Kara Beth interviewed Vicki

Kara Beth is a new friend on Google+, and is very eager to crawl in my head and learn what is there. Might impossibly scare her :) I had a student once who said if she could just find where to put the cable in my brain so she could download what is there. I convinced her she'd have to take it all...not just the art stuff, so she quit looking. 

Her blog is Art+Java in the morning, and she has done some very good artist spotlight articles. I'm pleased to answer her questions.

Here is the link. Please subscribe to her blog and leave any comments so she and I will both there is someone out there.



Skin Tones for Journaling

I am SO glad I took up art journaling! It gives me an excuse to PLAY, really play! New materials, wonky ideas, practice techniques and methods. Even got out my first love, watercolor, last week. 

Had a request from a google+ community member for a video explaining how I achieve my skin tones. The pieces in question were more illustrative than painting, so I pulled out my most familiar color techniques.

All Tied Up

As part of this new adventure, I am participating in some great online workshops. This was for one of the weekly suggestions from LifeBook 2015. I highly recommend this year long resource! I've found that all my study and tutoring in fine art meshes beautifully with mixed media.

In these videos, please keep in mind that I was merely showing a few techniques to achieve skin tones, not to paint the perfect face. Had I been doing a 'real' painting, it would have taken much longer than an hour or so.

Enjoy! Subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay on top of what Wicki is doing.



Georgia Mountain Arts Interview Snippet

Peggy is a real teaser...I've not listened to the podcast yet. You know how hard it is to listen to yourself! CLICK HERE to read her post about the podcast.

I've made such good friends through Google+! The groups are so focused and fun. There will be much more coming including a guest blog post mid-March that happened because of those groups. 

Now who's teasing :) OH, by the way, after months of trial and error on my part, and going in absolute circles, MailChimp support spent 2 hours with me on chat until we figured out the broken link problems. Cross fingers that they are all fixed. (thanks Marsha Savage)



THANK you, StencilGirl!

I always enter product giveaways...never know when you might get lucky! Most of these are automated...the winner selected by computer. I keep my fingers crossed, keep checking back on their subsequent posts and hope to see my name. I'd hate to miss one! 

BUT, after a glorious 3 hour lunch with a friend I've known since age 3, I came home to find an email congratulations from StencilGirl. I had won!

Color Wicki Smilin;!



What's in the Bag 2?

Another just for fun silly post. Who cares if you NEED anything else in your art room? Especially if you are saving stuff from the landfill, AND helping people who need financial help? Helping Hands in Bentonville runs the BEST thrift store I've ever been in...total volunteer run. It is set up like a nice department store...wide aisles, things are gather by department, and you can find some great STUFF!

I spent the past two weeks immersed in a hardware issue...trying to learn Linux/Ubuntu/Knoppix to see if I could salvage a NAS drive with TWO 1 tb drives. Supposed to be safe because one mirrored the other for backup. NOT. It appears both are gone...or at least unrecognizable. Boggles my mind...and that is why I wouldn't give up. Still won't, just gonna find a nerd It guy here in Wal-Mart headquarters land I live in!

SO, I quit. Took a routine tour of my fav spots: Sonic for a junior deluxe cheeseburger (once a weekly habit, now once in a month or so, due to living with a diabetes2 spouse who cooks), Helping Hands...found great stuff there, as always! Then Tuesday Morning (nothing) and Hobby Lobby (a few things). Then to the 3 local dollar stores looking for silicone baby bottle nipples, slow flow. These for a tip shared by Google+ friend, Sylvia Tabor. Original video by Laura Denison Designs. Links are under the video! Enjoy!



Georgia Mountain Arts

Thanks to Google+ group Kraafter Kommunity and member Peggy Gabrielson of Georgia Mountain Arts for the wonderful article she wrote about me. Color Wicki blushing! Can't wait to see how she can turn my Ozark linguistics into a listenable podcast! TBA

Click Here for the article!

xxoo and big hugs for Peggy! Please comment on her post and let her know you read it...


Latest MMA article by Vicki Ross

I explain in this tutorial how to take an inexpensive composition book and alter it for a Journal Jumpp (a Wicki coined phrase). Journal Jumpps are starters for your own journaling...gets you over the 'fear' of the blank white page. It is already grunged, so there can be no fear of ruining it as you add your own touches!

Click on www.Axully.com to see the original blog post and to leave a comment! 


Testing Pastel Fixative on Watermedia

In this most sophisticated laboratory experiment (buahaha) I wanted to see if my favorite fixative for soft pastels would work for art journaling and waterbased sprays and media.

For those who are new to soft pastels, there is a continuing debate over "Whether to fix, or not to fix, that is the question, dear Watson". Many workable fixatives in readily available spray cans will drastically alter the color and look of the pastels. If the artist is trying to achieve texture and layering, this spray can ruin the texture...AND dull lighter colors.

Several years ago, Spectra-Fix was introduced at IAPS (International Society of Pastel Societies) and was an immediate hit. I wrote a blog post about it...and what I learned from Alan Flattmann about using it. Since my pastel easel and setup are but feet away from my mixed media workstation, it was an easy hop over to nab my mixture. 

On 140# Fabriano watercolor paper I first wet the paper with a spray bottle of water. Next, I dropped and sprayed several different brands of ink and liquid watercolor, and some Tattered Angels and Smooch spray colors. After drying, I masked off the left side and sprayed my Spectra-Fix in two good coats...drying between.

Next, I sprayed with the water bottle again and put some deli paper on top. The un-fixed side pulled some color, while the fixed side only got a bit from the top...probably where I didn't hit the fixative good enough. Next, I re-wet it and used a paper towel this time. Violå! You can see the unfixed pigment stain the towel.

Page two: Get ready for it! I found a new product (to me, anyway) by reading a blog post on Google+ from a friend in England. She was showing her studio space where she used her "Brusho's". After a bit of research, I found that Dick Blick imports these from England...and they are fairly inexpensive. BUT, what FUN! They are highly pigmented watercolor CRYSTALS, about the size of glitter. In addition to all the traditional techniques for watercolor, these add an important ability...sprinkle a few granules into a water puddle and watch it explode onto your paper...reminds me of Fizzy's from 1960's.

The fixing and wetting and blotting process was repeated, with the same results. Spectra-Fix WORKS! AND, you can purchase it in a 3oz concentrate bottle and mix your own as the blog post explains. AND spray right at your workstation.



Life Book 2015 Beacon of Light Week 1

What fun Wicki is having! This process is a more illustrative one, and requires much more time than I originally thought. BUT, it is very enjoyable and the mixed media materials are like being a kid again! 

Gold, Glitter, Magic, Oh My! And somewhere between the worktable and photo she gained an angel kiss on her forehead. hmmm. curious.

You know, funny thing is...many subscribers have left this blog since I've started exploring mixed media, bookbinding, journaling, etc. Too bad cause they are missing out on a lot of fun. I can already see how learning whimsy is going to help with my regular painting. Besides, just another stop on my art journey. Life Book 2015 by Tamara Laporte

I've found such warm, PARTICIPATING artists on Google+ who are a delight to interact with. You don't feel like you are preaching to the choir as with 'fine art'. Join us! I'm Vicki Ross, (on google+) and will steer you to some of the groups.



Life Book 2015

I have caught hints of this annual workshop for a year or so, and decided on a whim that I would 'Just do It'. As I've mentioned over the past few months, I've been exploring mixed media. This started with encaustics where anything that can be embedded in the beeswax medium is fair game. How much fun! Fibers, papers, junk mail, buttons...which led to the world of Art Journaling where much the same thing is done on paper. 

The journal is not the end product, rather a recipe book of trial and error experimentation. Color combinations, layering, mono printing, stamping, stenciling...any thing that will add texture or a layer of intrigue is the name of the game.

Life Book 2015 is the brainchild of Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts in England. She has the most charming accent that shows her Dutch ancestry. She is also exudes an Earth Mother persona...it is all about self image. The first day of January, she jumped right in with a "warm-up" exercise. Took me TWO days to get mine done. Oh well, that, too is OK according to Tam. There are about 20 guest instructors throughout the year. I am EXCITED.

My word of the year 2015 is "DO". As in just do it. Quit reading and studying about it. I won't do a detailed step-out out of respect to Tam and all her hard work. I will say that she under promised and over delivered on the content!

I've also registered for a few other workshops similar to this one. I am determined to throw some color in 2015!



End of an Era

 The Rice Paper Screen. Just WOW.

The Rice Paper Screen. Just WOW.

I've not been able to play with my colors in a week or so. Ran-DEE's dad moved to an assisted living facility, and he had to clean out their apartment. Whew.

That took him over a week, even after his sister cleared what she wanted, and our auctioneer moved the big stuff. Left Randy with all the toilet paper, laundry soap, magazines, etc., over 20 picture albums from 1940's to present, his dad's tour of duty in Korea (many pics of barracks...2x3" b/w faded images). Over 100 small framed family pics that had not been unpacked since they moved from their house in Little Rock five years or so ago.

We are both guilty of hoarding to a certain degree, so our place can't hold their hoarding too. However, it was a pleasure going through most of it since they lived in Japan when Ran-DEE was 7-10...and Teiko still had family there. The Japanese cards and papers! Even the envelopes were saved (stamps already cut out). A huge box of odds and ends from her sewing room in Little Rock. I've got enough elastic to last a lifetime. Teiko worked at Hancock Fabrics several years and must have bought ends and pieces of stock. I'll be looking for an innovative way to use those, for sure.

Big sacks of embroidery thread and spools of sewing thread. Postcards, 1920's b/w images from Japanese descendants, tchotzkes, genealogy files, medical files from 2000 detailing every letter, empty envelope, surgery and doctor visit Wesley had. THOSE were easy to recycle!

Anyway, I got some treasures! Have removed every picture from every little frame, all ready for donation to our Helping Hands. 

The answer to GUESS? Waterproof pads. They measure 24" x 24" -ish, and are GREAT for studio work. The bookcase was made by Wesley, and will give us some much needed vertical storage for books we have, as well as all those scrapbooks of Teiko's. Insluded in those was a book of pictures of our house that isn't with us anymore...and some pictures of Sarah we didn't have. 

That was the toughest part of the going through, for me anyway. I'll share more of the Japan ephemera later...great fodder for art. I will digitize the images and use those, passing on the originals to Betsy Ross Noble.

I'm ready for color and my studio! Bring it!



New Activities

Short and sweet, this post is. Vicki is creating an active YouTube channel with her short video demos. Make a request! I'll do my best to make it happen.

New YouTube channel

New Etsy Shop

I've also had requests for a link to my old blog (2008-2013 posts). It is HERE.

Please visit, subscribe, and feed the Muse!



Rubber Pack Carving Rows #4 and 5 (3 of 3)

Well, this is done. I love the material...and can't wait to put it to use. May have to carve deeper if I use acrylic paint with it, but so far it is working great with ink pads.

I've had some requests for blog posts back when I was posting about art and processes in oil, watercolor, and pastel. To save my sanity with all the social media to update every day, I started blogging here on Axully.com. My old blog posts are still 'out there'! I did my first post in March, 2008. Check them out...there's some good stuff there! www.VickiRossArt.blogspot.com

So without further ado, here is video 3 of 3 on Rubber Plumbers Pack carving. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and like the video. I'm having fun sharing these...and my muse needs encouragement!



RePurpose! ReUse! ReCycle!

Read the original post HERE!

I did this last week, and forgot to blog about it. I have numerous readers who stay up with me through these posts. Even though I've been active on Google+ lately, those groups are much smaller. Had a long conversation with a friend/student of mine today and I tried to explain that I haven't gone over to the dark side...just working with color and personal imagery of my own creation. All these techniques and tools can be used with any media...watercolor, oil, pastel, encaustic. I have come to believe that the current art journaling buzz, for me anyway, is a place to experiment with no pressure to complete a 'fine art' painting.

Anyway, If you saw my post on Linocut Carving, here is the link for that. I show the process of carving "the grey stuff", linocut vinyl by Richeson Art. Anyway, getting into the play mode I decided to make a texture plate out of the pieces left over from the carving. It worked GREAT!

Here is the new video. Please subscribe, join me over on Google+ Vicki Ross (vickilou92@gmail.com), let me know what you think!



Rubber Pack Carving Row #3

To read original post, click HERE!

Continuing to complete the 6"x6" square, row by row. It started to look tribal, so I decided to stick with that. Short video, showing the design process. I used Rubber Plumber's Pack available in home improvement stores and Speedball Linocut Tools. 

The print on this row was with a Crayola marker. I discovered that I could take a bit more time to apply my color variations because these are water-based. I took one print quickly, then spritzed with water and got another ghost print. 

The video is Here. And while you are at it, subscribe! Creativity needs encouragement...

 First Print with Crayola markers

First Print with Crayola markers

 Ghost Print. A few minutes after the first print, I grabbed a spray bottle with water, sprayed the carving and pulled another print. SO, that means you can take a bit more time putting market on the plate!

Ghost Print. A few minutes after the first print, I grabbed a spray bottle with water, sprayed the carving and pulled another print. SO, that means you can take a bit more time putting market on the plate!

Rubber Pack Carving Row #2

To view original post click HERE!

I just LOVE research! In fact, sometimes I think that is my waterloo...then inspiration strikes, and I'm back in the studio giving it a go.

This material is rubber pack, made for plumbers. I found mine at Lowes, 6x6" $1.99. It carves beautifully! Softer than the Speedball Speedy Carve (the pink stuff). Here is my latest video carving Row #2 (Row #1 wasn't filmed).





Linocut Carving

Click HERE to view original post

I've been having a ball on Google+ . The art communities are so focused and interactive. One of the groups had a flurry of activity on carving stamps on Speedy-carve (speedball).  I went on to experiment with woodcut and linocut. The material I used for the woodcut was recycled from rubber stamp mounts. The grey stuff in this video was Richeson vinyl Lino-like material. Then, I tried plumber's pack. It may be my favorite of all!

This video is in two parts on YouTube:





Blog Hop Around the World!

How much fun! Kelly Dombrowski, a social network friend and great artist, invited me to join in with this challenge. Let's see how many new artists we can get to know! Follow the links to go around the world and find wonderful art and artists. Be sure to subscribe to their blogs and follow their social networks...I'm sure they will do the same back to you!

Blog & website: Kelly Dombrowski Art

I'm inviting two artists I've met online, and have great admiration for:

Win Dinn

A fabulous mixed media artist, who sent me a piece of her original art for correctly identifying a mystery organic item last summer. 

Blog: http://windinnart.blogspot.com

Terri Sproul

Terri's Blog: http://terrisproul.blogspot.com

Terri is a mixed media artists who has a loyal group of followers. She graciously conducts a live demonstration on Tuesday nights. She is one of the featured artists on my Printable Collage Sheets product HERE


Now to introduce myself, Vicki (and Wicki and Victoria, my alter-egos):

1.  What am I working on?

Something new every day! New technique, new mark-making tools, interspersed with actual color work. Lately I've been designing printable collage sheets, and you can see them here. Next color session I will show my subscribers how I use these elements in my Mixed Media Art.

 2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My work focuses on my own creative mark-making. I create my own stencils and stamps...learning to do woodcut stamps because I love the different marks they make contrasted with typical rubber stamps, my own abstracted backgrounds made with Gelli Prints or textured colors. My representational art is more realism, my mixed media art more abstract. The abstract is harder for me.

3.  Why do I create what I do?

If I could answer that, I'd be able to predict what is coming next! I seem to hibernate in January and February, and hit the studio running in March with some new media I want to explore (I don't ever NOT go in the studio). 2014 started with a Crowdfunding campaign that kickstarted Over and Over Again: Variations with Repetition. As I completed these "littles" I started adding more and more mixed media: dryer lint, modeling paste, collage, etc. Encaustic was something i was very curious about, so that overlapped the project. I was able to use  my pastels, oils, and love of ephemera with the encaustic. That was a natural crossover to printmaking, journaling, bookmaking and collage.  I may work a year or more in a particular genre before moving on, or going back to previous media or techniques.

4.  How does my creating process work?

I spent 25+ years as a graphic designer, so combining elements to tell a story is second nature to me. However, now I am creating art, not marketing materials and advertising! I pretty much research anything art related in the evenings, and the next day pick up whatever my Muse is curious about. Scientific, huh? Some weeks I spend more time researching, and some are an assortment. My painting evolves when I can sever my computer curiosity and social buzz.

I've had fun visiting all the other artists participating in this Blog Hop! Join us!