Saturday, 30 March 2013

Changing the Direction of an Art Journal Page

Okay, the monitor lizard has nothing to do with art journal pages, but he is cute isn't he? He discovered our compost bucket Monday and even managed to get the lid off. I love the way he is hanging on with those back legs.

 And here is the art journal page. We photocopied parts of our body in my art journal class to put into our journals. But I wasn't loving this spread. It seemed kind of boring but looked almost finished. So I decided to go for a change of direction.

 I like to photocopy my art journal drawings before I add colour. That way I can use them for collage later on other pages. I might photocopy them larger, smaller or the same size - and then add colour before I glue them down.
I want my eco woman, but I also want something on the right side. Maybe these flying fish?

I colour her with art markers. I am not very adept with coptic markers, I haven't used them much - hence the lines through her top. Anyone know how I can avoid those

The fish turned out to be too small and not the mood that I wanted. I decided to bring in more foliage so I drew this plant, coloured it with the markers and am in the process of cutting it out.
I glued down eco-woman and brought in some interest into her clothing. Dots on her arms and I think the writing on the shirt distracts pretty well from the marker lines.

Some black outlines to make her stand out, a bit more writing and now it is finished. Adding more collage has really changed the mood of the spread; I find it much more interesting now. Often when I don't like my art journal pages, I find that if I just keep going it gets better. What do you think?

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Impulsively Making a Booklet for Drawing

I am trying to be more impulsive. (That statement might reveal more about me than I intended to.) I wonder if trying to be impulsive is an oxymoron.

I was listening to a podcast Monday called An Illustrated Life by Danny Gregory where he interviews artists about their sketchbooks. I find every interview fascinating. (I tried to find it on iTunes to give you the link but it is no longer there).

The artist that Danny Gregory was talking to, Mark S. Fisher, draws in his sketchbook without knowing what he is going to draw. He just starts a line and keeps going, not knowing what will come out. I have tried this, but not very often. The idea always excites and scares me. I am scared that what I draw will be cliche' and badly drawn.

So I tried it and it was really fun.
I thought my drawing turned out interesting. I would like to do more. Mark Fisher has done it for 30 years. I want to see if I do it for a couple of weeks whether it will evolve-- or what.

 I wanted to make some kind of commitment and it felt like just drawing on sheets of paper wasn't going to do it. So I decided that I needed a journal ( you know how I love my journals).
I looked at my stash of blank journals and they didn't feel right. Too big, too many pages, too long of a commitment. Also I liked the paper I had used for the first drawing. It is slick and holds the ink really well.

I decided to knock up a quick booklet. Just one signature, soft cover. Quickly made out of this paper.

Here  I am trying to decide which packaging to repurpose for the cover. Tyvek is a strong outside protection for the soft cover.
Rather than collaging a cover, I made a collage on Photoshop. As you can probably see, I only have the most basic Photoshop skills.

I didn't use it. The packaging material is semi-transparent and the photos are lost underneath it. I decide to use the stronger magazine pattern instead.

I glued the tyvek to a card cover, but it didn't stick completely. 

So I decided to sew it down with the machine. The sewing machine would only work when I put the card on top. When the needle was against the tyvek it wouldn't go forward. I don't know why.
It meant that I had to handsew the edges. I didn't mind. 

Here is the front. I sewed through all the pages and the cover to put it together. I like plain covers.

Inside. It is only 16 spreads. I could have used more paper, but I didn't want to over-commit to the stream-of-consciousness drawings and then feel like I had to go on longer than I might want to. 

The inside front looks kind of weird. That is some magazine photo of a large flower.

Just in case you wanted to see the first drawing after I finished it. I wanted to push it further and see what happened. My favourite bit is the three sleeping pregnant women on the flower.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

More T-Shirt Refashioning

I finished refashioning my husband's t-shirt into a t-shirt for me. I used an Alabama Chanin pattern and did it her way. (If you aren't familiar with Alabama Chanin, here is a rave and the beginnings of the refashion.)

It is completely hand sewn, every seam. This was when I was stitching on the sleeves. 

Last weekend I was cleaning the studio, and got it together to sort through my life drawings drawer. Drawings from the past 15 years. I always cull after a drawing session but as you can imagine, there were a lot (this isn't all.) I threw 80% of them away. It felt great.

While I was sorting through my studio I found this fantastic sheet. Old and soft and calling out to be made into?? Any suggestions? 

And here is my newest refashion project, another t-shirt refashion, another Alabama Chanin inspired refashion. These will go from men's thrifted t-shirts to a bolero, like the last one but different. I am thinking of making it double thickness, 'lined' with the blue t-shirt fabric. The original plan was also for long sleeves.

But there isn't enough fabric. The photo below is after I cut out the body of the bolero and this is what was left. No way I can get two sleeves out of that.

I went back to the thrift stores, looking for more men's black t-shirts. Easy enough to find black t-shirts but they were a different black. Did you know that there is more than one black? Apparently most t-shirts are a kind of brown-black whereas this one is a blue black. I can't find a match.

Tuesday I am going to a new fabric store in Tweed Heads. I have checked out Lismore and Ballina and the only cotton jersey I could find was cheaply made. If I find matching black jersey in the new shop I might still be able to do long sleeves. Otherwise I will go for the cap sleeves. 

I am looking forward to another hand-sewing project. I find it soothing at the end of the day.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

New Watercolour Drawing, Under Night Wings

 I have been working on a few coloured pencil with watercolour drawings. This one is recently finished, it is called 'Under Night Wings'.

I like to work on my pieces for a long time. I am fascinated by subtlety - which doesn't always come across in photos on the internet. I am hoping that detail shots will reveal a bit nuance.

 We have been going through terrible storms the last few weeks. Unending rain. Our poor beaches have suffered  terribly. We have lost so much beach that it can be impossible to get down to them.

I get a cabin fever and try to go out on the few days that it stops raining.

I have been working on the new refashion project. Another men's t-shirt, this time I am making it into a woman's t-shirt. That may not sound like a big change but I think it will look quite different as I have turned around the front design to the back, and the back design to the front. 

If you want to see the original t-shirt, and the design that was on the front go here.

As you can see, all has not been perfect. As if it ever is, haha. Somehow I managed to cut one side out longer than the other. Because it is all hand-stitched I am not quite sure how this is going to work out. I will be cutting off that hanging bit, but I have a feeling it will still be rather lop-sided. 

I am attempting to create a new website. To do this I am having to teach myself Wordpress. It is all quite slow with a big learning curve. And everything takes much longer than I ever would have imagined. But I hope when I am finished to have a much better showcase for my art. In the meantime it is taking a lot of time and energy, some of which I probably could have been putting into this blog.

Oh, one final thing I wanted to show you. My new sewing books from Amazon. I have a fantasy to create a few basic simple patterns that actually fit me that I can make and remake in different ways.