Aren't I just tickled pink

The photo that I posted a few days back on an Altered Book site for an autumn theme got selected for their Homepage. That means that when you visit their site, this is the photo which is displayed for that week when visitors land on their page.

It was a nice surprise. I guess that gives me a sense that what I do is not too bad after all, and that my peers like it. It's a new feeling for me, because doing art is new for me. And it's wonderful.

Paul Chabas

I've been talking with some friends about my famous great grand uncle, Paul Chabas, who painted September Morn.

As I mentioned, he was the famous one, belonging to the Academie Francaise, which is a prestigious institution in France.

When I got my puppy, I had to go through the process of .. "the Name, the Name!!!"

My sister suggested Mr Paul, from the great grand uncle. Here's a montage I've done with Photoshop, to tie all the ancestry together:

Starting a Yahoo group

There has been so much excitement about the ones of us who have signed up for a sketchbook, I have started a Yahoo group to hold our discussions and inspiration.

It's found here:
Anyone can join.

A few days ago, I posted about the Art House group, which hosts the sketchbook project. For $18 or $21 if you live outside the States, you receive a small notebook, and they assign a theme to you and a barcode number. You have till January 4th to fill your notebook with ANYTHING you desire, related or not to your theme.
There is no jury, and no auditing.
The idea is to see how 3000 people think and view a particular theme.
The books will be donated to the US library system, and anyone will be able to hire a book out and take it home and look at it.
I find that very inspiring.

The themes are varied and fun.

So, come take a look at our site. I've posted some photos of the previous entrants, since this is round 4. The organizers have been doing this since 2007.... talk about a long breath of a project.

The photo here is from a past entrant: yard_ape. And yes, the head IS cut off, it's not a problem of upload. What artists do, I guess!

I reserve the right to change my mind!

I'm a woman, and the word is that we're changeable. So I'm allowed to change my mind. How wonderful.

I said I'd never do an ATC again. (Artist Trading Card) because they are soooooo small. Only 2.5 x 3.5. That's inches, not centimetres.

So I did a few, a dozen actually for this challenge in one of my Yahoo groups. Send 6 of the same out, and some faery organizes for you to get 5 different ones back.
Then another member of this group offered to do a 1 for 1. Some of these little business cards for artists are little gems.
I guess it's a little bit like short stories compared to novels in literature. You condense your talent in a dozen pages, here you get to show (or practice) over a tiny space and not waste huge money on large canvases. So here's to jumping in.

The first swap had for theme: Ticket to ride, where our travels have taken us. Since I've traveled around the world several times, in both directions, I have a choice o f many photos.

The other swap, one for one, is pretty much anything goes. I've used my own photos, which I manipulated in Photoshop, or photos of my ancestors, great-grand uncles and aunts, and embellished them, as it's called in mixed media. And I must admit I had a ton of fun.
If you've been following my blog, you'll recognize some of the images. I cropped some of my digital creations to 2.5 x 3.5.

I guess that's one way to my creations seen and to get feedback.

... and a few more.

This is my great-grand mother and her brother and sisters doing theatre.

This next one is Mr famous Paul Chabas, with his contemporary namesake (with a Photoshop montage) Mr Paul.

This is Azay le Rideau, a lovely Renaissance castle near my hometown. Small, but so very elegant and graceful.

Two great grand aunts:

And a funny photo in Paris.

Having fun

I've been having so much fun creating art, I've hardly got time to post it here.
I did an autumn impression for one of the groups challenge, by modifying a diary entry I had made when I was in Paris.
I then added some Photoshop doodahs, and here you are: Autumn in Paris. Shot in May 2007, but aged and brought to the right colors. I just love Photoshop.

I wish...

One of the challenge prompts we had in one of my Yahoo groups was: I wish...

so I came up with this Photoshop montage.

A complete folded book

I have completed yesterday's folded book. It really looks fine, and this one didn't suffer, just got its type re-arranged. The book was called "Undue influence". Funny!

I'm now going to experiment with pages that have photos or banners, and see what the results are. Keep posted.

Till then, I'm working on a journal cover design, and altering a children's book to turn it into a house design. All this will be posted here of course. Do come back soon.

Another folded book

This is a work in progress. I thought if I waited till I was finished to post a photo, I'd be an old woman. I have another 150 pages to go. Thankfully, it's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, so I have quiet time to make progress. It's actually quite a soothing process once you get going.
I hope so, since I have another 150 pages to fold!

Think you can sketch? Draw? Paint?

If you think you can draw, sketch, paint, or 'merely' doodle, discover this challenge sent around the world.

The aims to build a library of sketchbooks by asking participants around the world to create your own sketchbook and donating it to a collection that will tour galleries across the country (the US).

You can be one of the founding contributors to The Sketchbook Library by signing up to receive a sketchbook, filling it up with art, and sending it back.

Your sketchbook will be among thousands of others that were made by artists from all over the world.Visitors will receive library cards and be able to view the books at exhibitions around the country.

The goal of the project is to create a giant collective of sketchbooks from around the globe and make it accessible to everyone.

Sketchbooks offers a glimpse into an artist's life, which is why we want to make a publicly accessible library of sketchbooks that people can browse, peruse, and check out. We think that this sketchbook collection has the potential to open a new line of communication between the artist and the viewer, since the experience of making and viewing are both so personal. Anyone can sign up to receive a sketchbook. Before joining the permanent collection, sketchbooks will be exhibited at select galleries across the US.

Project goal

The library will house thousands of sketchbooks from artists that reside all over the globe. They'll be touring around the United States with the collection starting in April, followed by a permanent location for the library in 2010. Your sketchbook will become part of the permanent library. Sign up to receive a blank sketchbook marked with a barcode that links it to a searchable database. When you send your completed book back, it will be included in the library. Future library patrons will be able to browse books alphabetically, by location, theme, etc

Currently in its fourth incarnation, The Sketchbook Project exhibited in October of 2007 with 500 artists participating from around the world. For Volume 3, the The Sketchbook Project toured to 9 different galleries and venues around the East Coast, connecting almost 3,000 artists together through the project.

I think it's a worthwhile project to get your voice heard, if only in a moleskin sketchbook.

I've signed up, of course, even though I don't draw or sketch (well). I doodle, with 3 decades of experience. That'll work!

A world for all people

I am so excited.... For months now, since last winter, I've watched my best friend: write a song, produce it, find singers, record it, then organize a video to match it, and create a website so we can have
I have tried to help as I could, applied my Photoshop skills, pitched in, even wrote a message in the bottle and threw that bottle in the ocean (retrieved immediately, not littering here).
I'm the one with the finger on her lip, then writing a message.
Please watch the video.

It's very lovely and heart warming. I think.
If you like it, you might send it to your friends.
If you REALLY believe that ONE person can make a difference, help make a world where we are all one, then visit the website, sign up, and let your voice be heard.
A painting, a photo, a story. We just don't know what WILL make a difference.

[[Yes, it's my puppy in the video and the photo. Back in May when he was muuuuuuuch smaller. ]]

Ask and... shall receive....

I'd been wanting a funky background for my blog since I started it, but didn't know how to modify the template. But this morning, while surfing, a blog forwarded me to this wonderful site where Iktupilli gives away her backgrounds.
Here she is.

I hope you like the new look.

Altered book

Last night was productive indeed.

I've always had a love affair with books. They've been my salvation, my retreat and my escape ever since I learned to read when I was 5.

They've also been the best companions, my masters and instigators of new thought.

Am I having my revenge now for their hold on me?

I discovered a new technique last night which I had to try right away. Have a look.

It gets pretty messy, but it's a load of fun. It's a scupture, I guess, and is designed to be hanging.

Advancing in my soul journal class

There are so many images for this class homework this week, I"ll have to be selective.

This is the class that I'm taking online with Sarah Whitmire. It's the Soul Journal Advanced Techniques. There is a link on the side bar to her site. Once on her site, click on Prompts, and see the 22 prompts that started it all. And those are still free.

We had to cut windows that 'communicated' into four pages then attach our 'altered photos' from last week, then decorate the pages. It's been great fun.

It was a trial getting the pictures to show through the windows, it takes a lot of double-taping, moving, trying again.
I also had to prepare more 'altered photos' to fill all the spots. I also used some cutouts from magazines, and I did journal in place.

Here is the preparation work:

Since it is a 'soul journal', I got to write something in the Gesso while it was still wet, knowing that it will all get covered over with paint, photos and collage.

Then it was time to decorate the pages. It's always fun.

You can see here the peekaboo look through the four windows.

And here are some of the pages:

I added this photo that I just made:

This is the reverse side of the circle, looking toward the front of the book.

And the rest of the book. It's just too hard to explain. Enjoy!

And some of my favorites, for how the colors came out:

This guy blew my mind!!!!!

I just found a website that discusses the book art of Brian Dettmer.
Now I am an acknowledged book lover, book reader, and book destroyer, I mean alterer.

I'm always on the look out for techniques and tutorials. I stumbled on this yesterday.

Here's the website where even more of his work is displayed.

I'd love to know what tools he uses to cut the designs. Surely not the old Exacto knives. Maybe a surgeon's saw? I'm really curious.

Now, I know what to do if I run out of ideas for those long winter days....



A new Photoshop composition for this Sun Day.
Images are from

Dream poem

The following montage was made in Photoshop to illustrate this poem:

If you're a dreamer, come in,
If you're a dreamer,
A wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er,
A magic bean buyer,
come in,

Shel Silverstein

The puppet comes from an advert for Cirque du Soleil.
The tatooed ladies are from a tatoo advert on google images.