Thursday, April 9, 2009

Morning Sketchbook

I woke up before 6am unable to go back to sleep, partially from jet lag and mostly because of a disturbing reoccurring dream that I am being chased by aliens and shot at with laser guns. Over the past few months I have had dreams of escaping from someplace that had been holding me (and others) prisoner, as well as dreams of the world (or me and my friends) being shot at and chased by aliens as we run for our lives. So, to record this wacky dream, I got out my notebook and Japanese brush pens and forced myself to draw it out. None of these images look like the ones I actually saw in the dream because the dream was too dark and fuzzy, so these images are only symbolic of what happened and how I felt.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Artfest 2009: DAY 3

These are before and after pics of work I did in Tiphoni's "Abstract Theory" class. I really enjoyed the class. Tiphoni is laid back and a good teacher. We hardly had to bring any materials for this class, and since we were only "experimenting" there was no project to complete and it ended up being a completely NO-PRESSURE class. Plus, scribbling in ink with a dropper just felt so darn goooooood!

One of the "tools" I used for this drawing was a bunch of brown enoki mushrooms that the teacher brought in from an Asian food store. She also had a piece of lotus root (renkon), which my neighbor used, and a bamboo caligraphy pen, which I used to make the black lines around the egdes of this drawing. I love that there were Japanese things to draw with!

Artfest 2009: DAY 1

These are pages of a "transparent book" made in a class with Sass Colby, a well-known book artist. We had to make a book with pages which are transparent, using vellum, tracing paper, plastic, cloth, etc. for the pages. The transfer marker pen ran out before I could get to use it so I had to trace all my images onto the paper by hand using the window as a light source. I could have gotten a lot more done if I'd had that darn transfer pen!

Artfest 2009: DAY 2


Here are the two paintings I made in Misty Mawn's class called, "A White Out." Neither painting is done, but I wanted to show what I was able to complete during the 6-hour class (actually about 4 hours if you subtract all the demo time from the instructor). The centers of the flowers in the bottom photo are glass beads attached with white acrylic paint.

Here are photos of the instructor showing us how to make a gallon jar of Gel Medium disappear in about 5 minutes! No, seriously, she is showing her techniques for layering paper onto canvas, then ripping it to create texture for the background. She uses a a LOT of gel medium for this. Rumor has it she owns stock in Golden.

Artfest 2009

I just came back from Artfest 2009, and it was amazing! This was my first time at Artfest, which has been going for nine or ten years now. Artfest is 3 days of project-based workshops with teachers who are well-known for their techniques and/or styles, and often having been featured in one or more arts and crafts publications (such as Somerset Studio). The organizers are Tracey and Teesha Moore ( They hold Artfest every year at Fort Worden State Park in Point Townsend, Washington (2 hours north of Seattle). They have other wrokshops, too, so check out their website and try it for yourself.

For me, Artfest is the kickoff to my first "comeback" year as an artist after having had a 15-year art hiatus!