Saturday, July 27, 2013

Project Journal Infiltration (virtual)

I really enjoy Roz Stendahl's blog
In 2010-2011, she had a fun project in which
she invited people to sketch her any time
that they saw her-- at the state fair, or
 anywhere out and about.  Roz thought 
it would be great fun to 'infiltrate' as
many artists' journals as possible.
(You can read more about it on her blog.)

Pen sketch before applying watercolor

The official project is long over, but when
I spotted a photo of Roz on Briana's blog
Orange Spiral Arts, I thought-
"Now's my chance to sketch Roz!"
'Cause the chances of me driving to 
Minnesota (from Ohio) are practically nil.
OK. Really not happening.

See the photo of Roz, here. (at the end of the post)
Thanks Briana for permission to 
sketch from this great shot!  Briana's post
is all about the Artist Trading Card session
that was held at the Visual Journal Collective
in Minnesota. Funny thing, Roz is usually the
one taking the photos, so we don't get to
see images of her very often.  Maybe we'll
see her in pictures from the state fair?
Last year, in the spirit of sketching at the fair,
I did a few drawings at the
Fulton county fair in Ohio.  You can
see my post about it here. I hope to
do some sketching there again this year...

And don't you just love Roz's braids!?

Friday, July 26, 2013

American Folk Art: Index Card a Day 2013

This week for ICAD, I am featuring
Pennsylvania Dutch motifs from 
Frakturs.  Fraktur-schrift, as it was 
termed in Germany, was a form of calligraphy
named after the 16th century typeface called Fraktur.
(When I learned calligraphy in high school, we
called this style Old English.)  Frakturs were illuminated
documents such as birth and baptismal certificates,
book plates, house blessings and valentines.

Frakturs were highly ornamental, hand drawn and colored,
and usually executed by the schoolmaster
or clergyman, though itinerant artists
were also sometimes available.
The schoolmaster was expected to prepare important 
documents, and also teach his students how to write.
Sometimes the schoolmaster would use an example
of his calligraphy as a reward and token of regard,
presented to one of his students. 

Promising students would copy their schoolmaster's
calligraphy models, but usually with a few changes of
their own, thus developing their own style.
This week's index cards feature motifs that would
be just one small design within the very complex Fraktur.

Highly stylized decorative flowers and birds
were favorite motifs, as was the heart.  Animals
were also sometimes included, such as stags and 
unicorns.  Some Frakturs feature angels or mermaids.

When you consider that the artist was using a 
dip pen, these detailed art works are even
more impressive. Dipping a pen nib into an ink bottle,
 controlling the pressure and direction of each stroke,
 with an eye to the spacing, form
and shape of each letter is quite an intricate task.
Sadly, the increasing popularity of the printing press
decreased the demand for hand-lettered documents.
Fortunately, the highest grade of cotton rag paper
created by Pennsylvania papermakers has
helped these records survive for us to enjoy today.

Source: Treasury of American Design, Vol. 2;
by C. P. Hornung; Abrams Publishing,  c. 1973.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Coffee and Collage: T is for Tuesday

Sketches and collage in my
Green Eco Smash book:
A very plain mug - I think it was
a cream color - along with scissors
and a paint brush.
whose 'T is for Tuesday' challenge
I am linking  this week.

While most of the participants have shared photos
of their beverage container, I remembered this 
drawing (above) and decided to go with it.

The facing page of the spread, (above)
reveals a bit of a whine...
have you been subjected to video game
sounds in a waiting room?  I very nearly
asked the person to turn them off, but no one
else seemed to be bothered, so I just prayed
the offender would be called into the office 
quickly.  I really despise that 'plunking' sound
every time the screen is touched. I wrote my
reaction down on a scrap of paper, knowing
I would put it in an art journal. The 
Jerry Seinfeld quote just seemed to fit...

ACTING on ideas makes Art.
Don't think so much, just DO.

The pre-printed background in
the Eco Smash journal has this phrase
printed in white: "Ideas are a little like
Magic Beans; they can grow us skyward."
This spread features magic marker drawings
and lettering cut from posters I've done for
illustrated talks.  They seemed to have
 too much possibility to throw away.

'T' is for Tuesday,
'C' is for coffee and collage...
what letter are you working on today?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Draw, Paint, Collage. On Index Cards

Two weeks worth of index cards...
Acrylic craft paint on 4"x 6" index cards for the first of
the two weeks~July 6-12, 2013
 of the Index Card a Day challenge.
Visit Tammy at Daisy Yellow to visit other
artists doing the challenge!

July 8 & 9 - I decided to add some
drawing with the Sharpie pen...

July 10 - I drew a face over the
dried acrylic paint with a Sharpie
bullet-tip marker. Highlights added
with white Sakura jellyroll pen.

The paintings above and below started out
being a "wipe your brush free of color and
excess water" surface. Then the pen lines 
were drawn to suggest  brush strokes;
dashes and dots suggesting the stops and
starts of paint going onto the paper surface.

For the second week, July 13-19:  
Above, doodle motifs were added to 
sections of this painting for added texture.

Above, a Sharpie pen drawing after
a photo of a fresco of an archangel...

A collage from scraps, above.

Tulips and a bird, inspired by American folk art...
I think I will revisit this theme in the future.

"Draw and Paint your own embellishments
whenever you can."  Pink scrapbook paper,
hand-drawn green label, and my painting
of a violet-inspired flower in the left corner.

More dash and dot drawing over paint,
this time with watercolors.  Below, a tiny
collage added as a focal point to
the painted background.

Twelve days left of the Index Card a Day challenge.
Next week, I plan to create some cards
inspired by American Folk Art.  So stop by
 to see some art inspired by 
early American Frakturs.

To see some Folk Art from previous years,
go here and here.

Many thanks to all who visit!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Words and Doodles ~ ICAD 2013

Above is a quote from a Public Radio interview
of a 'creative life coach.'  Sorry to say I didn't get
his name written down, but he was saying that 
asking the right question can make us view things
in a whole new light, and energize us into action.

As someone who has to be ever vigilant about
maintaining my weight, I ask myself this question
every day!

A quote from the book 'Good Mail Day.'
It's a fun, inspiring, and motivational book
about mail art. I think this is a good way to
get over the 'blank paper' fear:  Don't think,
just make!

Quote from Randy Plowman's book
'The Collage Workbook,' another
excellent book about making collage,
with well-written guidelines and 
fun ideas to try.

As our Independence Day approached here in
the U.S. I thought it would be a good time to 
look up some quotes by our first president,
George Washington.  

I've been having a lot of fun with my Sharpie pen
and watercolors, but I haven't painted with acrylics
in ages.   I am feeling the desire to get messy with
paint and incorporate that on some of my cards...
so check back for the next installment.  

Post Script: Here are all of my ICADS
since the beginning of the challenge!

Visit Daisy Yellow , and also the ICAD Flickr group
to see more art on index cards.

I have been having some computer difficulties 
this week, with numerous crashes.  Cross your
fingers that I'll figure it out and get things
cleaned up and running smoothly again!

Have a creative week!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Quote to Celebrate the Fourth of July

"Labor to keep alive
in your breast
that little spark
of celestial fire called
~George Washington