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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ink and Glaze Update and News Tidbits

Here's what I heard back from Sandy following the previous post:

"I had a few minutes to play with a few inks & airbrush colors and, my goodness, how the glazing medium changes the structure and options of them."

Thanks, Sandy! This is why I love experimenting. I didn't know if the acrylic glaze medium would work well with acrylic and airbrush ink, but now we know it does!

Wabi-Sabi Papers

Did you know that Art and Soul Retreat is having a sale on classes until July 1st? You've still got about a week to get the special "roll-back" price on a fabulous lineup of classes. I'll be teaching four classes, two of them wabi-sabi inspired: "Papers Wabi-Sabi" and "Wabi-Sabi Wax".


I'll be traveling to Northern New Mexico next week and promise to take some inspiring wabi-sabi photos for you. I love my Pacific NW, but it's also important to me to make regular pilgrimages to magic Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos. The light there is strong and inspiring, and the melange of cultures that make up this area is so rich. Lots of art to be seen, the smells of pinon and sage--can't wait...

Because of my travels, I may miss hearing the broadcast of my interview with Lesley Riley on Art and Soul Radio, but fortunately this and other artist interviews are available in the site archives. This is my second interview with Lesley on Art and Soul Radio. She asks thoughtful and perceptive questions--I always learn something new from my own answers!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Reader Questions

Reader Sandra asks if Bombay acrylic inks will yield the same results in wabi-sabi pieces as the dye re-inkers I use in the book. Understandably, she wants to use the materials she already has. I haven't yet used Bombay acrylic inks, though they sound intriguing. I do have Daler-Rowney acrylic inks so I tried a little experiment.

I used a pre-gessoed canvas board to try out the experiment. The lighter side of this board, on the left, shows Red Pepper Adirondack Dye Reinker mixed with acrylic glaze medium. The larger section on the right shows Scarlet Daler-Rowney Acrylic Ink mixed with glaze medium. I sponged both areas with a paper towel.

It seems that the re-inker is more transparent. I also noticed that it stayed wet a little longer, so that I could alter the surface of the paint more. It may be that when using the acrylic inks, water would be a better choice than the glaze medium. This would likely give a more watercolor effect to the piece. Sandra says she is used to using watercolors, so she might like this effect a lot.

I love the re-inkers, but if you have other materials, go ahead and try them! It's all about experimenting, and I'm sure you can produce excellent work with re-inkers, acrylic inks, acrylic paint, watercolors, and more. I don't  think the effects of all of these will be exactly the same, but they should all work well.

Sandra, I suggest that you could get one or two re-inkers in similar colors to your acrylic inks and do some experiments. I'd love to see the results!

Sandra also asked about airbrush inks. Again, I haven't tried these. I see online that Golden airbrush inks come in opaque and transparent colors. I imagine that the transparent colors would work most like the re-inkers  used in my book. I also see that Golden makes a special mediums to go with these inks, so those might work similarly to the glaze medium I use.

By all means, dear readers, try out the wabi-sabi process and aesthetic with supplies you have and see how you like the results. You can always send me an email through my website and I'll reply back giving you an email address where you can send your photo. With your permission, I'll post your images on this blog so that we can all enjoy them and learn about the products and processes you used.

Anyone have experience with using acrylic and/or airbrush inks that you'd like to share?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Winner of Giveaway # 2

Rebecca is the winner of two reproductions of my work. Congratulations, Rebecca! Email me your shipping address through my website so I can send these out to you.

Thanks again to all who commented and who generously forgave my blooper. I hope you will come back here to visit and to share your own wabi-sabi journey.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pam Carriker Creates a Wabi-Sabi Artwork

My lovely friend, Pam Carriker, wraps up my blog hop today by showing us the step by step process of a piece she made using techniques from my book. She added her own special touches and came up with a  gorgeous piece to commemorate her and her husband's anniversary!

Here's Pam's finished piece--check out her blog to see how she got there!

You'll also find on Pam's blog today a very funny photo of her with me at Art is You last year. We've never been able to explain how this optical illusion came about. It's the "little chair", I know it is:)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

My Blooper! New Giveaway!

I have inadvertently caused confusion (and perhaps wailing and gnashing of teeth) by ending my giveaway before the blog hop ended! Some of you commented  after the previous giveaway ended. You and future commenters will be enrolled in a new contest! This lasts through the blog hop! Thus the new random winner will be selected on June 11. This time you could win two 8" x 8" high quality reproductions of my work--see below!

If you entered for the last prize, enter again.The game is still afoot!

On the Riverbank


Book Signing and Art Show Opening at Muse

A big thank you to all who came by Muse Art and Design in Portland OR last night for my special evening. And a big thanks to owner, Peter Rossing who hosted the event. I was touched by how many family members, friends, and strangers came to buy books and wish me well. A magical experience!

At one point I gathered some of the guests for a group picture

 Front row: (l-r) My daughter, me
Back row: (r-l) My stepdad, his partner, my stepsister, her husband
Thanks to all my family who showed up to support me!

My daughter and son

My son and daughter in law

My daughter and her boyfriend

Giveaway Winner!

Morning Dove is the winner of the giveaway! Congratulations! You can visit her at her blog, Morning Dew, to see her delightful art.

A heartfelt thanks to all of you who entered the giveaway. I hope you will continue to visit this and my other blog. I'd love to see what you are doing and will post pictures you send of your work and your wabi-sabi photos.

Slowly but surely I'll be checking out your sites and blogs also!

As I say in my book, "If you're making art, you're in the parade."

Nervous but determined, Serena first joined the parade at age 4

Friday, June 7, 2013

Companion Chapters of my book are now up online! I wrote more than could be published in the book, but now you can see the rest, including a chapter on wabi-sabi papers. It's fun to see these projects again--like old friends! 
In these bonus chapters you can learn how to use molding paste, self-leveling medium, alcohol inks, and mulberry paper in your wabi-sabi work!
Learn how to create "Literary Map Paper" in the bonus chapters online!

Dawn's Lovely Wabi-Sabi Piece

Reader Dawn McLaughlin sent a wonderful photo of a project she did from my book. She asked for suggestions to improve it, as she feels the background is too dark. Actually, I like her piece very much as it is! But, the great thing about this kind of work is that you can keep adding layers until your piece sings to you.

One thing I've tried with some of my pieces is to play with the image in a photo editing program. I've done that with Dawn's image just to show how you can do this to experiment. I'm not very savvy about many things these programs can do. In these examples I've just selected certain areas and played with the color--fairly crudely, but it gives an idea.

Here's Dawn's original image:

Vessel Askew
As I said, I like this piece very much. The background is gorgeous and rich and the vessel has convincing roundness (plus a sweet personality.) Dawn wants more "pop" so here are a few experiments I did with the photo editing program.

 Above I just increased the saturation which may be more like what Dawn's piece looks like in "real life." You could do this for real by adding stronger layers of re-inker glaze--more re-inker to less glaze medium in your paint.

With a brighter green (above.)

Now, here's an interesting version (above.) This one pops more with the lighter central image. I did this by selecting and inverting the image and painting a light highlight in the middle, as with the inversion, the highlight turned out dark.

In all these experiments I concentrated on changing the focal point image rather than the background, due to my limited photo editing tools. In real life, you could lighten the background by drybrushing white or buff paint over it. Or you could gesso it over and start again with more glaze and a lighter re-inker. 

I think Dawn's original piece is the most "wabi-sabi" because of it's subtlety. My style of wabi-sabi art tends to be subtle, so sometimes the "pop" effect is also. My suggestion is always to make lots and lots of pieces and don't worry about perfection. You'll gain skill as you go and you can always go back and change things. Sometimes when I let a piece sit I find I like it better as it is when I return to it. If not, there's always "The Cover-Up" technique, found in the book.

You can see more of Dawn's excellent work on her website. I love the rich colors she uses! Thanks, Dawn, for sharing your work and your process!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Liz Kettle and the Tuesday Tarts do Wabi-Sabi

Today's blog hop host is Liz Kettle. She and her art group, the Tuesday Tarts, played with a project from my book. I love how they all turned out different--and all are delightful! That's wabi-sabi! 

Here are the blog hop hosts again--all wonderful and diverse artists!

6/10 Pam Carriker 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pictures and Comments from Readers

Linda Arandas sent these lovely photos of her wabi-sabi garden! What an inspiring and beautiful place to relax. Linda, I'll bet you spent many hunting, gathering, and creating hours to make this lovely space! You can see more of Linda's work on her blog--check it out!

Several readers have written that they can't find re-inkers locally. They are kind of elusive, but here's a website called Blockhead Stamps that should have what you want.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Wabi-Sabi Afternoon

Sarah's First Cold Wax Painting

 Three members of my women's art group met this afternoon at my studio. Kelly worked in encaustic, Cindy in acrylic, (see my other blog for their work) and Sara and I did wabi-sabi abstracts in oil and cold wax.

Sara did a lot of incising and scraping back in this piece

Sarah's abstract landscape. When she got to this point,we all yelled "stop!"

I did the oil and cold wax pieces below. I surprised myself by using pink in the second one shown here. I think it's good for me to experiment with a cooler palette sometimes. (Hide the transparent red oxide, someone:)

I'm definitely using more bright red these days

The group told me to stop here, so I did!