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12″ x 16″ Pastel on Paper
I stopped to enjoy this lovely view of the confluence of Little Butte Creek and the Rogue River on my way to join family for Thanksgiving dinner in Prospect, Oregon.
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The departure point for this image was a photograph of two pieces of paper held together with two pieces of tape. It was hiding a store front in Ashland.
Thanks to Margie Mee’s garden, where I always seem to find something alluring.
In April, which was National Letter Writing Month, I wrote a letter a day and sent it in an envelope that I either made or decorated. About halfway through the month I made an envelope with a flower on the front which ended up being the first of a series of flower envelopes. I’m still making them, trying something a little different with each one.
This flower envelope will be sent out in the mail tomorrow.
These envelopes have gotten rave reviews from my friends and fans. So, I decided to share the process I go through.
These 15 photos show the evolution of a single flower envelope. For this envelope I decided to see what I could do with I had a black background. I like the result.
I try and vary something with each envelope I make. For the above envelope, I wanted to see how a flower would look with a black background.
I love how this flower envelope seems to glow.
Each time I get a new Copic marker, I try it out to see how it will look as a background for one of my flower envelopes.
I spilled gold acrylic ink on this envelope after I had colored the background, but not the flower. I wiped the gold paint evenly over the entire envelope and it developed a wonderful patina. Happy Accident!
The gold sparkle on the above “Happy Accident” flower envelope doesn’t show on the photo above, but it looks marvelous. I hate to part with this one. I am going to create a similar one before I put this in the mail.
I love experimenting with colors I would not normally use together as in this flower envelope.
One of the great things about playing with these envelopes is that I can experiment with unusual (for me) color combinations. The above envelope has a violet that looks a bit gray. I would never put that color with a peachy color, but somehow it works. I never would have known without experimenting.
Another flower envelope that will go in the mail tomorrow.
Believe it or not, the two flower envelopes above have same background. It’s amazing how colors look different depending on the colors around them.
Purple, orange, pink and blue? I just had to try this unusual combination and I like it for this flower envelope.
Because envelopes aren’t works of art that I put a frame on, I feel the freedom to experiment and play more than when I am trying to make a finished piece of art.
Here I tried having the background petals darker and the foreground petals lighter. I did the opposite on Kate’s and Karen’s flower envelopes.
I have eleven envelopes going out by this weekend as part of an envelope exchange. It’s been fun to play with so many different ideas.
This flower envelope will need more stamps as it is going to France.
I still have a log list of people I want to write to, so I am sure I will be making more flower envelopes for quite a while. It’s so much fun (even though they usually take 2 to 3 hours each to make).
This is my demonstration envelope ready to go out in the mail. The address will be written in white.
To see more of my envelopes, check out these blog post:
Studio Snapshot – Flower Envelope Series
This week I realized that a year ago, I was attending my niece’s graduation from USC where she received a Master’s Degree in Strategic Public Relations. That reminded me that it’s graduation time again. So, I decided I needed to make some more of my “congratulations” card books.
Congratulations Accordion Card Book. Is it a card or a book? It’s both.
I call it a card book because it’s really both a card as well as an accordion book. It’s a really unique graduation card for a graduate. And, it can be used for lots more occasions than just graduations.
Three Congratulations Accordion Card Books shown open, one closed and one watercolor paper with the congratulations written on it before being painted and decorated.
I made a number of these this week in various colors. The accordion part of the book is made from watercolor paper. I outline the letters with a permanent marker, then use watercolor and blend the colors as I paint the letters.
Close up of one of the Congratulations Accordion Card Books.
After the watercolor is dry, I embellish the “congratulations.” Finally, I cover the book board with one of my paste papers that matches the colors of the letters.
I love all the different paste paper covers for these Congratulations Accordion Card Books.
Congratulations Accordion Card Book.
Congratulations Accordion Card Book.
You can see more of my card books on my blog post: Studio Snapshot – Accordion Books.
So often the designs in decaying road paint remind me of abstract expressionist paintings. Fortunately I got to this portion of road line before it was repainted.
A number of years ago I photographed llamas in Peru. But none were as welcoming as these two at Billings Farm in Ashland.
When the ocean calls
you need to listen.
She will tell you the story of your heart.
She will guide you in walking gracefully
as you move towards your next destination.
When the ocean calls she will say
Listen to your dreams.
Live with intention.
Embrace your life.
Never forget who you want to be,
for that is who you really are.
Artwork by Molly Dufort
She will teach you about the vastness of the sea,
the ever-changing colors of each day
and the landscapes of your heart.
When the ocean calls,
Artwork by Heather Pearlstein Sha
This last weekend the ocean called. We went camping together, my husband and I. Spending time with family, and friends, teaching a workshop and walking on the beach with our dogs were just what I needed.
Artwork by Susan Lehman
I have wonderful news about my book with North Light. Not only will it be out before spring in 2016 (advanced copies may be available in late December!) but my editor Tonia and the team have chosen a title for it!
Storytelling with Collage:
Techniques for Layering Color and Texture
I can't wait to see my first proofs!
About a week ago now, I finished the writing, projects and the photographs for my final chapter deadline! Since then I have been in a kind of daze, knowing that the hardest part of my book is finished (I think!) and thinking that now I have time… but what direction should I go in?
The ocean said be patient,
soon your path will be clear…
In my studio I am easing slowly into new projects, organizing and making space… and getting ready for my next workshop that you can read about here!
Please visit my River Garden Studio Facebook page
and if you are inclined LIKE it,
and check out my Workshop Schedule!
“Nature may reach the same result in many ways. Like a wave in the physical world, in the infinite ocean of the medium which pervades all, so in the world of organisms, in life, an impulse started proceeds onward, at times, may be, with the speed of light, at times, again, so slowly that for ages and ages it seems to stay, passing through processes of a complexity inconceivable to men, but in all its forms, in all its stages, its energy ever and ever integrally present. A single ray of light from a distant star falling upon the eye of a tyrant in bygone times may have altered the course of his life, may have changed the destiny of nations, may have transformed the surface of the globe, so intricate, so inconceivably complex are the processes in Nature. In no way can we get such an overwhelming idea of the grandeur of Nature than when we consider, that in accordance with the law of the conservation of energy, throughout the Infinite, the forces are in a perfect balance, and hence the energy of a single thought may determine the motion of a universe.
Nikola Tesla (via inthenoosphere)”
– Nikola Tesla
I’m finally getting back to working on my Earth Spirit Vessels. Making a vessel is actually quite a long process. First I have to decide on my colors. Sometimes I paint my paper (usually paste papers of my chosen colors) and sometimes I use the archival papers without painting them.
Earth Spirit Vessel, Gratitude, is made from 504 pieces of hand folded paper, 196 of which are blue and silver hand painted paste papers.
After choosing my colors, I cut my paper from its original 19″ by 25″ into 2″ by 4″ pieces. I take 25 of those papers and choose the quotes and inspirations and prayers relating to Mother Earth and Nature that I want to include in that piece. Then I write those quotes in calligraphy on the 25 pieces of paper and take photographs of the calligraphy.
One of the pieces of calligraphy that is folded into Earth Spirit Vessel, Gratitude.
Once folded and made a part of the vessel, these quotes, inspirations and prayers are not meant to be seen or read, but to be embodied into the spirit of the vessel itself.
These are all the calligraphy quotes that are included within Earth Spirit, Vessel, Gratitude.
Then it’s time to fold the paper. Each piece of paper is folded 9 times. I have to space the folding out over many days to avoid injury to my hands from the repetitive motions of folding so many papers.
Folded and non-folded painted paste paper waiting to be made into Earth Spirit Vessel, Gratitude. Each piece of paper starts out as a 2″ by 4″ rectangle.
Finally it’s time to build the vessel. I build one row at a time. After placing and carefully adjusting a row, I then go around and glue each piece of folded paper in place. I can make vessels without glue, but then it’s easy to transform their shape as well as to take apart. So far, no one has wanted a vessel that hasn’t been glued.
This is the beginning of Earth Spirit Vessel, Gratitude. This shows what the inside of the vessel looks like.
This is a close up of the inside of Earth Spirit Vessel, Gratitude.
After finishing placing and then gluing each piece in place, I make a bottom for each vessel out of a slab of burl wood. I get my burl wood from It’s A Burl in Kerby, Oregon. I then glue my burl wood bottom in place and sign the piece.
This photo is looking directly into Earth Spirit, Balance. You can see the burl wood that is the bottom of the vessel.
After the vessel is finished, I photograph it and make a 6″ by 6″ documentation to go with the finished vessel. I include photographs of the calligraphy that has been folded into the vessel, a photograph of the vessel, the name of the vessel, the number of pieces of folded papers used to make the vessel and other documentation for that piece.
This is the documentation that was made for Earth Spirit Vessel, Forest Tapestry.
The process can take a couple of weeks up to a few months from start to finish.
This Earth Spirit Vessel, Broken Wing, contains 1419 pieces of hand folded paper. It was a custom order is the largest vessel I have made to date
Other blog posts on my Earth Spirit Vessels:
Studio Snapshot – New Earth Spirit Vessels
Earth Spirit Vessels From My Paste Paper Show
New Earth Spirit Vessels
Earth Spirit Vessels