Saturday, April 26, 2008

Two More Attempts with Gesso

Well okay, I don't give up easily. I wasn't happy with my first try (the post below), so I tried again. I like these better. And once I pretty much accepted that I wouldn't get much, if any, dimensional texture with the brand of gesso I used, I was reluctantly okay with that. On these I sponged the gesso onto the stamps, and stamped onto the surface. Which I had also gessoed, and let dry, before I stamped. I think one reason my first piece, Doodle Bird Haunting, seemed so washed out was because I stamped onto the brown side of the pizza cardboard, then painted over it. It didn't allow for much contrast with the paints, I think. I'm glad I learned from that.

I did use straight caulk sponged onto stamps, then stamped onto another piece. That gave me the dimensional texture I wanted and expected. I love that stuff!!! However, it didn't show up well at all in the scan. But I like that piece, and will most likely use it for the postcard swap.

So, I guess all is well that ends well, and I learned some things along the way about gesso. Thanks for all the info about gesso people gave me, in comments, and also in yahoo groups.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Doodle Bird Haunting

What a strange title for this art piece, no? I agree. After all, doodle birds are supposed to be whimsical and cute, not haunting at all. So why did I name this piece that? Well, first of all, because it just popped into my head, second of all I'm not very good at naming my art, and thirdly, I named it that because this piece seems rather washed out to me, and nothing like my idea of what I wanted it to look like when I started.

This was supposed to be for a postcard swap using gesso as the technic. Using gesso for the texture. And I'm a big texture nut, as some of you know, so I was excited to use gesso for great texture. So I sponged the gesso on the stamps I used for this, and gee, it didn't produce texture at all, it was like using white acrylic paint. And I used wooden mounted stamps, so I couldn't re-stamp over what I'd stamped. The gesso is supposed to work as a resist and for texture.

Well, it worked pretty well as a resist, but not well at all for texture. After I stamped, I sponged glazes in violet, yellow, and blue, and then rubbed them partially off with a paper towel. Oh, and I also used gold glaze on the very top, the last glaze I used. Then I sealed with Future Floor Finish, which gives a glossy effect and makes colors pop. Which it did. But I was very disappointed in the texture, or lack thereof. So I brushed gel medium over it, in different directions, to get some real texture. And that worked, but then it was so glossy, it was glaring with reflective light. So I tried to tone down the gloss and glare by sealing with Acrylic Floor Finish (Family Dollar Brand), which gives a satin effect.

So that's what I did with this piece, but I'm not very happy with it. I don't intend to use it for the swap, I plan to make a new postcard for that. I may, however, use this piece in another piece of art, in some way. I'm also considering using diluted caulk, instead of gesso, for the stamping and texture on my swap piece, because the gesso I used just didn't do the job for creating texture. Or maybe not even diluted caulk, but just caulk, to get the kind of texture I'd like to get.

So, this is a piece I'm not thrilled with at all, but I thought I'd post it anyway. Just to show that I sometimes make art that I'm not satisfied with. However, I learn from that, which is a good thing.

I've been tagged

by my online friend, Darlene. Here's her blog. Thanks Darlene.

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

These are the things/habits/quirks about me.
1. I've completed only two altered books in four years. I have four that I started on, but are still works in progress, and not completed. It took me four months to start and finish my first one.
2. I love doing altered/mixed media art, but the downside is all the STUFF I've accumulated to use in my art. I have pack-rat tendencies anyway, (it's in my genes thanks to my father), and getting into altered/mixed media art has only escalated my pack-rat tendencies and made them far worse. That part doesn't thrill me!
3. My computer room/work room/studio is a total mess, and that bothers me a lot. It's a rather small bedroom, and it's overflowing with STUFF!!! I yearn for and long for a real, decent room for a studio, where things are organized and can be easily found.
4. I have oodles and oodles of rubber stamps, (although not nearly as many as Karen Campbell), and yet I'm sure that more than half of them I haven't even used yet. What's up with that???
5. I have lots of ink pads in different colors, and yet more often than not, when I do stamping, I use acrylic paint rather than ink pads. I'm even guilty of ink pads drying up before I ever get around to using them, grrrrrr! Again, what's up with that???
6. I feel honored and humbled by the people who visit my blog, and by those who leave comments, and by what you say about my art and blog. A huge thanks to all of you!

These are people I now tag.
Heather Robinson at Creative Solace
Jenny at Craft Test Dummies
Kim at Ruined Art
Debbie Mihalick at Senses Engaged
Lori Roberts at Altered Art Expression
Stacie Williams at Creative Junque

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pink Silk

The title Pink Silk may seem strange for this piece, but let me explain. This is a 5x5 for a book project, In the Pink, by Jo Anne Owens. So that's why this piece is pink, pink, pink. Hot pink as a matter of fact. I titled it Pink Silk, because this is actually made from approximately one inch strips of silk fabric. Yes indeed, I pulled out an old silk blouse that didn't fit me anymore, and cut it up to use in my art. This blouse was made out of teal smooth silk. After I cut the strips, I frayed the edges, then Mod Podged them down onto my usual -- frozen pizza cardboard -- in different directions, with some overlapping going on. I tried to glue them on with lots of wrinkling for good texture. I let it dry overnight, and when dry, the surface almost felt like plastic.

Then I did the painting with Anita's Acrylic Paint, first fuschia, then baby pink rubbed over the elevated parts. After painting, I glued down pink cheese cloth, dyed in beet juice, on the right side. (Although it's kind of hard to tell it's cheese cloth in this photo, but up close it's easy to tell.) The vertical pieces on the cheese cloth are painted large, flat toothpicks, and the horizontal pieces are seeds from my yard, painted with the baby pink. The heart was punched out of a paint sample, then painted fuschia. Underneath it is a pink feather, that got rather segmented when I applied gel medium, but I decided to leave it that way.

The most amazing part to me about this piece is how using the silk came out, and provided such great, different looking texture. This is with using one inch strips. Next time I think I'll cut one large piece, and scrunch it up as I glue it on, and see what that looks like. It might look very similar to this piece....or maybe not. Maybe it will have a different effect. Well, one thing is for sure. Experimentation is FUN!

Monday, April 7, 2008

I was given the the Arte Y Pico Award

by a wonderful artist in Canada, Heather Robinson. Many thanks, Heather. It's an honor to receive this award, and I really appreciate it. Arte Y Pico

There are 5 rules attached to this and they are :

1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and that also contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language.
2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.
3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her/him the award itself.
4. The Award winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte Y Pico" blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5. To show these rules.

I choose these five blogs to now receive this award.

Elis Cooke - Into the Blystic
Seth Apter - The Altered Page
Karen Campbell - Karen's Altered Dreamz
Darlene Wilkinson - Art-ticulation
Gail Pierce - Expression Studio

I greatly admire these artists and their work is a source of inspiration to me. They also have great blogs, so take a look.

Floating Through Grunge

Thanks to Diane on the clothpaperstudio yahoo group, I can post the whole picture of my collage. She was able to rejoin the three scans I took of it. You can view her blog here. Thanks so much Diane.

So anyway, here is what it looks like as one cohesive piece. Better than the three separate pieces I think. I came up with the title of FLOATING THROUGH GRUNGE kind of off the top of my head. I didn't want to over-think it. I must admit, I've gotten quite attached to this piece. Thank goodness I didn't make it for a swap, and then have to part with it. That would be very difficult. Thanks to all who left comments about this collage, or emailed me about it.

Friday, April 4, 2008

My Own Grunge Painted Collage (done on upholstery fabric sample)

This is a piece I worked on over several days, since last Saturday after our local book arts group meeting. Doing the grunge painting on fabric there must've really inspired me. (Scroll down to see a post and photos on that project). I really enjoyed doing the grunge painting, and love the results of it....and started thinking hmmmmm, can I produce similar results all by myself, as just one artist? Because the painting we did at the meeting involved the whole group, 13 artists.

At our meetings, oftentimes members will bring things to share with the group. At our last meeting, some people brought fabric remnants and wallpaper sample books to share. So, I brought home an upholstery fabric sample. It's dimensions are 17 x 12 inches, and it's quite thick and somewhat textured. I didn't care for the color, it was kind of an orange/tan, and I didn't know what I planned to do with it. Then it occurred to me I could just use it as a "practice" piece for grunge painting, that it would be perfect for that. And since I considered it a practice piece, and just for fun, I lost all fear of ruining it.

Now you have to know something about me. I am fearful about the "C" word. Doing "collage" scares me, for some strange or stupid reason. Anytime I think I'm doing a "collage", I get fearful and anxious and tense about my art and what I'm doing. Because I feel like I DON'T know what I'm doing. I start to over-think what I'm doing, or should be doing, and start second guessing myself, and get all concerned about placement and composition. I also get that way about layering. I have a really hard time with much layering at all, because I find it hard to paint over or cover up something I've already done, especially if I like the way it looks.

That being said, I really wanted to see if I could cut loose on this "practice" piece, and do a layered collage -- spontaneously, and with abandon. And see if, and to what degree, I could overcome my fear of collage and layering. That was my main goal with this piece, much more than being concerned with how it turned out.

I really, really got into working on this piece bigtime, and everytime I thought, okay it's done, more ideas would come to mind on what more I could do, what more I could add. Although I must say, in the beginning, I really didn't care about what I painted over or covered up. But the further along I got, the more attached I became to the piece, and the more concerned I was about what got covered up, and where to paint and stamp and glue down. I felt much more free about that in the beginning than later on. So in that sense, I didn't totally achieve my original goal, but only to a certain point.

So anyway, I think it's finally done. That is if I don't add something else. I couldn't scan the whole piece because of its size, so I had to do three scans. It would look better and more cohesive to see it as one piece, but this will have to do. The bird was one of the last things I added, and is embroidered on denim. I embroidered it on a pair of bell-bottom jeans in the 1970's!!! How "groovy" is that? So gee, it's over 30 years old! I cut it off the jeans many, many years ago, and held onto it all this time. I'm amazed I still have it, and more amazed that I actually found it and thought to use it on this piece. I think this is the exact piece it was meant to be on, and was waiting in a drawer for all these years. I was also able to use three of my caulk inchies on the right edge of the piece, and I added those last too.

So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!! In comparing this to the grunge painted fabrics posted below, I think the results I achieved are somewhat similar, but also different, because this turned into a collage, and I used other elements in addition to just paint, such as glued on crumpled tissue paper, yarn, cheesecloth, ric-rac, fabric, silk leaf, and of course the embroidered bird.

So, what do you think? I'm almost afraid to ask.