A Couple of Sketches and a New Project

This a representation of frost that I created quite a while ago. It was kind of dull and Gail Harker (my instructor) suggested that I had some darker values around the whiteness of the frost. It is a definite improvement.

Here’s a sketch of a cone flower in front of my house with the first snow. I used a variety of media including sepia pens, watercolor and acrylic paint. I’m pleased with the result and it looks like a cold, fall day in Montana.

My next project is to try some reduction linocut printing. If you haven’t heard of this before, here is a video that explains one artist’s method of reduction linocut printing. Basically, it means that you carve one color at a time, print all your edition and then carve out the color you just printed. Each time you are carving away what you want to preserve of the color just printed. You work from light to dark with your colors. You can only make one print edition with this method because you destroy the block by the time you are finished carving. If you make a mistake, it is hard to correct. I haven’t tried this before but I thought it sounded like an interesting concept. I asked hubby for the supplies to do this for Christmas and he also kindly made me the bench hook. The photo above shows my table set up for doing the printing process. I actually want to do a large winter landscape print but thought I would start with a small practice piece to see how it goes. I am going to print on Japanese rice paper so I tore 16 pieces into the correct size. I created a registration jig with foam core. You can see it in the front left corner of the table. The uncarved lino block is sitting in place as if it were to be printed.

I drew the steps of cutting on tracing paper so that I know what to cut out with each step.

I am basing the linocut off of this collage that I did of a Caroline Chickadee. I got the inspiration photo from my brother-in-law Lewis.

Here’s the registration jig. You probably can’t see it, but I have marked where the paper lines up and each piece of paper is marked on the back with mid points and arrow pointing up for the top. Hopefully, I won’t make too many mistakes while printing. I made 16 pieces of paper in hopes that I will get a good edition of 10 prints. The size of the print block is 4″ x 6″.

Here’s my inking station. I am planning on 5 colors for this print. I am also trying this Speedball Professional Ink for the first time. I hope I like it since hubby got me a lot! It cleans up with soap and water which I really needed as I can’t really do other chemicals in the bedroom/studio very well.

And here’s the bench hook. It fits on the table so that it locks in and you can carve your block without having to hold your hand in the way of the cutting tools. I have actually never carved linoleum before. I have always used a rubber substitute kind of block. So here goes nothing…

Here’s the first carved out areas. (Click on photo to enlarge) These areas will be white, the paper color. I will ink the block in a mixture of blues and greens. I will then print all 16 pieces of paper and then go on to carving out what I want to preserve in the blue and green colors. I didn’t have time to start the actual printing process yet though. I am itching to get started to see how it goes but alas, it is time for dinner. I really enjoyed carving the linoleum vs. rubber blocks. It is a harder substance but it isn’t really difficult to carve. It allows much more detail but I won’t know how I’m doing until I proof the block. I may need to do more carving if the white areas are too small. Wish me luck and I’ll show you the results next week.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!




Negative Painting Fall Landscape

I told you last week about a landscape painting that might not be salvageable. The answer for me was to just keep going. I got a little bit lost when I was painting in the tree section and it looked terrible. I forgot to take any photos but decided I would be go back in and add more dark values in between the trees and get that section figured out better.

So here it is after I added in the dark values and worked out which trees were more in the foreground and which were fading back. I could have left it like this but I felt it could be better. Now to determine what it needed. I used my croppers to see which way I liked it.

Did I like it with less sky or no sky at all? Neither of these seemed to have enough contrast and were a bit boring. So I looked back at my reference book Watercolor Painting Outside the Lines by Linda Kemp and decided I would add more sky and show light coming through the trees. I had tried this on my first attempt but didn’t like the results but thought maybe I had a better handle on how to do it this time. So I added more pink sky with a variety of pinkish tones.

Here’s the end result. I think that is a bit more dramatic, certainly not perfect but I learned a lot about negative space painting with this landscape. So the lesson is, keep going and practice, practice, practice. I have relearn that lesson on a regular basis 🙂


Painting Pages

I have created quite a few collages and extended prints. Now I need to put them into a notebook for presentation. I thought I had a 9″ x 9″ notebook that was new but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I searched and searched. I thought I might have lost my mind. But no, I put it with a pile of other notebooks but there are so many piles of stuff in my studio room that it took a while to remember which pile it was in. But thank goodness, I had one. Yay! So today I spent most of the day painting background pages. I had a bunch already painted but the holes are off and don’t fit into the same size notebook. That really irritates me but I don’t like the unevenness that it creates. So I figured out what colors I needed and then painted pages. Hopefully, the pages will work with the collages. It’s harder to paint the exact color that you need. It’s easier to choose from a selection of already painted papers.

Here’s some of the ones that I painted today. There are a bunch more but the photo was blurry. I paint both sides of the paper so it takes a while for these to dry.

Here’s one of my collages. What do you think? Do you like the purple background or the yellow and orange background? I usually try out 3-4 different color backgrounds for each collage before I choose.

And last but not least, here is the Picasso head from last week. I decided to stick with monochromatic so did different values of blue. I’m sure that the orange or multi color would have been more exciting. I still might add some more color.

Thanks for stopping by and have a nice weekend.



Fused Paper/Fabric

My art group got together last week and made fused paper/fabric. This is a different technique than the paper fabric lamination that I do. This one involves using fusible and ironing the paper and the fabric together. We also added Pearl Ex Powders to get a little bling and glam.

Here’s Deb working on her creations. Somehow, I didn’t get any photos of her finished pieces. Sorry Deb!

Here’s Louise and Sally working away.

These two are Louise’s creations.

These are Sally’s creations. Doesn’t that middle one look like a birthday party?

Here are mine. I was planning on using these for some of my collages for class homework so I made some “matching” pieces that go together.

But when I started making collages, I didn’t end up using the pieces I thought would go together. Here’s one that hasn’t been glued together yet.

Here’s another collage I did. The background is stamped and painted fusible adhered to black paper. I cut the leaves from my other piece of fused paper/fabric.

Thanks once again for stopping by, leaving comments and cheering me on in my fiber art pursuits. I appreciate everyone’s compliments and suggestions. I hope you and yours have the best of holidays and a creative New Year.