Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Graphite and Granulation - December 11, 2019

When I was at BYU back in the early 90's, there was an instructor named Hagen Haltern who made the most beautiful drawings/paintings with graphite. He made beautiful washes with alcohol that looked like rippled stone or... I'm not sure.

The desire to paint with graphite was finally within my grasp when I found liquid pencil on Blick! I couldn't believe it was on the website the day I saw it and clicked "order". It wasn't a surprise to me that I immediately got an email that it was on backorder. They sent me an email saying "it's on backorder" for a few months. Then, one day, I was checking my bank account (as one should do) and say that Blick had charged me something - and I hadn't bought anything (recently). It happened to be for the amount of the liquid pencil. There had to be a mistake! But it wasn't a mistake. It made it to me and I LOVE IT.

There are 12 tubes, 6 colors each of permanent and re-wettable. Of course, I tried the re-wettable first. Look at that granulation!  

More granulation. It practically paints itself -  Each of the little houses can't help but have infinite variety since the graphite is so unpredictable. I LOVE THAT!!!!

Here are two test strips. The left is pure water in a wash. The right has some flicks of alcohol. Alcohol doesn't work well with watercolor paper (at least, not Arches) - it sinks in and totally removes the sizing and gets weird. UNLESS you do it just right (in other words, have good luck) and it simply makes a beautiful ripple-mark... I think Yupo would do better, but we'll see.

One more closeup of the granulation because that just makes me so happy. And look at the blue  in the roofs!!! It's so beautiful! (I wonder what it would be like to have skin that color. I'd be so pretty I wouldn't be able to tear myself away from a mirror probably.)

I'll work on this again later. I'm still so tired every night. This tooth thing is creeping me out. (And my family member contacted me today- "be strong, self!"

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Hearts - Hard & Otherwise - December 10, 2019

Sometimes I despair of ever finding my voice in art. There are things I love - houses, hearts, abstracts, color fields, thick lines - but I don't know how to put them all together in my own way. I see art I like and think "I could do that!" but then I don't want to do that because then I'm copying. How do you know when it's your own vs. something you're channeling from someone else? I've been searching for my voice for my whole life. It feels like it's on the tip of my tongue, or the dream I just can't remember when I wake up.

A volunteer at the library was wearing this t-shirt that had 9 hearts on it in a grid with words written on one side of the hearts. It looked like something I would do or had done. That's what this little painting is exploring. 

There's not much energy in me tonight. For several months now, I've had a lot of pain in my face/jaw/teeth. Neither the dentist nor the doctor could find anything wrong. Then on Thanksgiving I found a problem in my mouth. I went to urgent care the next day and was prescribed antibiotics. Today I went to the dentist and the problem was finally visible on x-rays (and in my mouth - in spite of a complete course of antibiotics). It will be taken care of next week. This resolution made me emotionally exhausted.

I'm sad about my teeth - they've always been the thorn in my side no matter how I try to care for them. Someday I'll find out I was causing myself the harm all along and just never knew it (remember lead paint on baby cribs and asbestos in our walls?). Regardless, I look forward to being out of pain.

Speaking of pain, someone in my family surprised me before Thanksgiving with severing our relationship permanently for something inconsequential (really, it was - the box of See's candy I gave them wasn't completely full - but there was a reason for it!). It was a strange sensation - there was relief. My obligation to them was over and I could breathe - for the first time in my life.

I have been thinking about it since it happened and am in wonder at how different the world looks now. This person had been a huge Huge HUGE darkness in my life as far back as I can remember and now that that darkness is gone, I can see so much.

The relationship ending is nothing I ever would have imagined in my life - I've always tried (in my mind, at least) to be a good family member. My religion teaches that family is the most important unit and that families are forever. I've allowed people to treat me in ways that I endured because that seemed the right thing to do. 

I'm so glad they are gone. And I feel guilty. And I feel clean. And I can breathe.

And I wonder if I can keep it this way - even if they want back in my life. Because I don't know that I want them and their darkness. (I'm not mad at them - I'm really not - is that possible?)

I also want to know how to paint that color in the cloud I saw as I came out of work the other day. 

Monday, December 9, 2019

How to Fold Block Alphabet Letters

When you just need very basic alphabet shapes, these patterns will do the trick! Included in this post are patterns for both the lower- and uppercase letters!

How to Fold Wedding Hearts

This is one of my most popular tutorials because it has a huge payoff for such a little bit of work (well...). I think it's quite a showstopper!

This was a free pattern I put on the blog a million years ago, but it's nice to have it here with the other pattern/tutorial.

How to Fold Fancy Fonts & Shapes

I originally published this in 2013 and it was super popular. It's good for those who don't want to use the measurement method, but use a template instead. The images are size adjustable, too, so you can make your templates whatever size you want!