Friday, March 28, 2014

Nature Journal

Well, you took the what?  Guess I'd better get busy and do something with all the renewed inspiration. 

So, I did.....I've been making pages for my Nature Journal that I started in class, last Saturday, with Roxanne Evans Stout teaching and great group of other aspiring artists.......

This page is made with hand made paper layered with dark brown paper and topped with Joss paper that I stamped with my hand carved beetle stamp.  I stole an idea from my friend, Jeanne, and typed the line "these are the nights beetles love" on paper, stitched it to tea-dyed muslin and glued it on....add a button and done!

This is more handmade paper and a dried maple leaf stitched inside of a silk tea bag!  Made use of Mother Nature's handiwork on the leaf and glued it down!

More handmade paper, some tatting stitched down, another tea bag, crocheted heart with a heart shape leaf and a hat pin, stitched around with string and added a rusty key for the finish!

This is one of those pages that you start with one idea and finish with something very different.  The "booklet" started with Roxanne demonstrating a book she had made using a twig for the binding.  An idea I really liked until I realized it would add too much bulk to my already bulky book, if, I added the twig.  So, I stitched it together with blue string and added a brass tag to weight it down, added stamps, some rub-on lettering, a very old photo, real Monarch butterfly wing, sheet music, and a dried yellow flower!!!  The translucent paper that covers the photo......from a box of candy!  Really, you just can't throw anything away.

This is the last page of "booklet".  The birds and berries are printed on a lovely napkin that Roxanne provided, I glued it down on a piece of blue paper and the "metaphor" tag came off of something I purchased to wear......and kept the tag.

This is the last finished page, not the last page for the journal.....I have two more in the works!

This one features a paper doily that friend, Jeanne, eco dyed and gave me....geez, I love that piece of paper!  I really like paper doilies anyway, but when you add the natural colors and the texture...YUM!

The lined paper in the background?   It's from an old music composition notebook I found at a flea market, I love the lines.  The date?  My idea is this journal is my version of a Victorian nature journal so I wanted to add a date, it, ties to the date on the old photo above too.  I guess, if it was suppose to be Victorian, it should have been dated earlier....Oh, well!

So, there it week's worth of work!  It's been a good week.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

What makes a class SPECIAL?

Last night, I went to sleep completely exhausted yet fully restored! 

I had just spent the day with twelve other aspiring artists and one very inspirational teacher, Roxanne Evans Stout.

My one completed page for the day!


Here is Roxanne on the right and Cleo on the left with students busily working in the background.
Roxanne is a very generous teacher and this is one of the beautiful pieces of her art that she shared with the group for ideas and inspiration.

For some annoying and frustrating reason the photo wants to load sideways but the quality of her work shines through.

This morning I'm thinking about what goes into making a class memorable.  Certainly, the subject matter but, more so, who is teaching the subject.  Roxanne is such a good teacher.  Very down to earth, sharing, caring and encouraging and in an art class attended, primarily, by middle aged women I think "encouragement" in BIG doses is what is called for the most.   When you add friends, food, a lovely work space, a love of nature, lots of great materials to work have not only taught someone something new but added to their bank of great memories.

Roxanne started the class with a warm up exercise!  Each student was encourage to select ten objects from a pile of natural materials, which included leaves, flowers, sticks, moss, pine cones, paper and more, and use those pieces to create "table top" art in pleasing arrangement.  Here are a few examples of what the class created, remember there were nine other creations I did not get photographed.

At the end of the class each student displayed her completed art work, and works in progress, on a table for all to admire.

The work, the artists/students and the teacher.....what an awesome day!  But wait, there was more....

after class, those who were able to, went out to dinner together...friendships formed and bonds built.

So, to Roxanne and all of my fellow classmates.....THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!  You are an awesome group!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Inspiration is coming from every where!

I am preparing to take a workshop from Southern Oregon artist, Roxanne Evans Stout this Saturday.

An article in Somerset Studio's magazine is where I first became aware of Roxanne, she and Seth Apter had done a collaboration on a project and the idea completely intrigued me.  Later, I would see her work in Seth's book and started to follow her blog.

Last year, she offered a nature journaling class and I immediately signed up.  This is one piece I did in class.

After the class was finished, I wanted to learn more from Roxanne.  So, I invited her to teach at the Woodburn Art Center where I am a member and, just happen to be one of the class coordinators.  She accepted!  Come Saturday, March 22...a mere four days from now I, and thirteen others, will spend a wonderful day experiencing more of Roxanne's gentle perspective on nature and how to capture it in art journaling.

For months, now, I have had a basket that I've been dropping things into that I thought I might want to use for this class.   Today, I'm trying to winnow it down a bit.  In the process, I found things I had forgotten I had which lead to digging out something else I thought would go with that item.

As a result.....I think I've added more stuff is in very tidy order!!!

Since it is a Nature journal, I'm digging out the flowers and the leaves I've been drying all winter.

I love "holey" leaves and clusters of leaves.  On my dog walking adventures in the park, I find lots of feathers and acorns and other interesting twigs and moss.  I only dried a few flowers but I do have a few hydrangeas and tiny rosy blossoms dried.

I am bringing some of the paper and the fabric that I ecco-dyed with leaves and flowers last fall.  I threw in some ribbon, lace, buttons, rubber stamps, hand-made paper, rubber stamps, rice get the idea. 

While I had thing spread out on my work table I could not resist playing with them, so I had to do little arranging.....then I ironed out some of the wrinkles, literally!

More play....with ecco dyed fabric which I didn't like a first because I'm not a big fan of "pink"!  However, when you add some orangey salmon color and a little blue....not too bad!

Time to quit playing and start packing.  I'll share some finished product next week!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Second graders and drawing, not at the same time!

Had the pleasure of watching/hearing my Great Granddaughter's second grade class perform in concert last night.  Kids are so entertaining!  Some are so serious and some could care less and there is a clown in every class.


Here we are...four generations!  Me, on the right, my daughter Leigh,  her daughter Staci and Staci's two daughter's, Emma and Lucy!  We topped the evening off with Baskin-Robbins ice cream!  Fun!

I am taking a drawing class from an excellent teacher, Lori Wallace-Lloyd at the art center in Newberg. Every drawing class starts with spheres, this class was no exception.  I have not done much drawing with charcoal in's fun but is taking getting use to.  Here are some sample practice pieces I've done at home.

What do rocks, sea shells, and globes have in common?  They are all spheres and ripe for practice!