Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012/365 - Day 60

a friends-filled day

This morning was a brief version of Wednesday Morning at Joan's.

This is the lovely Scout looking out the window.

Leann is working on a sewing project and Joan was finishing up some paperwork.

Leann put the hardware on my framed piece for one of my submissions to the "Where the Wild Things Art" show in Grosse Pointe.

Then Peggy came by and she and I went to Grosse Pointe Art Center to drop off our submissions for the above mentioned show. This show wanted the actual work(s) for jurying instead of a cd of jpegs.

My two pieces are at the left, farthest the black frame and the little guy in front of it.

Then Peggy and I went to drop off submission cds at Detroit Artists Market for their Biannual All Media Exhibit. We also took Carla's cd so she didn't have to mail it.

Fingers crossed that we all get out stuffs in!

Then we went to the Lawrence Street Gallery to see a friend of Peggy's show...and then we had a quick lunch and coffee at Tuscan Cafe.

What a good day so far!

Yesterday Leann helped me collect the Cat-Creature and other art from the Northville Art House. I took these photos last night but didn't feel like blogging about it.

I like the "hands up" of the Cat-Creature and the Jeff Hughart painting behind her. I purchased my wonderful painting from Jeff's Etsy shop. I LOVE it!

I was a little worried to see how Twink would react to the Cat-Creature when he was face-to-face with it.

Twink often watched me through the glass in my studio door while I was working on the Cat-Creature.

Twink has been pretty good with the other larger papier mache animals in the house and also with Chime Cat. I was just a little concerned he'd try to climb the Cat-Creature as if it was a piece of cat furniture. I was careful not to place it anywhere near a spot where he could launch himself to or from.

So far he has been pretty unimpressed. Thank goodness.

I think I am going to spend some time with Twink now and slow down a bit.

Later on I will see what is the next upcoming deadline and what I need to get back to work on.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2012/365 - Day 59

ooh yeah, oooooh-oooooh yeah

I finished it!

I am SO happy with the completed repurposed canvas that has the monster and two ghosts in it...I might have to buy it for myself if it makes it into the show. I absolutely love it. The title is: He Says He Knows Two Ghosts.

Now I just need to get this secured into the frame and it will be ready for drop off tomorrow.

("Rock & Roll" by Led Zeppelin was playing when I titled this blog post.)

I will blog about my submissions to the two shows
(with plenty of photos) once I learn if they were juried in or not.

Monday, February 27, 2012

2012/365 - Day 58 -- part two

repurposing a canvas and painting

I went to the Northville Art House's "Art from the Attic" fundraiser/sale over the weekend with the intention of finding some paintings on canvases that were already in frames. I wanted to find art that someone was tired of and donating to the Art House, have the Art House get a portion of the sale, and then repurpose the frame (I needed to find something I could put one of my finished repurposed canvases in) and then take that new-to-me-but-unwanted-by-someone-else painting and turn it into a "new" piece. And although it's not like I think I invented re-using old canvases, but I was surprised to hear other people at Art from the Attic talking to each other about doing the same thing with the pieces they were looking at. I would love to see how theirs turn out -- are they repainting? Collaging? I will never know.

I have been happy (so far) with reusing my old vision board canvases, but I wasn't sure how it would work out with a painting by someone else...because the foundation isn't my work.

Okay, so I pulled out some more of the same light colored neutral papers I used in the smiling, mask-wearing, dancin' dog guy canvas.

Then I set to work on separating the painting(s) from their frames.

This was the one I thought might work the best. It is/was a landscape painting on canvas. And it was the frame that would work best for the "He Says He Knows Two Ghosts" piece I am submitting for consideration in a show this week.

Judging from the back of the canvas it is either fairly old or just kind of is a bit stained and dirty.

I wanted to get some papers down onto the surface before I showed it. I would feel really badly if the former owner was offended by my re-use of their old art.

So the papers were going down nicely. I tried to leave small areas of the original painting. This is/was a landscape and some of the papers have botanical inclusions...they sort of look like tiny trees and leaves on the canvas.

I was using butcher paper underneath to protect the table. I tore off a few small pieces to see if the butcher paper was thin enough to see through and to adhere to the canvas. It worked fairly well but I wouldn't want to use a lot of it.

This is an area where (in person) you can see some of the original painting...and the inclusions look like tiny trees.

Here is the newly covered, very wet canvas drying on the wall. I wonder what will emerge through the layers?

I also picked up three large watercolors in metal frames with glass. This is not what I had in mind, but for the price I figured I'd give it a go.

I needed to get the frame loose enough to slide the painting and matting out but stay in tact enough to be able to tighten it back up again to store the glass...that is a BIG (and heavy) piece of glass.

This painting is/was a swirl of dark colors on watercolor paper that was "floating" in the center of the mat. I needed to cut the old hinge of the mat so that I could collage the watercolor paper to the back part of the mat.

See...I didn't count on doing this (paper vs a canvas) and I was determined to make it work...

...but the watercolor paper (predictably) just got really wet with the gel medium and went all distorted and un-flat. The paper did not want to cooperate. I learned this is not the right application for re-using something like this.

But by this time I was already waaaay into the process and had used a lot of gel medium and paper -- I needed to keep going.

I think I will probably have to go back in again once this mess is dry and add more papers.

The watercolor colors were totally lost under the collage papers. I bought a total of three of these and I think one of the others might work, but I don't know if I want to invest the time, papers, and gel medium.

Here it is drying on the studio is that large.

I am not totally sure that the watercolor paper will dry flat to the mat and that the collage papers will hold it down to the mat. I am trying to envision what the buckled paper will look like sitting just inside of the mat opening...not sure it'll work. I could always get another mat cut with a smaller opening I guess...and perhaps the paper will dry sort of flat.

It might be salvageable, we'll have to wait and see.

2012/365 - Day 58

unexpected gifty

I was on my way out the door to go to the post office a little bit ago and out of the blue the phone rang -- it was my friend Peggy asking if she could pop over for a minute. (You may remember Peggy as the leader of the "cavalry" that helped me with the painting dilemma on the cat-creature.)

How absolutely perfectly cool!

Peggy had been up at the Northville Art House and was talking with Joan and apparently Joan mentioned something about me looking for ways to get a canvas to stay in a frame I bought at the Art from the Attic art sale for one of my submissions for an upcoming show.

Peggy had just been to Lobby Hobby to get some of these items for her submission to the same show.

Peggy came over and showed me what she got. These offset clips are just the ticket! Peggy is going to use another style that she bought (like the ones that were on the painting/frame I bought but couldn't find right at that moment to show her). And Peggy gifted me with these eight clips.

After talking about stuff it turns out we are both submitting work to the same two shows, so we have the same deadlines. We are going to do our submission drop offs together. Peggy agreed to let me treat her to a cup of coffee for her kindness.

I just need to finish up a few areas on the piece I'm working on and then I will assemble it with my new clips.

THANKS, Peggy!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2012/365 - Day 57 -- part three

he likes dancing and he looks divine

Remember the bossy dancin' guy that emerged -- no, JUMPED -- through the layers on my repurposed canvas yetsterday?

Well it turns out he isn't as tough as he seemed...

They were really scrappin'...and the dog guy won!

AND he is wearing a mask...and still dancin'.

AND smiling and showing his teefs.

A smilin', mask-wearin' dancin' dog guy fights the bossy guy for the win...yay!

I think this guy's name is Rebel.

2012/365 - Day 57 -- part two

checking off the checklist

Whew! I am very excited -- I hope my stuff makes it in!

Photo session for piece #1, check.
Choose photos for cd -- pieces #1 and #2, check.
Fill out entry form, check.
Make thumbnail reference sheet, check.
Burn cd, check.
Label cd, check.
Enclose entry fee, check.
Double check everything, check.

READY to mail (or drop off) my submission cd for the Detroit Artists Market Biannual All Media Exhibition 2012!

2012/365 - Day 57

the bigger guy is done

I am not sure about varnishing this guy...I have time to research...but I can still take the photos for the submission cd.

YAY -- nearly there with all the submissions!

2012/365 - Day 56 and a half

the middle guy is done

Except for varnishing, the middle guy is done!

I hold my breath when I paint...especially thin lines. I didn't realize how long I could hold my breath until just now...LOL.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

2012/365 - Day 56 -- part two

yow -- this guy JUMPED right through the layers

Last Wednesday I worked on covering over this former vision board canvas that I wasn't connecting with.

Today as I was walking past it to leave the studio it kinda screamed at me.

I took it off the wall and turned it from its original horizontal position to this vertical view...that's when it happened.

This guy absolutely JUMPED out of the emerging for him!

I started to draw a light pencil line around what I was seeing but it was telling me "NO -- use PAINT!". Okay.

Also, at first, I kinda saw a sled dog...just sayin'.

 sled dog. THIS guy.

This dancin' guy.

I filled in his eyes and nose and mouth with neutral gray but he wanted raw umber for the outline of the rest.

I guess he was right -- it is easier to see the raw umber outline.

I think this guy might be a bit bossy...but he's a good dancer.

I started to put the canvas back up on the wall (in the horizontal position) to dry but he insisted on being put next to my desk and chair against the of the floor!...on the box.


Now...if only the other repurposed canvases would give me directions/hints...

2012/365 - Day 56

I made my final decisions this morning and I feel pretty confident about them.

Two shows have deadlines at the end of next week and I know what pieces will be submitted to each show. I know what final tweaks need to be made to each piece.

There. I can breathe now.

I love making a check-off list and following I can. Yay!

Friday, February 24, 2012

2012/365 - Day 55

progress on the middle guy

I know it is hard to tell, but I have added quite a bit of darker colors to the middle and bottom halves.

Now he needs a face.

Ruth and I also went to two opening receptions tonight. A Group of Girls II at the Woods Gallery in Huntington Woods -- a really fabulous show featuring artwork on the theme of "Dear John" by nine different women.

And the preview night of Art from the Attic at the Northville Art House -- wow -- over 600 pieces of art to choose from...literally two galleries of art (and the stairway) filled floor to ceiling -- really really cool...and the prices drop throughout the weekend.

I am worn out -- time to relax with Twink, the purr therapist in front of the tv.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

2012/365 - Day 54 -- part four

bigger guy -- not quite what I had in mind

Well...I guess it can be an undercoat, but that is not what I had in mind...eeeeek.


Well, this is a smidge better...getting better...

Considering I didn't have anything in mind when I started, it is turning interesting. It kind of looks like "oh no...what did he get into THIS time?!"

2012/365 - Day 54 -- part three

middle guy - undercoat bottom half

2012/365 - Day 54 -- part two

little, middle, and bigger

Since I don't know what these three guys are exactly (yet), I will refer to them as the little guy, the middle guy and the bigger guy.

The experiment with the little guy's surface is working so far.

2012/365 - Day 54

gulp -- painting three guys

Well, it is that time again. Last night was gesso night. Today begins several days of painting plaster cloth guys. I am going to try very hard to not complain and whine. I am also going to keep the photos to a minimum until whatever happens happens.

All three guys are getting a wash of gray paint.

I experimented on this guy first to get up my courage.

Next was this guy -- I really like how he ended up.

And then there is this precious guy...I held my breath most of the time.

I am going to work on all three of them at once and keep them all at the same stages of painting and then varnishing. I am hoping that way if I hit on something that "works" or if I accidentally do something that turns out well I may be able to repeat it.

I think I will look for a few other projects to keep me busy while I try not to overthink the painting process. I have no ideas yet for the colors of the two larger pieces. I do have something in mind for the little guy. I am feeling relatively confident that I can do this without calling in the cavalry this time, but they sure helped with the cat-creature! We'll see...I am trying to remember all the things/steps we did before.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2012/365 - Day 53 -- part three

it's that time again...

...but this time I am not going to whine and take everybody with me. I have to gesso and paint plaster cloth guys. This is also the last photo until after I find out if any of these guys are accepted into the various venues I will be submitting them to for consideration.

I don't like to paint. I just need to get over it. There. I'm done. The end.

2012/365 - Day 53 -- part two

covering over another canvas

I started a large sized vision board last year. I wasn't very into it or the images and words I was putting on it. I was pretty much going through the motions and I knew it at the time. I didn't like looking at it when I'd walk past it. I wasn't feeling any of it.

I have had wonderful results in the past with vision boards, but they were very focused and the intentions and hopes were very clear. Not this time.

Here is an deliberately blurry photo of the canvas "before".

This was after I'd pulled off as much of the images as I could.

I wanted to just cover over the whole thing with a few papers that I like. I wanted to give it a fresh start.

This canvas is much bigger than any I've ever tried to work with before -- it is 24" x 30" --
I am used to working so much smaller.

I'm pretty excited to see what happens with it.

I tried to choose neutral colors so they wouldn't disrupt whatever will be added later...but mostly I just pulled paper I like a lot that I haven't used in a while.

I slathered gel medium all over the entire canvas, applied the papers, added more gel medium, added more layers of paper, covered up wording, covered up parts of the old images, left some of the color around the edges to show through the first layer of paper.


Now it can just hang on my studio wall by the door and dry. I think I might keep putting it back up there throughout the entire project.

I will leave the wire on the back where it is, even though I will most likely try to use it in the vertical position.
When I repurpose these old vision boards I try to turn them totally in a different direction with the new project.

2012/365 - Day 53

slowing down the rush of ideas

While testing the dryness of the plaster cloth guys I am waiting on this morning, I started to get a nearly manic overflow of many things I'd like to do...but how to get them from my head into the real head was spinning.

I decided I needed to slow the thoughts down and if I was still feeling the need to pursue something afterwards...okay.

This morning would have been a regular Wednesday Morning at Joan's house but both Joan and Leann are a bit under the weather today. What I would've taken to Joan's house to work on is the quilt with the hands on it. The last time I worked on it was last week (?) (seems like longer ago) when Leann was over babysitting me through an emotional thing. So today I thought I'd see if I could use the slow and steady rhythmic motions of hand sewing to slow down those swirly ideas.

I left the studio and brought the quilt and floss out to the dining room table. I turned on the music and sat down to sew.

Twink arrived.

This is his "oh, look how cute and sweet I la la" act.

A "target located" look.

He was a blur as he dove under the quilt.

Still digging for the invisible target.

I gently admonished him and slid him backwards a bit on the table.

Oh no...more focused now.


This is what I accomplished. I went all the way around this hand with yellow floss.

I am new at this hand sewing stuff. I am not going to beat myself up for uneven stitches.
Without someone to ask (constantly) about what I am doing "wrong" I think I may have been starting in one direction with the first length of floss and then coming up in the opposite way when I started again with a new length. It felt like I was doing everything really evenly but obviously I wasn't...LOL.

The sewing accomplished what I was after...becoming more still -- it is funny how the sewing is a combination of focus and mindless rhythmic motions. I feel a bit calmer and like I might be able to sketch something out in a little while.

Here is how the whole quilt looks so far. Thankfully there is a lot more to do on it!
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