Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dana's AB and other art

Dana, Kathy, and I, the "We 3" artists are participating in a round robin and I have Dana's book, which she decided would be "Nature." Every three months, I will receive this book again, as we will exchange books each time we meet. Dana said the Nature theme could be loosely translated, so I decided to tackle it before I put it on the back burner and forgot about it.

This book is a real challenge, and I had trouble with it from the very beginning. The pages are thin, they are perforated for easy removal, which also makes them delicate, and this type of book is difficult to work with because it doesn't meet in the middle and it is very hard to get paint or paper to the edge. It is also quite a bit smaller than I like. I think it's about 6" square. Both Kathy and Dana have these ring binder books, and they make me think we are making art journals rather than altered books. I suspect it will be difficult for me to embellish them the way I would like, but I guess we shall see what transpires as we progress through the books. Incidentally, mine is the only "real" book of the three.

OK, enough whining. I began by gluing two pages together on each side for support, then added some vintage sheet music. There was a small bit that didn't cover the right bottom, but I was hoping I could correct that with paint.

Using a bristle brush, rather than foam, I laid down several colors of paint in random fashion, then walked away so it could dry.

A storm had washed and watered my plants, so all I had to do was pick my veggies. This was yesterday's peppers after I washed them, and before I refrigerated them. Yes, I get at least this many either every or every other day. It's another bumper crop year for peppers.

It was now time to make a mask for Dana's spread. I used heavy card stock, stamped two birds, then cut them out.

The next step was to sketch out the tree's outline, which I did, but ran into trouble when painting. I mixed blue glaze and gesso together (to lighten the blue) and painted it over the areas where the tree was to go. I laid down the stencils, one far below the other, although, in the end, they look like they are right across from each other. Then I "stamped" a large circle around each bird and filled in around them using gold glaze mixed with the blue and white mix. I tried to use some small leaves from my yard in the circle area, but they just wouldn't print. So I had to fill in the globs these leaves left. One of the bird masks is in the upper right of the the photo above.

The tree was a mess and didn't show like I had hoped, so I got out my black fabric paint and outlined the tree. Sadly, when I had filled in the gold circle on the right, trying to rework the area I tried to stencil with leaves, I messed up the design of the tree. I'm going to blame it on that darn center binder rather than the artist!

The birds didn't show at all, but I couldn't do anything about that because the paint around the birds was still wet, so I went looking for another project I could mess with.

I was given this book on my birthday in 2006 or 2007, and have never done anything with it until now. I wanted some place to put all that paint that was still on my palette, and this was the perfect spot. Now I have a book that I can play around with backgrounds in.

I also grabbed my box I'm working on, and added a few papers. This is the front view,

one side view,

and the back, which is only partially finished. I spent nearly two hours adding these little bits and pieces, and decided I had better things to do than mess with this box, which I like less and less with each piece I add to it.

Finally! Dana's book was dry enough that I could outline the birds. At least they show up, now!
The full left side and partial right side of "The Tree of Life." Feel free to click on any image to enlarge. The above and next photos were scanned, so they should show up quite nicely in the larger view.

The entire right side and partial left side. I still have to sign my name and date it, but I'm calling this one finished unless I can figure out a way to make the tree look more realistic.

4 thoughtful remarks:

Dianne said...

the texture and colors of the "tree" are wonderful! when I clicked on the photo for a closer view I could see the music peeking through...

Angie in AZ said...

Oh please don't make the tree more realistic! This is refreshing. I like it the way it is!

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

Your tree of life is so colorful and wonderful! Great pages!

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

Oh and I Love 'why' you started that great heart book! You are an artist after my own heart :)! I never want to waste a loaded (or half loaded) paint brush, often a little dip in water and you get another nice shade of the same color even!
Your monoprints are looking great, I can see you're really having fun with that!