Monday, April 25, 2011

Coptic binding and tea bags

This past week has been full of packing, traveling, unpacking, and settling feels wonderful to be back in Woodstock even if we were greeted by snow! Spring seems to be taking its time this year.

Before I left Sydney I began work on a tea bag book, as yet untitled. I'm holding it all together with linen thread sewn in coptic stitch, which is an ancient (Egyptian, I believe) method of book binding. It's been easy to continue working on it here and it is really good to have a piece in process that helps with the transition. I believe the completed book will hang from the wall with two pegs holding it so the book can fan open and the tea bag strings can sort of dangle. I seem to have misplaced the back cover, which will soon be needed so I will have to try to make another like the front. Other than that little piece, everything I carried from Sydney has arrived in good shape.

Here's the book as I am working on it:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Daisy and Balloon Flower"

Today, I put the finishing touches on the latest in my floral print series, "Daisy and Balloon Flower".  Now that it is complete, it reminds me a bit of "Foxglove and Black Eyed Susan" which I created last fall and which is one of my favorites.  Here is the finished print...

"Daisy and Balloon Flower"
linoleum print - 9" x 12"

I discovered that balloon flowers come in many colors including pink, blue, white and purple.  I thought about coloring a sunset sky of golds and pinks but decided to stick with shades and tints of blue in the sky and use pink balloon flowers to contrast with it.  Here it is...

"Daily and Balloon Flower"
hand colored linoleum print - 9" x 12"

I hope to enter three of these hand colored prints in Chandler Gallery's Area Artist Show in May.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Turquoise Duo, session 21

I am still working on this pair of 24x30" floral oil paintings I call the Turquoise Duo (the background is a grayed turq.) They are taking f o r e v e r. Fortunately, I am rounding the home stretch and I hope to finish them by the end of April.

I'm beginning to add small details now. In this session I added stamens to all the tulips. I also put stems on the spray of white berries in the upper right.

I added three leaves in the lower center because it bothered me that the stems looked so thready in that area.

Berries! I began adding some depth to the berries in the lower right and I also added some berries to the spray in the lower left. I will be putting little caps on these - just something to fill in that space a little without calling attention to it.

Now my last, biggest design issue is what to do with the central flower . It was just too unfinished looking for me. After working this out on paper, I decided to paint a fluffy but subtle center. The rest will be adding small details and refining stems, etc.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Getting Political

For a long time Chris has encouraged me to create a flag out of teabags...oh, the possibilities of making a political statement given the ongoing strength of the Tea Party! I could never figure out how to do it, but recently the method surfaced so I have begun. So far the basic flag is complete. I plan to use rubber stamps and black ink to add the stars and an appropriate quote from one of the founding fathers. I wonder how it will evolve.....

Friday, April 8, 2011

"Tulip and Pussy Willow"

Here is the latest in the flower print series, finished this week.  First, the black and white version...

"Tulip and Pussy Willow"
linoleum print - 9" x 12"

And then, the color print...

"Tulip and Pussy Willow"
hand colored linoleum print - 9" x 12"

It is lovely and meditational mixing and blending the Prismacolors to get the shades and tints just the way they fit together best.   

I am rounding for home now with 7 prints in the series of 12 completed for next year's calendar.  Spring and summer months are much easier than fall and winter months.  So I still have to do January, February, October and November.  But June is underway!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Book Art

I'm off on an early morning flight tomorrow to go to Brisbane to participate in a 2-day workshop in making pop-up books! My friend Lisa is a big influence in my new found interest. On Friday night we went to an opening of a fantastic Book Art show in Manly (across the harbor on a ferry, my favorite way to travel here) where we saw 50 beautiful, unique "books." It was amazing to see the range and the wild creativity that artists have used in their interpretations.

The teacher of this workshop is from the UK, here in Australia in various locations to share his craft. He's supposed to be an amazing teacher, which is why I'm going. It should be great fun.

Meanwhile I am still with the piles of tea bags, preparing lots of pieces for completion back in Woodstock. Only a couple of weeks left here....I hope the snow will have melted when we finally touch down.