Gardenia Riot

Gardenias are incredibly beautiful, delicate and fragrant flowers. We have three large plants in separate pots on our patio. They flowered beyond our wildest dreams this year–we were completely overwhelmed with white blossoms and their heady perfume. Of course, I’ve been photographing them a lot–but this spring I was so taken with them that I simply had to use them as subject matter for some drawings and prints.

This one was simply perfect!
Wishing you could smell the amazing fragrance!

Most people know I can’t do things halfway (yes–I am just a little obsessive)–and right now I’ve got 5 new print editions based on my gardenia photos and drawings. There will be a few more print editions and maybe even a painting or two. Here is a look at a small portion of the work I’ve been making. There are dozens more computer-generated ideas, color studies and patterns.

Gardenia; ink on paper; 2019
Gardenia Stripe; Ink on paper; 2019.
Gardenia Stripe Mirrored; ink on paper; 2019. This drawing will soon find it’s way onto the press as a photopolymer print with a split fountain color background.

And now for the prints…they are based on the first simple line drawing of the gardenia above. Future prints will be based on the second drawing with the two different stripe widths. The 5 editions (below) were all printed by Brent Bond of Santo Press this past month. Brent selected the colors for Gardenia Riot Pulse and all I can say is WOW!

Gardenia Riot Lace; 2019; photopolymer relief; image size 12 x 9.5 inches on paper 16.5 x 13.5 inches; edition of 10; printed by Santo Press; $150.00.
Gardenia Riot Pulse; 2019; photopolymer relief with split fountain; image size 12 x 9.5 inches on paper 16.5 x 13.5 inches; edition of 10; printed by Santo Press; $150.00.
Hot Gardenia Riot; 2019; photopolymer relief with split-fountain ground; image size 12 x 9.5 inches on paper 16.5 x 13.5 inches; edition of 10; printed by Santo Press, $200.00.
Gardenia Riot Blue; 2019; photopolymer relief with flat background bleed print; image size 12 x 19.5 inches; edition of 50; printed by Santo Press. A.P.s available for $100.00
Gardenia; 2019; laser-cut linoleum block with photopolymer relief; image size 9 x 9 inches on paper 13.5 x 13 inches; edition of 10; printed by Santo Press; $150.00.
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Tessellation 7

My newly completed drawing is the seventh in my series of Tessellations all based on a single shape. This one has taken me longer than usual to complete–our Thanksgiving trip to Cincinnati came just after I was about half-way into the drawing. Coming back to it after that time away was hard yet rewarding.

Concentrating on the drawing has taken my mind off politics (UGH!). I sat at my drawing table and got lost in lines and shadows. My only concern each day for hours at a time was whether a line should be darker or if an area would look more dimensional, showing more motion if shading was added.  As the drawing appears right now, it may or may not be finished. I’ve decided to look at it for a few days–and then determine if it might need a bit more added detail in some of the open areas. Time will tell.

drawing, graphite on paper,Tessellation 7; 2016; graphite on paper; 22″ x 30″

Here is a fun detail shot of the drawing I took at a low sideways angle. I was completely surprised with how dimensional it looked this way. Who knows? I might turn this oddly angled “anamorphic-looking” photo into a mirrored pattern drawing. The fun never ends!

drawing, graphite on paper,Tessellation 7 (detail on an angle); 2016; graphite on paper; 22″ x 30″

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Carnegie, PA: I ♥ You!

I recently had an opportunity to visit my daughter and son-in-law in Pittsburgh.


Perhaps I should be more honest about the real reason I went to Pittsburgh.  I went there to see my new baby granddaughter! (Sorry, Emily and Michael!) She is also the reason I have taken a small “vacation” from blogging and posting things on my FB artist page.  I just had to hold that sweet little girl in my arms for as long as possible every single day!

Anyway, I arrived at the PIT airport close to dinnertime. And because it was on our way home, we decided to stop in Carnegie (a Pittsburgh neighborhood) to eat at Papa J’s Ristorante, a favorite place of ours for some yummy Italian food. (Just thinking about their fried zucchini strips with marinara and lemon has me salivating into my keyboard).

We had a little time to spare before dinner, so we strolled around the neighboring area.  I am really glad I had my camera with me ( I always have a camera with me) because Carnegie is a treasure trove of uber cool grit and grunge just waiting to be photographed.

I am a sucker for any sort of urban scene; the more grunge, graffiti, grit and grime the better!  I fell in love with that sort of thing while living in Center City Philadelphia. Anything crumbling, decrepit, cracked, peeling or rusty leaves me weak in the knees. And let me just say this for the record, downtown Carnegie, PA has all that in spades! Here is just a small sampling of close to 50 photographs I managed to snap in about 15 minutes of wandering around the streets of Carnegie.  I must go back soon. In fact,  my next trip is already booked.

FYI: If you want see what I am up to on a regular basis check out my photos on Instagram.

Wooden Panel; Carnegie PA by Janet TowbinWooden Door Panel, Carnegie; 2014; Digital Photography

307 Carnegie by Janet Towbin307 Carnegie (Yin and Yang); 2014; Digital Photography

Bricks and Dots, Carnegie by Janet TowbinBricks and Dots, Carnegie; 2014; Digital Photography

Carnegie White Wall by Janet TowbinWhite Wall, Carnegie; 2014; Digital Photography

Peeling White Door, Carnegie by Janet TowbinPeeling White, Carnegie; 2014; Digital Photography

Mail Pouch Tobacco Brick Wall, Carnegie by Janet TowbinMail Pouch Tobacco Sign, Carnegie; 2014; Digital Photography

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Patterns From an iPhone App

I have been having a lot of fun using an iPhone app called Mirrorgram. It makes snazzy mirrored patterns and mandalas from any photograph. What used to take me hours to create in Photoshop, I am now able to create with just a snap and a few swipes on my iPhone 5. Amazing!

Once I start playing around with the app, I find it hard to stop.  It is as mesmerizing as a kaleidoscope–except you get to keep all the wonderful patterns you create. It makes the most quotidian objects you photograph really special. Below you will see mirrored images of a plastic grass drying rack, a striped jersey jacket and a ring on my finger.

Grass Drying Pad Mandala by Janet TowbinPlastic Grass Pad Mandala, 2014, Digital image taken with iPhone 5

Grass Drying Pad Mandala Dark by Janet TowbinPlastic Grass Pad Mirrored, 2014, Digital image taken with iPhone 5

Stripe Mandala 1 by Janet TowbinStriped Mandala 1, 2014, Digital image taken with iPhone 5

Stripe Mandala 2 by Janet TowbinStriped Mandala 2, 2014, Digital image taken with iPhone 5

Striped Mirror Image by Janet TowbinStriped Mirrored Pattern, 2014, Digital image taken with iPhone 5

Ring Bling Mandala by Janet TowbinRing Bling Mandala, 2014, Digital image taken with iPhone 5

Ring Bling Pattern by Janet TowbinRing Bling Mirrored Pattern, 2014, Digital image taken with iPhone 5

All images above were taken with my iPhone 5 and manipulated in the app called Mirrorgram.

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