Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Creative Journalling and Bookmaking

Aglow & happy 
(c) Deb Chaney 2008
9 x 11 " Acrylics on unmounted canvas pad
Original Available
Journalling has been a fundamental part of my art making process for years, well over 10 if I was counting. Morning Pages, free writing, making lists, circle exercise, some of which I discuss in a chapter on journalling in the Little Inspiration Book. But as artist I think its natural to want to push boundaries, explore new mediums and technique and try new things. So after writing and collage and painting and sketching I've been itching to explore book making for a while.
Last year I had the opportunity to attend a workshop with Sabrina Ward Harrison where I met a retired lawyer and artist & book maker - Eris Wagner who was also attending the workshop. Her hand made journal was incredibly beautiful, textured and detailed with thick heavy weight paper she'd glued into an old accounting ledger book and discard photographs she'd glued in, gessoed over and then scraped over so that you saw sneak peaks of the photos and got a faded antique feel. Her journal captivated me so I wrote her and asked her about the process of making it and how I could learn more. 
Here's what she wrote;
"I learned most of my bookmaking skills from Sheeren LaPlantz who died from cancer about 5 yrs. ago. Her books, which are widely available (Amazon) are a good place to start to learn book making.  She goes over all the basics.  Like any art, there's no substitiute for just doing it---practicing over and over...

San Francisco Center for the Book has a nice range of classes and I took a number of them when I lived in northern California. I'm sure there is a Book Guild or other resource in your area that offers basic bookmaking classes.

There are TONS of books available on book arts...I actually learn better from books than anything else....

Another good resource is

Check out the links and then join the listserve and read the posts. If you have any questions you can post them---like "Where is a good basic bookmaking workshop in my area?" [Deb notes that in Vancouver, book making is offered at
Emily Carr University]

From that list, I learned that the
LA Book Arts Center is closing
. Too bad....but I know there's plenty of things happening in Southern California. You might ask Carol Parks..."
Thank you Eris!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Using Acrylics to create a waxy – encaustic – look in your artwork

Leaping into the unknown
30 x 40 x 11/2”
Mixed Media, & Acrylics on Canvas
© Deb Chaney 2007
Feng Shui Recommendation: Health and Vitality.
To further enhance your health and inner vitality place this painting in or near the center of your dwelling.
For View at: Java Station Coffee House 4447 Hollister Ave, Santa Barbara, CA 93110 Ph (805) 681-0202
(Please do ask to see this painting it because its in the back!!!)
Original painting is available for purchase $1200 USD

Last week I had an interview with Golden Paints technical department on a new product they are in process of creating. At this point in time, because of their competition, I was asked to keep the interview a secret and not reveal any of the ideas or concepts we discussed.

After speaking with the Golden chemical technician he emailed me some great little videos clips (youtube.com) on using and applying Golden Mediums and acrylic paints. I thought this would be fun to share with acrylic and mixed media painters who read this blog.

Particulalry, I’m thinking of Shay Cajolet from Massachusetts who contact me last year with questions about using acrylic mediums to create an encaustic (wax – like) effect. She’d seen the workshop I’d organized for Nancy Reyner in Santa Barbara which was on this topic specifically: using acrylics to create encaustic effects.

Last time I heard from Shay she said she’d had some success and a lot of goopy experiences with the mediums….perhaps a few of these videos will give some more guidance that goes beyond a phone conversation.

Here are some great instructional videos on the products and techniques that I use and some new concepts too…

Using moulding paste:


Creating a Brushable Isolation Coat:


Using Clear Tar Gel:

In my work to build layers I use Golden heavy gel matte medium, GOLDEN light moulding paste, Liquitex gloss medium and varnish, Golden fluid acrylics. ( Check out this link to a sampler set of many of these products and other cool ones)

As well, if you want to pour a thick layer over your work to emulate wax, from her workshop we learned that Nancy Reyner developed the following formulas she calls:

Sheen formula to match refined Beeswax

Mix together 2 oz. Soft Gel Gloss and ½ oz matte medium. Slowly add ¼ oz water. Add 3 drops of Interference Blue (fine) and 2 drops of Iridescent gold (fine).

Sheen formula to match unrefined beeswax

Use above mixture and pour half into an empty far. Add ½ drop or less of quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold.

You can make these formulas in an air tight container and then use them in the middle of your painting as a medium, directly onto dry or web acrylic paint or as a finishing sheen to your work.

Something that looks really cool and is fun to try – lay down a nice thick layer (1/4” or so) of one of the above sheen formulas using a palette knife. Soak a paint brush heavily with water. Tap the water soaked paint brush over top of your sheen layer ( don't touch the painting with the brush, let the water fall off onto the sheen layer) and let the water drops form an interesting surface texture on your waxy layer. Let it dry. Have fun!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

New work and a great quote

Praying for Rain
(c) deb chaney 2009
mixed media, sand and acrylics on canvas
20 x 30 x 11/2 " (approx size as original is currently being shipped from Santa Barbara to Vancouver and my electronic inventory was lost in cyber cosmos!
Original available.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our
presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson. from A Return to Love

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

SMIGs has changed...

OK, I feel a little bad that I've kept you out of the loop. But honestly, there is no loop as I haven't told anyone before writing this blog. I changed SMIGs...a nightly ritual I made up to support artists and creative souls.

S - for success. For example, today I added 5 names to my database, worked on a project that for the sake of its creative gestation shall remain secret (for now), and had a great heart to heart talk with my mum.

Magic Moments - today I watched my daugther play in the ocean with another little boy, ohh it was so sweet. They were playing with a floating log and he was on the log and she was pushing him out to sea, it was so dear watching them work together.

Intuition - My intuition is guiding me to get more sleep and take care of myself right now. (this used to be Intention but this idea of holding some idea in tension seemed, well, a little tense so I decided to change it)

Gratitude - I'm so grateful for my Dad driving up the west coast with me and helping me move, i'm so grateful for a place to live, for all the wonderful phone calls and facebook posts on my facebook for my birthday, for being at whidbey island for the summer, for the ocean and the fresh air and peace and quite and I'm 'so grateful for my art and the joy it gives me to create it.

s - the little 's' reminds us to keep making small steps towards our dreams, goals and creative projects. Never, never, never give up. Shoot for the stars, you might hit the moon. The impossible just takes longer. Keep going.

Looking for a unique and personal gift?

Tote bags. Mugs. Aprons. Prints & Greeting Cards All with Deb's art.

The Little Inspiration Book, by DEB & Sand in my Bra

Deb's Original ART available to view and purchase

...in Beverly Hills paintings at SWITCH Boutique

...in Santa Barbara at Java Station Coffee House,

...in Los Angeles at Via Roma Boutique.

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