Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pat Pleacher is Artkerfuffle

My friend Pat Pleacher is an incredible mixed media artist. She sent me a package of 'stuff' that I didn't need but couldn't live without this week. I now am obliged to produce some ART using her treasures. In the meantime, you will not regret visiting her site:
Her wry sense of humor is one of the things I love best about her.

TM Gratkowski

I "discovered" a "new" collage artist to me, anyway. TM Gratowski. You can see his work at

Oh, wow - that's a looong url. You might prefer Googling him if it doesn't click. Nice stuff.

A Few Art Book Reviews

I thought I'd share a few mini book reviews I've posted on Amazon.

Bridging Time and Space (essays on layered art) is a beautiful book. It is full of good information and inspiring images. It is much more discussion than instruction, but experienced collage artists will appreciate the essays and visuals. I have taught collage workshops and own several collage books. This one is probably my favorite. More fine art than craft, the collage examples in this book are varied in technique. It was produced by the society of layerists, so naturally layering is a prominent factor. Sometimes it is paint that is layered, sometimes paper, sometimes it is more assemblage and sometimes it may seem to be more layered thoughts than any obvious layering of media. Although this book was published in 1998, I was fortunate to find a copy in 2001. If you can find one, you won't be disappointed. (This one is out of print and rare to find - usually very expensive if you do.)

This review is on Creative Paint Workshop for Mixed-Media Artists: Experimental Techniques for Composition, Layering, Texture, Imagery, and Encaustic
I first discovered Ann Baldwin many years ago when surfing the net in search of collage examples for a mixed media collage class I was teaching. At that time she was doing collages with authors as the main focus. She's branched out since then, and I like the direction she's taken. A few years ago I bought her video, "Telling Stories with Collage & Paint." It's an excellent resource, so when I saw she had written this book, I made sure to buy it. It has many new examples of her work, and includes chapters on abstract design, materials, composition, combining words with paint - something I love to do as a calligrapher, using digital photographs and even encaustic painting. Ann is an excellent instructor and doesn't leave gaping holes in the process as many authors of how-to books tend to do. I'm looking forward to exploring this book more thoroughly, but I've already seen enough to convince me of its worth.

The Chinese Brush Painting Bible: Over 200 Motifs with Step-By-Step Illustrated Instructions
I have a few Chinese painting books, but I believe this will be my favorite. It's a small format, but has 256 little pages full of nice images and good directions. In the early pages, there is some history, some discussion of materials and technique, with direction for making various strokes. The bulk of the book is full of examples of many Chinese motifs. It is not 'how to paint a Chinese painting', but more on how to paint small motifs including animals, flowers, insects, trees, berries and more.

That's all the reviews I've posted so far, but I have at least 100 art books and will review more of them. I purchased 5 more this week! Will review them as soon as I determine how I feel about them...right now I'm excited to know they're coming in the mail very soon.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Art in Speed Park Poster

Hot off the press! Doreen Barnhart DeHart with the poster she designed for this year's 20th anniversary of Art in Speed Park. This juried show is a jewel...small enough to see all the art and not lose your way, and large enough to have great variety. The quality is excellently maintained with the help of Kim Johnson and her capable and friendly staff. If you're within driving distance of Sellersburg/Speed Indiana you won't want to miss it August 21 and 22.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Does This Baby Look Sick to You?

I babysat last night to give Steve and Sandy a break. Jace had been sick and they'd had a few rough nights. After he napped in my arms for about an hour and a half, I gave him a bath in the kitchen sink...didn't want to risk getting his ears wet in the tub. I think he's well now. He sure looks great to Grandma!

Sandy and Jace.

Steve and Jace.

Here are two drawings I did this week. I'm still loving the pencil pressure and release lettering, but they don't photograph well. (Maybe that's a good thing, as I can see lots of room for improvement.) I don't know whether to use colored pencils to finish these or not...the paper is too flimsy to handle watercolors, which is what I'd prefer. I'm enjoying drawing again too. Will probably do more of it as I recover from oral surgery.

What the heck is it with big ego "King" James? He's not MY king! I'm surprised that it's considered so newsworthy, but I guess no (real) news is good news. Give me more of this tripe if it means nothing worse requires reporting.

Monday, July 05, 2010

New Work Beginnings and family stuff and FiReWorKs!

A bit of the family fireworks in celebration of Natalie's birthday, July 4. Nat had a cool plan...cookout, then outdoor movies after the fireworks. Operation Petticoat with the suave and swoonably handsome Cary Grant.

Three pieces I started today. One is very large (maybe 30x40) and two are 16x20. Teal is base color. I added orange to the two smaller ones and didn't like it. Covered it up. We'll see what happens. These pix were taken at dusk today and are a bit darker than actual color. I began all three pieces with squirts of white gesso. Pretty awful at this point. Let's see if I can rescue them. I have adopted my friend Diana's philosophy - "I can fix it." : )

This is a grouped shot, but truer color.

Here is a drawing I did today of some totems with an African influence.

Jace with Pappy and also with Daddy on big Lowe's home center shopping expedition.

Natalie admiring Jace's chubby knees.

Celeste with Grandma. Celeste fixed Grandma's pretty white hair for Andrea's graduation.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Amazing Video

I made the mistake of clicking on this link this morning when I should have been leaving for work. It is spectacular! I was spellbound at the calligraphic flourishing put to music. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Live Right

My Facebook/calligraphy friend Alice Hancock, along with her late husband Al, started "Greentherapie" - I lettered this piece tonight for her 'Live Right' campaign. It's pencil drawn lettering in a pressure release technique first taught to me by the British calligrapher, Peter Thornton. I am rediscovering the style and loving it even more than the first time around.