Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Book Makers

It's always thrilling to see the finished work of people that take my classes.

The "Pink Book" class that I taught in Asheville last week has ignited a fire for book making.

Today I am honored to show you the work of Catherine Langsdorf.
Catherine is a freelanch calligrapher that lives in Asheville NC.
I am in awe of her calligraphy skills as well as
 her watercolor painting (yes, she did paint the Egret on the front of her book!).

 She has a fantastic eye for color !
She collaged small bits of tissue paper on the front of her cover
to give it more dimension and interest.

 She found a piece of fabric that had her (maiden name) initial on it
in a pile of goodies that I brought to share -
the perfect color too!

 I love the way that she has added personal touches to the book.

and make sure you bookmark it for all of your calligraphy needs.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend Work

My husband and I are using the weekend to clean out one of our upstairs rooms...
it used to be my studio but has turned into a messy junk room.
It' s a Huge Job to go through so much stuff and we spent all of yesterday doing just that.
I found some really cool art supplies (including a small bag of unidentified bones),
two of my grandmother's old dolls (with leather bodies)
and a sketchbook that I had as a young artist.

It was amusing, to see those old drawings that I did.
I loved drawing as much back then as I do now.
I spent a lot of time with my sketchbook, drawing the world around me.
Copying other artists, learning from them...
teaching myself.
My family was fairly poor, no money for something as frivolous as art lessons.
So everything I learned was a result of putting pencil to paper.

I have to get back to work on that upstairs room now -
I'll leave you with a peek of new work that I started Friday night
(when I was supposed to be cleaning up in the downstairs studio...).

Friday, March 25, 2011

Little of This, Little of That

I can't believe it's been almost a week since my last post!
I was so busy getting ready for the workshop on Tuesday that the time flew by!

I don't know if other teachers are this way but for a day or two after my workshops, I am just exhausted.
I think that I (and others)  put so much work into each class, so much of myself into each class that it just

(Well, now that I think of it, there are a couple of extenuating circumstances involved with that.)

I have an auto-immune disorder that saps my energy sometimes, well a lot of times actually.
So, I'll try to give myself a break here...

I try not to use my health issues for an excuse and at times I make it so hard on myself because of my stubbornness.


Did I hear hoards of family and friends moaning at that comment?

Oh, not the one about my health issues but the stubbornness...

I can be a little stubborn.

But I'm here, at home.

I'm working on cleaning out my studio space and a room upstairs in my house.

I'm trying to get rid of things that I no longer use (but continue to hang on to), things that I said I was going to use one day and the things that I will never, ever use.

I did list some eBay auctions today - I started with rubber stamps.

I'm going to try and list more every few days until I get tired of doing it or I begin to give things away.
I've got a feeling that it won't take too long for me to begin walking away from most things...
just to get them out of my house!

I hope that everyone is feeling well,
that Spring is upon you (or will be soon)
and that your creativity is in high gear.

I'll leave you with a couple of photos that I shot at the workshop on Tuesday - during our lunch break.
Notice the piles of goodies around everyone.
I had 10 beautiful women there, including my lovely assistant Meg.
Thank you Meg for helping!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Me Next! Me Next!

Look at who who wants to be the next book cover...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Making Books With Painted Art Papers

I've been making samples for a book class that I have coming up next week  in Asheville NC.
I use scraps of watercolor paper that I added layers and layers of paint on.
I love making these papers to use in my artwork.

This is what I did with the papers from my last post...
I made the book covers out of them.

And here's a shot of a couple of pages that I have sewn inside the book.

Not all of the pages are painted at this point. I usually keep these small books to the side of my work table and as I have extra paint (or ink) left over at the end of a work session, I smear them onto one of the pages in whichever book I grab first.

You could say that my studio is spilling over with painted papers.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Class

I'm teaching a book making class in Asheville NC on March 22.
It's called "Bound by Heart, Made by Hand" or as I keep referring to it as "The Pink Book".

If you're interested in finding out more, please email me.

I've been working on a different way to attach the covers so
I've had a few samples in the works.
Here's a peek at some of the painted papers that I am using for the covers on one.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I forgot all about posting the angel after I stitched it and did some shading on it.
I'm hoping to write an article about the technique so I can't tell you what it is right now.

So here is the original photo.

And here is the  piece that I did.
I love the graphic nature of it and was pleased with how the shading turned out.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spilling Over (as in abundance)

The theme for March over at the "Sketchbook Challenge" is "Spilling Over".
I'll repost part of what I posted on the challege blog here.
Here in upstate South Carolina March brought warming temperatures, beautiful sunsets
and the return of baseball season.

Why, what an odd thing to talk about on an art blog...
baseball season?!

Not for me, not really.

My sweetie is a college baseball umpire and I go to a LOT of baseball games (another abundance!).

Since baseball does tend to move (a little) slow, I have to find other things to do while sitting there.

So, I draw.
Or I paint.
I sometimes stitch.
Sometimes I knit or crochet.

This particualr day I painted and drew.

The campus I was at had an abundance of pine trees.

It was spilling over with pine trees actually.
Not to mention pine cones...

I decided to do some (kinda) realistic sketching this day.
I had my handy dandy sketching kit with me,
a brand new watercolor pad (140 lb hot pressed this time)
and a lightweight folding chair.

I picked a shady spot and set up my sketching area.

Oh, don't forgot sun screen and a hat (or an umbrella).

I looked around for something that had a pleasing shape.
I draw a lot of trees (they spill out from me) so it seemed natural that I would pick one to draw.

I actually wanted to paint this one first, then add a few details...
this is a fairly close rendition to what I drew the first time (I'm doing this tutorial after the original was completed).
We're not going for a balanced composition here - I'm just painting showing you how I paint/draw a tree.

Anyone could paint this, right?!

Now, add a few smears of green paint at the ends of the tree limbs...
Don't think about it, just do it.

Now comes the fun part!

If you read my blog, you'll remember the tutorial that I did on drawing a great journal page when you are having one of those "I can't draw days".
This technique is done almost exactly the same way.

Check out this post to see what I'm talking about and then hop back over here.

Okay- ready to put some marks on the page?

Honestly, this is all I did to begin detailing the tree.

See?  It really is a quick, uneven outline of what I had painted.
Now, I went back in adding the "zippers" (my friend Denise named them) at random sections of my outline.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I use a smaller nib size on this part of the detailing.
I used a size "S"  for the first outline and a size "XS" for the outer line and for the pine needles.

Here is a completed section.
Notice that I added the pinecones in on the limb - I didn't paint anything extra, I just drew the shapes in.
I could go back later and add a little highlight to them.
Click on the image to see a close up of it.

You can really see the difference in the way that the tree looks after adding the detail lines, can't you?
I want you to try this.
Then post your results on the flicker site so we can all see them!
Here is the completed tree that I did that day at the ballgame.

Actually, I want to go back and bump up the color a little bit
and add more detail on the pinecones /limbs on the ground.

Or maybe take a cue from Kelli Perkins and add some stitching with black thread..

yum, that sounds good.

Now, where did I put my black thread at...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Urban Sketching

I did some sketching while staying in a hotel this week. The lobby had a couple of dried flower arrangements that I took a couple of artistic liberties with.
I also added lines for journaling later.

Remember that Susan Sorrell and I are hosting the first "Sketch-In" in Greenville SC this coming Monday, March 14.

Won't you join us for this fun event?

We'll be starting at the Brew & Ewe in downtown Greenville at 108 West Broad Street (Greenville SC 29601).
If it rains, we will reschedule to another day.

Bring your sketching supplies - paper or sketchbook, pencils and/or pens, watercolor paints and waterbrush.
We are planning on walking down to Falls Park and do some sketching.
This is going to be a lot of fun!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

How Time Flies

I just can't believe that it's already March 6...
The month of February just flew by for me.

Did it for you?

This month finds me with a couple of deadlines - and I do well with deadlines.
I ignore them (well, I do think about them) until it's time to begin rushing around to greet them.
But as far as working with deadlines, they actually help me to get motivated.

One thing that I am working on is a submission for a new book that will be out later this year.
I am making a couple of projects for it and I am SO excited about it!
I can't tell you anything about it right now except it's going to be fantastic!

Another new thing is something that Susan Sorrell and I have joined together to do.
We are both artists in the "Sketchbook Challenge" project.
And we also live very close to each other.
Some of the other artists have started "Sketch-Ins" in their community.
Susan and I thought that we would do the same thing for the Greenville community!

So, we will be announcing a date soon for our first "Upstate SC Sketch-In".
This is going to be so much fun and it will be a great way to get together with folks that love to sketch.
It will be a no pressure approach to urban sketching.

Susan has started a blog - check it out.
There is even a facebook page for it.

So, keep your peepers open for details.

The details are here!

Meet us on March 14 at the Brew & You in downtown Greenville at 10:00.

And we hope that you will join us for the first ever Upstate SC Sketch-In!