Friday, January 30, 2009

Collaborative Project -- Fairy in a Tree

Wow! Isn't this a fabulous piece of art? And I'm the very lucky owner of it. Recently my good art buddy, Mary Schweitzer,, and I agreed to do a personal swap. We wanted to do a collaborative project. And so we did, and this is my piece that I get to keep and admire and treasure. We each worked on our own 8x10 pieces, then sent them to each other to be worked on, and then sent them back.This was a first, and totally new to us, to do this kind of collaboration. I think we were both nervous about working on each other's art, but that was the whole point, so we jumped in and did it. For results we couldn't have gotten on our own, as this beautiful piece shows. And I'd like to encourage those of you who do personal swaps to consider doing a collab effort like this, because you don't know what to expect. And what you get back can be so much better than what you sent, as this piece proves.

I made the collage background, and Mary made the oh so realistic tree, with a fairy perched in it. I mean truly, doesn't this tree look totally real??? When it came in the mail and I opened it, I was bowled over and blown away with what she did on this. And immediately emailed her to ask HOW she made the tree. She made the tree with brown tissue paper and gel medium, and lots of scrunching and shaping. I think she should do a tutorial on this on her blog. Because I've never seen tissue paper used this way before, nor seen such a realistic, dimensional tree on art before. I'm just so lucky it's on my art, and that I'm the lucky owner of this fabulous piece.

I've admired Mary's art for a long time now, even to the point of (shame on me) envy. I consider her a very innovative and avant garde artist, who tends to think outside the box and push the envelope when it comes to her beautiful art. I was thrilled when she agreed to do his collab swap with me. And I'm more than thrilled with this art work, and that we followed through on our idea to do a collab project.

So thank you so much Mary, I couldn't be more pleased with how this worked out. I'm so lucky and proud to own some of your avant garde art. Please visit Mary's blog, and enjoy her beautiful art. And if you even feel a bit envious, I can relate to that. And if you want to see Mary's piece, and what I did on it, she has it posted on her blog. What is so interesting to me is how very different our pieces are, and what we both did on the other's pieces. That's what's so cool about doing a collab effort -- you just don't know how it will turn out until you get it back.

So right now, I'm thinking COLLABORATION RULES!!! Can you blame me?

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Beautiful Blog Award from Faye

Oh my goodness, I was just given another blog award. And once again, I am thrilled and honored. Thank you so much Faye, for thinking of me and honoring me with an award. It's a wonderful and heart warming experience to receive recognition for my art and my blog. And congratulations to you Faye for receiving your awards. In fact Faye just received several blog awards, which I think are richly deserved. Here is a link to her wonderful blog, so just click on it and see for yourself --

Now I am to choose five other artist/bloggers to receive this same award. And these are the ones I choose, who I think deserve this award. Please click on their names to view their beautiful art and deserving blogs.

Mary Schweitzer - Green Woman Creating

Sharon K. Shubert Art Designs Blog

Viola - Mixed Media Art

Gail Pierce - Expression Studio

Darlene Wilkinson - Artticulation

Friday, January 23, 2009

Understand with Your Heart

This is something I made yesterday. I don't often use text in my art, but I think maybe I should more often. Other than the text, I didn't really plan this out, which is mostly normal for me. Once again, I used frozen pizza cardboard (FPC) for the base, which is 5x7 inches. I cut up a lace blouse for the background, which I bought at a yard sale a while back and forgot I had. It was a cute blouse, but much too small for me. But I definitely liked the texture of the lace and knew I'd use it in my art.

After I glued it down, I painted it with Sweetheart Blush acrylic paint, then rubbed paste brown shoe polish over it. Then I used a bold yellow paint, and rubbed it over some the lace with my finger. Then I sealed it with Acrylic Floor Finish (AFF) from the Family Dollar store. The rectangular piece at the top is a distressed paint chip, sanded and etched with an awl, and then rubbed with brown shoe polish. I used a corner rounder punch for the corners. This was the kind of paint chip that already had the "windows" cut out of it, so I glued a fiber ribbon piece across those on the back of the paint chip, then glued it to the background. I punched the hearts out of another paint chip and glued those down.

The text piece came from an Inspirations daily calendar. I tore around the text and the image (a parrot), then crumpled it up, then rubbed over it with brown shoe polish, and glued it down. I also used a green skeleton leaf to repeat the green of the text piece.

I thought it was done at that point, but then the idea to make a cross came to me. But I didn't know what to use for that. So I looked around my studio and spotted some screening that I thought would work, and cut it out of that. Lastly, I glued on the rusted bottle cap. Just because I love using rusted found objects (RFOs) in my art, and I have quite a stash of them by now. I chose an assymetrical, imperfect one, because hey, none of us are perfect, right? At least that's what it meant to me, and why I used that one.

Once again, I used some of my favorite things on this piece. Such as lace for texture, distressed paint chip, hearts, a skeleton leaf, and an RFO. I keep coming back to using some of my favorite things. I see that as a good thing. Also, I'm glad I chose to use text to convey a wise message, mostly for myself. If it reaches anyone else and touches them too, that's all the better.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bloom (where you are planted)

I've heard this saying before, and yes, it makes a lot of sense. However, it's easier said than done oftentimes. I realize it has to do with accepting one's circumstances, and making the best of them. But I must admit, at times, I've found that difficult to do. Have any of you found that too? Right now I'm going through a difficult and scary time, regarding my work situation, and I'm trying really hard to be calm about it and find the silver lining in what I'm going through. I won't go into any detail here, but suffice it to say that work-wise, things could be going a whole lot better.

So this is the new art I made in the past few days. I didn't plan it to turn out this way, but it did and for the most part, I'm happy with it. Perhaps my work situation is weighing more heavily on my mind and heart than I realized. This is a 5x7 inch piece on my old standby, frozen pizza cardboard (FPC). However, this is two pieces glued together. On the first piece, I ended up crumpling it up to get more texture, so it wasn't laying flat. Once I used gel medium to glue it to another piece of FPC, that solved the problem, as I knew it would.

I started out on the brown side, and used a sharp awl to score diagonal lines in it, to create a harlequin design. For some reason, I've been into harlequins lately. Once that was done, I sanded over it and then rubbed brown shoe polish over it. Then I used Sweetheart Blush acrylic paint over it, one of my favorite colors, especially when it's used with yellow. After that dried, I rubbed yellow paint over it in parts with my finger. Then I stamped the Sweetheart Blush on with a new harlequin stamp, and then did that also with the yellow paint. Then I sealed with Acrylic Floor Finish (AFF) from the Family Dollar Store, which makes the color pop. At that point, I really liked the texture I achieved.

Then I pulled out a rusted washer, (a beautifully rusted washer I might add) from my rusted found object stash, to use as the center of the flower. Then I glued down all the seeds I saved from my yard, that fall from one of our trees. I don't know what kind of tree it is, but I sure love using the seeds in my art. (I don't, however, love them when they fall all over my car!!!) Oh, I forgot to mention that I glued down the burgundy skeleton leaves before I worked on the flower.
Then I sealed again with AFF, and was surprised to find that the color from the leaves started to run. I didn't know that would happen, but I didn't mind so much, it was kind of a happy accident.

The word "Bloom" was etched with an awl on a distressed paint chip. Which was sanded first, then etched, then rubbed with brown paste shoe polish. The key is a wonderfully rusted key from one of my ebay lots, and I glued it down over a piece of yellow fabric. On the real piece, the fabric is yellow, and looks good on this piece. Unfortunately, on the scan, the fabric doesn't look yellow, it looks washed out and much lighter than it is. I sealed it once again with AFF, which accounts for the burgundy on the bloom piece and the fabric.

I used some of my favorite things on this piece. Such as: rusted found object, seeds, distressed paint chip, an old rusted key, fabric, and skeleton leaves. And I'm really liking the effect of the harlequin design on the background. So, all in all, I'm pleased with this piece.

Regarding "Bloom where I'm planted"....well, I'm still working on that.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Playing with my image editor

Well, this is kind of interesting. I used the fish eye lens special effect on my image editor to get the second image. I think it looks cool -- what do you think? I've never tried that before.

This is a 5x7 inch piece I made yesterday. The base is frozen pizza cardboard (FPC). I had some dyed paper towels, so I decided to use one on this. I wanted something colorful, and purple is one of my favorite colors. I also used a purple watercolor crayon, on the left side and bottom, from my Lyra Aquacolor set. I used water and a brush, and painted parallel lines, and they looked nice and even. But later I sealed the piece with Acrylic Floor Finish (AFF), not realizing that the watercolor crayon marks would run. Like duh....I should've known that, but I didn't think about it. So my nice, even lines all ran. Ahh, but not to worry, the way they ran looks fine to me.

The hearts were punched out of a distressed (sanded) paint chip. Usually I then rub it with brown shoe polish, but I didn't want brown on this piece, so I rubbed it with a violet glaze and then wiped it off. The pony is stamped onto the same distressed paint chip. That is a new stamp I just got off ebay. The company is 2nd Nature Arts, and I think it has some neat stamps. You might want to check them out. Here is a link to the ebay store  I ended up buying five. These are unmounted stamps. I shouldn't be buying new stamps, because I have so many I haven't used yet, but I thought some of these stamps were unlike any I'd seen, so I just had to have them. At least I'm proud of myself for using one on this piece.

I also used a harlequin stamp and stamped with yellow and then violet acrylic paint, but it barely shows up, due to how textural the paper towel is. That's dyed cheese cloth under the hearts, and the piece under the key is some yellow fabric rubbed with gold waxy stuff (kind of similar to Rub n Buff). I outlined the hearts and pony with purple glitter glue (GG), and the yellow fabric with gold glitter glue.  I really like outlining with GG, but I get very nervous when I do, afraid I'll screw up. Which isn't hard to do -the screwing up part - and I've screwed up with it before. But on this piece, all went well with the GG. The key is from a lot of old keys off ebay.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Cyber Fyber Gallery Exhibition

The Cyber Fyber Gallery Exhibition is set to open in Columbia, South Carolina on January 8th, in just three days. Susan Lenz, a very generous and talented fiber artist, put this massive project together, and has been working on it for over a year. Thank you so much Susan, your hard work is appreciated. Here's a link to her blog, just click on it. There are links on her blog to where you can view the fiber art submitted, and get other information on this fantastic show.

The fabric/fiber postcard I posted here is the one I made for this show. I swapped with Susan for one of her beautiful fabric postcards. I didn't do any sewing on this postcard, but did use lots of fabric and fiber. The background is fabric and lace I rusted myself. (Here's a link to my post on that on my blog. Then I glued down tea dyed cheese cloth, rusted found objects, some cool fiber trim, and the sun charm.

This piece is a bit unconventional, compared to the vast majority of postcards submitted, 276 in total. Here's the link to where you can view all of the postcards. Many beautiful postcards were submitted, so you should take a look and feast on the eye candy and huge variety of fabric/fiber art. I think it will excite you!

There will be a People's Choice Award given for the winning postcard and the winning ATC. The postcard with the combined "most comments" and votes from the exhibition at Gallery 80808/Vista Studio will be the winner. Consequently, comments do count and are important on that. Sooo, if you like my postcard, then please go to it and leave a comment. Here's the link again --, and my postcard is number 121, so just scroll down to it. And if you see other postcards you'd like to comment on, please do that too. I'm totally amazed and pleased at the variety of postcards submitted, it's totally awesome. I just wish I could go to the show, and see it in person.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Starkness of Winter

This is another winter piece, and quite different in appearance from the last one. I wanted this one to look more real, more raw, more natural. I found a very weathered piece of corrugated cardboard behind our garage, distressed naturally by nature. That's what inspired me to do this piece. Then I pulled the rusted piece out of my rusted found objects (RFOs) stash. Oh yeah....this was a perfectly rusted piece! The leaf I picked up from my yard a while back, and stuck it in a book to flatten it, so I pulled that out too. Then I scavenged in my yard for just the right twig. And then I was ready to start on this piece.

The base on this is an 8x10 inch piece of frozen pizza cardboard (FPC). I probably should've used chip board, because there's some minor, minimal warping on this, but not bad enough to effect it much. The white background is white caulk spread on with a vintage, non-serrated butter knife. I texturized it as I spread it, then let it dry for about three hours. Then I sprinkled on some walnut ink crystals, spray misted it with water, and let the ink run down the piece randomly. Then I used double stick carpet tape to adhere the corrugated cardboard. I'm so glad I thought of using the tape on this, because using Matte Mod Podge or gel medium would've been much messier and more difficult, especially with a non-flat piece of corrugated cardboard.

After I adhered that, I glued down the leaf, the tea dyed cheese cloth, the rusted metal, and the twig. Then I sprinkled some more walnut ink crystals over those areas, spray misted with water, and just let it dry. The last thing I glued down was the feather, as kind of an after thought.

There are different colors and textures of winter, in my mind. After a fresh snowfall, there can be pristine beauty, eery stillness, even a peaceful feeling. But there can also be starkness, and the color of brown, rather than white, can dominate. I was trying to express starkness in this piece.