January Gray and Red

winter_cardinal

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. 

last_leaves

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.

calla_n_laptop

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. 

Start

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

layer_2

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!

layer_3

2015: A New Year, New Art

Dream_Big_Jar

2014 was the lost year.  Seriously, I can honestly tell you I don’t have a record of most of what I did outside of my day job.  To combat that this year, I’m leveraging an idea I’ve seen several other places, including Stampington’s Resolutions blog post, to create an “accomplishments” jar.  When I do something that is on my annual goals list, something big from my to do list, or something creatively fulfilling, I’m going to write it on a slip of paper (already have cut up a stack), date it and put it in my jar.  That way, at the end of the year, I will have a way to know WHAT I actually did this year.

One of my goals for this year, as it was for last year, is to post more.  I failed miserably at that last year, part of the “lost” items for last year, but am trying again this year.  I have a few things that I do remember from last year that I never shared.  The first Art-Xscape was a success.  I’m hopefully close to solid dates for the next one.  My beloved Marigold went across the rainbow bridge to wait for me.  The 4th All Dolls Are Art went in the books and the 5th is open for registration.  I went to Barcelona for work.  I adopted two rescue kittens.  I participated in the 2nd annual ATX Artisans Etsy Local market.  I opened a new Etsy shop!  So, I have a lot of catching up to do with you here.

cookie_n_calla_102014_2

First, I’d like to introduce my new girls, not so little now, Calla (the calico) and Cookie (the Siamese).  They are sisters, and soon will be 7 months old.  They are sweet and funny and definitely brought a blast of sunshine into my life.  Calla is the innocently ornery fearless one.  Cookie is the vocal lover when she wants to be and is more timid than her sister.  They think I’m a softer, louder, more fragile cat tree. 

cookie_011115

calla_011115

cookie_n_calla_012015

Second, I’d like to introduce my new Etsy shop: AnLiNa Mixed Media by AnLiNa Designs.  I have put a lot of my new work there and will be transitioning my art dolls there are they expire on my first Etsy shop.  AnLiNa Designs will remain where I stock my hand-dyed velvet, rayon, cotton and trims.  I’ll be adding digital collage and paper packs in the future.  (speaking of the ornery fearless one, she’s in front of my screen trying to play with the cursor!).

Teal_Green_4

Last, I’ve been spending more time in my art journals lately.  Yes, that is journals, plural.  I’ve given up on just working in one.  I have one that I’m chronicalling my life and thoughts in and another that I’ve gelli printed in.  The third is my painting journal.  I’ve not gotten very far with it yet, but after spending lots of time online looking at art journalling videos, I broke it in this week.  Here are two spreads, not so well documented in stages as I took some of the in process photos on my cell phone and some with the camera.  This is definitely not my usual style, but I like it. 

be_there_bkground

This is the second or third layer on the 2-page spread.  I started with Dylusions spray inks through stencils, then FW inks dripped and spread around the page.  Then a charcoal pencil and Caran Dache Neo Color 2 crayons.  Paint and more marks with black FW ink.  Matte medium over the crayons and to glue two news paper circles down.  More paint.

be_there_ip

This has lever layers of paint on top, white on both sides, an orange on the left outside the bird (which I didn’t like once I got it down, so more white).  Then I started stencilling, painting, drawing with FW ink and a skewer and just kept going.
be_there_flowers

I think this is the finished spread, but I could change my mind still.

be_there_web

“Be There” scanned in to my laptop.

flowers_web

And “Flowers”, also scanned in.  Very subdued color palette, which is not my usual style, but I’m pretty happy with it.

All Dolls are Art 2014

If you are interested in learning sculpture, want to learn more about how artists approach their designs, or just want an interesting read – the ADAA 2014 faculty profiles are getting posted to the all new All Dolls are Art Blog!

Jean Bernard, of the famous Jean and Sherry team, is teaching 2 classes:  Bobble Head Barbie Pulled Herself Together Ontime and Fantasy Chair.

chair_bl_sm

Clarissa Callesen is teaching 3 classes:  Wishkeeper, Steampunk Sally, and Bohemian Gypsy.

callesenserene_sm

Sherry Goshon, the other half of the Jean and Sherry team, is teaching 3 classes:  What’s to a Head, The Illusion of Costuming, and Fun with Wire, Paper, and Cloth.

IMG_0663_sm

Angela Jarecki is teaching 2 classes:  About Face, How to Draw Faces, and Titania.

titania4-sm

Ellen Kelsey is teaching her Fabulous Fish class.

Fish_sm

Myriam Powell is teach a Luna.

Work In Progress & Final Dolls

A Little Experimentation, A Little Frustration

When I finally said goodbye to all the out-of-town guests from the holidays, I escaped to my sort of re-done studio with the new art supplies I acquired, somewhat inspired by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s tutorials and new book.  I have been collecting stencils and have even used some of them, but wanted to play!

I’m a paint person.  That means, when I get in my journal, I generally use paint, either acrylic or water color, and for the most part, the two have never mixed in my journal.  Speaking of my journal, after almost 6 years, my journal is ALMOST done!  I have less than a section left before I need to start in a new journal – which I HAVE NOT made yet – so I’ve been reluctant to fill up those remaining pages.  Instead, I pulled out what is likely to be a section in my next journal, and started playing in there.

I acquired two kinds of spray inks, without knowing anything about them.  I saw Julie using spray inks in one of her tutorials and on my next trip to one craft supply store, I picked up some Heidi Swap spray acrylics and later acquired Dylusions from a different craft supply store.  I used the Heidi Swap Mustard spray on a page I had previously wiped my brushes off on (acrylic paint) through a stencil – interesting in a cool way results!  I came back to it later, and noticed that the ink smudges a bit if you rub.  Hmm…  acrylic?  smudging?

IP_swirls_n_dots

I started another page with the Dylusions, trying to use a technique I saw in a tutorial video by the designer, Dyan, on the Ranger website.  That didn’t work so well, so I went back in with acrylic paint and gesso, collaged some stamped tissue on top and let it sit.  On the facing page, I tried a different technique from a different Dyan video, and left it alone.

experiments_Jan_14_1

Last night, I came back to that page, and decided that it was too pastel for me.  I went over it with a light coat of white gesso, thinking I would still get the design behind, but be able to create a fresh surface to work on.  Hmmmmnn.  Colored gesso?  The Dylusions were blending with the gesso.  Ooops.  I should have researched that better!  I went over the top with some acrylic through a stencil, then some more.  I sprayed some Dylusions on top and left everything to dry.  Came in this evening, wet my finger and, sure enough, the Dylusions ink runs, even after drying as you can see in the red puddle just above the Li in my watermark.

experiments_Jan_14_2

So – off to Google I went, to research fixing Dylusions.  I found a post on a blog, which looks like a great place to visit, with another technique I plan to try, possibly tomorrow!  As for the blog – if you want to read about art journalling, I am happy to recommend the blog I found and promptly bookmarked!  Aaron at Imperfect Impluses chronicles his art journalling adventures in well-narrated videos!  I plan to visit often!

By the way – The latest issues of the All Dolls Are Art Conference Newsletter and Art-Xscape Retreat Newsletter are now out – after an inadvertently long hiatus.  Please visit the websites and sign-up for the newsletters to keep up with the goings-on of both events!

Valentines and Flowers

cupcakes

I had an internet conversation with a fellow Texas Tech graduate last weekend while watching a basket ball game.  At some point the conversation veered towards food and I decided I would bake cupcakes.  I had bananas ready to go into banana bread, but what fun is banana bread heading into Valentine’s Day?  So, I decided to make cupcakes with the bananas. 

The result, after I tinted the cream cheese frosting with red food coloring, was sort of heart shaped cupcakes, which accompanied me to work Monday.  My co-workers are often the beneficiaries of my baking.  They are most appreciative and the upside is that I get to bake without having to eat much of what I produce.

cupcakes_n_flowers

February is the month in which we get to experience three seasons, sometimes in one day here in central Texas.  We get warm days at 85 degrees, followed by cool days in the 50’s or 60’s.  It confuses the plants, especially if we are above 70 for 4 days running as we were last week.  This is happening more, it seems, and I end up doing my spring cleaning in the yard sooner each year.  I got all of my pruning done weekend before last and last weekend got my front flower beds composted.  I planted a few new plants and bought a few more which are still awaiting homes.  The plants I pruned are budding out and I have an enterprising daisy that is covered in blooms. 

All of this leads me to think of flowers.  I’ve been buying myself flowers at the grocer store each week and they are starting to get Star Gazer lilies in which I love so much!  This weekend, I got my fabric club in from Treasures of the Gypsy and what a surprise!  It’s spring flowers!  I have the body and head of the doll I intended to make an angel from.  Now, I think she’s going to be the flower fairy and here’s the start of the collection of fabric and trims for her wardrobe!

fabric

The next All Dolls Are Art Newsletter comes out tomorrow morning.  You can still sign up to receive it by visiting the website and signing up for the mailing list.  This month, I have a survey on doll making and an article written by Michele Lynch, one of our ADAA faculty.  If you have ever wondered about quitting your day job for your artistic journey, you’ll enjoy Michele’s thoughts on the topic.

There is still plenty of space in all of our classes for ADAA 2013.  I hope that you’ll consider joining me and sharing your creative journey!