You can read a copy of an eBook titled Art Through the Letterbox by Mail Art Martha (mailartmartha.org.uk) on this site here. The eBook is a short work (98 pages total) collecting mail art received from all over the world. A majority of the works are mixed media and collage art, with some paintings, digital pieces and printmaking works. This online eBook is an interesting way to document, preserve and share a mail art collection. Make a cup of tea and settle in for a while!
I pounced really fast to snag this street art giveaway, found tucked into the front of a RedEye newspaper box. Years of living in the city and I’ve never found free art before this and not for want of effort on my part. The artist, @GRuelEsTatE, has a portfolio showing the series, currently at #1 – #69. I have artwork #41 “Many Moons.” The works are made of vintage magazine and juxtapose imagery. It’s a wonderfully consist series of work and the pieces range from snarky to surreal. There is no contact information so this is work being done for the sake of expression and the fun of treasure hunting. Another site found via Google possibly identifies the artist as Deb Pressman.
I’m just throwing this online so friends can get a high res copy of the photos via download. OK, that and to tease a little with an animated GIF. (Where’s your hand at, Tony?)
I have heard about blending colored pencils with baby oil and was skeptical to try it. I have used my share of colorless blending pencils and blending markers in the past. The markers cost a lot and get stained pretty quickly. You always have to wipe the nib on scrap paper to remove colors to go on to blend different areas of color and this burns through your marker quickly. The fabulous surprise was how much better baby oil performs for blending! It is dirt cheap and smells pleasant. I tested the process of many brands of pencils below.
I made sure to buy baby oil that was 100% mineral oil. I got a brand that had the perfume scent since the drug store near me did not have any unscented kinds for sale. Avoid other additives like aloe vera; it is the mineral oil melting the wax content in the colored pencils that makes the process work. Mineral oil is a petrochemical, so I am thinking an organic component like aloe vera would lend itself to mold or decay.
I did some Manga style cartoon portrait drawings with colored pencils. I will crop these drawings to artist trading card size later. The one above used waterproof inks for the outline: Sakura Pigma Micron pens and a Pentel Manga brush pen. This artwork has Berol Prismacolor, Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth Magic, Koh-I-Noor Dry Marker Flourescent, and Rose Art Metallic brands of colored pencils. The Rose Art Metallic set is very bright; the silver looks very good. The paper I used was pretty rough, 130# Nature Sketch; it has a definite tooth similar to a cold pressed variety of watercolor paper or maybe a pastel paper.
BOOM! Here is the blended version. I think it “pops”, the colors look bolder and the art has a nice painterly effect. I used a fine synthetic paint brush and Q-tips dipped in tiny amounts of baby oil. The Q-tip cotton swabs were very nice to rub on the paper and smoothed the color out well. Interestingly, the baby oil makes the color melt down into the paper nicely. All of the blending I had done with the dry pencils was prone to stay in place. The baby oil process felt similar to using very thinned oil paints but not wildly wet like fluid inks or watercolor. The smallest amount of baby oil melts and blends the colored pencil on contact. The control was very nice. I also used a white Sakura Gellyroll pen for the reflections in the eyes, which is a nice trick.
This was my first try with the baby oil process. Most of the above art was Crayola colored pencils, a little Berol Prismacolor was used on the skin tones and the ink was Pentel Manga brush pen. I wish I had learned about this process before now; it was an interesting way to compensate for the white showing through on a toothy paper. Definitely try it out, blending colored pencils with baby oil was fun and really easy.
Adding another drawing 2/13/2015!
This is fantastic because someone at retirement age took to an art form and moved forward with great skill and interest. I want to find the full documentary; the above CBS video short about the film covers the main details. I have never wanted to live in a cave more than when I saw this!
If you saw the documentary My Kid Could Paint That, you will see the same high art market insanity at work in the video short. The artist, Ra Paulette, created a large work for $12 an hour and the owner is now trying to fetch nearly a million dollars for it now that a documentary film about the artist is being released. I feel grateful Paulette seems so down to earth and does not appear to be caught up in the economic side of his work in a destructive way.
I am trying to get back to blogging and the usual arty things after a death in the family. My grandmother went from diagnosis to death in six weeks from cancer and my family is very sad. The day she died, I suddenly remembered video footage I had shot of a family dinner years ago; the only footage I have of my grandmother. I sat crying all day and pulled together a edit of the footage.
There are a lot of technical problems with how badly I shot the footage. I’ve learned a lot since having a video camera was a new thing, and now the only recorded video I have of her is precious no matter how poor the quality. I guess younger people, growing up in a digitally saturated environment, will have hours upon hours of video footage and recordings made of their lives by enthusiastic parents, their peers and themselves. If you have elders in your family, remember to make videos of them as well. This may be the only video footage anyone has recorded of my grandmother. Interview your elders,involve them in a video project, get your video camera or smartphone out and make recordings before illness and death come. Photographs are wonderful and valuable, yet video gives you the voice and movements of the person; video gives you a piece of time back from the person you lost.
This is the concept art for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which landed in Chicago after after a few California cities and NYC all said “Uhhhh, no.” I swear if this ugly mess gets built, I’m going to call it “Blanket Fort” for the rest of my life. You have to be a Chicago local to understand the South Loop to South Shore has traditionally been an architectural “no man’s land.” It’s sort of the “low value thus experimental” chalk board of America’s third largest city.
This is the area that had the real estate so that Chicago wound up with the hideous Mistake on the Lake, the black mass of the original McCormick Place Convention Center. Pile up some cardboard boxes in a horizontal mass, spray paint them all matte black and you have McCormick Place. Existing structures are not safe from being remade into a disaster. Historical preservationists failed to save Soldier Field, which was removed from the National Registry of Historic Buildings for being too architecturally compromised from the original design with contemporary retrofitting . Please, someone, come up with a different design for the Lucas Museum. Looking at a UFO on Romanesque architecture just off from the Mistake on the Lake is bad enough. We don’t need a Blanket Fort added to the collection.