Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year 2017...

Wishing everyone a joyous New Year! 

My first new word of the new year is "Bokeh".

It's the cool aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image; also small background or foreground highlights.

I tried, on this page in my Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media sketchbook, to produce some "bokeh" on a background of black gesso using pan pastels, Derwent Art Bars (waxy watercolor sticks), and Sakura Soufle Pens.  

Not sure what these shapes are but they looked appropriate for celebrating! 

Friday, December 30, 2016

"I want to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

Just finished the mini-series Mars on Nat Geo. Starting to pay attention to interesting faces on the TV. Not quite sure what that means but this is one result.

South Korean multimedia artist Jihae played twins on the series. This is my sketch of her.

"I want to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk (SpaceX) Craters and canals on the red planet. Gouache in Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media sketchbook. 

Speaking of the red planet...

Just had to write this long quote from the movie "The Angry Red Planet" (1959) that I remember watching when I was a kid. It's part of the reason why I don't think we should go there. 

Martian Voice: Men of Earth, we of the planet Mars give you this warning. Listen carefully and remember: We have known your planet Earth since the first creature crawled out of the primeval slime of your seas to become man. For millennia, we have followed your progress. For centuries, we have watched you, listened to your radio signals and learned your speech and your culture, and now you have invaded our home. Technological adults, but spiritual and emotional infants, we kept you here, deciding your fate. Had the lower forms of life on our planet destroyed you, we would not have interfered, but you survived. Your civilization has not progressed beyond destruction, war and violence against yourselves and others. Do as you will to your own and to your planet, but remember this warning - do not return to Mars. You will be permitted to leave for this sole purpose. Carry the warning to Earth - "Do not come here." We can and will destroy you - ALL life on your planet - if you do not heed us. You have seen us, been permitted to glimpse our world. Go now. Warn mankind not to return unbidden.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Happy Winter Solstice 2016..

Sketching in the kitchen with Kay. She has a brilliant red poinsettia and I thought to add its color to my sketchbook.

Lots of layers and spritzes for texture. Sketched with a Lamy Safari fountain pen, more black lines with a Sakura Glaze pen, colors are Derwent Inktense pencils, and white gouache touches in my Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media sketchbook.

I added a Winter Solstice Greetings to the opposite page:

Best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most joyous traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, but with respect for the religious persuasion of others who choose to practice their own religion as well as those who choose not to practice a religion at all;


a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2017, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions have helped make our society great, without regard to the race, creed, color, religious, or sexual preferences of the wishes.

(Disclaimer: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress these greetings may bring to those not caught up in the seasonal spirit.)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

How to Nature Journal like Henri Matisse...

How to Nature Journal Like Henri Matisse...

First, be inspired by nature. Now you can not possible tell me that Henri Matisse was not absolutely obsessed with the Turkey Oak, Quercus cerris. It is native to SE Europe and Asia Minor. These leaves are from a specimen which grows in a cemetery in Reading, PA. 


Nature on the top, Matisse on the bottom. You find the Turkey Oak leaf shape repeated over and over in many of his works.

As soon as you are inspired, get your studio assistants to cut up pieces of white paper for you. 

Then instruct them to paint the pieces with gouache. You, of course, should absolutely pick out the colors.

For good measure and to keep them busy (nothing worst than idle studio assistants), have them give the pieces a second coat of gouache.

While you lay in bed (or on the couch, as seen here) have the assistants hand you the pieces of colored paper. Take a pair of scissors and cut out organic shapes.

I've matched the shape of these Turkey Oak leaves. But you can be inspired by any natural object.

Have your studio assistants arrange the shapes while you supervise. Perhaps add a figure to the composition. Here's Happy Squirrel. She reminds me of Matisse's Icarus.

Glue your shapes down. Here's another example of Matisse's Turkey Oak leaves. 

Hand write some text in French and Viola! Fini.

Cutting into colour reminds me of the sculptor's direct carving. Henri Matisse

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Art and Oatmeal and a bowl of tangerines...

Art and Oatmeal and a bowl of tangerines for breakfast today.

Huh, I guess I took up almost the entire table with art "stuff". I had a black pre-gessoed page in my journal and I was anxious to play with gouache. 

Thank you to a facebook friend for the inspiration!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Arctic breath of the Winter Wolf...

Old 'Possum Woman Speaks:

The Arctic breath of the Winter Wolf, 
chills the walls,
and rattles the roof.
As the temperature falls,
he blows down the door,
gnaws on your bones,
and howls for more.

Right side of journal was sketched on December 4th at Nolde Forest during Nature Journaling: What's green in winter? A bit of Holly branch, leaves, and berries.

What's on my mind? An Arctic Blast on it's way! It will be bone-chilling cold by the end of the week.

The Winter Wolf was painted in Kay's kitchen on December 12th. I had been watching a youtube video of an artist blowing watercolors across her paper and wanted to give it a go. It certainly was fun! And since this is the first time ever trying that technique, I will accept the results. Can't wait to try it again!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Concerning a murder of crows...

Concerning a "Murder of Crows"...
I inquired of the Quirky Bird
Why are they here?
What have you heard?
She replied,
Well, my Dear,
It is known that 
from time to time,
They return to the 
scene of the crime.

Tamora Laporte loves the Quirky Birds. 

Used a red, a blue, a yellow, and some white gouache in my Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Journal.

Add some Prismacolor colored pencils.

A black Sakura Glaze pen.

A white Posca Pen for details.

"Outsider" Nature Journaling about a flock of crows spotted near home early in November 2016.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Nothing is less real than realism...

"Nothing is less real than realism. Details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things." Georgia O'Keeffe

This journal page started by spraying the page with acrylic paint diluted with acrylic glazing medium in a mister bottle. Where the paint globbed on the page, I just blotted it with a paper towel. Aqua for the background, with patches of orange, magenta, and green gold.

I tried using an eye dropper to make the dark green lines. It did not work out well. Note to self: get a fine line bottle. 

I decided on using both ends of a chopstick to move the paint around.

The flowers were painted with a palette knife.

Conclusion: Sticks and sprays...

Paper towels and palette knives...

Result in a playful journal page.