Saturday, December 31, 2011

Drawing #25 - Open Road

I think my new drawing is just right to wish us all a Happy New Year! It is called "Open Road" and I hope we can all find an open road to our hopes and dreams.

I continue to think of these multimedia pieces as mental landscapes. In collage journaling I tried, unsuccessfully, to incorporate written thoughts and feelings with images. In my drawings I think the images are my voice. The pen shapes in lieu of words create what I now think of as "letters to the cosmos." I create from my own mental space, but the results are open to everyone to explore their own inner landscape. Here's to your exploration of an open road.

This is a return to my 7x10 inch sketchbook and even the smaller size took time to complete. Don't forget to click on the image for a larger view.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Forgotten Recipe Surprise

When asked about my oyster stew recipe I thought surely it couldn't have been mine. Still, I thought perhaps I did have one in my recipe box. Sure enough I not only have it, but it looked pretty well used. Containing butter and whole milk, we wouldn't have had it in a very long time. Memory sure is a funny thing!

This week's lift featured the use of a list. I couldn't think of a thing until I reread the directions and saw the mention of a possible list of ingredients in a recipe. Having the forgotten recipe in mind I knew I had to use it as my story. I think it looks a bit like the stained recipe card or perhaps the stew itself.
Designer Credits:
all Anna Aspnes
-papers, brushes, button: ArtPlay Palette Sophistica
-flower, brush: ArtPlay Palette Ablaze
-gold overlay: GoldPaint Overlays No. 1
-gold leaf: GoldLeaves No. 1
-branch: Twiggy No. 1 BrushSet
-spiral brush: DifferentStrokes No. 7 BrushSet
fonts: Enchanted Prairie Dog, baby dont worry bout it!, Ellianarelle's Path, DomCasual BT, Koala

Friday, December 23, 2011

Drawing #24 - fifteen maple

The latest drawing takes its name from a word list from my mother's elementary school reader that shows in the piece. The paper size is 12x16 and this time I worked the whole sheet. It is multimedia or mixed media being a combination of collage, paint and inks on watercolor paper. One of the inks is an iridescent gold that changes with the angle of the viewer. A detail in the light shows a bit of its character. I'm still amazed at how large this paper becomes when I'm working on it. The style creates a lot of motion and that combined with the lively colors makes this a treat to look at on these gray days. Remember to click on the image for a larger view and right-click for options to see it at full size.

and a detail from the upper right to show the gold ink:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

October Shore, the lake looked good

A challenge this month used an effect in Photoshop or PSE to outline an object. Paint Shop Pro doesn't seem to have that tool, so I used another method. I had this lovely photo of a boat basin on Lake Erie from October. It has been blended for more drama and I really like the effect and the way it goes with the lovely patterned paper. The cloudy sky reminds me of our very wet year. They don't predict much more precipitation the remainder of the year, but our average annual rainfall is around 39 inches and we passed the previous record in the fifties on October 19th. Currently we've had sixty-some inches for 2012! The ground is simply soggy.

Anyway...I'm very happy to have completed another larger size drawing, but I'm waiting for daylight to photograph it as I did with the last one. It is a bit different, but still the same idea.
Designer Credits:
-patterned paper, gray paper: All Hallow's Night by Leora Sanford
-elements, brushes, transfers: ArtPlay Palette Encapsulate by Anna Aspnes
fonts: Kaster, France

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Sun Snuck In One Afternoon

This month's camera challenge has us focus on light. Two weeks ago we were returning home on a very gray day (as most of them have been!) but it was nearing sunset and the sun was coming though from the west under the cloud cover. As Dick was driving, I could get him to stop every spot it looked like a good shot. One of the last I took was really wonderful.
Designer Credits:
With a View by Kathryn Wilson Designs
font: Boopee

Monday, December 19, 2011

Whining About the Snow on Saturday

Saturday was our Christmas Bird Count. Three of us met in Lake View about sunrise, hard to tell that though as it was very gray with some moisture in the air. The birds were pretty quiet, but they tend to be in small groups at this time of year. That way it can be feast or famine in counting. Before long it started to snow. That isn't necessarily so bad, but it kept it up and started to spit and sting. We moved on to other areas and sometimes the snow was heavier than others, but we kept getting coated in it. We had to try keeping it out of our binoculars so we could see too. Finally, driving back to the second car we were grateful the cemetery has stakes along the drives so we could tell we were on the road! At that point we usually move on to other sections for maybe an hour, but decided to break early for lunch. Out on the roads we saw cars skidding on the slick surfaces. At home for lunch we watched the snow keep coming down and wimped out and stayed home for the afternoon. That night I photographed the small dogwood tree next door in all its snowy glory. Thus ended the first real snow of the season for us. Today we had rain and a lot of the white stuff is gone. Sigh, couldn't it have come on any other day?
Designer Credits:
-background: Oscraps Collab TrOpical
-frame: Old Stuff by Jodie McNally Designs
-snowflakes: Flakes Dew by Kitty Designs
-reindeer: Santangles by Maya de Groot
-snow, doodle: Oscraps Collab Winter Wonderland
-tree embossed overlay (with multiply blend): Emboss It Christmas by Merkeley Designs
fonts: Kings of Pacifica, Chicago House, Jellyka, End_less Voyage, Erie

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Decoration of Butterflies

This week's lift challenge featured a tree of bokeh lights. I had to see tutorials to even know what they were talking about. The challenge though was to "decorate" a tree more or less in our layout. Somehow that led to use photos Dick and I took last fall of butterflies. We both like the look achieved. The text comes from some quotes or poems I found through Google.
Designer Credits:
ArtPlay Palette Sophistica by Anna Aspnes
font: James Fajardo

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Butterfly and Angel: two views of a Christmas kit

We were challenged to use a Christmas-themed kit for a subject unrelated to the holiday. I chose a beautiful kit and a butterfly photo from last September. The butterfly is called a wood nymph. It always surprises me when I see it farther west like this as there it has large pale areas on the wing that the ones where I live don't have. I used the same kit for one of the regular monthly challenges too. This was the web inspiration one based on a holiday photo. I like the (unintentional) pairing of winged beings!

Designer Credits:
kit is Santangles by Maya de Groot
the poinsettias have a photo mask from ArtPlay Palette No. 10 by Anna Aspnes
butterfly fonts: Kredit, Liberation Sans Narrow; angel fonts: Cardinal, Huxtable

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chock Full of Christmas

For the first 12 days of December we've had a daily topic to photograph for Christmas. That is paired with a template for a 12 photo collage for our 12 Days of Christmas. The topics are:,, 3.sweets, 4.color(red/green/gold/or silver), 5.stockings, 6.Santa, 7.decoration, 8.Christmas trees, 9.snow, lights, foliage, 12.candles. For food I have a photo of bags of oranges taken while grocery shopping with my sister. They reminded us of the oranges or tangerines and assorted nuts that came in our stockings as children. The snow I'm happy to report had to come from a source other than outdoors, in this case wrapping paper. The tree is at the shopping mall as are a number of others. The lights are on a house down the street.

I'm really glad to have been prompted to do this challenge. I would never have taken many of the pictures nor would I have this very happy holiday collage. I do think it is chock full of Christmas and holiday spirit. I hope it will bring a smile to each of you too.
Designer Credits:
-template: 12 photos of Christmas by Timounette
-background: Magical Christmas by Lydia Designs
-overlay (also used as separator bar): GoldPaint Overlays No. 1 by Anna Aspnes
-red paper: ArtPlay Palette Ablaze by Anna Aspnes
-green papers: MonoBlendz Sage No. 1 by Anna Aspnes
-bow: With a View by Kathryn Wilson Designs
-twig: Twiggy No. 1 BrushSet by Anna Aspnes
-gold leaf: GoldLeaves No. 1 by Anna Aspnes
-25 token, snowflake: Santangles by Maya de Groot
-white button: ArtPlay Palette Sphistica by Anna Aspnes
-frame: Oscraps Collab A Hopping Halloween
-family word art: Oscraps Collab Family

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Kind of Santa

We have a challenge for a "Letter to Santa" layout. We were in a store with lots of incredibly lovely trees decorated with items for sale. They were happy to let me photograph their store displays and especially those trees. One had various Santas and what they called forest elves. I fell in love with the latter and bought one of the smaller ones. His nest contains tiny eggs while the larger one has an actual bird. He became the focus of my page. He currently is on the bookshelf above my laptop.
Designer Credits:
-background, swirl brush: ArtPlay Palette Santa Nicholas Add-On No. 1 by Anna Aspnes
-transfer used as photo mask: ArtPlay Palette Sophistica by Anna Aspnes
-snowflake overlay: 12 x 12 Snowy Overlays No. 1 by Anna Aspnes
-bird: Photographed in Black and White by Sue Cummings
-reindeer: Santangles by Maya de Groot
fonts: HansHand, Celtic Hand

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Drawing #23 - Path to the Pyramids

The path leads through both space and time. It can take you back not to the pyramids at Giza, but older ones in Egypt. Sun, sand, bright colors and older times are suggested to me. This is another small format drawing with the most color to date. They just keep evolving.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Another Year's Holiday Concert

Dick is still playing with the guitar and ukulele group at the senior center. They are called the Hum and Strum Group and have their own opening song. Last week was their annual holiday concert. Like last year it was done following (well before dessert actually) the monthly potluck lunch. Each year I've done a page for this delightful event, so here is year three. I used the monthly copycat challenge template for it.
Designer Credits:
-template: Dec. Copycat Challenge by Elisa (EHStudios) based on "Crush" by Kym 
-background: Oscraps Collab Family
-paper for frame: Photographed in Black & White by Sue Cummings
-overlay (blended): Snowy Overlays No. 1 by Anna Aspnes
-brad: ArtPlay Palette Santa Nicholas Add-On No. 1 by Anna Aspnes
fonts: Hurry Up, Pea Anderson, Corbel

Monday, December 5, 2011

Drawing #21 - River Rapids

The second drawing on 12x16 watercolor paper early on became rocks in the whitewater of the river rapids. There is a lot of detail that I think looks good for that whitewater. I've used collage, acrylic paint and black, white and gold inks. It was amazing to put it next to the first large one to see how different they were even though rather similar. A lot of water themes have arisen in these drawings. Remember you can see this larger if you click on it. A right click might give you other options and the ability to see it even larger.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Remembering Butterflies

This week's lift design appears to Dick like balloons floating up. I looked for a set of photos to use and found I not gotten to some I took of an American Snout Butterfly in his brother's yard in Tulsa. I like them with this brown background and really like looking at butterfly pictures and remembering warmer weather. I like this particular one with its long "nose." They are more brightly colored above but can fold the wings and resemble a dead leaf.

I have finally finished my second larger drawing but I'm waiting for daylight to photograph it tomorrow.
Designer Credits:
all Anna Aspnes
-ArtPlay Palette Ablaze
-swirl brush: ArtPlay Palette Autumn Haze
-black and white designs: MultiMedia Leaves No. 2
fonts: Boopee, Artistamp Medium

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Decorations on Display

Color challenge this month is four colors only plus black and white. I wasn't too excited by them, but think I found a way to use them to accent a photo I got from a store's pretty display of lots of Christmas decorations. They were so glittery and bright.
Designer Credits:
-green papers: Oscraps Collab Family
-gray paper: Subdue by Creations by TinaMarie
-frame, green flower: Free to Fly by Vera Lim
-large leaf: MultiMedia Leaves No. 2 by Anna Aspnes
-pink flower: Happy to be Me by Lydia Designs
-red branch:  Oscraps Collab Life
fonts: Pea Aimee, James Fajardo

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Drawing #22 - On Guitar

It looks like I skipped two numbers, but #20 is for my Christmas cards and #21 is a second larger format drawing that is still in progress. Back in my 7x10 inch sketchbook you'll see more color, collage with scraps from a page of an old book and a bird photo from a birding tour company brochure. A new addition is iridescent gold ink. It takes on different looks from different angles. The photo is on glossy paper that can't be easily drawn on so I gave it a light coat of clear gesso. It is almost clear but gritty. Somehow the photo can look very 3-dimensional receding well behind the drawing.
Inspiration for the drawing was a guitar recital earlier this week at the senior center. One piece of music reminded me of my drawings as I listened to the intricate but differing details that went into the whole. The last person to play was very engrossed in his music and gave me the idea for the basic shapes here. It is rather symbolic not realistic. It might be called "Transported On Guitar," music taking flight with the bird.