ICAD Week 3

Still going strong on Daisy Yellow’s Index-Card-A-Day !  I’m feeling confident that I can do it this year!  It wasn’t a conscious decision, but I’ve definitely been happy doing mostly collage.  (Here are Week 1 & Week 2 if you want to peek back.)

This week I did a little bit of experimentation. Started out with the usual:

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Then I started to switch it up a little…


And then I really went nuts. All that white space made me start to itch toward more layered & complicated, so I glued a bunch of stuff down. Covered it up with a dry brushed layer of paint. Drew on top of that. Ended up with a jumble.


And that’s okay! That’s what this is for. Not my favorite card, but there are still things I learned from it, and I might just reference back to some of the techniques later. Esp that cutout on the left. Those were remainders of the lotus petals from the previous day. They really added some neat texture, especially after the layer of paint over them.

On Midsummer I tried to recreated the colors of my Midsummer 2013 cards:


And by the end of the week, I would say I was back to the stride I’d hit previously:



It’s really helping me to make something every day, to learn more about my style and the things I come back to. I’ve had such a hard time with that, and now I’m starting to see that I like certain compositions, grids mostly; that I prefer handpainted papers to, say, magazine cutouts; that I like putting words in a scribbled oval; and I really like letting the words come to me, and knowing that it’s about quantity & gettin’ it done, and so it’s not so precious & important to come up with the “perfect” words (if that’s even possible).

Okay, I’m off to make my nightly card! Which one was your favorite this week?


ICAD 2013: Blast from the Past (Part 2)

Last week I shared some of my Daisy Yellow’s Index-Card-A-Day from 2013. You know, waaaay back when I didn’t have a blog. Haha. Today I have some more blasts from the past, and I wanted to review for my own sake what I like & didn’t like about them. You’re welcome to share your comments! It’s old work, and more of a “process over product” kind of project, so it doesn’t feel as vulnerable. Critique away!


The top collage is a little muddy, and must have been when I was starting to run out of steam, because it’s not a very intentional collage; it’s mostly the paper I use to line my desk & wipe off excess paint, and also glue scraps onto. I’m not sure if there was any “new” work on this.  The second piece is from June 19, and I was trying to figure out ways to blend the “transition zones”, and tie the piece together. I kind of like the crayon scribbles. Every time I use crayon, I enjoy it so much, in such a primal, nostalgic, “my first art supply” kind of way, but I get annoyed that it rubs off on the adjacent pages of my art journal. Not a problem here.


June 21 & 22, Midsummer themed, of ferns and flowers and the woods and bright sun. I like how I tried it a couple different ways. And I like that yellow crayon over everything as sunlight.


And now onto a completely opposite cool colors palette! I remember being disappointed with these at the time; the stitching didn’t come out like I wanted, the gesso didn’t pick up the orange bag texture the way I wanted, the magic marker didn’t look as much like watercolor as I hoped. But it’s experimental stuff, and now I love that bottom one, and it’s so much like scales that I kind of want to use it as a collaged mermaid tail or iguana or something.


More collage. I really love making collages, and yet, I feel like I….shouldn’t? in my art journal. Or something? Like, the paper is too nice to use for that? Or something else that I can’t even express? I don’t know why I don’t do a lot more of this thing that I really like to do, but I always end up having an existential crisis around it, like why, what do I do with all these collages, and the answer is pretty much the same as for all the rest of my art, but it feels more…indulgent? Lots of question marks, lots of questions I can’t answer. But saying (typing) it out loud makes me realize just how dumb it sounds, and makes me want to start filling art journals with nothing but collage pages. And maybe I will.


With my handcut raptor stencil! Let me tell you, no easy feat with an exacto knife. But it got a lot of use that year that the raptors kept circling overhead, death having come, death on its way. It was a dark year, but I actually really like raptors, and they’re not a negative symbol at all for me. Even vultures, especially vultures, who scavenge and get a bad rap, but they serve a vital purpose in the ecosystem and they’re really freaking cool. Their primary form of defense is barfing at their enemies. Pretty badass.

Annnywho, that’s what I was up to in 2013. How about you? Wanna time travel with me?


Art Journaling This Week

Needing lots of white space and affirmations this week. I’ve been reading Creative Lettering by Jenny Doh and trying out some of the techniques.  Here’s an attempt at sort of randomly filling out the letters in different styles with an added watercolor background, from Aimee Dolich’s section:



I also used one of the tags I had from my leftover postcard paper. And I drew one of my doily doodles. I know how to crochet, and sometimes I like to doodle like I pretend I’m crocheting and use the same loop-type stiches.





This was a take on the color wheel by Lori Vliegen in her section of the book, with a caveat. I used watercolor for the shadows instead of smudged pencil. But my 1-year-old did some smudging of his own.


This one was one of Flora Chang’s exercises, with a quote by Pablo Picasso. Or maybe Vincent Van Gogh. I saw a lovely ICAD today that attributed the quote to the latter. That’s one of the reasons I previously stayed away from quotes; it seems so difficult and yet important to track down the correct attribution. So instead I usually use mottos of my own, like the one above. But here’s the Picasso/Van Gogh quote, which is a good sentiment no matter who said it:


More collage from my yummy painted paper collection:


And a hammered flower that came out much better than my Journal52 (probably because my art journal is proper watercolor paper). For all the headaches our new house is giving us, it sure has some nice perennial gardening. This was a rose:


And last but not least, some random sketchbook-y type stuff. A marker palette my son “picked out” (some markers he grabbed that were nice colors together), and a quick pattern & pine tree I painted during one of his car naps.





Sneaking art in wherever I can these days. How about you?

Hodge Podge

There’s some catch up work to share today!

First up is some mail art I received a couple weeks ago from Petrolpetal via the International Union of Mail Artists. I’ve received mail art from her before, a lovely tissue paper stamped or stenciled in gold ink. This time was similarly lovely, a neat collage of a scrambled Renaissance painting & another image, I think of an artist working on the ground.


And being international mail, it had a neat stamp:

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I’m still plugging away on Daisy Yellow’s Index-Card-A-Day. I’ve been saving them for after we put the baby to bed. My guaranteed quiet time, since Daddy is on bedtime duty, although I’m often quite spent by that time. Which is why it’s a good time to have a regular practice; whether I “feel like it” or not, I get out the folder of my collage materials and start picking things out. Here’s what I came up with this week:


Feeling drawn to text lately, but not to work on lettering. Just…the words, slightly enigmatic, not pouring over them but letting them come to me.


And then I change it up, with no words. Tried a zendoodling thing, and didn’t love it, but you know what? That’s not the point, and I’m sure I’ll find things I did love about it at some point.


I’m loving dipping into my collage stash, especially the painted papers that were so fun to make, but I was afraid I’d ultimately never use them. Well, now I’m using them! And I had forgotten how much I liked them, the detail work I did in colored pencil layered on top of the acrylic. Exciting! Also, now I have a “reason” to make more (although, the reason that they were fun to make should have been enough to begin with).


Some detail shots:




In this one I tried to show the texture of that neat (junk mail envelope!) paper–those dots are raised.


Last but not least, my Journal52 update, Week 23: Small Success. Mercury was at the end of being in retrograde, and it felt like everything in both of our houses (we’re in moving limbo) was broken. I needed a small success, and I tried my hand at fixing the screen door handle that had been broken for months. And it worked (mostly)! The house on the left is our new house, the one on the right is our current home:


I think that’s about enough for one day, don’t you? Which ICAD collage was your favorite? Did you catch my pun in the Journal52 picture? Til next time….

ICAD 2013: Blast from the Past (Part 1)

I hope everyone who’s participating in  Daisy Yellow’s Index-Card-A-Day is having fun! Here’s my first week of this year’s cards. But today, we’re time traveling! I want to show you some of my favorites from my attempt in 2013.


Sometimes I think I’m more of a conceptual artist than a real visual artist. I started ICAD2013 with an abstract series called “Logical Extension”. And here’s the explanation of that: my cat bit the corner of my first index card, so I extended the teeth marks in a diagonal line through the card. Also, I wanted to try a series of progressive layers, so I prepped a week’s worth of cards to look exactly like “Logical Extension #1”, and then each day added a new element onto the remainder. Day 2 was a Rex Ray-inspired collage shape.


On Day 3 I started to pull together something I liked, so on Day 4 (and 5, accidentally on one card), I challenged myself to push past that comfort zone. I, logically, ended up with something ugly (but nonetheless interesting; check out that combed gesso!)


Day 6 I added some words cut out of a book, and by Day 7 I was ready to shake things up again. I cut the card up, and glued it back onto a new card!


And Day 8 I really went bonkers and folded the whole thing into a tiny box, with the leftovers to be tucked inside. “Logical Extension Cubed”.


Not pretty, but pretty cool, if I do say so myself. I guess I like thinking outside the box—inside the box! LOL.

Art Journaling This Week

A lot of add-on work this week. I finished this doodle; I found it quite comforting sitting there, dark background and then lines sketched out, waiting to be filled up like a workbook.



I also worked a little more on that lady pulling by the curtain in my multi-layer piece from last week:


Certainly not a draft I’m going to keep, but what an important layer, and lesson. I’m so resistant to the idea of layers that I’m going to cover up, not use, but I’m learning there’s truly a purpose to each layer, even if it’s just to tell you more about the direction of the final piece. This one told me that I was actually painting my mother. Interesting…



Tried working on a watercolor landscape at one of our local garden/hiking trails. I was later kind of disappointed in the bland composition, but I feel like I’m improving on using a better range of values, and being more daring with my shadows. And the stone wall came out in a way that pleased me. What do you think? In any case, I’m going to doodle a doily underneath it. Yup.

And last but not least, a special doodle on my baby’s first birthday:



ICAD Week 1

Hi, Readers, if you’re out there! I’d always love to hear from you. Are you doing Daisy Yellow’s Index-Card-A-Day this year? This summer is going to be my second attempt; I tried once in 2013 and got through the month of June. That’s only halfway, and honestly, I can’t remember why I petered out.  The FAQ states: “The challenge is about the DOING and not the KEEPING or PRESERVING or ARCHIVING. It is the process of creating each day that matters.” Still, I enjoyed the time I spent on it and I’m eager to share my favorites from that year with you sometime next week.  And I’m committing to the challenge this year, and I AM gonna make it, a tiny creation every day. Yup yup yup.

So without further ado, here are my first 8 of the 2015!


Starting off with collage. Sometimes I feel like naming them, sometimes I don’t. The second one is named “Cohesive/Out of Focus”, a big concern I have about my art, that it’s neither cohesive nor has enough focal points.



By #3, it was becoming clear I was still floating off the high of both creating and receiving so much mail art, and was inadvertently making a mini-series of ICADs that look like mail. I’m kind of especially proud of #4, which was made in the passenger seat of a road trip, using only paper I could find in the car!


By #5, I was sort of losing interest in covering every square inch of the card in collage material, so the next day, I decided to open up to all that white space.


And so I tried to keep that momentum up, with #7 (which is actually a sewn paper with a flap that lifts to read “space”). I was practicing some brush lettering on my newsprint sketchbook, and the result was a bit of stacked writing that I thought would look nice as collage for #8.

And that brings us more or less to this week. I’ll hopefully have more to share with you soon, and I do have those ICADs from 2013. Let me know if you’re participating this year. I’d love to see!

iHanna’s Spring 2015 Postcard Swap–Complete!

In May I made a bunch of postcards in preparation for iHanna’s Spring 2015 Postcard Swap.  And now the “results” are in my mailbox, another 100% success rate (you pay only $7 for iHanna’s behind-the-scenes work and you’re all but guaranteed to receive all 10 of your postcard swaps). Check it out:

This was one of my favorites, by Johanna in South Florida. I loved the composition.



This fabulous postcard by Karen reminded me of peacocks:



I believe this was the first postcard I received, a patriotic number just in time for Memorial Day parade, which is the first gig I marched in with the 110-year-old Italian-American marching band I belong to! Thanks, Susan in California!



This next one by Ethel in Pennsylvania is made from beautiful paper that must be handmade, possibly hand dyed. I tried to get a closeup of the texture & colors, but I’m not sure I could do it justice.





Debbie Klein sent a postcard that was also a mini work of art from her artshareproject.com (coming soon). I’m excited to see what that involves!



Julia in Washington state sent this postcard, her first iHanna swap & an accurate description of my mailbox–“riots of color”, indeed!



Leada Wood in Texas sent this juicy postcard. I loved the layers, and tried to get a good detail shot of the great texture:





Eurika sent this lovely postcard, with a great message. I think it was hand-lettered, and I’ll ask her in my email (but I wanted to save it til I could send the link to this post, so I’ll have to edit that later!). And the pattern on the right is embossed, so it has a neat powdery feel to it.


Kathie in Colorado sent this postcard, another piece of art I can’t do justice with my photographs. The paint is a shimmery copper, and I just couldn’t catch the light accurately in these pictures, but it’s a special final touch.





And last but not least, Tonya sent a pretty piece of abstract art, with vivid watercolors (and maybe some pearlescent acrylic?). I tried to get closeups there too, but not sure I could edit the colors as vibrant as real life:





Look at all that art in my mailbox!  I feel lucky, and I’ll have to put them in my collection of mail art. Thanks so much, everyone! And if you have blogs that aren’t linked here, please let me know! I’d love to see more of your work.


Journal52: Week 22

The prompt this week was Wings, and I really wanted to think of non-bird wings. I entertained the idea of bug wings, but I couldn’t find a reference photo of a bug that I liked.  This week also happened to be a visit from my in-laws, who arrived at the Syracuse airport all the way from Salem, Oregon. So it became clearer:


Although the birds wanted to make their way in there somehow, so they were collaged into the sky:



I’m really loving my new pens, too!