Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Strange Folk Festival

Daughter Juli with her loot in tow.
It's my favorite season. One of the highlights each year is the STRANGE FOLK FESTIVAL held in O'Fallon, IL (usually the third weekend of September.)  Once again, the most unusual and creative crafters are there to delight and inspire me. (And I even had a birthday stash to spend....yea!)  Here are a few photos to show you why I'm so giddy about this event.
Matt's cousin, Katy, a hardworking member of the O'Fallon Garden Club

Dennis Smith and his son's amazing assemblages. Contact Dennis at densmithart@yahoo.com

Laura Newsome's surprising upcycled sweater creations 
can be found at   www.handmade pretties.com

Pete and our friend, Beth Williams pose for the camera.
Beth's lovely jewelry can be found at eliwill.etsy.com

Gail Richardson's wonderful cloth flower creations can be found at www.theginghamgarden.etsy.com


Mary Hummert's whimsical up-cycled jewelry and small wall hangings included keys, charms and frozen charlotte dolls. Mary's website is www.pairabelles.com

 Don't know this vendor's name but her website is www.mythdemeanor.com. She was exhibiting silk screened designs on t-shirts and old ties. Such fun! (Yikes...link not working. No name on card.) How on earth will I order my Christmas gifts for all those unique people on my list?

 Joseph Papendick exhibited wonderful outdoor sculptures "for birds and other living things". Loved them. Here's a link to more of his work: www.joepapendick.com
and www.joepapendick.etsy.com

 These two wild and wonderful crafters are both also art teachers!
Whoot, whoot! Their work includes colorful high relief animal portraits and bright color birdhouses made of old boots. To contact Emily Sydow and her mom, Nina Cleveland go to
www.PurpleGinkoMudturtle.com  (Yikes, another failed link)  Try their email:

 Representing Mulberry Metalworks are Janan A. Turner and her sister. (Janan is a favorite friend of ours from Beyond Timbuktu in Edwardsville.) See her wonderful jewelry atwww.mulberrymetalworks.etsy.com

 Penny Zimmerman-Willis represents PEARL'S VINTAGE. With all sorts of upcycled garden goods.
See Penny's work at www.etsy.com/shop/pearlsvintagegoods

Sweet Square #30

Party Cat

Halloween Cat with pig nose and glasses.
It's the Andy Warhol thing again, with two identical cat cut outs. Amazing how different the images appear with just color and line differences. 
Hope to do other "Sweet Squares" in the future. This has been a very useful exercise.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sweet Square #29

Day 29....I'm already beginning to miss this exercise which is scheduled to end tomorrow. Thinking I may continue for awhile. It gives me incentive to get to the studio and post on my blog. The influence has already begun to leak into my work.
      Public thanks to Diandra Mae from Houston, Tx. for coming up with this challenge!
      I love the spontaneous look of these ink-on-wet-paper monsters. The sticker eyes added just the right touch of personality.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sweet Squares 22 - 28

Dad loved his new carrot tie.

As we left, Harry waved good-bye.
 The next few squares are the result of cutting more than one shape at a time, by accident not design. It was fun to use the same shape to convey different characters or settings for the same character. All are cut paper and a variety of markers. The whole experiment reminded me of Andy Warhol, repeating an image but making it new each time.

"Watch Out!" the dragon snarled.
"I'll be back soon," Mom said.

"Rain" Penny sighed. Rain meant mud.

"Ah, the sweet smell of poppies!"

Penny began to sing.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sweet Squares 18 - 21

Black Glue/Watercolor and Salt

White Glue on Black Paper/Pastels

Tissue paper w  Ink & Paint details
 My next four squares in the "Sweet Squares"September Challendge  include:
A chameleon outlined in black glue with watercolor and a sprinkling of salt for texture, a snail outlined with black glue with chalk pastel blended for the background, a tissue paper collage of a girl reaching for a butterfly, with ink and paint details and a fish outlined in green fabric paint, then painted with watercolor. Off to the studio to experiment some more. Fun, fun....
Green fabric paint and watercolor

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sweet Square # 17

Brown Ink wash and pen details
Today's "Sweet Square" is a brown ink wash with pen and ink detailing. I found several bottles of colored ink in the cupboard. May have to use them up before they go bad. It's surprising how "stuck" in media ruts we all get when one material becomes our first pick. I'm discovering that I need to do this more often to maintain fluency in more than one media.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sweet Square #16

Oil Pastel Etching on Colored Paper

Color Digitally Removed
I'm trying to focus on process and media. In this sample, I applied one color of thick oil pastel on top of a colored piece of tagboard, then etched the image through the top layer. I scanned the image and manipulated it in iphoto to remove the color. Very interesting. Not sure which version I prefer.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Original image oil pastels/watercolors

 In this 3"x3" sample I used oil pastels to draw the chameleon, then used watercolor inside the main shape. In the background I applied a thick layer of oil pastel and etched through with a sharpened wood stick to create a patterns. I like the scale of the larger image, but would prefer even more detail with a larger image.
Image digitally intensified

Sweet Square #14

Sweet Squares 14a and 14b: Oil Pastel Scratchboard 
In this example, I applied a thick layer of oil pastel to tag board and scratched through with a pointed wooden tool to create texture. After I scanned the colored version (the original), I played with my iphoto tweaking tools to eliminate the color and emphasize the texture. I liked the colorless version best. What do you think?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sweet Square #13

Paste Paper Collage with Stamped detail
Lucky for me, my granddaughters and I had created a stack of paste papers in the studio last month. (With the help of Jackie, the studio cat.) 

Cut paper isn't the best choice for a 3" x 3" square but I gave it a whirl. It's hard for me to work in this media without feeling I'm stealing from the paste paper king, Eric Carle. Paste papers are beautiful.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Cut Paper and Dimensional paint

Print from yesterday w. paste paper leaves

Craft felt and Foam w. marker details

Ink Wash C
Sweet Squares 9 - 12:
An attempt to step outside my comfort zone, try new media and have fun experimenting.

 Guess what? I'm not uncomfortable doing images in diverse media. It's fun and has jolted me into planning to update some of my  portfolio images.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sweet Squares 5 - 8

Ink Wash & Watercolor Witch
Fun Foam Rooster Print
Ink Wash and Watercolor 3" x 3"
Craft Foam Print/Colored Markers
I've decided that my first four attempts (below) were mainly style variations, not media, so I went back to the studio and pulled out a few different supplies from the cupboard: ink, pens, brushes and water, sticky back fun foam & watercolor markers. These are the squares I came up with for my next four experiments. I'd forgotten how much fun printmaking is...even on this most basic level. And ink washes, WOW...so spontaneous. (This challenge has already been good for me!) I may try to keep it up beyond 30 days.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Sweet Squares 1-4

Thin point sharpie and Watercolor #1
Thin point sharpie and blended watercolor marker #2.

Sharpie/watercolor pencil: folk art inspired #3

Thin point sharpie markers a la Zentangle. #4

OK, I'm a few days short of hopping on the bandwagon, but here are my first attempts doing a month of 3" x 3" media experiments inspired by the "Month of Experiments" sponsored by Diandra Mae's blog. Check it out here: http://diandramae.blogspot.com  Diandra attend Melissa Sweet's amazing session for Illustrators at the SCBWI Conference in LA. (Aug 2012). I was there too!
In case you don't know Melissa's work, her latest book, Balloons Over Broadway (http://www.amazon.com/Balloons-over-Broadway-Puppeteer-Education/dp/0547199457
won the Golden Kite Award this year for Illustration. It is an amazing book, full of media surprises.  Melissa encouraged us to EXPERIMENT and be more playful with media.  So that's what we're doing. BTW: Do you know how small 3" x 3" is?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Granddaughter Paper Dolls

Spent a few hours with my granddaughters this week teaching them how to make paper dolls like I did when I was little. My sister and I used dolls from the Sears catalog but I gave the project a modern twist by using digital photography. We had a great time. Thought you might want to see how we did it.  Illustrators often combine photos and drawn images in their illustrations. Take a look at Knuffle Bunny. Wouldn’t it be fun to use these images the girls to create a book all about them? If you decide to do it, let me know how it turns out.  (BTW: The dolls make great fridge magnets too!