Saturday, June 30, 2012

A bit of inspirational art...

Recently I shared a canvas board collage that I made that is in the current issue of Somerset Studio Gallery (this post HERE) and thought I'd share another one I made for the words of wisdom theme in a past issue of Somerset Studio.  I keep so many meaningful quotes scribbled on scrap pieces of paper, and I used to keep a copy of this quote at work.  It definitely deserved to be made into a work of inspirational art.  Whenever I would get overloaded and overwhelmed, I was reminded that I could and would get through it and that I wasn't dealing with it alone.  Humbling words to give you strength!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ned the Nuisance

Have you heard about The Whatevers?  A cool project has been started by Catherine Scanlon, Nathalie Kalbach and Vicki Chrisman that takes a photo each month and gives it a story.  I have many such "found/bought" ancestors in my own collection and always wonder about who they were and what was the story behind the photograph.  In this year long project you can play along and give these photos their very own story.  Here's what I did using my canvas portfolio journal with manila file folder pages (you can see my handmade journal on my blog post HERE).

On the left side I placed the photograph and added four sentences found in an old book that embellished their story a bit. The four sentences read: Let's sit down and I'll try to be sensible. I'm eight now - and I won't be a nuisance. They sat down together on the seat. It was a charming picture.

I love finding book text snippets and combining them into their own story.

And here's my story:
Caroline had set aside every bit of extra money she could spare in order to get a photograph of her children.  Now the day had arrived and her daughter Elizabeth was all ready, but where in the world was Ned?  Off playing in the field behind the house, he came running hearing his mother yelling his name vaguely remembering there was something he was supposed to do today... Finally at the photographer's studio, Elizabeth sat on the bench all prim and proper with her ankles crossed while Ned was placed reluctantly beside her.  Caroline wet her thumb and smoothed his hair just before the photographer snapped the picture.

I had initially planned to make this journal a collage journal, kind of vintage glue-book style as I've done before, and my initial layer was a collage of vintage book pages from a math book and a speller.  As I stared at the page though, I have to confess that it was kind of boring and I just couldn't stop myself as out came the acrylic paints (Light Blue Permanent, Bright Yellow Green, and Quinacridone Red) and I finger-painted washes of watered down paint randomly.  Then I added stamping with black archival ink and white gesso, along with some pen doodles.  Ahhhhh - so much more interesting :-)  So Catherine and Nathalie, I really have to blame you/thank you for turning me on to all this wonderful color and mixed media layers in the various online classes I've taken from you both!!!  This is going to be such a fun mixed media journal when I'm done with it and I'm so looking forward to next month's installment of the Whatevers.  By the way, the manila file folder pages in this journal are awesome to work with ;-)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Handmade Canvas Portfolio Journals

I thought I'd share two more of the canvas portfolio journals I made in Roben-Marie Smith's online workshop Collage, Construct and Affirm.  It's really a fun process and it's all based around a sheet of canvas with many layers added.

Here's the folded up journal:

And here it is from the back opened up:

Inside this one there's a pocket on the left with a velcro closure and a sewn in signature of pages of Bristol paper with wonderful inky drips (all Liquitex acrylic inks).

This is the back of the pocket as it's flipped out.

When you start your layers of canvas, you initially collage a bunch of papers onto it and I fell in love with the look of just that layer, so I also made a journal that way too.

The signature inside this one is made from heavyweight manila file folders cut to size.  After all, if it's so much fun working on manila tags, it will have to be fun using this for my pages, right?

In the next day or so I'll have a post to share showing just how much fun it is to work on those manila pages!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Second Floor Challenge

Second Floor
I had so much fun with the last second floor challenge from Julie and Nathalie, that I'm playing along again.  This time the challenge is to use a found object.  I have to start with a story to explain my found object inspiration.... A couple of weekends ago my husband and I camped in the beautiful Acadia National Park.  In June in Maine you can find a lot of lupines growing wild in fields and in Acadia there were many places where you could find them along the roadsides.  Also, as you may know, you cannot pick flowers in a National Park so here is a photograph of some of the lupines I "found" to use as my inspiration.

I just love the look of them and have tried to grow them in my garden at home, but they never over-winter for me.  It's always amazing how well they do in the wild.

Beautiful, don't you think?

On to the project!

I decided to make an art journal page and used a base of newspaper - hey, I find one of those in my paper box every morning ;-)  I first adhered it to my page, then lightly brushed it with gesso and then added watered down acrylic paints for color.

To create the lupines I wanted to try out a new to me technique learned from Martha Lever in her part of the 21 Secrets workshops where she teaches how to paint credit card flowers.  The stems are laid down with the edge of the credit card.  I'll add that the credit card is another found object - like everyone else, I get offers for credit cards and memberships in my mail - using one in an art project is a terrific use!

Next I created the flower petals by using cut bits of the credit card.

Here's a close-up that shows the petals and the texture from the paint.

Using yet another shape cut from the credit card, I tried painting in some leaves.  Lupines have a kind of pointed leaf that fans out - not sure that what I added was exactly what I was going for....

Here's my final art journal page after adding some handwriting, doodling and a border.

What did I learn?
1.  I am not a painter, and think I have very poor brush control, but using my fingers and pieces of things to         paint with can still be a lot of fun and give good results.
2.  I still don't like my leaves!!!!
3.  I'm amazed at how much better something can look when you add pen outlines and doodles.  It's that layer thing again!
4.  It's always good to push yourself to try something you haven't before.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

CC2C week 10

Somehow we've arrived at week 10 already at Linda's CC2 Challenge - wow!  This week's challenge is sponsored by The Funkie Junkie's Boutique and uses page 37 of Tim's book - "tissue wrap flowers".  The tissue wrap is quite durable compared to regular tissue paper and makes these flowers easy to keep fiddling with until you get the look you want.  I sprayed my tissue wrap with different colors of Dylusions sprays creating flowers that are so vibrant. 

Just had to share my tag base because I'm in love with the texture!!!!!!!!

I started with drywall tape on my tag, then added flexible modeling paste through a Crafter's Workshop text stencil.  Once dry, I painted a coat of light blue acrylic paint and then added sprays of Dylusions and Radiant Rain Mist with a little extra spritz to get them to run and create drips.  I thought these made terrific stems for my flowers.
Sentiment Stamp: Unity Stamps Empowered Words by Donna Downey

Monday, June 11, 2012

CC2C week 9

I've been saving an Idea-ology pocket watch for this week's challenge at CC2C sponsored by Simon Says Stamp and had a lot of fun creating a collage for it. You can see this week's technique by checking out page 35 of Tim's book. With a pocket watch, I just had to go with a masculine theme and so I gave it some Steampunk flair!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

She Art Girls - another fancy dress

Here is my final She Art girl to share. Another fun experiment with a dress that started with a piece of table lace cut into a dress shape. I embellished it with cut pieces from a lace collar and other trims at the bottom. I really like the end result.

The belle of the ball in her dress dripping with lace, Rose enjoyed the attention she received in the same way she enjoyed everything in her life; just taking it all in stride. Her dance card remained full wherever she went as any partner was vastly improved by having her on his arm.

Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to comment on my girls - I really have appreciated them! A different style of art for me, but it's good to stretch those boundaries of comfort a bit, don't you think?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

CC2C week 8 tags

It's week 8 of Linda's CC2 Challenge and the technique is "repurposed packaging" from page 62 of Tim's book.  There are two techniques to try and I made a tag for each one.  One challenge in working with packaging is always how to attach it. 

With my first tag, the flowers demonstrate the technique and I sewed them on.  I used these cool Prima wood embellishments that look like spool tops.

With my second tag I tried the other technique with the circles and I attached them with glossy accents.

The close-up lets you see the circles better.  The rest of the tag is kind of a dot explosion!  I used a stamp from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer (Impression Obsession) that I stamped with Distress Stains and added a whole bunch of doodled dots and doodled around the packaging circles to help them stand out.  
Phrase stamp: Catslife Press