It’s the coffee talking

coffee talking
Bought a jar of fluorescent pink paint, months ago (prompted by a flash of inspiration that I can’t remember, now), and decided to see what it would do as a ground cover. I like the little bits that show through cracks or glow behind layers in the painting—in small amounts and under other, less-bright colours, the hot pink flickers interestingly—though I find the solid parts a bit too strong. Still, it was fun to work with. Not a colour I’ve ever used, so it was different.

I had fun with the woven pattern on the book cover…I don’t actually have a book covered in fabric like this, the original is an ordinary planner, beige,that I use to jot down deadlines, appointments and shopping lists.

The two cups look a bit strange together, especially since they are so different from each other, but I had simply sketched what was in front of me at the time, without thinking about composition or trying to make any sense.

Couldn’t decide, in the end, what the cup of coffee would say, so I left it blank with the idea of filling it in later. Before drawing anything else, I had stuck down a slip of paper from a fortune cookie—“You’ll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.”—and more words would have been overkill, I think.

Looking at the dark brown speech bubble now, the coffee simply seems to be announcing itself (I drink my coffee strong, black, and unsweetened). I may leave it. It’s just a journal page: something I feel the need to do every few days (really, I’d like to do this daily, but never manage to keep it up) for myself. It fills an inner need to slow down and look intensely at something for a couple of hours.
coffee talking

Look like a mermaid…

swear like a sailor…

two-faced cup
Had a quiet day at home, on the boat, yesterday. I took my stash of Posca pens out, thinking I would have a bit of a play in my art journal…but this plain white cup on a kitchen shelf caught my eye, and I wound up painting a mermaid and a sailor on it, instead.

I saw the quote online, on a mass-produced cup, and nearly bought it; but the design was rather poor—no images, only the words in a scribbled font, and they were unreadable amid the expanses of white space—that the whole thing looked skimpy and cheaply made.  I decided I would wait until I found a better one, then forgot all about it until yesterday.

two-faced cup

Few people know that Posca pens can be used on ceramics. Because we sell Posca pens in the shop, I’ve had to download the extensive materials information sheet  from the Posca website for our customers.

Drawings done with these pens can be baked in an oven to make them semi-permanent (the pieces probably wouldn’t hold up to heavy use, and must be washed gently, by hand). I like them much, much better than Sharpies, because the acrylic paint in a Posca pen is opaque, so that they cover with one stroke and I can layer different colours on top of each other.

two-faced cup

I can’t take credit for the sailor, which is not mine…he was from a bit of street art that I spotted in Colombia, over a year ago…

I’m uncomfortable with the fact that I’ve used someone else’s design, but it was the seed idea that got me started in the first place, and I didn’t actually believe I would finish the cup (because I’ve never drawn on a cup before, the surface sloping in funny ways, cleaning up with alcohol and gingerly holding it in some paper towel so as not to get the oil from my fingers on it…it all seemed too hard, I was sure I would fuck up at some point.) It wasn’t until I’d done both sailor and mermaid that I realised the thing was “for real”…that it was good enough to “fix” in an oven and keep.

It’s just for myself, and I won’t be repeating the design again. I would like to use the same quote on a mug for my Society6 shop, but coming up with the entire design from scratch. Someday.

two-faced cup

Collaged journal covers

Water Traffic“Blue Circle Bay”, paper collage, acrylic paint.

The Green Pond“The Green Pond”, paper and fabric collage, acrylic paint.

paint & puffballs

Allium journals (WIP)
These embroidered allium journals are probably the most time-consuming of the ten journals that a friend has commissioned from me, so I thought I had better get cracking on the embroidery part. This is Number 2. They always take longer than I think they will: the painted canvas is leathery, hard to push through, and my index finger already bears small cracks and cuts where I use it to push the needle in. I suppose I should use a thimble, but I don’t own one (I have yet to find one that fits me properly).
Allium jurnal WIP
The puffballs are very pretty (I think so, anyway) when embroidered…they don’t look as nice, painted or drawn. But it’s incredibly boring work, the same star stitch, over and over. Thank god for audio books! They make the repetitive stitching bearable. I have been listening to Barbara Mujica’s “Mi Hermana Frida” in Spanish. It’s my second time to listen to this audio book…a year and a half has passed since I first listened to it. I’m enjoying it so much more, this time around, because my Spanish is much better than it was then. It’s a nice way, too, to hang on to what I know of the language, as I hardly get to use it over here…

Tea & chocolate in Barcelona

Té y xocolata
Another teacup book cover in what’s become a whole series of hand bound journals, over the years. I am making 10 journals of various designs, commissioned by a good friend and loyal collector of my one-of-a-kind handbound journals over the years.
Té y xocolata
Getting started was hard—I am rusty at designing bookcovers (the extra-wide format, and one must always bear in mind that the cover will fold, later on, to form front and back covers, plus a spine.)

These teacup ones are especially baffling, because  they use so many different mediums (layering, sewing machine appliqué, paint, spray paint, collage, painting, embroidery, stamping or stenciling…for this one, I also printed the teacup with fresh leaves) but after a few false starts, I have finally found a rhythm, and the other 8 books are coming along more smoothly than this one did. They aren’t all of teacups.
Té y xocolata
I named this book after Barcelona, because of the Barcelona based chocolatier, Simón Coll’s, chocolate wrapper used for the flower vase. This chocolate bar wrapper design has been in continuous use since 1880.

rombo-simon-coll

Memorial Day Sale

memorial day sale

A big two day sale, over on Society6

Get a whopping 20% off all items PLUS Free Shipping to anywhere in the world. Now’s your chance to fill up on art and good looking stuff for your home, or stockpile a heap of pressies for the next few months’ flurry of birthdays and occasions.

Sale starts Sunday, May 28 @ 12am PT (that’s +16:30 hours—or 4:30 pm on a Monday—for my peeps in Darwin) and ends on Monday, May 29 @ 11:59pm PT (or 4:29 pm, Tuesday). You can head to the sale by clocking Here.