Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lake Carmen and Art Unraveled

I'm going to have to check on Carmen's meds for incontinence. We came home to a flooded carport tonight. Can't park in it and had to take our shoes off to slosh to the front door. Ok, in all fairness to my poor, old pooch, we did have a big storm tonight. In fact thunder is still rumbling and I sent the Chicklet directly to my bed. Otherwise she would have gotten up half a dozen times because the thunder was scaring her. I'm hoping there's going to be room for me when I finally wander to sink into my precious bed...

It has been a marathon. Taking today off from workshops was a godsend. I took a nice nap on the couch after taking our time this morning getting the Chicklet off to camp, then meeting the Gal Pals for lunch, and finally stopping off for workhop supplies at JoAnn's and hitting a good sale at Jerry's Artarama.

I'm halfway through 4 of my 8 workshops, (what was I thinking)? Tonight we started the first part of Hidden Layers with Traci Bautista. I can't wait for tomorrow!

Here's a run down of my Art Unraveled adventures, so far:

Monday-Painterly Portraits with Anne Grgich

I'm the one who doesn't do figurative art but Anne Grgich's work is rich and intriguing and so was the workshop!We started out by randomly collaging on loose sheets that we'd eventually add in our books. I don't this one is going to make it in at loosely 3 ft. tall.This is how we got started. Collage for visual interest. Once we did that we used paint, in this case, coffee, to begin to shape the face. Who needs walnut ink when you can paint with your coffee? I guess this is what happens when you stick your paint brush in your coffee one too many times. My book does have a rich aroma!
One of my gals in progress. My new favorite paint-Golden's Asphaltum Glaze. I'm now a happy owner of a bottle or two.Another Gal Pal. My obsessive tendency to buy patterned napkins everytime I visit IKEA does have purpose! Love that black and white. Perhaps you're too polite to say anything but yes, I am aware that these big, open mouthes are reminiscent of blow up dolls. I've got to work on that...

Tuesday-Voice Lessons with Carla Sonheim-

I wasn't familiar with Carla's Sonheim's style prior to class but by the end of class I was a fan of her whimsical work. I signed up for her class when I read the description focusing on developing our artistic style or voice.

We spent the morning doing some exercises-
Quick collage
Continuous contour drawing
Blind contour drawingCharcoal drawing-this one put a pit in my stomach. I was back in college drawing class. I like the owl, hate the charcoal. I sure learned something. I can enjoy drawing but maybe it's the material that doesn't always jive.
Printmaking-everyone made an elephant

At this point, it was time to break for lunch. It's been really good for me to drive home and take a little break from the intensity of frenzied artmaking. Plus none of my AU friends have wet noses and wag their tails in greeting.

I was glad to come home because I wanted to grab some markers to decorate my elephant. I ended up forgetting them and figured it's be Ok. How many times do you drag all the stuff to a class and then not have time to use it? Well, the joke was on me because the next part was to take one of the techniques from earlier in the day and make a series of small pieces. I chose to print more elephants but chose to collage the background first.
Some decoration has been painted and the shapes outlined but there's plenty still to do.

We also had a watercolor exercise in the morning. Mine was such a dog that it's going to get cut and pasted on/over/with, you get my drift... I watercolored on two of my five "elefantes." These will join my many other elephants inherited from Mom. That's why the elphant struck a cord with me. My Mom collected them for years.

Tuesday evening-Printing Blocks Macgyver Style with Traci Bunkers

I took a visual journaling class with Traci Bunkers last year and they are some of my most favorite pieces. (Part of my blog header is from one of those lay outs). I was pretty tired and worthless by Tuesday night but she really opened my eyes to the posibility of stamping by manipulating craft foam.
Both these examples are stamped on printed tissue.
I grabbed some random papers before headin off to class. I have a pile of scrap paper I use when I'm painting/outlining. After awhile some of these trash papers have some nice random marks. This one now has a layer of stamping.
Wed. Landscapes of the Mind with Anne Grgich

Meet the twins! Although we used some of the same techniques, the approach was different. this time we made an effort to create the features as we built up the layers of the collage foundation. Some people in class found the beginning frustrating. there were some stunning pieces in the end.

The nice things about the twins is that they can have flaws and personality and that's what makes them likable. Miss Light Blue will not get dental work. No "nip tuck" for my girls. On the other hand the emerging CHEEKY Chicklet said she can clearly see all my gray hair on the back of my head when we're driving in the car. Good G-d! Am I going to have to start dyeing my hair now? I've never done anything to my hair except cut it. Why start now? I will have to start muzzling my child, though....

Wed. evening: Marks and Symbols with Traci Bautista

More warm up exercises from prompts-Drawing an alphabet with a continuous line. A bit of a challenge in the sense that I don't write in cursive, unless I want to make many errors.Draw an alphabet with swirls at the end
Print on found papers with found objects.
Layers of written random words and stamping.
Stamping on more junk papers from my studio. I've been setting this yellow paper of to the side for a year.
Found object stamping over stamping from Traci Bunker's class the night before. Definitely an improvement. The green came from painting with a sponge tipped squeeze-able brush filled with color wash.

Aside from all the learning AU is about sharing-ideas and enthusiasm. I'm meeting friends in person who I've only til now, known online. Even better is meeting up with friends from past AU's.

Oh my word, time flies! It's another late night with plenty to do in the morning. The Chicklet finishes off camp at the Y. "Y' is for Yea!!! It just doesn't hold a candle to the professionalism and caring staff at Camp Yad B'Yad at Beth El.

The Chicklet and I have plans to finish getting her school stuff and having dinner out. We may even make to Mystic Paper for Night Out in Mesa.

Buenas Noches!


  1. I love seeing your work from Art Unraveled. Even though I couldn't go this year, I feel like I'm there through your work.

    Hope you have a wonderful time, maybe we'll bump into each other at Mystic Paper.

    Beadily yours
    Susan Feldkamp

  2. Good to see you tonight! It's so funny to sit back and listen to the conversations. We all know so much about each other through our blogs.

  3. Ohhhh, I so enjoyed this post! The process seemed so *freeing*, and you got to repurpose papers you might never have used in your artwork before. I like that.

    And I, for one, like the mouths you drew on your dolls(smiles)

    Thank you for sharing your artful papers.

  4. These papers and works are really great! Sounds like it was fun and very freeing!