Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Last Class

Yesterday was the last meeting of the advanced yearlong class. Here are some photos of the book that we worked on in class, using color transparancies, color xeroxes and this quote: "The human heart is a theatre of longing." Everyone was challenged to create a layout using those words and the materials provided.

Dana's book:
LaVerne's book:
Michelle's book
Peggy's book
Ann's book
Ann's book
Dana's book

Here is the last of the homework that people brought in:

Ann -- gouache on vellum:

And here is the last of mine:

Michelangelo -- gesso transfer on arches watercolor paper, gilding with instacoll and lettering with various Speedball nibs and gouache and mica powders:

Acrylic on canvas:


smaller canvas with same poem

The canvas pieces include photo transfers done with inkjet transparancies. The text is from one of my own poems.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What we did in class

These are photos of the layouts we created in class. Reggie brought all the materials -- the background paper, the quote already lettered, and the basic structure. We got to make the confetti! All of us agreed how interesting it was that we started with the same basic ingredients and all came up with a unique final product.

My pile of confetti:

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Homework!

This is the homework that I actually finished: two handmade books on pastepaper. The first one, Pale Blue, is a poem I wrote and have been lettering in several formats over the last 3 years. Maybe this is it's final resting place......
Materials, for those who care, paste paper, pearl ex, Dr. Martin's bleed proof white, little brads, pastels, foil leaf on acrylic gel medium.

This second book, with texts from Annie Dillard's The Writing Life, is done on the same papers in a vertical format.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Four Days Til Class

OK, it's 4 days until we have our next advanced class and I have not finished one single piece of homework! I have had 2 whole months, the kids have all gone back to school, no, being an artist is challenging. (I know, I can't complain, I have a great life) I just wanted to do so much more this year and it's already October. I think the vellum thing got to me -- why do layouts on vellum that can be done just as easily on paper? Why bother? Then I didn't feel challenged -- like I have done all this stuff already and I really wanted to learn some new skills or lettering techniques or styles. So now I am back under the gun and I am going to finish at least one of the things that I have started before he comes on Thursday!
Pictures to follow!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Gold Comparisons

In the last session of our advanced Reggie class he brought Shell Gold for us to try. This is a venerated substitute for gold leaf, and is valued for its ability to be tooled. But I have never liked it. Call me unsophistocated, but it just looks too dull for me.
So, I began a quest to find a good substitute for shell gold. Here are the first of my experiments:

The first two samples are of golds in powder form, mixed with equal parts gum arabic and water. First I brushed some on, then lettered with a #4 mitchell nib. The paper is black Bugra.
Here are the golds in order from top to bottom: Schminke powder, Maimeri powder (available from DiBona Designs and possibly Quietfire Designs), Pearl-Ex Brilliant Gold, and Pearl-Ex Sparkle Gold.

These two (below) are Twinkling H2O's. They are watercolors mixed with mica and anyone who knows me knows that I love them. The first time that I was introduced to them I tried the Sunflower and thought it was a perfect substitute for gold. Since then they have come out with a few other golds. (the one at the bottom of this photo that says "PE Aztec" is actually pearl-ex).

Below are the same golds on white arches 90 lb. hot press watercolor paper. Photographing gold is notoriously difficult and I have done my best to show these tests accurately.

While I would like to recommend one product as "the best" across the board, it is not that simple. Each color will react differently on different papers, and will also be affected by the anount of gum arabic that you add, and the humidity in your area and which side of the bed you woke up on. You know how it is!
But if I had to pick a favorite, based on its similarity to shell gold, its ease of use and its shininess, I would pick the Schminke powder.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Purple stained vellum

In class on Friday Reggie brought small pieces of vellum that he had stained purple using the traditional brazil wood dye method. Each of us got a small piece to work on, and the choice of using either shell gold or Instacol and gold leaf. The first photo is Michelle's piece using shell gold:

This one (below) is the piece that I did using Instacoll and gold leaf. The dyeing process changes the surface of the vellum and makes it a bit unreceptive to paint. It takes a lot of manipulation to get whatever medium you are using to stay down on the vellum -- it just wants to repel the liquid. But, the final result is so beautiful! The dyed vellum looks like velvet!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Homework photos from class

Gouache, gold leaf on vellum -- Ann Rabinovitz

Dana Jacobson's homework

Gouache and gold leaf on vellum -- Peggy Kunkel

Detail of Peggy's piece

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Artist's Dilemma

Class is in two days and I am just now getting to the final of my homework project. I kept on doing "research" which means I was looking for Celtic border designs on the internet for 2 days! In the end I have run out of time to use them, so decided to leave them off, because sometimes less is more.
The dilemma: Do I forget about the homework and read a book by the pool? It is so tempting to quit and just say I'm going to work on my tan. But then, that sounds so superficial, and it will only fade, so I'm going with the homework.
Although I don't have any photos of the work in progress, I do have photos from the class I taught on gilding at conference. This is relevant, because the gilding in Reggie's class and in my projest is done with Instacoll. Here are the samples:

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The advanced class in June

Here are some photos from our class this weekend. We worked on vellum, gilding. It was amasing and all were pleased with how easy the instacoll is to use.