Thursday, May 22, 2014

Two Little Watercolors


 I did two little paintings to thank my kids for my Mothers' Day surprises.

You can buy ready-made watercolor paper cards and postcards.  Usually I use a color photocopy on card stock of one of my paintings, but I made originals for these.

I also did a page for Week 3 of the Strathmore Online Workshop with the Journal Junkies.  This one was about incorporating text onto the page.  

And here is a picture of my littlest grandchild, Charlie, looking cute as a bug!  We have been enjoying playing outside this week.

This is Memorial Day weekend in the USA, and all our kids and grandkids will be joining us at our new mountain cabin.  It is supposed to be very warm and sunny.  We are hoping to do some creek sitting while they are here!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Strathmore Free Artist Workshop 2: Visual Journal Fodder

Visual Journal Fodder,  the second of the 2014 free Strathmore Online Workshops began May 5, and this time the instructors are David R. Modler and Eric Stott, the authors of The Journal Junkies Workshop.  I purchased that book a couple years ago.  I used it as a guide to make my Grow Old With Me collage.

These online workshops are a great bargain.  (Can't beat free, right?)  Each workshop has four weeks of lessons, which include videos and written instructions.  You don't have to use the exact materials that are listed, just whatever you already have.

Week One is titled Engaging the Page with Watercolor Paint.  Several fun techniques for backgrounds are included.

Here is what I did for the first week's lesson.

Splattered some paint, stenciled, added salt

Stencil, several shades of watercolor paint

Pulling string through paint on page, stencil (isn't the Pomegranate stencil cool?)

Rubbing alcohol drops on wet watercolor, a little stenciling, some salt

This one is just blocks of Caran d'ache water-soluble crayons activated with water.

This one has watercolor through a very interesting new stencil of two trees.  I think I used some saran wrap on the blue section of watercolor and got that crackled effect.

Week Two: Building Layers with Watercolor had us dividing the pages into geometric shapes with watercolor pencils, then activating the pencil with water, watercolor paint, or water-based markers.  There is some additional layering with watercolor pencils (the short and long lines.)

I went a little crazy on the next one.  I used the Caran d'Arch Neocolor II water-soluble crayons to make the outlines of the shapes.  I used some additional watercolor paint on the backgrounds.

All of these are just backgrounds.  I'm not sure if we will be adding to them during the subsequent lessons, or just adding on to these as we feel inspired.  All of my pages from the workshop are in my Strathmore Visual Journal Watercolor book.  It has a spiral binding so it lies nice and flat, and the pages are heavy enough that they do not buckle.

If you have not tried art journaling, why not sign up for this free online workshop and try some fun art techniques?

Friday, May 9, 2014

More Quilts From Art Quilts: Whimsy!

Yesterday I went back to the Page-Walker Arts and History Center in Cary, NC, to take some more photos of the Whimsy! quilts.  The first time I went, I ran out of memory on my phone!  I had a little longer to spend this time.

I do not know musical notation, so I had to read the artist statement by Liz Kuny to understand the musical reference.  I like the very graphic quality of this piece.

The next happy little piece was inspired by the Word Challenge.  It is made by Teresa Wall.

The next piece is a fabric puzzle.  Each piece connects to the others.  I like the complementary colors of blue and orange, which is actually rust-dyed.

Here is another small but exuberant quilt called Break of Dawn by Eileen Kane.

The next quilt is larger, and is by a well-known quilter named Teri Stegmiller.  It is a whole-cloth painted quilt with some delightful quilting.

Next to her quilt in the foyer is Frolicking, by Margarita Korloth.  She uses some paper and recycled materials along with cloth to make her joyful people.

Also in the foyer hangs this piece called Up the Down Staircase.  Her inspiration was Cubism.

Also in the foyer...this interesting quilt that makes you pause for a second...and third...look!  I happen to agree with her title.

A House is Not a Home Without a Dog, by Susan Robbins

Speaking of dogs, I took my own personal pooch to a groomer not far from the quilt exhibit in Cary to get her summer shave.  She has been suffering under her heavy fur coat since summer temperatures finally arrived here in the south.  Not any more!  She does not look too happy in her picture, but I think she will be much more comfortable.

I posted this picture on Facebook, and one of my friends asked if they charged extra for the tail!  Ha!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Art and Quilts

After our very long weekend in the mountains for Merlefest last weekend, we decided to stay in Raleigh this weekend.  I took advantage of a chance to attend my old quilt bee in Wake Forest, which meets on the first Thursday of the month.  They have gotten three or four new members since I became relatively inactive in the group.  It was nice to meet the new ladies, and visit again with my old friends.

There was lots of good show and tell.  One of the most remarkable was this cross-stitch embroidery quilt by Mary Nennstiel.  She found the blocks at a yard sale, washed them, and set them with this lovely sashing that really makes the blocks glow.  She machine-quilted and was sewing on the binding at the meeting last night.

And the award for perseverance goes to Kathy, who created this postage stamp quilt with one-inch squares.  She constructed it by making nine-patch blocks, then making a block five by five with the nine-patches.  Truly amazing!

Kathy also made this modern baby quilt that has Minkee on the back.  I found it interesting that her husband did the long arm quilting using a teddy bear panto!

Carolyn also made a modern quilt top using Oriental fabrics and a white sashing.  

Lori Mann was still working on her Halloween-themed Baltimore Album quilt.  She is adding beading to every block.  These are truly works of art.

Speaking of art, since I had a rare day in Raleigh to myself, I decided to see a special Exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art, which is only about three miles from our home.  
Estampas de la raza/Prints for the People: The Romo Collection will be there from April 13–July 27, 2014.  There is a special fee to view this exhibit, which is waived for members of the museum on their first visit.  It is well worth the price of admission to see the collection.  Here is a description from the NCMA website:

Ranging in date from 1984 to 2011, the works in the exhibition embody social, political, and economic issues, as well as explorations of identity and race, faced by Mexican American and Chicano/a artists. The exhibition is organized thematically in the following sections: the melding of Mexican and American cultures; Hispanic icons Frida Kahlo, Che Guevara, and César Chávez; the struggle for equality and labor rights; the search for Mexican American identity; and the influence of Latino culture on contemporary American life and art. 

You can expect to see many bright primary colors as well as some more muted colors in these prints, most of which are silkscreens. I was unfamiliar with all of the artists whose work was included, but I admire the work tremendously.

Raul Caracoza, Young Frida (Pink), 2006, screen print, image: 36 1/8 x 26 1/8 in., Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of Harriett and Ricardo Romo, 2009.42, © 2013 Raul Caracoza

The museum grounds are also an art park and greenway.  Just the short walk from the parking lot to the exhibit pleased the senses with a large garden of yellow roses.

And there is a long garden bed of Russian sage that was catching the late afternoon sun.