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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Collage ~ Vertical Landscapes

The past several weeks I've been following two artists I discovered on Pinterest. One artist works in collage and she has inspired me to create these two landscapes. I love the look of long narrow paintings, either horizontal or vertical but the idea of a narrow vertical landscape is so intriguing to me. It gives me the chance to practice combining different papers, colors and textures without using up too much material.

My new quest this month was learning to stain tissue paper. It's tricky because tissue paper disintegrates when it gets wet. I found a video showing the entire process but I can't find it anywhere at the moment. If I can't locate the video at some point I'll try to explain the technique in a later post. It's really worth the effort. I used some in both of these collages. I think you'll be able to spot it.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Abstract Collage ~ one pass/one fail

And after aging. I love this effect when done right. It can go 'dirty' real fast. A gentle hand is required.
Before aging
This failed when I was far too aggressive with the black acrylic painting when I began toning/aging this one. I am still a little confused by the areas that seemed to grab that paint, though. I had a few coats of gel gloss medium down to protect but it wasn't entirely successful. I 'll be more cautious next time.

In the spirit of keeping myself honest I'm posting one collage I like and another which I do not. Sadly, one failed miserably. Of course every fail must be seen as a learning opportunity.

I'm realizing that there is much to learn about creating abstract art. Abstracts are from the artists' imagination for the most part. They can be informed(inspired) by something in the real world, though. Personally I need a jumping off point to get me started so this is good news. However I'm not at that point yet. I'm still trying to conquer composition. Another goal of mine is to become a better colorist, or any kind of colorist at all. I carry around Quillers' color wheel like my favorite blanket. But I digress....

Monday, February 06, 2017

Good Boys ~ mixed media

This is my latest contribution to the art world and much fun was had during the process. Inspired by one of Christine C's photos on PMP, I began by making a continuous line drawing of three of the dogs in the photo. I traced them separately onto tracing paper so I could play with the composition. I then prepped watercolor paper by gluing down a few layers of stamped tissue paper. I wanted a vibrant orange background but the paint had to be transparent. I accomplished that by laying down a coat of gel gloss medium. When it was dry I painted the entire surface with orange alcohol ink. The center dog is a dalmatian and I wanted his spots to have lovely soft edges, just like watercolor applied wet into wet. I solved that issue by gluing more tissue paper down on the fur areas, then dropping in some black watercolor while the glue was still quite wet. Tada! 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Little Flower ~ mixed media & collage

And another. I added a little water soluble crayon to this one. I tried some gestural marks but settled on a few do-dads to carry some blue throughout the collage. Last night I stumbled onto a few Youtube videos with more good ideas for collage papers so I may give them a go next. In the meantime I'm thoroughly enjoying myself working on these little collages. This one and the last are both approx 8" x 8".

Thursday, January 19, 2017

January ~ mixed media & collage

I've titled this one 'January' because it was inspired by the view outside my living room window this month. Icy, drippy, chilly and truly 50 shades of grey. It's a combo of homemade and purchased decorative papers, silver leaf and acrylic on HP watercolor paper. I used a mixture of tissue paper and gesso for texture. It didn't scan well but it's impossible to get a good photo because the days are so dark and silver leaf is tricky. I've already got a start on my next collage and this one will be 'warmer'.