Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Little Queenie

A New Orleans friend of mine posted something about the singer Lil Queenie so with that in mind I thought,"go ahead." Having had a great aunt, a pony, and a dog named Queenie I figure the name is there to be shared. Putting together the new Queenie was a way to relax while I am in the midst of a big graphic design project.

To make your own "Little Queenie":
1. Paint, gesso and texture small stretched canvas.
2. Create a character from random lines.
3. Cut out said character and decorate the clothing, draw a face, enjoy this. Let the shapes direct your brain instead of trying to impose what you think is right.
4. Using modge podge adhere figure and background details to canvas.
5. Find a pithy quote to describe your creation. Print or write and attach to piece.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Bright Lady

I was painting this lady as I listened to an audio book about women in China. The descriptions of their brightly colored clothes stuck with me as I came to this dress. As the story developed there were many good-byes and that stuck with me too. As this woman leaves the farm she waves as the wind carries her away.

copyright 2011 Beth Crews Rommel
acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas 16"x 20"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Love Love

A little Valentine's Day message for my friends and family.

"May you always feel loved."

copyright 2011 Beth Crews Rommel

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Home is Where Affection Calls

From the age of 7 I wore glasses. My whole family wore glasses. My sister and I thought of ourselves as owls resembling the cartoons we saw and drew. When our dad would travel we would write a letter for him to take on the plane and read while he was away. He traveled a lot, there were a lot of letters. Our closing signature was "us" with a drawing of a daddy owl and two little girl owls, all with glasses.

I have been thinking a lot about what home means. Every weekend, as a child, my family would drive north away from New Orleans to Folsom, LA. We spent countless weekends there at the family farm. There was a little plaque on the wall in the kitchen. It read,
"Home is Not Merely Four Square Walls
Home is Where Affection Calls."

I believe in the words on that plaque like no others. Regardless of where or what, it is who that makes a family. This little collage I made today illustrates that thought with my own little family of owls. My two children, husband and myself with our myopic eyes.

To make this:
1. Recycle an old painting by covering it with fibrous, handmade papers in orange, green, and putty. Adhere the papers with Modpodge.
2. Cut out owls from an old bird guide and adhere them with Modpodge.
3. Paint branches.
4. Type favorite expression in chosen font. Print it. Cut it out. Modpodge to surface.
5. Cover sides of painting with more handmade paper in coordinating color.

I think I have to keep this one.

copyright 2011 Beth Crews Rommel

Monday, February 7, 2011


I have been browsing though a wonderful book entitled Altered Books Workshop by Bev Brazelton. After absorbing and reflecting on some of the information I went to my Borders Bookstore and happened upon what I think is the perfect starting place for my own altered book.

There are several things to consider when choosing the "bones" of your altered book. One of them is a binding which will allow you to add to the page's depth and still close. This spiral binding is my answer. Without that space the artist must remove pages to accommodate the bulk from added materials.

I decided to revisit the word commit.

I have always loved typefaces.Driving to the airport this morning at 4:30 a.m. I heard a BBC radio program about a show hanging at MOMA based on typefaces. The seed was planted.

It was time to begin:
1. I started with gesso, paint, sandpaper and Modpodge to refinish the front of my book.
2. I went through my computer to get some ideas for an assortment of fonts, then with paintbrush and a variety of acrylic colors I translated them to the word "commit".
3. Next my name was applied with a family of alphabet stamps and some metallic acrylic paint.
4. The fun with ink and arrows and dotted lines began.
5. My dear friend Laural took a picture of me at the beach several weeks ago. Today I had it jump through some Photoshop hoops and wound up with these images. I sized them according to the design in my head.
6. With my trusty ragged edge scissors I trimmed around the three different sized photos.
7. With Modpodge I adhered the photos to my textured cover.
8. With a little more ink, more arrows and lines I was done.

Clearly this is my book. My face and name are on the cover.

Now to recommit to my art journal. The newest copy of Somerset Studio's Art Journaling is at my side. When my own wains there will be inspiration at hand.