In September, my husband surprised me with a four day trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico for our thirty-fifth anniversary. It marked the beginning of a long hiatus from Comfort Cottage in order to work on some projects I've been putting off. I have no shortage of things to share with you but I decided to start with an art journal page I created to commemorate our trip.
The trip was truly a delightful adventure. We stayed in a four star hotel in the heart of Santa Fe and walked or took the bus to dozens of fabulous museums, galleries and restaurants. It was very different that our usual adventures which usually find us sleeping under the stars and listening to the coyotes howl.
The house in the photo is on Delgado St., just off of Canyon Rd. It is one of my favorites. I created the journal page using numerous layers in Photoshop CC. This is the original photo:
We had the most incredible roast beef sandwiches for lunch at this cafe on Canyon Road.
Outside at the Michael Smith gallery:
Inside of the Michael Smith gallery there was a feast for the eyes. Wounaan Indian Baskets and Pueblo and Navaho weavings from 1865-1950 are on display.
There are so many lovely places to wander.
The view from our balcony at sunset.
As I get caught up, I'll be sharing more of this wonderful place of art and inspiration with you, as well as some of those projects I referred to. Thank you so much for your visit. We'll meet again soon.
Until next time,
I haven't done an art journal page in quite a while. I did a digital one today.
I also have something to share with you about someone I'm very proud of. My nephew, Andrew, who is a mere twenty-three years of age had quite a night last night. Those of you from the Philadelphia area may be familiar with the Wanamakers organ at the historic building on Broad Street in Center City Philadelphia. Built in California, the organ was exhibited at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair as the world's largest pipe organ before becoming the centerpiece of the colossal Philadelphia department store in 1909. It was enlarged after being installed there. Today it has 28,500 pipes! The largest of the pipes is made of Oregon sugar pine, three inches thick, and thirty-two feet long. A shetland pony once posed inside of it for publicity photos! It has six ivory keyboards, 729 color coded stops, 168 piston buttons under the keyboards, and 42 foot controls. The console weighs 2.5 tons and the entire instrument weighs in at a whopping 287 tons.
My nephew has spent the better part of the last few years learning to play this beast under the tutelage of renowned Grand Court Organist, Peter Richard Conte. Mr. Conte is only the fourth person to hold this position since the organ was first played in 1911. He has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops Orchestra. Last night, Andrew joined the ranks of some of the world's finest musicians when he played the Wanamaker organ for the 5:30 p.m. show. It is an honor granted to very few musicians.
We couldn't be more proud of him!
Until next time,
Where do you find your bliss? For each of us, the answer is different. For those of you who have been with me on this blogging journey, it is no secret where I find mine. First and foremost it is in the knowledge that I rest in the the loving care of God. He reveals that to me every day, and he has given me many reasons for joy, not the least of which has been a creative spirit. With that in mind, I created a new digital work with Photoshop CC.
I share that creative spirit with many talented artists from around the world. The photograph of the girl comes from a gifted photographer and artist, Janna Prosvirina. Janna is the model in her photography and she generously allows artists to use her photographs in their artwork. You can see her stunning work on her gallery homepage at Deviant Art. She is also a wonderful fantasy artist and she uses her photography as reference for her own lovely paintings. You can see her delightful work on her facebook page, Janna Prosvirina Fantasy Art.
Bliss is a composite of stock images, as well as my digital painting. There are approximately thirty layers of digital painting, photos, adjustments and filters that make up the finished work. The grid-like image is from Darwin Guevarra at Free Images.com. The stars image was provided by NASA Art Space. The ornament behind the girl's head came from The Graphics Fairy.
I've also been working on some pastel paintings. These are scenes from my travels to Santa Fe and Arches National Park.
Finally, in catching you up on all the news, I must share a bit of sadness, a bit of joy, and immeasurable gratitude. It was with great sorrow last winter that we said goodbye to our sweet golden retriever, Molly. She went to sleep for the last time on the first Tuesday in February. She gave us thirteen and a half years of unconditional love, laughter, and companionship. I'm grateful that she passed on naturally with all of us at her side at home. I miss her more than I can find words to express.
June 6, 2000 - February 4, 2014
The most chilling event came in May. My son and his girlfriend were coming home from a date when the car he was driving skidded on a patch of gravel and careened into a utility pole. His girlfriend said that they were going to hit it head on. She doesn't know how My son managed to sideswipe it at the last second. He injured his wrist trying to maintain control. The passenger window exploded on impact and the left side support of the frame collapsed. Miraculously, they both walked away. The car was totalled. The paramedics told him that they are out at that curve every week due to the problem with gravel. Blessedly, the police officer determined that road condition was the cause. I am so grateful - cars can be replaced. People cannot.
I do have another happy event to share. I lasted about three weeks after Molly died. Finally, I could stand the silence no longer. May I introduce to you my new studio assistant? We welcomed Sam at the end of February. Needless to say, life has been lively around here.
As you can see, Sam the golden has made himself quite at home here.
I don't know about you, but I'm about ready for some change: SEASONAL change! It is bitterly cold again here in Pennsylvania. I went to the supermarket this afternoon. When I opened the car door, the wind ripped it from my hand and nearly separated my shoulder with it! As it continued to howl this evening, I worked on another page for my mixed media art journal.
Quote: "Change is an inevitable part of life. We must be careful to bend, lest we break instead." -unknown
I started with Dylusions inks in bubblegum pink and crushed grape. I misted the page with water and touched the surface of the paper with a brush loaded with the inks. They bled nicely on the dampened paper. I used the Crafter's Workshop stencil, "pomegranates" and alternated the ink colors as I stenciled. At this point, I sprayed the page with matte spray to seal the inks.
I created the silhouette and the decorated circle graphics in Photoshop CS6. I adhered them to the page with matte medium.
I added loose linework around the circles with a Pigma Micron Pen. I also added some decorative linework with Gelly Roll pens.
I painted around the silhouette and the top with fluid acrylic paint in hansa yellow light. I watered the paint down and let it run down the page. I added touches of color to the flowers on the silhouette with Portfolio Oil Pastels.
I watered down some fluid acrylic in ultramarine violet and let it run. I used a white gelly roll pen to add some writing in the circles.
I wrote in the quote with a Pigma Micron Graphic pen. I used a Pigma Micron brush pen to fill in the writing. I highlighted it with a blue Gelly Roll Souffle pen. Finally, I splattered watered down fluid acrylic in ultramarine blue.
I hope you will be inspired to play with your art supplies this weekend! I will be linking this post to Pink Saturday, Paint Party Friday, and Art Journal Every Day. Please click on the icons in my right sidebar and visit my pink-loving, art journaling, painting friends :)
Until next time,
Today's mixed media art journal page is for anyone who has ever questioned where they have ended up in life.
"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I've ended up where I'm meant to be." -unknown
I covered the paper with gesso. I scraped watered-down fluid acrylic in quinacridone nickel azo gold onto the paper and misted the paint with alcohol while it was still wet. This gave the paint a nice texture. (If you try this, be sure to water down the paint, or it won't seperate when you mist it.)
Using a Crafter's Workshop stencil and a sponge applicator, I stenciled the pattern with Dylusions Ink in postbox red.
I sprayed the surface with matte spray to prevent the red ink from running when I added more layers. Next, I used another stencil and Pinata Ink in sapphire blue.
I painted out an area in the center with black fluid acrylic and used a palette knife to rough up the edges.
I added a butterfly graphic that I painted and altered in Photoshop CS6. I used a Prismacolor pencil in cobalt blue to add linework on the butterfly and then outlined it with a black Pigma Micron Graphic pen, size 1. Using the cap from a spray bottle, I stamped circles around the black area with Liquitex medium magenta. I printed out the phrase, "embrace your life" using the "My Underwood" font and adhered it with matte medium.
I added the light blue dots around the circles with a blue Gelly Roll Souffle pen. The dots around the butterfly wings were done with the Pigma Micron graphic pen. I used a Bic Wite-Out Correction Pen to write in the quote. I splattered the page with fluid acrylic in cobalt blue.
Have a terrific day!
Until next time,
My sister Lorrie and I were on the road once again this week. This time it was for the best quilt show of the year - AQS Quilt Week - in Lancaster, PA. In between sit-down breaks to rest my poor, decrepit back, we cruised three floors of gorgeous quilts, incredible fabrics, and every imaginable quilter's gadget, machine, and book. It was pure bliss and I'd be there again today if I had any money left :) Neither one of us left empty-handed, so I have lots of cool stuff to show you. Before I get to that, I have a new page to show you from my mixed media art journal.
Quote: Nothing external to you has any power over you. -R.W. Emerson
I applied a coat of gesso to the page and then scraped Golden fluid acrylics over it. I created the silhouettes of the woman and the star in Photoshop CS6. I had ordered some of the 12" x 12" Crafter's Workshop Stencils from Scrapbook.com. They came on Thursday so I tried out the "circle explosion" one on my page. I also used the 6" x 6" "chicken wire" stencil at the bottom. I used the Ink Essentials sponge applicator and Dylusions inks. It was easy to do. I sprayed just a little ink on the wax side of a piece of freezer paper and dipped the applicator into that. Then it was just a matter of tapping or rubbing the applicator over the stencil. I used two different colors: fresh lime and London blue. I applied some fluid acrylic in chromium oxide green plus hansa yellow light to the woman, and quinacridone red to the star with a palette knife. All of the black lettering and linework was done with Pigma Micron pens and the pink letttering was done with a Sakura Pigma Callipen. The tiny light green dots inside of the circles were done with a Gelly Roll Souffle pen. I stamped the left side with quinacridone red and bubble paper, then splattered the page with quinacridone red. The small squares are scraps of leftover quilting fabric. I adhered them with a Collins Fabric glue stick rather than use gel medium. The gel medium darkens the fabric too much.
And now, for all of the quilt show goodies! Most of you know by now that I am a fat quarter junkie. I added lots of Civil War Reproduction fat quarters to my stash. I just love the combination of brown and pink.
This is from a new collection called Railroad Ties.
Civil War prints of every color.
The vendor had a finished quilt in this pattern. She used more subdued colors and it was absolutely stunning.
I met Lori Smith, the designer of this pattern. She was very nice and we exchanged delightfully funny stories about cats in the studio. She had gorgeous finished samples of all of her quilts patterns that she made herself. Her booth was one of the most enjoyable ones I visited and her work was exquisite! I think this pattern would make a lovely table throw. It's just the right size.
I have a few more things to show you, but I think I'll save them for Works In Progress Wednesday. I've begun a delightful 1930's applique quilt using reproduction feedsack fabrics. I may see you sooner with another art journal page. I'll be linking this post to Paint Party Friday and Art Journal Every Day. Have a terrific weekend!
Until next time,
I thought I'd get in a quick post today before I have to go back to school. I've had such a good time working on my mixed media art journal this week! This is my latest page.
Quote: "If I find in myself desires in which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world." -C. S. Lewis
I painted the background with Golden Fluid Acrylics in aqua and stipplied over it with a mix of quinacridone red and gesso. I layered the flower arrangement over an old photo card in Photoshop. Both graphics are from The Graphics Fairy. I blended them and applied a Paint Daubs filter. I adhered the finished graphic to the page with matte medium. The bird graphic is also from The Graphics Fairy. I cut out the silhouette in Photoshop and applied a clipping mask of an antique newspaper clipping. The linework was done with Sakura Pigma Micron pens in various sizes. The white linework is a Gelly Roll pen. The pink scrolls were done with a Gelly Roll Moonlight pen. The Japanese flowers at the bottom are a stamp from Inkadinkadoo and Ranger Ink in raspberry. The tiny flowers at the top are filled in with a Gelly Roll Glaze pen. I shaded around the edges with a Rembrandt pastel in turquoise and sprayed the page with matte spray to fix the pastel. I deepened the shadows with a Neocolor II crayon in malachite. I colorized the bird with a Neocolor II crayon in canary yellow.
On the subject of art journals, I got a copy of Dina Wakely's new book, Art Journal Freedom, yesterday. Dina is very good at explaining and demonstrating principals of design and color theory. I love her colorful, loose style.
The new issue of Somerset Digital Studio is out as well. I've found lots of wonderful ideas that I can use in my art journal.
I love these images by Nicoletta Ranieri!
Tomorrow, I'll be traveling into the city for class. These images give me great ideas for my photos of Philadelphia! For now, I have to leave you. May God bless you and keep you safe.
Until next time,
With all of the challenges we each face on a daily basis, we definitely need a prescription for a sound mind. This one has never failed me. It's worthy of it's own page in my art journal.
Quote: "...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." -Phillipians 4:7-9
I find it is so important to reign in my thoughts and to remember what is good rather than dwell on what is wrong. It can change the entire course of a day...and a life.
I started by adhering various scraps of paper to the page with matte medium. Then, using a palette knife (an old credit card or a thin piece of cardboard will do), I scraped on Golden Fluid Acrylics in aqua, quinacridone red, and naples yellow. Using a Crafter's Workshop stencil of a ledger, I rubbed pastel over it and then sprayed with matte spray to seal it. I've been seeing lots of silhouettes lately, and I think they are terrific for art journal pages. I made mine in Photoshop CS6. I found a stock photo from Deviant Art and cut out the silhouette of the woman with the pen tool. I used a free vintage clipart piece of writing and used a clipping mask to make the writing only show up in the shape of the women. I used the stroke command to make a black outline around the silhouette and then printed it out. The flower was a stock shape from CS6. I prepared it in the same way as the silhouette. After cutting out the shapes, I adhered them to the painted background with matte medium. Using the palette knife, I roughly outlined the shapes and the stems and leaf with Golden Fluid Acrylic in black. It looks best if the lines vary in width (think grunge). The writing was done with a black Pigma Micron Graphic Pen - size 1. The white highlighting around the word "think" was done with a gelly roll Souflee pen. The rest of the white line work was done with a Bic Wite-Out pen. I scraped some fluid acrylic in green gold on the leaf, stems, and background. I stamped the swirl on the silhouette with a stamp from Inkadinkadoo and Ranger Ink in Pool.
That's it for now! I hope you have a lovely day.
Until next time,
I put in some time in the studio last weekend. I've been trying to come up with interesting ways to incorporate my photography from my trip last summer into my mixed media art. As I experimented with my photos in Photoshop, I developed a method of processing them into elements that would work well in a mixed media painting. This is the first of what I expect will be a series.
Sante Fe Window
8" x 8"
Mixed Media on Cradled Birch Panel
Sometimes, half of the battle is overcoming the blank canvas. I prepped the panel by sanding and applying several coats of gesso. I adhered some antique book pages with liquid matte medium. Using a credit card, I smeared a thin layer of gesso over the printed pages. I dragged a texturing tool across the wet gesso in wavy lines.
I lightly painted in a background with FW Acrylic inks.
Next I did some gel medium transfers of old handwriting. I began deepening the ink colors.
I added scraps of patterned paper. Then, I drybrushed some gold acrylic ink.
I added a print of my altered original photo. I tinted molding paste with acrylic inks and spread it over the edges of the photo and around the edges of the gel transfers.
I painted over the photo in places with acrylic inks. I used a recipe for faux wax from the book, Surface Treatment Workshop, by Darlene Olivia McElroy and Sandra Duran Wilson. I poured it onto the surface and spread it with a wide plastic blade (the sort of tool you would use to spread grout). Using Golden heavy body acrylic paint, I stamped the surface with one of my hand-carved stamps. I added some pieces of mesh paper around the edges of the photo, and painted them to blend them with the background. I reworked the background a bit more with acrylic paints and inks, and then added a layer of liquid matte medium. After the paint has time to cure, I will coat the surface with a satin acrylic varnish.
I will be linking to Paint Party Friday - better late than never! We'll visit again soon.
Until next time,