Thursday, February 28, 2013

Baker's in Beacon

The Baker's Daughter - 24x36"

 For the third year in a row I've been accepted by the jurors of the Beacon Art Show.  This month long exhibition is sponsored by the United Methodist Church of San Luis Obispo and features work by artists in the county.

 My piece is The Baker's Daughter, a mixed media collage 
done on red rosin paper and mounted on canvas.

The exhibit opens on Friday March 1 6:00-9:00 pm as part of Arts Obispo's Art After Dark and runs through the end of the month Thursdays -Sunday 11:00-4:00.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Celtic Fable

 A Celtic Fable - (6x9" closed)

Last October when I took a workshop from Lynne Perrella, she brought, as always, a number of examples of red rosin work to show the class.  One was a piece I hadn't seen before with an Asian theme. She had cut and folded it to make it into a book.

 I was struck not only by the design, but by the feel of the paper - there were so many layers of paint on it it felt like leather.  I decided then and there that I wanted to re-create that leather feel on a piece of my own.

  As usual with my ideas it marinated for a few months in my mind and I came up with the concept of doing something Celtic.  A Celtic Fable was conceived and now is born!

 I started by gessoing the front and back of a 16x24" piece of red rosin paper adding some bits of cheesecloth here and there on the front for texture.  When dry, I painted the back using Lumiere's Pearlescent Blue and then stenciled Celtic knots with Golden's Iridescent Gold Deep (fine) and Quinacradone Crimson.

 I used the same three colours on the front side along with an Unbleached Titanium  from Liquetex. The Celtic knot stencils were employed again (thanks to friend Destiny for cutting these for me!) and the small web stencil from  Mary Beth Shaw's Stencil Girl. Sequin scrim (or punchinella) provided the small groups of dots. Portfolio Water Soluble Oil Pastels in red and blue were lightly scrumbled over the cheese cloth and then hit with a heat gun to bring out the colour and affix them to the strands of the cloth.

 Various bits of Celtic imagery (xerox copies) were adhered with matte medium, I rubbed these lightly with a small amount of paint on my fingers to "ghost" them out and make them sink into the surface. Splatters in all four colours were next. A few bits of red cheesecloth (courtesy of Lynne's friend Steve Sorman fine art printer maker) were affixed with matte medium.

I found a small Celtic knot stamp in Margot's stash (a clingmount - couldn't find a designer's mark on it) and sprinkled it throughout the piece using Ranger's Archival Black.  Gold circles were punched out of joss paper and adhered with matte medium.  Sumi ink was used to add "mystic" symbols.  The final touch a few Celtic charms (from earrings) were sewn on with FireLine.

The paper was folded and cut to turn it into book form.  I'm very pleased with how it turned out.  The paper does indeed, with all it's layers, feel very much like leather. Thanks once again to the incomparable  Lynne Perrella for not only the inspiration but for teaching the techniques to achieve it.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Life on the Coast

It's that time of year again on the Central Coast.
  The Japanese Magnolia has burst into bloom!

Friday, February 22, 2013

From the Bookshelf

This vastly over-sized volume (12x14") is a treasure trove of Sunday comic strips, graphic art and advertising from the late 1800s to just prior to WWI.  The World was Joseph Pulitzer's newspaper and one of the first to use colour.  The Funny Side supplement featured a variety of different strips which  became massively popular during these two decades and gave the form its nickname of the "funnies." The World  also used colour in its Sunday magazine which featured a variety of  illustrated articles. The book is not only an eye candy treat, but fascinating for the history buff as well.  In this day of newspaper closures across the country I found it rather poignant to re-visit this era, a hundred years ago, when papers were King and played such a vital part in people's lives.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Journal Pages

Here's a few recent pages from my current daily journal.

Several of these were completed last weekend while
 I was having a chai latte in a coffee shop in Campbell.

I used a couple of vintage photos and
 a retro sewing needle pack that
 our friend Leanne gave me.

I write quite a bit in my journals, chronicling the day's events,

and jotting down those ever important lists!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tim & Me

 When we went to CHA last month I got to watch Tim Holtz
 demo several new products from Ranger.

 One of the most talked about was the new Distress Paints, 
which are just now becoming available.

When Tim would finish sample tags,
 he would give them to those of us who asked.

After I got home I finished mine off with
two stamps from Stamper's Anonymous ,
an old earring and some coordinating ribbon.

And there you have it - a Tim Holtz and Erin Perry collaboration!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Suitcase Saturday Travel Score

Viva Mexico! And a 10 day trip to La Mansanilla in 2005.  A tiny fishing village about 30 miles up the Pacific Coast from El Mansanillo and 90 miles south of Puerta Vallarta.

 Small though it was, it boasted an amazing art gallery
 with wonderful paintings, ceramics and jewelry.
 We got this piece home as carry on, sort of like
 lugging a very heavy baby along!

 The tree of life sculpture and the above painting of El Mercado, 
fit beautifully into our Mexi-color house.

And this stunning necklace is always
a joy to wear for special occasions.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Heart Day, especially to my beautiful wife Margot.
Thank you for 10 glorious years!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fun @ Leanne's

 Over my birthday weekend we went up to  Los Gatos and 
spent a fun filled afternoon in our friend Leanne's marvelous studio.

 Isn't this a wonderful statement to read as
 you go into your studio to create?

  I had sent Leanne some Portfolio Water-soluble Oil Pastels a while back and we spent some time experimenting with them. I put one that I did in my journal.

 Leanne was quite impressed with my
recent article in CPS Studios
 and asked me for organizing advice.

 Since this lucky girl is only a few miles
 from The Container Store,
she went right out Saturday afternoon
 and purchased stuff to get started.

Margot worked on a pair of boots -

 glitter toecaps (I mean!)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Life on a Different Coast

A chilly morning on Upper Kimball Pond in New Hampshire,
(yes, the lake is frozen!)

Friday, February 8, 2013

From the Bookshelf

Prepare for eye candy to the max and an uber interesting tale of Hollywood and New York high life in the 20th century.  Amazon says - American artist and design legend Tony Duquette (1914–1999) was known for his over-the-top style in interiors, jewelry, costumes, and set design. His clients included Elizabeth Arden, the Duchess of Windsor, and Herb Albert. 

The multi-talented Duquette designed sets for MGM musicals with Arthur Freed and Vincente Minnelli, and designed Tony Award–winning costumes for the original Broadway production of “Camelot.” Duquette was the first American to exhibit a one-man show at the Louvre in Paris. 

Tony Duquette is a lavishly illustrated book with many lost and never-before published photographs from the Duquette archives, including portraits and pictures taken by Man Ray, John Engstead, Fredrich Dapriche, Andre Ostier, George Platt Lynnes, as well as original sketches, designs, and texts by Duquette himself. With commentary, interviews, stories, and contributions from Liza Minnelli, Arlene Dahl, Steven Meisel, Bruce Weber, and others.

Over-sized and over-the-top, this is a delight to browse through, something for every taste and inspiration galore. Enjoy the ride!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wonder Web Wednesday - The Society Inc.

Here's a fascinating website - The Society Inc. the brain child of Sibella Court.
 If you follow my blog you've read my reviews of several of her books.
She's the queen of lost and found decorating, of collection couture, and travel acquisitions.

 This is the brick and mortar shop in Australia, that houses all that amazing "stuff".  It changes seasonally with a different color palette several times a year.

The site has bios, portfolios, event and workshop listings, books, an online shop, wholesale info, a newsletter sign-up and as they say "so much more."

It's one of those you'll get lost in and
 wonder later where the time went.

So much yummy vintage-y goodness. 
Take a virtual trip to The Society Inc.

photos courtesy

Monday, February 4, 2013

Museum Monday - Philadelphia Art Museum

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, a wonderful place to spend a Sunday afternoon.  Climb the steps (made famous in the Rocky movies) and indulge in an art extravaganza that will leave your senses reeling. We went to the museum on a trip to visit our daughter Bronwyn when she was attending Philadelphia University.
Philadelphia celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence with the 1876 Centennial Exhibition, America's first World's Fair. Its art building, Memorial Hall, was intended to outlast the Exhibition and house a permanent museum. Following the example of London's South Kensington Museum, the new museum was to focus on applied art and science, and provide a school to train craftsmen in drawing, painting, modeling, and designing.

The Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art opened on May 10, 1877. Its permanent collection began with objects from the Exhibition and gifts from the public impressed with the Exhibition's ideals of good design and craftsmanship. European and Japanese fine and decorative art objects and books for the Museum's library were among the first donations.
In the early 1900s, the Museum started an education program for the general public, as well as a membership program. Fiske Kimball was the museum director during the rapid growth of the 1920s, which included one million visitors in the new building's first year. After World War II the collections grew with gifts, such as the John D. McIlhenny and George Grey Barnard collections. Early modern art dominated the growth of the collections in the 1950s. The gift of Philadelphian Grace Kelly's wedding dress is perhaps the best known gift of the 1950s.
Extensive renovation of the building lasted from the 1960s through 1976. In 1976 there were celebrations and special exhibitions for the centennial of the Museum and the bicentennial of the nation. During the last three decades major acquisitions have included After the Bath by Edgar Degas and Fifty Days at Iliam by Cy Twombly. (Source Wikipedia)

My favourite  piece at the museum -
 Monet's The Japanese Bridge and Water Lillies, 1899

 A sketch from my travel journal of the
 river side of the museum with the 
City Water Works below.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Suitcase Saturday Travel Score

image courtesy landrtravel
Ah, Venezia!  Once seen, never forgotten
and always a longing to return.
Our trip was in 2005 and the memories are ever fresh.

The shopping opportunities in Venice are amazing and varied - 
everything from glorious paper goods to exquisite glass.

This post will concentrate on the favourite of
all mixed media artists - paper! 
And the beautiful decorative items made from it.
  Above a wonderful accordion file I use for my smaller stencils

Marbled, printed, boxes (above), folders,
portfolios, pencils and bookmarks (below).

A feast for the eye and a delight to touch.

On another post we'll check out some of the glorious books I brought home. 


 With my love of journaling it was hard not to scoop up every blank book in the many shops we visited.
Many of the proprietors, upon finding out my interest in using paper in my art work, gave me samples, old catalogs and the like, Our mutual love of beautiful paper overcame my scant Italian.