Tag Archives: painting

The Message Has Been Received

“The Message Has Been Received”, acrylics on masonite, 24″ x 18″, October, 2018.

The Message Has Been Received 18 x 24 10-1801

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Remakes

You’ve seen these on the Art Diary but – they wanted their own moment. So here they are – three art pieces that I pulled out of history aka lost in a drawer or waiting patiently at my husband’s office sort of behind the desk – and re-worked them.

Or maybe I’ve already shown them. Well, in that case you get to see them twice.

I enjoyed it and I’ll do it again. Was that a promise, an anticipation, or a threat? I guess it depends on your perspective. I hope these images like their updo’s.

 

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending October 26

 

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

Art. Art. Art. Art. Art? Yes!

Saturday, October 20 – Last night I did some sofa art/paint color brochure drawings. I started on this large brochure:

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I’m creating people in the columns with their various body parts inspired by the paint names. Going to be kind of crazy.

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When I’m finished I might cut out the columns and do something with them, or even cut out the squares and mix and match. I’ll have to see what develops.

This afternoon, after a day of doing a lot of errands, I packed up clay for tomorrow’s show. It’s a very nice show, held at a local arboretum, and running from noon to 4 PM, more of an outing than anything else. Which is fine with me. I did the show last year and had a great time. I don’t need to take a lot since the show is such a short one.

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Sunday, October 21 – Today we participated in the Insider Art Show and Sale – we are insiders because we are members of the Arboretum. This event, which is very low-key, coincides with the open day for the mill and the Bloomfield Farm side of the arboretum, which are only open once a month.

We arrived, along with our friend John G., in plenty of time to set up. It was a very cold day for this time of year, about 40 degrees F, and with wind gusts of 30 MPH, it was just…cold. We decided not to set up the tent, as did pretty much everyone else, and we used the provided table. They make everything very simple for us here!

I took a quick walk around the education building. It’s designed to be very green, with a green roof and other features. I am always fascinated by how the equipment parking barn…

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…looks like this on the other side.

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I got my table set up. I did not bring a lot of work to this show. Just enough to fill the table.

Part of the appeal of this show is the demonstrations: Blacksmithing here –

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and the ever-popular animals from the local agricultural high school. This year they brought two two-month-old pigs and two sheep. The little pigs ran around like crazy for some time:

and then, worn out, they fell asleep.

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The crowds were lighter than usual. The weather was a real impediment.

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However, I enjoyed the show – I like talking to the other vendors, as there are some crafts you don’t often see in other shows, and I enjoyed the weaving and woodworking demos… and of course the animals. But I did have to stay all wrapped up all day (shout out to my sister, who made the hat I’m wearing…)

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This show was the last one of the outdoor season for me. And I think it’s time to be inside from now on!

Monday, October 22 –  I finished my sofa art paint brochure last night – I might decorate the photos in it now, don’t know…

In the afternoon, I worked on more Minuscule illustrations.

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I notice that my sketch book that I use for making quick estimations for the actual drawings is filling up. What can I do with these little vignettes, I wonder? I’ll set that thought aside for later.

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Tuesday, October 23 – More illustrations for my Minuscule book. Guess what – I reached story #75 and so I have a picture for each story. I will scan the remaining images I have in process, put them in the manuscript, and get to work on the overall corrections for the book. Pretty soon I think I will have a finished product! I feel good about this because I’ve been writing the little stories for a year and illustrating for several months. It’s been a project of getting a little done at a time and I’m looking forward to finishing and seeing how my first illustrated book turns out.

Wednesday, October 24 – In the aftermath of finishing the Minuscule work, plus the work I did for Fictive Dream and the September Slam, I’m ready to do a little something different. These two projects were a lot of drawing! I think collage, clay, and painting might be on the table for a little while now. (Then again, if I get an idea and I want to draw it…I can’t be held responsible for what happens next.)

After a project, I like to clean things up and have everything clear. This afternoon I spent some time going over the many, many fragments of drawings and the extra drawings I did for the Minuscule work. I have a LOT of leftover stuff – you may remember that I often made 3-4-5 versions of an illustration before I was happy.

I sorted out scraps and partial drawings and whole drawings and oh look here are some I colored with markers a little while ago…

I put them in envelopes to keep them better organized for when I want to work.

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I have a lot of partially done postcards and ATC’s that might fit with some of these items.

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And some I think might use in my Large Artist Sketchbook. It all just depends. I also dragged this sketchbook out of the pile – it’s one where I’ve practiced making ink figures, you’ve seen it in the past.

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Maybe it might like to be a version of Artist Sketchbook. I added it to the box I’m storing all these pieces in.

But I still have all those little painting things sitting on the table, plus two partially finished paintings, not large, 11″ x 14″. I have a feeling I will be working on these first. If for no other reason to clear the table!

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Friday, October 26 – Over the last few weeks and months, I’ve been reflecting on the directions I want to go in my artwork. It is time for change in my art, as there have been many changes in my life, especially in the last three or four months. A cycle is ending and a new one beginning, I feel.

 

It is all good, don’t get me wrong. I am ready to do some things differently. One decision I’ve made is to stop doing artwork for selling. I am not stopping doing art, and I’m not stopping shows – I’m stopping doing artwork specifically for sale. It’s a matter of how I frame things in my mind as well as the kind of work I do. It’s a form of retirement, I think – but I see it as freeing me to do some things (some of which I haven’t even imagined yet) that I might have restricted myself from in the past.

 

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I hope to spend time on new pursuits out in the world which I think will enhance my art explorations, and I want to do more writing/illustration projects. I have lots to look forward to, I think.

Now for this Diary. I created it to encourage myself to a more disciplined approach to making art – I needed to do a lot of work for my exhibit this summer and to catch up on making clay work. Both of these goals have been met. The Diary’s purpose has fulfilled itself, and so this will be the last edition of the Art Diary with its weekly round up.

You will be able to keep up with my doings, I feel, with my art posts, as always – I will keep you up to date with my projects, images, paintings, clay figurines, shows…you name it, just as I have always been doing.

I have enjoyed chronicling my work in this weekly Diary, but I no longer need or want to do so in this way. It’s important to know when things have served their purpose, I think, and when to move on. Thank all of you for reading it and for all your support and comments.

OK, that’s it! Thank you for coming along with me.

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending October 19

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

Art Day. Today!

Sunday, October 14 – I took my pale canvas boards, 5″ x 7″, and spread them out on my table.

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I plan to use these as background for some TV-time art, art I do while sitting on my sofa and watching television at night. I want to paint backgrounds and then draw on them with pen. Like this one from a couple of weeks ago:

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The purpose of today’s activity was to put an initial coat of paint on the canvas boards. I bought very cheap ones from Blick, 25 for about $10 – but I think the quality is fine, but the gesso is slippery and paint can be kind of see-through. I’ll let these dry and then work on a more polished background look before I set to with my pens.

 

It’s a big mess right now but it will come out all right in the end, I promise you.

Monday, October 15
– My priority art project right now is that I want to finish the illustrations for my upcoming Minuscule story book – I am doing a pen and ink sketch for each little story.

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I did some more work toward this goal today.

 

I usually make more than one drawing (I enjoy the Chinese brush/India ink combination; I like making these drawings; the upshot being I always seem to want to make just one more pass and see if I can get a better result…things are going to move slowly, I think!). The upside is, there are lots of leftovers I can use for other projects down the line.

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Tuesday, October 16 – Another day of working on Minuscule illustrations.

 

My work table is a mess. I am using only one small section right now and the rest is serving as a landing place for future projects and other debris. I will clean it up when I finish the current project and then I’ll be able to see what I want to do next – until then – well, let’s just burrow in.

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Wednesday, October 17 – In the morning I put more paint on the 5″ x 7″ canvas boards:

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Here is a closer look:

 

Now I have a little dilemma. Some of these little paintings look nice to me just as they are, or with some augmentation.

 

Oh dear. I wanted to make nondescript yet appealing backgrounds so that I could draw on them. The drawings are intended to have nothing much to do with what the painted image looks like, if you know what I mean – I don’t want to see a person in my abstract image and then fill it out with pen, I want to see – nothing but a nice background – and draw birds or planets or slices of pizza on it. Does this make sense?

Even crazier because most of the time I am looking for the paint to tell me in which direction to go. I solved today’s issue by dividing the canvas boards into two groups (“looks like something” and “does not look like something”). So I’ll have some drawing-worthy backgrounds and I’ll think about the others for a while.

In the afternoon I did a couple more Minuscule illustrations. Oh dear, I made two for each story, and I like them both – but I’ll have to choose. later.

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Today certainly is not a decision-making day!

Friday, October 19 – More Minuscule illustrations. I’m making good progress. I think I have about 12 more to do and the book will be finished. I can see that my skills have grown over this project and I’m finding it easier to achieve my hopes for each picture with a little more facility than when I started things up.

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OK, that’s it for this week! Thank you for coming along with me.

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending October 12

 

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

Art . Art plus. Art extra. More Art!

Saturday, October 6 – I gave all the clay items their undercoat of black, in preparation for becoming colorful. There is something appealing about them in this stage, though – very neat and classic look, black is, isn’t it?

I colored some 4″ x 4″ commercially made terracotta tiles in preparation for – something…

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Let me catch you up to date on my listening habits right now. I always have music or an audio book going when I am working. I can have an art stream of thought and listen to a book or music at the same time. I cannot talk and do art, though. Interesting.

I’m reading –

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and listening –

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Sunday, October 7 – This day looks like yesterday, only with more color…

Monday, October 8 – I meant to do some work on tiles but instead I had some more quality time with this painting. When you don’t know where you are going and you aren’t too picky about it, either, well, a painting can become a whole lot of things along the way to its finish.

And a couple of details.

Wednesday, October 10 – That painting again. I’m deciding to be finished with it. I feel the people in it are begging me to stop bothering them.

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I packed these tiles away in their boxes in the basement, awaiting a show. Since I work on them in the basement and the kiln is up in the garage, I transport items around in a variety of containers – these old baking sheets are very useful.

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Thursday, October 11 – Last night I did some sofa art – cut out some figures and so on, and worked on a page in my current Large Artist Sketchbook.

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This morning, I had a block of time – usually I like to exercise in the morning, but today I have a doctor’s appointment at noon and could not make the schedule work out. So I spent it doing some art. First, I got the box I keep the (growing number of) odds and ends and arranged it.

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I wanted to get things in more order so that I could do some sofa art and then, when it gets to that stage, I’ll be ready with a lot of postcards and ATC’s to finish up in the studio. I’m sure you see some familiar things from earlier Diary entries.

I had unwrapped this set of 24 5″ x 7″ canvas boards I had bought – they are the cheapest possible grouping, 24 for about $10. Today I looked them over, anticipating…
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I plan to paint them with acrylics and then draw over them with a pen, sort of how I did with these items you saw not long ago:

You may remember that they were originally paintings, giveaway items that did not get given away – so I gave them another life. I loved doing it and I wanted to do more, so – the next step is to paint these little canvases I have with colorful backgrounds.

After I did this organizing I went to the basement to do some more color work on my clay items:

After my appointment I came home and finished them up. Now they are ready for firing.

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Friday, October 12 – I loaded up the kiln, on a whim, and got that firing done. It took little time because I put so little into the kiln – I just wanted to get the things done that you see on the table from yesterday. No photos. Just imagine the kiln and the really really hot and the clay turning colorful.

I returned to my Minuscule project – I have gotten the whole book’s text all set up and now I want to get the illustrations done. I am using India ink and a Chines brush. I often do three-four-five versions of the same illustration.

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I do this because I do better work when I have free confident strokes of the pen or brush, and that never happens if I pencil something in and then follow it. I know it may sound like a lot of extra effort, but – I enjoy it, I’m not in a hurry, and ink and paper are cheap, at least my versions are! Sometimes I will rehearse a composition (I have a separate notebook for that purpose) and then, darn it, the rehearsal is better than the real performance.

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Well, that’s fine – since these pictures are getting scanned, it doesn’t matter what the original is like, exactly. And then sometimes, I get the picture right on the first try.

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Sometimes I feel as if the inspiration is coming in on some radio waves or the like, and maybe the signal is stronger at times and staticky at others. Well, let’s just say it’s all a mystery, right?

OK, that’s it for this week! Thank you for coming along with me.

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending September 28

 

Art Diary. A weekly wrap-up of art activities. For earlier posts, search under the category Art Diary.

Art on the mind…

Saturday, September 22 – We spent the day at the Community Arts Center’s Fine Arts and Crafts Festival, held in Swarthmore, PA. The art center, located a few miles away, is a really nice place, offering classes in many disciplines as well as children’s classes and camps, exhibits, and music events. I taught collage classes there for some time and I know many people connected with the organization.

Swarthmore is also a familiar place to me and I have many associations with the town and the school dating from my collage days. For example, my husband and I have participated in the town’s New Year 5K several times and I had a solo exhibit in Borough Hall/Library in 2012.

So when we pulled into town we knew what was what, as they say! We arrived at about 7:30 AM.

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We set things up without incident.

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The day started off warm and humid but it grew cooler and windier as time went on. Still, the weather held.

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One of my near neighbors made these very intriguing and functional fire pits, or as she called them, fire sculptures. I like them.

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We were centrally located near the raffle tent and the entrance to borough hall was right across the street. The latter is a plus because…the bathroom is in this building. At street shows, an indoor bathroom is a huge plus and being near it is even better. Just saying.

I took several street shots during the day. I think these show you a very typical street fair scene.

In this one, the man in the green shirt to the far right is the executive director of the Community Arts Center. Remember him.

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The show features artist demonstrations. I have done this job myself in the past and it is fun. Here is an art friend of mine, Jane, showing her watercolor technique.

There is also music at this fair, in the small amphitheater to the left front of the borough hall. We could hear the music all day.

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I told you to remember that man in the green shirt…here you see him again, filling in on the drums (the regular drummer had an emergency and could not be there) in my favorite group of the day, the Swarthmore Ukulele Orchestra. You have not lived until you have heard a ukulele rendition of Glen Campbell’s “Gentle on My Mind” and watched a group of six-year-olds dancing their hearts out to the tune.

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The show was a pleasant end to my painting season for 2018. The crowd was appreciative and though sales were light, my work was well received.

Sunday, September 23 – My husband and I went to his office for a few minutes to pick up artwork he’s had on his office walls (he displays various pieces of my art at work and has done so for years). His office is moving and he thought he’d change out his art. I found this old piece there. I remember it – it was a collage done on a 12″ x 12″ board that was awful, and then I painted this house over it, and then I gave up in disgust. I am not sure why it was not in the trash.

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Ick. So while I was watching TV at night, I decided to work it over with pens and markers. If it turned out ok, great. If not, it would make that trip into the trash. Here is where it ended up. I think it actually turned out well. Saved from the trash one more time.

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Here they are side by side for comparison.

Monday, September 24 – First I gessoed some more boards that I had gotten my husband to sand off their previous occupants. I’ve got quite a supply of second-time-around painting surfaces now.

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I started some tiles. I have five more spaces in the kiln (I’ve partially loaded it) and these guys will fill them.

I was going through some old artwork and I found these two tiny landscapes.

They are the only ones that did not get taken during the Small Landscape Giveaway in 2015-2016 or by a friend here in my everyday life. I felt sorry for these little guys, but – I also saw the opportunity to do the same thing to them as I did with that previous house picture. Update or renovate, whatever you may want to call it. So while I was watching TV I worked on them and here they are. I’ll show you the old and new versions side by side.

It makes me want to order some more of these tiny canvases (5″ x 7″) and get cracking on some embellished landscapes gone wild…

Tuesday, September 25 – More tile work. I’ll show you the whole sequence, including yesterday’s work.

Pretty much finished with these, I think, but I’ll look them over later on and see if any amendments need to be made.

Friday, September 28 – I had some time this afternoon to work on art, resuming studio time after a couple of days away. I’ve cleaned up a work table:

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and for right now I want to sort through some odds and ends. I don’t feel like starting up anything too serious right now. I got out the plastic box that I toss odds and ends of drawings into and set the contents out on the table. Most of these items are practice drawings in Chinese brush/India ink for my ongoing Minuscule (story and accompany poem) book illustrations.

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And some closer views – there are a lot of funny little things here.

I pulled out some items to color with markers. Others I will leave alone. I will use these in collage projects.

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You may also have noticed some of those phrase cards I make with cut-out snips from old books, the ones that I use to write poetry (as in this Poetry Marathon post). I’ve got a lot of these now too. I used acrylic inks to splodge color on them – I’ll use them for collage, too.

I worked on the three small 6″ x 6″ crazy paint/ink/crayon/oil pastel things I do. These are getting close to being finished. I still think the lady on the right looks like a mailbox, now with someone trapped inside. Oh dear, I’d like to think of a more happy story.

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Last, I opened my latest Large Artist Sketchbook to a new page and used the phrase cards as stamps on a couple of pages. This is the first step in doing some kind of image – who knows what – for these pages.

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This is how the sketchbook thing works for me – a pinch of this and a handful of that, and then I turn it into a …cake? pie? broccoli casserole? Only time will tell.

OK, that’s it for this week! Thank you for coming along with me.