Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New ABC of my Favorite Things Journal - WOYWW #291

Hello Desk Hoppers :)

For those of you who don't desk hop you should! It is fun and addicting. Check out Stamping Ground who hosts it every Wednesday here :)

What is on my desk today? Well, I decided another way to help myself further my goal of  'art everyday'...would be to give myself the gift of another art journal to work in. (50% off coupon at Michael's) Some days..I just can't figure out what to make on a page. I know..to get better at drawing I need to draw and to get better at painting I need to paint. But WHAT to draw and paint. So, I am starting a ABC of my favorite things journal. The idea....each page will be inspired be a letter, starting with A and ending with Z..and then repeating. I really love nature and so I am using one flower and one animal that starts with the corresponding letter. Then, because I NEED to be more positive...I am throwing in a positive word as well. So, here is my first page. 'A' of course :)


To start out the page...I needed inspiration. I searched the Internet for positive words and a list of flowers and animals in alphabetical order. Then I printed out a 'inspiration page' of what I picked. Here is also a photo of the journal I got at myself at Michael's with my coupon :)


I wanted to try out making a background with my new Faber Castell Gelatos I received as a gift for Christmas. (Thanks Mom!) Because my inspiration page was full of yellows, oranges and rusts, I chose those colors and scribbled them on my page. I blended the colors up with a wet brush. Then I used the butterscotch and chocolate sticks directly on stamps that had been misted with water and stamped those on the page.


Next, I added some words I had printed off the computer about my chosen page topics. I stuck those down with matte liquid medium. I blended them in with the same colors of Gelatos.Then, I drew the squirrel on a separate page. I knew there would be A LOT of erasing. I cut him out and stuck him on the page as well and drew him a log to stand on. I also drew in pencil some daisies directly on the page (not in the photo)


I colored in all my images using tube acrylics using either a brush or just my wet fingers. Once it was dry I added some shading with a black watercolor pencil blended with a brush around the flowers. I also went in with my white gel pen and added some highlights as well. 


I hope you enjoyed my project my first ever ABC journal page project :)


<3 Shel



Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Gelli Jump-Start Journal

It is almost January 1st of 2015!  I am so excited (and a little nervous) to get started with all my art type goals this year! My big goal of course is to DO ART EVERYDAY. I have created opportunities for myself to be inspired by other artists by signing up for some classes and joining up with some other blogger's challenges and swaps. I am doing Lifebook 2015 with Willowing Arts. I have also signed up for Creative Jumpstart with Nathalies Studio. I joined in the Creative Everyday challenge and Art+Java 365 days of art journaling. I signed up for Document Life over at Art to the 5th Academy. I am doing a round robin journal swap and a monthly art tag swap with the G+ community Create and Share Mixed Media. I will be doing the Kraafter's Challenge and Word of Inspiration Wednesday with Kraafters Kommunity. And, we can't forget the Whats on Your Workdesk Wednesdays desk hop party with Stamping Ground! If you have any questions about any of these...links are in the sidebar ~> ~> ~>

To help myself out with some art things to do everyday...I made myself a Gelli Jumpstart Journal.  I was inspired by Kathy Parrish and her video she did for Cloth, Paper, Scissors. I often suffer from what she calls 'white paper syndrome'. Symptoms being staring blankly at a white page and drooling for hours :p I made my journal the same way as I made the one for the round robin swap here. I just used Gelli prints to cover it and to make the signatures.


 I didn't take photos during the making of the journal or the big Gelli print party I was had..but here are photos of every page! Believe me, it took me longer to edit them then it will for you to look! 





As you can see...no to monoprints are ever alike! I guess that is why they are called MONOprints :)
I hope you enjoyed my project. <3 Shel



Saturday, December 27, 2014

Abstract Collage

Hello Friends,

I have had a large project going for awhile in the background. Something I do not only for fun, but also to get money for more art supplies :) I REALLY enjoy collage and awhile ago I started to make 'paper paintings' If you want to see a selection of some of them I have made you can look here Library of Paper Paintings by Shel Some of them were commission, and some were for fun or gifts. I have always told my friends and family "I can make anything" so my obsession with this form of artwork started like that..sort of a challenge. But I fell in love with it. I don't do them everyday...because they are slow, a bit tedious, and can make my hands, back and neck hurt. But I gain HUGE satisfaction from seeing each canvas come to life. Anyway, I recently finished this one. It was inspired by the little graphic that google had on Kandinsky's birthday recently. I hope you like it.


So the process is fairly simple... It starts with a pencil sketch on a pre-stretched canvas. This one is 24"X 24". 


Next I do a 'underpainting'. This will be fairly sloppy and basically a test of the colors and shapes. As I am doing this underpainting, I use excess paint on my palette to create collage papers to use with the piece. I generally use lightweight papers like newsprint or brown paper from packaging, deli papers, or magazine papers I have torn out. I apply the paint to the papers with a old credit card or fingers. Sometimes I also make a series of mono prints using the same paint colors on my Gelli plate.


Next I just tear up the piece of papers and put them sorted into colors in small plastic trays. I apply these to the canvas using matte liquid medium and a brush, going under the paper, then over the top. For this piece I had to make alot of sharp edges using a scissor. Usually I just use the paper torn as it is. I also go over the edges of the canvas wrapping it totally with the design so it can be hung up without a frame.


I hope you enjoyed this project. <3 Shel


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Gelli Printed Grunge Notebook - WOYWW #290

Hi Friends,

Well today is Christmas Eve already! I am guessing either you have completed your master lists of making or...you are too frantic to visit my desk today. Either way, I do want to wish every one of you a blessed holiday. I am so grateful for those I have come to know through this G+ service of communities and blogging. The positive feedback I have received on my art has inspired me to do more and more. It is exactly what I need..an extended group of friendly artists like me. Thank You!

If you are wondering what in the heck WOYWW is. Head on over to Stamping Ground and Julia will explain how this desk (blog) hop works :)

Now on to the desk.... (I mean continue to the story of the desk...not actually climb on to the desk!)


I know it looks like I am in school again and must write an essay...but actually...I am making a covered book for a 16 year old boy to keep his baking recipes in. The book is surrounded by Gelli prints I made on newsprint that came as packing material. For more on Gelli Printing check out this link.


I wanted this project to be...boyish. By that I mean beat up and grungey and just... not to precious. I chose a couple of the prints without any pink or purple and applied them to the front and back of the book using gel matte medium from Liquitex.


Next I folded in the edges of the paper to the inside of the book and then covered the inside flaps in the same way using more piece of the Gelli prints. I really liked this one which is the back inside flap...I wished it was in my art journal!


For the back spine I added..you guessed it...silver grey duck tape...how is that for grunge!

Next I added torn bits of the leftover prints using the gel medium. I wanted organic pieces that didn't look exactly like anything...but reminded one of food. 


I used a black watercolor pencil around the edges of the torn pieces and blended with a waterbrush to make them stand out a bit more from the background



Finally I added a title printed from my computer in a font meant to look like label tape (I would have used actual label tape if I had it) And then some scribbley white highlights with my white gel pen.
I went over everything again with gel medium to make sure it was all sealed in case splatters of butter and flour landed on it.


Here is the finished book. I wrote a title page inside with the definition of the word 'foodie. I also wrote a couple pages of  baking recipes he uses. I hope he will like it! 
<3 Shel


Friday, December 19, 2014

Cold Heart - #WOIW

Hi Everyone,

Over at Kraafters Kommunity the owner Heather is always so nice to give us a inspiration word on Word of Inspiration Wednesday. This really helps me to get ideas..I love it. The word this week was 'COLD' and it inspired me to make this art journal page. I was thinking of the song by Katy Perry called Hot and Cold. I think everyone here has had a moment like those song lyrics where someone you are close to flips their personality and becomes hurtful to your heart. Maybe it is a guy or girl you loved. Maybe a close friend who gets mean for no reason. Or maybe one of those ignorant Internet people who thinks they can say whatever they want to you. And there you stand with your heart torn to bits trying to hold it together against your chest while they hit the road out of your life.


So here are the steps I took to create this page. First I found the lyrics to the song and printed the chorus part. Then I made a sketch using a pencil. Ugh..hands are so annoying!


Next I used water soluble crayons to create some color on the background. I wanted it to be cool colors so I chose blues and bit of purple (because it is my favorite) Then I smooshed around the color with a bit wet brush.


Next I decided to tackle the figure. I took the first week of Art, Heart and Healing FREE course over at Willowing Arts and decided to try her process for coloring in portraits instead of my usual way. If you are struggling with faces and shading I suggest you take her course. She is pretty awesome. Anyway, the process is done with layers of water soluble crayons blended with white acrylic paint. It was my first time trying it but I think I like the result.


I did the whole figure this with this method only adding a tiny bit of black pen around the eyes.


The next thing I did was to do some stamping in the background. I used a large harlequin stamp with some teal and light blue acrylic paint. Then snowflakes with white gesso (stamps from Stampin' Up!) I also did some drips down the page as if they were tears using a turquoise crayon and water. Mostly this just removed background color rather then making turquoise drips. After that I did some splatters with watery white acrylic (then had to get up and change my shirt since I splattered it and my glasses and face too)


Next I added the lyrics which I had scribbled with the same colors as the background. I used liquid matte medium to attach it.


Nest I did a bit of collaging. Those of you who know me know that hardly anything leaves my studio without collage. I used matte gel medium to add some scrap papers to the heart. These were roll offs and clean ups from Gelli printing.



As a final step I added some black around the heart to make it stand out from the shirt and some black around the lyrics too. Hope you like my page :)
<3 Shel

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Magical Forest - WOYWW #289

Hello Friends :)

I am back from my trip to the mountains of Arizona. The place I vacationed was at the base of the Mogollon Rim...a fascinating and beautiful natural structure. I visited so many interesting and inspiring natural places...like the biggest known travertine natural bridge! There was so much to inspire my art in the coming days :)
As I came home on Tuesday afternoon...I thought what I really wanted to do was take a nap in my own bed. So, I headed upstairs to do so. But, my studio called me instead! I had been thinking while I was driving in the magical ponderosa pine forests about the challenge of the month for art journaling over at Creating and Sharing Mixed Media Art. The theme was 'Magic' and I just had to journal it!
So, What is on my Workdesk Wednesday? This page in my art journal :)


So how did I do it?  It all started with a page in my art journal that was collaged left over stamped tissue paper. This was leftover from the lighted Christmas tree canvases I had done, and I knew I wanted to something mildly 'Christmasy' in my journal. 


I thought the patterns were too distracting and colorful for what I had in mind...so I toned it down with some watery white gesso. Then I made a pencil drawing of my idea.


Next, I wanted to fill in the background with the idea of a pine forest. I used an Exacto knife on a piece of scrap cardstock to make a imporvised stencil. I 'pounced' acrylic paint through the stencil using a large stencil brush, I started with a light green and worked my way darker as I went down the page.


For the big tree in the foreground, I wanted a bumpy rough looking texture, so I used scraps torn paper in browns and rusts and collaged those on using matte gel medium.


Once that was done, I started painting the shadows and highlights on the fairy figure, I added this photo to show you just how silly it looks before the skin tone is put on over it.  So if you have been trying to paint faces or figures lately, don't stress at this part of the process. It will all turn out OK eventually :) (Disclaimer: I am not an expert at faces)




When I was finished with all the painting, I added some stamped pine boughs and cones in the background. I added outlines and highlights using a Micron fine tip pen and a Sakura white gel pen. I also added Stickles glitter glue on the fairy and the wand. Then the final touch was small beads and a gold punched star on the baby Christmas tree. The last thing I did was add in the saying which I printed off my computer. 


I hope you enjoyed my project. What is on your workdesk today? Share with Julia and the rest of us over at Stamping Ground every Wednesday.
<3 Shel

P.S: I finished the tag for the swap that was partially done on my desk last Wednesday (for those of you who follow along :) The theme for the month was 'red'.



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

WOYWW #288 - A Mess of a Desk

Hello All,

Some days ...maybe half of the days I work in my studio...I clean up as I finish each project. However, during the month of December and all the craziness of making gifts...there is no way I clean up. I am sure I am not the only one who feels the pressure of just getting things DONE and OUT THE DOOR during the holiday season. That is how it was for me this week. My Mother surprised us with a last minute trip to a resort somewhere in the mountains of Arizona. That will be a wonderful break from the daily stresses of the month! But it some ways it added more to my plate. The addition of a super week relaxing... is also the adding of pressure to get things done sooner, wrapped, and mailed! So, for Stamping Ground's What is on Your Workdesk Wednesday...what I have ...as you can see....is a mess :)


So, with all that mess..what did I do this week? Well at the beginning of the week I started the process of making these pendants from mini-dominoes. They are done with scans from previous pieces I have done recently. I printed the scans on regular paper in 'eensy weensy teeny tiny' format. Then I cut out those prints and put them on mini dominoes with gel medium. A layer of gel medium went over the top to seal. When that was dry, I sanded the edges smooth and applied alcohol inks to the edges and back. I used some wire wrapped around a triangular stick for bails and glued those on with E600. Then I used ICE resin over the top. Being an impatient person..the hardest thing about this project is waiting in between for things to dry!


Another thing I made this week is the first spread in my mini-albums I talked about in a previous post. Jello Box Mini Albums I wanted to do a quick little page to get my creative thoughts flowing again. I used Heidi Swapp sprays and acrylic paints for color. And a Micron pen and Sakura gel pen for accents.


Then there was the plethora of tags. I certainly need lots of tags for wrapping of Christmas presents that need to get mailed before my trip! So I used scraps to make these. Of course, the fastest thing to do I rubber stamp, so I did. I mounted them on colored cardstock scraps and used Stickles glitter glue for accents.


In addition to these easy peasy tags, I also started my December tag swap tag from the swap I joined in over at Creating and Sharing Mixed Media. What you see below is what I have done so far. The theme is 'RED' this month and I know you don't see much red. But I promise you will when it is finished! 


So, I am off very soon for a week long trip and will not be posting during that time. I hope everyone is having a fun and creative December. Enjoy!
<3 Shel

Thursday, December 4, 2014

SNOW is the Word #WOIW

Hello Friends :)

Over at the Kraafters Kommunity we have a weekly challenge called the Word of Inspiration Wednesday. A word is picked and you can make whatever you want using that word to inspire you. This week the word is 'snow'. Well, as some of you have figured out..I live in the desert! We don't see snow often and if we do its just a tiny bit that doesn't even stick to the ground. So as I was thinking about snow...I wanted to express what a magical and mystical thing snow in the desert can be. I hope I captured that feeling with this art journal page.


To start out the page I did a pencil sketch. I was at the chemotherapy infusion center with my DH and it can be boring if he sleeps, so I brought along my art journal today to have something to do., The other patients were very interested in my process, so now I have to bring the finished page back next week :)


After I came hope I started to 'fill in the blanks' of the sketch with paper collage. This process is really my obsession. I do a lot of 'paper paintings' or 'paper mosaic'. I love it! The papers I used for this were mostly retrieved from the floor of my studio. My favorites were the used baby wipes that I had from the Christmas tree canvas projects (the rust and yellow ones) I also used some deli paper with second generation Gelli prints from my koffee kozie yesterday. Usually I tear up the papers, and I did that mostly..but for the desert plants I cut out the shapes. I applied all of these papers with matte gel medium both under and on top to seal. Then I went to dinner (we had chicken)


The gel medium had dried while I was at dinner, so I suddenly had this urge to outline. I never do this on my paper paintings..I just use the varying papers for shading...but today I needed to do it! I used a fine tip micron pen in black. Then I added some 'snow' to the mountains and cactus using my trusty white sakura gel pen (love it!)


Next was the sky. I wanted it to be slightly wispy and soft, so I decided to use water soluble crayons. I scribbled 3 tones of blue and then blended with a fat brush and water.


While the sky was drying I moved onto the figure. I used my trusty tube acrylics and a small brush with water to shade, highlight and color in the girl. Then I took a big brush and very watered down white gesso and splattered the scene to create falling snow.


Finally, I added a tile to explain the page. The word SNOW was cut out from some light blue cardstock. Then I used a ink pad in a darker blue to 'smoosh' over it to create more contrast. The 'believe in magic' was printed off my computer and attached over the snow letters. My final touch was to add a shimmery snowflake and some stickles glitter glue for the crystalline glittery effect of snow.


I hoped you enjoyed my interpretation of snow in the desert :) 
<3 Shel

PS... I finished the Kozies!