Saturday, May 17, 2008

April 29

I painted these pages with Melted Butter and Rust Red. I used a square punch on magazine pages to make the embellishments on the left side.

The right page features a picture of the birthday card I made for my brother Keith. I used one of the little watercolor collages I made in Sherri Kiesel's class. He really seemed to like it, and that always makes me feel good!


This shows my Grandma sitting on a log and holding my little brother with my sister and me beside them. That's an old family photo that I used in a book I made my mother for Mother's Day this year. She just loved the book. It was accordion-style and pictured many of our ancestors, including my great-great grandfather.

Leap Year

I dotted on Wild Berry, Petal Pink, Crocus, Purple, and Bright Blue and smeared with an old credit card to completely cover the pages. Next, I brushed silver paint onto a piece of corrugated cardboard and quickly pressed it to the right page, creating lines. Then I used a sponge to dab the silver paint around the edges and down the center. Of course, frogs "sprang" to mind for a Leap Year page, so I was glad to find these little critters in my picture file. I used a Sharpie Extra-Fine Poster-Paint pen to do the writing.


This spread has so many components, I can barely remember how it came about. To begin with, I had painted both pages entirely with blue and beige paint. You can imagine that wasn't very exciting. The bright yellow came about when I was stirring some of my paints. I try to do this every few months with the expensive bottles to see if I need to add water (I don't bother with the cheap craft acrylics.) This yellow was either Ziller Ink or Plaka casein emulsion paint. Anyway, I just rolled the stir stick across the right page to use up the bit of paint that still clung to it. That livened things up somewhat and gave me the idea to make a yellow-green border. I cut curved pieces of acetate film as masks to protect the blue paint and brushed on yellow paint around the edges, followed by some green which was partially wiped off to reveal parts of the yellow. Next, I drew a narrow border on top of the blue shape using a white charcoal pencil. This was outlined with a black Prismacolor pencil, and finally decorations were added with a black Pitt F pen. The final touch was the photo of a beautiful favorite flower. I love how the colors in it complement those already on the page.

One of my favorite tricks when gluing an illustration to a page, is to adhere it so parts of it hang off the page, and then trim these off after it's dry. I think the page looks more professionally designed this way, than when I just plop something in the middle.

Doily Spread

This spread was the result of experimenting to see if I could use a paper doily as a stencil. It worked fairly well, but I think if I tried it again, I might spray the doily first with a sealer since it got kind of mooshy from the wet paint.

First I painted both pages with the dark green paint (English Ivy), and when dry laid the doily on top and stippled through the holes and across the top with the lighter Apple Green.

It was rather blah, so I tried to liven it up by using Prismacolor pencils in various places. I think this gave it kind of a stained glass look.

Menopause the Musical

This spread was to help me always remember the delightful time Linda and I had at this musical. I would urge everyone to see it, especially if you grew up in the 50s and 60s. The music will carry you back to your youth even though the lyrics have been changed ever so slightly to comment on menopausal issues. I dare you not to love it!

I painted the background with 'Wild Berry' and some blue color (It was either Anita's 'Morning Blue' or Americana's 'Calypso Blue'.) I just clipped the illustrations from the program.

Patchwork Painting

I made this page following directions by Kelly Rae Roberts in the Nov/Dec '07 issue of "Cloth, Paper, Scissors. In brief, it involves gluing squares and rectangles of a variety of papers to cover the entire background. Then coat the surface with gel medium to seal. Sketch the figure. Use a brayer and/or brush to apply various colors of fluid acrylics over the collage. Wipe with a damp paper towel to remove some of the color and let the paper patterns show through. Gesso the skin and hair areas. When dry, paint these with acrylics, shadowing and shading for a realistic look. The butterfly that forms the bodice was cut from wrapping paper. Finally, outline the entire figure with black paint.

The background of the left page was first painted with periwinkle and yellow craft acrylics, and when dry, a sponge brayer was used to apply a variety of green paints.

New Babbo Bruno

For my birthday, we went to Babbo Bruno's new location in Friendswood. This is quite a bit larger than their old facility and has more ambience. With stone floors and arches, it has a Tuscan feel. And I love the fact that it isn't noisy like so many restaurants. They were playing Andrea Bocelli's music, but not intrusively.

Missy and I had planned to have a girls'-day-out on Sunday, but I told her that we would do it later since she needed to spend her time preparing for another insurance exam. However, she took time anyway to bring me a fantastic coconut pie from the Busy Bee, a beautiful Christmas cactus and a visit with my sweet little grandkitty Alley.

The background for these pages was red and purples paints that I had left in the brushes from other pages. I often get some lovely backgrounds this way, by just dabbing on whatever's left in the brush; adding to it over time until I have a nice look. Then I added yellow and purple NeoColor II water soluble pastels on top of the paint. The illustration is part of a napkin applied with matte medium.

The text was written with some markers that were new to me: Prismacolor Premiers in .3 & .1

November 26-30

These pages were painted with blue, green and copper acrylic paints. The designs were done with Prismacolor pencils, outlined with a black .8mm Copic pen. This was an incredibly fun spread to do. I was inspired by Ingrid Dijkers art. She is absolutely amazing! See her work here:

Korean Barbeque

I had read a good review of the Korean Barbeque on El Dorado, so Missy and I went there today to check it out.

It was a tiny place in a strip center, but the food was good as promised. Our main dish was bi bim bap, which was rice, beef, and vegetables topped with a fried ess and served in a hot stone bowl. Mia, the owner, brought it to the table and proceeded to chop up the egg and mix it into the other ingredients along with some hot chili paste. We also had fried dumplings, miso soup, and a kimchee pancake.

Dog Up a Tree

For Coquette Weekend this year, we went to Rockport. We saw the funniest thing when we were coming home on Sunday. We had stopped at Goose Island State Part to view a 2000 year-old live oak that is 38 feet in circumference. That was pretty spectacular, but we saw something even better when a little dog that was part Jack Russell took off after a squirrel and actually climbed a tree! She jumped up about 4 feet and then clawed her way up another 3 or 4 feet until the trunk angled out above the ground and she could run all the way out to the end of the limb. This was not the 2000 yr-old tree, but one that was plenty big itself. It happened so fast that we were only able to get a picture of her as she headed back down. We were all whooping and hollering. Her owners live nearby and said she does it all the time.

I applied gesso to the left page and let it dry. Then painted royal blue & turquoise on the right page. While it was wet, I closed it over onto the dry gessoed page, and then carefully pulled the pages apart. This transferred some of the wet paint. Once all was completely dry, I applied Adirondack 'Stonewashed' dye ink to the left page with a cosmetic sponge. The text was written with a white Uniball Signo pen. This was also used to outline the picture which had been trimmed with decorative edge scissors.

Art Journaling in Austin

The 1-day class I taught in Austin went very well. We had 12 people, which was a nice size group to work with.
Everyone seemed to have a good time, although with only one day they didn't get much actual journaling done. Hopefully, they'll complete some of the pages they started at home.
This spread was burnt sienna fluid acrylic mixed with soft gel matte medium over pages that had been previously painted with gesso. When this was very dry, I brushed it again with gesso and stamped into the damp gesso around the edges of the right page with a Staedtler Mars eraser that I had carved in a grid pattern. The uncarved squares of the eraser lifted off the damp gesso, revealing the burnt sienna underneath, while the carved-out lines remain white. I wrote the title with a Pitt brush pen.
The illustrative elements on the left side are serendipity squares, which are a great way to use up those scraps of paper that we all save. Choose a solid color of paper or cardstock for your background. Tear your scraps into small pieces and glue them down at random, leaving the background sheet showing in places. It won't look like much at this stage, but don't worry. Now you can add all sorts of embellishments, such as punch-outs, stickers, lace, embossing. Anything you can think of as long as you can cut through it. It will really look a mess now, but looks great once it's cut up. Cut into small squares or other shapes and they're ready to mount on journal pages or as decorative elements for cards.
This spread is wonderfully tactile with the collaged pieces on the left and grid marks you can actually feel on the right.