December 29, 2011

Another great store hits the dust.

Really bummed. One of the last places to get great papers in bulk, stamp pads hard to find elsewhere, good paper gifts. I will miss them.

Paper Zone to Close Its Eight Stores in WA and OR

December 23, 2011

I'm in love

with a book I discovered in the graphic novels section of Elliott Bay Books today. It's called Everything Is Its Own Reward by Paul Madonna.

Beautiful detailed pen and inkwash full page city illustrations, a collection of All Over Coffee strips published in book form.  First page: "In hard times, beauty can seem frivolous - but take it away, and all you're left with is hard times." Another: "Leave a little emptiness, a space for when what you're waiting for arrives." Strong geometrical and yet inviting architectural scenes and details on each page with a short spot-on narrative. Surprise at the back cover - a full poster size drawing of many windows and balconies of a high rise or apartment building, with descriptive annotations regarding the occupant within each dwelling. Amazing find. How have I not heard of this before?!  Be sure to read the Afterword. "My intent was to explore the power of text and image by reassigning their roles in nontraditional ways...I thought of All Over Coffee as a comic strip without the comic, whose main and only character was setting. I would bring forward what were generally innocuous backgrounds and give them a leading role...In place of cartoon characters, stories would be told through dialogue or snippets of stories that floated around these scenes."

December 18, 2011

Posed for Christmas Family Photo

Yup. I know. The first 16 days aren't here yet. Maybe soon.

I painted our two cats, Rosie and Ziggy, who wrote our Christmas letter for us this year. 

An excerpt: "I am Rose, a black and white Tuxedo cat with very big bones. Heavy lifting is required for me, but I am worth it. I like laps and backrups and humans in general. I have a special talent: I always know when Mom or Dad have taken a seat in the comfy chair, no matter where else in the house I may be at the time. I am smart that way. I will always find them."

"I am Ziggy. I like to be petted but only from a distance. I really don't want you to get sentimental and sappy, and I won't jump on your lap, no matter the temptation! I have a permanent Got Milk mustache and a silly name. I am, after all, a lovely tortoise-shelled beauty. I think I should be named..."Tulip!" I'll cuddle up to my sister Rosie anytime - we get along very well - but no cuddling with humans, please. That's just the way I roll."

December 17, 2011

Classy 52 Pickup

I found these at the Bellevue and Seattle Art Museums.

Aaron Trotter is the artist of these detailed sketches of Seattle places landmarks.  He has had sold several limited printings and about to have another; he is selling these at museums and at his own web site.  He has a Portland series, also. They are cool; I had to add them to my collection of Very Interesting Cards to Play Go Fish With.

December 14, 2011

Three new books

Today I needed to get serious about gifts for out-of-town friends and family. I started out for Seattle on the bus, but ended up staying in downtown Bellevue where there were many tempting treats. Founds some more artist's toys for me, too, at Paper Source, a favorite place of mine. The best time I had was at the Bellevue Arts Museum where I found Aaron Trotter's playing cards (see other post) and more.

You have to see these books! I found them at Bellevue Arts Museum and Third Place Books and they make great gifts.
Journalists and artists may remember Janice Lowry, a California artist. . Janice died in 2009, way too early, but her many journals can be enjoyed by visitors to the Smithsonian.  In Lists (subtitled, To-Dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonians's Archives of American Art), one of the entries is a to-do list, with sketches and doodles. Other fascinating entries include a (visual) study of ducks, many to-do lists from interesting lives, "expenses in the pursuit of art," Alexander Calder's address book, Joseph Cornell's list of items purchased at antique show, and George Catlin's List of Amusements, 1830. Picasso, Grant Wood, and dozens of others will entertain you. Lisa Kirwin is the listed author. Fun stuff. I can't wait to see the whole displays in real life.

thx thx thx by Leah Dieterich is a most unusual "grattude" journal.

Dear heavy eyelids, thanks for being a reason to stop. I'd been looking for one, and you were just the thing. Thanks.  Leah.

Dear Cold, thanks for coming on before my vacation rather than during it. It's been a while since we've seen each other, hope you have a quic trip out of my body. Cheers. Leah.

Dear Dishes in My Sink, Thanks for giving me a task to do while I'm procrastinating some other task. I always feel accomplished after I wash you, even though I'm putting off something else. Leah

Finally, you must enjoy This Is For You. These are papercuts by Rob Ryan, but they are not your grandma's cute little doily heart cuts. Each one reminds me of a full journal page of drawings and words. Very art journal style, but everything cut, not pasted, painted, or drawn. Incredible.

Another distraction: Reason #12 I'm not done with Christmas prep.

I've used photos for tags before but this year I had fun with enlarging them and penciling them in a bit to alter the colors. For nieces and nephews, I used a silly group photo, cut it apart, and enlarged each child separately. For my sister, who is - well, over 50, let's just say! - I used some old childhood photos. Most were family shots and her face was a small footprint, so when I enlarged those old black-and-whites, I got interesting stripes of color.

December 3, 2011

Sweet Photo Treats

 Well, haven't I just been having a roarin' good time discovering the little secrets of my collection of iPad and iPod photo apps?! I've been using some photos I took last April of an annual staff room event put on by one of the teachers, Joanne, "just because."  For this one, our spring event,  Joanne overflowed the room with visual and edible flavors of spring: the colors, decorations, and treats, most of which are new and different even to the most inveterate shoppers such as moi. The tables in the staff room are decked out in the finery of the season (you should see what she does at Halloween...) to the delight of a vacation-ready weary teaching and support staff.

Joanne has been collecting displays, toys, decorations over the year and finds the various treats in stores and the internet. Her sources include Divine, Swiss, magazine resource lists, and all the unique and secret spots only connoisseurs of  their special habits know about.  Almost too good to eat.  But we manage.

It was with these photos I played with photo and camera apps. These were made from combinations of Halftone, ColorSplash, PhotoToaster, Photogene, Camera Bag, SwankoLab (one of my favorites to play with, this one actually "drops" in chemicals and "processes" the "film" in the solution while you watch it develop. Oh, brother, I am easily amused.)


December 1, 2011

Anamorphic Illusion.

An example of something I never heard of before! (There are so many, more and more each day!) Intriguing to think about, even if I don't quite understand it yet.

Most Amazing World Illusion! - Magic World Created by French artist François Abélanet, "Quoi Croire" an anamorphic, "ephemeral" garden displayed in front of Paris' main city hall the "Hôtel de Ville".


François Abélanet's website: I shot this video by hand which made the footage very shaky. I used software to stabilize the video and smooth out the shakiness which gives it a curious digitally distorted look. The reason it goes in reverse is due to there being a long line for access to the viewing point preventing a continuous one shot recording. This illusion is the result of the science of how the brain interprets imagery. Laser technology was relied upon to project the image of the globe/sphere for its construction.

OH, of course. Now I get it. Yes. Sure.

Fun enough!

I'm going to post some fun I've been having with iPad photo and camera apps, starting with this one. Here, I used favorite photo I took in our yard of a fall day and morning fog with Artify. I think this is the "Impressionist" selection. (There are 3 - Great Masters, Cafe de Paris, the other two, but they all pretty much look the same to me!) You can tweek the results with eraser and paint.
 Fun enough.
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