Monday, October 27, 2008

Making Art on Monday

Goodness, time gets the best of me these days! While I've been away from my blog I've been a busy girl, both in the studio and out. I've had all my hair cut off and each day is a new surprise. So far it hasn't looked the same twice, and trust me, that's not a good thing! Even the tiniest barrel of my 3 curling irons is too big for my new short, short hair. ARGH!
I've been to the NC State Fair, which was wonderful, though our feet were killing us by the time we left. Far too much walking, especially since we rushed into Gate 8 and all but ran to Gate 9 just 4 minutes before the pig racing began. The crowd had overflowed the bleechers so we could barely see them leave the starting gates, and in less than one minute it was over, the pigs were eating their cheese doodles, and we were off in a new direction. I was able to pick up another political sign for my yard and wore so many stickers on my shirt that a local TV station interviewed me. Yikes! And me with this dreadful haircut!!
We spent a few hours this past weekend at Mom's, celebrating both my birthday and my little brother's. Birthday cake, turkey & dressing, just too much to mention. And I'd brought my Pokeno game so we spent a couple of hours playing that, with lots of laughs. What a great way to spend a late afternoon/early evening. And my son won the big pot so he was pleased as punch.
As for studio time, I've been working on bangles for weeks and I'm not happy with any of them, but I have to pick out the ones I can live with and get them shipped to the West Coast pronto!
I've also been playing around with the assignment I posted for you over a week ago, so let's look at a few photos while I tell you what I've done up to this point.
This first photo is a finished piece...a time card which is heavy like a manila folder with red print. There are more photos further down of different pieces, but this is to give you an idea of where the assignment might have taken you.
First came direct-to-paper with dye inks, followed by a foam stamp & Ranger's Dabbers, which are acrylic paints that dry to a chalky feel. My third step was stenciling with white, followed by stenciling in a different direction with a different stencil in gold. Then I used a flower stencil and went back to my blue ink, and finally stamped a swirl in the green ink.
Lots of layers on this piece, but I was having fun and experimenting, just as you're meant to do.

My suggestion was to assemble a variety of papers, so the above photo shows mine: a small section of a state map, a strip from an old ledger book, the time card, a page from an Asian text book, a piece of the sports section from the local paper, a piece from an Asian newspaper, and a piece of sheet music. These were inked & stenciled in a variety of ways.

Here's a close up that's a good example to explain. The same time card is in the center of the photo. You can see the d-t-p using Citrus Green, Sailboat Blue, and Pink Sherbet.
The second step was using a foam stamp of Harlequin diamonds and the Ranger Dabbers in Pink Sherbet, Raspberry & Wild Plum. Each piece of paper showcases different colors of ink, foam stamps, stencils, and colors of the Dabbers. Scroll back up to the finished piece and you'll see how the different steps truly transformed the original piece.
But now let's look at a few specific examples, just in case you haven't begun your art yet and need more detailed instructions.
The paper above was torn from the sports section of the newspaper. You'll see that I did a bit of d-t-p with a stylus took, but then decided to take the pad directly to the paper, hence the streaks of Wild Plum that are clearly visible. This was my least favorite piece because of the colors I used (Cranberry, Lettuce & Wild Plum); simply a horrible combination. Adding more elements changed the look immensely, but it still wouldn't make it into my top 10. But scroll down to see all the steps I took in an attempt to make it more appealing, and see if you think I was successful.
See the foam stamp of stripes at the top of the photo? Can you see where I stamped those stripes diagonally across the paper? I used Pink Sherbet, Raspberry, and Aqua Dabbers.
In this photo you can see the stencil I used (Coffee Break Designs) and white acrylic paint to add the polka dots. I just adore this stencil!!

Notice that I didn't completely cover the piece with the dots, instead just adding them here and there. I wanted the stamped stripes to be visible too.
In this photo you'll see I went back with mesh and ink, adding the smaller honeycomb pattern here & there.

And finally in this last shot, I used a stencil of an alphabet & gold acrylic paint to add one more layer. This is far from complete, but it's where I've stopped for now. As I said, it's not a favorite, so I'm thinking I'll mix my red & white acrylic paints and give the entire piece a wash of pink. Check back in a few days and let's see what happens.

Here's a page from an Asian text, inked with the Citrus Green, Pink Sherbet, and Raspberry. You can also see that I've stenciled in white using a lovely flourish pattern.

Here I've inked a foam stamp of a swirl with the Citrus Green and stamped over each area that was inked with that color in the first step.

This is the same stage, but turned in a different direction. After adding different applications of color, the original text is less visible, allowing me to turn it in any direction I choose.

The bottom left piece of paper is a section of a map. It's been inked with Citrus Green, Sailboat Blue, and Red Pepper. Not a favorite combination, but I was experimenting after all. Next I used the stripe stamp and lots of Raspberry Dabber. I used a new stencil that has large circles and rings to accent with the white paint, before using dry-wall tape to add the blue dots.

And my last step was to stamp the green swirls randomly over the entire piece of map. Notice how some are stamped inside the white circles I've created while others are stamped elsewhere on the piece.
Did you already try making some backgrounds from my first prompt? Did they look anything like these? If not, it simply means your take on my description was different, but it certainly doesn't mean it wasn't right.
Years ago I took a class from a friend and my end result looked nothing like hers at all. When I told her that a year later she offered to take a look at my work and tell me what I'd done wrong. What an insult! Mine wasn't wrong; it was simply my interpretation of her initial idea, but I kept going, making it my own. And that's what I'm hoping you'll discover here on my blog. That my vision prompts you to try new things, whether they resemble my finished product or not.


  1. Linda - Wow! You have been busy!! Love the motherboard samples you posted. They are fabulous!


    P.S. I can't wait to see your haircut...


Please leave a comment.