Back in 2005, I was a techie/designer with Open Circle Theater. When the theater was located in the Lake Union area. Back then, that neighborhood was a pretty run-down, semi-industrial area. The biggest draws were Fred Hutch, the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and the Museum of Wooden Boats. Long before the industrial buildings were knocked down for Amazon, the Slut, random biotech firms, etc.
This photo was taken with my Canon Powershot S50 using the black and white setting. The building was next door to the theater. This view is from the alley behind the building. Yes, those are trees growing out of the brick work.
I did 3 layers with this image to deepen the blacks and to sharpen to overall image, layered over the original.
I started my mixed media art journal adventure in 2012 when I found Zentangles which lead me to Jane Davenport and the rest, as they say, is history.
The first two classes I took with Jane were “Frolicaholic” and “Draw Happy” art journal and basic, fun drawing classes. One could choose to make Teesha Moore’s Amazing 16 Page Journal. These are so easy to make that I made a bunch of them.
What I kept running into was my immature art skill set. I’d get to the Ugly Stage and without the skills to push through to a final page, I set these early journals to the side.
Two weeks ago, I discovered the stack while cleaning my studio, sat down and flipped through them. An idea hit: I have the skills to finish pages to my satisfaction. Here was a chance to actually finish some art journals. I started working on a page and realized that I want a record of the before and after, so I decided to film how the journals transform.
Perhaps you’ll be interested, too. Here is the first of many such journals. This journal caught my eye because the song lyrics were already on the page. I’ve always liked this spread, even though it was busy and I couldn’t figure out how to finish it. As I started to work the pages, I realized the theme for the journal would be lyrics to some of my favorite songs.
I hope you enjoy the first installment of this new series: Finish An Art Journal.
Note about the video. I shot the video with my Canon Vixia HF R700 and edited it with kden live, an open source video editing program. Each time I make one of these videos, I learn a bit more. I figured out how to employ dissolves and wipes. I have a tendency to check the monitor – mostly to make sure what I’m shooting is in frame but I have figured out to look into the lens more often. I’ve ordered a mic so the audio when I’m speaking should improve in future videos.
What’s on your work table? Leave a comment and let me know what you’re working on, with links if you have ’em and I’ll visit.
I have a lot of art journals and sketchbooks. My rationale is that I need more than one in order to set one aside while wet media dry so I can keep working with whatever muse has struck me that day.
Recently, I decided to put some time on pencil work. A dear friend of mine gave me a 8.5″x11″ spiral bound pencil sketch book. I took it out and started sketching.
I put a moratorium on myself to not take anymore on-line art classes until I get through the ones I have purchased. Truthfully, I stalled out on Tam’s Ever After because the lessons were pretty involved and I want to devote the time to style development the class offers.
In the meantime, I decided to re-visit some of my previous classes from memory. In particular, Tam’s lesson from last year’s Life Book on sketching the male of the species. Here’s my Angel Dude. Dude because my lads seem to turn out like surfer dudes. Might be the hair. Angel because, well, surfer dudes are angels on my planet.
I used my go-to mechanical pencil with I have no idea what type of lead. I’m not detail oriented about this stuff, I’m afraid. When I’m working in an art journal, I just grab whatever strikes my fancy and work until I’m done. I used a tortillion to smudge the lines. Overall, I am satisfied with this page.
Looking at the photo, I can see a bit more smudging around the neck might be nice. Or I might start a new dude. As I write this post, I’m inspired to take out some watercolor paper, sketch an angel dude out and then color it.
I don’t expect anything else from the sketching and shading exercises. The paper in this particular journal is rather thin so scanning it has been tricky – the scanner light tends to pass through the paper, making the white areas a soft grey. I’ve fiddled with adjusting the white balance but haven’t found a setting I like. I may have to accept the way the paper scans and find a way to work around it digitally. Not a big deal, just collating data, as they say.
What technique or tool are you currently working with? I’d love to hear about your latest project. Please leave a comment with a link to your WIP and I’ll check it out.
Hi ho friends. It seems like it’s been a while since I shared some art journal pages, so I’m starting a new regular series, called, you guessed, it Art Journal Pages.
Anywho, I don’t know about you, but I get obsessed and work in a particular style, color palette, or imagery.
This partial page was from my girls decorated by tiny birds phase.
You may have noticed that birds appear in my art regularly. I love birds because they fly and sing. I’m fortunate to live in a neighborhood with lots of trees, so every spring a new crop of feathered friends appear and sing their tiny brains out.
I tend to draw spirals on the top of bird heads because I think quail are among the most adorable of birds. I love the feather cluster on their heads. From a distance they look, to me, like a spiral. None of my birds are meant to represent quail specifically, I just adore that topknot and add it to whatever bird I’m drawing. What can I say? It’s how the birds in my world look.
I hope you enjoy this new series. I’d love to hear what your current art journal obsession. Leave me a link to your latest creation and I’ll check it out!
This morning, I went to the 51st Floor Conference Room at 2 Union Square, the location of some company events next week. I needed to check the entire space, find the tech closet and kitchen. The view was nice. We’re facing northeast with Lake Washington in the center of the photo.
In 2011, I accompanied my mom to Pasco, WA for total knee replacement surgery. Mom was out for a while post-surgery, so I wandered around the neighborhood with my Canon Rebel. It was a cloudless October morning. Pasco is part of the Tri-Cities area and is near the Hanford Nuclear plant, so there are lots of atomic-themed shops.
This photo needed minimal processing. I cropped and added a color enhance layer. The sky was fairly blue, but the color enhance pass deepened the ombre look.
Today’s post relates to photography in that I really like how the photo turned out. It’s as visually complicated as one of my mixed media paintings.
I’ve had a dracena tricolor plant for a very long time. I remember buying it with my mom at Bimart. It must have been nearly 20 years ago because I had it when we still lived on First West. Anywho, this plant has really stuck with me, though the, uh, shall we say, droughts. It has been quite happy below the garden window of our condo, getting leggier and leggier every year.
I watered it last week and thought, yikes, I’ve killed this poor thing. Off to the Interwebs to find out more on caring for dracena and I found instructions on how to take cuttings. Turns out these babies are tropical and they can grow to nearly 50 feet in the wild! I don’t have much space at home, so I took a deep breath, took the cuttings and dropped them in water. I’ve repurposed its pot for a small indoor herb garden. Once the dracena have enough roots, I’ll repot them.
This was a big new step in my plant caretaking skills. The stalks were a bit dry when I took the cuttings. Today, the stalks are refreshed and much happier. My Christmas cactus is happy for the company. Perhaps the dracenas will move permanently to my studio.
Hi ho friends. I know the posts have been sporadic of late, I’ve been fiddling with the look of this site. The design upgrade reminded me of a project I’ve had on the back burner for far too long: re-organizing my files. I’ve owned cameras since 1982 and my first digital camera was a gift from Mr. Thompson in 2002. You’d think that for all the years I’ve taken photographs, that I’d have some brilliant filing scheme. Oddly enough, I apply my vast organizing skills at work and get home and, well, it’s the last task on the chore list.
It was scanning my paintings and converting them to art prints that finally pushed me over the edge. Virtually speaking, my files were strewn everywhere. Duplicates abounded. As with most tedious chores, I put it off as long as humanly possible.
Truthfully, though, I got as far as Stage 1: getting files into a system. I’ve chosen to group by year. Stage 2 is to make sure files have a name rather than the Canon file convention of IMG_number. Stage 1 took just long enough that Stage 2 will happen in a month or so. Stage 3 will getting my 35 mm negatives scanned and cataloged.
More photos than I expected had names. Unfortunately, a large batch of them were taken with my circa 2002 Canon PowerShot S50, which took photos at a whopping 4 megapixels!
I haven’t run prints but I can’t image the images from era will end up as stand alone photo prints. I can see using parts in photo collages, brushes, and filters. The other benefit to this file clean-up is I can reboot my From the Archives series.
First up, this charming humming nest image from 2004. The original photo was taken by my Powershot, at night. We were visiting our friends Pat & Lisa one evening. Lisa mentioned the nest and I naturally grabbed my camera to capture it. Using the flash, I knew I’d get only one chance to capture the bird. I’m surprised the photo came out as clear as it did.
The original photo is pretty standard. I cropped it because the bird was so close to the left edge of the frame. My current process is to work in layers, flatten the final image and export it to jpg for posting. For this photo, I used color enhance, neon, a layer using the airbrush tool and made blobs of green, pink, orange, and white.
I will start a new series soon called Unfinished Paintings, or UFP. I have a stack of 9×12 watercolor paintings that are in various stages of completion. I’m hoping that scanning and editing the images, plus a post about them will get the creative juices flowing.
What’s on your work table? Leave a comment and link to your latest project. I’d love to see what you’re up to.
Inspired by the Netflix streaming Bob Ross’ painting series. I decided to pull out my Shiva oil sticks and oil pastels and create my own little happy landscape. It’s in progress. I’m not so happy with the mountin but I like the foothills and trees.