Category Archives: art practice

Pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain

I’ve been working steadily throughout the first 12th of the year and just want to let you know that the art-making has been continual and fairly serious, but there hasn’t really been much to show, for various reasons.  One newly finished mixed media piece was a belated (okay, seriously freaking belated) Christmas present for my mother, which has finally gone out in the mail but which will remain, for the moment, mostly private. The little bit above is a detail from the piece. Here’s another:

The very fetching child in the bottom row is yours truly at about three years of age.  See? I am still working.



Don we now our winter apparel

It’s that time of year. After a lovely run of warm fall weather (interrupted by that freakish October snowstorm), the thermostat is creeping down and my collar is creeping up. Time for winter duds. This is me, right this minute, sitting in front of the kitchen fire working at my computer:

Warm hands, warm heart, right?

But I took a look at my kitchen Buddha last night and decided he looked a little chilly, still in his summer robes, bare shouldered and all. I couldn’t do much about the shoulders, but I could at least give him a more seasonal backdrop. So I switched out the playful pink he was wearing in his little nook (an antique sewing machine drawer in which he fits perfectly) backed by a rather frivolous pink and dotty paste paper I made last spring–here, see:

For this more seasonal attire. This is part of a gelatin monoprint I made a few weeks ago. As we slip out of our fall Ango season into the quieter days of winter, it seemed to suit him better. And, you know, since he doesn’t have any mittens . . .

Here’s a little closeup:

By the way, I made this print at an art party you can see more about at my Floating Ink’s Wandering School of Art facebook page.  Be sure to take a look at the photos from that fabulous night.

And stay warm.

Clay bowl, charcoal sketch

When I need to draw but don’t know what, I always turn back to my most primal motif: bowls.


Time for some actual art around here.  Working on an assignment (not the paying kind!) again–it’s that time of year.

Notecard tutorial: Tiptoe through the tulips

I had a birthday last month and was well and truly feted. Among my gifts were a lovely bouquet of pink tulips, and a copy of this fabulous book by the wonderful and talented Alisa Golden:

Actually, when my birthday came around, I already had a copy of this book at home, one from the library that I had already renewed as many times as I was allowed, and which I had briefly considered simply . . . forgetting to return.  A little birthday gift card from my favorite sister made that bit of miscreance unnecessary, and now I have my very own copy. Which is already getting dog-eared and paint-spotty.

After a while the pink tulips began to look as old as–well, as old as I now am (NOT complaining–I’ve been on this side of the hill for a while now and I love it).By the time I got the notion to preserve my last tulip blooms by painting them, they were wearing their age in a wabi-sabi kind of way.

It was one of those everything-comes-neatly-together projects. I needed notecards on which to write my birthday thank you notes.  I happened to have some LOOOOONG pieces of watercolor paper, part of a stash I scored when a print shop and paper warehouse not too far from me closed (to becom a block of condominiums–a moment of silence, please). And I had this Golden (in all senses of the word) book containing just the right project.

As I said, this is Alisa’s (may I call you Alisa?) project, but this is my take on it.

Make a painting. Mine ended up being of the pink tulips. Watercolors, a little sumi ink, a big dry brush and a little wet brush. Dash it out–don’t think too much. Some of my tulips got deconstructed just a little, but I liked them that way.

So did second child. She loved them. The painting stayed around on my kitchen wall clothesline gallery overnight.

Then the guillotine fell. Literally. Second child was mightily annoyed with me.

I’m the fortunate, temporary guardian of a fabulous, heavy, sharp, old school guillotine-style paper cutter. I walk around looking for things to cut up with it. I’m thinking of using it to make cole slaw.

Anyway, take a deep breath and cut your painting up, too.  Cut it into squares or rectangles a bit smaller than the dimensions of the front of your blank note cards. Attach the now smaller, more concentrated mini paintings to the fronts of your note cards, using your adhesive of choice. I used Zots adhesive dots–they make the card stand out a little, like a painting on a wall.

It’s a little like quilting in reverse. I love how each one expresses its pinky tulip-ness in a different way.  And when I sent out the thank you notes, it was like sending the people I love their own spring tulips.

What I did over the weekend

This is where I was and what I did over the weekend–what did you do?

Perry Yung

Harmony and me

Have you found Harmony yet? I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time playing with it since I found the link to the program on Geninne’s Art Blog. And I’m making all my friends try it, too.

{NOTE: A couple of you have written me to say you can’t access the site from my link. It has definitely worked for some people, so I think it’s alright. When you get to the Harmony page, you don’t see much: a tiny black square at the top edge of the page, a box that says “web,” and a couple of control words like “clear” and “save.” Just grab the cursor and move it around–all will be revealed.}

Sort of like a drug.

But look! The things you can do with this! And it’s free!  I seem to have gotten fixated on the “web” tool, but there are others.

I like this one of some hungry ghosts:

And also this, a boatman and his dog:

And this little simple one:

And one more, a bit more complex:

What are you waiting for?

Go . . . play!