Kids’ Art for Grownups

This was my first blog post that included my art. I was so excited! In my fortieth college reunion book, I wrote that I planned to get more art into my life – and I did it.

Sticky Fingers On Paper

Kathy Barbro’s Art Projects for Kids site is full of ideas for grownups who like to play with art. This turtle was the first of her projects I carried out, though I have been reading her posts for a couple months.A Kindergarten Turtle  The turtle is drawn on paper from a mutual fund prospectus that I’d been using as waste paper, then pasted onto one of the last of the beautiful speckled card stock sheets I bought for a group card-making project. The flower is a broach from a trendy catalog. I like them together.

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Colors That Smear

I used to think that the fact that inexpensive felt tip markers smudge and run when they get wet is a fault. Gradually I caught on that this blurriness is a desirable feature.

The effect is delicious when you expect it and plan to work with it.

You can use any cheap brush and/or your fingers to spread the water. It only takes a little bit. This is an advantage when you work in a small space and have active elbows.

Runny felt tips are not only a feature of cheap markers. Tombow brush markers are not cheap, but they do run, in many delicious colors.

Autumn Color

Autumn color in drought-touched North Carolina is more subdued than usual this year. I tried to capture it in a watercolor impression of my common-space backyard. I see that I needed more shades of tan. Pale though the tones in my painting are, compared to my reference photo, they’re a riot of color. Underfoot, my world is beige.

The leaf colors remind me of the beeches on my home place, but these trees are largely river birch, catalpa, sweet gum and the like — all of them thoroughly browned.

I painted with pan watercolors and enhanced them with chalk pastel. My inspiration came from Alisa Burke’s online mini-course, The Nature Journal — 30 mini-lessons on relinquishing control, using natural materials to apply paint, and painting or drawing in response to something rather than trying to replicate it.

A Good Haul

Last week, I bought 10 interesting postcards at a local thrift store (a nickel a piece). I thought I’d hang onto them for a while, I even began to “organize” my “collection,” but then I got the Postcrossing urge, so I’m mailing them off before they’ve been fully savored.

This one, altered by me, is going to Japan.

And this one to Anna in Russia – nothing to alter here!

Books and libraries are a category I collect; I was sorely tempted to hang onto it. I’ll be on the lookout for more postcards of the Depression-era Coit Tower murals in San Francisco. Their populist content was so radical at the time that some sections were covered up! And revealed later.

… from June 1 through July 31. Ideally, a participant does create one index card every day. This year, my impulses have come in threes, so that’s how I’ve worked. My dating and numbering is very confused.

Nevertheless, I think I will reach August 1 with at least 61 collaged/painted/drawn-upon/written-on index cards to my name.

My most recent three cards are all desk-top riots and not particularly lovely to look at. They were fun to make! This first one is pure grab-and-paste.

The second one was going for lots of different colors (not bad) and a layered effect without actual layers (not even close). I do have a few more ideas to add.

Some people use the ICAD project as an extension of their journaling practice, reflecting non-art concerns that are on their minds. This card is like that.

My teacher says that you don’t have to know what you’re doing from the minute you sit down; you start by moving your hands around on your desk.

Impractical Pets

My take on the pet-selection process and on Lesson 2 with Lynn Whipple in 2019: Year of the Collage. It was fun to work with candy colors. I was enlightened by the difference a prepared background can make, though I didn’t like covering any of it up.

I have observed that I am becoming a little more of a dog person. Don’t tell the cat.

The Hat

My imagination was seized by the hat. That surprised me. Fashion magazines can have a funny effect on you if you’re not fashionable.

The hat came with a face that I wasn’t comfortable using as I found it, so in this first collage, all I kept was the hat and the general shape of the image.

It was a mistake not to create the painted background first. Aside from that, I’m pretty happy with it. It’s not much like what I usually do, but simple and fast is fun.

I think this hat will make another appearance soon.