Great Wave at Paisley-gawa

Today's art journal post (with apologies to Hokusai!):

Thought note: Today's art journal post is an homage (a modest one, of course!!!) to Katsushika Hokusai's "Great Wave at Kanagawa," which is a gorgeous piece of artwork, which I never, ever get tired of staring at. I dunno if it's because it's such a technically amazing work of woodblock cutting and printing, or because I love the ocean so much, or because there's a picture of it on a ruler I got at The Metropolitan Museum of Art many years ago . . . but I love it. I doodle paisleys sort of obsessively . . . and am working on some acrylic works incorporating designs such as these. Will post when finished with those . . . I plan to start showing them publicly by early fall.

Tech note: Faber-Castell Superfine pen + a Faber-Castell grey brush pen (#272) . . . in my Moleskine notebook (thick pages, 5.5x8.5 each page); if you want to buy the thicker pages and they don't have a sample open at the store, just look at the page count. The ones with a lower page count (which are the same thickness) are the ones with thicker pages. These take watercolor and acrylic and gel medium, and Mod Podge, and collage, and almost everything else I've thrown at them.

Happy Art-making,


Let Them Eat

Today's Art Journal Posting

Thought Note: In DC our apartment is in Capitol Hill, and I encounter the homeless every single time I leave the apartment. I keep quarters and Sacagawea dollars handy to give out, and I usually greet them. It's so little to do. My son volunteered at a soup kitchen in DC, and spent the whole day with a homeless man who had a Master's degree. I can never thank God enough for this man, and the impression he made on my son; how he sees a homeless person not as someone who "deserves" what they are getting, but as a human, like any of us, who has, for now anyway, hit on some very hard times. How close we can be to that - and how glad I am that I don't think I'll ever hear my son complain about the poor or their neediness.

This is an Art Journal spread I just finished this morning. The first line of the hymn is "Blessed be the man that provideth for the sick and needy;" and the words "Let Them Eat" speak for themselves . . . but remind us of the "Let Them Eat Cake" attitude that many people have - I've got what I need, so screw the rest of the world. It's a heartbreaking thing to see and hear . . . but, I do believe that most people have bigger hearts than that.

Tech Note: the background was made with watersoluble crayon scribbled, then brushed around with water; the dotted pattern is from dipping small-bubble bubble wrap into acrylic paint and using it as a stamp. I made the envelope from Satin Design 100% rag vellum, and then stamped a design on it with acrylic.

"This it is, and nothing more . . . "

I love Poe. I've loved his work since I was a kid, and have been reading a detailed biography of him - and I've done several pieces with Poe and his work as the central theme.

I live near Richmond, where Poe spent some time - and I think the ravens around here are HUMONGOUS - now I know why one plays a very spooky role in a major work of his. They make their presence KNOWN. We have a couple that sit on the peak of our roof and caw loudly when you go outside. Geeez. Creepy. Birds. Whaddya gonna do?

Last October, I visited the Poe Museum and the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond as part of my birthday celebration (my birthday is October 6 and I love all things Halloween!). I was inspired by the various items from Poe's life, as well as the photos of him from various resources, to create several journal pages - this one was started and finished today.

I used a popular photo image of Poe (the 1848 William S. Hartshorn daguerrotype of Poe) to get the basic likeness, and then started coloring the background with water soluble crayon and pencil. On top of that, I wrote excerpts from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," in pen-and-ink for the darker background and hair, and white pen for the lighter background. After I had put in the high contrast areas with the water soluble crayons and pencils, I scribbled in the background areas and then smeared water all over with a brush to slightly distress the look and to soften the graphic quality of the image.

I wanted this piece to feel a little bit "haunted," by Lenore and The Raven, so I used the nib form of pen-and-ink for more character in the linework, and then the white pen on the grey background for a wispy ghosty feel. I love the irregularity a pen-and-ink lettering style gives . . . I love the blotches and the spots and personal feel it gives a piece of artwork.

I'm planning to start another Poe piece tomorrow!

I'm including some photos of the phases of this piece.

BTW, are you looking forward to seeing the movie The Raven? John Cusack as a badass Poe? I am.

peace, bubulas


I'm Not OK, You're Not OK . . . But That's OK

We are all on a journey . . . and we should remember that. People can change. We can grow. And we are all in the middle of silent (or not-so-silent) struggles . . . in which we try to better ourselves, we beg God to make us better and/or we beat ourselves up for not being better. Hang in there. A cliché I love.

Revival Meeting?

I like juxtaposition. Here's a photo of an old-timey revival meeting (very UNlike the ones I attended growing up in Tennessee!) - and a photo ad from a 1960s mag - advertising what they thought air travel should be like. LOL!! If they made her pack her toiletries in a quart bag, take her hat, sweater, belt, and shoes off, and inspected her laptop and her Aveda foot cream it would be more accurate. But, that snifter of brandy looks quite pleasant. I know a pic is worth a thousand words - but I just had a lot more fun at church than these ladies are . . . and this pic seems to be the antithesis of anything being "revived!" People of faith, hello . . . what ARE we up to? Anyway . . . compare and contrast. peace, trl


I love Sharpies. Not to be confused with Shar Peis, those chunky wrinkly dogs, two words (and states of being) I try to avoid, but that's another blog altogether! This is to encourage you that you don't have to have a kabillion dollars in art supplies to make art.

Anyway, I love to draw, soooooo much, that it actually interferes with everything else!

I love to draw tiny little lines, and millions of little marks, funky lettering, and paisleys of all sorts. Funky paisleys, loose paisleys, paisleys which have little skulls grinning in them, paisleys your grandma would love to have on her Xmas table :-). I like them all. I can stare at them for hours, and I can draw them for hours. Soooooo, it just occurred to me recently that this might be kinda an obsession. I did my Dansko clogs, I'm working on other shoes as we speak, I just drew on a stool, and next I'm doing my studio rocking chair!

I'm doing all these things with Sharpie markers - they go on everything, and on most surfaces you can seal them with gel medium after to seal it in . . . anyway, short post today, as I'm cleaning up from Xmas - YES THE TREE'S STILL UP!!!  Don't judge me!

So, here are a few pix of projects I've done with Sharpies. More to come, I'm digging through digital files and making more art as we speak!!

peace, love, and other things hippies say,