Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fun and inspiring week...........

We've been busy, folks, and all of it has been very interesting on so many different levels.

Last Thursday, we had the pleasure of meeting a group of folks from Japan, who live in Hiroshima.  They are traveling in the Pacific Northwest speaking about life after the atomic bomb and promoting peace!  They represent the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.  They shared their stories of survival and their culture and it was so moving.  This piece of art was painted by a woman, who's name is Yoko, she has studied Summi painting for years.  Hubby's name is Ron, ron has many positive meanings in Japanese....long life being one of them!  She gave this to him as a gift.


Friday found me, and a few other art center members, setting up at a "Resource Fair" in a local 55 and over community.  The purpose was to inform residents of the resources available locally.....and the Woodburn Art Center is defiantly a community resource! 

Saturday found us in downtown Portland at Saturday Market......lots of crafts and food and, being Oregon, rain!  But, truly fun and interesting.

On top of all this fun, I'm prepping to teach a journaling class at the art center in October.  Here are a couple ideas that I hope will inspire our students to come up with ideas of their own.  This is my first time teaching journal art and the hardest part is trying to keep the work simple and fairly easy for a beginner but not boring for the more experienced.  We'll that goes. 


Spread some gesso, spray a little paint and cut some paper!  Easy?
How much fun are zentangles?


We are enjoying our retirement, to say the least!



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Preping for Fall........

Since the early 70s, I have had a strong tie to this building and the folks who keep it operating as the fine art center that it is. 

This little old farm house was donated to the group in 1971 and through the years volunteers have raised funds to remodel, added on, paint and repair and make this building into a fine, active art center.  A place where beginners and pros can go to make friends, teach a class, take a class or just paint and make new friends. 

I have been busy this week getting ready to take our show on the road.  Friday I will spend the afternoon introducing the art center to a broader community at an event called a Resource Fair.  The fair is intended to introduce member of the Woodburn community to businesses and services that are available in our community.  We hope to attract some new members and inform a few folks about all the great things that go on in this little red farmhouse.

Other than that I'm prepping to teach a journaling class with another woman.  We did something similar last fall.  This time it will be at the art center.  My friend is the creative writing instructor and I'm doing the art teaching.  Should be fun.

I've decorated the covers of a few composition books to give to our students for note taking.  Hope they like them.....

Hope you are enjoying the fading fall weather where you are and busy making arty messes.

Monday, September 9, 2013

What do you do with those eco dyed papers?

Well, one thing is make an accordion book!


Recently, I was gifted with several Monarch butterflies by a friend whoes parents picked them up off the ground (already deceased) in the 1960s while on vacation.  I love the added touch to the cover.

I wrote this Steve Jobs' quote on both sides that reads "have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become".

and a close up of the cover.........

Just for fun, I thought I would share these before and after photos, they help demonstrate how the paper was dyed.

After soaking the paper in a water/alum mixture, I placed fresh plant material on the paper.  Here you can see dark red rose petals, a hardy geranium leaf and a wild blackberry.  After" smooshing" the pages together and steaming them for two hours, you get this.........................

Amazing, huh?  The leaf printed yellow green, the dark red petals printed blue-ish purple and the berry printed a really nice dark red.  I consider this my art/science project 'cause there is a lot of stuff going on in this process that I have not control over.  No matter what you do, there will be surprises.

A little time consuming but so worthwhile.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What the heck is "eco-dying"?

For starters, it's a lot of fun and full of mystery because you have little, or no, control.

Really, it is using natural materials to dye paper or fabric, but you knew that!  In my case, I dyed watercolor paper, today, using:  calendula, marigolds, roses, hardy geraniums, pansy, walnut leaves, maple leaves and seed pods, basil, hydrangea and a bunch more "stuff"!

These are some of the results......

I started by gathering my plant materials and then tore large sheets of 120# Arches watercolor paper into strips that I could fold into a 4 x 4 inch accordion book. 

The paper is then soaked for a couple hours, or up to overnight, in a solution of 1 teaspoon of alum to 4 cups of water, like this...

impressive, huh?  I cannot take credit for this process, I know what I know because of Wendy Feldberg at Threadborne.  She has a ton of info on her blog and an article in the July/Aug 2013 issue of  Somerset Studio.  So, check it out before you jump in!

Now, the fun make a paper, plant material sandwich AFTER you drain the paper and allow it to air dry for a few minutes.  On each piece of paper place your flowers, leaves, etc. in pleasing arrangements.  Just know, that you have little control over what color pigments actually stain the paper.


These are the fillings for your sandwiches, after you have covered all pages with plant material, clamp the pages between two pieces of cardboard and tie tightly with string.

Now, place you bundles in a large pot, I used an old canning pot with the wire rack in the bottom and my veggie steamer placed on top.   Put a few inches of water in the bottom, heat it up and steam your little guys for a couple hours.  Wait for the water to cool then remove, unwrap and open your lovelies!  You will be amazed! 
I'm planning on making accordion books of inspiring quotes with my beautiful new papers.
If, you are thinking of trying this process, read Wendy's blog first.  I've just skimmed over the directions, it isn't difficult but you will be much more prepared and I'm sure attain better results if you follow her directions. She has so much great info and you will be inspired to try this.....for sure!



Monday, September 2, 2013

Calendar girl..........

For the past couple of years I have been participating in a monthly calendar show and tell featured on Kathryn Wheel's blog HERE.  So, here are my September pages.

Most others, who participate, follow a format that places all 30 or 31 days of information on the two facing pages.  I am a bit of rogue and do art on one page and write on the I do two pages to represent one month.  So, for the first fifteen days I will "Love many, trust few and always row my own canoe"!

Yet more philosophy for inspiration....."the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" AND "imagination is the eye of the soul"!  Zen tangles are ALWAYS fun and inspiring.

 Speaking of zen tangles this was, also, an experiment with colored pencils.  I've not used colored pencils before, I've played around a bit with the watercolor pencils, but this was new.  Thanks to a couple of art buddies I learned I needed a blending pencil....that helps.  I'll have to try this again.

Hope you are enjoying the last of your long weekend and the waning days of summer...tomorrow will be back to school for many of you!  Time flies.