Saturday, December 29, 2012

Drifting hearts and canine apparitions - Cuori alla deriva e apparizioni canine

Collaged bits of paper, including pages from my Italian high school physics text book, stamps, stencils, acrylic paint, gel pens and markers, on watercolor paper. 
Pezzi di carta, tra cui pagine del mio libro di fisica dal liceo, timbri, stampi, pittura acrilica, penne gel e pennarelli, su carta da acquerello. 
The outline of the smaller dog and the top half of the larger one were right there in painted and collaged background, just waiting for me to make them more visible. Whenever I don't know what image to add to a background, all I have to do is stare at it for a while and something or part of something will show up. It's fun because I don't know what I'll see. 
Il profilo del cane piu` piccolo e la parte superiore di quello piu` grande erano li` nello sfondo fatto di pittura e collage, aspettando che io li evidenziassi. Quando non so che immagine aggiungere su uno sfondo, basta che lo fissi per un po` e qualcosa appare. E` divertente perche` non so cosa vedro`. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Winged creatures: angelic and not so angelic - Creature con le ali: angeliche e non tanto angeliche....

After I completed my most recent art journal  I adorned the back cover like so
Dopo aver completato il mio piu` recente diario artistico, ho decorato il retro della copertina cosi`
and then moved on to loose sheets of watercolor paper. 
e poi ho cominciato a dipingere su fogli sciolti di carta da acquerello. 
This first creature, inspired by Teesha Moore and Sandra van der Geest, makes me think of a kinky version of Santa's helpers. Magazine images, stamps, stencils, acrylic paint, gel pens and markers.
I had first made some Teesha Moore inspired images about 2 and 1/2 years ago, but they freaked me out so much, that I didn't work in my art journal again for months!
Questa prima creatura, ispirata da Teesha Moore e da Sandra Van der Geest, mi fa pensare a una versione un po` trasgressiva degli assistenti di Babbo Natale. Immagini ritagliate da riviste, timbri, pittura, pennarelli e penne. La prima volta che ho creato delle immagini ispirate da Teesha Moore e` stato circa 2 anni e mezzo fa, e mi hanno cosi` impressionata che non ho fatto piu` niente per mesi e mesi!
I was sick with a nasty cold/flu bug. Maybe that's what happened!
Ero affetta da un brutto raffreddore/influenza e forse questa stranezza e` stata provocata dalla malattia!
Between Christmas Eve and Christmas day, I painted this definitely more angelic being. 
Tra la vigilia e Natale, ho dipinto questa creatura, decisamente piu` angelica.
The body is a made from a piece of graph paper on which I had tested paint and stamps, cut out and adhered to a background of paint, stencils and stamps. 
Il corpo e` ricavato da un foglio di carta a quadretti su cui avevo provato colori diversi e timbri, ritagliato e incollato su uno sfondo di pittura, stampini e timbri.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Art journal complete - Art Journal completato

These are the final pages in my current art journal. The plan now is to start working on some canvases. Ha! Knowing myself as I do, I wonder if that will really happen. I"m already feeling like I want a new journal. Maybe I need to do both, or is that an avoidance technique? The next couple of days will tell!
Queste sono le pagine finali del mio attuale art journal. L'idea adesso sarebbe di iniziare a lavorare su qualche tela. Conoscendomi bene, chissa` se davvero succedera`. Gia` comincio a volere un nuovo diario. Forse ho bisogno di entrambi, oppure e` un modo per evitare di cambiare? Nei prossimi giorni si sapra`!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Still working in my art journal - Altri dipinti

Been working non stop in my art journal and this is what I've done since the Argo painting.
Sto lavorando assiduamente nel mio diario artistico e questo e` quello che ho fatto dal ritratto di Argo ad oggi.
An angel
Sow your seeds into the womb of the universe (from a Deepak Chopra online meditation)
Spargi i tuoi semi nel ventre dell'universo (da una meditazione di Deepak Chopra)
The House? The Manger? - La casa? La mangiatoia?
Big Dog, Little Dog
I finally discovered where to buy art supplies in this area, so I couple of days ago I visited a store in Martina Franca, about 25 minutes away, and bought more gesso, more acrylic paint and a couple of canvases. As soon as the journal is finished I will start work on a canvas. 
Ho finalmente scoperto dove comprare materiale artistico in zona, quindi un paio di giorni fa sono andata a Martina Franca, non lontano da qui, e ho comprato del gesso, altri colori acrilici e un paio di tele. Appena avro` finito le pagine del quaderno iniziero` a lavorare su una tela. 

I wonder what will show up on my pages today?
Chissa` oggi cosa apparira` nel mio quaderno?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Painting this was fun! Mi sono divertita a farlo!

I was already starting to think that maybe painting dogs was not such a hot idea, then I watched a lot of videos by Kerrie Evenson, an artist whose bold and carefree choice of colors and painting style inspired and influenced me to use colors I really like. You'd think that would be an obvious thing to do, but I guess not. 
So last night a painted this in a couple, maybe three hours. I enjoyed the process and the result makes me happy. Even on the morning after!
Gia` cominciavo a pensare che dipingere immagini di cani non era poi una grande idea, quando ho guardato tantissimi video di Kerrie Evenson, un'artista il cui spensierato e dinamico uso di colori e stile di pittura mi hanno influenzata ed ispirata ad usare i colori che piu` mi piacciono. Sembrerebbe una cosa ovvia da fare, ma si vede che per me non era cosi`.
Quindi, ieri sera in due o tre ore ho fatto questo dipinto. Mi sono divertita e il risultato mi fa sorridere. Persino la mattina dopo!
It's my dog Argo, who showed up here on July 25 close to death and now weighs 88 lbs and is doing great!
E` il mio cane Argo i quale, apparso qui il 25 luglio vicino alla morte, adesso pesa 40 chili e sta benone!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Women and dogs

When I draw a woman's face I see this being staring back at me and I wonder where the heck she came from. From my subconscious, I suppose. Sometimes they bug me and I decide that I am moving on to something else, that I will resist the impulse to draw a female face, but it is difficult to do.
After these two babes, the alien princess and the pin-up, I decided to move on to dogs, but don't know how long it will last. Both the "pin-up" and the dog on the right were there on the page, barely visible after I put down the background, waiting for me to give them a more definite shape, so I did as I was told. Honestly. Of the woman, I saw the breasts, the shoulders and the hair, of the dog, the ears, the nose and one eye. If you use several layers of paint, scraped on and rubbed off, you are bound to see something in there.

Quando disegno un volto femminile vedo questo essere che mi guarda e mi chiedo da dove diavolo venga. Dal mio subconscio, immagino. A volte mi danno ai nervi e decido che comincero` a disegnare qualcosa di diverso, che resistero` all'impulso di disegnare un volto femminile, ma e` difficile. 
Dopo queste due, la principessa aliena e la bambolona, ho deciso di dedicarmi ai cani, ma non so quanto durera`. Sia la bambolona che il cane a destra erano li` sulla pagina, appena visibili dopo che avevo dipinto lo sfondo, che aspettavano che io gli dessi una forma definitiva. Cosi` ho fatto come hanno voluto loro. Davvero. Della donna ho visto il seno, le spalle e il capelli e del cane le orecchie, il naso e un occhio. Se usi vari strati di pittura, spalmati su e strofinati via, e` inevitabile scorgerci qualche immagine. 
Maybe I should do women AND their dogs. 
Forse dovrei dipingere le donne INSIEME ai loro cani. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Backgrounds and Doodles

Every time I accomplish something having to do with the house or the land or just the requirements of daily life, I reward myself with hours of DIY youtube videos or putting paint and pens on paper.
Yesterday I took my car in for this thing called a "revisione" (much more than a smog test) and it passed, which means I'm set for two years, and today I delivered what I hope is the final documentation in the never-ending saga for obtaining gas heating. So I had a lot of rewarding to do!

A couple  of days ago I made these two backgrounds, but haven't yet decided what to paint over them. I put paint on both pages and then stenciled over the paint with gesso or white paint - can't remember which. Maybe I can't decide how to proceed because I like them the way they are. 
Last night I worked on two very different pages at the same time. On the one on the left, inspired by Doodlediem's youtube channel, I used my Uni Posca markers to draw and doodle. This is the brand sold in Europe that is excellent in place of Sharpie Poster Paint pens, maybe even better for writing over acrylic paint.  Unfortunately I have them in only 3 colors and only in the large size, but there are many more available in stores elsewhere and online.
The one on the left started out like this:
This is definitely an enjoyable process. They only difficult thing is knowing when to stop. 
Here's a close-up.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Food and art - Cibo e arte

How I keep myself entertained, besides cleaning muddy dog paws.
Come mi diverto, oltre a pulire il fango dalle zampette dei cani. 

In the last couple of days I've prepared olives packed in salt and Quince jam, both from my trees, made using recipes found online or passed along from a person in a shop to a friend to me. The jam is great, but as for the olives, time will tell.
Nei giorni scorsi ho preparato olive sotto sale e marmellata di mele cotogne, entrambe raccolte dai miei alberi e preparate seguendo ricette trovate su internet o riferite da un amica che l'ha sentita in un negozio.... La marmellata e` ottima, ma per le olive bisogna aspettare per saperlo.
As far as the art goes, I've been making a lot of mixed media pages in my homemade journal.
Per quanto riguarda l'arte, sto creando molte pagine in tecnica mista in un quaderno rilegato da me.

Cat Thoughts
Teddy's Dream
 Mermaids take naps too
Under the sea and above the clouds
The face is cut from a magazine and overpainted - il volto e` ritagliato da una rivista e ridipinto.

That's all folks!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Introducing my alter ego - Vi presento il mio alter ego

Two nights ago I sewed up a funky little journal with assorted sheets of paper, including old contour drawings and sketches. Last night I decorated the front cover with an image of my alter ego, "Cartunia Maccaroni". She first appeared in 2006, when I started blogging. (Very interesting.. I just tried to access that blog and was unable to.) Anyway, here is the image I used then
The word "maccaroni", by the way, is not correct Italian, but is used in Neapolitan dialect. The correct term is "maccheroni".

Due sere fa mi sono cucita un piccolo quaderno, molto impreciso ma utilizzabile, con svariati fogli di carta, tra cui vecchi disegni e schizzi. Ieri sera ho decorato la copertina con un'immagine del mio alter ego, Cartunia Maccaroni, la quale ha fatto la sua prima apparizione nel 2006, quando ho iniziato a scrivere un blog, a cui con mia sorpresa ho appena scoperto di non poter accedere, non so perche`..).
In ogni caso l'immagine che ho usato allora e` quella qui sopra.  (Ai lettori di lingua inglese ho spiegato che "maccaroni" e` un termine dialettale napoletano, mentre quello corretto e` "maccheroni").

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Art Geeks

I've joined Art Geeks, an online community of art journal artists that somewhat fulfills my need to belong to a group of people with similar interests, something I do not have here. It also gives me more incentive to create, so that I don't get that "what's the point feeling" I occasionally have whenever I really get into making things, whether it be mixed media, ceramics, jewelry and so on.
I've been addicted to how-to tutorials for a long time, but now I've also watched a few of the vlogs of two of the instructors for the site as well. It's curious how you can begin to feel like you know the person vlogging or teaching, but you also realize that they know you a lot less or not at all. Just something to ponder.

Anyhow..... in 2009 I quickly sketched a series of faces with markers on pages of the San Francisco phone book, then cut and adhered them with gel medium to a sheet of watercolor paper. I forgot all about them until a week ago when I decided to add paint, pastels and pencils to the faces, with the intention of scanning the entire piece and then printing it to use the faces individually as parts of other pages.

Mi sono iscritta ad Art Geeks, una comunita` online di art journalists (non ho idea se esista una traduzione per questo termine in quanto e` una cosa molto popolare negli USA, in GB, in Australia, ma non tanto in Italia - insomma sono persone che disegnano e scrivono con tecnica mista, con o senza collage, in quaderni chiamati art journals, a volte creati da loro ). L'appartenenza a questo gruppo appaga in un certo senso il mio bisogno di fare parte di una comunita` di persone con cui ho degli interessi in comune, cosa che non ho da quando vivo qui. Mi offre anche un incentivo per creare e fa in modo che non mi venga quel pensiero "ma che senso ha" che ogni tanto affiora quando comincio ad appassionarmi a fare qualcosa di creativo, tipo tecnica mista, ceramica, gioielleria e cosi` via. 
E` da tempo che sono assuefatta ai video che insegnano tecniche fai da te, ma ultimamente ho guardato anche qualche vlog di due degli istruttori del sito. La cosa strana e` che mi accorgo di sentirmi come se fossero amiche e le conoscessi, rendendomi tuttavia allo stesso tempo conto che loro mi conoscono molto meno o per niente. Una cosa da ponderare.

Comunque.... andiamo avanti. Nel 2009 ho velocemente schizzato con pennarelli una serie di volti sulle pagine dell'elenco telefonico di San Francisco, poi le ho ritagliate ed aderite con gel medium a un foglio di carta da acquerello. Me ne sono dimenticata fino ad una settimana fa, quando ho deciso di aggiungervi pittura, pastelli e matite colorate, con l'intenzione di scannerizzare l'intera pagina e stamparla, per poi usare i volti individualmente come parti di altre pagine. 
I go through phases where I doodle flowers, abstract designs or eyes. Lately it has been eyes and sometimes they evolve into an entire face. Then I might end up liking it and wishing I hadn't done it in a notebook where I jot down brands of art supplies, recipes, dreams and dates when I planted some seed or another. Like in these two cases.
Quando faccio degli scarabocchi in genere sono fiori, cose astratte o occhi. L'ultimamente prevalgono gli occhi che a volte finiscono per essere volti interi, che poi possono anche piacermi e farmi desiderare di non averli disegnati in un quaderno dove mi annoto marche di prodotti, ricette, sogni o date in cui ho seminato qualcosa. Come, per esempio, queste due. 
I always get one eye closer to the nose than the other. Sometimes the left, sometimes the right.
I need to start sketching in an art journal otherwise my drawings end up as loose pages or in a notebook. In any case last night I decided that it will be a journal where I write one word or no words. It will be a mute art journal. So there. What can I say? I'm a rebel.
Un occhio mi viene sempre piu` vicino al naso dell'altro. A volte il sinistro, a volte il destro. Devo cominciare a scarabocchiare in un art journal, altrimenti i miei disegni finiscono su fogli sparsi o in un quaderno d'appunti, come questi. Comunque ieri sera ho deciso che sara` un art journal dove scrivero` al massimo una parola per pagina o nulla. Un art journal muto. Ecco. Cosa posso dire? Sono una ribelle.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Altered photos - Fotografie reinventate con la tecnica mista

During the last few days I've been looking over my old issues of Cloth Paper Scissors, and an article in the Winter 2004 issue, entitled Photo Refinish - The art of altering photographs, by Karen Michel,  caught my attention.
I decided that even if I haven't yet figured out where to set up a work space and where to organize my supplies, I was going to make something. The piece of furniture I had started painting on Friday is at a standstill because it generated a very unpleasant odor after the paint was applied, an odor that hasn't yet dissipated, and if it doesn't go away I'm not wasting any more time on it, particularly considering that several people have told me that I should have sanded it and primed it, or at least primed it first, or the paint will peel, etc. etc.
So I grabbed some duplicates of the hundreds of photos I have and started working on them. The process involves simply getting the photo wet, rubbing it with sand paper, and then adding water soluble crayons, paint, and whatever you want to them.
The first one was an almost exact copy of this one, of me in front of this house, taken sometime between 1977 and 1984 - not sure.
This was its first reincarnation,
but when I decided to peel off the gel medium I had put on it, a large part of the paint went with it, and I was left with this.
This is the final version. I don't know why "rose" is on there except that the word had been going around in my head for a few minutes, when I suddenly spotted it in a magazine and that was it.
This one, photographed after I had already partially sanded it,  
after many permutations, first turned into this,
and then this.
From two almost identical versions of this photograph (the images of my camera and hands are a reflection and not part of the photo)
I made these two.
And last of all my favorite, in this case from a postcard, not a photograph.
On the left is the image of my great-grandfather, Carlo Lamedica, printed on a postcard (of which I have at least 100) for an invitation to a show I had in 2002, of family images on tiles, at the community clay studio to which I belonged to in San Francisco. The young woman was our baby-sitter when we lived in Naples and the toddler is my little brother. I was in the photo too, but I used a paper copy and my image was rubbed out by too much water. 
This is definitely keeping me entertained for now!