Saturday, June 28, 2014

image transfers and the underside

the diving bell journal page, gallery juana
the diving bell journal page

We must present a picture, show nature as it is,
but it must be a complete picture,
we must paint the underside as well as the surface.

This past week, I decided to try out the gel transfer tutorial from McElroy and Wilson's book, Image Transfer Workshop. I've done image transfers before but it had been awhile. I used a vintage music sheet and a practice linocut print done on copy paper. For the music sheet, I applied several layers of gel medium and let each layer dry over night. I then took off the back layer using the sand paper, water and rubbing stages that the book outlined. What was leftover was a only the inked parts of the music sheet.

The linocut was done differently. I applied gel medium to my journal page and then placed the linocut print (face down) onto the glue. I then used a flat wooden spoon to meld the journal page and linocut print together. Once dried, I then used the sand paper, water and rubbing stages. Go here to see Darlene Olivia McElroy's, image transfer youtube video showing this latter image transfer technique.

the diving bell journal page, galleryjuana
the diving bell journal page

I am really happy with how the image transfers came out, so I know I'll be doing more of these in the coming weeks.

joining sunday sketches

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June Gratitudes

running, gratitudes by gallery juana
running, gratitude

Back in March I started this 3 x 3 inch journal as an exercise to pause and remember the experiences or moments that made me happy in my day.

japanese stewartia, galleryjuana
blooming Japanese Stewartia, gratitude

I had worked my way out of a difficult transition in my life and was in a better place, but found myself still hovering on the pain rather than focusing on my progress and successes. I wanted to get out of that futile loop. My hope in keeping the journal was to redirect my avenues of thought: to acknowledge what I have and recognize how far I've come.

letter, gratitude by gallery juana
letter from my uncle, gratitude

Recently, I learned in my cousera brain class that negative thoughts change our brain chemistry.

Your frontal lobe, particularly your prefrontal cortex, decides what is important according to the amount of attention you pay to something and how you feel about it. Thus, the more you focus on negativity, the more synapses and neurons your brain will create that support your negative thought process.
co-written by Teresa Aubele, Ph.D. and Susan Reynolds

Psychology Today

The research on gratitude by Prof. Robert Emmons

saw a pos­i­tive effect on hours of sleep and on time spent exer­cis­ing, on more opti­mistic expec­ta­tions for the com­ing week, and fewer reported phys­i­cal symp­toms, such as pain.

cat paws, gratitude by gallery juana
neigborhood cat, gratitude

owl, gratitude by gallery juana
owl collage, gratitude

It's hard to believe that almost four months have passed since I started it. I notice I am pausing more often in my day and noting what I like. When the old thoughts or futile stresses come up, I am able to move on more quickly.

wishing everyone a good weekend and blog hopping with Sunday Sketches

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Buried Treasure and Perception

Li Po, Quiet Night Thoughts, translation by Arthur Cooper
Li Po, translation by Arthur Cooper

Seth Apter's annual buried treasure is here. And I'm returning to a post I did on Jan 31, 2009 while I was living in Japan. At the time, I was working as an ESL Teacher and fitting art in when I could. I picked up Keri Smith's projects which I could do anywhere, anytime.

Buried Treasure
Keri Smith's 100 ideas/100 days: Challenge No. 5: Rewrite a poem that I respond to. I chose Li Po's "Quiet Night Thoughts" poem. I love his poetry and first discovered Li Po when I read an Ezra Pound translation.

For this challenge, I went to a cafe. A 25 minute walk got me to Cour Plus.

There sign board lists the cakes available for the day. Chestnut cake, Apple tart a la mode, or Kabocha pumpkin cheesecake.

I spent the afternoon with tea and cake and writing the poem below inspired by Li Po's Quiet Night Thoughts.

The sun's rays gently wake me from my dream.
The sounds outside my window remind me how far away I am from you.
I close my eyes once more and dream of home.

art journal page,  visual perception, gallery juana
art journal page,  visual perception

This past week I studied vision and perception in Cousera's Understanding the Brain course. Dr. Mason is adept at teaching such detailed and dense material in a way that is easy to comprehend and enjoyable to learn. I can tell she loves what she teaches.

It so happens that the journal prompt for ayalj was "eyes" which fit perfectly with what I was studying. I am amazed at how intricate the process of seeing and then understanding what we see is and it all happens in less than a second. The colors enter our eyes and travel a maze where they are translated, processed and as they travel to the back of our brain to become sight.

The journal page is a collage of some of the parts that make up the maze in our vision. "The visual areas of the brain are at the back of the brain. Visual information can guide actions within one-fifth of a second, but it takes about half a second for us to see an object consciously." (The Human Brain Book, by Rita Carter)
Below is a video with some fun visual illusions.

Joining sunday sketches and a year in the life of an art journal

Sunday, June 1, 2014

hummingbird linocut wip

hummin' AP I linocut by gallery juana
artist proof I, hummin'

I finished the block for my latest linocut print featuring a hummingbird sipping from a flower. I've been seeing hummingbirds outside my second story window. Once the flowers on the trees bloom in the coming weeks, I know they will be frequenting more often.

I still don't have a camera, so I used a photo I took of a hummingbird three years ago and did some line drawings based on that photo. (The photo below was taken with my laptop.)

hummingbird drawings for linocut by gallery juana
hummingbird line drawings for linocut

Now I am experimenting with adding color as collage pieces. Rather than carve single circles, I cut a circle from cardboard. Just like I would add printing ink with a brayer to a block, I brayered the ink onto the cardboard circle and then printed the color onto the music sheet. I then cut out the colored circles and glued them to my paper. Next, I printed the hummingbird onto that mixed media collage.

hummin' AP II linocut by gallery juana
artist proof II, hummin'

I'll spend the week experimenting some more with colors and shapes, before I decide what idea to fly with for this series.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. I took a 27 mile bicycle ride today. Each weekend we've managed to do a longer ride now that the days are longer and warmer.

joining sunday sketches
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