Saturday, January 29, 2011

Citrasolv Fixation ~ Affixation

I became aware of National Geographic's image manipulation with Citrasolv last year. I had about a half a bottle that I had purchased several years ago. Remembering that it was difficult to find and that it was expensive, I sparingly painted a few of the pages. Nothing happened! After several tries I gave up and forgot about doing it. A friend of mine emailed me that she was hooked into creating Citrasolv pages for her collages. When I saw her wonderful collages I knew I had to try to master this technique. I went to the Citrasolv site and found some technique videos. One of the videos is by mixed media artist, Gary Reef. Gary has a great Ning site, Loving Mixed Media and I've been a member for a few years. Gary made me aware of what I was doing wrong. I wasn't saturating the page with enough Citrasolv. Too bad I didn't heed his warning about doing this outside. I love the orange smell of the product and thought it would be a great way to freshen my studio. It did that and more, it went through my return air ducts and took over my house! I woke up with a sore throat and my son had nightmares all night. My other warning is when you pull the saturated pages apart and see the results you become addicted! It is the most magical thing I have done in a long time.

Gary points out that if you are going to use these as a final piece of art, avoid using any with recognizable images as they are copyrighted. I have no idea how much of any image or type you can use, but I haven't heard of any law suits resulting from the thousands of pages all the artists have used doing this or other collages. I plan to use mine in my journals and as inspiration for paintings so I'm not concerned. Try it (outside) and you'll be hooked too. If you can't find it locally you can purchase it at Amazon.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Artists Journals & Sketchbooks

As you know I have been consumed by a workshop I’m taking for creating visual journals. Everything has been put on hold since I started and continues to be the reason why I have not posted lately or visited anyone’s blogs. I am enjoying this course, but I have not created a page I care to show the world. I have given myself permission to create anything that occurs to me no matter how silly or lack of artistic taste it is. As a result I have created some awful naive images. I even tore two pages out of my journal because they were so trite they embarrassed me! With encouragement from the other students I glued them back in with the idea of returning to them at a later date and reworking them.

My dream journal would be like the ones found in the above book by Lynne Perrella, titled ‘Artist’s Journals & Sketchbooks’. You can explore and purchase it at This book may not be for absolute beginners, as it is not a recipe or a step by step instruction book, but anyone who is familiar with mixed media techniques will benefit from the mini instructions and suggestions. I like this book not only for the well organized instructions and examples, but also that it covers everything from creating the pages to the cover and bindings. The showcase of other visual journalists creations are absolute eye candy. After I finish the Strathmore series of three workshops that I signed up for, I hope I will not be too burned out to utilize the ideas presented in Lynne’s book.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Anything Is Possible

There is a wonderful art series on PBS titled ‘Art21’, which focuses exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists throughout the world. The series includes the Peabody Award-winning biennial series "Art in the Twenty-First Century." You will be able to observe the artists at work, and hear their thoughts as they deal with the physical and visual challenges of achieving their goal.... If you are not busy starting off 2011 creating new art, maybe this series will inspire you. Visit the ART:21 website

I am involved in the Strathmore Visual Journal Online Workshop Series which I wrote about in an earlier post. Journaling in this manner is relatively new to me. I have lots of sketch books filled with notes a few sketches, etc, but I would not consider them visual journals. This workshop is going a little slow as the lessons are posted once a week and we are just working on one page or two pages. There is no input from the instructor, except for the video, so we are at a loss as to what to expect or how far to take our pages. I am having trouble with the supplies we are using, i.e. oil pastels (mine are old) and covering my images with a light coat of gesso. I didn’t thin the gesso down enough and it killed my work. Someone said, “start another one, it’s just paper”…. What??? After all the work I put into it? I wonder if they would say that to Picasso? I don’t put myself in his class, but I do know that I worked very hard on this one and a do over would not be the same. The energy is lost. I’m hoping that the next step will salvage my pages, and as William Kentridge said, “Anything is possible”.
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