Archive for October, 2015

There’s some subtle color and texture in this little card, which you’ll see when you click to enlarge. The card stock is a warm ivory with a linen texture, though the light of the scanner seems to wash that out.

The mix of media that went into this project made for an interesting experimental morning at the art table.

I began with a thick layer of oil pastel on a recipe flyer. That was ugly, I am not kidding. I turned the flyer over and transferred as much of the oil pastel pigment as possible onto the ivory card by rubbing hard with my bone folder. Then I added a wobbly triple border in India ink with a dip pen. The blots were alarming, but I like them now.

Last, I colored a photocopied image of an early tobacco factory and pasted it down as the focal point. The olive green surround is just a background paper laid onto the scanner bed … not part of the original.

The second card is what came of playing around with the scraps from the first one.


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Or so two bloggers from Wales have told me. Though it won’t snow much for a while, even in the mountains of Wales, I am reminded how much I like the reduced palette of deep winter. I once posterized a blizzard photograph taken in western Virginia; it wouldn’t be much but for the half-un-buried red tail light that shows you the photo was taken in my driveway.
posterized snow small

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cover of signs and symbols

Maude Wahlman studies African American quilts and their resemblances to traditional West African textiles. She sees many similarities, though she concedes, “Contemporary African American quilters are generally unaware of the continuities.” The quilts in this book are eye-popping.

She calls out five characteristics of African American quilts: working in strips; deliberate asymettry (or maybe indifference to symmetry); improvisation; multiple patterning within a single textile; and bright colors (especially red) and up-sized pattern units, meant to grab your attention from a distance.

These are qualities I respond to in art, so I set out to copy the quilt from the cover of her book with markers and cut paper. copy of signs and symbols

Observations: I colored the gray and yellow pieces directly onto my working paper. I spared my red and green markers and used cut shapes of solid red and green paper from my stash. Coloring in the white gaps between some of the pasted shapes did not work. (The two long white stripes are in the original.) Close inspection showed me that the quilter used several shades of teal green and red fabric. I used markers on the colored paper to imitate those shades. That did seem successful.

I’m comfortable with the absence of mainstream-style precision in these quilts.I have always resisted investing my energy in precisely matched corners.

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Stumbled across while browsing my art folders …cat-from-magpie-book
Fun to see things you made again, after a lapse of time. Paper-bag substrate with acrylic paint and a cat with a piercing stare from I-know-not-what-source now.

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Recycled manila folder, India ink blots, get well card on construction paper (full text: “From Emma”), wax crayon, markers, found paper, tissue paper. I started this around 5 am and snacked on it all day. It may not be done yet, but it’s in an interesting state. The color has been digitally dramatized. It’s hard to resist a redder red.
The original is closer to 8.5 by 11, art journal sized, while this version has been reduced to postcard proportions.

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Still life


The storms are not affecting my packing-up-house in any way, and I have reached the point where I can say “almost finished” without crossing my fingers behind my back. Son and husband have a plan to watch football together then take down the TV, computer, and cable connections. I’ve gotten OK with the idea of discarding perfectly good condiments, so ….

Time for an uplifting still life. The background comes from a liquor carton insert, and the dried rose was a gift from a friend a summer ago. It still retains its lovely scent.

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