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January 6, 2012

One Journal Complete, A New One Begun

Last year at this time I took the online class "Remains of the Day" by Mary Ann Moss.  I created a fabric art journal and this year filled it with sketches, photos, and ephemera from my art sketchcrawls and projects with one or more of my New York City friends.  Five of us gather together regularly (Journal Study Group) to share skills for art on paper and art on fabric, and those are the photos that are included.

This is my very fat, full journal - which represents many fun days between Jan and Dec.

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The pages in the journal are made from random printed papers, with lots of other attached decorations.  Then more stuff is added.  It is hard to explain the multilayered scrapbook quality in photos.  But here are a few of the finished pages. 

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I had so much fun making and keeping this journal, that I decided to make another one for 2012 and to again document my art adventures in New York City.  Yesterday I pulled out all of my hand dyed and painted fabrics and made selections for the new cover. 

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And I added my first pages, including my sketches of caricatures in the Infinite Jeste exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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December 30, 2011

Last Blog Drawing and Art Progress For 2011

I sketched today during a Gallery Talk on Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

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Last January I outlined my art goals for 2011 - just to have a map to guide me through the days.  I maintain a sketchbook for pleasure and get joy from recording the little things in my current life.   No one is monitoring my progress, but I still like to reflect on how I spent my time, so I can make plans for 2012.  Here is my progress on 5 goals.

 1.  Continue to work on drawing skills with daily drawings and monthly live figure drawing. 

I averaged more than one sketch per day for the full year, and went to figure drawing monthly at the Society of Illustrators.  I also went to figure drawing at the Battery Park City summer program for the first time.  Although I want to eventually try using just a brush and watercolor to "draw" figures, I stretched a little and sketched figures, during the 20 minute poses, with a watercolor pencil and then water to shade the figures. 

I'm working on a 100 Faces project from Carla Sonheim's Drawing Lab book and added 33 portraits - drawing from live people who usually didn't know they were being sketched.  I now have almost 70 done.  And I even tried sketching portraits of my mother and a few grandchildren, although I still struggle trying to schieve a likeness of their faces.

2.  Continue to work on watercolor painting skills.

I'm not sure that I'm making progress although I am trying to increase my range of values.   And I'm using watercolor pencils more in my daily sketches, especially when I'm sketching faces on subways and buses.

3.  Continue making my daily watercolor sketchbooks and expand my bookbinding skills.

I made and used 7 watercolor sketchbooks and one recycled watercolor book during the year and now I'm working on an artist's book -  collaging, drawing, and painting Christmas ornaments that I made over the last 30+ years to document my collection. 

4.  Continue education through on line classes, workshops, and directed reading.

Participated in the three 2011 Strathmore online workshops.

Took an online mini-class with Kate Johnson on watercolor pencils

Took an online class with Mary Ann Moss to make a "Remains of the Day" journal and then slowly filled it over the entire year.

Took a class with Judy Coates Perez at Quilt Festival, painting and drawing on fabric with Tsukineko inks.

Worked through several DVDs on Art Journals, Read Cathy Johnson's Artist's Journal Workshop twice, Reread Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit, Read Eric Maisel's Coaching the Artist Within and Peter Steinhart's The Undressed Art or Why We Draw.

5.  Enjoy and nurture connections to the art community. 

I blogged 8-9 times per month (2X/wk), met regularly with members of my Journal Study Group to visit museum exhibits, go on sketchcrawls, and "make art" together, attended 8 Central Park Sketching and Art Meetup Group sessions, and followed Everyday Matters (Yahoo Group) and many art blogs for inspiration and contact with the broader community.

I'm am thoroughly enjoying my retirement and I'm thrilled that I found another passion to add to my other lifelong interests.  My blog will be 6 years old next week and hopefully I will make some plans for 2012 by then. 

December 21, 2011

Mixed Media Artist Book

In 1976, the year after our 3rd and last child was born, I started to make fabric ornaments for our Christmas tree.  I usually made 20-24 of the same ornament so I could give some away as gifts.  And over the years I made several more for our family when I found a new pattern, design or needlework technique (for example smocking or silk ribbon embroidery).  After giving away 3 full sets of the ornaments to our children, when they were married, I still have 139 hanging on our tree. 

Each of the last few years I sketched and painted random ornaments in my daily watercolor sketchbook during the holidays, and then last year I decided  that I would make a mixed media artist's book of my favorites.  So I am scanning and printing some of the ornaments from my sketchbook pages and collaging them into the book.  And on other pages, I'm drawing and painting them directly on the pages in the 8 x 10" watercolor book. 

Here are 3 of the first pages.  This will be a long term project for the last two weeks of December each year.  Once we take down our tree and pack up the ornaments, they will be forgotten until the next year.

 

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September 12, 2011

More Watercolor Sketchbooks

These watercolor sketchbooks were made with my bookcloth - white cotton fabric that was manipulated and dyed using procion MX dyes.  All of them are full, even though I haven't numbered the last two before they were put up on the shelf. 

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I learned how to use soy wax resist with procion dyes earlier this year and just had to try it out with all of my dye colors.  Here is my "Harlequin" design,

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 I just finished two more - one 5.5 x 7.5" portrait style and one 8" square.  The blue one is my current daily sketchbook.  Each of my sketchbooks has Fabriano Artistico 140 lb Soft Press paper.  Getting the book size and the paper I liked was my initial motivation for making a sketchbook.  Then I decided that I really loved binding books and making my own bookcloth is a complete joy.  I get to work with different resists, fabric manipulations, stamps, screens and monoprinting.  My series of black sketchbooks that were made with commercial bookcloth are so blah!

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The recycled books, sketchbooks with black bookcloth, and covers of some of these books can be seen by scrolling through the following blog category.  There is also a tutorial for how to recycle a book to make a watercolor sketchbook - that was how I started on this journey.

http://www.paperandthreads.com/bookbinding/

http://www.paperandthreads.com/2008/03/recycling_an_old_book_as_a_wat.php

March 11, 2011

Making Watercolor Sketchbooks and Painting a Live Luna Moth

I love making my own watercolor sketchbooks and for at least a year have also been making by own book cloth using cotton fabric that I dye with Procion MX dyes and several suface design techniques.  This is the sketchbook that I'm completing now.  The cover was made by folding the fabric in different directions and then dipping it into the dye. 

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This is the Sketchbook that I started yesterday - this time the cloth was stamped with tile spacers and corn dextrin resist before dying it.   

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I use Canson Mi Tientes for endpapers in these sketchbooks - it is a wonderful weight paper and it comes in so many colors.  The watercolor paper is Fabriano Artistico Extra-Bright 140 lb soft press paper - a nice compromise between hot and cold press for me.  The books are approximately 7.5 inches square.

These are all of the sketchbooks that I made since I switched from black commercial bookcloth to hand dyed fabric fused to Thai mulberry paper.  I fell in love with my first square journal and now seem to moving away from the 6 X 8" portrait size.

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Yesterday I took my grand daughter Sydney to the Natural History Museum since she had a day off from school.  This little girl has NO interest in dinosaurs, so our visit consisted of the Butterfly Conservatory, African mammals (which she photographed in detail), Gems and Minerals, and the Rose Planetarium show called Journey to the Stars.  This week I was able to get a good photograph of the luna moth in the Butterfly Conservatory, so I painted him as the first entry in my new watercolor journal.

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