the graffiti report

You know how sometimes certain things catch your eye for days at a time for no reason at all? That seems to have happened to me this summer... I don't know why, but graffiti has been attracting my eye lately. I have been photographing all that has snagged my attention and analyzing is a selection of my favorites.
funny characters
adorable creatures
lacy light handed doodles
soft and delicate/rough and raw
love elephants!
excellent lettering!
 Ready for some deep analysis? It's the combination of colors, the juxtaposition of shapes and the layers of intriguing imagery....OK, so no deep analysis here... just enjoying the artistry of it all!

scenes from the studio

Things are humming along on the studio lately. These are just teaser photos, can't quite share anything yet. 
Working on large piece for an invitational exhibit, and that's taking up most of my time. I am almost done with all the machine stitching, and soon there will be a needle in my fingers and a hand stitching marathon will commence. 
There is a bit of costume design happening for our Russian Folk Dance group. And some frivolous doodling for an iPhone cover (that one is Kristin's fault...)
sketchy stitching
gathering bits and pieces for layers

tarting things up

While I was cleaning my studio the other day I happened upon a collection of some of my older tiny framed windows artworks. I don't know what came over me, maybe it was the cleaning that did it.... But I felt the urge to add bling to these little pieces and make them into jewels. I wanted to doodle on them like I frequently to in my journals or on ATC's. So I dropped the cleaning and got right to the glitter. These are some details of the first piece, where I tarted up the frame. It's going to someone special today and I am going to keep adding bling to the others. Why not! A good interlude before starting another serious piece, right?

journaling 2011

After much pondering, changing my mind several times and thinking of forgetting all about it, I have decided in the nick of time (12-31-10, 11:30PM to be exact) just how I was going to be journaling in 2011. I have been inspired by many in my choice. Two were Melly Testa and Kristin La Flamme, who I almost joined last year in the 30 sketches in 30 days project. But life was too crazy and I filed the idea away. Another is Paula Kovarick. Paula is the ultimate doodler. She invited me to participate in one of her doodle exchanges last year and I been always amazed at how she transforms her doodles into wonderful patterns and art. Perhaps I'll come up with a fun pattern too..
So I decided to start the year with 30 doodles on fabric in 30 days. I am following the basic premise of the project Melly did, that is line drawings on fabric with pen. This will work very well for the month of January as I expect to not have much breathing room this month, with Russian Orthodox Christmas on the 7th and then full speed ahead for finishing of the costumes for the Russian school play. After that I am leaving it open for whatever floats my boat and whatever time allows. I may decide to start adding stitches or paint or who knows what. I will stick to fabric as base and the size will remain manageable 6"x6" for cohesiveness of it all. That's the plan!Here's my start: Of course I could not start with plain cotton. I had to choose silk habotai. Ripped into 6"x6" squares and doodled on with Pigma pens. At first I didn't like the way the pens bled on silk, but now I am embracing it. 1.1.11 1.2.11 1.3.11
How are you journaling this year?

a doodly follow up

Things are getting busier and busier around here...I am getting myself and the kids ready for a whirlwind of summer travels. But do not fear, still plenty of art being worked on here...I am furiously stitching away at three pieces that just wanted to burst forth and be created. One of them is for the SAQA auction and I've got to finish it today! Eeek!And I enjoyed so much working on the doodle ACEO's that I wanted to make more. So I painted watercolor paper cards last week and slowly have been doodling away on them.

So... keeping it short and sweet here for now! Be back later in the week with more!


Update Tuesday evening: all ACEO's are given away! the correct answer is dryer sheets! Thank you for playing!Last week I had a little Twitter conversation with Heather of Katonah Green. She runs this cool website that talks about sustainable living, organic foods, recycling, re-purposing, in other words all stuff that I connect to. The conversation led to me posting a picture on her Facebook page, since I use recycled materials in my art. One thing led to another and all of a sudden there was a contest going on! I challenged people to guess what material was in the picture and the winner would receive an ACEO (Art Card Editions or Originals). The contest was over within the hour on Twitter as a fellow fiber artist guessed correctly... so why am I rambling on about this? Oh yes, because I did not have a promised ACEO to send out... Yesterday I pulled out my stack of textured paper ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) and got to work. I doodled in the style I usually doodle in my journals - a wash of watercolor and tiny doodles with a Pigma pen. Very fun and relaxing, and so addictive that I could not stop just at one. Oh and to make them different I added a free-motion machine stitch to the cards before I started doodling, just to remind myself that a sewing machine is one of my favorite tools. If you'd like to learn more about my doodling, ahem, I mean journaling, I'll be teaching a workshop at Create (see side bar). Now I have an ACEO to send to my friend and a few extra's to spare.

Who's up for a contest? First five people to correctly identify the material in the picture at the top of the post will receive one of these ACEO's as a prize. They measure 2.5"x3.5". Leave a comment, lets' have some fun!

another journal round up

I seem to be playing a lot of catch up lately... who knew June would such a busy month? But it is as it is full of end-of-the-school-year activities and deadlines.
For ease of mind I went back to doodling on a few journal pages:
Then I was in the mood for tissue paper collage and water-soluble crayons: How will the mood strike me next? Tune in to find out during the next journal catch up segment..........

art camp...

I haven't done any figure drawing since Pratt, so that's about 20 years.. it was so much fun getting to do it again yesterday for the whole day. Kind of like riding a bike, it comes back after a few tries. Now I need a lot more practice to get really good at it, but I am pleased with yesterdays results. It was scary at first and then it was so wonderful to work large (24"x36"!!), by the end of the class the pages were not big enough for any of us! Here are a few of my sketches:One of the great parts of this place (Katonah Art Center) was that there really was an art camp that my girls were in right across the hall from me! So I got to sneak peeks at what they were doing and they got a few peeks at me.
Now I must finish up my third lesson plan, and then got to start getting ready for Russian Easter, lots of cooking to do...

journal sketches

Here are my first four sketches in the aforementioned red sketch book. 1-01-09 1-02-09 1-03-09 1-04-09

I have been doing a sort of intuitive flow sketching, you know just plain doodles... there's still so much going on here: Russian Orthodox Christmas on Wednesday (yep last minute shopping!), Russian school play costumes (yep last minute sewing!), art to send out, art to complete, kids back to school, family to feed... nothing new but my head feels like blowing up so I need to keep these first journal tryouts simple, thus plain doodling. Ahhh, I just love making up my own rules!

Oh and here's the sketch book itself. Here's how it started (I picked it on sale at Anthropologie at least two years ago)
and here's what I did to it before New Years. Red acrylic paint slathered on liberally...


I have been bitten by the stamp carving bug... I haven't carved a stamp since I think high school, but I did still have my tools. And while mistakenly browsing the isles of a local crafts store recently, I found some carving blocks. I think I can safely blame Elin for this. She's been carving a stamp a day this year and they all look so great I just had to try it myself. So here's my first stamp, I am sure everyone is surprised to see some doodly looking curves here... I tried it on some fabric that I had painted earlier and a dryer sheet. I actually really like the look of the stamp itself with all the carving lines, kinda cool...


Wednesdays seem to be my doodle days. Here's a pine that I drew while waiting for my daughter in class. Don't know what kind of a pine it is, but it was tall and fluffy. I am really looking forward to drawing some green leaves soon! I did see a robin on my front lawn today...

doodles and raindrops...

I had the most relaxing half hour this morning... I dropped off my youngest at her Russian class and after running into a fabric store to get some thread I sat waiting in the parking lot and sketched. Her class takes place in a church that has quite a lovely garden even in the dead of winter. After sketching I still had time to kill so I remembered Nina's pictures of raindrops on her blog and got inspired to go take my own... Conveniently it's a dreary rainy day. Now my efforts cannot compare to Nina's artistry, but I enjoyed them anyway, hope you enjoy them too... Oh and I couldn't resist a picture of the moss covered stones of what is called the "Mother's circle"... lovely... PS in case anyone has noticed, I have made a little commitment to myself to do a blog post everyday in February, I figure it's only 29 days, hopefully I won't bore anyone to tears... I was inspired to do that by Alyson and her Artist Breakthrough program. Her blog post had plenty other stuff to do everyday in February, but I figured I can take my time with all others and just do one thing at a time....

inspiration and doodles

My little one and I saw the most beautiful sunrise the other morning. Stunning...I doodled some trees today when I had ten minutes waiting in the parking lot for the kids to get out of class. They are on the same page as the flower I drew at the doctors office yesterday...
Oh, and I have gotten some hand stitching done on my collages... Short and quick today, but I've gotta run!


Things are still crazy-busy this week... But! To show that I have not let all creative activities flounder, here are my doodles ~It is actually the first time in a long while that I have doodled. I used to doodle all the time, especially when I was on the phone or in meetings. Now when I am on the phone I am multi-tasking, washing dishes or cleaning something usually. Well the other day despite looming deadlines, visitors and screaming children... I doodled! It felt really good, therapeutic even.. the next thing to squeeze in this week? journal quilt... that should be fun... the squeezing in that is...