Tag Archives: snow

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending March 23

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

Another art week!

Saturday, March 17 – After declaring victory on my clean-up of bits and pieces and subsequent integration into ATC/postcards – I opened a drawer and found some more…bits and pieces. Oh dear. So I put some time today doing the same thing as yesterday. New ATC’s and postcards on the way…

Sunday, March 18 – busy day. After grocery shopping, I had a window of time before our planned afternoon activity. I finished up some ATC/postcards by putting a protective finish on them. I do this to all my ATC’s and postcards – it’s better for them, long term, and looks nice. I use either gloss medium or a spray, depending on what ink, paint, or crayon I used. I do my spraying out in the garage – the medium I use inside.

I sat down to work on a page in my current Large Artist Sketchbook. You may remember that the other day I glued in some stray drawings/paintings on several pages. I plan to augment the original images with…???… depending on my mood.

I decided to use pen and India ink today. The original section is that part with the person sitting on the sofa.

In the afternoon my husband and I attended a play at Allen’s Lane Art Center. I’m familiar with this place; I volunteered there some years back and a friend of mine runs the box office (we saw her today).

It’s an interesting set-up. Cafe-style, I think they call it. You sit at tables arrayed on the floor; the stage is raised enough to be easily seen.

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The idea is that you can bring food and drink in with you. We didn’t do that, as we were not hungry at 2 pm. We were the only ones, though. I saw a lot of elaborate tables with good-looking plates on them.

Instead, I passed the time before the show sketching the theatergoers. I am working to develop my sketching abilities. I particularly like the blind contour method, sketching while looking only at the subject, not at the paper (though I do glance down, yes, I do, but not much).

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Here is an assortment of my work.

A couple of the actors on the stage.

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The table nearest us, photo and sketch.

People, I must tell you: what a lot of fun this was. The sketching, the play (I love going to live performances), the whole afternoon.

Monday, March 19 – I stopped by Montgomery County Community College to check out a ceramics event – Montco’s Arts and Humanities program and the Ceramics Club hosted a two-day Post Conference for the 2018 National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). There were demos by three ceramicists in the theater:

As they worked, the large screen behind them showed a close up view of their activities, very helpful.

There was also a traveling exhibit parked outside in an Airstream trailer – The Artstream Nomadic Gallery. This entity has also had a display in the library through March – you could check out a mug or other clay item and take it home for your own enjoyment as an art object. Nice idea.

Tuesday, March 20 – I continue various small projects in the studio. I painted edges of recently done paintings – I give them a nice black finish, and then no frames are needed.

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I decided to use a set of Daler and Rowney acrylic inks I bought some time back.

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I’ve given very little attention to these. I like them for their transparency and intense colors. My selection of colors is not the greatest and I’ve gotten some odd results when I mix colors. That tells me I need more practice – it’s not the ink, it’s me.

I added on to this page in my ongoing artist sketchbook. The part in the middle was the original image pasted in.

I have a colorful Bristol board piece to do something with from this process – I used it to mix colors.

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After that I worked on ATC/postcards, adding on to items already in process. I drew various elements or people in India ink, cut them out, and glued them on, in most of these cards.

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Wednesday, March 21 – An all-day snowfall in progress. We ended up with about 9 inches.

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I made this stepping stone some years back and it is outside my back door from the studio.

So I stayed inside at home all day. I spent a good amount of time scanning and cataloging the ATC/postcard output of recent weeks. It takes time to manage images of my images, if you know what I mean, but I’m a record-keeping kind of person, so I usually find it a pleasant job, and my diligence means I have a record of the majority of things I’ve made over the years.

I am glad I have invested this time, as it gives me a library of images to accompany poetry or other blog posts, and…I have a history of my art career and interests, which is important to me to maintain.

I worked on another page in my Large Artist Sketchbook – the original pasted-in section is in color; I drew the rest with India ink and Chinese brush. I am not sure if I will color any more or add anything else. I have the nagging feeling of this composition needing just a little more…I’ll let it rest and see.

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I also cut up the colorful Bristol board ink blob paper into postcard sizes with some little bits left over cut up even smaller. They will come in handy sometime, I am sure.

Thursday, March 22 – Usually I go to the library for a poetry marathon session on Thursdays, but the college libraries were closed or opening late. I’ll go tomorrow instead. I spent some time shoveling…

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Looking out my front door.

Then I went to the gym. Along the way I encountered Easter Island art.

In the previous snowstorm, a Sphinx had appeared in this same location. I’m sure both sculptures are the work of the same people, and I really admire what they have done, both for the faithful representation of these famous sights, and for their sense of humor.

In the afternoon I decided to work on tiles. You may remember these small tiles I bisque-fired some weeks back and that have been waiting for me to work on them?

I’ve been dithering over starting with them, thinking – I need some GREAT idea brand new and never before seen on earth – for these tiles. Never mind that my original plan was to put simple designs on them and to use the process as just a way to relax into art.

Oh dear, how things get corrupted. At this rate, these tiles will never become anything. Well, I got hold of myself, sat down, and got to work. I am putting simple designs on them as a way to relax into doing art. How’s that for an idea?

Here’s an initial group.

Now that I have started I will be able to keep going.

See you next week! Thanks for following along with me.

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending March 16

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

Saturday, March 10 – I viewed another student art show – my husband and I went over to Arcadia University’s gallery to check out work of local high school students for the area’s Pennsylvania State Education Association juried show.

Local pride – a Cheltenham HS student won best of show for her 3D work – CHS is our local HS and I live across the street from it. I was entranced at the level of detail in this work – remember, every single thing in this work was made by the artist to fit it.

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I took photos of other pieces I liked. I am happy to have seen two art shows featuring work of young people just starting out, with such good work on display.

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I worked on paintings a bit in the evening. I’m tired of these now, and maybe they are tired of me. We will rest a bit and meet again some other time.

I retreated to my sofa and put finishing touches on postcards and ATC’s while watching TV.

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Sunday, March 11 – This next week is going to be one of doing things in bits and pieces. The colleges where I write poetry are on spring vacation, so library hours are amended; I might be spending several partial days writing rather than a bigger block of time, which means…art will be fitting itself into the spaces in this week. Wonder what will end up happening?

We attended a play this afternoon. In the evening I decided to clean up my studio from recent projects and get my head clearer, too, as to what I might do this week.

I refreshed my work tables my turning the cover paper around/over. I had used a strip of grocery bag as additional cover and I liked the random paint patterns. I folded it in half, glued it, and made accordion folds. The makings of a future art book, maybe.

I sorted my paints…

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papers and scraps of semi-ideas for projects…

arranged inks and photos that might make for nice drawings.

I sorted out my brushes. Some have died in service. I have the idea that maybe I could do something with the handles. I corraled them with a rubber band for the future.

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I set up a portable collage kit. I read somewhere about a person who does plein air “sketches” using collage. I’ve done plein air collage myself, and I am very at home in collage work after years of doing it, so I thought…hmmm, maybe I could try that?

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All right. Enough ordering for today.

Monday, March 12 – I think that this week is taking a shape in my mind. No big projects will get started or finished. I’ll be just doing a little thing here and a little thing there. OK, that’s good, I’m all set.

I spent some time organizing my markers – I bought some new ones last week and it pleased me to figure out the color groups. So calming.

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After lunch, I decided to work with pen and ink. I did a page in my current Large Artist Sketchbook – it’s of College Hall at Montco from a photo I took this last week. It’s India ink with the tiny red figure the only collaged item.

As a note, the idea of this book is that I fill up a sketchbook with random art in any media, any theme, any anything. When it is finished, I write poems to go with each page. I’ve done one Large book in 2017 and am closing in on the text for a Small one right now – I write something for it in each Poetry Marathon session. Each of these books took about 18 months to fill with art.

Eventually I’ll get to posting these books. For now you will just hear about the current one, now and then.

Then I worked on a couple of postcards from the paper stock I bought a while back.

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And a couple of other mail art postcards, collage and ink together. I also created a whole pile of odds and ends to use in later cards that I didn’t get to today.

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After considering, I cut the zig-zag accordion paper and along with another set of painted card, I stapled them to make books. I decided I just did not feel zig-zag-ish.

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Tuesday, March 13 – Another day out and about. Not much art time. I spent about an hour painting more of those folded ad card brochures for some future purpose:

and I also did some paint on ATC’s and postcards (recycled cardboard from cereal boxes and the like), also for some future time.

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Wednesday, March 14 – Pen/brush and ink time.

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I did a trio of postcards on that purchased watercolor paper seen earlier this week…

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…and here is a page in my ongoing Large Artist Sketchbook – I drew two mannequins from photo references and then I put them in my laundry room. Well, it’s all about clothing, right? Look out for that ironing board scuttling along.

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I took the random-painted grocery-bag paper stapled book (I need to think of a shorter term for this project) and did outlining of shapes with the Chinese brush and India ink. This book is evolving and no one knows where it will end up or what it will be…

Friday, March 16 – Well, it’s Friday, and so I decided to devote myself to finishing, since the week is finishing itself. I gathered up all the little drawings and half-done postcards and ATC’s and said: You are all going to be finished when this afternoon is over.

Well, not quite. I realized a better idea was to either finish the piece, or have it in such a position that I could complete it sitting on the sofa watching TV. In other words, it’s time to clean things up and get ready for something new next week (what, I don’t know…)

Here is my work table in the middle of the frenzy:

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Oh dear. What a mess. Well, I ended up with a lot of postcards and ATC’s – if the individual piece is not done, I know what I’ll do to complete it.

I glued several larger small drawings (yes, I know I said that) into my Large Artist Sketchbook and fanned out the pages to dry. I will figure out a plan for these one at a time.

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I have skeletons of small artist books for when inspiration strikes. I think the brown paper one looks very Miro – I might leave it alone and write text for it as it is. I like it.

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I had a pile of paint cards. I drew a house on one of them, cut it out, and glued it to a postcard. I liked doing it; the surface of these cards has an oddly toothy texture and my pen liked it. I did another house, same thing, and I set the pile aside to work on each one in this way. Serendipity.

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And so Friday ended a week that saw a lot of items pass through my hands. Very satisfying art time for me.

Thank you for reading! See you next week!

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending March 9

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

Saturday, March 3 – I worked on the last of my assortment of small boards in the afternoon. These were 6″ x 6″ Claybord.

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I just started painting. No idea what would develop.

Finally I ended up with 4 small bright paintings.

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While I watched TV, I drew this scene on top of a page in my ongoing Large Artist Sketchbook (I had thought the page was finished but I got the urge to draw on it, so…I did.)

A pleasant way to start off the week.

Sunday, March 4 – I worked on mail art postcards. I seemed to have circle-moon-sun ideas in my head.

Monday, March 5 – I was thinking about the small paintings I did on Saturday. It gave me the idea to try something similar, I mean, to do something abstract on a larger scale. I tend to like making abstract work in a small scale but bigger things, well – I tend to go back to more representational (my version, anyway). So I got out three 16″ x 16″ boards.

I started slapping down some color. I almost hesitate to show these stages, because it reveals the utter randomness of my working process.

I got three things going pretty well. I took them upstairs to set them in the living room to “rest” and for me to eye them for improvements or additions. (Please excuse the photo quality, we go for a cozy light level in this room at night, it looks like.)

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Tuesday, March 6 – I didn’t have much time today for art, but I got in a little bit of painting. After yesterday’s session I felt like trying another abstract painting, and this time I chose a different color scheme to start with, motivated by the idea of using up this really nice dark brown paint – I had a tube that was gasping up its last drops and I was getting impatient. I used a 16″ x 16″ gessoed board.

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Look at all that brown. There was more left in the tube than I thought. Here’s where I ended the day:

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I took it upstairs to join the earlier ones to “rest” for a while. Otherwise, I laid out a group of those @ 2″ tiles I made some weeks back and put a couple of coats of Jet Black Velvet underglaze on them. This is the first step I take in my coloring process. I’ll be working one these soon, I think. Look at that photo with all the underglazes lined up. They look like they are about to march out and demand something, don’t they?

I’ve also got a lot of semi-finished ATC’s I’m working on (they are perfect for when I am sitting on the sofa watching television at night). And I’ve also got a few miscellaneous odds and ends I’ve accumulated – I’m thinking of making a small artist book, maybe. When I get some more to put in it, anyway.

Wednesday, March 7 – More snow. I think about 8″ fell over the course of the day. I knew things would be catch as catch can in my routine – my husband was at home, we spent some time shoveling, and I worked on poetry editing, so not much art work done. I spent a pleasant hour this morning watching a Perry Mason episode and coloring the second of those pages of pen and ink drawings from my ongoing large sketchbook:

During one of our shoveling sessions I took a few photos in our back yard. There is such beauty in a snowfall and how it changes the look of bare branches and landscape. I think these photos will inspire me in some art way in the future.

I took this photo of daffodils in the afternoon. By evening I noticed the snow had already melted from them and they were standing upright again. Spring!

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Thursday, March 8 – I spent today at Montgomery County Community College, doing a session of the Day Trip Poetry Marathon (for those who are wondering what this is, look here. Short answer, it’s a day+/- a week that I devote to writing poetry. Maybe you didn’t know I did that?).

I stopped at the college’s gallery on the way to my car. I wanted to see the current exhibit, artwork of Montgomery County (PA) high school students.

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The arts building is new and beautiful. The gallery is in the entrance lobby area.

The students had done themselves proud. Lots of nice work. I took some (not so great, I apologize) photos of several I really liked. I was amazed by the variety of mediums and artistic visions on display.

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Friday, March 9 – I had a lot of ideas for this afternoon but I ended up working on two of the 16″ x 16″ paintings begun earlier in the week – the brown one and then one from the group of three. Well, things changed. I am not sure if they are getting anywhere yet but…there is always tomorrow!

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I’ve been working on a side job all week – I’ve got some larger-sized ad cards (you know the kind, they come in the mail urging you to buy tires, get your a/c tuned up, donate clothes to charity, etc). I’ve been painting at random on both sides, as I want to collect a few,  fold them in half, staple them, and make them into book pages. You may have seen these before – I refer to them as artist books; sometimes they are embellished with collage, and I write text for them after the books are finished:

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I’ve also collected some folded brochures and will be seeing what I can do with them.

I finished up my afternoon listening to a favorite radio program, “Funky Friday”, musical funk on WXPN Philadelphia – but most of the day I was involved in a new audiobook. Music, books, and art. A nice place to be.

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See you next week! Thanks for reading and traveling this art week with me.

Snow Trees

Here are the two snow trees I did the other day when we were in the midst of a snowstorm right outside my window. Look here if you want to see something about the painting process (their section is at the end of the post).

Art Diary 2018 – Week Ending March 2

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

Note – the Diary has come out on March 3 because of our big nor’easter snow storm and wind extravaganza yesterday – we lost our computer connection. 

Saturday, February 24 – More Olympics on TV and I decided to try pen and ink renditions of the small sketches I made for those tiny 4″ x 4″ paintings from a week or two ago. I put them in my ongoing Large Artist Sketchbook. I think I’ll color them in later on.

Sunday, February 25 – Because the weather was rainy and cold, my husband and I decided to mall-walk at the King of Prussia (PA) mall. This mall is enormous, the largest mall in the US, 2.9 million square feet of retail space, if you are interested.

I’m not very interested in shopping, but I figured I could get some shots of mannequins and maybe some photo some reflections, too, not to mention getting in a nice long walk.

It’s been some time since I’ve been in the mall. Years, in fact. Originally, there were two malls and they have been recently connected to make one. We covered the whole place and I got a lot of nice shots. It will take me some time to figure out what to do with them. Samples from three categories:

Artsy, like this B/W one of the lot where we parked. I tried to make it look scary. I don’t like this kind of parking place.

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Reflections, like these merchandise shots. They depict the images bouncing around in my overstimulated brain, a result of even ten minutes’ shopping (I am only half-joking), but I love the reflections:

And then my reason for being there: mannequins. What a rich vein of inspiration I struck. Couldn’t stop snapping the shots. Here are a few:

Great future inspirations. And I’ll include this shot – the stores were not open when we were there, so actual humans were only sparsely scattered around, often camouflaged by the mannequin population. I stopped to look at this red-devil kind of fellow and realized a human was quietly at work, altering clothes, right next to him.

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Monday, February 26 – I worked on the mysterious secret mixed media/collage project today. I promise all will be revealed not too long from now.

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Once again, a look at the aftermath of the frenzy of paper cutting. Supplies lying around in utter exhaustion.

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Here things are a little better. Take a look at the black lined-looking paper. I make these papers by painting a fairly light sketch paper very thickly with the color, making sure brush marks show. Then I press it on to another sheet of paper and pull off this interesting texture print. I love this particular pattern of brushwork and have used these papers for years in many collages.

Tuesday, February 27 – I finished up the secret collage project today, except for some finishing touches. You will be seeing it in the near future. I then puttered around with some odds and ends of ATC’s and postcards and paints and printing and generally getting some small things further down the line to completion.

I had cut apart small sketches I had made of field hockey players some time back and now I glued them on to ATC’s. I also had a couple of magazine images. And, I layered colors on a lot of ATC’s. All of these will get more work done to them. Or maybe not! We will see.

I glued dictionary pages on recycled cardboard cut to postcard size. Future mail art.

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I have a pile of sketches, smallish, that would fit on ATC’s or postcards, maybe. I might color some of them and see what I can do with them next.

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Wednesday, February 28 – I was out a lot of the day, poetry activities and otherwise, so I contented myself with cleaning up the studio to be ready for another work day. Oh so pretty, I say to myself!

I did make one artwork – inadvertent as it was. I had some black acrylic paint on my finger (I was repairing a teeny little area and did not want to make a brush dirty). I then tapped my finger across a piece of scrap paper to clean it – you know how you do.

Well, I’ve made all kinds of fingerprint people on purpose in my art over the years. No surprise, I turned these prints into people, too. I make a note to myself to do some more of these soon.

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Thursday, March 1 – I was out all day at Poetry Marathon. At night, I colored in one page of my B/W drawings in my current Large Art Sketchbook with Tombow and Prism markers, while watching TV.

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Friday, March 2 – As said at the beginning of this week’s Diary, we had a nor’easter, starting as rain and turning to snow, only about 4-5″ of the latter, but the winds were 60 MPH.

Quote of the day, heard on the traffic report: the Schuylkill Expressway is open again and moving – the tree that fell on the bus was just a small one.

That kind of day. The weather unsettled me and I didn’t focus well. I got a couple of boards set up for future paintings:

I worked on a few ATC’s. I decided to listen to my audiobook to drown out the howling wind, and I needed a project. I took two small boards and decided to paint a snowy tree set. One cold and one warm.

I fussed around with them too much, I think. Maybe I’ll paint over them. Anyway, it kept me distracted. Sometimes the point of art making is just to be – making art.

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All right, that is it for this week. See you next week.

Winter from the Kiln

Here are tiles just made this month, celebrating winter.

You may remember them from recent Art Diary posts – now they are finished and ready for you to see.

They are each 4″ x 4″, Velvet underglazes on commercially-made terracotta tiles, fired at cone 06, January, 2018.