Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Few Life Things

Sometimes I look at the totality, so far, of my life and it seems that I have lived several lives. 

My childhood with my mother and father and 4 siblings up until the day my father died of a stroke at age 54.  We camped in Michigan’s upper peninsula every summer for 3 to 4 weeks.  Sometimes we split that time between 2 campgrounds, and sometimes we just stayed at one the whole time.  Of course, before we got to the campground every year, we had to stop at Mareth’s farm in Coleman, WI to pick up the camper.  That’s where we  had to store it year ‘round, as we didn’t have a garage, or parking slab, or even a big enough yard. 

 Mareth’s farm held infinite adventures for us city kids.  We got to milk cows, feed chickens, dig potatoes, and pick blackberries.  Mrs. Mareth would get the wood fired stove started early, while Mr. Mareth milked the cows by hand, many times with help from my older siblings. Mrs. Mareth cooked the most wonderful breakfasts for us, with homemade bread and fresh eggs, but what I remember most of all, were the blackberries she put up in canning jars.  She would bring them up from the root cellar, and dish them out into small bowls.  They were dark, and surrounded by their sweetened juice.  Then she would pour fresh cream over them. It was probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life.

 My father died when I was 13.  We stopped going camping.  We stopped taking vacations altogether.  It seemed like life had become dreary, and well, lifeless.  My mother still worked for the county, and when she took her vacation days, she stayed at home.  My father had been the social parent; the planner, the doer, the fun lover.  A few of us inherited some of his traits, but we were too young to realize it.  My mother was practical, and together they made a good team, but without him, there were no more Sunday picnics, and no more vacations. 

 When I was 20, I married a man from El Salvador, Central America.  We met at a college party, and it truly was love at first site.  This began a chapter of my life, which in comparison to my friends at the time, was quite adventurous.  I married Jose and we moved from my home in Milwaukee, to Monterrey, Mexico. My outlook at this move was that it would be a great adventure, and I was not disappointed.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Artists in the Garden

Marcia 1, Debbie Callahan, Fred Bell and I are participating in the Plein Air portion of this event.

Artists in the Garden, September 12-13
League of Milwaukee Artists presents
2015 Artists in the Garden Weekend
Sept 12-13, 2014
Boerner Botanical Gardens, Whitnall Park 9400 Boerner Dr., Hales Corners, WI

Click on images below to enlarge

Plein Air Rules



Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fuzzy cat and pastel flower pages.

Some recent journal pages.  I've been a neglectful blogger. I seem to go through periods of just wanting to play in my journals, and at the same time, feel guilty that I'm not spending time painting "fine art".  I'm not sure if there's a good balance.  However, recently we started offering "Art Journal Wednesdays" at the Martini Girls Gallery every other week.  It's really fun to get together and work on journaling with the other girls.  So far, besides the 3 of us who are the Gallery owners, Michelle Bohlmann, Kathy Welsch, Cheri Staub, and Anita Burgermeister have joined us.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New Journal Pages

The other day I was playing and glueing stuff in my journal, and I looked at the piece of torn napkin I had just glued and thought "sometimes I see things in strange places.  Artistic perception has taught me to see them".

Monday, February 16, 2015

I recently found a couple of art journal groups on Facebook, much to my delight.  I'd hate to think that I'm the only artist in Milwaukee, WI that is totally addicted to art journaling, and altered book art journaling.  I've posted a few photos to the various sites; it's so nice to get positive feedback for artwork that is not my usual "serious" oil or acrylic paintings. 

One of the groups is called Journal52 and the administrator of the group posts a new prompt every week, which I think is awesome.  Sometimes I get tired of the usual art stuff mulling around in my head, and need some fresh inspiration.  Well, I just found this group about 2 weeks ago, so have been catching up with the first 5 weeks of prompts.  Here are some results.

Week 1- Pathways  Background is Dylusions spray inks, then acrylic painting over that.

Week 2 - Just Be  Gessoed page, then Dylusion spray inks, and alphabet stencil, a layer of gesso over that, then acrylic paint applied over a stencil.  A torn book page creates a spot to write the prompt with a gel pen.

Week 3 - Conversation Starters   Background is Dylusions spray inks, then some torn Tim Holtz tissue pieces, and a deli paper flower collaged with matte medium.  Circle were cut from music and book pages, then stained with watered down acrylic paint.  Words were written with a Sharpie.

That's all I have finished for now. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Cityscape Fun!

I had been thinking about doing a "cityscape" out my gelli prints as a journal spread and came up with this one when I was at Universal Studios recently.  Inspired by Diagon Alley, and Hogsmeade, but in much brighter colors.
I actually used dark blue tissue paper for the sky, and assorted gelli prints for the houses and roofs. I layered them for a bit more depth, and I'm pretty happy with the result.

Friday, January 2, 2015

It's Okay Journal Page

This is the page I finished last night.  I love to use gelli prints in my journals and altered books.  Here, again, I used a wash of acrylic paint in burnt sienna and quinacridone nickel azo gold mixed together.   Then added circles and a star in gesso, and colored them with gel sticks.  I used an alphabet stencil over that with turquoise acrylic, and some rubber stamping all over the spread.  Stars in different sizes were cut from gelli prints and glued on, then I added some small stars and hearts stamped with gesso.  I painted over some of the small stars with red enamel, and used dylusions ink on some of the little hearts.

My stars aren't perfect, and I like them like that.

It All Hinges

For this altered book page, I started with a wash of acrylic paint in burnt sienna and quinacridone nickel azo gold mixed together.  I stenciled over that with pink acrylic paint using one of Julie Fei Fan Balzer's stencils, then added some circles with gesso.  I have a lot of fun strips of watercolor paper which I had dredged through some distress stains to color them, so used them on top of the circles.  Paper doilies make a great addition, so I cut one into 2 pieces and used each piece on the spread.  I also have accumulated a lot of cotton doilies and like to use parts of them as an additional layer.  I added the buttons and hinge on top of the pieces of cotton doilies, and then added a little journaling finish it off.  I hope you like it:-)

"Discover" Journal Page

This page was created by mixing some red acrylic paint with gesso and spreading it on the page with a brush.  Then I took vintage photo distress stain and applied it around the edges.  Thin strips of  scrapbooking cardstock were applied over the painted pages, after which I formed a heart out of floral wire and attached it to the right hand page.  I sewed a folded piece of pink polka dotted fabric and added that next to the strips of paper, then glued a doily (sprayed with dylusions inks) and added a leather disc on the left side.  Journaling was added last.