Monday, April 25, 2016

Painted Paper Journals

Last week I was busy with some secret projects.  I decided to make some journals for birthday presents. I had a lot of paper that I painted some time ago when experimenting with printing and my Gelli plate.

Here are the two journals that I made.

The first two pictures are Maribeth's journal, front and back.

The next two are front and back of Emily's journal.

The covers are paper, not fabric, but I have added some texture with circles of silk and wool roving stitched on to the paper with my sewing machine.

I did not make a separate lining, but painted both sides of the cover paper.  Where the stitching showed on the inside cover, I used decorative tape to cover it.  I added lots of pockets, bookmarks, tags, and painted papers of all sizes.

 Emily's inside pocket contained a gift card.  We are so excited that she will be having another little girl in September!

That abstract paper with glitter paint is some of granddaughter Charlotte's artwork!

We celebrated both of their birthdays, along with son Bryson and his son Avery's birthdays at the beach last weekend.  Emily's mother Maribeth and her fiance John invited us all to their house at Carolina Beach, North Carolina, right on the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway.

We went to the beach on Saturday, and were blessed with a beautiful afternoon.  The water was a little cold, but we all had a great time.

Monday, April 18, 2016

On to France

Lavender Field, Provence, by Jeanne Turner McBrayer, 2016

Next stop on The Amazing Race journaling challenge:  France.  My husband Charlie has promised to take me there when he has fully recovered from his cancer treatment.  He still cannot drink wine or any alcohol for that matter, so it is worth postponing the trip!  I want to go to the Louvre, visit Giverny, and see those fields of lavender!

This painting is in my watercolor journal and is based on a photo I googled.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Amazing Race Journal Challenge

I have enrolled in another online journaling challenge hosted by Susan Lazar Wojtkowski   ("Irreversibly Moi") on Facebook.  This one will feature different geographical locations around the world.

The first stop is China.  Susan provided lots of geographical and cultural information, as well as links to learn more about Chinese culture.  I decided to browse the paintings at the National Art Museum of China.  Lo and behold, I fell in love with this lilac painting by Xiao Shufang.

Some of the other participants went all out and made special journals just for this challenge.  I decided to just fill up some pages in the watercolor and mixed media journals that I already have.

I went to my studio to grab one, and this was lying face open on my table.  

The night before the challenge began, I applied gesso over an acrylic painting that I did not like, and then sprayed purple watercolor paint over it.  I decided this was meant to be...and I used it as the background for my version of the lilacs.

It did not take long...the illusion of the light shining on the florets was already there, along with lots of texture.  I added some areas of color, the pottery vase and table, and then darkened the background.  A little time adding some flower petals and foliage, and it was done!

Lilacs, Jeanne Turner McBrayer, 2016.
There have been lots of great responses to the challenge already, including bamboo brush painting and paper cutting techniques.  Looks like this will be an interesting challenge with a variety of creative responses.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Angels Among Us

The other day I mentioned that I had been painting.  Just some pages in my art journal and also my art journaling bible.

I had a request for a painting similar to this one with scripture.

So I have been practicing painting angels in my lots of different colors.

Most of these are not finished yet, but I will add some more darks for contrast and perhaps some scripture.

Here are a few other journal pages.  Some have acrylics as well as watercolor.  All are waiting for some sort of text.

And I have really been enjoying my Bible art journaling and have made a few more. Sometimes I am inspired by the great masters of art when I read the Scripture verses.

Monet, anyone?  The iconic bridge at Giverny.

 Van Gogh and his exuberant shining lights were called to mind by Matthew 5: 13-16.

It has been COLD and WINDY here in Raleigh, NC this weekend.  We kept our granddaughter Charlotte last night, and then we all went to Saturday afternoon service together this afternoon.  The wind had knocked out the power in the area, so there was a sort of acoustic music program, which was very nice.  Then we went to Full Moon Oyster Bar for supper.  A good weekend so far!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Art in Bloom 2016

Art in Bloom...a feast for the senses, a delight for those who love art and flowers!  This special exhibit is at the North Carolina Museum of Art through Sunday.  I went with two of my Anything Art buddies yesterday.

Many of the floral arrangements were inspired by paintings or other works of art in the museum's permanent collection.  They could have similar colors, shapes, textures...or just represent the concept of the artwork.

This huge arrangement of orchids was near the entrance to the museum.

Here is an example of an arrangement inspired by a painting.  We thought it was amusing and clever. Even the pottery represented the painting well.  It earned my friend Ruth-Ellen's Viewer's Choice award.

Portrait of Emy, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff
Arrangement by Bonnie Mirmak, Pinehurst, NC

Proving that you can make something pretty out of almost anything, check out the arrangement made in a rubber tire, inspired by Raqqa II by Frank Philip Stella.

That's my friend Toni behind the arrangement!

Floral arrangement by Doug Odom, Purple Poppy Florist, Wake Forest, NC

Here is Toni's Viewer's Choice.  She is an archaeologist, and loved the arrangement whose structure and shapes were inspired by these African sculptures, specifically the one of the right called Veranda Post with Divination Priest and Drummer  by Lamidi Olonade Fakeye.

Floral arrangement by Debra Graham, Bloomers Floral Design, Burlington, NC.

 In fact, there were many arrangements inspired by sculptures rather than paintings.  I think it must have been a good starting point for the florist to structure their creations.  I loved this one inspired by Adoring Angel (German.)
Floral arrangement by Anahit Hakobyan, Viva La Flora, Laurel, Maryland.
It was fun to walk into the gallery space and try to guess which artwork inspired the arrangement.  I was sure that this one went with the painting behind it in the photo.
Floral arrangement by Kathryn Herdrich, The Watered Garden Florist, Raleigh, NC

Wrong!  It was inspired by this painting of Harriet Tubman helping some slaves to escape.  Hmmm.

Forward, by Jacob Lawrence
My Viewer's Choice vote went to this charming recreation of a country home with architectural elements and framed family photos.  It was not inspired by a specific work of art, but was a large standing exhibit.

Cydney  Davis-English, The English Garden, Raleigh, NC

There were so many wonderful shapes, textures, colors and fragrances to experience, both indoors and out.

We were at the museum for six and a half hours, including lunch and snack breaks.  It was a wonderful day with good friends.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Catching Up

We spent Easter week and a little bit longer at our mountain cabin.  It was very restful, and I think it helped Charlie a lot to be off work for awhile and be in his "happy place."  We enjoyed walks and rides over the mountains, and also seeing all the nieces and nephews who came up for the opening day of trout season.

Most of the trout that were caught in the creek were transported to our fishing pond, so the kids can catch them again and again.

Here is my sister's granddaughter Holly enjoying the tire swing.

The trees up there still did not have any leaves.  They are a few weeks behind Raleigh.

But back home, it is dogwood and azalea time!  We have huge mounds of azaleas surrounding our Raleigh home.

Yesterday I went on an excursion with friends Marcia and Laurie.  We went to Pittsboro, North Carolina, to visit the French Connections shop.  Marcia wanted to select some fabric for her quilt featuring fabrics from Provence.

It is a most eclectic and charming shop in downtown Pittsboro!  In addition to fabrics from France, they carry fabrics and many other items from West Africa and lots of metal sculpture from Mexico.

If you look closely, you can see Yours Truly standing next to the giant metal rooster!

She ended up purchasing a yellow fabric with lavender sprigs for the backing, and a navy and yellow print for the binding.

After we finally finished buying fabric, we walked to the Pittsboro Roadhouse  for delicious chili and sandwiches.  Then we browsed our way back through some great little galleries and shops.

I found this chenille baby throw, which I intend to make into a quilt. It was less than twenty dollars at Reclamation Home Furnishings and Company.

Today I have been doing a little painting in my art journal and Bible.  I'll post that work another time. Tomorrow I am off to the North Carolina Museum of Art with my art quilt bee.  It's time again for Art in Bloom, a pairing of art work and floral masterpieces.  We really enjoyed it last year, and can't wait to see the new creations!

Here are some pictures from last year's event.

The exhibit is only Thursday through Sunday, so better reserve your tickets and make your plans if you want to go!