Sunday, April 19, 2015

Reaching the Finish Line (21-Day Art Journaling Challenge)

Here are my pages for Day 21 of the Art Journaling Challenge.

The prompt was "Would you like fries with that?"



I used a watercolor wash background, drew and painted the cows, and dripped India ink from an applicator to make the Eat Mor Chikn text on the signs.  The tails are made from yarn.  I printed out the logo from the Internet and enlarged it, then traced it onto white tissue paper.  I colored it in with a red Sharpie, and then applied the tissue with gel medium.

This page was lots of fun to create...and it was a good feeling to actually complete the challenge!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fabulous and Free Art Journal Challenge





Here is a link to sign up for the Fabulous and Free Art Journal Challenge.

The leader of the challenge is Susan Lazar Wojtkowski.  She has a web page called Irreversibly Moi.  Here is the information from Susan:

"The first challenge will arrive, via email, on May 4th (Monday).  You will receive a new challenge twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays.

  • We will keep the same Facebook Group for this challenge as we had for the last one.  There will be a few new features added, though.

  • The challenges will be posted in the Facebook Group files section at the end of each week.

  • There will be an album for each challenge for you to upload your work to.

  • I will have random giveaways during the course of the challenge

  • There will be 30 challenges, in all.  With two challenges per week, this will take 15 weeks.

  • We just may have a few guest artists participating in some of the challenges :)"

I hope that some of you will participate in the challenge.  The last one really encouraged me to start making some beautiful pages in my journal.  I have tried some new lettering, drawing, and painting techniques, and found some that I really like.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Spring in Bloom in Raleigh


 It's my favorite time of year here in the South...dogwood and azalea time, that is!  We have massive hedges of azaleas around our driveway in front of the house, backing up to the woods.


And there's nothing more elegant or graceful than the dogwood, our state flower, in lovely drifts along the branches of the trees that are native to our woods.


And look at this pretty little bloom in my garden!



I am almost finished with the 21-Day Art Journal Challenge on Facebook.

Day 19:  I've Got to Hand it to You


Day 20:  Mandalas.  I loved drawing and painting this cheerful sun face, inspired by the sunshine artwork on the CBS Sunday Morning show.  I have been sketching several more mandalas in my journals.



I have just one more to complete, and I started it today. I am totally having fun with this one!  Just in time for the next challenge to begin!  I will post details when the rules come out.




Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Printing 101

I have been taking part in the Printing online workshop with Traci Bautista at Strathmore Online Workshops.    Traci has a very loose, modern, colorful style, but her methods could be applied to many types of mark-making and printing on paper or fabric.  Most of my prints have been on Strathmore Printmaking Paper, 300 Series.

Traci takes us through the process of making masks, stencils, and using both positive and negative images.

The first one shows a background printed with needlepoint grid, a mask and stencil I cut and used to print.  The dark blue is a watercolor paint diluted with water and sprayed through the stencil.




You can see the same leafy stencils used in a different color palette.  The square shapes are from my 6" x 6" Gelli Plate.  The black flowers are from a hot glue flower that I made and used as both a stencil and a stamp.


Traci is all about not wasting the paint left on the printing plates, stamps, or brushes, so you need to have journals and lots of papers ready to print the extra paint.  Here are pages in my Mixed Media journal absorbing some of the extra paint.  I used white ink around the darkest leafy shapes.



Here are two shapes I cut to use as stencils/stamps.



And here are some of the prints made from them.

The first one has a background with lots of marks, stamps, and doodles in oil pastel and acrylic paint. Then I printed the dark flowers with the Gelli Plate.  Looks a little like Matisse to me!



This one is mostly "ghost prints" from using the extra paint on the gelli plate and hot glue stamp.


Here is another with the background from Week 1, added doodle, and the black gelli plate print of the fern.




 The next two are just on computer printing paper, again extra paint absorbers.




 Here is one that is sort of a hot mess of doodles, paint, and prints.  Might make a good background!


For a very different look, I changed to a warmer palette and made some interesting bright prints.  The plaids are from notching the edge of a credit card and scraping it through the paint on the Gelli plate. The big black areas did not work out, so will be covered with something else.





 It is very messy and time-consuming to go through this layering process, but you can produce some very unique papers.  Of course, you can print fabric the same way.  I would probably use fabric paint and/or mix a textile medium into the acrylic paint if I wanted to sew through it.

Have fun!





Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Grandchildren, Journal Pages, Easter...Fun!


It has been a busy couple of weeks for this sewing/painting grandma!  I had our two oldest grandchildren here in Raleigh for a few days last week during their spring break.  Since I also babysit for the littlest one on Mondays and Tuesdays, it was a fun time for me and the little cousins.  You might understand why I have not had much time for blogging!

We did lots of painting and sidewalk chalk art.


I took them to the sculpture trail at the North Carolina Museum of Art.  It was a beautiful day to be outside.  Little Charlie saw this giant sculpture and must have thought it was a big patchwork quilt. She went running up to it...



but when she touched it, it did not feel like a quilt at all!


At the end of the walk there was a sidewalk full of pulsing fountains to cool us off!


We have lived in a rented house in Raleigh for close to two years, but never tried fishing in the pond in front of the house until recently.  My husband got two fishing rods for his birthday in March, and we discovered that we have a perfect fishing retreat right at home!  Lily caught a fish right away.  Most are bream, but I caught a little bass.


Now everyone wants to go fishing all the time!


Lily wanted to do some sewing while they were at my house, so we started a patchwork project.  I had a lovely floral block made for me by my friend Tama.  Lily loved it, so it will be featured on her tote back when it is finished.  She picked out all the coordinating fabrics and colors.


I had to take the big kids back to their daddy on Wednesday, but on Thursday we went to our cabin in the North Carolina mountains for Easter weekend.  Dave, Emily, and little Charlie came too.  It was a wonderful family weekend.


We have a family compound up there.  My sister and her brother-in-law also had all their grandchildren there!  We had a giant Easter egg hunt in Katy's back yard.


Here are Lacy and Holly checking out the treasures they found.


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Then there were sack races across the yard.  I think there were lots of good memories made that day.



 Okay, so I have not had much time for sewing or painting, but I am still trying to complete the 21-Day Art Journaling Challenge that I joined on Facebook.  Here are some pages I have made according to the daily prompts.

Paint Over a Photo


Kitchen Kapers


Hearts and Wings


Map It!



Home is Where the Heart Is


I have also been doing lots of printmaking while watching the weekly video lessons from Traci Bautista on the Strathmore website.  The lessons are free.  It is a messy process.  I will share some of my printmaking attempts next time.  I'm not sure it is my thing...but it's lots of fun!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Country Road in Autumn Watercolor Painting

I have decided that this painting is done. 

Country Road in Autumn, by Jeanne Turner McBrayer, 2015

 I started it back in November after attending a workshop with Tom Lynch.  It is on a half sheet of Strathmore Gemini watercolor paper (15" x 30".)  We did a similar painting in a smaller size.  I wanted to practice the lesson and maybe improve my skills a bit.  Here is the earlier version on a quarter sheet of Gemini watercolor paper (11" x 22").


I also have been working my way through several of Tom's books.  Here is a quick painting copied from his Watercolor Tips and Techniques book.



Thanks for looking!  I hope you are working on something colorful and fun!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Early Snow Watercolor Painting

Here is the painting I just finished...almost, but not quite in time for my husband's birthday!

Early Snow, by Jeanne Turner McBrayer, 2015
I actually started this one last year, before we had even moved in to the cabin.  After painting from a photo reference, I got stuck.  Everything looked kind of boring.  All that white!  But...I fell back on some of the lessons I have learned from Tom Lynch via his workshop last fall and his books.  I added a variety of color to the tree line, planted some imaginary rhododendron on the hill in front of the cabin, and cropped out the lower part of the scene.  It included the pond, a dock, and a chair.  With help of some friends, I made the decision to crop them off and let the eye be led right to the cabin, the only real warm tones in the painting.  Much better!