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

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bunny and Friend

Hello :)

Today I woke up energized and ready to paint! I watched the lesson from Juliette Crane again last night, and it was something I wanted to try. The class was about painting a whimsical owl...but she also showed how she creates any figure in her style by using the same template... a basic circle and rectangle. I am really not that in to owls, so I decided to try making a bunny since Easter is coming. Then I thought my bunny needed a friend since I added in eggs. He would have to be a super bunny to hide all those eggs alone! Here is my mixed media painting inspired by Juliette Crane :)

The first step was finding colors I love, and then using brushes and fingers to cover up the white space on my 12" X 18" 140 pound cold pressed watercolor paper. I am so over 'mixed media' paper. It is just too thin and doesn't hold up to my abuse with wet medias! I used acrylic paints, bleeding tissue paper, and some Neocolor II water soluble crayons. The worst part of this process was having to let it dry!

Once it was dry, I sketched on my figures, the horizon line, and eggs. I used a black Stabilo marks all pencil. I then started blocking out the negative space using a wash of purple acrylic. Next I added a bit of yellow acrylic ink to the ground. Then I started to fill in my characters a bit using my fingers and occasionally a brush.

After I waited a bit more drying time..and went to eat some leftover pizza...I came back and redefined my figures again using my Stabilo.

So now..back and forth, back and forth a few times. Adding colors, covering things I don't like, and redefining lines. I used a cut up plastic keycard to add some grass and to scrape some blue paint over the purple wash in the background.

My final step before calling it done was to add a moon in the sky and then splatter some watered down acrylic for a starry night background.

I hope you enjoyed my whimsical painting. Leave me a comment :)
<3 Shel

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Blue Funk and the New Pages...

Hello Friends,

So I woke up this morning and it was Thursday. I had still had not done any art since my vacation ...a week ago! I have been in a BLUE FUNK. This is not the same as a blue period..where everything you make is in tones of blue. (Not so long ago I was in a Pink and Orange period) No, this is when you just want to do NOTHING. Lay about, eat doughnuts, read books and ignore life. I am sure I am not the only one who has experienced this. So, this morning I said to myself "self...get your rooty tooty booty out of bed and get thee to thy studio!!!" And guess what...self listened! I made not one page..but two. Catching up to my Journal52 and Documented Life Project challenges for Week 12. Maybe tomorrow I can do my Lifebook lesson...or one of the commissions I need to get done :)

To begin with I did my DLP Week 12 page. The prompt was about focal points and gaining focus. I decided to go with a very neutral palette...so not me...to give my artistic mojo a workout. Here is how it turned out...

I started with a collage of washi tape, text papers, and map paper.

Then I brayered over it with some acrylic paint in titanium buff color. I stamped my title with archival black in and then added some vintage photo distress ink to the edges of the page.

Next I stamped some different shapes of kraft stock tags using black gesso applied with a sponge brush. All the stamps are Stampin' Up! I tied on some strings and then glued these to the page.

Then I took some household bleach and a brush and lightened up the insides of the images. I used a heat tool to make sure they were dry and done processing. I also added some shadows around the edges using my black Stabilo pencil and a aquabrush.

To finish off the page I added some light coloring using watercolor pencils. I added darker black lines around the tags using my Posca black pen and some highlight using my Posca white.

Next,  I did my Journal52 Week 12 page. The prompt was about making an inspiration board. I recently watched the Lifebook lesson for this week from Juliette Crane. I have been following her on Instragram for awhile and was pleasantly surprised to see her as a instructor :) For those of you her are not familiar with her...she makes mixed media paintings of whimsical animals. I decided to find a photograph I liked of an animal, and then use it to inspire me to make a mixed media painting in Juliette Crane style. Here is how it turned out.

I simplified the process by starting out with a scribbled background using brown and greens Gelatos. 

Then I blended them using a baby wipe.

I sketched my simple fawn using a black Stabilo pencil and started to finger paint him in. Juliette uses her fingers a lot...I don't love it ...so I eventually switched to a brush. 

I did several layers of acrylic colors, refining my image in between with the black Stabilo. I also finger painted some of the acrylics onto the trees to add those colors into the background.

Finally, I added the words using my white Posca pen. Then used my black and white Posca pens to add some lines and highlights. 

I hope you enjoy my journal pages on this fine Thursday!
<3 shel

Sunday, March 22, 2015

I am on a DESIGN TEAM YAY!!! & Sedona was BEAUTIFUL!

Hello Friends :)

I went away for Spring Break for a week to Sedona Arizona. This amazing place is just four hours away from where I live...but I only go there once a year if I am lucky! While I was away the Kraaft Shaak announced their brand new Design Team and I was selected! YAY!!! It was the first time I have applied for a design team call out. I feel so comfortable with the warm and welcoming Kraafters Kommunity that I was able to overcome the fear and try! Thank you Heather Kraafter and Sandra Artfullymade for selecting me for this honor!
So when I returned home..my kit to use for my KS Design Team project was already here waiting for me to dive in! I received one of the new Mixed Media Kits from the Kraaft Shaak Store. The one I got is the Wooden Tray kit. It has a cute wooden tray for me to alter. Look for my first Kraaft Shaak Design Team post on Saturday, April 18th where I will have a 'step out' of how I altered this tray using some of the goodies in the kit! Oh my gosh look at all this stuff!

So while I was on my trip I remembered to take a few art supplies with me...and they were so fun to use when everyone else was sleeping in :) I made only three pages in my various journals in the seven day trip..but they were all fun and inspired by what I saw while in and around the Sedona area.

The first page is in my Documented Life Project for week 11. The challenge was about using Boarders. As you can see...I used a Native American inspired boarder around my page :) The page was done with water soluble crayons from Caran De' Ache, a Aquash water brush. and Posca pens.

The next page is for Journal52 week 11. The prompt was 'just write' If I had taken process pictures like I usually do, you could see better that the first layer was me doing free form writing around all the echo shapes I made with a stencil and my water soluble crayons. Then I drew a hawk I had seen while hiking over the that background layer. Then I blocked out the negative space with white acrylic paint. I found a cool poem about hawks to draw write on the top layer.

My last page is basically a watercolor painting with a bit of watery stenciling I did in my 'whatever' journal. I was very moved by an area we visited while hiking at Crescent Moon Ranch. In this place there is  a great view of the cathedral rock formation while sitting on some smooth sandstone next to the trickling Oak Creek. People say this is one of the 'vortex' areas around Sedona. I again used my water soluble crayons and Aquash brush going over a few stencils as well as just coloring and painting. 

Here is a photo of the actual place that inspired me.

Another fun surprise I had when I returned was some fantastic mixed media altered tags from a swap I did for March. The swap is offered  in the G+ community called Creating and Sharing Mixed Media which is another very supportive community that I recommend. My swap partner for March just coincidentally happened to be one of my new KS Design Team members, Dana S. aka dapoppins! Look at these gorgeous tags!

Thank You Dana :) And a BIG Thank You to those who follow my ramblings here on this blog!
<3 Shel

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tag It Tuesday - Steampunk Style

Hi Y'all.

Today is Tag It Tuesday over at Cards and More by Sheri and of course I want to play! The theme for this month's altered tag link party is 'Steampunk'. Of course, that presented a little challenge as I don't really 'do' that style. But, you can't keep me down when it comes to making a tag ...so here we go!

I started out by applying some gloss medium with a cosmetic sponge over a gears stencil I found in my stencil pile. Forgot I even had that one LOL. Then I used a few colors of distress ink and blended with a blending tool over the tag (OK it is a 3" X 7" piece of old manila folder...but it IS a tag) The gloss medium resisted the colors and made a cool gear pattern.

Next, I cut the corners of the 'tag' and layered it onto a teal piece of cardstock and then onto a shimmery copper cardstock. I punched a hole and then made a hole protector thingy with a couple punches.

Now I needed a something else. I wanted a figure but didn't have anything 'steampunk' so I decided to draw one. I used a mop up piece of the manila folder with some distress inks on it, and drew my girl with graphite pencil.

Then I painted in with some acrylic paints and a small brush.

Finally, I went over the details with Posca pens in black and white and some Sharpie water based poster pens in gold, silver, and copper fine tips. Then I cut the girl out and glued her to the tag.

Next I found a Spellbinders die cut of gears and cut out some with shiny copper paper on my Big Shot. I glued these around the girl. 

To finished up the tag, I added some words printed off from my computer in a old fashioned label font. I also added some little Tim Holtz Alterations gears and some ribbon and thread.

I hope you liked my tag and are inspired to make your own! Be sure to link up with Sheri's link party at Cards and more by Sheri :)
<3 Shel

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Inner and Outer World - WOYWW #301

Hey :)

Wow..I thought it was Tuesday! Nope..Wednesday and time to go desk hopping at Stamping Ground.
If you wonder what that means..click on the link and check it out :)

So my desk is a mess as usual. I have been working on the Lifebook week 11 lesson with Jane Davenport and I just finished it! Here is the desk this morning when I was getting started. That journal page on the desk is one of Jane's 'sketchercises' about learning to draw a figure. I filled it in a bit with my new Posca pen colors because I love them so much:)

Here is my finished lesson. I know I have said this before...probably MANY times...but this lesson was SO FUN! I LOVED IT! Maybe because my favorite thing to do is collage? I don't know..but I had a BLAST doing it.

The idea of the lesson was to create a piece of art that represent both your inner world and outer worlds. So I started with a collage of things I love and think about. I don't have a ton of pictures around just waiting to be collaged...so I printed out some things on deli paper and them sprayed them with a workable fixative. Then cut them out and put them on my paper, along with some text and music score. I used liquid matte medium and scraped with a old gift card to get out bubbles and wrinkles if I could.

Next I needed a face. Jane used a laser copy of one of her own artworks for this. But I don't have the library of faces she does...or a laser printer. So I made my own. I thought you might like to see a progression of how I do a face.

Then I put the face on my collage and drew a figure for her. Then I blocked out the negative space using gesso. I tried to leave as much collage as I could to represent my inner world.

Then I used water color to make splatters and to unify the hair and body collages a bit. My new Dr Ph Martin watercolors are awesome!

My final steps were to add a bit more details using my black and white Posca pens..and then adding a couple butterflies because I thought they made the art more interesting :)

I hope you enjoyed my project. 
<3 Shel

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Make Your Mark - DLP Week 10

Hello :)

It is a new week full of new prompts and challenges and things to do in my art studio..but I feel BLAH. The Journal52 prompt...use a colorbook page to inspire you. BLAH! The Documented Life Project prompt...use marks and doodling as a layer. BLAH! The Lifebook lesson is going to be fun, but I feel like I need these other two done first :( I am worried that doing art is becoming a JOB! Yikes! But, the bright spot of the week was that my Best Friend Cyn decided to order me art supplies for my Birthday!!!! And..they came early...so I didn't even have to wait until my actual day :) LOOKY LOOKY That isn't all of them..but the two I decided to try out first :) So I went ahead and tried to make my DLP page using marks made with these two products.

First I tried out the watercolors. I had to put gesso on my page because there was a mess splashed over it from last weeks page of shoes. Then, I used the dropper thingy in the bottle of yellow watercolor to make some wet marks on the page. I spritzed it with water and blended a bit with a brush. Then I did the same with the light green color. I spritzed and then moved the book around to let the color run. But...it ran right through the book and into the next five blank spreads ..grrrr... Note to self..get some masking tape for the centers of the pages if you use super wet media...

So I decided I better let that watercolor mess dry and then move on to something else. I had used some of the watercolors on the hearts I was making for last week's Lifebook project and I had some pretty underpaper on my desk from that. So I decided to cut it up and do some collage. I also had this paper towel that I thought was SO COOL. I had used some spray inks and blotted with my roll of paper towel..and the ink absorbed into the pattern of the towel...very cool. So I collaged on some of that as well using liquid matte medium.

Next, I tried out the watercolor dropper again to make some 'stems' for my collage flower shapes. It worked OK, although in places the paper towel bled the color. All this bleeeeding.....sigh...so I let that dry.

Then, I decided to try all the colors of my new Posca pens. Those of you who read my blog know I constantly used the black and white Posca pens. LOVE THEM!!!! I used them on virtually every project I do as a finishing touch. Well..now I have that same nice matte paint pen in colors :) So I was in doodle heaven! 

This project turned out pretty Spring like. I guess I am in the mood :) Hope you enjoyed it.
<3 Shel