Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Nature Walk

Hello Friends :)

Last night I went on a nature walk in wash behind my house. For those of you who don't know what a wash is..that is a dry river bed in the desert. They are all over the area and are needed because of the monsoon season we have around July every year. We get crazy bursts of heavy rain, and the washes fill up and drain off the water. As a result, there always get lots of seeds deposited that grow into  a variety of trees and cactus along the bottom. Washes are also where interesting animals hide, like Javelinas, Quail, and of course Rattlesnakes and Tarantula. I saw all of these as I was walking in the soft sand of the wash last evening! The reason for my walk was to find some inspiration for my journal pages this week. I really think an artist eye can find so much in the area surrounding them if they only look. Color combinations and patterns are everywhere! So much of the time we are looking down at our feet or up at a screen of some sort. I think everyone should go outside and see what there is too see now that it is getting warmer..at least in most places! My page today is inspired by these two photos I took..as well as my own imagination and unique vision of what I saw...



To start out with I wanted to use a stamp I had carved a few weeks ago out of a eraser I found at the dollar store. You know..one of the novelty ones that say 'for BIG mistakes'. I decided to stamp it all over my background using my most favorite (this week) color acrylic paint. I used a sponge brush to apply the paint to the surface and then stamped it in rows.


Once that layer was dry I wanted to give it more color so I got out my Dr PH Martins watercolors. These have cool droppers inside and I dropped some colors on my page and then spritzed with water and let the colors run around. Messy but fun! I used blue, green and yellow tones.


While that was drying I had some of those blank white pieces of napkins that I have used for collage sitting on the floor next to my desk. They are the pieces left when you peel off the printed part of the napkin. I dripped on some of the watercolors in purple, pink and orange and then spritzed with my water bottle. I dried one with my heat tool and then stamped my stamp in black archival ink on it.


Then I fussy cut out the shapes. I arranged them onto my page to make my focal point...a prickly pear cactus. I stuck them down using liquid matte medium. I also tore some bits of the colored areas to make some cactus blooms. I also ran a couple strips of washi tape across the bottom of the page to create a ground... later I did add some torn book pages as I decided my ground was too straight and unnatural looking.


After I let all that medium dry for awhile...I used my trusty black Posca pen to firm up the edges and shapes. Then added a few highlights with my white pen.


To finish up the empty areas of the page I added a quote which I wrote onto deli paper and then applied with matter medium.


 I needed one more element for the area under the cactus..so I drew a quail family and added them as well.


I hope you have enjoyed my project for today :) 
<3 Shel




15 comments:

  1. I love the blooming desert. Thanks for creating from it. Love the art you created.

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment :)

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  2. YOU make it look pretty, although I confess, I DO love our desert in the Spring - it is glorious! ! Such gorgeous art all the time! !

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  3. What a fabulous spread, Shel - love, love, LOVE it. I especially like the use of your homemade stamp and the mouth-watering colour!

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    1. Thank you so much Win :) I just LOVE color!

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  4. Love being inside your creative brain, +shel c. Cool spread!

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    1. Thank you Vicki :) I hope it isn't to crowded in there with my imaginary friends :P

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  5. Shel! This is wonderful! You done good, girl! I love your color interpretation of those gorgeous prickly pears. Wonderful quail family and hand carved stamp too. Thanks for the inspiration, as one day I want to do a watercolor of the prickly pears!

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    1. Thank you Colleen :) I am championing the desert! So many think it is dull browns and dusty greens..but actually it is full of color and pattern if you open your peepers. Can't wait to see your watercolor version.

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  6. Loved seeing the step by step process.

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    1. Thank you Susan :) I like to try to inspire people by showing even the ugly parts of the process.

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  7. I enjoyed reading your 'lead' into your step out (as always)...and the detail in your 'step out', too. I am always amazed at your final product...from how it looked at the beginning. Cute Quail family, too! :)

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    1. Thanks. I am glad you enjoyed the process photos :)

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  8. SWOON....happy sigh..
    now trying to fit in going on a nature walk today tooo, Grin... Obviously YOU are my " Art Muse" this week... SMILE 😊

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Thank you for your comments. I read every one :)