An Art Journal Weekend

 

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A weekend with a friend is a great cure for stress.  An art journal weekend is even better!  I spent last weekend with my fabulously creative friend Annie, who can do amazing things with felt and beads, on my way to a San Diego for a work trip.  Because it is also Photo Friday, I’m sharing with you two of my favorite photos from Annie’s in the afternoon, high altitude sun.  No filters used here.

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We played in our art journal with stencils, gelli printing, and acrylic paint.  It was a fabulously relaxing and energizing weekend.  Annie doesn’t art journal often, so she was looking for inspiration.  I provided plenty of that!  I screwed up and resurrected a page, and almost screwed up another one.  I started and mostly finished a page without huge mistakes that I knew where I wanted to go with it.  I started another that is in a very awkward stage as I do not know where I’m going and it’s in its ugly phase.  So, here are my pages from last weekend!

My warm up page:

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My resurrected page, salvaged to be an abstract sunflower:

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The next page, which is too busy right now, but simmering:

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My third page, very minimalist for me!:

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My happiest page!

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And my last, awkward stage page

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Art Journal and Gelli Play

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Is so much better when done with friends.  I spent a pleasant weekend with my friend, Annie, in her fantastic house and studio.  This was a girls’ weekend where we had no goal other than to eat good food, spend time together and art journal.  We pulled out our Gelli Arts plates as well, because I seem to need to warm up on my Gelli plate before I can get in my journal and play.

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Friday evening, I worked on a page in my journal, where, unfortunately, I didn’t get photos of the in-between stages.  I was working on something that was looking like a mountain at sunset with a storm blowing in.  But I screwed it up.  I stopped working on it because I knew it was bad and didn’t know where to take it.  Saturday morning, we were warming up with the Gelli Plate again.  Annie was working with an acid green, teal, and red. 

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I looked up and BAM!  Lightbulb went off.  I pulled out some green gold and cobalt teal and started going over the white areas on the left page which totally dominated it.  Then I reworked my sky, fingerpainting white over the blues, turquoise and purples.  I collaged some of my print-outs from previous gelli-printing adventures and I was on my way to this page!

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I started working on the facing page Saturday, which had been a wipe-off page from Friday.  I started off by collaging a gelli-print on deli paper from my last on-and-off session in my own studio from the previous weekend.  I added finger-painted circles, collages blocks and got stuck.  So, I went on to another page.

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Friday night, late, snow started falling, but not much was on the ground by Saturday morning.  Canada geese put in an appearance just as the snow started coming down more heavily. 

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From Winter to Spring in 3 Weeks

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It is the time of year in Central Texas where we look to come out of burrows into the garden.  The days are noticeable longer and the last of the leaves have dropped from the trees.  In my yard, the harbinger of spring is the Bradford Pear tree.  It seems to be budding out before it loses all of its leaves, but I know spring is here when the blossoms start to open.  Next are my bulbs.  Winter may still take a swipe or two at us, but the plants and birds know.  Spring has arrived.

My tree on February 1st, looking west.

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My tree on February 7th, same view.

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My tree on February 14th, same view.

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I have spent my creative free time working on several things, many of which involved printing with my #GelliPlate.  I’ve made a lot of cool backgrounds that I’ve scanned and am using in other pieces of art.  These were all made with TCW Stencils using Golden acrylics and Master’s Touch acrylics.

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One of the things I’ve used them for is my paper doll that I designed for the All Dolls Are Art Winter Swap.  My paper doll is a circus performer – I can only post a sneak peek now though as I don’t want to unveil her before the swap deadline at the end of the month.  If you would like to play – you can check out the guidelines on the ADAA blog or Facebook page.

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A second thing I used my prints for is my Valentine’s card for my mom.  I don’t generally celebrate Valentines, but I did send out a few cards this year and wanted to make my mom a card as she always makes me the nicest of cards.  This card has a gelli printed background, gelli printed scrapbook paper adhered to grungeboard for the heart (a Tim Holtz die) and Gelli printed deli paper for the intermediate layer.  The stamp is my hand-carved “Love” stamp.

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Last – I made a gift for my friend Annie – which I will show later in the week, after she’s received it!

And of course, I have my #StudioCats er kittens keeping me company.  They are so big that they really don’t qualify as kittens anymore, but they still have all the energy and wonder of kittens.

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Cookie – curled up in a basket below my printing table

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Calla giving Cookie a bath in my studio chair.

January Gray and Red

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Yesterday and today we had blue, blue skies, but that has so not been true of the rest of the month.  It is likely to end tomorrow evening, with a return to gray and gloomy.  I could not live in the Pacific Northwest, as I’ve found my energy levels are very much affected by the lack of sun.  But even in the gray days there has been some spots of color, the last of the leaves on my oak tree, the winter cardinal visiting my feeder. 

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I’ve been busy getting All Dolls Are Art faculty profiles written and scheduled on the ADAA blog.  It’s fun to see what people who teach and create for a living have to say about their process and inspiration, but it’s very tiring putting together all of the posts.  I’ve got three done so far and four more to go if I’m counting correctly.

I took a break from that this evening to play with the kittens.  They have a new favorite toy:  small, very bouncy, rubber balls.  I can get one started in the hall and they both take off after it, sliding across the wood floor to avoid running into the walls or door.  When they wear themselves out, Calla drops in and takes up a post in between the laptop and the printer where she entertains herself playing with the cursor on the screen.

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I didn’t do much creatively this weekend as I spent Saturday looking at venues with the Etsy Local ATX Artisans team leaders and then Sunday was spent cleaning the house.  But now that my floors are clean, and a blog post is done, I started a new spread in my art journal.

First I scribbled on the ungessoed pages with Caran D’ache Neocolor II crayons. 

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Then I applied gesso over the crayon.  While that dried, I was actually working on my blog posts. 

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The next step was digging through some of my collection of papers and I found several in the teal/turquoise/navy range that seemed to work with my right hand page color.  So, I tore, arranged, tore, rearranged and have pasted this arrangement down.  I’m letting the matt medium dry overnight before trying anything else!

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Art-Xscape 2015 Call for Proposal

I’ve spent the majority of my week, outside of my day job, working on getting Art-Xscape 2015 launched.  Hotel contract signed: check.  Website update: check!  Call for Proposal sent: check!!  Art-Xscape 2015 will be held October 8-11, 2015 at the Holiday Inn Austin Midtown.  That just happens to be the second weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, so there will be a LOT of people in town.  Anyhow, if you’d like to submit a proposal, leave me a comment and I’ll be in touch.  The deadline is March 6, 2015.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s was spent with my baby brother, Andrew.  One of the things I did with him was visit the Hope Outdoor Art Gallery, aka the Graffiti park!  I had planned to go by once a month last year, but that fell by the way side.  Hopefully, I will make it back more often this year.  Andrew and I had fun clambering around the levels.  While we were there, I listened in on 4 gentlemen in work clothes talking about structural changes.  My fear was that they were going to tear the park down.  I checked in with the guys in the check-in booth and they reassured me that that was absolutely not the case.  The guys were from the city and they are working on improvements.  Hopefully, the work that is done will not close the park down for any length of time!  Here are some of my favorite photo’s from this visit.

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The shading on Batman is pretty incredible.

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My favorite work in the park was by ER.  This Einstein (Think Harder) was amazing!

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The turtle was also done by ER.

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The light was perfect this day (Tuesday before New Year’s).  The day before and the day after were cold and gray and rainy, but we had this one gorgeous day!