Sunday, July 12, 2015

Family Circus - A Birthday Book

I've been working on this book for six months at least (in between painting faces and a few other projects). I almost always have three or four things going for when I hit a wall with one project or another. A few of things going on here are the wire spine, the spray stenciled backgrounds and the cut and paste pages. I extracted and/or colored a few of the images from old sources but many were purchased as sets from Mischief Circus (previously called Deviant Scrap). I've used pieces from Itkupilli, TumbleFishStudio, MartaVanEck and MrWhiskers to name a few.

The cover of the book, as well as all of the pages, are tied onto a 1/4 mesh wire. I wrapped its edges with super suede to avoid cut fingers!

Pages 00 and 01 - the family tree and Grandpa Eddie, the ringmaster and co-owner of the circus.

Pages 02 and 03 - Grandma Ellie and Clem and Clyde, all images so far from Mischief Circus.

Pages 04 - 07 - The narrator's aunts and uncles. I started the book with the strong man, Francis, and an embellished story of an incident from my son Kevin's childhood. That's why the book became a gift for him! I extracted and colored and put together from pieces both of the characters on that spread.

Pages 08 - 11 - The narrator (with the fish), his other grandparents and his parents. The tall man with his head in the clouds was the most interesting Photoshop challenge of the book.

Pages 12 - 13 - The narrator's bothers and sister's (plus a little glimpse of him) and the Bird Lady, Lillian. I think I showed her in another post as I was learning to color old black and white images.

Pages 14 - 18 plus back cover inside - Various relatives and friends of relatives who joined the circus in their respective times. These pages were all a "circus" to create, all technical issues (glues, finishes, etc.) aside and I love every one of them but my absolute favorite is the bright pink and red one in this set of pictures showing the New Orleans jazz band and the Hoochie Koochie Kittens. If you click on any picture you can read the stories.                         

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Radiant Faces Clss - My Biggest Mess

I love Dina Wakley's art, both in her Radiant Faces class and in her book, Art Journal Freedom. I don't have Art Journal Courage yet but it's on my short list. However this attempt at her very free techniques produced the only journal spread that I felt I needed to alter to be able to view without wanting to cover it with black gesso. In addition to that hideous face, I hated the big purple blotch in the upper left corner. I had cut a stencil for the smaller face and it was OK in the first version but a little dark for the new face on the right side. The class was called "The Stranger", and I felt "strange, stranger, strangest" was a good description for this work. Here are the after and before scans:

After I was done with Part One of the Radiant Faces Classes, I did a couple more Dina inspired pages in my faces journal. I did the collaged one playing with my Derwent Inktense pencils and a StabiloAll black pencil on a bit of watercolor paper. The one on the aqua background was done following an online tutorial by Dina on painting a face. I really like both of them!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

More Radiant Faces Output

Here are a few more of the things I produced in the "Radiant Faces" classes.

This was Kylie Fowler"s lesson and I think that she is a portrait artist. She was a real wiz with the Neocolor II crayons and although she ran into several stumbling blocks, she persevered to show us it could work out in the end. Most everyone expressed discomfort working on their own image but we all just had to get over it! My bird, eggs, and butterfly were just pasted on with no further work on them.

This is the only one I didn't do in my Strathmore watercolor journal. Jamie Dougherty asked us to work on wood so I did using a cigar box. The piece of wood she was demo-ing on was much lighter so my results weren't typical. Also lots of other students just worked on paper. The media here was waxy colored pencils which I've never liked compared to watercolor colored pencils, but I would have to say I learned a little about working with them. 
This is the lesson that Effy Wild taught using a range of acrylics, mostly Golden, but other brands as well. She seems to prefer working with artist quality paints that have some sheen to them. I had a few heavy body acrylic paints including very few Golden and struggled with them to the point of feeling that I had not begun to master the techniques she was presenting. I will definitely redo this lesson with one of my own drawings. It was very interesting!

This doodling lesson was given by Joanne Sharpe. I have her book on lettering. I am a total klutz when it comes to Zentangles and doodling but managed to fill in the spaces and get it colored - I think maybe watercolor paints or watercolor pencils, don't really recall. As usual, I couldn't manage to make myself write some sappy, happy words and just turned it into a little joke! 
The next post, I'll show the really awful painting I did that I couldn't even look at and what I did to alter it so that I didn't have to cover it with black paint to leave the page in my journal! Looking back on this work, I can see that I never managed to get a smooth, creamy  look on the skin. Bummer!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Radiant Faces Work

In October 2014, I did a workshop called Radiant Faces with Effy Wild and her guest teachers. I posted my work in the classroom gallery but since that was a private gallery I'm posting some of it here.

This was the first lesson and Jane Davenport was the instructor. Our assignment was to work with inspiration from one of the pre Raphaelite painters to create "The Nymph". I chose Waterhouse's Lady Clare (the inset).

Lesson Two was presented by Tamara LaPorte and the subject was "The Inner Child". Going for a Dick Tracy look, I messed this one up pretty convincingly. However the lesson was really well presented and fun.

Christy Tomlinson presented Lesson Three, "Girly Girl". These started with pasting pieces of napkins, tissues and scrapbook paper into my journal which I has a wonderful time messing with. I wasn't crazy about trying to paint over the resulting very rough surface. The one thing I loved was adhering cut out flowers to their hair and then overpainting them with acrylics.

This was Lesson Four, "The Inner Goddess", with the very entertaining Julie Gibbons. My inspiration was from a painting by Susan Siddons as I wanted to use two faces and didn't quite know how to accomplish that. The coloring was done with alcohol markers. Well, since Blogger has decided to center my musings, I'll call it quits for this evening.