This was done on two screens, one for the halftone dotted background created in Photoshop Elements and one for the branch of blossom. I had to do some nifty work with the ink blocker to do it. The ink colours are pearled cherry blossom (sakura), pearled lake blue (kosui), traditional brown (karacha).
Tonight I appreciated living in London. K met me after my artist books class. We walk down towards Holborn and onto the Strand to find somewhere for dinner. Then we walked across Waterloo Bridge. If I'd had my camera, I could show you a view including Big Ben, Parliament, the London Eye, the OXO tower, the 'gherkin', Royal Festival Hall, St. Paul's, Tower 42 (NatWest Tower). We arrived at the Old Vic and found our seats and watched Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum perfom Speed-the-Plow. So good, so high energy, and they still seemed genuinely grateful for the applause.
They're done and mailed off yesterday. In brief: Watercolour paper with leaf stamp, watercolour and twinkling H2Os on washi, Gocco print of skeletal trees, glued text, copper tape and chalk ink.
I was thinking of all the times I've heard artist friends recently talking about the fact that they just haven't been creating. I always say that fields must lie fallow between crops and we, as artists, must rest and restore between creative spells. The pages say "Even in the depths of winter, the forest dreams of new growth" to remind us that growth is a circular process in which the unproductive times are part of the cycle of creation.
Both my thumbs and two fingers are covered in tiny cuts and scratches. That is on top of the dry skin I have from felting. Yesterday I just used polysporin as handcream!
I needed a porous green for a Gocco background. I wanted the ink to sink right in. "Watercolours" I thought, and tried my twinkling H20s which turned out prettily, but not the shade I wanted. So I went to get a little bit of green watercolour and the tube was rock hard. Happily though this launched me back into the mindframe for Carla's 10 things project. So out with 10 tubes of paint that I haven't used in years. Tip: for those of you without a clutter problem you can still use dried watercolour by (carefully) cutting open the tube and treating the hardened paint like pan watercolours. I however have a serious clutter problem and have to find a home for the Gocco and its ink.
The five things come from heart and mind of gratitude. Liz does this often and it always inspires me. Yesterday's five: - working with a school that values me enough that it created a job for me to fit my desire for more balance and space in my life - friends that not only accept my eccentricities but value them - family that I love so fiercely - all the trees in London, especially - early spring blossom
Today I am grateful for: - my gentle, encouraging, funny husband, - my abundance of art supplies - the human connections made possible by the internet - the chance to go to Artfest - flannel pajamas and knitted afghans
I was away over the weekend at our lovely, lovely friends in Wiltshire. I was helping my god-daughter earn her Brownie art badge (details here if you're interested). It was a weekend of beautiful weather and long conversations and laughter and oboe practice and wine and walking by the canal. We only got back on Monday.
We were excited because the Gocco was due to arrive by today... and it did! I did a little sketch and managed to burn the screen to print it before going to work, but had to wait to take prints from it when I got home. So here it is, my first Gocco print. I am so glad that I have more ink and screens ordered already! There is so much I want to try...
...Gocco? One of the things I love about my husband is his original taste in presents. He listens and he thinks. Sometimes people don't understand, they miss the true romance in a present that is chosen carefully to fit the uniqueness of me. Some of my favourite weird presents over the years have been... a pre-paid London travel card to celebrate my independence and sense of adventure... a 14 year-old TV Guide so I could look up what movie I was watching with his parents the morning after he proposed (it was driving me crazy trying to remember)... a video game that I really wanted (people assume it was one of those presents that was 'really' for him, but he doesn't play)... Troll beads chosen without hints for touchingly personal reasons. And now, for Valentine's Day, a Print Gocco - a very retro, neat little machine that does postcard sized screen prints. It's still being shipped, so I can't show you any results yet, but it is making us laugh in amongst all the adverts for roses, diamonds, champagne, etc. We don't usually do Valentine's Day, but because of 'the Plan' we wanted to celebrate the choices we've made in our lives lately. I gave him a scrapbook of all his grandparents, aunts and uncles I made from the slides I scanned at his folks.
DaTAda-daTAda-DA! (Well, that's how it sounds in my head anyway.)
Now that it is officially Valentine's day everywhere, I will draw my winners. I am going to use this random number generator because nobody is home to help and the cat is asleep. The first number picked will win the first vessel (brown and pink) and the second number will win the second vessel (pink and green).
First out of the hat... Pattio. Second out of the hat... She.
Congratulations! I'm sad it's over and sad that more people couldn't have won. Do check out the enormous list of participants over at One World - One Heart. Even after the drawing, these blogs have a lot to offer. I met some amazing bloggers over the past week.
Well, your chances have just doubled. With 60 comments, I have made another vessel as pledged. This one is in spring-inspired colours, pale pink, with fuschia and jade. I think the first name out of the pot gets the first felted pot and the second name gets the second vessel, but I might give the first name the choice, I'm not sure yet. If you want to play, comment here.
Updated with new photos, I felted it some more and I like it better now.
Collage goodies! & some other stuff... The good luck mandarin orange was from Tiger Beer's stall and I bought the chocolate rats (now there's something I never thought I'd say in my life!) for my Mum and I since we were both born in the Year of the Rat. I picked up the free newspapers because I have a lot of Chinese art planned, and I love the idea of having genuine Chinese text for collage backgrounds, etc. I always worry about 'oriental' text stamps etc. - what language is it in, for a start, and what does it say? I picked up some Chinese New Year cards, greetings paper and some good luck money envelopes for collage and art journalling. I also bought this page a day calendar with really lovely almost-tissue paper pages, and some stunning papercuts, red rural scenes and multi-colour butterflies.
We had such an amazing time at London's Chinese New Year celebrations today. Apparently they are the biggest outside mainland China! I took loads of photos, and, for once, I actually went through them when I got home and only kept my favourites. So much more enjoyable to look through, although I still kept alot - do check out my top 20 on flickr.