Friday, February 3, 2017

Depression and Inspiration

I have an idea for another blank journal. Something black and gray for those 'melancholy' entries. Thought I would share a little of the creation process from initial idea through completion. I got the idea while I was feeling grumpy & thought staining some pages with black ink might be interesting. I'll see how it works to dip the edges in a pool of black - hopefully the ink with wick up through the paper a bit. Might try dampening the paper first. I also have some lovely thoroughly black oil-tanned leather for the cover. Skull beads or something similar for embellishments. Funereal, morose, mournful, somber, mortality. What would someone use such a journal for? Chronicling their journey through a serious illness? Recording the horrors of a mundane life? Collecting inspiration for a mystery novel? A gift for a 50th birthday? Mapping the tunnels & chambers of some secret necropolis? An actual vampire's diary? One shudders to think and yet I'm drawn to the idea of filling darkened pages with foreboding images of sepulchers and snippets from Poe.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Embroidered Edging


Embroidered edging.
Doing some embroidery on a linen gown.
This is the sleeve edge. Heavy gold silk and fine sewing weight green silk. Straight stitch next to the edge then a band of stem stitch outlining a line of long-arm cross stitch. Obviously, I'm not county thread on the cross stitch like I should be. It's the firs time I've tried this particular stitch, so it looks uneven and messy. Probably will improve as I practice on the rest of the garment. (I could tear it out & try again, but too lazy.)



I originally pinned a piece of 1/8 inch ribbon to the edge of the sleeve to measure the width between the rows of stem stitch. Unpinned the ribbon & worked the long arm cross stitch between the stem stitching.


This is one of my tatting shuttles & a circular motif I've tatted in heavy gold silk. I tatted a bunch of them in the same size.

Here you can see how the tatting is appliqued in a row around the neckline. You can see the centers of the tatted motifs have not yet been stitched in place. More stem stitch circles in green and gold outlining the tatting,  

I'm outlining the area where I want to do couched & laid work. A single strand of green silk thread marks the area. I just eye-balled the triangular shapes. 


You can see the area filled in & outlined with more gold stem stitch. I've also added glass beads in the centers of the tatting..

Closer view. You can get a little better look at the couched & laid work. This patch is pretty much finished. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Some sketches from the journal I kept on our Alaska trip in 2013


Add caption


Just a doodle to keep my occupied

Some random leaf shapes from Alaska

Saw this weird plant somewhere in California.

Sunset on the road. I loved the plum & rose colors.

Friday, February 19, 2016

I've been making some new stuff & getting ready for Gulf Wars in March. Looking forward to warm weather & green grass in Lumberton, MS! I've crushed up some Aleppo oak galls & will be making a batch of ink for sale as well...


Been playing with 'distressed' pigskin. Gives this journal a rustic look. I may have to make one for myself & fill it with sketches. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

http://www.winsornewton.com/uk/discover/tips-and-techniques/oil-colour/understanding-oil-painting-rules
From the Windsor & Newton web site:
Fat Over Lean
Each successive layer needs to be more flexible than the one underneath. This can be done by adding more medium to each successive layer, which makes each new layer more flexible than the previous one and stops the painting from cracking. Think of the rule as ‘Flexible over Non-Flexible.’
Winsor & Newton has a range of mediums to help create this flexibility within layers. One of the most commonly used mediums is Liquin Original and by using it, there is no need to keep on adding oil to your colour.

Thick Over Thin
When painting with heavy colour, it is best to apply thick layers over thin layers, this is because the thin layers dry quicker. For example if you like the impasto style of the Impressionists with their thick bold brush strokes then it is important to remember that these thick layers need to be upper most – thin layers on top of impasto layers are likely to crack.

Slow Drying Over Fast Drying
It is best to use fast drying colours continuously as under layers. If a fast drying layer is applied on top of a slow drying layer then your painting may crack. This is because the fast drying layers will have dried on top of layers that are still in the process of drying out, and as the slow drying layers dry, they will pull and twist those (fast drying) layers above causing them to crack.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

robert wade by artist lorraine lewitzka
"I don't paint how it looks, I paint how it feels." - Robert Wade
https://artofquotation.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/robert-wade-by-artist-lorraine-lewitzka.jpg

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Do you ever get stuck staring at a blank page? Or start a painting and it's just not working for you? Here's one of the tricks I use:

Creativity Exercise

Write each of these on a slip of paper & keep them in a jar. When you are stuck on a painting, or the idea is just not working, pull one out & do whatever it says.

Exaggerate the lines
Exaggerate a shape
Exaggerate contrast between light & dark
Exaggerate the colors
Increase the size of one object
Decrease the size of one object
Change the contrast in focus (sharp vs. blurry)
Exaggerate the texture
Expand the center of the image
Expand the sides
Expand the top
Expand the bottom
Expand the corners
Remove the center
Remove the sides
Remove the top
Remove the bottom
Remove the corners
Tell a story with a metaphor
Introduce a humorous element
Superimpose layers and images
Repeat an image
Repeat a pattern
Add more patterns
Remove any repeated images/patterns


Add your own random alternatives. You may interpret each of these slips any way you wish. ‘Expand the center’ might mean starting a new image that focuses only on the central object or pattern of your previous work. It might also mean blurring the edges around the center to make the viewer focus on the center. It might also mean increasing the size of the center of your image and layering it right over the top of the existing work. Your choice – your interpretation.

This is a quick way to break through some of the habits and patterns that are making your work seem stale.