Friday, March 27, 2009

Monoprint Minibook Tutorial

This is my first post in the new series I mentioned in my last post - Flaunt It Friday. In these posts I will go behind the scenes and show you something a bit different. I'm kicking it all off with a tutorial - my first! If you find any problems with it let me know and I'll fix them.

I made these minibooks with monoprint covers. I made the monoprint in layers. The first layer was actually painted - a very large loosely painted version of the still life. The next layer a stencil of a medium size version of the same still life was cut from paper and used in the printing. In the final layer a stencil was cut of a smaller version and again printed. I loved the idea originally, but the scale of the work detracted from all the details and colour variations. So cutting it up was the best option.
These minibooks have mixed paper pages. There are local handmade papers, vintage papers, some of my prints, and offcuts of watercolour papers. I have used different sizes to make it a truly unique book that is suited to sketches, notes, stories, poems, journalling and collage. They could be a one month journal or themed artist books.
I also added a little drawing to each book.

Download the tutorial below and enjoy! And you can buy these minibooks in my Etsy shop as well.
Monoprint Minibook Tutorial

Thursday, March 26, 2009

250th post and half a dozen ACEOs

Isn't it funny how you just get used to things. Making my 250th post has made me think again about blogging. I've really enjoyed my blog so far. It has been a much more rewarding activity than I could ever have imagined. I am passionate about the pros of it when others as me 'why?' with that aghast face. And yet somehow I managed to get used to it at the same time, and dare I say, take you, dear readers, for granted.
Well, looking at my blog with fresh eyes I've decided to make some changes! And they will be all for the better! First thing to do is to finish moving all my links (how did I get so many!??) onto my links page to clean up the visual experience here. It's a small change but worthwhile.
I might experiment with a couple of template changes too, so if you visit and it looks weird bear with me!
I'm also going to start a regular post Flaunt It Friday. On Flaunt It Fridays I will post about more than just my art. I will be including tutorials from time to time (yes, for my rebound books too!) as well as a peek into my collection of old books which is a lot more interesting than it sounds. I will feature the work of others, have interviews and more. I'm excited!
Oh, dear. I just realised - tomorrow is Friday! I wonder if I can whip up a post in time!? Here's hoping!
And back to my art... this is my latest series of ACEOs. In these tiny artworks I have explored my treasured memories of my favourite childhood games - cut-out dolls, hide and seek, hopscotch (I was good at the hopping but hopeless at the throwing) and all the other usuals. Ah, skipping stones! How good was that!?
Some of these are still available in my shop. Some sold before they hit the shop! Now that's a good feeling!

Friday, March 20, 2009

My First Newsletter - Sent!

I'm thrilled to say I've mastered the art of the newsletter and have today sent out my first issue. If you haven't subscribed already, please do so in the form at the top of my sidebar on the right. I won't send them regularly or often, it is meant to be just a nice way of keeping you informed of news and events. The other nice thing about it is I'm using it as an opportunity to spoil you with a little 'present' in each issue and coming soon - a subscribers giveaway! So subscribe now so you don't miss the next issue!

News: 2 New Exhibitions and an Outlet

Yesterday I had a lovely drive to Bellingen and Dorrigo with my dear friend Annie Matheson. We had a lovely day drawing inspiration from the rainforest, mountains and rivers as well as the many artists work we viewed in the galleries, boutiques and information centres we stopped at along the way. Annie is not only a wonderful artist and friend but she also has a flair for marketing and is helping me approach my hurdles in that area. I really baulk at anything marketing related but with Annie at my side yesterday, I am very pleased today to be able to make a couple of announcements. I’ll do it in chronological order!

Notebooks and Cards
Originally uploaded by Jan and Roly
Our first stop was at The Old Butter Factory just as you arrive in Bellingen. The old factory has been converted into a cluster of shops around some beautiful gardens under huge old shady trees. We had a good coffee at the cafĂ© first and then visited the Butter Factory Woodcraft Gallery which is always great for a browse. Even more so from now on I am happy to say, because it is now an outlet for my handprinted cards and Moleskine notebooks. It’s open 7 days a week from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm so please call in when you are in the area.

After a drive up the mountain we had a delicious lunch at Ruby’s in Dorrigo. Refuelled and feeling great after such a wonderful and successful morning, Annie introduced me to Annie Purser of Pinnata Gallery. Found in the main street, this delightful little gallery is packed with superb work by many regional artists. I showed Annie my paintings and I’m thrilled to say she loved them. She told me she would have them on display later that afternoon! I will be keeping her stocked with my work from now on, so if you are in the area, please call into the gallery for a look. It’s open Tuesday to Sunday 9:30am to 4:30pm.
Waiting for Someone Special Acrylic, ink, liquid graphite and collage on canvas

Wish You Were Here Acrylic, ink, liquid graphite, embroidery and collage on canvas

We drove back down the mountain feeling very happy, stopping a couple of times to see the Rainforest Centre and more good shops and came home feeling very pleased with my day and with a small gift of Australian pepper in a grinder for my dear pepper-lover.

The second exhibition I can tell you about is the Focus Postcard Show opening tonight at 6pm at the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery in which I have 3 works on exhibition. The show will run until May 9 so you will have plenty of time to see my paintings and artist book if you can’t join me there tonight. It will be a great night too as there is actually 4 exhibitions opening! Print and Process works from the NERAM Collection, Meander II Helen Geier’s printed and pierced works on paper scrolls and screens and an exhibition of Stephen Leek’s strong and bold figurative paintings. I am honoured to be in such amazing company. It really is an unmissable exhibition! The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday between 10am and 4pm, and on Sunday afternoons when there are Sunday Salons on.

Waiting for Someone Special Acrylic, ink, liquid graphite, embroidery and collage on canvas

Wish You Were Here Acrylic, ink, liquid graphite and collage on canvas

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Guess who's coming to dinner?

Really the most important thing might be to ask what's for dinner!?

For my uni course I had to choose a non-art material from a list and make art out of it. It started out as a particularly large men's suit purchased on half price op-shop day.

A good coat of blackboard paint and a little chalk and it became 'Dinner Suit.'

I think the only thing to worry about is what I will wear to my next exhibition opening (if and when) and what will I write on it!?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Garden Hose

Gosh, where to start! So much to catch up here!

I'll start with 'Garden Hose', created as part of my uni course. At the time I was very concerned and upset about the situation with the bushfires in Victoria. This is my response.

I collected Norfolk Island Pine leaves. When I got them home I sorted them into graded colours, from green, gold, through red brown to grey and finally black. Then I joined them end to end to create my 'hose'.

The green leaves were the start of it and were wound around the hose reel. The black leaves made up the end of the hose. When I began I had no idea what I was making. The next time I make this piece I will begin with more of the greens so it is more obvious on the hose reel. It is amazing how like a hose this looks, only with far more texture.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hello! (from me AND the front page!)

How can I explain away my long absence? Let me count the ways!
But I'm back.
Or I will be, when I get my laptop back from the back room of the local Walk-In Mac Repairer.
Then I WILL be able to explain, and with pictures!
There will be my latest works (accompanied by excuses for being away from the blog for so long).
There will be stories of all kinds of exciting things (accompanied by excuses for being away for so long).
And there will be promises of great things to come (also accompanied by... well, you get the picture).
But while I've been quiet and away, others haven't. Esta sketch has featured one of my prints How to make a paper doll's flatlette in a Treasury on Etsy and it is on the Etsy front page right now (be quick - if you miss it, just look down here).
Really, it's good so one has been doing something on here!