Monday, August 20, 2018

Heart Origami, mail art

heart origami, snail mail

Lately I've been watching origami art tutorials on Youtube.  This heart letter is on its way to my sister. See the youtube tutorial at the end of this post.

wax seal with a shank button heart

And I continue to have fun with using buttons to make wax seals. View more on my previous post:

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

wax seals using buttons

wax Seal using a shank button

Recently I bought a couple of seals from along with some wax. Those seals are in the upper left corner of the photo below. I also discovered from various websites that I could use buttons for stamping designs into wax. So I have been combing through the button collections at my local thrift shop. I found several that work wonderfully for stamping into wax.

wax seals

I used all types: shank, flat, domed, and the type with holes in the middle. I am pretty happy with the results!

wax Seal using a shank button

wax Seal using a shank button

Later, if I want, I can attach each button to a cork. The stamping seemed to work fine without the attached "handle." And without the handles, storing buttons takes less space.

Are you wondering how I got the gold highlights on the sun? The video below from LetterSeals explains how to highlight the wax seal.

I'll post more later with photos of how I use these wax seals.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Fern Linocuts

Linocut, Three Ferns, 8 x 10

I completed three fern linocuts last week. Above is printed on an 8 x 10 inches sheet of paper. The image is about 5 x 7 inches.

It always feels relaxing to do the linocutting. All the work comes before the cutting and involves sketches then transferring the chosen drawing to the block.

ferns, fern linocut, and fern print (8 x 10)

Rather than cut all three ferns into the same block, I cut each one as a single fern. This way I can arrange them in different ways or pair with another element.

It was a beautiful, summer's rainy day when I printed these, so I'll end with Sylvia Plath's words:

August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born.
The odd uneven time.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Bird drawings and linocut

journal page and Howard Nemerov poem

The swallows have been coming by lately with their fledglings and that inspired me to draw some birds, read poetry and start a new letter series. The Howard Nemerov, Blue Swallows, is from a book I have with collected poems on birds: On Wings of Song. The poem in my journal begins with the word Across and reads to the right, clockwise. The last paragraph of the poem begins with O Swallows.

bird sketch 
bird sketch

Based on my journal drawing, I decided to do a linocut and the journal drawing morphed into different line drawings which morphed once more on my Lino block.

bird linocut

The linocut bird puts a smile on my face every time I see it. I'll have this linocut listed soon. In the meantime, the above linocut will be included in my new letter series until what I've printed runs out.

In the past, I have put all my thoughts into zines under a given topic. This latest letter series is similar but with a 2 page limit. Each letter will be a photocopy of the original and will include other odds and bits, perhaps a bookmark, a quote, a short poem, … a surprise nonetheless. The letter will be folded, the odds and bits tucked between the pages, and all placed in the hand-decorated envelope. Can you guess what the current letter is about? That's right: birds!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Figure line art

Abstract Figure I, July 2018

I really enjoying writing and drawing with dip pens.   There is more spontaneous feedback than with a pen or pencil.

After I've traced my template drawing on the paper,  I use the faint lines as a guide.  The sumi ink falls in its own way, depending on how much pressure I apply.   As I draw with the dip pen, my drawing stays spontaneous as I make quick changes in response to the ink and flow.

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


galleryjuana abstract monoprint art
Abstract VI, June 2018

Last month I purchased a gelliplate and have been monoprinting for the past several weeks. Previoiusly I had been using acrylic paint on plexiglass for my monoprinting.

The advantage to the gelliplate is that the acrylic paint stays wet longer. I can use thinner or thicker layers of paint or even mix the paints directly on the plate.

Abstract Figure I June 2018, galleryjuana
Abstract Figure I June 2018

Although most of the completed  works in the last 4 weeks have been abstracts, I completed a few figure drawings as well. I added some monoprint layers to the sumi ink figure line drawing above. I like how there is still a bit of randomness and spontaneity to the layers of color.

Start snow, everyday, becoming, in your actions, your regular actions,
what you would like to become in the bigger scheme of things.
Anna Deaverce Smith

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

sumi and walnut ink, line drawing, a couple in love

Abstract Couple I, May 2018

At the beginning of May I completed this line drawing with sumi and walnut inks of a couple in love.  
As I lay down either ink, each one is drawn to the other.

It reminds me of Pablo Neruda's Sonnet XVII.  Below is an excerpt:

I love you without knowing how,
or when, or from where,
I love you simply,
without problems or pride.
I love you in this way
because I don't know
any other way of loving but this,
in which
there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep
it is your eyes that close.

Monday, May 7, 2018

journal pages - figures, doodles and quotes

figure sketch and moon eclipse 

This year's journal is the largest size I've worked in thus far.  Each page measures 9.5 inches in height x 13 inches.  I doodle ideas, document daily happenings, as well as, figure sketch in it.  The only problem with that size is the scanner window is smaller then the journal page.

doodles and lemons

Enso and quote

I thought it might be daunting to have so much space to fill, but the challenge has been a good one.
Some days I fill the pages with doodles and whatever comes to mind.  Other days, quotes and figures dress the pages.

figure sketch, Angela Davis quote

figure line drawing

figure sketch, sumi and walnut inks

figure sketch

The sun is shining so I think I'll go for a bicycle ride.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

abstract figure drawing

abstract figure, line drawing and painting

Back in February, we suddenly had to move as our rental owner wanted to sell the place.  I really loved looking out that window facing the forest, but there have been new adventures to find in my new neighborhood.

abstract figure drawing

And with everything settled, I am finally painting again.  My love of line contour and abstract figures has joined this month with sumi ink and sepia ink.

Most mornings I sit in front of the window watching life progress by and writing  .... sketching in my journal.  Gratitude abounds.

I'll end with a wonderful quote I came across the other day:

Start now, everyday, becoming, in your actions, your regular actions, what you would like to become in the bigger scheme of things.
Anna Deavere Smith

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