Monday, February 27, 2012

Friday Night Painting Party

Friday night we had our altered book painting party. Nancy was having fun doing a book about her travels.

Julie made some gorgeous color and texture layers in her book.

Diane is playing with texture using a great little roller tool I found..... someplace, can't remember!

Some of the tools we got to play with.

Demo boards from the workshop.

And here they are at the end of the night. Of course you can't see the books very well in this picture but you can see their smiling faces!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

We had a good time last week with our Prismacolor rep Diana Garrett. She came down to the Sunshine State to do some presentations so she came by the studio during our Monday class and shared some great info, some laughs and some really great prizes! Everyone left with a goodie.

It doesn't matter how long you've been painting, there's always something new to learn. I've been doing a lot of work in acrylic on canvas the last few years and very little with colored pencil but watching Diana got me fired up again for the pencil. Why did I practically abandon my old friend the colored pencil? Because of framing, framing, framing!! (and to be honest, it was also just time to do something different) I have a portfolio full of work on paper that could be in frames but unless it has someplace specific to go I just can't spend the money to frame it. Dealing with canvas is so much easier and less costly.

During Diana's presentation she brought out some of her own work - beautiful! She's not just a rep for Prismacolor but also a wonderful artist. What was so inspiring? Not just the wonderful work she does but the ideas she brought with her (and yes, if I had been thinking, I would've taken some pics of her work so you could see it). We talked about ideas like working with colored pencil on plexiglass and wood, ways of working with the pencil so it can be varnished and not have to be framed in the traditional way with glass and mat, working on skins made from pastel ground that were painted on glass, peeled off and applied to another surface. Some of these things I've done before but it's nice to have a refresher to the get the blood flowing again. Some of them I haven't tried and it's always exciting to have something new to look
forward to.

Tomorrow night I'm looking forward to showing some of our students how to make an altered book. It'll be brand new for them so hopefully they'll get fired up about doing something different. I'll be back with pics from the workshop.....

til then, peace and happy painting,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

4 things to do to a book....

1. cut out some pages 
2. scribble on the cover
3. paint on the inside
4. glue things to it

That's not exactly the way we were taught to treat our books when we were growing up. I used to feel bad if I even folded a tiny bit of corner down to save my place. I love books, I love the smell of books, the feel of books, when I see them lined up on a shelf I itch to run my hands over the spines. I saw my toddler granddaughter do just that the other day and it made my heart do a little skip for joy because I knew she was developing her love for books too. So...... why in the world would I do any of those 4 things?

Because sometimes I want to combine my love for books with my love for art. Why can't they become one? The art of altered books is the art of transforming a book into a new visual form. It's a canvas with multiple pages that can become part of the finished art or simply a base for something new.

This 2 page spread is part of the book you see above called Body of Work. This particular set of pages has sewing pattern tissue, color copies, paint and even a zipper attached to it. This book is about making a statement on women and body image but not all books have to make a statement. Like painting, the subject ideas are limitless. 

Do you know what ephemera is? Take a look at the photo above. It's the stuff you pull out of your purse, your pants pockets or the junk drawer in the kitchen. It's bits of lace, torn paper, playing cards or ticket stubs. Anything you can glue down can become part of an altered book. Start collecting some of this stuff because we're doing an altered book in our next Friday Night Painting Party coming up on the 24th of this month. We're going to provide a small book for you to work on (we can't go too crazy since it's only one evening) and we'll have lots of tools, papers, paint and glue for you to play with. If you want to make it more personal bring some of your own ephemera ~ re-purpose and recycle. Reserve your seat soon, these parties fill up and class size is limited! The workshop fee is 50.00 and covers everything.

It's really ok to scribble on the pages. Think of it as taking scrapbooking to a whole new level.