Sunday, August 16, 2015

Carving stamps

I took a book off my shelf: Geninne Zlatkis' 'Making an Impression' - and read through it, then pulled out my lino-cutting tools to make a stamp. I have a mason jar of things I've collected on walks. Some little branches and twigs and things, they are fun to look at.

I sketched a few of them and carved one of them into the white eraser block (the previous times I've tried to make stamps, I've used linoleum blocks, and it wasn't very inspiring perhaps because of the difficulty of carving lino without technical skill/knowledge). The white rubber was so easy to carve into! I accidentally cut off too much in several places, but it's a learning experience.

I used a #1 tip for most of it, and #3 to carve away the outside chunks. I like how it turned out!

Here is a 2nd one (initial sketch on the far right, stamp on left, and stamped impressions in the middle):

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Zoologico: Painting. Process Post - in progress

Here's where I'm at so far on this zoo animal poster/painting I've been working on:

I had made some quick sketches of animals for one of my online class exercises a few months ago:

Later, I was thinking about how to use the animals in a painting and thought of this arrangement.

I had just visited the local zoo, so I thought it would be cool to make it into a colorful 'poster' styled painting with the word "Zoologico" (Spanish for 'Zoo') at the bottom.

Finally I got around to making it. I wanted to 'layer' the animals somehow, and keep them kind of 'blocky' without too many details/features. But first I wanted to make a background. At first I had the idea of the background showing through to the animals (but it didn't work out that way). A blank canvas is sometimes the most difficult place to start, so I started filling it up with pretty colors:

And more colors, with some texture with stencils:

Then I knew I would have to add some animals at some point, so I sketched out some blob shapes with paint:

Then I looked at my animal quick sketches and drew similar shapes for outlines and cut them out (can you see the chicked and the seahorse and the dog/cow that didn't make the cut?):

Then placed them on the background and moved them around until I found something that seemed like a good arrangement:

Then I placed the shapes one at a time and outlined them with paint:

Then I started filling in the shapes with color, layering the animals from back to front:

More colors and layers:

Added white paint over the visible background parts to try and unify everything and make the animals stand out:

At that point I decided I didn't like the big space in the middle where the hippo-like animal and the tiger-like shape meet, so I decided to add some more animals to that middle part:

I definitely think it's much better with the extra animals. Now I need to paint the onto the canvass, then continue working on the colors/patterns of each animal and tie it all together, add some dark outlines, etc. I like it so far!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Year of the spark: online class

I'm taking an online class (Year of the Spark by Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple) - I signed up a little late - and I've started on one of the lessons. It's kind of funny. I never would have made funny collages with old photos before but it does make me chuckle. Here are some cut out pieces I made to use for collage - aren't they so colorful!:

And some doodle pages, one with markers/pencil, and one with paint (I really like the colors on the paint one):

And here are some audition pieces with old photos from the internet, and some collage pieces added (the first three are using an image of Annie Oakley:

This image was a cut out from some miners (but now I can't find the reference to link to):

It's just super silly and good to get the hands moving making creative stuff!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

WIP: Hummingbird paintings

Here are some works in progress: hummingbird paintings (mostly acrylic, some gouache). I used some of the layering/stenciling ideas I learned in the last online class I took, but now I have  get to add all the little details of the feathers, eyeballs, shadowing, etc...

Baby Quilt in Progress

I finished the top and added borders, now I just need to quilt and bind it. This is 34" x 40".

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Next quilt: auditions in EQ6 - Process post

I have a baby quilt to make, and will use black/white, blue/green colors. I've been thinking about what to make, wanting to keep it simple. I saw this quilt on Pinterest, then did a mock-up in EQ6 using my colors:

Then I reversed the direction of half the blocks:

Then I changed the direction of the middle line compared to the outer lines (of the block unit):

Then flipped the direction of the blocks again. This one is my favorite (ignoring the limited color palette, of course). And when you look closely at the square unit (in this case, 6x6 of them) you see that it's just two sets of 2 strips that have been cut at a 45 degree angle and sewn back to back, or else you could piece the blocks together from triangles and strips... I'm calling this "Diamond in the Rough", and definitely plan to make it someday:

Then I rotated a small selection of the above so the blocks weren't on point and it makes this super simple quilt (but I don't like it much compared to the visually interesting one above):

I also saw this image of Half-square triangles by Susie Z on Flickr, and you can see all the possibilities of ways to arrange HSTs, so I made a quick mock-up in - you can see all the lights are placed in one direction and the darks in another, which creates the visual effect of squares on point:

This is the selection of fabrics from my stash that I've picked out to work on this quilt:

I narrowed it down to 30 of the above fabrics and cut 7" squares from each for making HSTs to position randomly for a very simple version of the last mock-up in this post - I'll have to make 'Diamond in the Rough' another time, when I have more time to execute it properly.

Here are several arrangements of the HST-squares on the design wall:

On the design wall, I finally ended up with #4, but looking at them as thumbnails here, I actually really like #1! We'll see what happens...

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Recent paintings

I just finished an online art class that lasted 10 weeks. I made 6-10 paintings a week following the lesson instructions/techniques. Here are my favorites:

Lesson 1 (lines and layering):

Lesson 2:

Lesson 3:

Lesson 4 (black and white with a variety of marks) - the first one is my favorite:

This was a portion of one of the paintings - I really like these white circles on a black background:

Lesson 5:

Lesson 6:

This pretty pink and green one was actually the beginning layers of what turned out to be the one right above (with the hexagon thing) - I really loved the hot pink and lime green combo and wasn't too satisfied with the finished result but it was interesting to see the transitions and in some paintings I loved the outcomes.

Apart from the lovely colors in the top left of this one, and the turquoise circles in the middle, plus the pink marks and other interesting marks, I really like the turquoise colored scraffito in the lower left in that pink zone - you might have to click the image to really see it.

This was just the beginning layer of what turned into something entirely different - but I liked this just as it was and would love to have some pillow cases made with this print:

This might have been my favorite painting of all I did for the class. I love the light to dark gradient, the marks, the colors, the circles on the top left, the silver dots over black and blue in the lower right, and the texture from the collage layers underneath. This reminds me of an abstract depiction of outer space.

Lesson 7- these ones were really simple monochromatic exercises - they're lovely and were hard for me to do since I love to fill the page with ALL the colors:

I like how this turned out with the stencil work fading into paint in the lower right:

Lesson 8:

Lesson 9:

Overall, I was glad for the productivity that resulted from having a regular assignment. I didn't follow all the rules (and they were some pretty strict rules) 100% of the time, and in some cases deviated quite a bit. But I learned some new things and enjoyed it. The main points I took from the class had to do with creating transition areas, quiet areas, layering, and not being afraid to cover over something you think is fabulous.