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Jen Gagne's art journal I keep a separate journal for personal stuff. Visit: [http://jengagne.livejournal.com/]

Below are 25 entries, after skipping 25 most recent ones in the "Jen Gagne's art journal" journal:

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October 14th, 2006
01:14 pm
[jengagne]

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Dangle earrings, dichroic glass.

I just took pictures of a couple of examples since all five pairs look very similar. That did make pairing them up easier! They should be a great match for all the pendants made from this rainbow glass.


Click for a larger view.Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view.Click for a larger view.

If you want a pair, let me know and I'll set them aside for you... not necessarily the exact ones shown above, but as I said, they're very similar. $15 + $4 shipping. Thanks!

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

October 13th, 2006
10:59 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Custom pendants, Tengwar "L" and "Claire."

I'm starting to feel better than I did earlier... some more rest and liquids helped. And art! Art helps!

Click for a larger view.Click for a larger view.
Sent to lirazel
Click for a larger view.Click for a larger view.
Sent to anadaseva

Custom-o-licious. Still working on perfecting my digital transfer technique, but these worked. :D

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

12:07 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Dichroic glass "dew drops."

Since I'm home sick and dead tired, I wanted something mindless to do... cutting out squares of glass and firing them into droplets fit the bill nicely. I took a nap while they cooled.

The first pic shows them in the kiln, lit only by the glow of 1800 degrees. :D The second is the finished dots.

Click for a larger view.Click for a larger view.

Pretty, no? Every time I make a batch of these, I feel like some South African diamond cartel might come and take me out... These dots come in handy as accents and design elements on other pieces, so it helps to have a supply on hand. Whee!

(10 comments | Leave a comment)

08:15 am
[jengagne]

[Link]

Dichroic glass "crown" bowl or votive cup.

I took one of my 4x4 inch sheets of glass, fired it to smooth the edges, then refired it on top of a kiln-washed steel form. Here's the result. About 3 inches diameter, with the inner diameter of the cup being about 2 inches.

Click for a larger view.Click for a larger view.Click for a larger view.

I really love how the crown points make weird, subtly pink and blue shadows cast when it's lit! The shadow isn't entirely symmetrical... I rotated the cup so the "big" shadow side would be nearest the camera.

This cup is a little big for the tea lights I prefer, IMO. But, I have some new steel cups coming to use for that -- then it'll fit the base of the tea light perfectamente.

I left this one in the kiln longer than I planned, so the sides aren't as ruffled as I'd imagined. On the other hand, the "crown" look wouldn't have been as pronounced if it had more flare.

For future pieces, I'll make some little round dichroic "gems" to sit on the outer edges of the glass (see the next post.) As a result they'll act like sparkle lenses when it's lit, maybe. Their weight would change how it drapes, though. Hmmmmmm.

Since this cup is bigger than the ones I plan to make later, I'm thinking... mm... $20? With Priority Mail, that'd be $24.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

October 12th, 2006
12:36 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Lorem Ipsum: Dichroic glass pendants with digital resist.

Another successful experiment! With some Google sleuthing I figured out how to do a digital acid resist... combine with some "lorem ipsum" and Ye Olde Englishe Fonte, and we have some design funnage.

Click for a larger view.Click for a larger view.
Sent to kamalloy
Click for a larger view.Click for a larger view.
Reserved for icaro
Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view.
Mine! Mine!

This technique should work about as well for drawings and some distinct shades of grayscale, too. It doesn't always capture the whole image, though... a bit of roughness on text like this is fine, but photos with grayscale would require more consistency. Still, maybe it's just a question of practice.

I could do pendants with people's names, lists of kids, personally significant symbology, logos, etc... custom jobbies could be fun.

Oh and... thank you to EVERYone for all the support (and sales!) in the previous entry. How exciting! :D

(21 comments | Leave a comment)

October 11th, 2006
12:39 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Dichroic glass pendants! So fun.

(Edited to add: Since so many people are asking for and reserving these, I've marked them accordingly below so you know what's still available.)

Fused glass pendants, transparent dichroic glass with embedded high-temp wire. I drew a resist onto the glass and then hit it with acid to etch in the patterns.

This glass is notoriously difficult to photograph because the color shifts depending on light source, angle, and background. The photos below show two views of the same pendant.

Click each photo for a larger view...

Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view.
Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view.
Reserved for malakim
Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view.Click for a larger view.
Sent to nicci
Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view.
Sold on eBay
Click for a larger view.Click for a larger view.
Sent to Wendy
Click for a larger view.Click for a larger view.
Sent to Maya
Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view.
Sent to Wendy
Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view.
Sent to anadaseva
Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view.
Sent to lirazel
Click for a larger view.Click for a larger view.
Sent to Janelle
Click for a larger view.Click for a larger view.

I'm not really happy with the view on white... too shadowy. I'll try to rephotograph them using a light box. (done!)

Shipping would be $4. I plan to post these on eBay with a starting bid of $15... or should I start at $1 and use a BIN of $20? Decisions, decisions!

(24 comments | Leave a comment)

October 9th, 2006
10:30 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Art supplies on eBay
I just listed a bunch of art supplies on eBay, if any of you artists out there are interested. :)

I have some shadowbox frames I haven't listed yet... debating whether and how to list them, considering they're all different sizes. Hrm.

(xposted in jengagne and in my art journal, artjen)

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

October 6th, 2006
04:56 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Glass fusing again?
I'm going to start back into some glass artworking, I think. I like my cartoony art and will continue that as well, but recent printer woes and sales difficulties have left my brain casting around elsewhere, creatively speaking.

So, fused glass jewelry again. I have a big sheet of leftover dichroic glass from ages ago, and the kilns, many supplies, etc. It won't take much money to be fully equipped again.

I've been pondering glass etching, particularly. Apply a resist, and the acid eats off the dichroic coating everywhere else. Remove the resist and voila, I have neato hand-drawn metallic lines on clear or black glass.

I'm thinking I could use that technique to make a double layer pendant with a glowy orange fish on the bottom layer, and watery squiggles or swirls on the top layer. Or circular ripples as if the fish came up for air. Something like that.

I can also do custom one of a kind hand-etched patterns on the glass sheets and either use them myself, or eBay them as raw material to other glass artists. I imagine some artists might like a sheet of hand-drawn zigzags or spirals or whatever. You can buy dichroic patterns prefab, of course, but that's so much less organic.

A lot of folks out there are still fans of my old wire bugs. The blades were cool but far too risky. Plain wire wings were boring, so I stopped... but, if this high-temp wire works out, maybe I'll make a wire dragonfly with fused iridescent/dichroic wings. I can't promise anything, but it's one of many possibilities.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

September 26th, 2006
11:48 am
[jengagne]

[Link]

Heaven forbid students see nudity in an art museum...
(Edited later to add: Heh. One of my fave web comics, PvP, summarized this ridiculousness in today's comic. Warning, depicts art penis!)

I try to avoid ranting in this journal, but this is important. Thanks to tangsm for the heads up. She linked to a short article, but here's a more verbose one...

Naked art gets teacher in trouble
"After the trip, some parents complained to Fisher Elementary's principal because their children saw nude sculptures and paintings during the field trip... which was school approved and had parental signoff."

From what I've read in other articles, the school is claiming there were performance concerns even before the trip, but she had 28 years of great performance reviews right up until this trip.

Considering she had visited the museum ahead of time and talked to museum staffers, who all thought their public exhibits would be appropriate for fifth-graders... got school and parental permission... and yet the school blames it on her when a parent complains, then scurries to defensively document "previously existing" performance issues? That's just wrong.

The teacher is publically protesting how the principal has handled this since then. The school has taken her out of the classroom entirely. The school board supports the principal and refused to let her transfer to another school. Now they won't renew her contract. There goes a 28-year career down the toilet.

It's a tangled situation but at least one thing is clear to me: the school district should be reasserting that art field trips are a good thing. They're not doing so, and that has a major chilling effect on educators and particularly art educators.

This kind of crap is why I decided against being an art teacher in a public school.

(Well, that and how the school system works according to teachers I know and my own experiences... In no other industry can one disgruntled customer so easily ruin a gloriously underpaid career. Fiendish kids game the system with their parents' help to repeatedly get away with assaulting teachers and other students. Etc.)

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

September 1st, 2006
05:36 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

"Chunky Shag" 8.5 x 11 inch monoprints.

Okay, despite my scanner being kaput, I was able to scan these rather laboriously on Andy's all-in-one and transfer them back to my computer. @_@ There's more, but these were all I could handle for now. (Edited later to complete the set.)

These are 8.5 x 11 inch monoprints in a variable edition of 12 total. As you can see, variable edition means each has a different color scheme. This is mixed-media, gouache and marker over digital ink.

Click each for a larger view.

Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view.

(Leave a comment)

12:01 am
[jengagne]

[Link]

Arrgh, frustrations!

If it's not one thing, it's another. Net result? Frustration!

  1. My printer won't print on fabric anymore, and I still can't fix it, so that means no more cat bags till I figure out a new approach. Of course, it didn't stop working till AFTER I bought a couple hundred bucks of material to use for production.

  2. In addition to the printer issue for the cat bags, my fabric posttreatment doesn't do well over time -- it starts to go white and icky. Arrgh.

  3. So, I decided to work on monoprints instead, since my printer WILL print on paper. I printed a bunch, tested gouache successfully the other day... so, I went ahead and made an edition of the cat image and a couple others. And what do you know, I go to scan them and my scanner drivers are hosed. I uninstall, reinstall a few times; jiggle cables... no good. No programs can see the scanner anymore. Therefore I can't even show you my art or sell it or anything. Greeeat.

  4. My one non-visual-art effort, a story I was drafting for i am ikon... I can flesh out some sections, but I have no idea how to get the characters out of their current situation, and so it's an unresolvable character study. I may have to heavily rehash it or toss it or put them in a totally different situation, I don't know.

Crap like this makes me focus even more on trying to come up with a new outlet for my creative frustration. I wish my mental health was less tied in with something as unreliable as creative output... anyway, maybe I'll rant about that more privately over in my personal journal soon.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

August 30th, 2006
08:40 am
[jengagne]

[Link]

Gouache opacity test.

Fooling around with gouache after seeing the great results missmonstermel gets with it...

Click for a larger view.

So far, so good. It's definitely opaque enough even at this semi-dilution to cover my digital ink... so, I can use this as the overpainting on my monoprints. Stay tuned for pics of the finished artworks!

(Edited to add: Note, this is not a new painting style I'm trying... this feels far too busy and overworked to me! This is just a test of how opaque the paints are. Hence the layering and tick-marks over all the borders on the edge and at the bottom of the eye. I'll post some REAL examples soon.)

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

August 23rd, 2006
10:44 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

8.5 x 11 monoprint planning.

It occurs to me that the effort of making an art card could just as easily be put into a larger work... say, 8.5 by 11, standard letter size. And, that would be almost as easy to ship, to boot. So, I'm going to try a series of these. Here are my sketches so far:

I colored and printed the cat with his paws on the frame already, and he looks good... I'll probably scan tomorrow morning. It's nice to be working at a different scale... gives me more room to paint around on top of the print! I also like how they have the drawn-in bounding rectangle, which the figures overlap on several sides. At this size, I think it's more interesting than the full bleed.

Designs like these would also fit ever-so-nicely on tee shirts. :)

(Leave a comment)

August 8th, 2006
09:26 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Painted card test... meh.

After a busy weekend at Otakon and in recovery mode, I decided to do an art test. I have some acrylic ink / liquid watercolor... did some drawings using india ink...

I'm happy with the drawings themselves, as always, but I am not happy with the ink. I mean... they look OKAY in a basic sort of solid color way, but they just seem kind of boring to me compared to the gradients and patterns in my usual art cards.

Combine that with how long they took to make, and... meh, I think these are less satisfying overall compared to the equivalent activity of making ten SETS of digital cards.

Anyway, here they are. Click each for a larger view.

As you can see on that last one, I also tried a more "watercolor" approach, but... eh... I think paint and Jen will just never get along.

I'm a digital gal; I need to focus on that, methinks. So, I'll probably use these designs to make editions of 12 with digital colors, as before.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

July 27th, 2006
02:51 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Lynne Neuman!
I haven't written about my own work in a while as I've been busy with fabric experiments... but, I wanted to point out an artist I've been emailing recently, Lynne Neuman. I invited her to LJ: lneuman2.

Her work is gorgeously bright with those bold black lines I always love! If you like my work, you're sure to like hers too. Drop in and tell her hello!

(1 comment | Leave a comment)

June 4th, 2006
12:53 am
[jengagne]

[Link]

Wash test successful!

I was wondering whether my new posttreatment (a combination of fabric glue, fabric medium, and water) would stand up to a machine wash. Take a look at this comparison.

I'd say this held up REALLY well... as in... the only difference is that after washing, the fabric has a better "hand" (feels softer) than it did before washing. Eeeexcellent. Myeheheh.

Speaking of fabric printing... my 17" wide fabric should be here any minute now. Maybe Monday. Then I can start in on the plushies, pillows, etc. Eeee exciting eeeee!

(1 comment | Leave a comment)

12:01 am
[jengagne]

[Link]

Heart Art Chunky Book pages


Click each pic to zoom.

After some false starts, I finally finished my PHENOMENALLY late pages for nicci's Heart Art Chunky Book...

I had the imagery done before I figured out what I wanted to write on it. After that, the lyrics from Neil Young's Heart of Gold felt like a perfect wistful fit.

On the back, leading to the sailing ship:
... I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold
I've been in my mind, it's such a fine line...

On the back, leading to the rocket ship:
... Expressions I never give
That keep me searching for a heart of gold
And I'm getting old...

As I worked on this I found myself enjoying it even more than I thought I would, even more than most of my artwork lately. It feels very personal to me, and also reminds me of some characters I've written in the past.

On an unrelated note, I posted the zoom views of that cat bag from the other day.

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

12:14 am
[jengagne]

[Link]

First cat bag for eBay!

Click to zoom. Click to zoom. Click to zoom. Click to zoom. Click to zoom. Click to zoom. Click to zoom.

This is the first cat bag I'll be putting on eBay. I plan to start the auction sometime Monday with a minimum bid of $50. How exciting! I'll post a new entry with a link when the auction goes live.

I used the wider feet on this bag and I think it looks good. The smaller feet were just a little too petite, IMO.

Thanks again for the support and suggestions, everybody -- I know some have been waiting expectantly for me to have one of these up for sale. :) I'll make another one soon.

(9 comments | Leave a comment)

May 26th, 2006
11:08 am
[jengagne]

[Link]

This week's art auctions.

Every day, I post new original art cards for sale. Here are this week's!

Visit my store for details or to bid.
Click to visit my store. Click to visit my store. Click to visit my store. Click to visit my store. Click to visit my store. Click to visit my store. Click to visit my store. Click to visit my store. Click to visit my store.

(Oops -- I just edited this post to fix the line wrap issue! Sorry about that!)

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

May 25th, 2006
12:01 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Oval cat pillow.
Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view.

Click each for a larger view.

Cat-shaped plushies are proving to be something of a challenge, since my printable fabric isn't stretchy at all. Plus they're a pain to stuff, thanks to the ears...

So, I'm hoping this oval pillow gets the vague cat-shape across without needing to be fancier than an oval. That way it can pull double duty as a pillow. What do you think?

Before stuffing, this was 12x16 inches. The back is black -- or is it better to have the back be a contrasting color of cat? If I print both sides, I can't have an opening across the back for the stuffing... so, I need a better way to stitch his gut shut somehow. Whipstitching by hand is a bit too irregular. Maybe a zipper foot? Hmmmmn.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

May 23rd, 2006
09:52 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

The perfect baby bassinet.

I should really make one of these someday. (The bassinet, not the baby. But that too.)

(16 comments | Leave a comment)

07:51 am
[jengagne]

[Link]

Fleecy cat pillow with iron-on face.
Click for a larger view. Click for a larger view.

Click each for a larger view.

As you can see from the funky shape and skinny tail, I still need to work out a better cat pillow pattern using fleece. The asymmetrical ears are kinda cute, though.

I'm mainly showing you this guy because rather than using applique, I believe I've figured out a good iron-on approach for the face and paws. That way it can have my nice crispy black lines, and look that much more like my artwork. I think the zoomed in view of the face shows this nicely.

I still plan to make the cat bags and rectangular or square pillows using printable fabric, but it's nice to have a plushie option... especially since I'm going to two baby showers soon, and I want to make teddy bears or bunnies for the upcoming tater-tots. Alas, one of the moms has already requested that her kid's bear have non-pointy teeth! *siiigh*

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

May 18th, 2006
11:27 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Fleece cat pillows.

Click for a larger view. Since I'm printerless, I experimented with more applique and fleece techniques for pillows.

The mutant one on the far left looks kind of like a pig... He loves it, but it makes me twitch! I don't think I can stand even having it around.

Fleece is nicely snuggly, but I think I prefer being able to print the tail and pattern on, like the purple one in this pic. Still pondering that though. I could quilt it down to some batting, after all, and get a sort of 3-D look... or I could have a separate tail piece.

(6 comments | Leave a comment)

04:53 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

This week's art card auctions.

I've returned to listing new art cards on eBay every evening. Here are the ones that are up so far...

Visit my store for details or to bid.
Click to visit my store. Click to visit my store. Click to visit my store. Click to visit my store. Click to visit my store.

(Leave a comment)

04:17 pm
[jengagne]

[Link]

Cat cards! ATCs, ACEOs... original art, variable editions.

New cards! While I wait for my printer to get fixed, I colored and scanned these kitties. They're already up for sale in my store.

"Comfy Kitty"
Click for a larger view.
"Cat Lick"
Click for a larger view.

As you can see, I've stopped rounding the corners... I figure if someone wants to mat and frame, this will make it easier for them.

On a vaguely related note, the proportions of these rectangles are PERFECT for making a throw pillow. My pillow forms showed up. As soon as I can print wide again, I'll start in on that. :) That would certainly be easier than the plushies, and cute in a different sort of way.

I'm also considering changing my plushie pattern so it's more like a rounded-off cushion with cat ears sticking out. Easier to sew, easier to stuff, the cover would be removable and washable, etc... We'll see how it goes!

(Leave a comment)

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