Archives for category: Tags

But for right now here are some tags – front and back – I made in anticipation of a Road Trip (yay!) to Philly that took place yesterday. Did some Recliner Art. Yep, I actually carved the stamps while in The Recliner.


Then I made another set of tags with Recliner Digital Art. This is the front and back.


Benedicte and I met up with a Never-Met-Before-Internet-Friend of mine. Living on the edge. That’s us.

Yes!!!  We did it again.  Fun Foam fragments sticking to the table, falling on the floor, flying through the air.


A quote from one of the participants:  “It was great fun. Shirley got carried away with foul language, Benedicte drank too much coffee and began singing in French, Pat had a frenzy and couldn’t contain herself, and Teri gave lessons on walking. “


The Plan:
It began with an innocent visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  They were having a preview of The New Galleries for The Art of the Arab Lands, etc, etc. etc.  One piece, a woman with a stringed instrument, seemed to simultaneously “resonate” with all of us.  We made a decision, agreed on a date and Went For It last Wednesday.


Uh Oh:

But:  I seem to have gotten carried away the weekend before because I kept finding images (one from the Rubin Museum) that I liked and a FF Frenzy consumed me for two days.


The resultant journal pages:




And, I can’t resist making tags for everyone:



The Inspiration: 




The Confession
The first painting, while we all stood gazing at it in one of the Met’s glorious, re
nowned, hallowed galleries, brought visions of Fun Foam dancing through our heads.

a/k/a Eureka!


Highly Prized is the January theme for the Sketchbook Challenge.  This had me really befuddled.  I’ve found that if my brain doesn’t immediately “click” when I am confronted with a theme it is highly unlikely that one will occur to me.  And then, this morning, BOINGGGG, I came to my senses – it was as if someone had knocked me on the noggin’ and shouted “Hey! Snap out of it!”


As I’m writing this my highly prized list is expanding.  


1.  Retirement.  For the past year and four months I’ve been walking around smiling, laughing, whistling to myself, journaling, making things – lots of things.  I go where I want to, when I want to and see who I want to.  


2.  Blogs.  Yes, blogs – that big time wasting procrastination invention.  Because of Melly’s blog (I probably got there via Quilting Arts or Cloth Paper Scissors) which led me to Shirley’s blog which led me to the Central Park Sketching Meetup Group (which led me to other meetup groups but that’s for another day) which led me to Benedicte, Pamela and recently Teri – I’m now surrounded by people I really, really like and who seem to want to be with me also.  And, they are all happy, talented, interesting and positive – not a toxic note among them – we make art together regularly and laugh a lot.  We just had our First Anniversary of the Journal Study Group.  It was fun making things for them:

which held:


3.   Thermofax.  Oh boy, do I love screen printing.  What could be better than being able to do it in your kitchen and hardly making a mess.  You know what is better?  Printing all sorts of things and then giving them to people who understand.  


4.  Manhattan.  This past year I have been in the city more times than in the past 20 years.  Probably even 30 years.  Now I seem to have unlimited energy and love to join my friends for gallery/museum hopping, sketching and just soaking in the energy of the city.  Twice this week I took the train in.  Yesterday we had brunch and went to the Museum of Art and Design (first time for me ever).  Joining us were some special people – Gwen Diehn, her husband Phil and Vivian Swift.  Even more chatter and laughing than usual.  More show and tell – a Sneak Peek at something special and Gwen’s terrific tiny journal made out of a butter box(!).  Then later, coffee/tea, ice cream and a view.


And finally, my journal spread for the challenge which combines some of the things on the list above.


I’m going to stop now because my Highly Prized list can keep going on.  Even Scottdramatic is on it.

I innocently attached the portable hard drive to my Mac and waited patiently while it backed up everything. Then, without realizing it I started to clean out my folder labelled “scans”.  This is where all my scanned sketchbook spreads, etc. have ended up living.  There was no need for these to to be there – at the time of scanning I tweak them in Photoshop Elements and move them to a special folder in iPhoto.  I tossed out zillions of things – just leaving a few important things untouched. 


Well, this led me to open a file I created when I bought my new Mac two years ago.  I call it “All My Stuff” and it was so that everything could be moved from the old Mac into the new one without me having to deal with sorting things – all I did was slide everything into this folder.  I went through every item and put everything where it belongs, even the trash.  I think I had the equivalent of 5 or 6 large trash bags by the time I was finished.


I got rid of the folder labelled “Temp Temp Desktop” and the one labelled “Desktop Temporary Files”.  These were the equivalent of the kitchen junk drawer.  Hmm.  I’m going to remember that.  Junk Drawer is a more interesting label.


Now my desktop is squeaky clean and in theory everything is logically (ha!) filed.  


On another topic:


I made five of these Penguin atc’s and two of them are in the Cloth Paper Scissors Gifts issue.




Anyone want to trade with me for the remaining three?

I scheduled an early morning annual eye examination for yesterday since it was the  Monthly JSG get together and I could kill two city birds (sorry Melly) at once.  Afterwards the plan was to walk uptown and then west to the Met and kill a few hours there, pick up a cup of coffee and something to chew on at Hot & Crusty on Lexington Avenue and slip past the doorman when his back was turned.  But, I had a trying-to-fool-myself secret plan that the back of my brain knew about but the front was sort of ignoring.  When I left the ophthalmologist’s office I turned left instead of the proper right, and then left again at the corner, heading up Third Avenue.  


“Well, lookit this”, I told myself.  “I seem to be at 87th Street and Third Avenue.  Since I’m here I might as well just scope out the place.”  


Brain was still not communicating very well so the feet didn’t know the “scoping out” plan and just walked right up to the place, mouth started talking to Nobu, who was sweeping the steps, body followed Nobu down the stairs and through the door, feet shed the sneakers and then kept walking until butt was firmly in a chair and Ophthalmologist Induced Blurry Eyes stared in excitement at what was before them,




ears listened attentively to the 1 minute lesson and all the brain parts came together in a big Whoomp! 




I was told to select a fiber from the basket next to me and to use it for five minutes.  Of course, you all knew I would pick this color.  It was a very thin fiber and I was a bit iffy about it.




As soon as I added this next whitish one my heart rate upped a bit.  I was permitted to choose from a selection of fibers in about a zillion hues and textures and blends.  This must be part of the zen of Loop of the Loom.




By now I “knew” how to interlock two fibers (by “knew” I mean I was taught, did it, promptly forgot how I was doing it, tangled the shuttle in the warp, had to be untangled, needed to be re-taught interlocking, tangled again and finally was able to change the interlocking color all by myself – ta da). I learned how to leave holes on purpose.  Best of all was the addition of odd pieces of wool roving, short odd bits of left-over fibers and letting threads dangle off the selvage and in the body of the fabric – just my cup of tea.  Everything was permitted.


At the end of the two hours My Woven Fabric (zowie) was cut off of the loom and I was shown how to tie off the warp threads.


(Aside:  Today I had to take a quick trip to the store and I took it along for the ride so I could admire it in daylight.)

(continuation of yesterday):
Still blurry I left the weaving studio and headed westward, stopping for the coffee and nosh, slipping past the doorman and joining MellyShirleyBenedicte and Pamela (The Pamster) who is Melly’s student from California.  Ongoing chatter continued, show and tell – Melly demonstrated how to use the ruling pen on fabric as per her daily challenge;

Shirley showed and explained the samples she made at Quilt Fest-; and then we got down to the agenda.  Watercolor painting on Yupo.  Ohhhhhh.  We started with crayola crayon drawings which would serve as a barrier. I was using a mixture of watercolor and proper gouache, with no rhyme or reason because I didn’t have a clue.


I went on a wild ride with the first attempt.  No color control at all.  Just running all over the place.


Hmm.  My excuse:  Blurry Eyes.


After Picasso – one of his small portraits at the Met.  You knew that, right?


And then, the inevitable and necessary with the visitor bending under peer pressure:


So, it is now today and I tried to tweak a few bits on yesterday’s “paintings” and in the process I learned that if you try to go over the paint with a water filled brush to add more color – guess what – it liquifies and you can wipe off the offending parts with a paper towel and re-paint.  


A never-ending paper supply.
Some months ago ShirleyMelly and I were viewing a Picasso exhibit somewhere (I don’t remember if it was MOMA or The Met).  We figured that since he was able to successfully interpret another’s painting via linocut, (see Shirley’s blog – she remembers the details better than I do), there was No Reason At All why we couldn’t do the same using Fun Foam. Right?  Sounds reasonable.  We put this brilliant idea on our list of Things To Do at Shirley’s Apartment.  Ah ha – I just remembered – it was The Met – because we passed by a painting of Judith with a severed head and decided that painting might be a likely candidate for interpretation/abstraction.  A couple of other paintings appeared possible also.  Ahem – a bit of a pause here while I “toot my own horn” –  Check out Sept/Oct Cloth Paper Scissors (pg. 28 etc. ) to see how we went about it.
Yesterday was the big day.  We gathered at Shirley’s earlier than usual, drank coffee and chatted and finally took out our art supplies.  Melly and Shirley used Judith as their inspiration.   I found inspiration elsewhere – El Greco’s “Jerome as Scholar”.  I do believe one would be hard pressed to tell which are the originals and which the copies. 
It was more difficult than I expected – we had to constantly bully and threaten, um, encourage Shirley which was exhausting. Instead of throwing us out she fed and ignored us and finally made some tags so we would have a complete set.
The workmen outside the dining room window provided entertainment – they nonchalantly peeked at us as they walked by.  As soon as we broke out the fun foam and concentrated they seemed to walk by more frequently – openly looking at us.  Joke’s on them though.  One of them appears in my 100 Faces (#30) and Shirley hid in the shadows one day and drew two of them.  
By the way, Rayna, you are #83.

In September I drew 100 faces – as per Carla Sonheim‘s Drawing Lab book.  Faces are drawn from life, from magazines, from photos of people I know, one is from my imagination.   It’s interesting that, even though I was doing the drawing, all the faces turned out different.  Gratifying.  I decided to only use pens – no pencil at all.  There were only  two that were so horrible I HAD to rip them up and start again.  I found that I really like drawing with Sharpie pens – orange, green, purple, red – and a tiny fountain pen I bought at the Japanese bookstore on 6th Avenue between 40th and 41st Streets.  Even the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen failed to scare me.  I didn’t cut squares of paper to work on – that’s a pain  and a bother and would just give lazy me an excuse to not draw.


My friend Shirley is also doing this lab but she is strictly drawing from life.  If you sit opposite her on a bus or subway you are fair game.  She has a few squares of pre-cut watercolor paper, a pencil and a tiny set of paints all at the ready.  On her face (which I drew three times, by the way) she wears a perfect expression of nonchalance and no one ever suspects that she is scrutinizing their nostrils, wrinkles and sideburns.






Yes, tags.  50 tags with faces on both sides.  And, made into a book.

I’m in Panera right now.  Waiting for my next “subject”.  I managed to draw two faces already from life – only one more to go for my daily self-imposed requirement.  I have a very strategic spot.  My back is against the wall and I’m at a small table so the computer has to be right in front of me and the only place I can draw is right in front of it.  This way I can sketch shamelessly because my paper and pen are blocked.  I’m still very shy about sketching people in public.

Today is a sad and lonely day  and I’m drowning my sorrow in an iced tea.  One of them is in France (again!) and the other is either over the Atlantic or in Spain.  These time zones have me befuddled but I think they are approximately 6 hours ahead, give or take an hour here or there.  We’re asleep and awake at different times.  Might as well be on different planets.
Ah – the French one just e-mailed me.  Her last line is “going to sleep”. See what I mean?
Now I will slip back into the near past – to screen printing in Connecticut in August.  This is a blind contour drawing I did in my journal while looking at a photograph, still in the camera, that I took while walking through some woods with a group one Sunday.
I enlarged the image and, using drawing fluid and screen block out stuff (I forget what it is called), reproduced the drawing on a screen and this is how it printed:
Notice that the black and white of the images are reversed with this technique which I liked much better than the photo emulsion.  It seems quicker and more direct.  Of course, its quite possible that both techniques take the same amount of time and it is just my skewed perception.  When I decided that I was finished printing this image (an edition of six) I tossed my journal under the screen and printed (not scanned yet) and then arranged the following and printed one last time.
Yep.  More tags.  And I don’t care what Scott says because he’s just JEALOUS.

I took a gelatin printmaking workshop today.  One of the teacher‘s techniques to get us started with gelatin printing is to take the small  trays of the stuff and divide each into four small squares – and giving one to each of us to get used to the technique.  Guess what she brought for us to print on?  She had a box of 500 tags and we used them all up.  I personally did 40 – yes – 40 tags.  I was in Pig’s Heaven.  I took three next door to Melly and she did stenciling on top of them.




Plus, at the “mixer” earlier this evening I won one of the raffle prizes!  A nice shopping bag with the September/October issue of Cloth Paper Scissors in which my article appears, a DVD, a copy of CPS Studios and both Quilting Arts and Cloth Paper Scissors 2011 calendars.  Plus, I was told that my art is recognizable as “mine” which is a huge complement and something that pleases me to no end.


So far we’ve been meeting all sorts of people:  a WW2 veteran who served on a destroyer and then again in the Korean war, who was traveling with two “younger” women – one of whom was the spitting image of Angela Lansbury.  We met a man with a leer, in an empty Burger King, sitting next to his wife (or sister) who told us why there seemed to be lone trees in the middle of large fields.  We met a lady from Indiana who was on her way home from a trip to Maine.  We flattened two pennies and saw a toddler wearing the same shoes as Melly.



And, we waited for a three hundred car freight train to pass while we waited at an intersection.

A few weeks ago, before the July get-together of the Journal Study Group I decided to make felted tags to give out.  Now that everyone has her tag I’ll show them off.  



While I was silk screening last week, before cleaning up, I made it a habit of putting down tags and printing on them.  I’ve made these 8 tags into a temporary “book” of sorts.






The monoprint of this same screen made some more nice tags.  This was probably the 4th printing and the base extender was becoming gray from all the colors mixing together but there is still color to be seen.  I gave out these tags yesterday at the monthly gathering of the usual suspects – Shirley, Benedicte, Melly and me (I?) – as we hogged two small tables and four chairs during a busy Manhattan lunch hour.



Everyone seems to enjoy looking at and touching them.   Should I bring them to Create?  What do you think?


I admit it.  I might be a little Tag Slap Happy.