Wednesday, December 7, 2011

new drawing

Happy December, readers! How is it December, anyway?

Here's what I've been working on for the past week or so. I used my grandpa's Pentax as the model for this (is that what you call inanimate objects that you draw?). It still needs the shutter repaired or cleaned or whatever but it works fine to draw from.

I did some ruler lines and some doodly lines on this one. It's still a challenge for me to go in on top of a finished drawing that I like with no ruler and just hope for the best but I think it's probably good for me :)

It's 11x14" pencil, gouache, and watercolor on hot press paper. Only thing I didn't try was an image transfer on top of this but I thought it was getting awfully busy.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I hope you aren't sick of the sight of these mini paintings because I'm having so much fun making them! These are both 6x6" watercolor, gouache, graphite, and image transfers on 300lb. cold press watercolor paper.

I love getting to incorporate some of the things from my digital collages into actual paint-on-paper paintings. I printed several of the bits of handwriting and typography multiple times on the sheets of transfer paper and it's interesting to me to reuse them in a different way each time.

I think if I only made collages out of the original pieces of paper I would never be able to use these things I've inherited. It's one thing to cut up an old book or magazine I bought but I would never cut up my grandma's knitting books or chop into her notes on a knitting pattern.

And totally unrelated: I had a dream about fireflies a few nights ago. I've never seen fireflies in real life but they were unbelievably beautiful in my dream.

Friday, November 11, 2011

art opening!

The opening and art walk for the Mini Art Show and the main gallery show at Ghost Gallery was last night. I stopped by to see my little squares - I never get tired of seeing my pieces up on walls :)

It's official - I was there and I made some art. There you have it.

But the best part was seeing my lovely artist friend Letha! I hardly ever get to see her so it was delightful having a chance to catch up. That's not her work behind her - we couldn't get to her pieces due to a mass of people but she does some pretty amazing stuff (check it out right here).

Apart from a cold I'm fighting I had a great night! Thanks again to Laurie of Ghost Gallery for curating this show.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

mini art show!

Not a show with few pieces but a show with many many tiny pieces! I have a few of my new little square paintings in this show in Seattle at Ghost Gallery...looks like it should be amazing!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Here's a couple of little projects I did recently. I know, this is supposed to be my art blog but sometimes I need a little mindless crafting.

The geometric pillow is made of Pendleton wool - I fell in love with this fabric and decided to buy a yard of it. So nice that I can buy it by the yard! I got two pillows and a rectangle that I just hung on the wall by itself out of the piece I bought and I think I still can make a bag out of what's left.

The crochet pillow was a sort of "what can I do on a plane" project. I saw a photo of a cute granny square pillow somewhere in blog land around the same time I was going to be on a plane and I thought granny squares would be the perfect project for flying. No pattern to follow, really, and they're so small. I had finished most of the squares months ago and finally got them all assembled and onto a pillow form. It's also wool...Cascade 220 yarn in the closest matching colors to the Pendleton fabric that I could find, plus white because I like white. :)

So the last picture is what happens to these wooly objects with cats around: they're getting kind of squashed and I'm a little worried about the life expectancy on that crochet pillow. It snags pretty easy with all the little holes between the stitches.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

last of this batch

4x4" watercolor, gouache, graphite, and image transfers on watercolor paper.

Here's the last two of the stack. I'm really happy with how these image transfers are working - they're sort of translucent (as long as I only print things that aren't super dark). It totally feels like I'm doing some Photoshop layering but in real life - so fun. I miss having an "undo" sometimes though.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

more squares

Slightly bigger this time - 6x6" watercolor, graphite, gouache, and image transfers on cold press watercolor paper.

This is some paper I picked up on sale - I'm usually too cheap to buy 300lb. paper so I ended up with cold press this time. It's relatively smooth for cold press so I think I like it well enough for the price :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

tiny little squares

4x4" graphite, watercolor, gouache, image transfers on 300lb. cold press watercolor paper.

I started a whole pile of these several days ago - I cut a bunch of squares, then I did all the pencil doodling, then all the watercolor and let them dry, then the gouache, and then some iron-on transfers on top. I decided to skip the acrylic layer that I was messing around with before because it didn't seem like it was adding that much to the pieces. So that made the image transfers infinitely easier - all I had to do was plunk the iron down and wait until the transfer stopped making a little hissing sound and then peel off the backing paper. SO much easier than applying them to the acrylic.

There's something very satisfying about going straight in and drawing crooked wonky lines and circles with no ruler! I'm sure I will still use my rulers and circle templates and things on some pieces but working on these tiny squares is so fun :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

drawing on Creature Comforts!

Ez over at Creature Comforts has a post up today which includes one of my drawings. If you're not familiar with this blog you should be! It's just gorgeous.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

film: roll 2!

I had family visiting so the scanning project got slowed down a bit but here's some more film. This is the roll out of the Yashica (44A if you're interested) and I really like it! The fourth photo is a double exposure but it's hard to tell that it is. So here's a few shots and the rest are here.

Oh, and this is from the negatives...finally worked out the problems I was having with the scanner.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

film: roll 1!

I got my rolls of film back today...woo!

I'm still scanning everything but here's the first roll. Yes, I scanned the prints but I don't want to hear about it. My scanner which came with a negative and slide scanning accessory is apparently terrible at scanning negatives. They looked awful. I suppose I might be doing something wrong but I got impatient so I scanned the prints.

For some reason the prints were sort of sepia toned so I killed that off in photoshop so you can see how they are supposed to look. I think, anyway...the box said black and white so I don't know why they were so brown.

I tried to get a variety of light conditions but I'm not sure I can even tell so I think at least for this black and white film I'll just go for it if I see something I like. Everything came out pretty darn good and this is the camera with no focusing, no shutter speed adjustment, just a button and a winder. I think I'm in love! :)

Sadly the roll of film that was sitting for decades in the Pentax was completely blank. Not vague or hard to see, just blank as far as I can tell. I was really hoping there would be something interesting on it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

new drawing; image transfer update

9x12" on hot press watercolor paper.

I thought I would try incorporating a little of the looser watercolor feel of those little paintings into a full drawing. This is kind of similar to how I was using the watercolor in the plant paintings I was doing a while back. It's nice to mix it up a little - I think I was getting a little rigid with the gouache and sometimes I need to just splash out some watercolor and not worry too much if it might ruin the painting :)

And here's some transfers on the last painting I did. I don't really do image transfers because it seems like you always have to have a laser printer or a copy machine for the usual methods (I don't). Also, one of my friends at school used to do them with acrylic medium and I saw how long it takes to soak and rub off the paper when it's done...I'm not always that patient.

So I got an email from Daniel Smith (local art supply store and maker of awesome paints) that said they were carrying an iron-on transfer paper that works with inkjet prints. Hey, I have an inkjet printer! And an iron! It's called Transfer Artist Paper and apparently you can iron it onto most anything. And you can use it as a drawing surface and then iron that onto something, too. So I went down and bought some and printed up a couple sheets. I ironed little samples onto gesso, fabric, different papers, and acrylic medium on paper.

I thought I worked out how to use it pretty well (by wrecking a few of the samples, naturally) so I put two transfers onto the acrylic medium that's on the top of this little painting. The first one - the handwriting - went on perfectly. The second - the diagram? Not really. :P I ended up having to do the full soak-it-and-rub-like-mad to get the paper backing off. So annoying. It fused the whole thing together so I think I need to start with a much shorter time with the iron before I check if it will peel. So chalk that up to the learning curve, I guess. I do like the effect though so I'll keep trying.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

trial #2

Here's another one - same paper, same size, watercolor, gouache, etc. I mixed up the acrylic layer over the top a little differently this time. It's a bit more watery and I think I didn't put enough white pigment in...? It doesn't have the sort of frosted translucent quality I was hoping for, anyway. It's hard to tell how it's going to dry while I'm mixing it.

I kind of like it like this but I think I'm going to try an image transfer on top of it to see what happens.

Camera/film update: I've put a roll of film through each of the cameras...just sending it out now. Can't wait to see what happened! :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I can't believe it's August already! This summer is flying by. Of course, we didn't get any warm weather really until a couple of weeks ago so that may be what's confusing me.

Here's something I've been working on this week. This is pencil, watercolor, gouache, and a little colored pencil on 6x6" cold press watercolor paper. I've been thinking a lot about ways to loosen up my abstract work on paper and maybe incorporate a looser sketchier quality into the figure pieces in the abstract layers, too. So I played around with it in my sketchbook and tried actually painting a couple of things but this is the first one I don't hate :) It's still diagram-based but no rulers or circle templates this time.

Over the top is a mix of acrylic medium and a tiny bit of white and gold pigment to make it slightly opaque, plus a little water to thin it down. I saw somebody doing a faux-encaustic look with acrylic medium somewhere on the internets and I've been wanting to try it.

I got some 300 lb. watercolor paper to try it on so it could handle the thick layer of acrylic without curling up - plus I figured if I don't like this effect it would be great to collage on for the same reason.

Monday, July 25, 2011

rainy day - back to the studio

I thought I was going riding today - supposed to be sunny and dry. Instead I woke up to steady rain and decided it was time to go into the studio.

I've been picking away at this project for a week or two - I decided to pull the paintings off some of these panels to reuse them so that was step one. Once the canvases were off I sanded and re-sealed the panels. Now I'm working on a little experiment with my surface prep. These have some molding paste mixed with gesso and I tried brushing it on for the first coat here. Then for the one on the left I sort of troweled the mixture on with a painting knife and did a second brushed coat on the one on the right. I'll probably sand it a bit too when it's dry. I'm not sure the texture shows up that well in the photos - it was very gloomy and dark today :P

I'm hoping for a thick and smooth texture on these but with some tooth to it so I can paint like it's gesso but draw with a pencil like it's paper. I can't really draw straight onto canvas the way I would on paper so I'm hoping this will give me some more options.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

things I've learned in the past week or so: a list.

(Cat included not to show scale but because you can't take a photo in this house without a cat stepping into the shot)

While talking to my mom about my pinhole lens for my digital camera she mentioned she still had some of her old cameras. So when I was home visiting this month I had a look around the basement to see what I could find and possibly use for my own purposes.

The little Brownie Holiday at the top is the camera is the one she used when she was a kid and it appears to be still in working order as far as I can tell. The other two look like they still work too...the Pentax takes 35mm film so it will be easy to find out if it's still working but the other two take 127 film. I assumed that anything I found that took an odd film size would only be useful for looking at or doing through-the-viewfinder images but apparently you can still get film for them online and even still get it developed, although not surprisingly you have to send it out. I think I'll get some film just to see what they can do. This may be a short-lived project since I don't really miss having to deal with developing film now that I have a digital camera but the temptation to try Mom's little Brownie is too strong to ignore :)

So to sum up some things I've learned:

I want to buy film for a camera which hasn't happened in forever

You can buy some really weird film formats online

Film people (as in, people who scorn digital cameras) are kind of scary

My mom keeps a lot of random stuff in the basement

And some things I've learned recently that do not involve photography:

If you think that you can go riding even when you have a miserable cold because once you've gotten the saddle on the horse, the rest should be easy, think again! Once you're away from your handy step to get up on the horse, you have to get on from the ground! And in my case this meant that even while standing on the uphill side to get a better start I still almost didn't make it. Which would have meant walking back to the house.

Double check that your new mp3s actually are on your mp3 player before driving back to your hometown (5 hours there and 5 hours back, for me).

30% chance of rain might mean anything from "a 30% chance it will rain at all" to "it will rain 30% of the time today" to " the air is made up of 30% rain." I had one very exciting ride this week :P

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

garden interlude

June is rose season around here. Most of the roses are putting out their first flowers around the same time so it's a great time to go shopping and see what you're getting.

I've pulled out a few more big euphorbiums from this bed that died over the winter and the blank spaces seemed like they needed new roses. Last weekend was lovely and sunny (not that you'd know it from these gloomy photos from today) so me and the boy went shopping.

The top photos are of my own personal method of garden design: buy some pretty things that go together and then move the pots around until I like the effect :) I'll leave them in their pots and make sure I'm happy before I put them in the ground. I like making a composition out of the flowers and it feels very similar to putting together a collage - all the pieces are cut out and I just move them around until it all works (I hope).

The roses are (from top): Darcey Bussell (new), Eden, Rose de Rescht, Gertrude Jekyll, and Heritage.

Monday, June 20, 2011

pinhole Hawaii

Cathy mentioned pinhole photography a few months ago and I thought it sounded interesting but I can't really see myself taking photos with film. So as I was poking around looking at pinhole photos I saw something about digital pinhole photography which seems much more like my kind of thing - instant gratification. :) I tried making my own pinhole but it was not working that well so I gave up and bought a commercial version.

I hadn't had time to play with it before we went on vacation so I tried it out on waves and palm trees and such. I kind of love it and I'm going to see what else it can do now that we're back home.