Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mosaic Heart Fabric Postcard

It's Sunday, so soon again, and a good day to post. And I actually got some new art done yesterday -- yippee for me! I'm SO happy I did, because I've been in an art slump lately, and was really getting frustrated about it. So, this one small piece is a breakthrough of sorts, but certainly no major breakthrough, and no guarantee "the slumps" won't return. I'm a bit nervous about that, and will just have to take things one day at a time.

I posted some questions on most of my yahoo groups recently relating to this, and other things, that frustrate me about making art. I posed the questions to get responses and feedback from other artists, to open a dialogue, that would hopefully help me out and give me some new ideas/solutions to my making art dilemmas. And I suppose also to discover if other artists out there have the same dilemmas I do, so I wouldn't feel so all alone. And I did get a lot of great responses, that hopefully will help me, and I'm very grateful to those who took the time to respond to my questions. Thanks very much to all of you.

This piece is a postcard I made for an online art friend. I will be mailing it out soon. And yes, the background is all fabric. First I glued down the the netted fabric, which was black and shades of brown. On top of that I glued down some pale yellow lace fabric, then rubbed over it with brown Brilliance pigment ink. The lace part shows up better on the postcard than in the scan. Regarding the gold heart, which I love, I pulled out a stencil I've had for over a year and never used, and frosted it with my old standby, white caulk. After I did that, I thought gee, why in the world haven't I used this stencil before now??? At least now I know I'll use again, for sure.

I love the way this mosaic heart looks, especially with the caulk which makes it dimensional. And it was a piece of cake to do, the hard part was waiting for the caulk to dry so I could paint it. I used Lumiere Sunset Gold, and then Lumiere Metallic Rust inbetween the mosaics. The strips of fabric were cut from a frock blouse, made in India, that I picked up at a yard sale a few months ago. I loved it on sight, and knew it would look cool in my art. I love the color and the embroidery on it, and it went perfectly with this piece. The hearts were punched out of a paint sample. So overall, this was an easy piece of art to make, and I'm very happy with it. Gee, if only all art could be this easy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New art product

I feel the need to do a new post today, but I have no new art to post. Well, that's not exactly true, I do have a new art piece, but the photos I took of it didn't come out well at all, mainly due to using the flash which created a lot of glare. They just don't do the piece justice. I hate it when that happens, and haven't figured out how to turn off the flash on my camera. So until I can figure that out, and take another photo that ends up decent, I doubt I'll post it on my blog.

So here I am, posting, with no art to post. So I thought I'd post a great link here, to a video featuring a new art product. It's called PanPastel Artists' Pastels, and they are very impressive to me, in the video. And a fair warning here, are not inexpensive. And also, when it comes to these kind of art supplies, I have no, or very little experience or knowledge in using them, because I basically don't own these kind of art supplies.

But I thought I'd post this link, so you can actually see how these work in the video, as I did. And perhaps be as impressed as I was, with how well they seem to work and blend. It seems to me they would work incredibly well for altered art, in many ways.

Would I like to own some and use them in my art? Absolutely! Would I like to pay that much for them? No, not exactly. I'm sure they're worth the price, I'm just not accustomed to paying that much for art supplies. However, I'm so impressed with these, I might just persuade myself to buy some, and consider it a gift to myself. Gee, I have a birthday coming up in August, maybe I could justify buying some as a birthday gift to myself! That's an idea.

So anyway, please view the video, and leave comments on what you think of this new product. Would you purchase it yourself? And if so, how would you use it in your art?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Victoria -- Lady of Lace

I don't normally title my art works, but I'm going to try to do that more often. Anyway, I have had "lace on the brain" for a few weeks now, even to the crazy point of dreaming about it. Good grief, can you believe that? Because I can't. The reason I've been so obsessed with lace lately is because in our local (Denver metro) book arts group, we have an upcoming project to make a lace book cover for a fabric book we'll be making in the future. Our talented and fearless leader, Karen Campbell ), came up with the idea after she was inspired by a gorgeous lace book cover made by Val Orner. I wish I could give you a link to it, but I don't have one right now, and am trying to find out if she has a blog. If I get a link, I'll post it. Anyway, her lace book cover is beautiful and inspiring, and now our book arts group is going to do that project soon.

So that's why I've had "lace on the brain", and why I went ahead and made this art piece. I wanted to experiment with lace, and get a head start in preparation for our group project. I worked on this for two days, and this is what I created. I'm happy with it, but it was much harder than I anticipated. I mostly had difficulty, and much frustration, figuring out how to arrange the lace on this piece. It just didn't seem like I had that many options, and the ones I tried I wasn't happy with. At least until I came up with this composition, and once I did, I was ready to go with it and felt relieved.

The lace used on this piece is the more dimensional cotton lace. I painted each piece of lace before I glued it down, and I used Liquitex Gel Medium for that, which I had to re-apply a few times to make the pieces glue down. After they were glued down and dry, I sealed the whole piece with Future Floor Finish (FFF), and then sprinkled fine purple, pink, and yellow glitter all over the piece. So, I learned that FFF can be used as an adhesive for glitter. After the FFF dried, I sealed again with FFF, to make sure the glitter would stay put.

The glitter doesn't show up that well in the digital photo, (except as white spots), but up close it looks very cool on this piece. I love the look of glitter, but only on certain art works, when it's appropriate, and works, to use glitter. The other thing about using the fine glitter is that I tend to get it all over everywhere and everything, even when I try to avoid that.

As you can see, I used two lavender buttons on this piece, and tied yellow thread, that I frayed off some yellow fabric, through them. And a paper cast I made a few years ago, from a brass mold I got on ebay. (Hmmm, I'm wondering where in the world I put that mold?) I also wrapped a pink chenille stem with some neat purple yarn, cut in two pieces, and glued that down. I got that idea from Sherill Kahn, in her fantastic book, Creative Embellishments, published last year. She has other ideas I want to try also, and I highly recommend her book.

I'm glad I got to play with the lace, and experiment with it. I've been haphazardly collecting lace fabric and trims for several years, but I wasn't sure exactly what I had or how much I had until I took an inventory the other night. I didn't have them stored in one place, but many places, and now I have all my lace together. I've used lace in some of my art, but I don't use it often. Now, I'm thinking I should use it more often, in different ways.

And also, I hope I don't continue to dream about lace. That was pretty weird!

As far as the rest of you reading this, do you collect lace fabric and trims, and if so, how do you use it in your art? I'd be interested to know.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fabric Postcard

Yes, this is actually made out of fabric, although it doesn't really appear that way. Here is how I made it. This was made by taking a 4x6 inch piece of muslin fabric, Mod Podging (matte) it to a piece of plastic bag, then spreading MP on the front and gluing down various fabric pieces. Such as ribbon, pieces of fluffy yarn, pieces of jean pants seam, and fibers from fraying fabric. The one thing that is not fabric is the piece of veggie mesh, the mesh bags veggies come in. Then I Mod Podged over all of the front again, let that dry, then painted it with acrylic paints. I used purple, violet, light blue, and citrus green. I sealed it with Future Floor Finish, which gives it a nice glossy finish and makes the colors pop. Then I peeled the whole postcard away from the piece of plastic. No other base was used for this, other than the muslin fabric. So gluing it to the plastic bag seemed to make the difference, and increase the strength of the fabric, as opposed to brushing Modge Podge on the fabric alone.

I would love to say this is a recent piece of art, but I can't say that. No, this was a postcard I made for a technic swap last year, and is no longer in my possession. I feel kind of bad for posting "old art" as opposed to new creations, but my goal is to keep my blog updated and fresh, with new posts. Ideally new posts twice a week, at minimum once a week, and I'm rather upset with myself that it's been over two weeks now since I posted some art. So even though this isn't new art, it's art that all or most of you haven't seen before, so it's new to you.

I did actually get some new art done just yesterday, a piece I really like and am happy with, but I haven't had time to take a digital picture of it yet, and it's too dimensional to scan on my computer. And the batteries for my digital camera need to be recharged, so I can't take a picture of it now, today. And yet I feel compelled to post on my blog, since it's been a while, so I chose to post this art piece. Hope you don't mind it's not a new art piece, but chances are, it's something you haven't seen before.

Ahhh, I feel better already! Just getting a new post on my blog, and being honest about my situation. Hopefully I'll get a picture taken of my new art soon, and get that posted within a week.

Friday, June 6, 2008

I've been tagged again

Ahhh yes, my art friend, Mary Schweitzer, caught me. I got tagged back in April, and listed six things about myself. I'm supposed to list six more things now, but I'm going to arbitrarily change the rules, (because I have an independent streak in me) and list only three things about myself, and pick only three, rather than six, other art friends/bloggers to tag. I think listing six things and tagging six other people is too time consuming, and I'd rather be working on art. Hope you all understand, and maybe some of you even agree with me. Thanks Mary, for tagging me, ( I think). It was sweet of you to think of me.

Three Things about Me
1. I love pens, I'm a pen nut. I used to make pens out of polymer clay, and made myself some really cool ones that I got a lot of compliments on. I also used to sell my pens.
2. I have a phobia of using pens that the general public uses. At work, I won't let anyone else use my pen, and it freaks me out if they pick it up to use. My phobia has to do with germs. I used to get sick a lot, when I let other people use my pen. After I stopped doing that, I rarely got sick. I mean gee, you never know where a person's hands have been, right?
3. I also have a phobia of using stair hand rails and public restroom doorknobs, for the same reasons mentioned above.

Here are the three bloggers I'm tagging. Have fun gals!
Marva at Purple Paint's Muse
Susan at Art Angelix
Linda at Lindart's Art

Click on each blogger's name to go to their blogs.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Adding on to last post about bubble painting

The recipe for the bubble paint mixture I put in my last post was one I got online, not the one we used at our meeting for the background papers I posted. Here is that recipe.
1/4 cup liquid tempera paint
2 teaspoons clear dish soap (if you can't find clear, colored is okay)
mix those together in a wide mouthed plastic cup, then add 3 Tablespoons of water

So it appears this recipe has more paint in it than the one I posted below. However, I think one could experiment with the amount of paint in the recipe, if one chose. It seems to me, the more paint used, the darker it would show up on the paper. One person at our meeting did try using acrylic paint rather than tempera, and the results were much lighter on the paper. So tempera seems to work better, but you can experiment with different paints, and maybe even liquid inks, if you're inclined to. I always say, experimentation is good!

There was a question about how to get the paint bubbles onto the paper from a cup. Well, here's how. When you blow into the mixture, blow long enough to get the bubbles to rise 2 - 3 inches above the rim of the cup. Then touch your paper to the bubbles. You'll have to do lots of bubble blowing and lots of paper touching to fill the paper with paint. It takes a while to do one piece this way, but also gives you more control over the process. Try not to touch the paper to the rim of the cup, but if you do, it's okay, no big deal.

Of course there is the option to put the paint mixture in a pan, and do it that way. But you'll have to use a lot more paint and water to fill even a shallow pan. That's why we chose to do it in the cups, and we thought it worked out well. It was really fun doing it that way, in fact.