March 22, 2014

Two New Books

Mary Ann Moss led me to this artist and I found his work in this children's (?) book. I love the collagey, imperfectly stamped and painted style, aunties papers reminiscent of Eric Carle.

I also will get a lot of use from this book

which i bought sight unseen and has lived up to my expectations. Good tips and examples and work from various artists, including Australian artist Liz Steel. So you know about Liz? You really should check her out. Start here.

Later, I'll share my latest acquisitions from another artist I just eat up and cannot get enough of! Spoiler alert: her name is Andrea Joseph.

There is oh so much talent in the world. I am grateful to the www=wide wonderful world ...for opening up so much of it to me.


March 21, 2014

A Quickie Print

Wow. March has almost come and gone already.

My friend Carol and I spent a lovely long weekend making art. Painted and printed and patterned ourselves silly. It was so much fun. Posting some pix soon.

Meanwhile, thought I'd share this surprise. I knew that embossed wallpaper held promise for printing and/or textures, but didn't expect it too be so cool. The my stuff is hard to find these days. I want more!

March 3, 2014

David Brooks: The Strengths of Ease and Ardor

Loved this piece on two historical essayists, Samuel Johnson and Michel de Montaigne. They were different personalities and subscribed to different, even opposing, ways to live, but each has some appeal to tackling modern life and its perplexities, as Brooks summarizes.

Montaigne recommended to accept change, "the flux." "Much of the fanaticism he sees around him is caused by people in a panic because they can't accept the elusiveness inside."  Greatness of soul is not so much pressing upward and forward as knowing how to set oneself in order and circumscribe oneself......if others examined themselves attentively, as I do, they would find themselves, as I do, full of inanity and nonsense....we are all steeped in it, one as much as the other, but those who are aware of it are a little better off...."

Brooks: ..."He was amiable, restrained, honest and tolerant. He was at ease with life, and even with death. If you don't know how to die, don't worry, he says. Nature will instruct you."

Johnson, on the other hand, feared insanity, frights of the imagination, fears and jealousies. He emphasized self-conquest, defeating one's own fears, tackling them head-on. His goal was self-improvement and "the moral improvement of his readers." His character was "marked by compassion but also a fierce sense of personal responsibility."

Brooks concludes: "we can each pick what sort of person we would prefer to be...Montaigne was a calming presence in a country filled with strife....Johnson was a witty but relentless moral teacher in a culture where people were likely to grade themselves on a generous curve."

Here is the entire commentary which I read in the Seattle Times today, March 2, 2014. So much rang true to me. Good fodder for thought and conversation.

March 2, 2014

Fresh Paint

My art table was befuddling me. I needed a more restful place. I started by completely clearing every little stub, pencil, scrap, and project piece off the top of working space. It ended with painting and reorganizing the whole kit and kaboodle.  I like it.

It's a nice big working area when I can get things off of it…or at least on its perimeter.
Lots of light, even on a gray day. 

I love the little girl gardener. She's a Hummel. I don 't collect them
but it was my Mom's and it delights me. 

That's Little Lulu peeking out there. From a distant past.
Ah, Little Lulu and Tubby. And, yes, it IS good to be queen. 

I still wasn't done. 
Work in progress...

What else can I find to wield my brush to now?



March 1, 2014

Out of the garage….

Surprise! That big blue tub is loaded with everything I needed. 

For those unfamiliar with it, that yellow thing is the Gocco printer. 

...and into the studio. After a pleasant lunch with Claire this week, I dug out my Gocco printer. It seems that we both are lapsed Print Gocco fans.  Actually, she authored a book about the Gocco screen printer many years back that I have (somewhere!).  Lo and behold, except for needing new batteries, it was ready to go. I had working flash bulbs, several screens, lots of block printing ink (even pastels, good grief), and I found it was like riding a bicycle. A few nudges from the translated directions, thank goodness since everything else is in  Japanese, and off I went. Grabbed a quick carved image and word stamp, took a good black-and-white copy, and away I went.  Think I'll keep it out awhile, It's really a clever little printing tool.
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