Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Channeling Anahata Katkin along with Edith Wharton and Charlotte Bronte.....

Hello again, I know, it's crazy- me posting twice in the space of a few days?  What is up with that?  But, nevertheless; here I am with snaps of my (finally) finished pages for Kim of IM Girl.  You may remember that her artist of choice was Anahata Katkin......you may also remember that I mentioned having a hard time designing pages that honored her style without infringing on her creative rights.  And it took me a while, but I got there in the end!  I am really pleased with these pages!
I knew all along that I wanted to use an Emily Bronte quote I recently came across and as I was drawing the cherry branches and bird, I realized that it brought to mind a long time favorite artist of mine; Edith Wharton who wrote and illustrated The Diary of an Edwardian Lady.  I LOVED her work as a child, and was happy to re-remember her as an adult!  If you've never heard of her; google her- she's incredible!
I knew the bird had to be yellow because of the yellow
 (Anahata Katkin) bird on Kim's card

And I'll share a shot of this page as it appeared before I painted the letters but
AFTER I spotted a HUGE typo- 
it would have completely changed the meaning of this quote!  
I'm really glad I saw it before I painted all those layers of brown lettering- do you see it?

I wanted to continue with the bird theme for the outer side of her two page spread...... 
And I HAD to do a lady because I felt that was one of themes I have in common with Katkin- also, the tree is inspired from my current WIP canvas- I'll share it at the end of this post for anyone who wants a peek.
The words are part of an Emily Dickinson poem (I couldn't figure out a way to put her name on it without messing up the oval)  Here is the complete poem:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
I really feel like I've poured a LOT of blood, sweat, and tears into this spread, but I am SO glad I stuck with it until I came up with a piece that was "me" as well as honoring Anahata Katkin.
Here's my WIP if you want a peek- I've been working at it on and off since January- it's the biggest, most complicated piece I've ever done- and I'm pretty fond of it too!

I think that's about enough from me for one day- I still miss all my blog friends, hopefully I'll make it back one of these days!
xx
Stephanie

Friday, March 28, 2014

Some Anahata Katkin for Kim

I started working in Kim of IM Girl's
 art journal last week and her artist of choice is Anahata Katkin.  For her sign in pages she provided us with some awesome cut out hands to decorate, and I realized that I already had what I wanted to do for her sign in.  A few years ago, I did a self portrait in Katkin's style and I thought it would be a great way to represent myself.....I couldn't resist using the inside cover Kim created as a back drop for my self portrait hand....
For my  two page spread I had a plan of what I wanted to do, and I worked on it it all week.  Unfortunately, it was one of those things that went more and more wrong the more I did to it!  In fact, after cursing myself for not getting off my a$$ to go get the canvas paper I needed instead of trying make acrylics work on water color paper (too absorbent, doncha know ;-)), I decided to make a collage out of the parts I DID like and use it for Kim's cover- we are all contributing on each other's covers.  So this morning, I finished my part of her cover, and then left to get the correct paper- and NOW, I'm ready to get back to business...more on that later!
For now, here's Kim's cover with the face I painted torn and collaged onto more paper and glued into place 
As much as I despised this before I tore it and glued it, I am really quite happy with it now!
Now to get back to the inside pages- I hope to get the finished product on it's way the beginning of next week- should go faster now that I have the right materials!
xx
Stephanie
 

Magical Journal Journey 2014 began last month.....

My wonderful international art exchange group has started a new traveling journal and I finally made it here to share it with you!  This year, we've each chosen an artist as the theme for our journals and I've chosen Marc Chagall as my artist.  I bet those of you who know me would have guessed that I'd choose Gustav Klimt or Georgia O'Keeffe for this project....and I almost did.  BUT, I wanted to choose an artist that would be more out of my comfort zone.  I LOVE Chagall for his dreamy surrealism and his incredible use of color.  Also his work is quite romantic and he occasionally features flowers.  So, while it is a reach for me, it's also not a terrible stretch, either!
We each began with sign in pages and inside covers and we've decided to do collaborative covers.  Me, being ME, decided to do a front and back cover and also two "covers" to be placed inside as dividers of a sort.....anyway, here is the beginning of my book- I can't wait to get my completed Chagall-ish treasure in a few months- what FUN!
My inside cover is a based on Chagall's famous painting "I and the Village" I actually got see it in person in Paris last Spring :-)

I made little houses set in picket fence pockets for my "village" of art friends to do their sign in with

The first interior cover- I gave them a quote to play with......

Second interior cover with another quote....

The collaborative front cover- I just played with some Chagall-y colors-
 it was VERY hard to stop.  
I can't wait to see what my friends create on it!
My backside cover- I felt like I should do a bit more on it since I had the extra covers.....
plus, AGAIN, it was very difficult to stop painting!
So that's my journal- can't wait to see it grow!
xx
Stephanie

Monday, January 13, 2014

A BAD Case of Journal Envy......

OK I admit after visiting my friends at our Magical Journal Journey blog party, I started suffering from a BAD case of video envy....you see, the majority of them created wonderful videos for our friends to see their creations.  And it got bad enough, that I spent the weekend creating a vid of my own.  And what an adventure THAT was!!!  I finally uploaded it to my Picasa and linked the below photo....sorry for having to go "low tech"  I obviously need video making lessons!
https://picasaweb.google.com/114218337612144279548/JournalVideo#5968353852487353074
https://picasaweb.google.com/114218337612144279548/JournalVideo#5968353852487353074
Keep in mind, that it's the first one I've ever created so watch without too much criticism please.  But please do enjoy!
And be sure to visit my friends to see their journals as well!
Gemma
Maggie
Lisa (the Priti one)
Lisa (the Wright one)
Kat
Angie
Tammy
Kim
Can't wait to get started on our new year of traveling art!!
oxox
Steph

Friday, January 10, 2014

Our Journals have completed their grand journey- time for the Big Reveal!!

So my journal (which you may remember traveled about dressed grandly in all shades of purple flanked with metallics and pops of turquoise ;)) started with a sign in page for each lady to check in...
And then off it went on it's travels; first to visit Gemma of Gemma's House
Here are her beautiful pages; I love all the gorgeous textures and detail and how did you know that Calla Lilies are one of my favorite flowers? Thank you for the Dragonfly- so special!!

Next, my art book wended it's way to Maggie who put a lovely oriental twist in her pages for me- LOVE the elephant and the flower and the butterfly and the beautiful lady plus all the quotes...I love it all!

Then my book traveled on to  Lisa  (the priti one) who created a gloriously queenly Mary with lots of texture and yummy purple and gold plus a Mehndi  hand for me (I think it's so funny, because I created a Mehndi hand for HER;)) and then a paint chip collage with assorted Mary's peeking through the windows....gorgeous-ness!




The next stop for my book was a bit further away, crossing the sea to the UK to stay with Lisa (the Wright one ;)) who started my pages with a scrumptious peacock feather glued onto a gorgeous wash of all my colors combined and moved on to a wonderful page filled with assorted textures and and collage elements mixed with words and so many wonderful elements i love love love.  She ended her work with one of her famous ladies who advises me to dream big- beautiful!

Onward my book made it's way to Cornwall where  Kat of the Wright Story, who not only created some gorgeous (dragonfly filled!) art for me, but also wrote a short story just for me- so special!!!  I will treasure my Dragonfly Bay (the painted one AND the written words) forever!

For my book's last stop in the UK, it traveled to Manchester to visit with Angie of Art Angel for a bit. And she filled her paged with very Artangel-esque textures and patterning- absolutely beautiful!  And of course, she knows how fond I am of butterflies, and birds and quotes and ladies- very wonderful pages!

Then my book made it's way back to the states and to Tammy's studio where she combined a painting of a lady with a dragonfly (!) tattoo, wonderful words and a tree of friendship- such a fabulous addition to my my book!



And last but never least, my art journal traveled to Kim Collister where she created an incredible series of collages rich with birds, flowers, women and of course dragonflies- such a beautiful end to my little book's travels!

I love that you can see all the pages and bits of wonderful-ness peeking out of my book- what a treasure! 
What an amazing year of art it has been, AND best of all; we're gearing up to start again in amonth or so!  I can't WAIT!
xxoo
Stephanie

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

And Gemma's book completes my journal journey!

This is the second time my little group of friends has embarked on a creative journey of traveling art journals.  And it was just as magical as before!  It's been a little challenging at times for me to juggle everything on my plate AND create for this project, but that makes me even more grateful to be a part of it!  I'm not sure I would have managed to paint anything in the last six months if I didn't have these monthly deadlines!
That said, on to Gemma's art journal....  Her colors of choice were purples with splashes of  magenta, orange and lime.  And I will apologize in advance for the color quality of my pictures- my deep blue-violets show as blues here...and my yellow orange that shades to red orange with a smidge of salmon- just looks yellow.  For the lime, I created a mist (invisible here ;)) in the distance and also used it for lettering.....ah well, I was in a hurry to get it in the post and didn't check my pictures until after it had been sent on it's way.  At least you can get an idea of what it looks like!
I wanted to create a magical, almost mysterious quality, so of course; I had to have misty, moonlit woods.   And when there's a chance of falling stars, you MUST carry an umbrella- right?  I also played with her skirt to give a suggestion of tree branches, not for any real reason other than it felt like the right thing to do.....it really doesn't show here, but the "with a chance of stars" is outlined with orange 
and yellow oranges, giving a doubled up effect.
A closeup view of the fold over page- again, the color is slightly off here.....I fell in LOVE with this quote; and will definitely be using it again!  On a funny side note, I always double check to make sure I correctly credit authors with their quotes- this is sometimes attributed to Gallileo....but after checking, and re-checking, I found that it belongs to Sarah Williams.

So there you have it, my spread for Gemma's beautiful book- I hope she likes it!

 Love and hugs,
Stephanie

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Silent Sunday`- Sounds from Rodin's Garden

Statue Dancing


My Mom


 I know this is supposed to be silent, but I had to add this- throughout the garden we kept hearing weird sounds, crickets, chanting, even the sounds of women moaning.....and we were like, "What the HECK?"  after seeing the musuem, I googled it and found that we'd stumbled upon a temporary accompanying exhibit by Erik Samakh- to recapture our experience, listen to this link, it's amazing!
Happy Sunday!