Sunday, August 24, 2008

I've been busy making art -- woohoo!

Yes indeed, I've had more time to make art lately, and have devoted it to that end. Which pleases me because I don't always accomplish that. This top piece is a layered collage postcard, 4x6 inches. I used dress pattern tissue paper, gold wrapping paper, napkins, and paint sample. I used the paint sample distress technic for the shapes, which I explained in my August 20th post. I've only used napkins a few times before in my art, and I think I need to get them out and use them more often. They aren't doing me any good stuck away in a drawer.

I used light spackle on the second piece. Since it has very little moisture, and is harder to work with than caulk or wallboard joint compound, I chose to add some water to it with a spray bottle. I didn't add a lot of water, but enough to mix in with it and make it spreadable. Then I spread, or frosted it on with a plastic pallet knife on one area, but not all over the whole piece. Then I stamped into part of it with a heart stamp, cut from vinyl carpet runner. I bought it at a yard sale, and it has swirls on the under side, so I cut it into different shapes for stamps that work great for stamping into caulk, joint compound, and spackle. I also used a swirl stamp with paint on the left upper side.

The small heart in the center of the swirl heart just happened when I pulled the stamp up. (When stamping into caulk, jc, or spackle, you have to use a release agent. I use Armor All protectant, which works well and has no odor to it.) It looked like the shape of a heart, so I outlined it with a brown marker. I embedded the key into the spackle, but it didn't adhere when dry, so I had to glue it on. I used brown acrylic paint, brown shoe polish, and gold Lumiere paint on the piece. I also used an awl to distress parts of it, the parts without the spackle. I used tea dyed cheese cloth on the lower left corner. I'm happy with the texture on this, but not so thrilled with how the colors came out, especially on the scan. The parts that look almost peach are actually gold. I suppose I could repaint it, but don't know if I will.

I have a new needle felt piece posted below, that I made a few weeks ago. So yes, I've been working on art more than usual, because I've had more time to do it. I'm happy about that.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Needle Felted postcard

I'm switching things up a bit here, as in not posting a collage. This is something I made, gee, over a month ago. And I wasn't happy with it. Well, I was fine with it, except for using an orange paint pen to outline and make marks on the hearts. That was the last thing I did back then, and felt like it ruined the piece. Which really frustrated me, since I liked it until I did that, and went too far. So it sat in my work room/studio all this time, because I didn't like it and didn't know how to "fix" it, and didn't want to post it on my blog.

Then today, in a bored state of mind, I picked it up and thought gee, I think I'll sand these hearts, punched out of paint samples. And then rub brown shoe polish over them, and see if that improves this piece. So I did that, and liked the result. Then I did the same to the small squares, and liked that too.

I know in the scan, the outlining of the hearts looks pink, but no, on the piece it's a light orange. I find that the true color quality in scans can leave a lot to be desired, at least on my printer. So anyway, I like the result now much better than it was before, and am willing to post this piece.

The main feature of this piece is the needle felting onto a piece of cotton fabric. This is my second real art piece, using the needle felting. And I love how that part turned out. It took a while to fashion a heart out of the yarn, but I stuck with it and was able to make a heart. I really enjoy doing the needle felting, but haven't done any since I finished this piece. I need to get back to felting soon, or maybe not. There are simply too many choices and options in what kind of art to make....and I tend to get overwhelmed by that. Nothing new there.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Two more collages

These are my most recent works, and just happen to be collages. I'm so proud to say that, because I believe I'm making some progress on this front. These are 5x5s, the art squared format I like so much, and feel very comfortable with. One of these days, I hope to make a book with all my 5x5 art pieces that I've been making and saving for quite a while now.

In the first collage, I punched the hearts out of paint samples. The small frame is also cut out out of a paint sample. Then I sanded them with sand paper and used a very sharp awl to distress them, then rubbed brown shoe polish over them. (My oh my, but I do love that brown shoe polish!!!) I used the awl and shoe polish on other distressed areas too. The "J" is light spackle packed into a stencil. I've learned it's more difficult to frost light spackle as I do with caulk and wallboard joint compound, because it has a lot less moisture. So I can't frost it over a stencil, but can pack it into a stencil.

This is the first time I've used an awl to distress with, and I'm kind of liking the result a lot. However, you have to use brown shoe polish to get a much more cool distressed look. Good thing that shoe polish is cheap and accessible. The idea of sanding and distressing paint samples in my art just kind of jumped out and bit me on this piece. I'm thinking my muse was paying close attention and making herself available -- which is not always the case. So now, I'm glad I have a lot of paint samples in my art stash. Woohoo for that. I plan to use this "distressed paint sample technic" again and often, and maybe try to expand and perfect it.

In the second collage, I used images torn from a book for the sea creatures. And some tea dyed cheese cloth, but then rubbed over it with blue glaze. Then I added some rusted screen and a rusted washer. Oh right, I started out packing the light spackle on the piece in various areas.

I pretty much used the same technics I've explained before with these collages. If I try something new, I explain that too. The distressed paint sample/awl technic is new.

These are not for a swap, so I get to keep these. And hopefully incorporate them into my own book, at some point. Hope you like them, I do.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Key to Your Wish collage

Gee, I'm shocked, shocked I tell you. That I'm actually WANTING to do layered collage, as opposed to avoiding it like the plague. Who knew I'd ever get to this point? I know I sure didn't. So yes, this truly does shock me, but also pleases me very much. Hmmm, perhaps it really is true that we must face our fears in order to overcome them. That seems to be working for me so far, in doing these layered collages. And I'm thrilled about that.

This is something I "threw together" yesterday in just a few hours. (That's amazing to me also.) It's for a personal swap with an online art friend (Hi Linda!). She suggested we do a swap about a year ago, but I had other art commitments at that time, and couldn't do it then. I told her maybe we could do it sometime in the future. So, the future is here, and we both agreed it was a good time to do a swap. And gee, I haven't done an art swap in many months, so I was very pleased and motivated to do this one. And I didn't even have to agonize over what to make. I love it when art happens that way, don't you?

This piece is 5x7, which is a new format for me. I mostly work on 5x5 art squared formats, or else 4x6 postcard formats. But I was game to try a different size and format, and am glad I did. There are similarities with this piece to the last two collages I posted. I glued down a piece of light blue fabric (dimensional) from a fabric sample book onto frozen pizza cardboard. Then glued down a poem torn from a book, music paper, and a definition of Precious cut from a dictionary. Then I rubbed brown shoe polish on the whole piece. Then I used brown acrylic paint sponged onto swirl stamps, and stamped a few times.

Then I painted wallboard joint compound on with a brush in certain spots. After that dried, I rubbed blue glaze on with my finger in certain areas, and rubbed brown shoe polish over them again. I was mostly going with the brown/blue color theme. Then I remembered that recently, in my local art group, I had dyed some cheese cloth blue and purple, so I pulled that out and used it on the lower right side. And also used a piece of tea dyed cheese cloth on the upper left side. I used some brown netted fabric over the blue cheese cloth, and a strip of it towards the top.

Then I cut a strip (the brown embroidered piece) from a blouse/frock I found at a yard sale a while back, and glued that down. The hearts were punched out of a textured paint sample. The key is one I got in a lot of keys off ebay. LOVE THOSE OLD KEYS, AND KEEP LOOKING ON EBAY TO SCARF UP A GOOD DEAL ON MORE. HOWEVER, THEY DON'T GO FOR CHEAP. And the "wish" part came last, and fit nicely on the key.

And I sealed the piece, once again, with Acrylic Floor Finish from the Family Dollar store. When I used it in the past, it gave a non-glossy satin finish, as opposed to the glossy finish that Future Floor Finish gives. I really liked having the choice of using a satin or glossy finish. But now, I'm almost out of the AFF, and using the last few ounces, so it has thickened, and now it's giving a glossy finish. Don't know what's up with that, it's a surprise, but I think I need to buy a new bottle of it. Well, I've had this bottle for a few years now, and perhaps it changes over time?

So anyway, this is the art I ended up with, and I'm pleased with it. I really enjoy using paper and fabric together in one piece. And gluing down a dimensional/textured fabric piece as a background ends up interesting, because it provides lots of texture right off the bat. I've learned that when I do that, I don't have to add a lot of texture, even though I tend to anyway, to a certain extent. The cheese cloth is always a good way to add texture, and I love it. I love texture so much, sometimes I worry if I add too much texture to my art, as in over-kill. But I don't worry enough to stop doing it. And I don't normally use much text or words in my art, but I'm reconsidering that, and thinking I should do that more often.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Strawberry and Lemonade layered collage

Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I posted. Well, it hasn't been waaay long, but longer than I intended. I started out so well, for the first several months after I started my blog, by consistently posting twice a week. Then it kind of got away from me. Well, my work schedule has also changed several times, which has had an effect on my free time and time to do art, so that's been a factor. At any rate, I got some new art done yesterday and today, so I have something new to post. Yippee! It always makes me happy to get new art done, and to post it on my blog.

On my last post, I posted a layered collage, and confessed I didn't intend for it to be a layered collage when I started out. However with this piece, I did intend for it to be a layered collage. Which hopefully means that I'm gaining more confidence in doing this kind of work, and overcoming my fears, or at least some of them, related to layered collage. Although you can't tell from the photo, this piece is smaller than the last one, and is a 5x5 art squared piece.

I glued the background, a page from a wallpaper sample book, onto my old standby, frozen pizza cardboard. This sample is fabric wallpaper. Cool, huh? That gives it a lot of texture, right off the bat. Then I glued down some hand written text, some music paper, and some dress pattern tissue paper. Also some torn strips of gold wrapping paper. At the bottom right, I cut out the image from the envelope of a dress pattern, and glued that down. I also used some netted fabric, fiber paper, screening, and obviously the small key.

Once again, as I did on my last collage, I rubbed brown shoe polish over the whole piece. Then I sprayed with Memory Mists in Mango Lemonade and Strawberry Daiquiri. I LOVE those two colors together. I finished it off by sealing with Acrylic Floor Finish, the Family Dollar brand. One last thing. The key and the screening look silver-ish in the photo, but they are more of a bronze color on the actual piece, and look a lot better than in the photo. It bugs me that they look that way in the photo, but I don't know how to fix that.

Regarding the key, I won two auctions on ebay for a number of old keys. For skeleton keys, and other interesting keys. I lost several auctions before I finally scored. And was amazed at what most old key lots are selling for on ebay. Considering that, I did pretty well on my two auctions, bidding at the last second. Now, I'm the proud owner of 17 very cool old/antique skeleton keys of different sizes. I hope to use some of them on assemblages, if I ever get around to making an assemblage. I was excited to use this tiny key on this piece. I think maybe it's a jewelry box key.

So that's how this piece came together, and I'm feeling better about attempting layered collages. Thanks so much for your encouragement in comments on my last layered collage, it encouraged me, motivated me, and inspired me to make this one. I'm trying to face my fears and overcome them.