Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What's new at The Loft - Episode 85

Sorry for the long absence.  It's seems like lately I've been so busy, but my level of creative output has significantly decreased.  What's worse is that I'm not sure how that has happened.  I'm trying to get back into the creative swing of things though.

I'm happy to report that although I still do not have a studio to work in, I do at least now have a designated work area in my kitchen which I love.  This spot I now call my own allows me to be more organized and gives me a place to leave "work in progress"  It's a small space but one in which I am very grateful for.

You may have noticed that there is a few changes to my blog site as well, most importantly it has a small gallery of the latest photo's added to my flickr pool.  I've just finished a new photography class called Photo Manipulation 3 with Susan Tuttle and I will be posting on that next time. 

Also I'm excited as I've started a new class, "It's Sew Easy" with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, so look for upcoming posts on that as well.


I did this painting for my hubby at a crop in January.  It was intended to be a Valentine's gift for him, but he saw it when I came home so the secret was out.

I have always wanted to try Art Journaling, and with the release of the new Strathmore Visual Journals and the free online workshops Strathmore has been offereing I finally took the plunge and created some pages.  The first workshop with Pam Carriker was about reusing your own art work in your journals.  I am not an artist in the true sense of the word, so I didn't have a collection of sketches that I could pull from to recycle, but I did this cute painting back in January and used it in a page for the workshop.

The workshop was great for giving even a simple sketch new life.  Here is what my journal page looked like recycling this image.

The above is 140 lb cold press watercolor paper.  Without a well of my own personal art to pull from I started working with magazine images and gel transfers. I also wanted to try different paper surfaces to work on. 

Here are some other pages from this journal:

The journal I used above had a surface area a little small for what I wanted, so I move on to 98 lb mixed media journal that was 7 x 10".  The size is great but downside to the 98 lb paper is that after awhile the paper wears down, and if you add too much water when removing the paper backing on a gel transfer you begin to rub holes in the substrate.  I will continue to use this journal and experiment, but I think next I will try the Strathmore Visual Journal in the 140 lb watercolor paper.  I have the smaller 5 1/2 x 8' journal but would like to try their's is 9 x 12" journal as well.

Here is some of my work in the mixed media journal:

Here I layered gel transferred magazine images

Altered magazine painting

Here 's a close up of the details

Here is one I've just started of a gel transferred magazine image.  You can see the white areas where the actual substrate paper was wearing away.  It gives a more distressed look, which is great if that is what you are going for, however when you got do a spread on the backside, the paper is considerably weaker.

I'll  be working on the Strathmore Visual Workshop #2 with Linda Blinn soon, and will keep working and experimenting in both journals and will share more pages in the future. 

I hope you enjoyed today's post.  Please send me your feedback.  I love to get comments so feel free to drop me a line.

Thanks for stopping by and come back soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What's new at The Loft - Episode 84

A Hard Decision

Our best intentions do not always turn out the way we want them to, and such is the case with me.  I gave it a lot of thought and have decided to end the Macro 3.6.5. Challenge.

My approach to the challenge was meant to be an exploration and self education of Macro photography, but sadly it became clear early on that I was facing a lot of obstacles.  Time and additional photography equipment were the 2 major ones, that unfortunately played off of each other in ways I did not anticipate.  Not only was it the time in taking the photos, but the editing of the photos and the blogging research were all together more time consuming than my 2010 ATC 3.6.5. Challenge.

My work schedule (mainly getting home after sundown) didn't allow for natural looking photos and without a lighting system, I was spending a lot of time in Photoshop which left me feeling very frustrated.  It also left me no time for my other creative pursuits which was what my blog was mainly started for.

This decision has been a hard one to make.  On one hand I feel as if I have failed myself in this personal goal, and let down those who have supported me, but on the other hand I feel that to continue on was not being true to my real intention of the challenge.  And while I did feel I came out of what I have done so far with some sense of accomplishment, and a few really great pictures, I also feel that it was no longer an educational challenge of Macro photography but more an opportunity to utilize and strengthen my Photoshop editing skills.  

I hope that those of you who read and/or follow my blog will understand and not be disappointed in me and will give me your continued support in this decision.   As always your comments are most appreciated so let me know what you think.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back soon.