Saturday, March 30, 2013

Quick Everyday Objects

A couple of recent quick sketches from my journal.  I have been using the Faber-Castell PITT calligraphy pen to draw a quick contour line drawing and then filling in with a quick wash of Daniel Smith watercolor; each sketch took about fifteen minutes start to finish.  My current journal is hand made with fawn colored Stonehenge paper, which I haven't used in a while and had forgotten how much I like it.
The fun thing about this pen is that it gives a great line that is variable and I find that drawing with it fast forces me to distill the visual information down to it's basic shapes without getting hung up on fussy details. A quick splash of some watercolor, in both sketches I only used Indanthrone Blue and Burnt Sienna, and the page is full in about fifteen minutes.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Upcoming Not-So-Blank-Page Project

My crow (watercolor on added in paper) on
Roz's Squiggle background (see original below)
On Monday February 18th Roz Stendahl and I unveiled the new collaborative project for the MCBA Visual Journal Collective.  The project is called "The-Not-So-Blank-Page" and involves the group creating a collaborative custom "smash" journal.  Participants in the project will create two unique, original backgrounds that will be photocopied and become a part of the spiral bound journal that each person will fill between the April meeting (when we deliver the books) and the December meeting when we will have a simultaneous viewing party.

Examples of pages from the project prototype. . .

Roz's Squiggle background made
as an example for our upcoming
collaborative journal project
As preparation for this project Roz and I exchanged a couple of backgrounds via computer and I ran and had example copies made into a small prototype journal to experiment in with different art materials and to test the nature of the pages when they came in contact with water based products like paint.
I discovered that the copies took watercolor and a wide range of other art supplies fairly well.
My watercolor pear on Roz's photocopied background.
I was testing the paper and the copy to be sure both
stood up to water based journal work.
The photocopied image is very waterproof, none of the pages I worked on bled or changed due to the water in my paint and sheets only buckled somewhat after having paint applied; the image above has paint on both sides and some buckle is evident.  As you can see in the image above, the copy does resist the color, which makes very heavily imaged sheets a bit more challenging to work on than sheets that are more open or white.  I dealt with that problem by either letting the paint sit and soak in (interesting effects as can be seen in my heron page posted on Roz's blog post about the project) or by adding my journal elements on via collage (crow above, and both of the following examples).

On the left: my background made as an example for the project
On the right: my art work and collage element on the page

On the left: Roz's background made as an example for the project
On the right: my art work and collage elements on the page

Interested?  Keep reading.
How to be involved . . .

The Details:

Each person will create two separate 8 1/2 x 11 (portrait orientation) original backgrounds - 
        Work only on one side of the paper you use, do not sign your work.  Label the back of each page with your name, neatly printed and either "page A" for right handed page or "page B" for left handed page.  See the example diagram below which includes two pages front view, showing how they will be bound and a back view of each page, labeled correctly.  Because of printing limitations each sheet will lose about an 1/8 inch around all sides - be sure to keep any key elements away from the very edge of your pages.
All artwork will be photocopied for use in this project, with that in mind please keep all artwork flat and do not use anything that you do not have the copyright for in your background.  
Keep in mind that other artists will be using your page as a backdrop for their journal page at some point in the project, any element that you include can or will be covered, distorted, altered, or changed to suit the needs or desires of the new owner of the page.  All art work created on pages become the copyright of the artist who worked on the page, your background will only be your background when it is empty of another artist's work.
No pages can be removed!  We will view these together and want to see what each person does to each page, it would be no fun at all if we get to your page and it is missing!  If you make a "mistake" or really struggle with a background challenge yourself to work around it by adding a collage sheet over the problem area or using gesso to lighten a problem spot, etc.  There are lots of ways to continue to work and change a page for the better without resorting to its removal.

Backgrounds need to be complete and turned in at the March 18, 2013 Collective meeting along with a check to cover photocopying and binding costs associated with the project.  We are not making any profit on these books, we are only charging each person exactly what it costs to create the journal.  Costs are to be figured based on the number of participants x $.50 photocopy costs +$2.75 binding. (if 30 people participate the cost will be $18)
Payment is due when you turn in your artwork at the March 18th meeting, we will know at that point how many people are joining in on the fun and can give a price to all involved.  Please be prepared to pay with cash or check, made out to me, Suzanne Hughes, as I am the one who will be dealing with the copies and book production.
If you can not make the meeting but want to participate, please send your art work to: Roz Stendahl, P.O. Box 141434, Minneapolis, MN 55414. (Roz doesn't get mail delivery before the Collective on Monday so she needs to have your artwork in hand on Saturday to ensure you're in the count.) 
Mail in participants will be notified of the final cost, contacted (include email when mailing work), and will need to respond by March 19th that they are still participating and mail a check to the same address by March 25.
If you are unable to pick up your journal at the April meeting you will need to let either Roz or me know so alternate arrangements can be made for delivery of your book (potential fee for postage, pick up on Open Studio night at MCBA, or the May meeting as a last resort).

Additional information, examples, and details can be found at Roz's blog post about the project.