Sunday, December 14, 2014

migration issue no. 2, perzine, art zine

I spent this past week finalizing my second zine, getting it printed, videotaping, collating and sewing. In the video, I talk about how I make the mock-up zine and turn that into the double-sided pages that will be photocopied.

Once the photocopies are cut, next comes collating and trimming. The inside pages, when cut in half, need trimming in length and width if they peek beyond the cover.

Migration, issue no. 2, is 21 pages and includes 12 photocopied art works that I've completed during the last two years. It feels good to have this next chapter in print!

available in my gallery juana etsy shop.

Friday, December 5, 2014

mail art

I've been invited by Tammie of Beauty Flows to participate in the Around the World blog Hop and answer four questions.

What am I working on?

I've been making Mail Art these days. A couple of years ago, I joined liberate your art postcard swap which led me to mail art. Next I started decorating the envelopes of letters I sent to my relatives. Then this year I joined the letter writers alliance which promotes letter writing and a whole new world opened up.

Somewhere along the way, I learned about artistamps. These are faux stamps that you design. What fun! I got the perforated stamp paper from 100proofpress and went at it last week.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Although I am mostly self-taught, I studied sumi ink painting while living in Japan and that traditional art has been the biggest influence on my style. When learning sumi painting, I spent the first few months painting lines with the ink and brush. It was as tedious as you might imagine, but it was the backbone to learning how my body, the brush, paint and water work together.

After about a year and a half of studying, my teacher said I was ready to focus on painting what I wanted to paint. From that point on, I started painting portraits and figures.

Why do I create what I do?

I think Rainer Maria Rilke said it best in his letter to a young poet, Franz Kappus (translated by Mark Harman):

Go inside yourself. Explore the reason that compels you to write; test whether it stretches its roots into the deepest part of your heart, admit to yourself whether you would have to die if the opportunity to write were withheld from you. Above all else, ask yourself at your most silent hour of night: must I write? Dig inside yourself for a deep answer. And if the answer is yes, if it is possible for you to respond to this serious question with a strong and simple I must, then build your life on the basis of this necessity; your life, even at its most indifferent and attenuated, must become a sign and a witness for this compulsion.

How does my creating process work?

Ebb and Flow: There are times when I am quiet and ruminating on an idea and other times when my thoughts and actions are flowing simultaneously and laying those ideas down on paper.

Thank you for coming along with me on this journey!

If you haven't yet visited Tammy at Beauty Flows, have a visit. She has a magical world filled with her art and photography.

now to share an artist friend who will be joining the Around the World blog Hop: Quilts and Dogs amazes me with her quilts. The geometric patterns and threaded patterns are inspiring. and adding this post to sunday sketches

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


detail, coupling II, gallery juana
detail of coupling II, 8 x 10 mixed media by galleryjuana

We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.
 ― William James

I have this old book titled, mechanical engineers' handbook. It is a heavy book loaded with illustrations, mathematical equations, and diagrams. I use it often for inspiration and for metaphors. The pages on couplings were the inspiration for my Coupling II mixed media work.

I had this idea of drawing a couple together in a room, but I was not happy with the way that idea was working out. So I decided to draw each figure on its own platform and connect them metaphorically.

This was my first time to work on ampersand's claybord and I really love how the surface responds to mixed media art. Originally, I thought I would develop the figure on rice paper and then adhere that to the clayboard, but I ditched that idea. I wanted the figure to have some transparency and allow the layers of color to be evident so I drew directly on the claybord. Continue reading for my step by step process for Coupling II.

from start to finish:

wip coupling II, gallery juana
background stamped layer

For the first layer, I used my flower linocut to stamp a wallpaper-like background with pyrrole orange fluid acrylics.

wip  coupling II, gallery juana
figure drawing in pencil, wip

Next, I drew my male figure and added a piece of japanese book ephemera to start the collage elements.

wip coupling II, gallery juana
figure drawing, wip

I started to add color and shading with conte crayons and charcoal to the figure.

wip coupling II, gallery juana
wip, figure

More blending and conte crayon on the figure and titan buff fluid acrylics to the background.

detail of background wip

I added layers of color with acrylics and pastels to the background.

wip coupling II, gallery juana
figure and background, wip

I darkened my figure. I think I was still wavering on what the overall tones of the collage would be. Did I want more flesh tones or white-washed tones? Also, there was a disconnect between the figure and the other elements of collage and pencil marks. I needed to add more collage elements, but I wanted the collage to be transparent enough to show some of the original wallpaper layer.

coupling II, wip, gallery juana
coupling II, wip, gallery juana

I set the claybord painting aside and worked on painting tissue paper for the collage background. I used fluid titanium white acylic mixed with hints of blues and greens and touches of nickel azo gold.

To keep the layer interesting, I cut the tissue pages into odd-shaped squares.  The background layer was built up with these squares and washes of acrylics.

coupling II, detail, gallery juana
coupling II, detail, gallery juana 

I like the final result. The stamped wallpaper still shows though the figure and in the top right. I drew diagrams of couplings inspired by the engineers' handbook in pencil throughout the drawing. Shown here is the male coupling.   The female coupling can be seen in my gallery juana etsy shop.

joining sunday sketches