Land Secrets

 

DSC_1058Here is a close up of a painting that I just completed.  There are so many layers of paint on this canvas, it is unbelievable.   I started by painting loosely and letting my muse out to play.  It sounds fun, and it is, but let me just say once the figure emerged, the design and color scheme became challenging.  It was a constant push and pull of color and shapes, and finding a balance of the two.  There is a small bit of collage that I left without paint, the word earth…and a bit of Hebrew text.  When the shapes began to form, the painting looked like land masses viewed from an airplane window.  I enjoyed the process of letting the painting give me direction, being free to apply paint and then cover it up leaving just a small glimpse of the previous layer.  This created a depth of experience for me as the artist, and also invites the viewer to come closer and see the elements of a hidden layer.  The intent of my painting was to capture the essence of land masses, and the secrets held beneath the top layer. Whether gifts of nature or the work of man, the land beneath our feet is full of secrets.

Celestial Bottle

DSC_1026Upcycled glass bottle, collaged with pieces of vintage sheet music, angels, papers I found in Florence during my travels, acrylic paints, and beaded embellishments.  This piece has been submitted to an upcoming juried show at The Commonwheel Gallery in Manitou Springs, CO.  In a few weeks I will see if was accepted, sure hope so!  I learned the process from “Bottle Art For The Soul” an instructional DVD purchased from Artful Gathering 2012.  Using a bottle for collaged art is an interesting concept and fairly easy to create.  I enjoyed turning the bottle, looking at each side to make sure the artwork and collage flowed around the piece.  Soft gel matte medium adheres the first layer of white tissue paper to the bottle and after 24 hours of drying time, the rest of the collage elements can be glued with matte gel.  Once dry, acrylic paints highlight the surface, and finally the beads are attached to the top. It takes several days to complete and I suggest collaging several bottles at a time.  The piece looks great displayed on a bookshelf or on a dining room buffet.  This particular design has an old world flair which I love!  I plan to make a few more to sell at the Bemis Instructor Sale in December.

LILLY’S GIFT

Lilly's Gift

Last week the Gifted and Talented Art show took place at the Bemis Art School.  Classroom walls were filled with amazing art done by elementary aged artists.  From O’Keeffee inspired batiks to fresco paintings of Fra Angelico scenes, to native people inspired weavings, Van Gogh starry nights, Aborigine dotted paintings, Antarctica dioramas, and Zentangle Zebras… Art Around the World pieces made by these little creatives gave all a glimpse of their talent.  Toward the end of the show, one of my students presented me with a lovely gift,  a picture made just for me!  With it’s bright colors and symbols of artistic expression, it has a special place in my studio and heart.  Thank you Lilly for using your creative talent to make this piece… it brings me great joy!

Travel Pages Class Re-Cap

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DSC_0713The first application was to cover chip board pages in white gesso and then a layer of hard pastels in various colors was added just before the gesso dried.  Acrylic inks applied over stencils created another layer.

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Students travelled through Europe visiting a myriad of countries including Prague, Germany, Scotland, England and Iceland.  One page was dedicated to creating an acrylic painting.  The results were stunning!

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An Icelandic landscape and a Picasso inspired painting.

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With travel and exploring new places there are ample opportunities to collect photographs, maps, museum brochures, postcards, and a whole host of ephemera.  Pages are the perfect place to use these found papers for collage.  Combined with acrylic paint,  one-of-kind papers made from National Geographic pages using Citrasolv, and stencils, each page becomes a work of art.  The best part is…  subway ticket stubs, a bakery paper holding the croissant purchased while waiting in line to see the Eiffel Tower, a leaf picked up while walking through a park in Austria, or a paper placemat  from an Indian restaurant in Maastricht…they are FREE ephemera and make for the most interesting collaged pages!

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Photo image transfer gives each page a personal stamp.  As pages take shape with layers of mixed media techniques something special happens…the opportunity to savor the places we have been.  Our memories come alive through the process of art making. Visiting foreign lands are life changing experiences and the visual feast needs to become more than just a memory, it needs to be shared as an artifact.  Creating travel pages is just the place for this to happen.

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Whether it is Medieval art or postcards from a museum, it is all fair game for creating travel pages.

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DSC_0728Fused shopping bag makes for a great journal page. With an iron on a medium setting, place 3 to 4 bags together with the “star bag” on top. Lay parchment paper on top of the pile of bags, and parchment underneath the bundle. Iron away, slowly, to fuse them together.  Trim to the right size, and hole punch the edge… wa-la… a page of texture and a reminder of shopping at Harrods!

DSC_0780Photo image transfer with acrylic paint and some vintage letter stamps, a family heirloom one of the students brought to class for all of us to use.

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DSC_0781Letters made with clear tar gel and acrylic paint.

DSC_0782Stencils and drips make for interesting backgrounds.

A little Monet inspired painting

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DSC_0744Teaching Travel Pages was a wonderful experience for me, and the pages created by each student were full of interesting subjects, techniques, color combinations, and layers of collage.  Every student had an approach that reflected their personal travel experience.  Each page was unique and demonstrated a flair for using ephemera from their adventures to make artful pages.  Maybe it is time for you to pull out those maps, brochures, postcards, photographs, ticket stubs, crumpled napkins, and found papers to create an artifact of your travel escapades.  It is easy to put a travel journal together using some of the techniques I have described, it just takes time, a precious commodity…but it is worth the effort!

Travel Pages Journal

DSC_0434Take a peek inside my travel journal pages.  This journal was created with ephemera, found papers, and purchased postcards from my trip to Europe.  The countries visited included The Netherlands, Paris, Spain and Italy.  Fortunately we have a family member who was  a pilot for NATO and had a lovely flat in Maastricht, Holland where we had our home base.  From there we travelled to neighboring countries, mostly by air, and a quick road trip to Paris.  It was the trip of a lifetime. 

DSC_0435The first time I saw the Mona Lisa was at The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. It was 1967 and I was in 2nd grade.  Jackie Kennedy was instrumental in bringing the masterpiece to the nation’s capital and fortunately my mother took us to see it.  Even at a young age I found the painting intriguing.  Seeing it again at The Louvre was meaningful and reminded me of how influential art can be at any age.  I loved standing in front of this fine lady fifty years later!

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DSC_0437I am using a chipboard kit by Recollections for Travel Pages.  First I gessoed every page and added a light color of oil pastels.  This helped tone down the white and I used a variety of colors, scraping the pastels over the almost dry gessoed pages.  There is a layer of liquid acrylic paint that coordinates with the ephemera.  LADUREE is a fabulous macaroon shop and restaurant in Paris, the page is made from the bag which held my delicious macaroon purchase.  It was amazing to find a coffee shop in Paris that carried Guatemalan coffee, my husbands homeland, so I had to include part of the bag from the coffee we drank.  These paper treasures are perfect for collage and spark memories of time spent travelling.

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We visited Spain also; Barcelona, Sevilla, and Granada.  I love Cathedrals. They are intricate, and majestic.  The Sagrada Familia designed by Gaudi is unique because of the light which enters the interior space.  The stained glass was abstract in design and there are not enough adjectives to describe this magnificent structure which by the way is still being built.  My travel journal included a background using a stained glass page I drew in another journal.  The black and white photo of the interior of the cathedral was altered using colored pencils.  The postcard was purchased but most of the other ephemera came from bags, brochures and freebies.

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There was a quaint little shop in Maastricht that sold buttons, trays and trays full of beautiful buttons.  This one found its way onto my page as part of a small envelope closure, naturally it is on a page dedicated to the Netherlands.  And how about that great restaurant…Spice of India where we enjoyed a delicious family dinner nestled along a cobblestoned street in Maastricht.

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The Van Gogh museum was filled with the colorful and textural work of a native son of Holland. The museum paid homage to this versatile artist who was way ahead of his time. We spent hours admiring the collection of paintings and I took a bazillion photographs!

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The Anne Frank house in Amsterdam…the words on this page say it all.  A moving and informative tour.  The beauty of making travel journal pages is having a place for creative expression using words and mixed media.

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Sari ribbon to attach ephemera on a page and found papers for collage.  Lots of Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold paint by Golden in this journal.  It is the perfect color for transforming pages.

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This is a inkjet copy of a postcard bought at The Uffizi in Florence, altered with colored pencil.  The background is a cathedral series stencil applied with liquid acrylic paints.  A little Conte crayon applied around the image to help sink it into the page.

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I like to include a few photos in travel pages, here we are by the Arno River in Florence, at dusk.  The Recollections kit came with a couple of photo pockets which I altered with Conte crayon and washi tape.

DSC_0459This page is an altered mailing envelope, painted, stamped with Da Vinci text, Florence stickers and specially made collage papers.  The horizontal accents were created by dissolving the ink of pages in a National Geographic magazine with Citrasolv.  The papers are perfect for adding interest and design.

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DSC_0464While walking on the streets of Paris, my stepson’s friend asked me, “Do you collect anything in particular?” Indeed I do…was my quick reply.  Paper, all kinds from all sorts of places…cafes, museums, hotels, maps, ticket stubs, even rubbings made on vellum paper while walking around the Cathedral in Sevilla near the spot where Christopher Columbus is buried.  And who could imagine the paper pocket which held a warm croissant from a tiny Parisian bakery would be so colorful and intricately made?  This is the composition of stash which has lovingly been put together to create pages of art, and a bundle of treasured memories.

Butterfly Coloring Book

A beautiful gift from my daughter, Vive Le Color – Butterflies – Coloring Book.  This is my first coloring book and now I totally understand the coloring pages craze.  It is a lovely process to take my colored pencils and color in between the lines.  Much of my mixed media art is just the opposite, pursuing creative abstract expression which is all about being outside of the lines.  There is something to be said for working with colored pencils to shade butterflies in a coloring book.  The designs in Vive le Color are exquisite and I love the book size about 6 1/2  x 6 1/2 inches, easy to put in my bag and take it along.  72 tear out pages of butterflies!  2015 was the year of the butterfly for me and this book was a gift oozing with love.  Thank you Laura!DSC_0402She purchased Vive le Color at one of our favorite shops in Denver, Artisan Center.  If you are ever in the Cherry Creek shopping area this is worth a stop.  They carry a unique collection of gifts from around the world, lots of unique items by artisans and creatives.DSC_0420I am using Prismacolor  Colored pencils and have finished one page.  Bright colors, shading in some areas, and being precise by staying in between the lines is a delightful way to spend time.  It is very peaceful to choose just the right pencil for a particular spot and know that however it turns out is OKAY, no pressure.  Just like art journaling, it is a process activity, one that nurtures my creative spirit and let me say, this is addicting!  No wonder sales of adult coloring books are skyrocketing, we all long for creative expression in this digital, analog, age we live in.DSC_0407

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One page complete, and another underway!  With a hankering for spring right about now as the snowfall at my house totals 18″ and winter wonderland abounds, these pastel colors take me to a different time and place.  Such is the beauty of art, all types of art, any type of art.  It transports us back to childhood or takes us on a new adventure.  How fond are my memories of using Crayolas to create coloring book pages when I was young.  Now, with my new Vive le Color Butterfly book I am experiencing a throwback to childhood but with a different twist.  I am using marvelous colored pencils which create a finer line and a different look.  It is a blast.  There are numerous coloring books on the market featuring a variety of themes and designs.  I encourage you to check them out, you might find the perfect one for your creative muse.   Time for me to finish up this butterfly with a cup of tea in front of the fire, oh joy!

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Best of 2015

Linda on steps butterfly

Sitting on the Hidden Steps in San Francisco, they are hard to find but so worth it, amazing mosaic steps tucked in between the rolling streets of the city.

SF Steps Steps mushrooms

I Am The Way

Ghost in The Machine Art Show at Commonwheel Artists Coop.  All art was inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe Eloquent Objects Art Show at Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

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It was her gardenIt Was Her Garden, one of my mixed media paintings that was in the show.

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My Friend Melissa..thanks for putting it all together!!!

SOLDSOLD  –  She Blossoms in the Cracked Places…mixed media.  Thrilled this painting sold and has a new home.  Many thanks to family and friends who attended the show, your support touches my heart in the special places.

Art Journaling Classes

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Autumn brings new beginnings.  School starts, the garden provides a harvest, days become shorter, blossoms fade, and football games abound.  It is an ideal time to pursue creative interests.  Virtual classes on the internet are abundant and I have gained helpful information visiting various websites.  Last week I was in Taos for a workshop on painting florals in acrylic.  Being together with other artists, and the learning that occurs in a group, the interplay, idea sharing, and just being together is valuable.  This only happens in a class venue.  So this fall, be brave, venture out and invest in your creativity…take a class!  Anywhere!  I hope it is with me because I would love to connect and Bemis has a rich tradition of art education.  Our new partnership with The 21c Library is a convenient location if you are local.   This is the time for all creatives to pursue their desires and honor that little voice prodding towards expression, the opportunities are endless.

 

 

 

 

 

Botanical Gardens and Chihuly

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The Denver Botanical Gardens hosted a beautiful exhibit of Chihuly glass mixed with the blossoms and greenery of summer in 2014.  It was a serendipitous discovery when I came across these photos on my computer and knew they needed to be posted.  I hope they bring you joy and a little inspiration for your creative journey!

A work of art in Seville Spain

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In Seville Spain, this amazing cathedral stands on solid ground paying homage to Gothic architecture and many skilled hands working together to create this magnificent structure.

It is the largest cathedral in the world with the longest nave.  Construction began in 1402, ended in 1506 and represents a century of astounding craftsmanship.  I visited this place during

one of our recent trips to Europe and wanted to share the beauty and majesty of this special place with you.  Take a peek inside…

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ONE OF MANY BEAUTIFUL STAINED GLASS WINDOWS

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A VIEW OF SEVILLE FROM INSIDE THE CATHEDRAL

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THE COURT OF ORANGES

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THE COURT OF ORANGES

A little bit of Colorado

DSC_0679 DSC_0680 DSC_0689 DSC_0691 Took my camera out today and snapped some photographs around our property.  Yep, took the red Amaryllis outside just to see how it contrasted against the white snow and green bristlecone pine, sort of pretty.  But it was not too happy being exposed to the cold, ugh.   A Colorado postcard from me to you!

S N O W

DSC_0011Love the white stuff, at least for the time being.  Come April and May, now that is a different story.  Today the sun was shining bright, causing the snowflakes to sparkle and glisten as the rays danced across the snowdrifts.  Against the cerulean blue Colorado sky, the effect was stunning!  Celebrating the flakes with acrylic paint, splatters/drips, and handwritten words in charcoal pencil. The colors I chose are not those that typically come to mind when thinking of winter and therein lies the beauty of creative expression.  The paint on the page started as a clean up page and it pulled me to transform the teal and yellow into an expression of snow.  The cool colors mingled with red  were a stark contrast, an experiment, an unplanned process of asking…what if?  This is what most of us love about creating pages in our art journals.  The process leads our creativity and we learn along the way.  We begin to trust our inklings, and let intuition bubble up from that place deep inside. The result, an unusual yellow snowflake mingled with greens, violets, red and teal.   Yes, this is my love affair!