Monday, November 30, 2009

Walk at Teal Ridge Wetlands

This is my memory sketch for Lesson 2 of Kate Johnson's class, Keeping an Artist's Journal. We walked at Teal Ridge Wetlands on Friday morning (the day after Thanksgiving) and saw the geese getting ready to land in the field to our north.  I sketched it today from memory.  I also used a new (to me) technique of using a bamboo skewer to paint the smallest twigs on the trees.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chocolate Truffle

Another daily journal page for lesson 2 of Kate Johnson's Keeping An Artist's Journal class. I don't think there's anything better than chocolate truffles, and we've just had a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory open up in town. I'm in trouble! The name at the top of the page is cut from the sack and glued on.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Scarlet Maple

This is my first daily journal page for lesson 2 of Kate Johnson's Keeping An Artist's Journal class, and it represents several things for me. I am trying to be more attentive to my surroundings, to notice the beauty around me, and to record it in my journal. I'm also trying to capture the essence of a thing without all the detail, at least some of the time. I think I accomplished my goals with this page, so I'm quite pleased. 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Journal Map

One of the first assignments in Keeping an Artists Journal was to make a map. I wasn't even sure I was going to do a map. But then I got to thinking that a map could also be considered a plan or a pattern. Since I'm a quilter, I started looking for a quilt pattern with an appropriate name - Trip Around the World seemed perfect.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Keeping an Artist's Journal

This is the title page for the very simple journal I made for the class I'm taking from Kate Johnson.  I used a full sheet (22" X 30") of Strathmore 500 140 lb. watercolor paper and followed these instructions to fold a simple sketchbook.

I used Ranger Distress Inks (Dusty Concord, Shabby Shutters, Spiced Marmalade, and Broken China, then Vintage Photo on the edges) applied with an ink blending tool.

I did the lettering with a Zig Brushable brush marker in Hyacinth.  I outlined the letters with a Marvy 005 Medallion pen in Violet, and did the other lines with a Zig Writer in Pure Violet (0.5 mm tip).

This is my page of goals for one of my first assignments.

Imaginary Trip Through Autumn - Lessons 4 and 5

I probably need to wait for feedback from Laure before I post my assignments here!  Here is Lesson 4, using her suggestions.

I'm not very satisfied with this one - Lesson 5 - but I've already done what I could with it and decided to move on.  It's odd - it actually looks a bit better on the screen than it does in person (the opposite of how things normally work out).  But I have some ideas of what I did wrong and how to do better next time.  I'm going to try to paint a new ear of Indian Corn at some point - when I have time - but I'm already behind in my Autumn class (since Lesson 7 will be out tomorrow and I haven't even watched all of the video for Lesson 6).

That may be partly because I'm also taking another class at the same time - not a good idea, I know, but I couldn't resist.  This one is taught by Cathy (Kate) Johnson, and it's called Keeping an Artist's Journal.  Her flickr site is here and her website is here.  I've admired her art for a LONG time, and this class sounded perfect for me.  I'm really enjoying it so far.  I'll post my first few pages for that class in my next post.

Two New Journal Pages

I bake all of our bread - never buy it.  And not only that, I mill the flour from wheat.  But before you start thinking how labor intensive that is, let me share my process with you.  I have an electric grain mill made by Nutrimill, and I have a heavy duty Bosch Universal mixer.  I use a fast rising yeast that only requires the bread to rise once.  So I end up with 5 loaves in about 2 hours.  And I only bake about once a month.  And that is exactly what I did today.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Two Art Journal Pages

The text on these two journal pages pretty much explains it all - click on the pictures to see them larger (or to read the text).

Autumn Lesson 4

Here is my latest assignment for my Imaginary Trip Through Autumn online class.  I didn't save any room on the page for writing, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  I can't believe how much I'm learning in the class.  Laure Ferlita is a great teacher, and I love seeing everyone's paintings in the class.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Imaginary Trip Through Autumn - Leaves

Based on Laure's feedback, I worked on my original leaf a bit.  I couldn't do a lot with it, but I think I made it a little bit better.  I'm not sure why we don't see these things in our own work, but as soon as I read Laure's comments, I knew she was right.  That is one of the values of getting honest feedback from someone who knows what they're doing.

I'd been wanting to do some more leaves, so I did a couple more today.

These are on the right side of the page, while my other leaf is on the left.  My comment about the colors of fall being fleeting was inspired in part by the oak leaf I picked up several days ago - it is much browner than leaves I've picked up in previous days and weeks.  So I wanted to capture that on the facing page.

The Bradford Pear leaf isn't quite as bright IRL - but almost.  This is a scan, and I also took a photo outside in natural light - didn't make much difference, so I went with the scan.

Signs of Fall

A new journal page I finished last night.  In addition to the gourds (or whatever they are), I also bought a mini pumpkin and some Indian Corn.  I hope to sketch them soon.  Or maybe I'll sketch them all together in a grouping of some sort.  We'll see . . .

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Photograph by Penelope Lively

I liked this book much more than I thought I would from the description of it.  A man, Glyn, finds a photograph of his late wife, Kath, holding hands with her sister's husband.  Glyn becomes obsessed with trying to find out whether Kath had had other affairs.  The story is told from several different characters' points of view.  It is about relationships and listening and whether it is possible to really know another person.  I rate this book 4 out of 5.

New Art Journal

After my book binding class with Roz Stendahl, I bought some supplies to make another book.  I finally finished it yesterday.  Getting accurate color indoors is difficult, but this is fairly close; the book is a bit more purple in real life.  I used book cloth for the back, spine, and part of the front, and I used watercolor paper for the rest of the front.  The text block is glued in almost straight.  The inside pages are Gutenberg paper in sand color with darker fibers.  I think it will be lovely to work in.  I did manage to put the pages in with the grain direction running the wrong way - but Roz assured me that the paper is pretty resilient and the book will still be usable.  And I probably won't make that mistake again!

This book measures 8 1/4" wide by 5 3/4" tall - just a bit larger than the book I made in Roz's class (due to the sheets of paper being larger).  Based on the grain direction, the book should have been in portrait orientation; but I have more sheets of this paper, so that will be the way the next book will be.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Lesson 3

Here is my lesson 3 from my Imaginary Trip Through Autumn class.  I learned a blending technique that worked well for the leaf.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Reworked Lessons 1 and 2

After some very helpful feedback from Laure, I have worked on my first 2 lessons a bit, and I think made them better.  Plus I've added my journaling to my second page.  So here are my new pages:

I've mainly darkened the seat and back of the chair and added some more leaf color to the ground.  I've also tried (and tried is the key word here) to define the leaves on the seat and arm of the chair a bit better.  I must say, Laure is REALLY good at giving feedback.  I'm here to learn, and I know that I have a LOT to learn, so I appreciate very much her comments.  And she does it in a way that makes you feel good about what you've done.  I highly recommend her class!

I also darkened my pumpkin and the shadow under it.  You can see the differences by looking at my earlier chair post and my pumpkin post.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Imaginary Trip Through Autumn, Lesson 2

Here is my second lesson for my class from Laure Ferlita.  I still need to add my journaling to the page. The orange on the arm of the chair and in the seat next to the pumpkin are supposed to be leaves - not sure how to make that clear.  Other than that, I'm reasonable happy with my results.  I still have LOTS to learn, but I'm enjoying the journey.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

An Echo In the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

Book 7 in the Outlander series, the story of Jamie and Claire has expanded to include several additional stories:  Brianna and Roger, Lord John Grey, William Lord Ellesmere, Ian, and some new characters as well.  With so many stories going on at once, in both the past and the present, it jumps around a lot.  I sometimes wanted the current story to continue longer, but I still really enjoyed the book.  Not exactly great literature, but a really good story.  I rated this book 4 out of 5.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

A Walk in the Park

We walked in the park one day last week with our camera, and these are the only good shots I got.


When we were in Colorado over the summer, we went to an art festival in Crested Butte.  One of the vendors had beautiful handmade journals, made from deerskin.  My DH is a deer hunter, and he has deerskins from some of the deer he has harvested in the past.  He asked me if I could make him a journal like the ones we saw from his deerskin.  Here it is:

He also saves antlers, so the closure is the tip of an antler that he drilled holes in to make a button.  This is the spine:

And here is the inside:

He wanted lined pages, so after tearing the papers down, I ran them through our printer to put lines on the pages.  We're both happy with how it turned out.