I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front. My art energy has been missing since working on Karen’s book. Anna’s book rests on my desk, awaiting pencil and other tools. It will get attention, but I’m still trying to regroup my brain. July has been a purging month. Quite a few items have left our home/garage, helping to make space for work (and possibly art!). The biggie was finding a home for the giant mural from the Camas Project last year. 7 full door panels, collage, pastel, charcoal, and paint. About 19 feet long. Today I pulled out a full sheet of Rives BFK, split it and started cutting cells. I’ll talk about it more as things progress.
We’re in yet another major heat wave, reaching possibly our highest temps of the summer thus far. It’s already moving beyond 104F (yes, 40C!) at 4:30pm. I now have 3 of the camas sculptures outside to see how they fair in different weather conditions. Today they are rather glossy, since encaustic wax DOES melt. By tomorrow, they will be firmed up again and ready to take on yet another brutal heat testing day. Personally, I feel like a melting Popsicle right now! Did I mention we don’t have AC at home? I’ve never had it, not even growing up. Tonight I’ll be putting the cars AC to work on the way up to Portland and the Guardino Gallery. A friend, Diane Archer, is one of the featured artists along with ceramic artist Michelle Gallagher. I met Diane many years ago during my time with Corvallis Fall Festival. She creates fabulous work and I think she is one amazing woman! Always a treat to see! So, if you’re in Portland, swing by the gallery. It’s over in the Alberta district and features some incredible work.
I’ll try to get back into the swing of posting again as this new project progresses!
Urgh, I checked the temp and we’re at 105! At this rate, we might reach 107!
I can finally reveal Karen Bailey’s book at this time! It’s a subject that really grabbed me from the start, since I do a bit of forest work already, but had the most difficult time figuring out what to contribute. Basically, too many ideas! Above is the outer cover of the book created by Karen. The cover was hand-colored and she added the beautiful designs.
The first page now holds 3 artist’s work. Karen created the whimsical fiddle heads in the lower left corner and Anna the elegant leaf and flower cluster. The salamander was my contribution.
Karen’s spread is of a liverwort (no, not liverwurst!). I love all the undulating edges and negative space. I tried to explain what a liverwort was to my husband and said “you know, a Bryophyte”. Then I second guessed the terminology. Was it really a bryophyte, or is that a term for something else? I googled it and I was actually correct. Sometimes those scientific names actually stick in the brain, not that they’re of much use anymore.
Anna created a beautiful graphite drawing of wavy shelf fungus. So delicate and a strong image.
I added a watercolor of a plant that shows up in disturbed soils. Scouler’s Corydalis had lovely elliptical leaves.
The joint spread starts with Karen’s fern in the lower left corner. Anna created the beautiful red seedpods. I added my rendition of the seedpods on a stalk of Fox Glove (Digitalis). Now it’s up to Cathe to finish off the page!
And finally the back page where we add our comments!
Anna’s book has been waiting patiently in the studio while Karen’s book received it’s last touches. Once I send the Forest book off, I’ll finally open the last book! Something fun to look forward to tomorrow.
To see the work of the other three artists please click the links below. I linked the start of each book created. You can figure the rest out on your own. :)
Karen Bailey- Karen Bailey Studio (Occasional Artist) – Australia (VIC)
Anna Warren- Anna Warren Portfolio – Australia (NSW)
Cathe Jacobi- Amaryllis Log – USA (Minnesota)
Oh so close! The final drawing is coming together. Yes, I’m ashamed to say I’m still working on Karen’s book. Things in life have piled up causing artistic momentum to falter. Mini vacation, family crap, more family crap and more stuff that clouded my brain. At least I’m not in an arm brace after a jarring rock encounter in the kayak. It bruised the heck out of the bone. Pain and limited movement for about 12 hours, then it settled down. But no resting the giant goose egg on any surface! Yowza! The next outing will be much better and NOT involve the dog. Unless we take the canoe…. and that would bring up a whole new kettle of worm to deal with.
The book should leave the house tomorrow morning to Minnesota and Cathe’s waiting hands! I’ll post the final images at that time.
Slowly the front page of Karen’s book is coming together. It’s been another crazy couple of days and I’m just sitting down for a little sketch time. So far I’ve laid out the salamander body. Why a salamander? I have no idea, but it just seemed like a fun forest critter to add. It did become rather large, but I can’t go backwards now. This is a long toed variety. They have a lovely green pattern that runs from between the eyes to the tip of the tail. The body color is dark, shiny, with flecks of the same spotting on it’s sides. I really love the patterns down their back. It also surprises me at how their body gets creases and folds as they walk. These little guys live underground throughout our valley and into the mountains.
I should make my way through this image today. Tomorrow I’ll finish off the other joint page. The studio is so enviting these days since the temperature is about 15-20 degrees cooler than outside. Yes, the heatwave continues….
graphite, watercolor, colored pencil
Saturday was humid and hot. Driving over, I actually encountered a pretty good rain shower, then had a touch more right at opening. With the spotting of rain, the humidity pushed way up and probably kept us from getting to 100 F. Instead we made it into the mid 90’s. The garden was spectacular and crammed with so much diversity of color, texture and patterns. It would have been nice to sit around and work on small sketches, but I chose to hang out by my work and talk with visitors. The kiln opening was like Christmas. So many wonderful things to see, but it was a tad warm in the space! It seemed like Rhoda sold quite a few items fresh from the kiln.
Here are a small group of photos I snapped while walking around the garden. For some silly reason I didn’t get pix of everyone there! I have to blame the heat. We had around 100 visitors who braved the weather. I did sell two small works. Not too shabby for the inaugural year! Next year will be even better!
I certainly received loads of praise for the Camas sculptures. Maybe I’ll experiment with one in my garden to see how it holds up to the remaining summer. By fall, I should have a pretty good idea how it fairs with the weathering.
Have you ever created something and then thought “Who made that? It doesn’t look like me!” But then what is me? And how does ME come forward without experimenting with different ideas? Last night I pondered this “me” moment after working on the above page. Creating something for another person always puts a self-imposed level of expectation on the work. There is that nagging feeling that it’s not good enough, but I have to push past that and accept where it is. The image is a watercolor and pen rendition of a native wildflower, Scouler’s Corydalis. It’s not scientifically accurate but a more generalized interpretation of the foliage and a couple of flowers. I added a blue wash behind the leaves that helped ground the image more. Plus I liked it! I only use pen and watercolor on rare occasions, typically in travel sketchbooks, but I’m starting to use it for more general things. Everything still feels like a giant experiment, and that’s probably ok for now.
Last night my husband was trying to explain the artist book collaboration to his mother via phone. She brought up some interesting questions that I can answer here: The work produced is simply for each other and isn’t going to be sold. The books are individual artworks. There isn’t any way to reproduce each individual book since they are unique. It’s just for fun. No monetary gain what so ever! While he was talking to her, I handed him the book open to the page. He spent time looking through it after the phone conversation and he wondered who had created what. That made me chuckle because he couldn’t even recognize the above page as being my creation. Guess it’s nice to keep him surprised! If it were a dog sketch or something in charcoal, he could have figured it out.
I’ll be spending the next couple of days (weeks) trying to avoid the heatwave that’s setting in. Possibly 100 F (38 C) tomorrow and Saturday. Urgh, Saturday will be the big garden art sale! Heat! Dehydration! Melting Camas sculptures! It will be what it will be! Hopefully some brave souls will come visit.
Slowly the full page for Karen’s book is coming together. Back in May when we spent some time on Cape Perpetua, I took a few photos of plants I didn’t know. One turned out to be Corydalis scouleri, or Scouler’s Corydalis. I was drawn to it’s beautiful elongated leaves and elegant spikes of flowers. It seemed like a good fit for the book collaboration. Karen’s theme is Patterns in Nature:Forest. More work to come to finish off the page a bit more but at least color has finally graced the page!
Watercolor, Sakura Micron pen, graphite.
Plant info: Height- 60-120 cm tall,
Flower stalks: 20-30 cm tall, pink, spurred, spike like clusters.
Pacific Northwest coast range, moist forests and riparian zones.