Tuesday, May 28, 2013

artful words

Another MMSA swap. This one is supposed to be all about words, not images, so I went with my favorite quote from Theodore Roosevelt on gelli print cards.

Tried to use some different lettering styles. <gurk> Despite taking a few lettering classes, I seem to have an arsenal of about 3 or 4 styles.

Which I guess is better than the 1 I had when I started art journaling.

Did a lot of additional work on the letters themselves - outlining, shadowing, fills, dots.

My fave is the one on the blue background cause I like how the white gel pen fill in JOY came out. 

the eyes have it

This is the theme of an upcoming MMSA swap and as soon as I read it, I thought itunes

Real original, I know.

But I proceeded with my little vision and ended up with three postcards full of old music and eyeballs. I embellished them a bit, added the words and doodled a border. 

Not my favorite batch ever but they make me smile.

Also, I'm going to start adding all pen work after I've coated the card with gel medium (to hold down the collaged bits) because I get a little pen bleed no matter what I use. Very annoying.

Monday, May 27, 2013

black sheep digital collage

This morning Rhonda posted a couple freebie backgrounds and the bottom one appealed to me so I downloaded it, opened Elements 11 and went to work.

Actually, after all the blending and overlays I did, it looks(quite) a bit different, but you can tell it's the same one.

Didn't have much of a plan other than something fun, so I used a couple goofy bodies from the Woot collection at Deviant Scrap, a couple faces from I have no idea, and a bunch of other misc things.

These two obviously don't really fit in with their more 'normal' family in the old photo so when I came across the 'black sheep' text, I had my title.

Waddaya think, Rhonda? Looks pretty cool, huh!

Double click to embiggen and really see the details.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

artist date with Rhonda (and Roben-Marie)

Rhonda came over for the day and we made art!

Roben-Marie inspired art, to be specific.

I've long admired her style - the countless layers, the colors, the shapes, the doodles - but it's not a style that comes naturally to me. At all.

So we sat down at the computer, dialed up Roben-Marie's blog, studied several of her pieces closely, then proceeded to do our own take on her unique style. These are on 9"x12" watercolor paper.

Very fun. It wasn't a quick process and it looked like a bomb went off in my studio by the time we were done rampaging thru all my stuff looking for just the right stamp/stencil/ink/marker etc, but it was a lot of fun and I really like my pages.

I like the bottom one best overall but there are parts of the top one that I love, such as the flower on the right edge. Looking at it on my screen as I type, it looks dimensional. Also like the 3 circles along the left side.

The bottom one is more in my color comfort zone and I like that the chevrons are in smaller chunks and that the white scallops turn corners.

Next time I'll pay more attn to doing things in threes than I did this time. It's bugging me now, looking at some of the elements that I only did twice (lookin at YOU, red circles).

Also don't like that my big curve sorta looks like it's supposed to be a stem for the flower (it isn't) but that I missed getting it lined up lol.

 Anyway, tons of fun. Thanks, Rhonda!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

attention, class!

A few months ago, I was paging thru the online arts program that our performing arts theater runs and when I got to the back, I noticed the application for teachers for the summer session.

Since I've been trying with no luck to find art journaling buddies in this town for years, I thought, "Hmmm, maybe I could create some instead."

So I filled out the application, and wa-la, my 6 week session of Art Journaling 101 begins in the middle of July and runs thru August.

When I lived in San Diego, I taught silk ribbon embroidery at Michaels for a few years, taught crazy quilting to my entire quilt guild (of 80 women, all in one epic day), and informally taught all sorts of things over the years to friends and small groups. Teaching is something I enjoy and am good at, if the resulting exit reviews are anything to go by.

So I've been mulling over the sequence of class events in my head for a while and am about to make up samples showing the various stages of what we'll be doing. Page backgrounds, pamphlet binding, journaling subjects/themes, various lettering styles. Then I'll go thru the whole class step by step in my studio one afternoon, making notes and filling in where I forgot a step or two.

Which is all for naught, because in actual class, the whole thing goes out the window and you go with the flow. At least that's what I've discovered. A student will ask a question that sends you off on an entirely different tangent and away you go. But that's ok. Life just works like that. I'll showcase student work here as class progresses.

Assuming anyone signs up LOL.

Monday, May 20, 2013

more postcards

ingredients: gesso washed cardboard, vintage picture of
my aunt Helen, magazine text, used tea bag overlay,
doodled border. The back is a gelli print on deli paper.
Just can't stop making them. 

Love the size. 

Love the fact that they go out into the world and have a life making smiles. 

ingredients: kraft card stock background, corrugated cardboard
stamping, hand carved scallop stamping, edge of about-to-run-out
adding machine paper, vintage photo of 2 kids, square frame stamp
made from flip-flop on photo, definition from cross word puzzle
dictionary, dress pattern tissue, free motion machine stitching.

Friday, May 17, 2013

I'm a weener!

Well, I don't win often but when I do...

Birdnuts Mixed Media has drawings... um... once a month maybe? Regularly anyway, and imagine my surprise when I got a CONGRATS, LESLIE!!! email from Denise, the very creative proprietor.

The prize was a big old pile of mixed media stuff, mostly 7 Gypsies and Tim Holtz things. I didn't already have a single one of the items, and altho a few of them are things I probably wouldn't purchase, it's a blast to get them for free and I'll darn sure find a good use for them!

There's so much stuff (16 items!) that I had to take two pictures cause it wouldn't all fit in one.

There are several really cool things that I'm excited to have, and one that's intriguing - the kraft glassine paper. I'm not sure exactly what it's good for but I'll play around with it and google it so see what others are doing with it.

Denise also makes very cute customized digital portraits of your pet. They're a crack-up - go look. (I know it looks like a Mother's Day post but just scroll down a bit)

Thanks again, Denise!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

outgoing postcards

One to Terrie, often a swap partner in the MMSA swaps, in exchange for one of her very cool dangling doodles cards, which hasn't arrived yet but will any moment.

As previously mentioned, I'm using up old photos so I grabbed one of me partway up a palm tree in Florida around 1955. Background is a gelli print, collaged with old journal paper, book pages, and dress pattern, then rollered with this silly little stamp I found somewhere that I hardly ever use cause it takes like 3 days to dry.

The next one is to my cousin Dea in Ohio. It's from a 1991 newspaper clipping that I've been hauling around for 22 YEARS! She was being given an award. Gelli background, collaged with gellied papers, doodled with gel pen.

Love the bouffont pageboy, Dea.

Third one is going to as yet unknown recipient (if you'd like it to show up in your mailbox, leave a comment saying so and I'll draw a name next Sunday).

Not sure who/what I was channeling here. Old photo of small boy sticking his tongue out, the perfect caption from my box of bits, misc papers, orange feather from my African red-bellied parrot Winston, a whole lot of crazy free-motion stitching.

This last one is for Mandarin Orange Mondays.

tea bag art

Don't remember where I first saw a tea bag used in collage but I remember thinking wow, there really is no end to the odd things you can use, which is one of the reasons I like it so much. Kinda like crazy quilting in that, if you can attach it to the piece, it's ok to use.

The image of the girl with the goofy hair is from a magazine. I'm not often drawn to using images of people I don't know in my art. I love art made with magazine people, I just don't much want to do it myself. However, this girl just grabbed me so she's been hanging around the art desk for months, getting shifted from one pile to another, occasionally disappearing for weeks at a time until she's turn up when I was digging for something else or company was coming and I was cleaning up.

What? Like you don't clean up the day before company? All I can say is thank god Julie and Moneka visit occasionally or no telling what state my house would be in.

Today I was cleaning up the kitchen counter and finally took a minute to open up the used tea bag that's been sitting there for a few days. Without thinking about it too hard, I sat down, squirted a blob of gel medium on the old phone book that serves as my disposable glue spreading area, and gelled the girl to a piece of cereal box that had been whitewashed with watered down gesso weeks ago.

Found the word Dream in my box of paper scraps, gelled it down, then put down the entire opened up tea bag. It looked just a bit plain so I stamped the lines a few times and called it done.

I love it! The random pattern, color, and texture of the tea bag give a grunginess that I really like. I hadn't used one in a while and had forgotten how cool they look with very little effort.

chevron postcards

Playing along for the first time at Sunday Postcard Art. I've been meaning to but just haven't gotten to it till now.

The theme this week is chevrons and I didn't have any chevron stamps so I dug out an eraser that I bought a bunch of at 25 cents each someplace or other. It's oval and I didn't bother squaring it up so my chevrons are sort of over-all egg shaped.

Gelli print backgrounds (no! really?? sorry, it's all I can do lately) on cereal boxes.

Cat in a Tub has a pic of a couple of my cats through the years - Jack and Chili, long gone now - sitting in the tub. Play play play is cut from a digital collage that I printed out, and the chevrons are the stamp.

The dog is from a magazine somewhere along the way - just loved his expression and his coloring worked perfectly for this card.

I stamped the chevrons on a page from a foreign language (Hindu? Pakistani? love the curly alpha) book. Dabbed some black, then white, paint thru sequin waste.

Doodled a bit with a turquoise marker and a white gel pen. Rounded the corners simply because I found the corner rounder punch under a pile while cleaning up this morning.

Chevrons are cool and I like both cards. They'll go off to unsuspecting people on MMSA's casual swap list.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

digital collage "remember"

Made for a challenge at Scrapbook Graphics, my primary digital hangout.

Had to use the birds on a wire, the large green scrap on the right, and the large red scrap above it.

I added a ton of other stuff, layer upon layer, played with blending and opacity quite a bit.

I really like this one...

Monday, May 6, 2013

using up those old photos...

A couple more journal pages from this afternoon. I rearranged my studio over the last week and was tired of cleaning, so I sat down and made a couple more journal pages using photos I've been dragging around forever. These are 5.5" wide by 8" tall.

The first one is my mom on a horse she owned when she was 18 or 20, so this is from about 1940-42. In looking at it more closely, I see that she inadvertently caught a rein when she did up the throat latch. Way to tack up, mom. God knows what the horse thought or how she was able to steer and stop him with only one fully functioning rein. Maybe they just went in circles, like a boat with one oar. 

Background is several layers of gelli printing. Then I stamped the diamonds, gessoed some circles, a la Roben-Marie, added some black Neocolor II around them and smeared it a bit. Sprayed some Fired Brick ink thru sequin waste (and all over my left index finger), then added a couple strips of gelli print and some text from that large-print book I bought, but ended up having to read before I could cut it up.

The next one I took in Munich Germany in Sept 2005, during the 3.5 days I was there. I finally got sorta adjusted to the time just as I headed to the airport to fly back home. Crazy. I was there to exhibit at a huge international motorcycle show, but finagled one afternoon to wander around.

This guy was ahead of me on the sidewalk, on a street where every other shop sold black leather bustiers and studded dog collars (for people). Dominatrix Row. Very weird.

Gelli background, more circles (apparently channeling Roben-Marie today), more Neocolor II (this time in red to pick up the red on the street barricades in the image) and some bits of red gelli print. More text from another large-print book. They're the best for things larger than an ATC.

Anyway, two more photos down, about 9000 to go.