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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Still on the Spring Theme



Spring continues to be my inspiration. The temps have finally begun to climb in northern Michigan. Today and yesterday we've seen 70°F and my windows have been open to let the breeze in through the window screens. Little green sprouts are appearing from the moist earth and my weeping cherry tree is budding. We're all praying to God we don't have a freeze and ruin everything.

I'm having issues with my PC and it's not recognizing my camera at the moment so I tried to scan this latest collage. Of course it was a little too large to completely fit on the scanner bed so this is the best I could do. You should still get the general idea. I've used homemade crystalline paper, painted brown wrapping paper, purchased papers, charcoal and this strange heavy duty paper I picked up somewhere. I can't for the life of me remember where, though. It's like really heavy interfacing. I've had to dye it, that is soak it in a colored solution overnite but I love the texture it adds. I've also added gestural marks with a water soluble crayon this time. The piece just called for it.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Birthing an Abstract Collage



I'm not quite ready to deliver yet but it won't be much longer. This is basically my process...try this one, try that one...no try another NO! NOT THAT! Ah, that works better. Yes, yes...okay.

There is method to my craziness. The rules of composition still apply and thankfully can guide me until I feel more confident to try something more daring. Know the rules before you break the rules. I love a good mix of texture, form and color and one of the things I'm enjoying most working on these collages is how easy it is to experiment with color, always something I can improve upon.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Walk in the Wood ~ Springtime


homemade and purchased collage papers, charcoal, cut photographs

I just called this one done one last night and wanted to share. I can't seem to get my mind out of the woods. I can't walk in the wood IRL anymore but I can go in my mind's eye. I spent many hours growing up playing there. I especially loved it down by the creek. So many cool bugs and neat toadstools and the various types of moss that reminded me of tiny little forests of their own. One would expect fairies to come flying out at any moment.

This particular collage celebrates the time of year when the redwing black birds return. Also morel mushrooms and the wild leeks appear, always a welcome time. Just bring a good steak, some bleu cheese dressing and your fork and let the feast begin!

p.s. See if you can spot the morel mushrooms. As always they can be hard to find.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Distressed Leather Paper ~ demo

I've crumpled the wrapping paper and am preparing to apply two coats of walnut ink. I'm assuming any brown ink will work as well. Apply your ink to only one side. This is important.

Here the paper has dried after both coats of ink. IRL this side looks more flat brown than it appears in this image.

This is the flip side and the side you want to use. It looks a little batik-y.
This is the appearance after a coat of acrylic medium is applied. I've taken a crop off an earlier collage to show you the effect.
I was going to combine this demo with my last post but thought better of it. I dislike (usually) overly long blog posts and am guessing I may not be alone in this particular dislike.

Always on a quest for interesting and/or unique collage papers I'm finding brown wrapping paper excellent for various treatments. I've put together a short photo demo of my take on 'faux' distressed leather.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Crocus Collage





I just put the finishing touches on my latest collage and managed to take some decent photos even though it's so gloomy here. This one was an experiment. I got an idea in my head and decided to give it a whirl. I wanted the crocus to look delicate so I made some crystalline paper without color. This time I coated both sides of the tissue paper with gloss medium and it made it much sturdier. When the paper was completely dry I used a couple of stencils to add the poke-a-dots. I had started out by rolling on black acrylic paint over the entire surface of my paper aka substrate. Then I created my background with torn paper collage. For the blooms I painted each petal with white acrylic paint and gave them all a coat of gloss medium so I could add color with alcohol ink. I wanted the color layer underneath the surface. The crystalline paper was added after color was applied petal by petal and when that was dry I used sepia fluid acrylic to outline everything. I will say it looks great at a distance but appears kind of dirty up close due to the addition of the sepia acrylic. I do love the outlined look, though.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Greeting Cards



Two of my latest greeting cards for personal use. I love being able to do this for friends and family. This style is something I've seen and admired on Facebook and Pinterest and it's fairly easy to do. In this case I used Yupo rather than paper so there would be no buckling. I laid down a layer of indigo fluid acrylic with a sponge roller. When it was dry several small stencils and a few homemade stamps were used to cover the entire surface with patterns using 3-4 harmonious colors of fluid acrylic. I used white chalk to outline my subjects and filled in the surrounding areas with more acrylic, this time in a solid color. After the basic designs were in place I went back in to tweak and clean up. Voila!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

About Titles



It's one thing to successfully create a piece of artwork, yet another to find an appropriate title for it. So many artists struggle with this, myself included and titles are so important. They can often mean the difference between selling a painting and not. For instance, several years ago I painted a series of humorous cats called Catitudes. One painting depicted a cat mouth wide open looking as if he was singing loudly into a flower blossom and I titled it 'Caterwauling'. I thought it was a perfect title. When the painting didn't sell I was confused. Finally I asked a good friend what she thought when she looked at it. She told me she didn't know what to think. She wasn't familiar with the term caterwauling and wasn't clear what the cat was doing. I changed it to 'Karaoke Cat Style' and someone snapped it right up. The quest for a good title never ends. I often see artists on social media asking friends to come up with titles for them and in return they will receive a free print or some such. Not a bad ploy(!)and some folks have the knack for titles. Recently I read an excellent blog post by Deborah Moss full of tips for coming up with great titles. It's well worth a read.

This collage is titled 'Signs of Life'. I wanted to include feathers in this collage which then gave it a Native American vibe. With March the harbinger of Spring I thought of the icy creeks thawing and beginning to run again and the bears waking from hibernation. The bear is the Native American heartline symbol which is the breath of life. The three feathers in the circle is my own symbol for family as are the three turquoise circles. This is what it means to me. However someone else could see something entirely different and that's fine. It's wonderful actually.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Origami Butterflies




While I've been working on my latest collage another idea popped into my head for the next and I want it to involve butterflies. I found the best video on Youtube demoing origami butterflies so thought I'd share.

I didn't have any origami paper so I used a sheet of Canson drawing paper. It seemed to be the closest in weight to what was used in the video. I tried making 3-4 different sized butterflies and was surprised that the larger b-flies didn't want to stay folded as well as the smaller versions. I resorted to using bulldog clips in hopes they can be persuaded to comply. I'll let you know how that turns out.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

New Collage & Crystalline Paper



May I present 'A Walk in the Woods', my latest collage. This was created with homemade collage papers, found objects, various inks, acrylic paint and charcoal pencil. Really, I'm having way too much fun with collages. Why didn't I explore this sooner. Ah well, no regrets. I've found that things  come to us when we are ready and not before. At this point I've got knowledge of several mediums to bring to the party so it's a distinct advantage. For all the collage artists I follow no one seems familiar with alcohol ink. I'm truly surprised at this.

Referring to my last post, I did go looking for the video demo showing how to stain tissue paper but still could not find it. However I did find videos showing how to create crystalline paper. Lo and behold it's the same thing. There are a few differences. I used gloss medium, not gel gloss which is much thicker and I only coated one side. I also applied my acrylic paint right along with the gloss medium. I used garbage bags rather than freezer paper to work on and let the tissue dry. It's really worth the effort. The result is much like stained glass.

Here's a sample of my results so you can see the effect.