Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Halloween Card Tutorial

Assortment of Inexpensive Craft Paints (I like to use metallic and glitter paints in analogous colors.)
Black Gesso
Mod Podge Gloss
Paint Brushes
White Wrapping Paper with Design

Black Paper (for backgrounds)-
Take white wrapping paper (mine was white and silver #3) and paint a thin layer of black gesso (#1). Let it dry and then cover the paper in Mod Podge for sheen.

White Paper-
Take plain office paper and cover it with white paint and pearl metallic paint. After it dries, cover it in Mod Podge.

Orange Paper (#2)-
This paper is a combination of browns, oranges, golds, copper, and orange glitter paint all dabbed about haphazardly on white office paper. There is no wrong way to do this so have fun. When the paint dries, paint on a layer of Mod Podge.

Green Paper-
Use several colors of green paint. Add a little copper and green glitter paint to give it sparkle. After paint dries, paint a coat of Mod Podge.

I cut out my designs (using an XACTO knife for the skull's teeth), glued everything down with the Mod Podge onto precut cards. After the medium dried I used sharpies to draw designs on the skull.

John Salminen Interview Excerpt (continued)

John Salminen (continued): In the early 80s, I had an opportunity to study with Cheng-Khee Chee at the University of Minnesota and Chee, at that time, was being introduced to western design and he was sharing all of that with us in the class. That was actually my first experience with a practical application for design, how you can use design to actually improve the painting that you were working on.

Creative Catalyst: And this was a major breakthrough ?
John: I think it was. As I look at it now, it’s been such a dominant influence on my thinking and my work. I don’t know if I recognized it as a break through at the time, but everyone in the class, and I’m sure this is fairly typical, we all wanted to paint just like Chee. I realized early on that that was not a productive route to follow, to be the second Cheng-Khee Chee. I had been looking around for other painters and discovered Robert Wood and the whole California school of fast and loose painters.

In that genre, I fixated for a while on a California painter named Morris Shulman and in particular his paintings called “Bus Stop” and “The Arches.” For the next couple years I literally copied Morris Shulman. I had Chee, Robert Wood and Morris Shulman and I was internalizing what they were doing by attempting to copy them. All of a sudden one day someone came up to me and they said, ''We saw one of your paintings. We always recognize your work by its style.'' I hadn’t really thought at all about having a style at that point in time, and in reality, there was the combined influence of de Koonig and Franz Kline and Cheng-Khee Chee and Robert Wood and the California painters and everything else I’d seen along the way that probably had an affect.

Images: John Salminen

To read the first part of the excerpt, go here:

Monday, September 29, 2008

Congratulations Nicholas Simmons

Watermedia artist Nicholas Simmons won top prize at the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society for his piece Tokyo Express (originally titled Canton Express.)

Catch the opening October 12 at Westchester Art Association.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Halloween Dino

Working on newsletter. Should come out tomorrow.

Posting has been a bit sparse in that in my non-work life I'm getting closer and closer to opening night for the play I'm in. Next week starts rehearsals for 3hours a night, 5 nights a week. Which is only slightly different than the past weeks at 4 nights a week. I'm not complaining though every moment of this production has been a blast.

Back to the newsletter!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Learn to Carve Your Own Stamps

I think I've said this before, I'm a terrible stamper. There is a look I never achieve with store bought rubber stamps. Other artists can do it. I've seen beautiful work...but it's not for me. This is why I was so surprised at how quickly I fell in love with carving my own stamps. There is a tactile quality in the process, and I love how you can see cut marks in the final print. I had no idea how carving my own stamps would change the way I approach my work both on the computer and on the page but it has. I have Gloria Page to thank for all of that.

This week at work they are putting the Gloria Page gift set on sale. People save $15 if they buy Gloria's book and art instruction DVD together. If you're interested go to Creative Catalyst Production's site: here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pineapple Damask

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fall Leaves


Thursday, September 11, 2008


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More Patterns

I played around with more damask today. Every once and awhile when I needed a break from editing I'd add a leaf or put in polka dots. Here's what I came up with. I think I like it for the most part.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hello autumn

I'm starting to get damask. It's a limited knowledge, but it's slowly developing. Paisley? Paisley is a whole other beast.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Digging through computer

I've literally spent the last 7 hours (minus an hour for lunch break) going through every folder on my computer and cleaning it out. Six hours! And I can't even tell how much progress I've made. The fun part however is finding little graphics I started for projects. Here's one for a blog I was going to do but then never did. I think it's an OK start. Ugh. Back to it.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Autumn 2008

Spelling what?

I like where they're headed but I think the 2 and the 8 are cut off too much. Not quite sure what to do there. I think I like the colors but I might play around a bit here as well. Seems sparse. Originally I wanted to do it like a poster for a band, but when I flipped it to a horizontal document I feel like I'm making more of a post card.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Beading/Wiring Attempt #1

This is my first attempt in a long time at making jewelry that wasn't an earring. Also, I seriously bruised my palm from gripping my pliers so hard, and we'll be stepping on wire bits in the apartment for some time. To put it nicely, I have a lot to learn. But that said I'm pretty happy with how it came out, and it already has clothing to go with it. Score!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


I'm still moving. How long does it take to move? Well, when you have as much stuff as I have, apparently a long time. (It doesn't help however that my evenings are now spent in rehearsal and most nights I won't get home until 10pm starting tonight but that is an aside.) I had this realization on Friday that I desperately needed to do something with my hands. My new studio is still mostly a cardboard box growth culture and I might know where my paints are but that doesn't mean I've yet located my brushes OR have a surface on which to paint. So I opened my stamp drawer. I literally used a few colors and grabbed for stamps at random and worked off of whatever was on the floor next to me whether it be a 6x8 index card or a piece of green painted paper. And for about 30 minutes I just played. It felt good and reminded me of why it's so important I get focused and put my studio together.