Tuesday, June 11, 2013

buried treasure and cats

prince enso kitty
prince, enso kitty III, giclee print

Above is my latest print in my enso cat series.

The original was done with orange and yellow acrylic paints for the background and conte crayon and pencil for the sleeping kitty.

As my apartment lease does not allow pets, I often volunteer at the local no-kill cat shelter. Prince, a grey tabby, always meets me at the door to welcome me.

Every year Seth Apter holds a blog hop called, Buried Treasure. The idea is to dig up a favorite post from long ago.  Below is a post from 2011.

Although, my Sputnik is no longer with me, I still remember the lessons she taught me. Siamese enso kitty, in the right bar, was inspired by her.

Buried Treasure

9 February 2011

I've been busy preparing for my exhibition which is just a few weeks away and just trying to keep up with life. In my fury of stress, I looked over at Sputnik, my siamese cat, and smiled as she delicately cleaned her front paws and cheeks. I was editing the above sketch in gimp and stopped to write these thoughts.

What I've learned from my Cat 

On rainy days, it's best to cuddle. And if you have someone to cuddle with, enjoy those moments.

Do what you love when you get the chance. You never know when the next time will come around.

Take that nap. You'll feel better.

Habits are good.

Have an escape plan. You just might need it.

On sunny days, take notice.

Have your place where you can leave your crap.  No one needs to see that.

Have fun. And remember being spontaneous and breaking habits is part of the fun.

Eat when you're hungry. Drink plenty of water.

Enjoy your bath time.

Have your safe place.

Sleep matters.

Hairballs are no fun. They are not worth keeping.

And, we truly do have 9 lives. Who you are today may not be who you are tomorrow.

memory mail art

memory mail art
handmade envelope (front), mail art, 3.7 x 8 inches

I am a firm believer in education, and there are many avenues to educating oneself. Just going to your local library or bookstore is a start to learning something new or expanding on something you already know.
Last year, I mentioned the greek classics class I was taking on cousera. This year they started offering art classes, and I joined their art and concepts course offered through Pennsylvania State University. Have you heard of Cousera.org?

Cousera is "an education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free." These university classes require tests, essays and assignments.

The Memory

My assignment this week is creating a mail art piece that stems from a memory.

mail art memory handmade envelope
handmade envelope, collage, line drawing and stamped bird

My earliest memory is not really something I remember exactly, but something that my Mom told me about. When I was around three years old, I disappeared. We lived out in the country and Mom looked everywhere for me, shouting out my name, but I was nowhere to be found. As she continued to look for me, she said I just showed up suddenly, looking like a ghost, covered in dust. That would not be the first time, I took off to explore. Looking back, I realize more fully my Mom's wisdom. She stayed patient and sound of mind through all my escapades, giving me just enough trust and freedom to explore. And I always knew that Mom would be there to welcome me back.

The Process

envelope pattern on 140# paper

Starting out with a store-bought envelope, then taking it apart, I fashioned a pattern cut down to the size that I wanted for my envelope, 9.5 cm x 20.5 cm. After tracing the envelope pattern onto 140# watercolor paper, I cut out the envelope and scored the paper at the points where the flaps would fold.

The background are washes of acrylic paints, collaged elements and images from my handmade stamps.
I haven't yet finished the insert letter, and I'm already excited about that as it will include a pop-up. This mail art will eventually be heading out to my last living Uncle.

What are you exploring lately?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Art Postcards

hola postcard art
Hola, art postcard

This past week I worked on some new art postcards. For Hola, I drew the portrait with micron pen and added irredescent watercolors. I painted the background with red acrylic and glued circles of accounting paper with my hand written letters.

hello I postcard art
Hello I, art postcard

I am addicted to perusing the second hand store in town. I love looking at the vintage items and finding odds and ends that I need. Last month I found a stash of stickers and rub-ons. For Hello, I used stick on letters and a rub on ribbon. I drew the portrait with black and sepia micron pens.

I plan to do more art postcards along the theme of saying hello. Next one will be with a greeting in Japanese, konnichiwa.

Do you know greetings in other languages? Let me know in your comments.
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