Friday, December 29, 2017

Paste Papers and Bookmaking with Abby Read

  I attended 2 workshops at a local arts center. 
One was on paste papers & coptic stitch bookmaking by  Abby Read, 
wonderful artist & teacher. 
Made sketch notes in my Art Learning Book.
I got to wear a long printer's apron too, a grand costume! 
Even though I had done the coptic stitch before,
it's complicated for me & lots of repetition & re-learning helps! 
My finished book! I'm proud of it, like a young child
coming home from arts camp!
This one shines because I swirled in Pearlescent paint. Ooooooo!
(I also added some colored pencil marks when the paper was dry.)
 We made papers to take home! 
You mix a paste with acrylic paint, you goop it on Canson papers, 
you swirl & cut into it with tools like combs & plastic credit cards. 
I used a putty knife. 
It's fingerpainting, except without fingers, as acrylic stains! 
Such joy to dance in lines, to blend colors,
such fun to see what will happen next!
A new book in progress here at home!
The notes help me to be able to do it independently.
More using up stuff that's been around here forever,
 papers I've been saving for just this thing!

Thank you Abby Read and classmates!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Filling the Air With Christmas

during the season of long nights
when we fill our coastal villages with
Colored Lights, 
Wreaths All Red and Green, 
Decorated Evergreen Trees, 
Fake Candles and~~ Sales. Lots of Sales!

Music on the radio and in shops 
fills quiet air with songs
 Jingle Bell Rock and Silver Bells,
White Christmas and Winter Wonderland...
Meanwhile I take a break,
stopping for a cup of hot soup  
in the back café of 
Beyond the Sea at Lincolnville Beach. 
I stare out the back window and sketch...
Only quiet colors here,
 of a low tide 
where the sand meets the woods beyond...
Those are ducks...
They are slower and quieter than people 
at this time of year...

May you have a serene holiday season...R.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Batches of Mini Cards

My mom & I used to bake Batches of Christmas cookies.
A few times we made crafts. Each year during 
the darkness of the year I fall into making cards (not cookies).
This year, Batches of mini cards, 2.5"X 3". 
I call them "Reet's Paper Treats".
 Some to give away. Some to sell at The Sail Locker (click here). You can also catch the Sail Locker at the Saturday United Farmers Market of Belfast.   
 Using my bits & pieces again,
and my themes that have sat in the idea journal for awhile.
They're in cellophane packets, hence the reflections.
I forgot to photo them before wrapping.

Also a batch of 4" X 6" cards. 
Some are re-purposed pop-ons from last year's French alphabet series.
Working toward a line for summer tourist season in Maine.
So many talented artists & artisans on the coast of Maine
who are also great entrepreneurs. (Marketing is not my forté.)
"Magic for you!" says the fairy!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Recent Sketchbook Wandering

At LL Bean recently I had left my sketchbook in the car. Horrors! "Oh please, I asked the young woman in the café, do you have any scrap paper, I am desperate!" Yes, she did, so I was able to sketch out the window 
on that chilly morning while waiting for my breakfast. 

On a trip to Boston, I sat on a bench at the edge of the Commons, at Park St. to sketch. 
After years of Boston trips, 
I never before noticed a large fountain! 
A fast scribble sketch, just making notes, watching, listening.
Sitting there in the park, a great theater experience, 
with diverse characters & conversations!
 A mellow November day in peaceful Harvard Yard. 
Lots of chairs out, so I hung out after going to the Fogg Art Museum. 
(loved the museum, not as grand as The Museum of Fine Arts, but wonderful.)
People waiting for subways, and buses...
...are always favorite city subjects.
 Sketches at the Portland Museum of Art...They & the Fogg don't allow ink pens, 
so a lot of the sketches in this series are too light to post. 
 The last 2 are from the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland.
 ...which does allow ink pens. 
The Farnsworth: one of my favorite art museums!

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Tiny Pumpkin

Today, it was like that nursery rhyme I used to do with the kids:
"Oooooooo went the wind, and out went the light,
and the 5 little pumpkins rolled out of sight." 

A lot of homes in the state are still without light...
And, without computer. Maybe that is the real horror of the day!

But I enjoyed my early morning, writing with my fountain pen
by candlelight.

The mini card above is the size of a business card. 
I'm selling them with various popped on images.
Will show more soon.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

At the Scenic Train Ride Station

Field trip with the group to the local scenic train ride station.
Instead of focusing on the trains,
I was attracted to the scene across the street. 

Colors are fading, but the big old pine showed her vibrant greens. 
I heard that when she sheds her needles (leaves), 
they are from last year's batch.
 So wonderful to be with the other sketchers.
Each of their sketches, very different from mine,
taught me something, & each pleased me.
Diverse comments about each work enriched my viewing.
From seeing their art work 
I thought maybe we had shrunk down 
found ourselves to be figures 
in a miniature toy train station.
This place is designed for us kids, young & old!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Autumn Sketching in Maine

Our local sketch group goes out twice a week to beautiful spots in our area. 
They/we are like school kids on a field trip.
But often I'm not able to go.  
 Yesterday I went to a place they visited without me,
an unknown cove along the coast.
Tourists and boats are gone now.
I sketched from the car, instead of from my folding chair. 
It was a bit clumsy, but it worked. 

 Previous week, quick sketches from the shore of a pond, 
on smaller, non-water color paper. 
Another place that one of the Sketchers found for us.
The 2nd sketch was about feeling linear rhythms.  
Adding color masked what my ink lines expressed. 
I learn from this.
Don't always be seduced by color, even in Autumn!
 Same view in my larger watercolor book. 
This time I worked without my ink lines.

They say the leaves weren't as intense this year.
Many dropped before reaching full color, due to dryness
& warm temperatures. 
Still, I found Autumn out there
when I went looking.

PS Someone asked me if she could copy my sketches 
& post them online. I say, No, don't do that. 
Explore on your own, I say, however you want, but in private. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

More Books from Bits

More little blank books from.... 
 my newly organized bits and pieces.
These guys are waiting for their turn.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Sketchbook Candy

I'm continuing to use existing materials, including small drawings
and designs that had been sitting in various boxes. 
(They are happy to be out in the world.)
And my Mom's buttons. They seem like candy.

Coptic stitch does get easier & better with practice.
I'm using a non-adhesive book cover technique.
Glue and I are not BFF's (slurp, smudge).
 Some watercolor play sheets turned book covers...
It's all feeling quite yummy...

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sketching, Organizing, Collage

Last weekend I went sketching again 
at The Common Ground Fair.
A happy annual ritual.
I've been using existing bits & pieces here in the art room. 
Employing friend M.'s "Use It Up Initiative". 
My paper sun  finally found a new home. 
That's a little cardboard house structure provided by Waterfall Arts 
for a grassroots project on the subject of Home.
Leftover papers are also finding homes.
 In collages ... 
 ...and handmade books for friends.
Made possible because of lots of hours
organizing a new studio space. 
Now I know what I have & where it is!
In the process, lots was given away & tossed.
Weeding, raking, planting seeds for a new season 
& new directions.
...Which include French study after the summer off.