This is my husband Steve.
He is a right-brained mechanical engineer and he is very, very smart. He knows lots of math and science things, but he also knows history and the arts. He can name any rock guitarist in 6 measures. He doesn’t think he has any artistic talent and, about this, he is dead wrong.
This is one of his sketchbooks. Yes, it is a piece of shim with equations written in Sharpie. He has lots of ideas–but that’s another story. When I saw some of his designs, I said YOU SHOULD DO SOME T-SHIRTS. Ands he did.
Recognize this formula? Me, neither. It is the Golden Ratio, or Mean, or Spiral. It defines the perfect composition for an artwork. Ask Leonardo. It says a lot about Steve that this would be his first piece. And that he would not label it and make it easy for the rest of us.
This is his shirt from the first picture. Kekule discovered the Benzine ring. Turns out he was having a hard time figuring out how to visually represent it until he had a dream about a snake swallowing his tail. Hmmmmm.
These were my Christmas presents.
I love art that makes me stop and then maybe laugh. Salvadore Dali’s melting clocks fits
the bill in spite of its deeper meaning. Only for me I got a melting iPhone.
He, too, has been experimenting with art supplies. He started with fabric paint from the craft store. For Christmas I gave him Shiva Paintstiks. He is having a great time.
Here are the new ones:
The Shiva Paintstiks leave the fabric unchanged. No stiffness. And they can be mixed like oil paints. We both like them.
I’m so proud.
One of the things I most like to do in my Art Adventures is to experiment. I read an article recommending tonal papers for watercolor, grey or tan papers, or even colored papers. I said “H-m-m-m-m-m-m-m.”
Then I bought a pad of Strathmore papers which had white, light grey, grey, dark grey, and black paper. Clearly I could now discover how the color of the paper affected the finished work.
I drew a funky bird sitting in a nest. Then I colored the back of that drawing with pencil and transferred the drawing to the white, lt. grey, and grey paper. Pencil won’t show up on my dark grey and black paper. That was my first problem to solve. Aha! I finally have found out what the white charcoal pencil is for. I had to trace a new copy of my test drawing and cover the back of it with white charcoal and transfer it to the darker papers.
Finally, I traced over the drawings with pen (1-3) and a Sakura white glaze pen (4-5). Now I could paint.
I began the process of painting the birds using my Derwent Inktense artbars. They are like watercolors except the pigment is ink. They are brighter and I’m all about that. First I painted the blue bodies (1000-ultramarine) and the orange dots (300). First lesson–Ultramarine doesn’t show well on darker papers. I overpainted the two darkest with a lighter shade (900) and this was better. Immediately I noticed that the ultramarine did not show well on the darkest papers.
I overpainted the two darkest with a lighter shade (900) and this was better.
Step 5: I painted the outer nest with a three lighter colors: 1900-a chocolate, 1800-burnt sienna, and 1700-a mustard gold. As I added these three layers, it became harder and harder to get the paper to accept the color. Perhaps the paper had absorbed all the wet media it could. I really don’t know. I rechecked the tablet notes and saw the paper was designed for “dry” media. Such statements never stop me from trying. You never know . . .
I did note that the resulting nests were painted with different amounts of dark and light colors.
The final details were added with Prismacolor pencils which are waxy. They are more intense that my regular pencils and are easy to use. I added shading and some highlights with some pens. Finally I was satisfied I had done all I could do.
Ideas to take forward–
1. Lighter areas\colors have more impact on darker backgrounds.
2. Shading can be deeper tones (values), greys, or complimentary colors.
3. Dark paper does not always indicate gloom and doom.
4. Unexpected benefit—-By using my favorite colors, this project helps me see the effects of the value of the background and can be a reference for the future.
5—12. These will dawn on me later when I am working on something else.
Hope you learned something or got an idea for an experiment of your own.
Those of you who know me are aware that I cannot eat without staining my clothes. This is why I always take a busy scarf to restaurants. So much more attractive than a bib. Some years ago, in a moment of genius, I combined some of my bits of freeform knit and crochet with my stained T-shirts.
This new challenge to alter Erica’s jacket (here) has sent me a different way. Paint and thread, but embroidery. Since I know little about painting cloth, I experimented. (Not knowing what I am doing has never inconvenienced me in any way.)
These samples are made without a textile medium to change the paint from regular paint to fabric paint. Fabric paint has additives that increase its ability to be soft and flexible even after washing and drying. Tulip makes a good product available at Michael’s. I haven’t played with mixing my own colors using that paint. Crayola makes an awesome fabric marker and they are cheap. Still I have the color problem.
Yes, I have dyes–lots of them, but they involve measuring and not breathing powder and it is sort of like cooking. I don’t do that.
I even have a bottle of Golden’s textile medium (GAC-900, I think), but in my excitement I forgot all about it.
I kept the paints sheer and thin except for a few stamps. This makes if very easy to handsew on it. The handsewing was important to me because I wanted this to be a portable project. I have avoided beads and plastic buttons only because I don’t think they fit with my “vision.”
Next time, I will also drag out and paint bits of shiny cloth and some upholstery things buried somewhere in the attic. I have already washed some dark pieces to try, but who knows when.
My next decision is whether or not to just deconstruct the whole jacket so I don’t have to wrestle so much as I try to add pieces. If I do that, I can also trace the pieces and make some other jackets. Yeah, right. Too many ideas, too little time.
If you have any advice, please don’t hesitate.
Be sure to ask for Derek, a master creative carpenter.
Thanks to Janis (See blog) and the guys from Foreman’s, I am going to have a nice deck. I am now able to sit outside in a rainstorm and listen to water hit the metal arbor roof. I don’t have mosquito problems because the ceiling fan blows them–and the heat–away. There are new windows that actually fit the wall openings and the den is again filled with light. The dogs have a nice exit that doesn’t include the human side of the deck. Nothing leaks and nothing will rot. In fact, some rotten wood has been replaced. I only need some paint on the windows and wall and it is finished.
Here’s the story.
First we had to remove the abomination created by the first contractor and assess the damage he did. That wasn’t cheap.
Leaky windows have to stay until new ones come in. Carpenters are stunned at the amount of shimming and the leaks. Just wait til them remove the exterior boards!
So far, the costs incurred were repair of damage from original construction. Now to rebuild.
Foreman’s showed up with tools and materials. A welcome change.
The two guys that built this and the palette were perfectionists. They measured many times and then cut and then assessed, yet they were pretty fast. They were also very polite.
And here it is stained.
Just need to repair the damage to the back wall and paint it and the new windows.
Oh, and find something that will allow two dogs and one adult to sit comfortably.
Now that I love the color of Erica’s jacket, I need to plan the fabric and do-dahs for embellishing it.
No problem. I bought some nice pieces in Athens and I own batik in many colorways. The piece at about 1:00 in this pic has great colors and Erica loved it. But it is shiny, silky. This is an unstructured linen jacket and the shiny, silky stuff I bought just don’t fit the rustic texture of the linen. The leftover turquoise gauze is nice, and she has fallen in love with turquoise. Ribbon and buttons are okay, but. . . None of the solid color batiks excite me, but the block printed batik is awesome. Turquoise yarn could be couched in some kind of pattern. Just need to play.
Cut—Fold—Pin. Try it forty ways. Looking for vertical effect and asymmetry. Just looks dumb. Too matchy-matchy.
I need to temper my wild side with Erica’s more traditional taste. (Think English country garden and dainty calico prints.) If it is too out there, she won’t feel comfortable wearing it.
BUT—it must be colorful. She looks so good with clear, intense color near her face.
Just the kind of problem I like. But this is not the right palette. Something is missing.
Off to the attic and closets.
Threads, yarns, beads, buttons, ribbons and fabrics. Most of this pile has been pinned on or arranged in some way. Arr-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-gh. My design process is always so slow.
Nothing works. Time to walk away and work on another project for a while. Decided to work on the batik skirt I am adding to a knit vest.
Now to decide on reshaping the jacket. I think I can make it hang better, and I know I don’t like the neckline. Also need to consider what she can wear with it.