Monday, June 25, 2012

Vine Charcoal and a Drawing Challenge

Drawing Challenge: use your non-dominant hand to create anything you wish! I am hosting once again in this beautiful group of lovely art friends, so I have chosen the theme of using your non-dominant hand. I drew a bird using vine charcoal: Everyone is encouraged and welcome to join in. Just leave a comment on this post saying whether you are IN or not this time...I'll link to your blog and all you have to do is create anything you wish (in any medium you wish to use) using your non-dominant hand. Post on Saturday June 30 or Sunday July 01st and we'll have a nice get-together!
Hope to see you there! And thanks for dropping by...see you soon I hope! *smiles* Norma

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Taj Mahal Dreaming...

Week two of the Summer of Color 2012 hosted by the one and only beautiful Kristin, gave us the colors mint and chocolate to work with. I painted brown birds with mint chests. They chatter and discuss and imagine the time when they decide to finally visit the Taj. It is their life's hope.
To see many more lucious artworks by those playing along, have a visit to Kristin's blog which is linked above. There is fun to be had here!!
Nice that you popped by, and I hope to see you soon! *smiles* Norma

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Drawing Challenge: Who am I?

Well the theme this week is: Who am I? What do I show and what do I not show (to the world) and basically I never show myself so this was a tough one for me. I decided to show the world a self-portrait done with my non-dominant hand, in charcoal. I did this 5 minutes ago.
I chose a sheet of paper torn from a dictionary and searched for the word BRAVE as this was brave of me to show even a rough idea of "me" but then when the drawing was finished I couldn't find the word and discovered that I'd drawn on the flip side so that the word brave isn't there but the word BRAVA (meaning: used interjectionally in applauding a woman) was there. A nice bit of serendipity I think.
I don't even know what that heavier eye is all about. My face is quite asymmetrical but this drawing shows an eye larger and darker than I can imagine...even in real life. So maybe I am watching myself, or starting to see. Who knows. So lightly caressing the idea of what I show to the world are the following: a happy, enthused, approachable, sometimes unkempt, arty [and I don't really know what this means except that people often tell me that this is their first impression of me,] older woman who usually has an opinion of something. And lightly exposing what I don't show include these: I've not really looked into a mirror since 1997 [time flies,] I have eastern leanings in the spiritual department, I was diagnosed with M.S. in 1991 but am not in a chair and have no plans to be. That's all I feel like sharing for now.
Our host this week is Patrice and if you pop on over to see her she'll direct you to the participants in this challenge. Have a look at all of the wonderful eye candy.
Nice to see you and we'll see you soon, I hope. *smiles* Norma
P.S. The name drawn by for the giveaway of the decorated envelope is Renilde and I'll be contacting you for your information about what you would like written on it. I completely wish that I could make an envelope for all of you, but I have only the one. Thank you so much for leaving the comments that you did. It's so much fun.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gotta work on those Js and WOYWW[159]

Calligraphy 101
Practice, practice, practice!!
This morning I am at the breakfast table practicing pen strokes. I started with my beloved india ink but then decided I didn't want to waste it on practice so switched to a more generic type of ink.
Practicing is boring, boring, boring!
Thanks for popping by. To see more wonderful work spaces of those playing in the WOYWW hosted by the one and only fabulous Julia, just follow the link to her blog and she'll guide you to them. See you soon I hope, *smiles* Norma

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Favourite Obect[s] and a mail art giveaway!

DRAWING CHALLENGE: My Favourite Object[s]
This week lovely Helen is the host for the drawing challenge and she chose the theme "my favourite object[s]."
For those of you who know me you'd think the number one object is used tea bag paper and you'd be right to think that. It's top five anyway...
But I actually think that if I am anywhere, anytime, I need to have my mapping pen nib with its' holder, and a bottle of India ink. This nib is small and worth its' weight in gold to my mind.
I am also completely smitten with air mail stationery. I've recently scored a block pad of it and am lately writing letters using it. I love that all you have to do is fold it over and presto...a letter! All you need is a stamp and you're off to the races. Speaking of races, this little imp has chosen this lovely bird for his mount. The fairies are holding a baby race (under two year olds) later today. Even in the pouring rain they meet. While this team is a long shot I am routing for them.
I wanted to show you these two objects today [the pen nib and stationery] and just decided to combine them to make an envelope for a giveaway. So this is unfinished because I got the idea only an hour ago. So if you want to win this giveaway you just have to leave a comment on this post and next Saturday I'll draw a name out of a hat. Meanwhile I'll be finishing the sketch. The winner will get to choose whether they want their own name put on the envelope and mailed from Canada, or for me to put an address of their choice and then mail it under separate cover so you can mail it from where you are.
Here's a close up.
And a long shot. The dime is there to show how small the nib is.
Thanks for dropping by. Don't forget to pop in to Helen's blog which is linked above. Here you will see all of the participants in the drawing challenge for this week. It is a romp I promise you! Way fun!! *smiles* Norma

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Remember Me? She is finally working on me! [WOYWW158]

Remember this little fella? Well I just had to get back to him...he's been calling and calling from there on the shelf where he was resting...and I was blocking him out. But now I am paying him the attention he needs. Here is where I am working today. On the floor in front of the window. Who knows why.
So the mold is very very dry and as light as a feather which is great. I found the old vaseline jar and chose an old brush as a dedicated vaseline applicator. I mixed up a batch of paste (flour and water) in a jar, greased the mold with vaseline (generous amount) and ripped up paper towelling into little flakes. Then I start applying the flakes of paper to the mold. I pick up a flake with the brush (this is NOT the dedicated vaseline brush) bristles and lay it in to the mold. Then I dip into the paste with the brush and then go in and press down very firmly so that the paper which is now quite wet will be firmly pasted to the mold and when it dries it will shrink and also have taken the shape of the mold quite well. I just keep applying the flakes overlapping them and then when the whole mold is covered I repeat what I just did and sometimes will use paper towelling of a different shade so I can see where I am going. Then I'll go in a do a third layer of stronger paper (newsprint) and basically just build up a deep layer of paper. That is the first step really, of using the mold.
I'm using a flour and water paste with this head but sometimes I add a drop of bleach because my thinking is, is that the bleach will deter bugs from eating the dried paper mache. Bugs LOVE dried paper mixed with a flour/water batter. Mice also LOVE it. Here is what has happened in the past, to one of my lovelies. Oh the horror of it all!
Here is Gay, all dressed in her finery and ready for the butterfly ball!
You can see her fine butterfly wings ready to dazzle the party goers when she makes her entrance to the ball.
But once the mice got finished with her, her nose was partly missing and there were all kinds of nibbles on her head.
And her butterfly wings were in ruin! A tragedy.
Thanks for dropping in, and we'll be seeing you soon, I hope! To see more work desks from artists all over the place hop on over to the fabulous Julia's blog Stamping Ground, to get linked up. Have fun everyone!! *smiles* Norma
POSTSCRIPT [later in the day] I finished filling in the mold with wet paper flakes and they dried and when I pulled them loose from the mold here is what I have now:
Dried paper shell ready to be pulled from the mold:
The pieces have been pulled from the mold and set aside. I've laid them out on top of what is left of the paper towel (from McDonalds) so you can see how little paper there is: Here's a close up of his face. Isn't he handsome? The two paper pieces coaxed together. See how the registration bumps come in to play? Be still my beating heart you are a handsome one!
I'll be continuing to work on this fella and will show you as I do!! Stay tuned...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer of Color [week one]

An exciting and colourful summer is ahead and I am happy to be among a group of fun-loving and creative friends who are joining in the SUMMER OF COLOR; imagined and dreamed and created by the amazing Kristin!
Our colors this week are orange, pink, yellow and a touch of white. Here's what I made with those colors:
Oh wait! How did that teal and that berry red sneak in?! Oh! I am in India. That's why. In my imagination this summer, I am in India.
If you look closer you can see that I've painted on used tea bag paper. This is a mixed media piece meant to be hung as a sort of mantra meditation mobile. It moves with a drift of air and the light catches the sparkle in the sequin and mirror.
Thanks for dropping by, and I hope to see you soon, *smiles* Norma
To see gorgeous art by others playing along this summer, pop in to Kristin's blog which is linked above. She has a link for all of the participants.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Wild Walking...Wild Running

Mano is the lovely host this week and she gave us the theme - letters. I wrote you a letter Mano, and this is my contribution this week. I've blocked our addresses with tea bag paper for this photograph. I'd wanted to do a picture of a wolf but as I started on him/her, it changed into a different wild animal and so I thought that if one is running looking for a wolf, one might find a different kind of wildness, so the idea is that one should be open to surprise. I'll be popping this in the mail later today, so watch for it.
Thanks for dropping in and I hope to see you soon. *smiles* Norma
To see more gorgeous contributions from wonderful artists who play along in the drawing challenge, pop in to Mano's site which is linked above. And join in yourself. All are welcome.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Note to Self and [WOYWW157]

Today marks a breakthrough in my artistic endeavors! I'm marking a red circle around this day on the calendar. For this is the day I was able for the first time to pick up a paint brush and dip it into the paint and just paint. Just paint. Freely. With no hesitation; and with the heart palpitations being of excitement, not abject fear. The results may not show it but I now know where I am going. I'm working on my library desk today while standing; here's the shot. I noticed the index card laying there with my notes I made late last night. I'd wanted to be sure I got it all down, so kept jumping up at various times during the night, to add to the notes. It reads:
"art idee: embroidery on tea bag paper. sew on (hand sewing) beads, sequins, shells, etc. with painted patterning (acrylics) and gold metallic thread. Indian mirrors, bindis"
When I awoke this morning I leaped out of bed, put the coffee on, and raced to the workspace to throw paint onto the tea bag (sounds funny as normally one would say threw the paint on to the canvas), and threaded the beads and threw them on. I just had to see what it might look like. Oh I have arrived. Finally!!
So I offer to all of you, this virtual visual of my little flower, sloppy, messed up and loud.
To see more of wonderful art desks and work surfaces from all over the world, have a visit to Julia's fabby blog Stamping Ground.
Thanks for popping in and I'll see you soon I hope! *smiles* Norma

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Shadow Cloud

Drawing Challenge: Shadow Our wonderful host this week for the drawing challenge is Ariane. She chose the theme SHADOW for this week and this really was one of my most enjoyable experiences. My piece is called "Sun cloud/Shadow cloud" and I wonder if you can tell which cloud cast the shadow of gold?
The clouds are sewn on used tea bag paper, with celery seeds (one of my favorite materials to use in art pieces) embedded between two layers of paper. I just wish I owned a darning foot for my sewing machine because then the lines of sewing would be even and fluid and more in keeping with the shapes of clouds. But all I have is an old 'white' model of electric sewing machines that will only do one in a straight line. I am just glad to own that because the old beast holds the tension perfectly. I never adjust it. The gold cloud shadow is painted in gold water color and edged in hand-stitched gold metallic thread. Thanks for dropping by and we'll see you soon, I hope. *smiles* Norma
Don't forget to go up to the link for Ariane where you will see many interesting and fabulous pieces of art with this theme of 'shadow.'


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