Yupo and new watercolors

3/30/2009 03:25:00 PM Posted In , , Edit This 2 Comments »
I've had a pad of Yupo (synthetic watercolor paper) for a long time, but I've never used it. It isn't really paper - it's made of 100% polypropylene. I don't know what polypropylene is, but it doesn't sound very earth friendly to me. My friend Kathy, artist extraordinaire, has been painting on Yupo for a long time, and she loves it. The thing about it is, because it's so slippery, you have very little control over the paint. Having been called somewhat of a control freak (I won't mention by whom, Michael), I've been avoiding trying it. A few weeks ago my sweetie and I were killing time in Royal Oak, having taken 1/2 hour less time than we thought to get to my son's house, and we discovered a wonderful art supply store right there on Woodward Ave (it's called Utrecht's, I think). Anyway, they had these really cute little "towers" of watercolor paints for $3 or $4 dollars. They're made by Koh-i-noor, and I couldn't resist getting them. Since I wanted to give them a go, I decided to try the Yupo, too.

I cut a piece of Yupo into 4 pieces - a whole sheet seemed too daunting to begin with, and I began to paint. Now the painting is nothing to write home about, and I didn't use anywhere near all the colors (there's 24 of them), but I found that working on the Yupo wasn't quite as difficult as I thought it would be. I couldn't help but fiddle with it, trying to gain more control than it was giving me, but now that I've tried it once, I'll try it again, I'm sure. Kathy says that if you don't like what you've done, you can just wash it off and start again. I didn't try that, but I did try to remove some paint that had gone outside the lines I had drawn to work within. While the paint came off, it stained the surface. I used plain water, then I tried Windex, which got a bit more off than just the plain water. Maybe soap would work better, but I didn't feel like getting up to try it.

Self Portrait

3/29/2009 10:48:00 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
So, my friend said I should draw a picture of myself to use in the "About Me" info. What an assignment! I ended up with a drawing that is sort of a reasonable facsimile, but I got really tired of working on it, so I just decided to post it anyway. I find it much easier to draw someone else than myself. We never really see ourselves the way others see us. For example, I look much older "in the flesh" than I do in the drawing. I just couldn't get it right - maybe due to wishful thinking? We travel around looking out at the world from inside these "packages" we live in, unable to see what we really look like. When we see ourselves in the mirror, it is through eyes that already "know" what we look like, and that's what we tend to see. By drawing one's own portrait, we are forced to see our faces in an entirely different way - trying to see as an artist rather than just looking at it in a "business as usual" way. It's quite an eye-opener, so to speak!

Fifty fits

3/25/2009 03:32:00 PM Edit This 6 Comments »
Well, I've been fighting with my computer for most of the afternoon, and I'm not sure yet who won. It's given me fifty fits, but I think I'm at the point where I can at least give it a go to show you my latest piece. I finished it today - it's an ATC done in pencil. I've named it Child Bride because it was inspired by a photo of my great aunt who married my uncle Leonard when she was 14.

He ran away to Canada when he was too young to join the Army in this country, but in Canada he could lie about his age and get in. He fought in WW I and ended up with multiple wounds. Maggie (that's what he called her, but we all called her Sis) was madly in love with him, married him behind her parent's back, then he went back to his boarding house and she went home! That went on for several weeks, and then he finally told her he thought it was time to tell them. As she sat playing the pump organ, back to the room, tears running down her face, she told her father what she had done. He softly said, "Sissy, he's your husband and you have to go live with him." That made her cry even harder. She was afraid to leave home for one thing, and the thought of going to live in a boarding house was never in the picture for her. Since the boarding house was strictly for men, she had to sneak in for a short while until they found someplace they could afford to live. Then they really did live happily ever after .... they were married for about 45 years before he died.

New Beginnings

3/23/2009 10:55:00 AM Posted In , , Edit This 5 Comments »
Welcome to my new blog! I hope you enjoy seeing what I've been working on and that you will feel free to leave your comments and suggestions for me.

I've recently joined an online group called Fine Art ATCs One to One. What makes this group special to me is that every ATC has to be an original, and it must be hand drawn or painted (not mixed media, no stamping, nothing glued, etc). Here's one of the earliest cards I made and traded. I did it with watercolor and used as a reference a photo I took while on a trip out west many years ago .....

I hope you can come back and visit often!