Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Close ups

One of you asked for better pics of the project we did last week at a friend's house and a better description of how they were done. Here are some I just scanned. Again, these are pieces of an old quilt cut up. Then they are painted with one or two coats of liquid gesso and allowed to dry thoroughly. We had some hot days just then and they dried quickly in the sun on my deck. We used craft paints, and paper napkins for color and for the images and designs. Sometimes from several different ones on a piece. I also used little bird cut outs from a bird book. I keep buying those bird books at book sales, and always have a bunch cut out, tucked into a vellum envelope so I can see them and use them whenever I need a bird.

If you have not worked with paper napkins, it is much like working with tissues. In fact tissue would have worked just as well except this is what we had. Many of us collect paper napkins for the images. If you serve me a cookie on a pretty napkin, you'll see me tuck it into my pocket or purse to use later! LOL Just can't help it. TJ Max and Tuesday Mornings are two of the best sources for inexpensive paper napkins in wonderful colors and designs. Gift shops, museum shops - they can be found most anywhere. And there are so many in a package you can share them with your friends. We had a napkin swap the day we did this project. We brought extras to share and picked up some from friends who had brought spares along.

Getting back to tutorial - you need to peel the napkin layers apart - most have three layers. Sometimes it's hard to pick them apart, but if you tear it somewhere, you will see the layers. Grasp the layer and pull. You might see a light image on an inner layer and want to use it somewhere. I usually use the extra layers to clean or dry my brushes.

This is now ready to use as a collage element. Lay out torn or cut images on your piece, and get it arranged how you like it. Then use a white glue that will dry clear, or a gel medium liquid and coat the gesso/painted piece. Lay the napkin piece/s on carefull. I pat them down into the glue gently, then pick up some more glue on a brush and tap it over the piece to make sure it is coated. Be careful because the napkin get's soft and mush and will tear if you try to brush over it. You can peel it off, if this happens, or glue something else over it after it dries.

After it dries, I sometimes play a little with paints to blend the background to the collage elements paying particular attention to the edges . I'm sure you could also use inks. You can also write on them with permanent pens or with pencils. Make them your own. You may wish to add embellishments such as buttons, rik rak, ribbons, or other charms and beads. I hope you enjoy doing them. If you don't have an old quilt to cut up, you can do these on canvas, cardboard, or other surfaces.

This is just a fun little project. You can string them together, or make little wire handles to hang them from, or stitch them onto something. Or throw them into a basket where you and your guests can handle them at will. They fit nicely in envelopes to mail to friends.

Here are the new pics.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April stamp carving

Here are the stamps I carved in the last couple weeks. I've been using old images from a 2nd reader dated 1911. I like the little images it contains. I"ve also been cutting up the text and using it in my artwork.

Vintage Hollywood

Off to the costume shop for an old Hollywood look. Costume Shop? Haven't been to one since - well, actually, never. LOL Usually I throw things together and call it a look, but since our Gala Opening is a BIG DEAL, I thought I'd see what they had. This is the Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd look. I tweaked it a bit in Photoshop. I can't carry it off without a lot of makeup, but it was fun to try it on. My friend Bobbi snapped this quickly. She's fun to shop with. Then I went to visit my friend Francis who plans to be Mae West (she is a wild woman). We talked about costumes, and then I talked to my friend Cat, who loves fashion. Cat suggested I go as Hedda Hopper. I like that idea. I have her black fox collar, and just need a basic black gown or dress, and a super hat. Now, that's something I can get into. I love hats. So, for now, that's the plan.

Mixed Media group

At our last meeting of the Mixed Media girls - we worked on boxes and using paints to give a rusty faux finish. Linda showed us what she had done, and brought along so many good supplies to use. It was a fun time. Here is a sample she made.

Making Art with Friends

Some of my art pals got together at Bev's house in Modesto. Our project was to paint on a background of vintage quilts cut into shapes, then coated with Gesso and finally collage and paint and ink to make little keepsakes. These are some of the little ones I made, using paper napkins for collage. You can see that we clutter up the table with our supplies, and are very comfortable with that. It's hard to be creative without the clutter.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Introducing the canvas bird book

This little book was a joy to make. Pure bliss. All my favorite things. Canvas. Paint. Birds. Words from an old child's 2nd reader. Postage Stamps. Paper napkins. Doesn't that make you want to make one too? The canvas was cut to make prayer flags last year, and I had some left over. One summer day I took them out on the patio and slapped gesso and paints on them. For some reason, they looked boring so I added some arches painted on. I don't think I had anything really in mind for them, but I like the arch form...... Then I put them away and forgot about them.

A few nights ago, I took a book to bed and it had pictures that featured arch forms. Hmmmm... and it had some bird cages stitched onto plastic. They were so cute, I could hardly wait until morning to head for my sewing machine and the drawer where I keep plastic wrap and baggies. Once I had sewn 4 of them (they are so cute) I wondered what I could do with them. I opened a drawer looking for the folder of bird images and noticed a file with the canvas in it. An AHA!!! moment. It all just clicked from there and I just went with the flow. I love when this happens. They are the best moments when a creative spark is lit and bursts into flame. These pics are the results. I hope you enjoy it. One of the stitched plastic bird cages is one one page.

April musings

April is a crazy month this year. So many things going on. So much fun. The Art Center is ready to mail out the post cards I designed to promote the Spring Show. Now it's time to design the program to be distributed to all who attend. Friends are getting together tomorrow in Modesto to make art. I am taking a project for everyone. I put the first coat of gesso on the old quilt pieces that are cut into shapes to use for collage. Pics will follow. I can't wait to see what everyone does with theirs. This morning at seniors I carved just one stamp and started a 2nd one. I'll finish it on Wednesday at the other senior center. Next week I'll go to Cat's place for an art get together. Not sure what the project will be - but I can always think up something. They usually make cards. Not post cards, but real greeting cards. I might just join in - but in a post card size. Pics will follow.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Stamp carving - Mondays at Seniors

Every Monday morning I grab up my stamp carving things and head off to the Senior Center. Most of the people there are painting. I don't like hauling the painting things there because it's a hassle getting them down the stairs, into the car and then set up, take down, and repeat in reverse. My little cigar box purse hold my carving supplies and is so easy to carry.

Here are the stamps I carved last Monday and two from today. The couple with the heart was done last week. Today I did the little girl and the tree. I'm sure I"ll be using them on post cards before long.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mail Art - coming and going

Here are two post cards that I received this week. The Recipe is from Rosemary. Happy Spring is from Norma. Thanks gals. I'm also posting three new ones I made this week. I did a series of each with stamped images. The bird stamp was one from Michael's I bought a week or two ago. The Cowgirl stamp is one I bought the other day in Roseville. I used the distress inks on the backgrounds.