at work....or was it play?

Monday, September 26, 2011

The things you find......

As you know, I am continually cleaning the art space.  One of these days it all of the things will be in their place ready for me to find and use them.  At least, that is the premise of all this work.  Maybe I am just delaying doing art, however, I usually find myself delaying the cleaning while a page just has to be painted.

One aspect of the purging is finding things I had lost track of over time.  This page is from a journal started at Art Unraveled in 2008; Jane LaFazio was sure we could all sketch and add watercolors to our work.  I am still not sure how right she was, but I guess some practice would be helpful.  I cannot just put the journal on the shelf and think that I will really learn how to produce a sketch journal.

I wonder sometimes why I think I should be able to do something right away, without practice, without learning, studying.  I encourage others and give them time to grow.  I need to give myself that same opportunity.  Take time to practice that which you wish to learn; you may surprise yourself one day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Altering Photos and other iPAD Endeavors

The iPAD is useful for many things and, even better, it brings a lot of fun into my life. 

As for some people thinking that iPADs can be a great time waster, wellll....I have to admit they are right!  When one can carry a very light-weight "computer" to the recliner, the hours speed quickly by before you realize it.

I read the news on several different apps. One of my favorites is News360 which gives many viewpoints for each subject covered. Flipboard gives you a Facebook overview and lets you read blogs and RSS feeds all in one place.  What's on? is a great tv guide.....so you can use two time-wasters at one time....... Now, that IS efficient, isn't it?

Ever since taking classes from LK Ludwig using photos altered before and after putting them on the journal page, I have really enjoyed the new views of my world.  You just HAVE to be present when you are looking for new viewing angles for photos of all that is around you. You really start seeing where you are, now.  Being present.  Too often we pay no attention to that which is around us as our minds whirl with thoughts.  Be Here Now....sounds like a title for a book.

The photo above of the church was taken in Kodiak, Alaska when we were on a trip to the Bering Sea. Have you seen The World's Deadliest Catch on tv?  The boats head north out of Dutch Harbor looking for crab and lobster.  Our ship also headed north out of Dutch Harbor, but, thankfully, our seas were calm and the temperature was warm. We visited several islands with native villages, went into a Russian town so desolate that if you work there 10 years you get a double pension, and then headed over the Arctic Circle before ending the trip in Nome.  This photo was altered in the Dynamic Light app, and it will be further altered once it is printed and put into a journal.

Now, you will have to excuse me as I go to play Words with Friends with my friend Joy who lives in MN. She always wins, but I keep on tryin'.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Remember the past and let it go

Aggghhhhh!! I am in the midst of going through all closets........all shelves ...... all drawers ......all boxes, etc.  There are things hidden in these places that I do not even remember having!  Will I ever get back to that size again??!  WHO are these people in these pictures?  What in the world was I thinking when I bought THIS?!  Just how many paint shirts do I need, anyway?

At least a few of the items can be called Ephemera so perhaps they could be useful.....in some art project..... someday. NO!! GET RID OF IT!!!  Bags and boxes go out the door.

I keep thinking, "BUT I might need it one day".  Just this week I needed some buttons for a shirt and went to get the button box. It had already been sent to Goodwill.

Why is it so hard to let stuff go?  The excess just drives me crazy.  I am beginning to understand my deceased relatives having so few items in the closets and drawers.  The more you have, the more you have to take care of. to think about, to worry about.....to dust.

I think I may be done with this purging in about 10 years. Oh, I do hope it is sooner!! At least the bedroom closet got done today. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A bounty of books....

Pictured is one of the bookshelves on which I keep the books I have made. Some of these volumes have completed pages, some do not.

It really doesn't matter to me whether or not the book gets filled as it is the painting of the pages and the binding of the book that are important to me.

Gradually, many of the pages have photos added....photos which are altered before or after application to the page.  Journaling comes along eventually.

There is one book in which I am actually using as a writing journal, tho I have to admit, the writing is done in such a way that anyone else would have trouble reading it. The acrylic-washed Stonehenge pages look old and the brown ink of the pen adds to the ancient look. I love the feel of these pages as much, or more, as I like the look of the pages.

 This book was made in a class with Albie Smith when she came here to Colorado.  We had a great time touring around, painting pastepapers, and making this book.

Have a colorful day!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11 ... Remember

May we all take a moment to remember this day 10 years ago when our country was attacked.

May we remember the people who did not make it out of the rubble.

May we comfort those who did and who cannot dispel the memories of horror and pain.

May we remember the loved ones still mourning.

May we remember the first responders who rushed in to help.

May we remember in spite of those who would downgrade the importance of remembering, or of praying, or of allowing first responders to participate in memorials.

Remember...... God bless America.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Tiny Book and Colorful Angels

This tiny book was made in a class with Doris Arndt.  We carved a design into the bookboard covers, covered the board with papers and pressed into the carving to make a beautiful relief design.
The pages were washed with pale colors and the wet pages were sprinkled with salt.

Measuring the spine for the stitching was a real bear, but making a template made the job much easier.

In case you have not yet figured it out, I do love making books.  Tearing the paper for the pages, painting the pages, folding them into signatures......all relaxing activities.  Then we get to the binding of the pages! It is at this point that I sometimes get all tensed up!  This is not a good feeling for someone who works with books and papers to relax!

I have a solution to this stress problem.....now my imaginary book-binding angel is always standing at my right shoulder telling me to breathe and calm down. It works!  He wandered into one of my classes at Art Unraveled, and got me through a frustrating time with fumbly fingers.  He now is always present when I need him, shining brightly in orange and pink. Thanks,  EGE!!

(Do kind things for people...be real, be helpful and caring;  you never know how you will affect someone and help them out for years to come.) 

Since I brought up art retreats, I must add that I believe that one of the best parts of all the art retreats is the friends one makes at these events.  Every year we greet our art buddies and enjoy being in the company of people who "get it". In many of our "real" lives, we are surrounded by people who humor us, give a compliment or two, perhaps, but they don't understand that we HAVE TO create.  Some have even wondered, "It's nice, but what's the point?"

For a look into what happens at art retreats (AND some actual class lessons), check out the new book by Ricë Freeman-Zachary, now available at Amazon......the book, not Ricë.  Destination Creativity is now available for shipping.... MY copy is on it's way!!

Go forth and Create!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Belts and Books.....

Today's photo shows the results of some of my thrift store/ library book sale shopping.

Using the covers of great old books for the covers of your journals makes for a fun look.....and saves some dumpster space for really unusable things.  The cover to the right of Westward HO!  is a painted book board cover on which a photo has been applied. I am one of the few people who go to the library sales with a tape measure and looking only at covers....people give me some very strange looks.

The journal I made for use at Art Unraveled and Art and Soul has a great cover... Ten Nights in a Bar Room!!  Of course, I only go to the happy hours to see friends and to share what we did that day in classes.  Right, Earl?

Old belts are great for making the sewn-over-tapes binding.

This binding allows the pages to lie flat when you are working on them which makes for much easier photo alteration and journaling. It is really tough, also, and allows for a great deal of handling without falling apart....important for much-used journals.

Thanks to LK Ludwig for the covers/belts ideas!

Happy journaling!  Go paint some pages!  Write some words!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Before and After

Pages never end up looking like they do in the beginning, but, instead, go through many transformations. Perhaps this is a metaphor for our lives, but I won't go there right now!

Both of the pages on the left started out with very several very bright colors.  Burnt Sienna was glazed over the top, and various stencils were used to calm them down.  A lot of moooshing and blotting also helped to tone them down.

The bottom left page (more blue)  started out as a depository for leftover colors from other pages.....see its beginning as a yellow sheet with blue and green blobs and smears in the right photo.  With the addition of many more layers, the glaze, and the stenciling it was totally changed into the complex page that you see here.

The right photo also shows one of my work tables which is at standing height.  The red surface is a very large teflon sheet on which I paint the pages. It cleans up beautifully and the pages do not stick to it. (usually!)  This is important as I often work on both sides of the page at the same time.  The two left pages in this photo are really the front and back of one sheet of Wausau cardstock.

You can see the spray bottle, paper towels, and baby wipes; all are my major tools along with old motel key cards.  Latex gloves are very helpful!  The paints are any brand of acrylic you have on hand, expensive to very cheap.  Each brand works a bit differently and learning about them is part of the play.

The App used to make this composite photo is PhotoWall for the iPAD.

Time to grab some tubes of paint and play!