Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gelatine Plate Printing with Natural Dyes

This is from several years ago, I have a geliplate my best friend Brenda got me for xmas last year that I really, really need to use! I'm thinking some earth pigments and my Black Birds in Tree stencil onto fabric for starters.  The plate in the above photo I made myself, here I'm using lace and trims as resists for the print which I made onto fabric.

Cotton fabric, that I do believe I compost dyed, osage orange on the gelatin plate with some lace trims gave a nice resist pattern.  After curing and washing the osage orange color is about 30% of it's orignal brightness on cotton fabric.  Now to find this piece of fabric in my stash and audition some threads for stitching.

Mark Making with Nature Super SALE!!!

Mark Making with Nature DVD & eBook 
Super Sale!!!
Ends at Midnight!!!

Click here to find out more!
Learn how to screenprint, mono-print and so much more with Natural Dyes!

Mark Making with Nature Super SALE Ends Today!!!

Learn how to screenprint with Natural Dyes and so much more!!!
Mark Making with Nature DVD & eBook
Click here to find out more!  

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mark Making with Nature eBook Blowout!!!
Three Days Only!!!
Sale ends October 31st, 2013

Mark Making with Nature eBook Combo Sale

Mark Making with Nature eBook Blowout!!!

Three Days Only!!!
Sale ends October 31st, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Oliver Files - A New Blankie!!!

Winter is coming on here in central Iowa and at some point we're going to have to put a bed in his crate so he will stay warm during the night; we keep the house at 58F during the night.
He was being a pest earlier so I decided to perform a social experiment with him, lock him in his crate with a polar fleece blanket, to see what his reaction would be.  He did good, he spent a few minutes rearranging the blanket and proceeded to go to sleep.  This is good because I was concerned about him shredding his new dog bed that I'll be making for him; basic polar fleece with polyfill inside to give him a couple of inches between him and the metal floor of the crate. 
In case your worried about his being isolated during the day while in his crate, don't I'm a full five feet away from his crate working on the computer plus he won't be in there for long, during the day he spends anywhere from five minutes to four hours in there all depending on what errands I have to run.
I just wanted to see what his reaction was to the blanket, it took Angel a good five years before she would tolerate anything in her crate other than her food bowl, we'd give her a blanket and in the morning find it outside of her crate and her sleeping on her back legs straight up in the air!  Now she sleeps on a polar fleece dog bed I made for her, again with the legs straight up in the air.

Artist Interview with Denice Peters

Meet Denice Peters!

Denice Peters is an Iowa native and was born and raised in LeMars, IA.  Life pulled her in other directions for a time, but came to realize life is too short not to follow her dreams. So, she took the plunge to be a full time artist.  Mostly a self taught artist, she has taken the time to hone her own vision and technique.  Her vision is clear in her vivid realistic depictions of our rural scenes and landscape.  She exhibits nationally and her work has won many awards.

Denice says, “I’ve found that pastels give me that “hands on” aspect of painting that I love so much!  I love to “get right in there” and I become part of each painting in many ways. I love pastels so much that they are all I use now.  We overlook the things we see every day. God gave us many beautiful things. The beauty that surrounds us here in the Midwest is what I strive to capture before it disappears.”

She’s a member of the Pastel Society of America, Iowa Artist association and Iowa Pastel Society.  Her work can be seen at Clear Lake Art Center, Clear Lake, IA; Corning Center for Art, Corning, IA; and Xanadu Online Gallery, Scottsbluff, AZ.  She offers workshops and classes, and her website address is    
I have been an artist my whole life.  Drawing and painting has always been a huge part of me.  Life tries to pull you away from your dreams at times.  But I took the plunge to be a full time professional artist about 4 years ago.  It was a bad year for me, I lost both parents 7 months apart and in between them I lost my job.  I just came to realize that life is too short NOT to follow your dreams.  
I am currently working on rural landscapes in pastel.  For almost 20 Years, pastels are all I that I use.  I had a happy incident at an oil painting workshop back then.  The artist asked if anyone had another day, he'd show us pastels.  I said "Why not?"  Well, I was hooked!  I fell in love with the rich creamy vibrant colors of pastel.  I also gave me that tactile sensation of feeling the colors and strokes as I work.  No other medium but graphite or charcoal ever came close.  I work and blend with my hands and fingers.  Nothing separates me from my work, like a brush or something.  It's just me and my painting.  

When I start a painting, I work out the composition in my head and on a screen and sometimes paper.  I do everything by hand.  I freehand sketch my large shapes and composition on my surface.  On occasion, I will apply some dark pastel and then do an alcohol wash to block in the darkest areas and shapes.  Mostly though, I just start in painting!  I always start on the top of the painting working from dark to light and background to foreground.  

I find that I need to paint, so I try to do art related things every day.  If I can't for a few days, I feel down, so I'm either painting every day or working on the computer promoting my work.  I have been blessed with many opportunities so far.  And I have so many ideas yet to paint!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pre-Order Mark Making with Nature Today!!!
Will be available for digital download on November 15th, 2013!

Mark Making with Nature DVD

Pre-Order Mark Making with Nature Today!!!
Will be available for digital download on November 15th, 2013!


A wee bit of pink tongue sticking out, she struck this pose right after John left to walk Oliver... She was smiling and big time.  Even at 15ish years of age she's still my doll baby dog, all 15 pounds of her!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

MMWN DVD Coming Soon!!!

Am pleased to announce that my DVD
Mark Making with Nature
will available as a digital download and soon!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Antique Inspiration

Oliver Files - Squeek Toy Crisis

Lamby went awol for about two weeks, and talk about a sullen puppy!  Lamby finally showed up this evening, buried in the sofa.  If you know where I can purchase more of these silly little lambs, and yes I've looked all over the internet for them, please let me know via the comments section!

I purchased lamby about seven years ago for Angel but she's terrified of the silly thing, Oliver, however, loves lamby!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Oliver Files 101013

John just measured Oliver's  height, he's 26" at the shoulders and he's not done growing yet!

Monday, October 07, 2013

Oliver Files - 100713

For the most part he's been a really good boy today, and then there's this bit that started a few minutes ago that's earning him crate time!  He just can't seem to let the cat alone.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Art Crawl Iowa - 2013

Art Crawl Iowa - 2013
Virtual Studio Tour!!!
Join central Iowa artists in the first annual virtual studio tour!
Kimberly Baxter Packwood 
Denice Peters

See additional links for each artist on our
Virtual Tour Page!!!

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Artist Interview with Jeanne Boydston

Artist Interview with Jeanne Boydston

As a child, I loved to look through my grandmother’s jewelry box.  I examined the bright pieces of glass and metal, delighting in the colors and shapes.  This fascination with jewelry continued through my teen years and by college, I was designing my own beaded jewelry.

In time, I developed a passion for working with sterling silver, cabochons and other natural gemstones. I view my jewelry as a small piece of art that the wearer can carry along with them.  Many different sources inspire my work: patterns cast by a sunset, the clean lines of art deco architecture, or sometimes even the stones themselves.   The seed for a new jewelry design may come from something as mundane as a light fixture or as grand as the waves on an ocean beach.  In short, my jewelry reflects my own life experiences and imagination.  I get an enormous amount of satisfaction from taking an abstract idea, solving the ascetic and technical issues in its construction and finally seeing the physical object take shape.

Q. How did you get involved in your current artistic medium?

Jeanne:  I’ve always been fascinated with jewelry, not just its ascetic values but also the symbolism and sociological aspects.  I started out making bead jewelry,  then had a brief flirtation with making glass beads.  Finally, I discovered sterling silver and it became my passion.  Since, 2010 I’ve been selling my original art jewelry thought various art shows and other venues in central Iowa.  I am currently represented by the Octagon center for the Arts Shop in Ames. (

Q.  What materials and processes are used in your work?

Jeanne:  My jewelry is designed and fabricated one piece at a time.  The construction process involves coaxing metal into a specific shape by using a variety of tools and techniques.  Generally, I employ the traditional fabrication methods such as sawing, soldering, forging and polishing.  However, I also explore new methods of manipulating the sterling silver and stones to achieve the desired effect.  I am largely self-taught, utilizing books, instructions videos, Internet jewelry forums and a few local classes.  The techniques and tricks gleamed from the teachers in these classes have proved to be invaluable.

Ring, fabricated silver, tube set London Blue topaz

 Q. What inspires your work?

Jeanne:  The inspiration for a new jewelry design usually comes from my observations of the world around me.  It might be an architectural detail, the leaf of a tree or maybe the patterns of sunlight on water.  Sometimes the gemstone cabochons will suggest ideas.

Q.  What are you currently working on?

Jeanne:  Usually, I have several projects going simultaneously.  The one that is nearest completion is a multi-strand bracelet.  The strands are constructed in a double loop-in-loop pattern with tubular end caps.  The final bracelet will have turquoise beads interspaced between the strands. I’ve also started to collect reference photographs for a series of lockets loosely based on plant forms.

Jeanne Boydston

Work in progress: Test fitting the turquoise beads prior to the final fabrication steps

Q.  What other artistic interests do you have?

Jeanne:  I’ve dabbled in hand bookbinding, fiber arts and am currently attempting to learn watercolors.

Q.  Tell us something that most people don’t know about you that they would find interesting?

Jeanne: I know how to make bobbin lace, collect antique perfume bottles and love to cook.