Saturday, September 26, 2009

Misty Mawn at Art and Soul Retreat Virginia 2010

OK, I threw caution, or I should say money I don't have, to the wind and signed up for Misty Mawn's Saturday and Sunday Workshop at Art and Soul Retreat. The class is called Self Contained. My plan is this: drive down Friday, workshop Saturday and Sunday, Saturday is vendor night where I will spend more money I don't have, and drive home Monday morning. I am going to wait until I have 30000 American Express points to book my room. That way of the 3 nights I spend at the Embassy, one will be free. That hotel sure does suck up the bonus points!! Anyhoo, everything I buy until then goes on American Express!!! I only have 24000 points right now, so I will probably wait until Jan or Feb to book my room or sooner if I hit the magic number. Hope they will still have some rooms left. Now is anyone else going??? I would love a roommate to share the hotel cost. I purchased one of Misty's paintings several years ago at A and S and have been a long time admirer of her work. There were many other classes I would have loved to take, but alas, no money, no money, no money. There are only 4 spots left in Misty's class, so get on the stick, girls if you want to attend. Join me, we'll have a blast, but if I'm driving, I get to control the radio!!! xoSusan

Journal Pages

I spent almost 7 hours outside painting yesterday. I have one sunburnt arm to show for it along with many journal pages in various degrees of completion. I think it was one of the most heavenly days I have spent here on earth, blue sky, breeze, trees, silence and paint. I have a screw post album in which the pages are office folder material. Whatever that is. Added Gesso in several layers, marked it, added stamps and paper or leaves, a couple even dried enough to paint. The layers of Gesso give the pages the feel of supple thin leather. I'm quite pleased with the durablity factor.
The first one is Mouldy Wall. I made a lot of texture with Gesso, added some Glimmer Mist, Walnut ink spray and Adirondack spray paint. In my mind I was creating as if I was doing Layers in Photoshop. Weird, huh?

The next one is 26:

Pages are from Wuthering Heights, a Wells Fargo reproduction catalog and some Walnut Ink, drybrushed Gesso and cheesecloth. Last one is Copper Leaves:
Acrylics over Gesso texture, skeleton leaves. I just love the abandon of creating backgrounds. The pressure is on when it's time to fill them up! This is my first foray into Journaling. I'll keep you posted. xoSusan

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Old Fashioned Cut And Paste

Had a very productive weekend. Cleaned the whole house, laundry, lovin, and Art!! Ok, by whole house I mean not the Teenagers Bedroom and Bathroom (ghastly shiver) or the studio. I haven't had a chance to take my next on-line photo shop class this past week and I've been missing glue and scissors. So today I made some ATC's the old fashioned way. The first is the final in the triad inspired by the wisdom of my friend Beth from BarnOwlStudio. I used my hand painted watercolor paper for the substrate, the photo of the little girl is from my Aussie friend Lorri from Artivity, (thanks again for the ephemera Lorri, I had this image once, loved it, and lost it, so happy to have it again!!xo) and the stamp is from Invoke Arts. I think. The quote is from "The Dark Bride" written by Laura Restrepo. Border's Books review describes it as "A slyly humorous yet poignant love story." Right up my Alley, folks.

The next one is "Don't Ask". Substrate is illustration board gifted to me by Beth. Thanks Again, Beth! I love this stuff! Never used it before and I like it much better than my baseball cards!! Dollar bill is an ink jet alcohol transfer using Apollo 7039 and my new baby, little Epson C88. Inked and marker edges. Vintage cabinet card image. The dollar image is from a collage sheet from an etsy seller, but I have them all mixed up and I'm not sure which artist I purchased it from. My bad.
Next one is "Soft Repose". I had another phrase in mind before I found these words from different parts of an old book. I used D3 to fill in the copper ring, and dropped a little alcohol ink on top. The statuary hand was another ink jet transfer done using the 7039 and alcohol. The substrate is paper I sprayed Glimmer Mists and Adirondack Sprays on. The woman's face is from Artchix Studio.
And the last one is "Settling". Inspired by Death Cab For Cutie, one of my favorite Bands. The inspiring song is called "The Sound of Settling". Here's the video for the song. Painted watercolor background, Krylon gold webbing spray, (Anyone know where I can get other colors, especially silver and black?) slide mount thingy with stamping and alcohol inks, ink jet alcohol transfer of music on top of Greek lady. Ink and acrylic edges.
Very diverse sampling, right? Could it be that I have a short attention span?? now, what was I saying??? xoSusan

Friday, September 18, 2009

Big Blog Love

In celebration of TumbleFishStudios ONE YEAR Blog Anniversary, I cleaned my ENTIRE Downstairs. We are talking mopping too. I am tired and cranky now, but this Art Montage will snap even the grumpiest guss out of their Funk:

I know I should have done something more exciting to celebrate, but Marsha is a woman, a wife, a mom, an Artist, a devoted blog friend to many, a housekeeper and chef (except on Tuesdays, teehee) and much more and well, I know she would appreciate Doing What I Keep Putting Off as a form of Celebration!!! I like the frames, so far. They were not a big investment, cuz, well, those days are So Over, and they were on sale at Target. The top and bottom frames I left empty. I was thinking of getting some wooden M's and maybe a TFS for the bottom and painting them black and nailing them to the wall inside the frames. Or better yet, I can try and convince Marsha to create and sell some 4x6 Horizontal work. But, I think that is too much to ask. I think they look kinda cool empty too. Now all I need is a cool black futon up against the wall so I can enjoy my little fireplace with a Hot Toddy. Just a reminder the piece on the left is called "The Giver" and I purchased it on Marsha's etsy site. I tried to buy the "Finding Love" piece but some other weenie got it first, so Marsha was a saint and sent me a print of it, that is the middle piece. Above and Below are two postcards she generously included in my order. The piece on the right is ME Fairyfied. One of the top 10 Best Ever things that has happened to me was being Fairyfied by Divine Miss Marsha. Oh my God, when getting the etsy link I saw Marsha has limited edition prints for sale now.....oh, hell, I'm gonna need a bigger wall. xoSusan

Friday, September 11, 2009

Another Photoshop Experiment

This one has like 13 layers. I made a couple cool ones in between, tried to save them but lost them somehow. Egads, Photoshop is equally exhilerating and exhausting. Isn't everything tho? Kids, Men, jobs, even Shopping!! I don't like how dark she is around her eyes, but I try different blending modes, love one, but have to try others, lose the one I loved, can't find it again, say Fuck it, Make a Decision already, and just pick one!! This is after hours of deliberation. I'm very excited because Sunday I have a Phone Tutorial with Andre. Poor man, he is going to need Xanax when I am done with him. xoSusan

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

24 Hours Later.....

I added an image and some grunge brushwork. I can't figure out how to change the "angle" of my brush. If I have one corner brush, say for the lower left corner, there must be a way to change the angle of it so I can use it in the other corners, right??? I don't see this option on my screen, like Gail does in the workshop. HELP. teehee. Here is what I have now: oh and I forgot to save the layer without the image so my background is gone forever more.......Also I switched colors mid stream to try and add some red tears on her face and lost my original turqoise when I went to the next layer. Egads. What a mess. Is there a way to "save" the color choice???

Geez, I hate how my real job interferes with to work. xoSusan

Monday, September 7, 2009

My First Photoshop Background!!!

OK, that's really a little white lie.....It's really my third. But the first two were so Darn Ugly I had to delete them. They are only an ugly memory now. As are the clumps of hair I tore out trying to figure out what the hell I was doing. That's ok, though, more hair will pop up on my chin to replace it, darn it....teehee. Anyway, here it is in all it's humble glory.

What I have finally understood is that Photoshop brushes are not really "brushes" at all. That confused the hell out of me. I was thinking of traditional artists brushes. They are actually shapes, textures, patterns. Gail at Creative Workshops has opened my eyes to The Truth!! She also sent me to Obsidian Dawn, where I proceeded to download textures, swirls, grunge, lace, glitter, nature, handwriting and more brushes. (If you download READ the Terms Of Use and BEHAVE Accordingly!!) I think of them more like virtual Rubber Stamps, cuz that's what I feel like I am doing!! There are so many filters and gradient options, I am Addicted with a Capital A! It took me about 2 hours to figure out how to unzip and add the brush files to my Photoshop program. I probably shouldn't admit that, but we're all friends here, right?? On another note, did you realize that even FONTS you download have Terms of Use? Careful, kids, some are not for commercial use, or offer commercial use for donations or a set fee. Egads, who can keep up??? Well, that's all I have to show for about 2 hours worth of trial and error. Thank Goodness, work closed at 6 today. Aren't I lucky that on Labor Day I only had to labor for 9 hours instead of the usual 10 1/2? And yes, that was sarcasm. Hope your Labor Day, lacked well, Labor!!! xoSusan

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Friend Andre

I am still not used to the way friendships can develop staring at this computer screen and exploring everything the internet has to offer. For example, when struggling with inkjet transfer issues I have posted about, uh, well too often, I guess, I went to the best resourse I know of, my yahoo inkjet transfer group, hosted by Lesley Riley. I searched the threads for a solution and found my friend, Andre. I emailed him off list to pick his brain because some of his concerns were similiar to mine. In return I received a prompt, friendly email along with several attachments of photos of his Art. Andre's Art is amazing, unique, original and downright beautiful. I don't think he'll mind if I show you one of his amazing pieces:

Hot and Spicy by Andre. Copyright Andre.
Lo and Behold I discovered that Andre does not blog. He is a master at Photoshop/transfers/painting/telling an amazing story, but not at blogging. So we embarked on a Blog Journey together. I set up a blog for him, and customized it with his Art for the background and he customized one of his canvases for the header. It was a frustrating but rewarding experience for us both. I know a little bit more about html now, and if I continue in this vein, I could very well customize an entire blog. I spent a lot of time learning thru trial and error. Andre has graciously helped me with Photoshop and generously shared information about transfering. We have had long phone conversations about life, love and Art. As a matter of fact after sharing some of his life stories with me, I came up with the title of his blog, Aftermath. I am dying to tell you why, but that is Andre's story. Please visit his blog, say hello, and tell him Susan sent ya. Ask him to post more photos of his Art. Tell him his Blog Teacher wants to know where the slide show is......teehee......xoSusan
PS. I became absolutely obsessed with building Andre's blog. Now I am obsessed with learning Photoshop. I smell a lot of changes for my Art on the horizon utilizing this amazing tool. I have an excellent book, recommended by Andre, called Teaching Yourself Photoshop CS Visually. Although it is wonderful, I am just not "getting" it. So I have signed up for a class with Creative Workshops. So far I have only watched the beginning video's. The next step is Layering. YEEHAW!! I am in a stage in which I am decluttering and learning. I spent 5 hours yesterday cleaning out my garage. Now I can start purging dressers and drawers and make room for the supplies I really use. My studio has been in a shambles for awhile and I am spending my time right now cleaning and learning to make way for the next phase of creating. This is an exciting time for me personally, but probably makes for very boring blog reading. I will be posting new work, probably pics of my fledgling digital creations. Be patient with me. Art is on the Horizon. And my Horizon is Expanding. It's all Good. xoxoSusan