Monday, October 26, 2015

DLP #22

May Theme: Touchy Feely (Texture)
May 30
Art Challenge:  Textured Paper
Journal Prompt:  I'm So Not Feeling It!

I've been in this mood regarding lots of things lately!  Cleaning, cooking, art, Halloween decorating.... couldn't decide what to go with, so finally just started by spritzing on some Dylusion sprays.  Couldn't resist swiping my fingers through.

Started gluing on some textured papers from my scrap drawers.  Then started looking through my collage stash (aka crap I can't throw away).  Found this great Halloween cat postage stamp.  Stamped some circles around that reminded me of the cat's "caught in the headlights" look.

Decided to practice some lettering techniques using the journal prompt.  
Did some doodling, and decided to add some white with a Marvy pen around the "I'm so" and "feeling it" so they stood out better.  Filled in the "Not" with silver Pitt pen.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

thank you card

I haven't been doing many cards lately, but made one as a thank you for a visiting zen priest.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

DLP #21

May Theme: Touchy Feely (Texture)
May 23
Art Challenge:  Cheesecloth
Journal Prompt:  Say Cheese

The prompt "Say Cheese" got me to thinking about cameras.  At first, I thought I'd try to draw an old fashioned camera, but what I had next to me was my phone which is what I've been mostly taking photos with anyway, so...
I drew a quick rendition of the phone and then decided to spend some time drawing a hand about to take a photo.  Realizing it needed a background, I decided to do some vibrant colors:

I also decided to paint in the hand and what was being seen on the screen.

My original thought was I'd use some gauzy cloth (substituting for cheesecloth) to obscure the background.  So the only thing that was "real" for the screen holder was what was on the screen.  Sort of like this:
But then I decided that what was "real" was actually what was in the background and the screen was what should be obscured.  (At this point, I wished I'd done a better job of representing the background, but what I was originally after was the color.)
I'm not sure how obvious the gauzy cloth is, here's a closer view:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Kwan Yin gift

I made this gift for my zen teacher this week using one of the Kwan Yin reduction prints. I cut around the print and adhered mulberry paper to it.  Layered that onto Joss paper that I'd stamped with the character meaning "love".   Added some painted Chinese book paper and put it all on a background of speckled black paper.
 Found a frame that matched the colors well.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out (except the trying to photograph it part).

DLP #20

May Theme: Touchy Feely (Texture)
May 16
Art Challenge:  Modeling Paste*
Journal Prompt:  Rising to the Occasion

I had gotten some colored Art-C modeling paste on clearance at Michaels.  So I decided to use that.  First did a background with Dylusion ink sprays.  The prompt made me think of trees so I used a tree ring stencil to lift some ink and create some texture in the background.  A different tree stencil was used with the modeling paste.  

Painted some white gesso inside the modeling paste after it dried.  Stamped the Stamp Campsentiment and cut it into leaf-like shapes.  Arranged the sayings in a different order and glued them to the page.  Used a white and black pen around the edges of the leaves.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

DLP #19

May Theme: Touchy Feely (Texture)
May 9
Art Challenge:  Stitching
Journal Prompt:  "All that I'm after is life full of laughter."

I thought I'd use this self-portrait printed on paper with an ink jet and glued to fabric for the May 2nd challenge, but then didn't.  Decided to give it a go for this week's challenge.
Used some dylusion ink sprays to color the background.  At first I started drawing in  (okay, emphasizing) smile wrinkles around the eyes and cheeks.  I also decided that I wanted the mouth to open, so I cut out that section.  Then I decided to make myself a mime.
 Used the journal page to soak up the extra dylusion spray for a background.
Finished painting myself as a mime (gesso with ink extender and water).  Colored in the cheeks and lips with inktense block paint.  Sharpie for the eye lines.  Made a bunting from an old gelli print.  I plan on sewing over the top of the bunting, but haven't gotten out the sewing machine yet.
 Here's the mouth after being pulled open.  A little creepy, but it makes me laugh.
Update: Here's how the stitching turned out.

DLP #18

May Theme: Touchy Feely (Texture)
May 2
Art Challenge:  Fabric
Journal Prompt:  The Fabric of Your Life

Used my new favorite Inktense color blocks to write out a "mind map" of groups of people I'm close to.  Brushed over with water.
 Journaled the people and things that make up the fabric of my life.
 Washi tape and a reduction print adhered to a piece of fabric.
 The reduction print was a fast practice piece that I did to show my kids how the process works.  I ended up really liking the little woman.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

DLP #17

April Theme: Color Safari (Exploring Inks and Paints)
April 25
Art Challenge:  Inks
Journal Prompt:  Before the Ink is Dry

Played with the Derwent Inktense color blocks again by laying down some color with red, yellow,and orange semi-circles.  Brushed over with water.  Sprayed with homemade ink spray and let the ink run, then blew it to the edges with a straw. 

 Walked away to let that dry and then decided to stamp a pattern in the still wet areas and press onto dry areas.  Let that dry overnight.  Today I stamped my carved  inkygoddess stamps and a carved paintbrush.  Added a torn Chinese dictionary page that my son had painted.   Journaled with a watercolor pencil and spritzed with water.   Blotted the top journaling with a cloth and let the water drip and run with the bottom piece of writing.

Back at it...

I met with a friend yesterday and was telling her how cranky I'd been, how everything was bugging me, even stuff that I knew was small stuff.  Her response: "Sounds like how you get when you're not doing any art."  Light bulb!  So I spent an hour playing yesterday with art stuff yesterday.  Felt mentally refreshed.  Now to remember this lesson for the future!

I decided to keep going on the Documented Life Project from where I left off, you know... back in APRIL!   As a reminder, the April theme was Color Safari (Exploring Inks and Paints). I'd left off on April 18 which had these guidelines:
     Art Challenge: Gelli Plate
     Journal Prompt: A lot on my Plate

Using Derwent Inktense blocks (on clearance at Michaels due to damage to the packaging), I laid down some color direct to paper and brushed over it with water.  I tried adding some color by wetting the block first too.  Used a black Sharpie and Marvy white gel pen for the text.  My minimal Gelli print offering is the ripped piece in the bottom corner.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Reduction Prints

I joined a Carving Consortium swap that focused on multi-color prints using either multiple blocks or a reduction printing process.  I've never done a reduction print before, so I decided to try that technique.  I drew out my design first-- a modern Kwan Yin (bodhisattva of compassion) listening to the suffering of the earth.  Took me awhile to get the design worked out to the proper size (and then as you'll see, I was still off).  Then I colored the design to give me a template to work with.

Then I procrastinated forever because I was really scared of this process.  Finally I started with the first color which was Kwan Yin's skin color.  I cut away anything that I wanted to be white (the dharma wheel design and the white's of her eyes) and printed.  Didn't look like much:

But I printed something on the order of 70 of these because you have to start off with as many as you'll want plus room for goofs.  Then I had to cut away anything that I wanted to stay skin colored before I printed the next color. This took me a while to wrap my brain around-- cutting away what you wanted to stay.  Finally started sinking in at the end, but there were a couple near goofs and outright oopses.

In all, I ended up doing 7 colors for this series.  I learned several things.  One, if you're working with stamp pads as I was, you will need re-inkers or multiple wet pads.  My pads started dying out after just a few prints.  Unfortunately that meant that my best, most vibrant colored prints were my test prints.  Finally wised up to this and started re-inking or using similar colored pads, but the prints I was hoping to give away or sell are pretty faint.

Two, even with the jig I set up to register the prints, things still got messed up.  Thank goodness I did make so many extras.

Three, make sure to test how inks will interact before hand.  This I did do and was grateful.

Four, if the inks don't interact well, it's okay to mask part of the stamp when doing a layer of color. I did this for a few different colors (mostly for the globe).  I wish I'd been a bit more precise with this however, as it did effect the later design a bit.

Five, be flexible.  I had originally thought for example, that everything would have a black outline.  Then I decided that was too much so just used black for Kwan Yin.

Six, don't be attached.  You will not end up with a usable stamp at the end!

Friday, June 19, 2015

It's a sign!

My friend, Kath, asked me to make a sign for her new sound proof booth where she does voice over work.  She's naming the booth Dulcinea.  It felt pretty great to be supported and honored that way.  I had a ton of ideas but also stayed open to the process and tried to ignore the inner critic along the way.  Here are some photos of the journey to the completed product.

My husband and I looked through his wood stash to find something suitable: sturdy but light.  I asked him to cut it to size, but he was unable to get to it before leaving town for work.  So, I dug deep and figured out the table saw by myself (and kept all my fingers in the process).  Win!

First, I covered the top with gesso, made some patterns in it and left it to dry overnight.  The next morning I hated the patterns, so covered it with gesso again and made different patterns.  The gesso was light enough that some of the old patterns showed through, which I actually liked.  This photo shows the first set of patterns.

Then I started laying on some color.  Different shades of blue.  I wanted some dark areas and light areas.
The lighting's not great in this next phot, but I felt like the background needed more blue and that the dark needed to mellow out a bit.  I also took ripped some Tim Holtz tissue paper, smeared some acrylic paint on and glued it on.  In retrospect, it might have been a better idea to wait to do the butterflies, but I needed to put something down.  The placement of the middle butterfly happened because the lines on the paper corresponded almost exactly to the etch marks I'd made in the gesso.  Just felt like it had to go there.
 I'd just listened to a podcast where the artist advocated finger painting so I did that this go around.  It was great.  You can see that the blue isn't as washed out as in the above photo.
I looked at the sign for a day or two and felt like it was still too dark.  I wanted to lighten it up a bit so I used a stencil and Tim Holtz Picket Fence Distress stain spray to do positive and negative circles.  I then added some shading to the circles so that the negative ones on the right almost looked sunken in and tried to make the positive ones on the left pop out.
All along I'd wanted an image of a goddess or some powerful woman figure.  I couldn't come up with anything I liked, so finally I googled images of women speaking or singing.  I loved one of a multi-racial woman that came up.  I used her as the basis for the figure that I started to paint in the corner.
 I'd also ripped out the definition of "voice" from an old dictionary, but couldn't figure out how to incorporate it yet.  One night I realized that I could put the woman speaking on the definition.  I made the outline of her and then shaded her in with sponges and distress ink.  I wanted her to be translucent enough to see the words still.

I had also been having a lot of trouble coming up with a font that I liked.  I downloaded some fonts online but none really worked.  Kalin even came up with several fonts-- one of which was really cool and  I was close to using!  Then I thought to look in my stamp stash and found a set that I'd bought at a garage sale last summer.  I spread out the stamps in different ways to get an idea of how things were shaping up.

 I didn't like any version I came up with.  Finally I realized that I'd made the sign too tall.  So I took to the saw again and cut it in two.
 I embossed the letters on deli paper with a custom made mix of red and gold embossing powder to come up with dulcinea.
 I made a sister sign with the other piece of board.

I loved doing this project.  It came out completely different than my original thoughts, but I'm liking the results.

Friday, May 22, 2015

DLP #15

April Theme
Color Safari (Exploring Inks and Paints)
April 11
Art Challenge:  Acrylics
Journal Prompt:  Cry Me a River

I went literal with this one.  I have to say that these last couple of prompts have been really tough for me to come up with anything that I liked.  Hoping we get out of the song quotes soon.  

Played with my drawing skills and shading again.

Creative Dice

I saw this idea in a recent Cloth Paper Scissors magazine and finally made some of my own.  My husband cut some blocks for me which I sanded and then glued decorated paper with an instruction for a technique or supply on each side.  There's also a "no" block which tells me which comfort item I'm not allowed to use.
My dice say:
1: Acrylic, Water Color, Pastel or Crayon, Gelatos, Distress Line, Colored Pencil
2: Emboss, Bling, Stickers, Book Page, Gelli Print, Stencils,
3: Draw, Text, Stamp, Transfer, Doodle, (blank side)
4: "Extra" Drawer, "Collage" Drawer, Vellum, Washi Tape, Fibers, Chip Board
5: Mixed Media, Gesso, Twinkling H2O;s, Alcohol Inks, Ink Spray, (blank side)
6: No Handcarved, No ink pads, No Ripped Paper, (3 blank sides)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Martin Ramirez FDC swap

I have been doing art, but not the Documented Life Project.  I've been working on a carving based off a Martin Ramirez drawing for a swap sponsored by the Carving Consortium.  Of course I picked an incredibly intricate design and the carving has taken forever.  I've just finished enough to do a test print.  There's still some cleaning up to do, but I'm liking it.

 Here's a close up.
Here's more info on Martin Ramirez.  Pretty interesting story.

Monday, May 11, 2015

DLP Week 14

April Theme
Color Safari (Exploring Inks and Paints)
April 4
Art Challenge:  Watercolors
Journal Prompt:  It's Water Under the Bridge

I got hit with artist block bit time since my last post.  Part of it was letting life get in the way-- travelling, catching up from being away, travelling again, catching up.  But a big part was resistance to the journal prompt and not knowing where I would go with it.  And not trusting myself to just start.  

Finally, over the weekend I put a watercolor wash down on the page.  But then I had to wait for it to dry and started putting it off again.

So, I bought Steven Pressfield's book "The War of Art," read 2 chapters and decided to stop procrastinating and do something.  I already have his book "Do the Work" which I highly recommend and War of Art promises to be just as good.

Here's what happened when I started to play.
The hands are painted in black gesso and I used a white pen to do the journaling Dina Wakely style-- start writing in one direction and then flip the page 90 degrees and continue writing.  

This page was good for me in so many ways.  Just doing it.  Not judging.  Not caring that the hands aren't even close to right.   Or that I have stray marks.  Trusting that something will come out (although, I had the idea for the hands over the weekend and the journaling idea  came up while I was meditating, still). Getting personal in the journaling.  Moving on.