Sunday, January 23, 2011

Homemade Paper Portraits

I was introduced, a few years back, to paper-making with the Arnold Grummer paper-making kit. It's an easy way to get into making your own paper and my kids loved helping me use old papers, 'inclusions' and such, to create new pieces of paper.

Always a student of 'faces', and also mixed media collage, I wanted to learn to incorporate these handmade papers into my art. I began making some into portraits and others, I would collage or create a mosaic-type background and then paint over top (sailboats).

The Arnold Grummer folks bought a couple, used others to travel to trade shows one year and even commissioned me to do a portrait of their dad (THE Arnold Grummer! lol).

I've moved into other areas of art such as postels, watercolors, folk art mixed media pieces, but still enjoy those pieces of paper I've stock-piled with everything visable in them from dictionary definitions to phone numbers to novels (yes, you can see some of these inclusion book pages in my papers when you look closely)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Where'd the Year Go?

I've actually been busier than my blog suggests, but I'm better at "doing" than "documenting".

I still manage to find time for some art outside of the many hours of owning and running a coffee shop, but not as much as I'd like. I take my sketchbooks and work on things at the shop that I can do easily, such as pencil drawings, pastels or colored pencils. It's hard to cart all of the multitude of papers, fragments and doo dads (not to mention paints) that I use for my collage pieces.

This year, I have done a number of commissions in my whimsical folk art style. I take pictures of family, pets, etc., and create a layered mixed media collage with inclusions that pertain to their interests, hobbies, etc.


My daughter saw this beautiful butterfly dress in an ad on Facebook and asked if I could make something similar for her for her Halloween Dance at school. I had seen the dress before as well and thought it beautiful.

Well, with no pattern and a limited budget, I bought inexpensive black muslin and got to work. I cut 2 pieces for each "wing", sewed them right sides together, then turned them so there would be smooth edges with no hem and the extra fabric would give it some body. Then I painted the sections white so the colors would be more bright and vibrant on the black.


Colors were added and blended...(acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium)

I used a side zipper, made a skirt of tulle underneath and sewed a fuzzy trim around the top. It turned out cute and with her striped tights and ankle boots, it was so PEGGY!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2010 Art I've been working on...

I'm going to try to make 2010 a new year for blogging and be more consistent with it. It was always a pain to hook up laptop to scanner, scan, upload, re-size, upload to blogger, etc. However, now I have a Mac and can just take pics with the webcam and post them to much easier. The quality isn't as good as a scan, but it's good enough to give an idea about what I'm working on.

Often, I will create a "character" on watercolor paper and paint it in, then cut it out and use it in a collage later on. This young lady is one that I'm planning to use down the road. The great thing is that I can do these while at the coffee shop during the slower periods

A not-quite-finished piece I'm doing for a collaged background I've already completed. Trying to decide whether I have the room and want to us all three or just 2 of the girls. On these types of pieces, I usually cut out the painted image and adhere to the collage, then when dry, I seal with a beeswax layer which softens the entire piece.

A watercolor piece I am currently working on. It's not yet the likeness I need it to be, but it's practice.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Practice Illustration for Book Character....and a fairy

I've been working on illustrations for a children's book character I have in mind. The styles and faces are vastly different as I audition different things to see what I like best.

I colored in some with watercolors to see how they would look finished.

I drew the Violet character from Steve Breen's book, "Violet, the Pilot", to get a feel for a different style. I love Steve's book and illustrations and discovered that he's an award winning political cartoonist. His charactures of politicians and events are wonderful and hilarious! What an amazing artist! His caracter, Violet, is the one on the top half of the page.

I needed to practice drawing noses and am working on profiles...something I've not done and badly need practice with...

My character eats cereal in the morning...I'm not sure if this is the image I'll use...I just wanted to practice making her look a little dishevelled with "morning hair".

These were actually inspired by photos of my little girl when she was younger...

...and a fairy. I'm not really a fairy person, but got a book for my daughter and couldn't help trying one of the illustrations in it.

Artwork Over the Past Few Months

Left: A drawing I did from photo (right) from the WetCanvas site. He has such an interesting face, it was fun to do!

Trying to fit in art time in my studio has been a tough thing this year. I bought a coffee shop the first of the year after a stressful legal battle with the previous owner/partner and a mismanaged franchise. The result has been a fresh new atmosphere, both physically (new decor) and emotionally (a fun and relaxed atmosphere for me and my employees).

The downside has been the vast number of hours required to start and run a small business, made even more challenging by the current economy. I do find times to do some art, they are just not always in my studio. I often take my journal to the shop and find a little time over the slower periods of the day to draw.

(Above)This is a face I drew out of my head.

I used watercolor pencils and watercolor brush pen.

This piece was inspired by the story of "The Princess and the Pea" when I took part in the '08 Summer production of "Once Upon a
Mattress". The princess arrived from the swamp and climbed the castle wall in her haste to meet the Prince! She turned out a little sexy here... don't know that that was what I was going for.... lol!

This is a little sketch I did of a local boy, James, who lost his battle with cancer. I got the photo from the blog his mother keeps.

I was waiting for my daughter, Peggy, at a theatre rehearsal one day with nothing but my journal and an ink pen. No one around and no photo references, so I began this little folk-art piece out of my head, using cross-hatching pen strokes for shading...something I've not done before.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Tiny Canvas piece

"Mother & Daughter" 5x7 canvas board (Mixed Media: collage, acrylic paint, old text)
I painted this one day when I began to wonder when my daughter would stop wanting to hold my hand, sit on my lap or cuddle with me... it was sad to contemplate and some of that meloncholy came out in the mother's expression here, I think.

Art Journal work of "Bannister"

This is a drawing that I did of a band named Bannister that played at my coffee shop recently. I later added watercolor and some pastels.
If I didn't work in my journal every day or two, I wouldn't be doing much "art" lately... it keeps me trying new things and keeping my feet wet at a time where my business is commanding so much of my time and attention. But meeting and listening to performers like these neat young men is one of the perks of my job, for sure!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Quick Nose Sketches

It's been a busy week, so while in bed about to crash, I got out my sketch pad and all I had was an ink pen, so I did a couple of quick sketches... I'll just use the excuse of being very tired and ready for bed.... Still good practice for me, even though sloppy and quick....

A Little Break from Noses

I took a little break from noses to do some quick sketches. Anita Davies turned me onto these through her blog (see links to artists' blogs) at the posemaniacs site. They give you a figure to draw and it's only there for 30 seconds. No time to stress about details. It's an exercise to engage the right side of the brain to tune out details and draw shapes....or something like that. Anyway, it's a great exercise that I'll continue (just won't post them here...too many in too short a time).

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Day 6 The Noses of "Scrubs"

Scrubs is the funniest show on TV for me and I love the characters. And feeling this way, the logical next step for a true fan is... guessed it! DRAWING THEIR NOSES! I'm sure they'll get ahold of this blog and be offering me commissions to draw more of their noses.

While I'm sure noses have "personality", it's not the defining trademark of most people, and for women in television, since they all have to be traditionally "pretty", there aren't a lot a variations on theirs... one looks far too much like the next.

John McGinleys is the most interesting nose, and I had a hard time stopping at the nose (as you can see) as I wanted to keep going. His is just an interesting face with lots of lines and shadows.

All of these were drawn with the Pilot Razor pen.