Saturday, November 21, 2015

'Paint Nite' Party!

What a fun night after a work meet good friends for a glass of wine and be led through a step-by-step painting lesson by an artist resulting in a take-home piece!  

Called 'Paint Nite', there is a planned lesson piece...this one -- a canal with bridge scene in the fall. Even those who hadn't painted before -- seemed to have had a great experience and were tickled to take a finished piece home.  Maybe it was the wine, but I think it was true delight in discovering they were able to do a painting!  

A few years ago, I saw wine bars and other art pop-ups where these kinds of parties were starting to take off.  Paint Nite doesn't have a fixed facility but varies the locations.  Our set-up was at a restaurant and accommodated about 40 participants...a great activity for groups! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Created my first animation GIF!

Found a way to do this with Photoshop by way of a You Tube video tutorial.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Life Book 2015 - Week 44: My Fall Tree of Dreams

Week 44's short lesson was fairly nebulous though you were to draw a tree with a face and incorporate messages to yourself in the imaginary seed of the tree.

Mine is one going through the fall seasonal color change.  I miss tbe midwest fall season. The trees have so much natural color from annual leaf die-off because of the shortening of the day, and it is an amazing visual feast!

After this time of their shedding, they go barren and dormant for the harsh winters to wake up in the spring.

I celebrate the richness of nature's beauty that moves us from fall to winter whether we're ready for it or not.  She is signaling us that it is time for hunkering down, taking inventory, and replenishing ourselves through rest and and seeding new growth!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Special Times

Sometimes you're in the right place at the right time to see something ordinary in a totally different light.  This was one of those times.  I was walking and happened to 'see' this, pulled out my cell phone and snapped a quick photo.  It looks like it could have been a planned shot.  But it was truly spontaneous, and came out great!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Caricatures in Fabric

This is my first fabric piece in many months...possibly a year, in fact.  I started it for a magazine challenge with the theme of Going Places, but I won't be submitting it after all.  The size is slightly larger than allowed.  

The piece is based on a photograph with caricatures of the images in the photo thread-outlined over fabric flowers and leaves.  Surprisingly, my open-toe, free-motion foot broke while working on it. I guess, for some reason, it wasn't happy.

In any case, I consider this piece a rescued failure.  Its not perfect nor particularly great, but it is meaningful to me.  It conveys the energy of a special group of friends who went places together!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

What is my art Michi? Alice in Wonderland...down the rabbit hole.  Where is this art journey of mine leading?  I feel befuddled.

This year's Life Book course has been wonderful with exposure to some great artists, exciting lessons and guest instructors, and lots of completed multi-media projects. It has been a time and discipline commitment, and I've learned a tremendous amount.

But what has the work been for?

This year, I set aside doing most of my other creative work.  Now, the Life Book course year is coming to a close, and I'm asking myself what the purpose of this year's work has been.

I have a decision to make soon...whether to continue with the course in 2016.  So, like Alice, have I started an adventure that is calling me to places and depths I've never been -- for me, in my art?

Then who wouldn't want the adventure to continue?

Image by Katogi Mari

A Life Book 2015 project...

Revision October 11, 2015

First Posted Version

This was created using the same technique that was used for the piece in the last post.  The hand-made stencil for the image outline didn't work so well, and it doesn't seem finished yet though I'm finished working on it for a while.

I have two more prepared muslin panels ready to be worked on.  We'll see what happens with them next.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Life Book 15 - Week 36 Project Completed (or nearly completed)

This project went in an entirely different direction than the Life Book 2015 lesson.  That's ok because we're also working on accepting those times when we move in our own direction using the lesson purely as a launching point.

This piece involved experimenting with collage on the substrate (muslin covered with joint compound), followed with paint, more collage, and then the felt, fabric and beaded plant.

This piece was created through a class offered by Tamara Laporte from Willing Arts Ltd. For more information, visit this link:

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Doing Art Today!

There are no photos of the prep work done for the Week 36 lesson brought to us by Donna Downey, guest instructor, through Life Book 2015.  But let me describe what was involved.

Donna's lesson requires muslin rectangles and covering them with joint compound and clear gesso to create a workable and still flexible paint/collage surface.  I never knew about joint compound nor would I have even thought of using it in an art project.  But I love how it creates a more stable structure for using fabric as a substrate.  It takes time to dry, so this lesson really takes at least two days to complete.

Another element of her lesson is in using a fine liner to write with a mixture of acrylic black paint (Golden) and airbrush medium (50%/50%) on the prepared muslin  It has a really nice effect thought takes a bit of experimentation to get comfortable in writing with this tool.  Now I have four panels to be worked on...don't know if I'll finish all four in one day.

Before finishing up for today, I did the colored-pencil drawing in the photo.  I like it!  It took some work in terms of the light and shadow areas because of the dark pencil used for the facial color.  But I'm beginning to see how effective layering color can be!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Life Book 2015 - Week 26 Project Completed!

This piece went in a different direction than the project assignment.  I do that every now and then, and it was just the way the work evolved. I saw a wonderful hat recently and have cartooned it here because I liked it so much.  The shading on it is working well, and I can see my faces are getting better!

This piece was created through a class offered by Tamara Laporte from Willing Arts Ltd. For more information, visit this link: