Saturday, December 28, 2013

best friends forever

linocut BFF greeting card

“We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
Even longer,' Pooh answered.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

This past week I finished my BFF linocut which I am printing as greeting cards.

I hope everyone had a wonderful week. I can't believe the New Year is just days away!

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

risk, freedom and love

risk, freedom, and love
"risk, freedom, and love," linocut, wip print

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore....
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Kahlil Gibran

I finished this linocut of two astronauts in love a couple of weeks ago. I have been debating whether to leave the background or add stars, the suit's life lines and a heart.

Using test prints, I added different elements to the print. However, the added elements seemed to take away rather than improve, and I kept coming back to the linocut as it was. I think I really liked the look of two people floating in space together and letting the viewer piece everything together in her own mind.

Today, I once more toyed around with the print in gimp and went down to get some feedback on to add or not to add from my husband. Without knowing which way I was leaning, he also felt adding nothing was the way to go. And he gave me the idea for the title.

So .... now I am looking forward to printing this linocut in the coming days.

wishing everyone a creative week and joining sunday sketches

Saturday, December 14, 2013

december journal pages

dec journal page letting go
december journal page one, wings and scrolls

Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun within us.
Sir Thomas Browne

This month's prompt over at one year art journal is Fall and Change and comes inspired by the winter solstice. I ended up doing four journal pages for this prompt.

The first page has a figure line drawing with wings that is letting go of two scrolls. Using a bamboo reed pen, walnut ink and sumi ink, I wrote some notes of things I want to let go this year onto some onion skin paper and rolled that up and bound it to the page with some wire. The winged figure's hand rests just above the scrolls, open and letting go.

dhow december journal page
page two, december journal page, dhow and thoughts

Page two has some thoughts I wrote at the beginning of Autumn and a figure drawn in walnut ink with my bamboo reed pen on a vintage dictionary page. I left the dhow visible as a sign that life is a journey.

mi ayuda journal page
page three, mi ayuda poem and deer drawing

Page three has a deer line drawing in pen and watercolor along with some thoughts that I wrote down while listening to a spanish song. Sir Thomas Browne's quote, that I mentioned earlier, sums up pretty much what I was trying to capture that night when I wrote down these thoughts. The translation follows the original.


Mi ayuda runs through the forest
aqui mi pongo la buena pieces
that lie perfectly still
waiting for hasta quando
pasan the minutes needed
to form them into a shape
que baila con mi corazon
en un sueno magico.
Levante siempre mi espiritu
knowing they wait, never
impatient or judgemental.
Mientras mi ayuda siempre
here and holding on.

While my Guidance runs through the forest, here I put the good pieces that lie perfectly still waiting until the minutes needed pass to form them into a shape that dance with my heart in a magic dream. My spirit lifts always knowing they wait, never impatient or judgemental. While my guidance is always here and holding on.

birdwings journal page december
page four, december journal page, hands and rumi

And finally, page four is what I started the week thinking on, that is, Rumi's poem titled Birdwings. For this page I used gesso, acrylics, pastels, charcoal, black and white ink pens. Here are the journal pages in full!

december journal page one, two and three
pages one, two and three, december art journal
december journal page one and four
december art journal, pages one and four

Thanks for stopping by! joining a year in the life of an art journal and sunday sketches. Find the links below.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


birdwings wip figure sketch
female figure, pencil sketch

Your grief for what you've lost lifts a mirror
up to where you are bravely working.

Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,
here's the joyful face you've been wanting to see.

Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed.

Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding,
the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birdwings.


Jacopo Pontormo, three male figures study

I read this Rumi poem, translated by Coleman Barks, a couple of weeks ago which I love for it's beautiful imagery of change and rebirth. This week I came across Pontormo's figure drawing in the book, Anatomy lessons from the great Masters, by Robert Beverly Hale & Terence Coyle.. Together they have inspired an idea of figures folding in and out like bird's wings. So there begins my next project!

I love the lines and movement in Pontormo's figure studies. He became orphaned at the age of 13, and shortly thereafter was placed in an apprenticeship with Da Vinci and then, in the year 1512, with Andrea del Sarto.

If you enjoy reading artist biographies, I recommend Vasari's Lives. And thanks to the Gutenberg Project you can now read Vasari's Lives online.

Exerpt on Pontormo:

In the meantime Signor Alfonso Davalos, Marchese del Vasto, having obtained from Michelagnolo Buonarroti by means of Fra Niccolo della Magna a cartoon of Christ appearing to the Magdalene in the garden, moved heaven and earth to have it executed for him in painting by Pontormo, Buonarroti having told him that no one could serve him better than that master ...
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