ArTaG

ArTaG … what?!?

In the spirit of creating a challenge for myself, I’ve come up with ArTaG – an art tagging game!

How many of us when feeling pressure have said, “I just don’t have time to sketch!”  “Stop overthinking and just do it”, I say, but starting can be the hard part. In order to help motivate myself, and to help myself be accountable to others, I’m tagging friends through messaging to see if they want to “play”!

4 minute sketch
4 minute sketch

I just did a 4 minute sketch and messaged it off to a friend who is now “it”; she has been tagged!  The tag sketching game is in her court!  Now I wait (go about my daily business – drink tea, eat chocolate, sketch more, hold my granddaughter, paint) for my friend to  complete her 4 minute sketch (hopefully within 24 hours to keep it fresh) and message it back to me!  The concept is to do new fresh sketches with each tagging.  The great part about ArTaG is you set your own length of time for the sketch!  It’s fun to experiment, try a 30 second, 1 minute, 5 minute or 20 minutes!  It’s amazing what can be accomplished in each of those amounts of time.  I like putting the date and time on the sketch to document my work.

Be on the lookout!  I may be tagging you, next!

The Daily Sketch

At the beginning of January, I decided to take part in doing a daily sketch through The Artist Table. Almost every day I’ve been doing my daily sketch/drawing.
This is a photo of what I did last night. I used a photo from earlier this year as my reference.
My level of comfort in using a brush pen is increasing. The sketches/drawings I create are without the use of a pencil and eraser. In other words, every single mark I make with the brush pen is permanent, whether I like it or not. It’s a great way to look closer and be more determined and accepting of each stroke,
I also find a challenge in creating the marks to denote values and shadows. The interaction and play of patterns can be quite fun!

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The Gypsy Cart of Art and More

I hope you are enjoying your summer!  With the warm temperatures and cooling nights, my summer is very enjoyable.  Much art activity has gone on during the past three months.

The Gypsy Cart this past Saturday at the Farmers Market!
The Gypsy Cart this past Saturday at the Farmers Market!

Three times now, the gypsy cart of art has made it to our Farmers Market.  I’ve been very happy with the response from people enjoy the cart and my artwork!  On the cart I have smaller original paintings, prints, hand colored prints, floral garlands, notecards, bookmarks, vegetable bags, and pallet paintings (which are actually off the cart) for sale.  The market is held downtown Iron Mountain, across from the library by the stage.  If you get a chance, stop by say hello and you may the perfect piece of art for a gift.

Some of the art for sale on top of the gypsy cart.
Some of the art for sale on top of the gypsy cart.

A few weeks ago, I helped The Friends of the Braumart to put together the “framework” for the Inaugural Mostra D’Arte show, held during the week before Italian Fest weekend.  It currently is the only gallery style juried art show in Iron Mountain.  Sixteen artists, three jurors, and numerous hours of planning and setting up and striking the show, made for a wonderful exhibition of art.  I was surprised and delighted to win the Third Place Jurors Award on my watercolor painting of The Three Graces which depicted three women stomping grapes.  Sometimes hanging a show can be challenging, but I was so happy with the ease that two women and I had in curating it.  We received many positive comments regarding the hanging!

Meanwhile, up in the studio I’ve been framing watercolor and ink paintings to hang in the gallery.  This is the week I plan to rehang!  During the week, feel free to stop by the gallery downstairs to see what’s new.

The Dig In and Bike On project continues to move along.  Through Kickstarter, 3 racks have been funded and created. Outside of Kickstarter, 3 racks are ordered and a voice agreement for another.  Ronnie Bradke is doing a fantastic job of fabricating the racks.  Two have been installed in the downtown and I hope the third can be installed this week in time for the Labor Day weekend.

May the rest of your summer and the coming weekend bring you much delight!

Joan

Mail Art entry 11!

mail art 11a copy

Inspiration once again came from the stamp and wanting to play with black and white gouache .  For this piece, I began with a piece of cardboard from a sheet set that had printing on one side and blank white on the other.

mail art 11c

Knowing the paint would not want to adhere very well, I sanded the blank side with some fine sand paper. After addressing and stamping the cardboard, I set it to the side and cut a smaller piece of card stock that fit inside a printed border on the back side of the cardboard.  From a recently acquired package of miscellaneous papers, etc., I pulled out a solid teal piece and a playing card.  I sewed the teal paper in the middle and cut the card at an angle. Placing the card in strategic locations, I sewed those into place.  Next, I added a piece of red ribbon.  Finally, I sewed the new “sewed” card onto the back of the cardboard.

Knowing the paint would not want to adhere very well to the slick cardboard from the sheet, I sanded the blank side with some fine grade sand paper. The gouache stayed onto the card beautifully.

Once I finished the front and let it dry, I flipped it over, looked at that 3 of hearts and began to reminisce about all those Canasta games. That playing card brought back many memories of playing canasta with my family. Being allowed to play Canasta with the adults was truly a right of passage.  Numerous Sunday afternoons were spent playing cards with my family and visiting with cousins, aunts and uncles.  My Aunt Agnes always placed bowls of chips and chocolates onto the table only to be washed down by soda pop.  Strategy, stories, and laughter often ensued.  Enough reminiscing for now, back to the project …

mail art 11b

Originally, I thought I would draw or paint some silhouettes of figures (like those the stamp) onto the sewn back side of the card, but it seemed only right to add the Williams Rule book and a few thoughts.

Boulder Creek Painting and Photo

Boulder Creek photo w painting

Many times I’ll capture a photo of a beautiful place with the intention to someday paint it.  Now as I write this, you need to understand that creating a painting from a photo is not the same as to make it look just like the photograph.  If that is the intent, why bother in the first place, just use the photo.

I use the photo as reference for shapes and placement.  If you look at the picture above you will see my original photo of Boulder Creek and the unfinished painting.  The original photo is dark due to the overcast day.  I love to use color and using brighter colors, especially compared to the muted tones in the photo, gives the painting more life and joy than the photo.  The color gives me more of the emotion of how I feel when I think of Boulder Creek.  I use the photo to get a general idea of placement, a starting point for a composition, not as a compulsion to put every single bush, branch and stone into my painting.  The photo is a starting point only.

Recipes for Legacies Now at Bay College West!

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It is so much fun having this installation at Bay West. The ventilation system is blowing varying currents of air on each of the spheres, making each rotate at different speeds.
Thank you to Russell for his ladder climbing and line tying help, as well as Shelly’s, Jeff’s and Rick’s input.
The spheres will be on display for approximately two months, so if you get a chance stop by and take a look! Thanks to Vicky’s idea of making a booklet, new booklets are ready for viewers to help guide them around the installation.

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Hen House Details

Yesterday I began setting up the Hen House Installation at Bay College West in Iron Mountain. I am so grateful for the help many gave me, including Vincent, Pat, Chad, Jeff and my dear Russell.
Below are details about the hens.

For this installation, I began with the term “hen”. In Scotland, hen is used as a term of endearment for females. I decided to look at some of the changes women made beginning in 1910 through 2010. The “hens” I chose to had some kind of a connection for me.

On Sunday afternoons when growing up in rural Ohio, Channel 11 in Toledo would show old movies and silent films. Mae West and W.C. Fields starred in one of those movies. Mae West began her vaudeville career in 1910 with the help from her mother. She was certainly out of the box for that time period! One of her many quotes is, “Say what you want about long dresses, but they cover a multitude of shins.”

1920 brought about the “flapper”; a woman perceived to do things out of the social norm like wearing short hair, being loud, drinking, smoking and other forms of brash behavior for that time. Clara Bow, a famous flapper, was known for her sex appeal and was a popular for her acting in silent movies. ”The more I see of men, the more I like dogs”, was one of her quotes.

Amelia Earhart brought great adventure to America in the 1930′s with her skilled abilities as a female pilot. Amelia said, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”

1940′s brought on World War II and Rosie Riviter, the quintessential female who worked in the factories to help win the war.

In 1950′s, after the war was over, the women were expected to not only give up their jobs to the men who came home from the war, but to go home and be the perfect housewife. Many women did that and found themselves very isolated out in the suburbs, depressed and used alcohol and drugs to ease their pain. I named this hen after Donna Reed.

I recall seeing young women dancers on TV in the 1960′s with their mod apparel and go-go boots dancing to rock and roll. The civil rights movement was also gaining more momentum during this time period. This hen I named Pucci for the modern style of design, similar to the pattern on her dress.

In the 70′s, I saw many images of women working for the Equal Rights Amendment. This hen I named after Gloria Steinem and the work she did for feminists.

Olivia Newton John helped to make popular the concept of physical fitness with her, “Let’s Get Physical” song in the 80′s. This period of time also brought about a push toward building inner strength in the body.

The 1990′s brought about many changes of female involvement in politics, from more women senators than ever in 1992, to Albright, Reno and Ginsberg holding high office positions. Hillary Clinton also became one of the most empowered first ladies of history. In spite of these milestones, some stats also show a plateau of women’s involvement occurring during the 1990’s. This time period also brought to the courts many issues direct involving females like sexual harassment and violence against women. It also marked the period of third-wave feminism which encompassed women of color, non-heterosexuals, low income, and women issues from a global perspective. This hen I named Mary after a local judge in our city.

Millennium Millie welcomes us to the 2000′s with her party dress, rhinestones and sparkles. She marks the beginning of a new time; we all survived Y2K without computers shutting down and causing great disasters.

Ava represents the generation of young women in this 2010 decade.  The young Ava’s are going over the boundaries, and they do not let old considerations hold them back when those considerations no longer exist or simply do not apply.  Ava is a free range hen!

It’s Beginning to Look …

Family Fun Ornaments

Many times we can feel bombarded by all the “stuff” that comes about during the holidays. Listen to Christmas music! Create a holiday feast! Buy this! No… buy that! Buy everything!! Make this! Make that! Bake cookies!! Make the perfect Christmas!
Then the crash/breakdown can occur when reality hits, and we find we have 24 hours in a day, a certain amount of time, a certain amount of energy, and a certain amount of anything.

As a way to put more enjoyment into my Holiday time, I called my sister and suggested we put up Mom’s Christmas tree. Ideas swirled about and gelled into the ornaments shown above.  We made a pretty good start of many of the decorations that will adorn her tree.
Using family photos,  I drew different kinds of bodies to go with the faces based upon the holidays and different family member’s likes or abilities. As you can see some are just plain fun!
A ribbon hanger will be added to these before they are sent off for my nephew to hang them on her tree!  My sister will then add little embellishments to complete!  I hope my family enjoys the love put into each of these.
May each of you enjoy your creative time, and remember to sit still and have a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate to take a little break!