Tuesday, February 3, 2015

One From Column A and One From Column B (Part 1)

Just recently I took a gander at my blog posts from 2014 so that I could bring you up to date on my art adventures. I was aghast to see that after only one or two posts summing up 2013, I had failed to post any art last year, and that I hadn't even shared all my travels! What gives? Have I gone lazy? Well, actually just the opposite: madly busily creative! There is no way to show it ALL now, so I have decided on a two part journey of summation, traveling through some of my favorite moments. This post I will cover Danny Gregory's new online teaching venture: Sketchbook Skool, a nod at Teesha and Tracy Moore's Artstronaut's Club, my first ever painting class which is also my first time with new online teacher, Tracy Verdugo in Paint Mojo, and finally an epic stitched "painting" with my favorite art stitcher, Arlee Barr.

For years Danny Gregory, of "Creative License" and "Everyday Matters" fame has inspired those of us new to drawing and journaling our lives to "just do it". Trouble was, many of us needed direct inspiration and a class. So last spring Sketchbook Skool opened it's online doors for the first of three six week "semesters": Beginnings, Seeing, and Storytelling. Each program includes the lessons of six different professional sketchers of widely varied styles, a smorgasbord with something to inspire every one. A new class will be offered in March, and each of the others is being repeated over time.

Here are some of my favorite page spreads from the three classes.

Danny's "Drawing Toast"

Danny's "Fast and Slow"

Andrea Joseph: Drawing an object with only ballpoint pen

Andrea Joseph: drawing a collection

Andrea teaches us some interesting handwriting

Jane LaFazio: ink and watercolor laid out in a grid (in progress)

Koosje Koene: drawing with colored pencil

Tommy Kane: epic detail!

Koosje: a selfie a day

All throughout the year I can always go to the inspiration of "The Artstronaut's Club" run by Teesha and Tracy Moore. The Moore's and guest artists post video lessons, collage sheets to print out, and just generally share inspiration for artistic growth. Much fun! (And quite reasonably priced.)

Here I took Teesha's lesson on "wormhole doodling" and added it to a journal page in a round robin which had been inspired in turn by a painted textile, THEN re-inspired, I began the task of duplicating the doodling in embroidery on the original painted textile! And the wheel goes round.
I had been vaguely aware of Australian artist, Tracy Verdugo in my travels about the net, but until she braved her first online adventure last autumn, her talent and my interest weren't going to meet. Luckily she was able to put together an outstanding e-class based on her weekend workshops, called "Paint Mojo". Tracy has an amazing persona that reaches out through the camera and into your heart. Her class was so jam packed full of love and learning that I was only able to complete about half the assignments. Luckily I will have access for a while yet to return to watch the videos and continue. The one thing I made it my business to keep up with was the focal assignment: a six week layered canvas of personal symbolism and imagery. Tracy is running her class again mid February, so run over and check it out!

The class begins with finding inspiration around the house and creating thumbnail "mash ups" to create a print plate and prints.

Here is a collage of six different prints I made from the hippo design. A seventh one, not shown here, was over painted in a folk art style.

My very favorite side project involved learning to use dripping inks to advantage to create dream catcher paintings. (This is a cropped image of the full painting.)

After completing the first larger dream catcher, we created a sheet of four more "beginnings" with four different ways to compete. Here is my dream maiden.

One of our weekly inspirations for the imagination was called "Palettes of Possibility" and involved taking the paper palette used in painting the other assignments and using it as the base of another painting. Here is the free play on a palette with a little extra ink drawing and fingerprinting.

Here is the same palette after the addition of collage and paint, pulling a story out of the random shapes and lines above. Incoming! Get off the runway!
Our major project was to paint a large canvas (mine was 30x30 inches), the first time I had ever done so. Each week we watched Tracy paint along with us, demonstrating her special techniques for inspiration, use of materials, and freedom of application. It was a glorious experience.

After making a worksheet of favorite symbols, they are added (according to a bit of a formula) to the divided canvas. Throughout the layers, the predominant type of coloring media were Golden Fluid Acrylics and Daler Rowney Acrylic Ink, applied with unorthodox tools and often with the fingers.

Week 2: Fluid mediums in a sheer layer

Week 3: Expanding on the symbology (mine done with the assistance of a poem written during the first lesson)

Week 4: Unifying the canvas with color and design elements. At this point it could have been called finished, but then we wouldn't have been taking it to the limits!

Week 5: Looking for imagery to keep

Covering the extraneous design to highlight the imagery desired

Week 6: Refining the imagery and adding back color to unify the design

In most years of my life, my art and craft have revolved around textiles, and even though I am drawing and painting now, I am attempting to bring the two together with original textile art. I was fortunate to participate this past autumn in an e-course with Arlee Barr, eco fabric dyer and pioneering embroiderer. The course, "The Third Dimension" was intended to produce highly textural results with applique and embroidery telling a story.
Pulling fabrics from my stash to help design the tale of a cat and a blue moon.

The individual pieces of the cat have been embroidered and are ready for assembly.

The background fabrics are woven and embroidered to supplement the story.

Energy fields flow about the blue moon character in variegated cotton threads in satin stitch.

The cat's whiskers reach out to the cosmos.
A second face appears, the winds, blowing positive energy to fill a heart shape.

The nearly completed piece with a tryout of framing and backing.
Be back soon with part two: classes with Jane Davenport and Carla Sonheim.

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