Friday, January 30, 2015

Acceptance Silhouettes - #WOIW

Hello Real Internet Friends :)

Today I am tackling TWO challenges with one art journal page! YAY! Two for the prince of one. A useful thing for me with the list of things I have joined in and agreed to do..LOL.

I was thinking about the Word of Inspiration Wednesday challenge over at Kraafters Kommunity which this week is 'Acceptance'. That word has several different layers of meaning, but the one that comes to me first is being accepted as yourself in a group of other people. This is something I have struggled with my whole life. I am often a bit 'different' seeming from others I encounter in my daily life. I care about things that others don't. I think more creatively. My sense of humor is strange. I am fascinated by things that others think are weird. In addition to these...I can be intolerant and maybe even a bit bossy. Also, I have a hard time trusting people or believing others don't have alternative motives for what they do. As a result of this..I am quite isolated. I don't go to parties or hang out or go to coffee or shopping with my 'besties'.

The exception to this rule is how I interact with others on the Internet. I feel comfortable here in cyberspace. It is easy to meet people without pressure. Amazingly there are whole communities of people out there that enjoy the same things I do and think the same way as me! So when I decided to make my page...what I wanted was to represent the whole world of friends 'out there' whom I love. A circle of quirky and colorful, bright and bold, supportive and loving, interconnected, FRIENDS.
Luckily my idea of what I wanted to make happened to also fit the prompt for week #4 of Journal52... Silhouettes. Especially since the week #5 prompt is out!

To begin my page I drew a horizon line and then a group of people standing facing away with their hands connected. This is on a cold pressed watercolor paper size 7 1/2" X 15". I sketched in pencil and then traced over with a black paint marker.

Next, I wanted to add my title in bold fat letters. First I drew some lines with a ruler, and then lightly added letters with a pencil. Then I went back over the letters and made them fatter and more stylised before tracing them with a black paint marker.

Now to add color. I wanted it bold and bright like my Internet friends. I started with Inktense blocks by Derwent because they are water reactive...but permanent when dry. This is a perfect feature of these babies if you plan to add more wet media over the top. I sprayed my page with my water mister and then just went in randomly with colors.

Next,I wanted more color and pattern. I got out some stencils and some Dylusions sprays by Ranger. I started with purple grape because sadly my set of Inktense blocks don't have purple (hello Derwent what were you thinking????) I then added some sunshine yellow and squeezed orange and a bit of teal.

Now I wanted to add back in some white for more interest. I made a puddle of white acrylic paint and spattered it with a brush. Then I used a circles stamp in the same puddle to stamp some larger blotches.

Now for the POP. I went in with black gesso and painted over the negative space around my people and letters. I think it has an amazing effect.

To finish up I used some stamps with acrylic paint. Some splattering. And some black and white pens to add detail and journaling. 

I hope you enjoyed my project and feel inspired to make your own :)
<3 Shel

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Recycled Dream Catcher Page - WOYWW #295

Hello Artsy Friends,

Wednesday snuck up on me! It is 6:00 AM and I woke at 5:00 and have been taking photos and editing madly so that I can get this post linked to Stamping Ground and 'what is on your workdesk Wednesday'! I decided not to take a photo of my actual desk because there is not anything on it. I was up late finishing my Lifebook 2015 week 5 project. Once I got started on this one I just could not stop until it was done!
The instructor for this week was artist Rachael Rice and her idea was to create a page featuring a Dream Catcher. Having grown up around American Indians, and living in the Southwest of the United States, I am very familiar with this imagery and the legend surrounding this object. In fact, I own one. However, her idea of the traditional spiders web to catch dreams as being the modern day mandala image really captured my imagination. Normal I would not do a step out of another artists art, but in this case the only similar thing to her piece is the idea of a dream catcher image with our words for the year, so I think it is ok. So here is my finished page.

I really wanted to work with the idea of a mandala image but I didn't want to print and color one or something like that. I wanted it to be colorful, holding as many of the colors of the world as possible. I got this idea to use some of my hoarded papers to make it. These papers were all 'trash' like experiments I hated, deli paper pallets with dried up paints, and used paper towels and baby wipes. I made a template of a very thin triangle, figuring if I put enough together eventually it would make a circle. I used mod podge instead of a more expensive medium in case it totally didn't But it did! 

While my mandala of many colors was drying, I started on the background collage for my piece. I picked very neutral colors of papers so that my more colorful circle would stand out. Book paper from a beat up book, some brown packing paper from a amazon box, some printed music, and a piece of scrapbooking paper. I glued them to 140 pd watercolor paper in strips, leaving the top open as it would be covered anyway. Then I brayered over the whole thing with acrylic titanium buff color. I added a little pearl ex super copper pigment powder with a baby wipe while it was still wet.

Next I needed to cut out and attach my mandala. I knew I would use a dinner plate for the circle...but how to make sure it was centered? I ended up cutting a circle on scratch paper and folding it in quarters to find the center. Then I used a sewing pin to poke through the center of my mandala and then the center of the template to line then up. It worked great. I added some punched out copper metallic circles and some line work with black and white pens. Then I sponged the edge with black archival ink. I attached it to the background and put it under something heavy to dry.

Now to make my feathers. The first one I cut out of the same copper metallic cardstock. I used a bone folder to press in the center stem and accents onto the cardstock and then highlighted them with white. I sponged the edges with black ink. Then I added my word with rubber stamps. My word for the year is 'Grow' and these other words are things I intend to do to support my main word idea.., Like actively listen.

My next feather I collaged on two recycled deli papers, half and half, and then went around the edges with my white pen. I put 'reach out' as in reach out to all of you whom give me so much and knowledge!

The next feather I used a scrap of left over Gelli print on newsprint packing paper. The word 'accept' to allow myself to be open to what others are offering.

My next feather has the word 'love'. In this case I mean self love...trying not to be my own worse critic. I used a piece of deli paper scrap that had some paint scraped over it from leftover paint in a project. I used a red paint pen (the color of love) around the edges and then added accents with a gold metallic paint pen.

My final feather is my word for the year...GROW... which is my intention! I used a couple scraps of old baby wipe...then also added the piece I had cut from the top of my mandala when I glued it on. Very cool and colorful. A black line and some white dots with a pen were added as well as black ink sponged on the edges.

To finish up my project I glued on the feathers and then added some strings with a black pen and some shading. Then I added some fun doodle accents with metallic copper paint.
I hope you enjoyed this project! Leave me a comment if you did.
<3 Shel

Monday, January 26, 2015

Little Blue Boxes for You and Me - DLP Week 4

Hello :)

Today I have my The Documented Life Project page for week #4 to share. The challenge for this week was 'writing' and the prompt was 'words with friends'. As I was thinking about this topic it occurred to me I never write anything, besides maybe notes or a list, and I rarely talk to anyone either. Most of my communication these days is via texting. All my friends and family have smart phones and so information is shared via these little snippets of text. Sometimes this is a blessing (teenage boys will actually text) and sometimes this is a curse (it is very time consuming to hold a meaningful conversation) As the song by John Cougar, Little Pink Houses, was playing on the radio I could imagine the days when everyone lived in a neighborhood. They wrote letters and cards to each other. They sat on their porches drinking sweet tea and chatting. SO DIFFERENT from my life now! I decided to make my page layout about my modern life of communication. I used a twist on the song lyrics for my title and typed it in the same font as Iphone uses for texting (Helvectica Neue for those wondering)

To start off I put some different acrylic paints in shades of blue and some white on my pallet. I used a flat dry brush and painted 'boxes' not cleaning the brush in between changing colors.

While that was drying I drew a figuree on a separate page of mixed media paper. She has her head down and a phone in her hand like you see everywhere these days. I painted her with water soluble crayons blended with acrylic paint.

Next I cut out my figure and my title in its little blue box and attached them to the page with matte gel medium.

This is where things went haywire! I decided I wanted to use some random friendship script type stamps all over the background...but I was too lazy to use acrylic paint and a sponge. So I thought..I will just use my white pigment ink pad. So I juiced it up and went to town stamping all wouldn't dry and was all smeary :(  Well... I should have known this (DUH) acrylic paint is basically plastic..and pigment ink takes forever to dry on regular absorbent material. Over plastic it may NEVER dry. My fix was to take it outside and spray the whole page with clear acrylic sealer.

Once the sealer was dry, I used a left over from some die cutting to stencil with some white gesso and a stencil brush. Then I added a flower in the blank space (because of the stamped saying right there about friends being like flowers)

I painted the flower with gesso first before adding in color with my new Intense Blocks...which I used with a wet brush. Love how vibrant those are! Finally I finished up with some tiny flowers stamped in orange acrylic and some orange spatters made by running a brush over the Inktense block...a very cool way to spatter! And of course the usual...the white Sakura gel pen! My favorite :)

I hope you get some inspiration from my pages.
<3 Shel

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Conversations With Fish - Journal52 Week 3

Hi All :)

This morning I was feeling a bit stuck. I had several journal page prompts to do from different things I have joined...but just had no ideas and a bad case of white page syndrome! Then I was reading a post by my friend Ruth L at Lerusho and she had done some 'intuitive painting' in one of her books. She got the inspiration from a blog called Mixed Media Place where they are doing some art exercises they are calling 'Creative Gym'. Now I am none to fond of the I can get into these exercises! So, I decided to give it a try.

Thanks to a mysterious and very sweet 'art angel' I just received a present of some Inktense Blocks by Derwent. I have been wishing for these very cool color tools..and SURPRISE they appeared in my mailbox! So I decided to use them for my intuitive painting. I used a brush with water on it and just ran it across the top of the blocks while they were still in the case. Then I put color as randomly as i could onto the page. I used bright green, blue, dark blue and dark green.

Next comes the fun part. The exercise is to look at the page and find some shapes or images in the randomness. Well, I was still thinking about a few of the prompts I had to work on and one was from Journal52. The prompt was 'conversation starters' and as I was looking at the page I started to see some fish. Then I remembered I had this weird dream about having a conversation with a very wise fish. AH HA! my page! So I traced the images I saw with a pencil..and then I painted the negative space with some white acrylic mixed with aqua. 

Next I tried out the Inktense pencils using them as drawing tools. I drew around the shapes and then blended with a wet brush to make the shapes stand out more. Then I decided the page needed more personality so I sketched in some sill details on the fish.

Finally to finish up the page I added details with a white Sakura gel pen and a black Zig journaling pen. I added a title to remember what the page was about.

I hope you enjoyed this project and will give intuitive painting a try! It is really fun.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Art Journal Page - Pathways

Hi All,
So, being the crazy person I am, I decided to join another art journal prompt group... This one is free and is called Journal 52. Here is the link if you want to try it out. Journal 52 2015. Of course since I just joined now I am already behind. So, here is my first week's page. The prompt was "pathways'.
I found a quote I liked about the subject and then went with that :)

I decided to make the pages for this journal loose leaf rather then buying a already bound book. I will make them one sided and then bind them at the end of the year. The size is 7 1/2" X 11? because I have a watercolor pad that is 11" X 15" and I just cut the pages in half. I started the page by adding some scrapbook papers with matte gel medium.

Then to make them more unified I went over them with white gesso. I used a old itunes card to apply the gesso in horizontal lines 'even' to represent the quote.

While that was drying I made the quote on a small piece of mixed media paper WITH MY OWN HANDWRITING! LOL

I added a 'pathway' going up the steep hills and then added a color layer using Gelatos. I used a wet finger to blend. 

Then I used a stencil over the Gelatos and used a baby wipe to go in and remove some of the gelato color.

I did this with a few different stencils.

After that I added some stamping using acrylic paint. I wanted a very graphic look I used shapes in solid images.

To finish up the page I made a little figure to climb the pathway of life. 

After she was colored with water soluble crayons and acrylics I added her and the quote on the page with matte gel medium. I made the quote into a sign on the top of the hill.

I hope you enjoyed my project. If you did leave a comment below :)

PS. For those of you who are interested in what I did for week 4 of Lifebook - Here is my page. It is based on the work of artist Patti Ballard who did a fast forward video for this week.

<3 Shel

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Gelli Valentine's Day Cards - #WOYWW

Hello Friends,

I can't believe it is Wednesday again and time to go spy on people's desks all around the world! I really love to see what people are up to. I guess I am a bit nosey that way. If you are too then check out Stamping Ground and there will be links to tons of places to snoop!

So today my desk is full of love! Yes friends I am making Valentine's cards using some prints I made with my Gelli Arts plate. If you have been reading my blog for awhile you know I LOVE this tool. It makes quick and easy monoprints (just as it sounds....a one off print never to be duplicated again) using acrylic paints and whatever paper or fabric you like. The process is a combination of surprise and mess and warm fuzzies. Just nothing else like it!

About Valentines Day. Another thing I love. Sure, I am not a mooney, starry eyed teenager in a big romantic love with some stud muffin...been there done that. But I don't think the day has to be about that. It is about LOVE! I love and appreciate all sorts of people and I let them know it on this day. Because in this world of more and more isolation...believe me people need to know! I love all of you who read my blog and if I could I would send each and every one of you a Gelli print Valentine! WITH chocolate! :)

So here is my mess of a desk....

As you can see I was in the process of finishing up some cards when I took the photo late last night. I did actually finish the last couple this morning before I wrote this post. Here they are :)

All seven cards were made using two 8 1/2" X 11" pieces of gelli printed cardstock which I cut up. I used pinks, purples and bright red acrylic paints. I used some heart stamps directly onto the plate make heart impressions. I also used the 'clean up' piece of paper for some of the top pieces.

I mounted the pieces on colored cardstock. I added some extra stamped pieces over the top..using the same colors of paint. I applied the paint to the stamps with a cosmetic sponge. (Be sure to clean paint off right away unless you want to be picking it off with a toothpick after it is dry)

On some I added some shiny dimensional stuff or some glitter.

On others I added a little sheer piece of ribbon.

Sometimes I did a little highlight with my white gel pen.

And I added the words 'love you'  because I do!

I hope you enjoyed seeing this simple project. Not everything you make has to be a masterpiece in order to make an impact on others lives :) Now shoo shoo..go make something pretty!
<3 Shel

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Year Tag - Tag It Tuesdays Link Party

Hello Friends and Fellow Mixed Media Artists,

Today I have a mixed media altered shipping tag to share. I made it just in time to link up with the Tag It Tuesday link party over at Cards and More by Sheri. The challenge was new year theme and use gold and silver on the tag. I had fun making this tag thinking about how much I plan to enjoy mixed media in 2015. I am glad to have the freedom mixed media gives me to do as much or as little to a project as I want. There are no rules so do art like you want to!

To start out my tag I wanted to try out a technique that I was introduced to over at Kraafters Kommunity. If you stamp with dye inks then add gesso, the gesso picks up the colors and brings them up to the top layer. I used a confetti stamp to be all 'festive like' and stamped in several colors of dye ink. Remember..this ink is moved by wetness..not waterproof or archival. After the stamping I went over with a dry brush and white gesso..then let it dry. It turned out pretty cool.  I stamped on some silver ink confetti over the top.

Next I needed a person to be enjoying this confetti party. I drew an image on mixed media paper and colored it in using water soluble crayons, white acrylic, and a marker with dye ink blended with water. I cut her out and attached her to the tag using matte gel medium. In the photo you can see how the crayons look before and after blending with white acrylic paint and water.

Now back in my stamping days...this would have been a done tag. Maybe add a boarder layer, a little ribbon and go. But now I do mixed media and no one ever accused a mixed media artist of knowing when to stop adding stuff! 
I decided her dress needed a little shimmer, so I sprayed a puddle of Heidi Swapp spray on my palette and then applied it to the dress with a brush. I was planing to spritz which is why I masked the face..but decided that would be too much coverage.

Next I wanted a boarder, so I dragged a ink pad around the edges of the tag.

Then I added some texture paste through a harlequin stencil. I colored the paste by mixing in bit of purple acrylic paint. I also added text stamping in teal and some swirls in black.

Now I wanted some collage elements so I stamped a couple of butterflies on deli paper using acrylic paint. Then I added acrylic paint to the backs of the butterflies using my finger. Because deli paper is translucent the color will show on the other side. 

I added the collage pieces using matte gel medium. I had to go back and touch up the shimmer on her dress because matte gel medium is MATTE..duh Shel! 
Then I stuck my finer in some metallic silver ink and brushed it over the textured areas of the tagt to add that silver shimmer. That was really cool looking over the texture paste.

To finish up I added any needed gold and silver areas with a zig painty pen and black as needed with a black sharpie. Then I mounted the tag on silver shimmer cardstock and added some shiny wire, ribbon and fibers to the top. I also added these shiny teal strip thingys I found in my stash..but I don't know what to call them. Everything on this tag is really shimmery, shiny, and blingy but it doesn't show that well in the you just have to trust me :)

I hope you enjoyed my project :) <3 Shel