Archive for the ‘Experiments with Paper and Media’ Category

I have two kinds of journals: art journals that function as collections of my painting, mark-making and collage; and diaries where I record notes from readings or lectures, travel reminders, to-do lists and sometimes notes about my days’ activities.

Lately I’ve gotten more inclined to add collage and mark-making to my diary. Pages with nothing but my handwriting bore my eye; meanwhile, my collection of scraps and cutouts of pictures keeps growing beyond the range of my deliberative collaging activity.

Now my practice is to paste down things I like on my diary pages, just because I like them. I may work ahead on un-used pages, or I may backtrack and fill in blank spots on pages that have been written on. I might just paste right over a shopping list or other entry of impermanent interest.

Sometimes I fill a whole page, just because I don’t want to stop. 
The cutouts plus occasional mark-making with colored pencils or markers really please my eye.

In effect, I’m putting favorite scraps out where I’ll see them regularly during the month or two I use a diary (the 5 x 8 kraft-covered Moleskine unlined diaries). Of course, this practice also fills up the diary faster. There may be a point of diminishing returns, but I am sure I’ll know it when I reach it.


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But I keep calling it a banner. Each little portion is 3 by 3 inches.m

Update: Retreat was canceled! No power at our destination.

I’m off to teach some old friends how to make a garland like this at a retreat in the woods in Massachusetts. If all goes well, we’ll have a collaborative artwork to share.

The car is just a banner holder in the sun.

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I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without posting.

I’ve gotten swept away by embroidery … but I haven’t posted any of it. And I got a smartphone and have been seduced by Instagram. And a new PC and updated version of Paint Shop Pro (from 1 or 2 to 8) have been hard to adjust to. An addiction to streaming  Grey’s Anatomy is only now loosening its grip.

With the passing of the solstice, perhaps the tilt of my imagination will change back? We’ll see what happens in the next few months.

This week I got a little paper-art-fever again. I woke up one morning with the thought “I wonder what’s inside the egg.” To make my mystery egg, I used a number of media — charcoal, felt tip pens, paint pen, oil pastels, wax crayons, and a satisfying drizzle of India ink. Granted, the shape is more like an avocado than an egg.

Rae Missigman, maker of art marks, is one of my new inspirations or distractions. Since I love brush pens, I used very little else in this card except some fine-line marker and a little wax crayon. The style is not like Rae Missigman’s; it’s more that her work reminded me of something I like to do.

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The January/February 2005 issue of Quilts With Style put a quilt called “Polar Nights” on its cover. I liked the blocky polar bears.

Late Saturday night, I made a quick freehand sketch of the bears and colored it with markers. I was rushing, and the proportions came out all wrong. What are those creatures??

Still, the next morning, when the light in my room was very dim, the white bears glowed, and I was motivated to keep working with them.

I went to the page where the tiny segments of the bear pattern appeared and traced the pieces as if they were sewn together. I colored the tracing with two different shades of blue marker and put a little gesso on the bear’s body for texture [I guess the scan flattens it out.] I drew in some quilting lines. Then I pasted the colored tracing onto an index card for stability.

This bear was immediately likable. I began to see that he was an imperiled contemporary bear, living with diminishing sea ice. I drew him again freehand, using the bear above for my model and capturing just the outline.

This particular cheap box-store marker gives a chunky, faintly blurry line that I really like. (If it were waterproof I’d use it more.) There’s an echo of Keith Haring in the line.

These arctic explorations have been very instructive.

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A mail art friend sent twenty of us copies of a glowing red collage she made of radish seed packets. She gave no instructions, so I decided that she probably wanted us to embellish it and pass it on. Just the kind of thing I love to do.

The original had no title. I call my version “You Can’t Have Too Many Radishes or Amaryllis or Ethnic Beads.”

All kinds of mark-making plus more collage.

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My eye thinks that I knit the disparate parts together pretty well. Your eye may differ.

This page and the page below have worn me out for working on a full-sized journal page. I’m going to do index cards for a few days!

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I had a journal page that was pretty unattractive, yet I liked it a little bit. Recalling an earlier success, I painted out a lot of it with metallic black, creating eight windows.

I put eight little abstract scraps in the windows and scuffed up the black paint with some scratches and finger-painting. I really like finger-painting. I’m working with craft-quality paints, so it’s entertaining to watch some of the under-painting come through the dots that I made with white paint.

If I had thought of it sooner, I would have lifted off some black paint before it dried. Regardless, I like the play of light over the surface now. The gawky child is now peculiar in an interesting way.

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