Imagine. Create. Enjoy.
Hello to Your Wonderful and Creative Self,
I am here to share something that really gets me excited. It’s simple mark making. I would like to encourage you try your hand at making your own unique marks. Even though I believe that is within all of us, I understand that doing something that is totally YOU may feel intimidating. Thank goodness there are many resources, and there’s even an art challenge (April 1-30, 2017) created by Rae Missigman to help you along your mark making journey! For details on Rae’s “Art Marks Part 2 - 30 Day Challenge”, click here.
Mark making is just something I am completely and utterly drawn to. When I want to create, but I don’t know what to make, I often turn to mark making. I find it extremely satisfying, meditative, and visually interesting.
Let’s Get Started with Mark Making
Allow me to share a process to get you started with mark making.
As you know, things don’t always go smoothly. So, when you have an itsy bitsy spill, make the most of it! Create drips, and prints from the bottom of the jar. These are all wonderful marks!
Dip an Art Foamies stamp into that spill and make some more marks.
What I love to see about this mixed media process is how all of the materials work together. Depending upon the ink in the ballpoint pen, the ink may or not bleed a little from the wet Dye-Na-Flow on your brush. When you put Dye-Na-Flow over acrylic paint, there can be a resist that is subtle, but awesome!
I felt like I needed a little more contrast on the paper, so I used the “Midnight” color of Dye-Na-Flow. Sometimes I like to simply use the cap to dip my brush into as I paint.
Painted paper is one of my favorite things. I love paper, and the sound of painted, wrinkly paper is quite wonderful, too. (The paper I worked on here is copy paper-nothing fancy).
Paper like this can be used in so many projects: art journaling, gift tags, handmade cards, mail art, collage, mixed media art on canvas, book making, etc.
In Summary, I hope this post helps you to see that mark making is fun, energizing, soothing, and creative, all at once!
For more mark making ideas and inspiration, I invite you to hop on over to my site OrangeSpiralArts.com
Blessings and Happy Mark Making!
“Through art we can change the world.” - David Sandum
I’m sure you’ll agree…the world is going through some extremely tough times. And as strange as this may sound, when things seem just a little too intense for me I enjoy wandering through a supermarket. My local A&P was always a favourite. And when I moved to England my supermarket of choice was Morrisons. Regardless of the location, the ambiance was reassuringly identical and delightfully soothing. Is it the orderly rows of merchandise, the bright colours of the packaging, or even the Muzak that charms me? I really don’t have an answer. I just know I enjoy wandering, most of the time aimlessly, through the aisles. I guess you could call it my version of “retail therapy”.
Searching through my collection of ephemera for inspiration, my eye caught a vintage image of a woman pushing her overflowing cart. Like me, she had to be an A&P shopper. There was the clue. My favorite: Eight O’clock Coffee…the original DIY lovers’ coffee…ground to your own specification in the machine conveniently placed in the aisle. I wanted to place the woman on a background that would scream “SALE!!” I took another look at one of my favourite stencils, Artistcellar’s “Celestial” from the Arabian Nights series. I built two versions on heavy white paper using a variety of colours. In the end I had two distinct looks. I decided to use the lighter, brighter one as a background. Having an assortment of choices at my fingertips so quickly and easily is the hallmark of Artistcellar products.
Working wholly conventionally this time I cut and glued my photos, text and sections from handwritten shopping lists I “procured” from a parking lot to the card. Creating this way was just as therapeutic as my supermarket stroll!
Soon the finished piece will be on its way to Twitter Art Exhibit. Founder David Sandum began the project in 2010 using social media and global public engagement to generate income for charities and nonprofits. Artists donate postcard sized work to #TAE for sale. At an exhibition the art is sold. The chosen organization receives 100% of the proceeds.
This year TAE17 is supporting Molly Olly’s Wishes in Stratford upon Avon, UK. The organization compassionately assists children with terminal or life threatening illnesses and their families. Their goal is to help maintain emotional wellbeing for those undergoing extremely difficult times. My challenges in no way compare to those facing these children and their families. But my hope is that with my card we can share a smile and the relaxation of my supermarket meanderings.
Why not spread the healing spirit of Artistcellar? There is still time to enter as registration closes on February 24th. Your postcard must be in the hands of #TAE17 no later than March 17th. For more information follow this link: http://twitterartexhibit.org/
As artists, inspiration surrounds us…even in the most unlikely places…such as a supermarket. But with our unique brand of creativity that we can change the world…one postcard at a time.
Hello Lovelies! I hope your summer has been filled with fun, good food and ART! I also hope you get a chance to "get away" even if it is in your own town. :)
The project I am bringing to you today is one of my favorites. I have had this idea rattling around in the right side of my brain for awhile now.
If you could flip through my sketchbooks you might see a reoccurring theme. Houses. I think every artist has symbols, images, etc. that mean something extra special to them. One of mine is houses. Growing up my family moved often. In fact, I realized recently that I have moved, on average, every 3-5 years my entire life. That is many many houses. One house that has remained constant is my grandparents' farmhouse in Idaho. It is one of my very favorite places on the planet. If you want to read how my very favorite place influences my creativity you can read a blog post I wrote a couple years ago. http://smilingeyestudio.
So, continuing this thought process about home. What does home mean to you? What function does a home have? I am sure it can mean different things at different times of our lives. These are the questions that were going though my mind as I created this series.
I started with three wooden house forms I found at my local craft store and my first layer was GAC-100 by Golden. It is a multi-purpose acrylic polymer that seals the grain of the wood. (Another option for this is clear gesso or you can go rogue and just start painting!)
Using a selection of Dina Wakley acrylic paints I painted each side a different color. Using the same colors on each house will help them have continuity.
Then I grabbed my palette knife, Deco Art Media Crackle paste and the larger Halftone Dots Stencil and applied a medium to heavy layer to each side of the houses. (Tip: The thicker the paste the bigger the cracks.) Some sides were just the dots and others were solid crackle paste. When the paste was dry I went all ooooh and aaaaah at the delicious texture that I saw.
The next layers were paints (same as before) and dictionary pages. I only glued the paper to a few sides of each house. Again, using the same ephemera on each ties them together. (Kinda like Project Runway when they have a group of designers design a mini collection. The successful groups have a common element that appears on each of the designs, whether it is color, pattern, etc.)
At this point I found a quote I liked and also sketched out some imagery I wanted to paint onto the house blocks. When I looked at the super awesome bumpy surface from the crackle paste I knew it would be a smidge difficult to paint details. So I grabbed my favorite sanding blocks and went to town sanding all sides of the houses. Dust was flying and the result was AWESOME!
All the divine cracks stayed but the overall surface was more flat and so so smoooooth. A bonus was the distressed look I got from the paint partially sanding off too.
Now that my surface was ready I started painting!
I felt the sides needed something snazzy so I picked out my favorite stencil from the Cathedral Series and it was perfect.
I also used gold paint to add details and the shimmer shine just tied everything together.
The result is a whimsical house set that makes me smile. Mission accomplished!
Oooo!!! I am so glad to be back home with all my art supplies! Oh... and... um... I missed my husband too. Tee Hee!
I love my acrylic paints, all brands regardless of viscosity. The problem is they are not very compact when flying so I settled for my watercolors while I was in Wisconsin visiting. I also missed all my wonderful stencils! They make it easy to add interest to a page either as a focal point or a background.
For this weeks blog piece I decided to get my inspiration from my Artful Journeys prompts #199 Polkadot and #205 Rockabilly. Not only did it save me some time trying to figure out what to paint, it also gave me a reason to paint a face!
I started by getting one of my mixed media journals and sketching out my Rockabilly girl using my Generals Scribe all pencil.
I love this pencil because it is water soluble to I can use it in a variety of ways, I can use it as I have here, with watercolors for shading or with other mixed media blended with light color acrylics to add contrast and shadows.
I then used acrylics to paint the background and the face. To really make her pop I used the largest "Shadow" Dot Halftone Dot Series stencils to add the pattern to the back ground.
I continued to paint the girl and realized the background was a bit blah.
So to remedy the blah-ness of it I went in with all but the smallest of the set of the Halftone dots, adding blue and white.
I think that little bit of added color from the stencil made her pop and made the background more interesting to look at with out taking away from the page.
I missed my stencils so much while I was gone!
Big hugs and Mushy stuff!
Watch the video to see my full process!
Hello! In my neck of the woods the weather has really been warming up! This weekend I was even able to start a small garden. I decided that I also wanted to make something fun to hang outside that could clink and clang around in the garden.
I came across a wine bottle that was a gift from my husband's and my wedding. Then, I did a little bit of research online to figure out how to cut the bottom off of the bottle. First, I used a glass cutter and made a line all around the bottom of the bottle. Then, I lit a candle and took the flame to it. I alternated between candle flame and cold water until the bottom just fell off. Lastly, I sanded down the edges so that it wouldn’t be sharp.
Next, I gathered up a bunch of “stuff”… a plastic skeleton from Halloween, wooden thread spools, some old jewelry items and a vinyl record and I took them all outside and started painting!
I used Dina Wakley Heavy Body acrylic paint in turquoise and tangerine and also Art Alchemy acrylic paint in Wild Fuchsia and Emerald Green to paint over some of my embellishments. Once dry, I went over them with some Stickles glue because GLITTER!
I used a Sacred Geometry 2 stencil “Seed of Life” with DecoArt Media Mister and Stickles glue to add interest to the vinyl record. Then I went over it with a layer of DecoArt Triple Thick Gloss Glaze.
Once everything was dry, I assembled it all with hemp string and Voila! Your very own funky outdoor decor!
Twelve years ago I was diagnosed and treated for Stage IV breast cancer. For many years before the diagnosis my heart was frozen in hurt and anger and I believe my illness was a manifestation of those emotions. While I received aggressive treatment for the cancer, I also sought a spiritual path for healing and healing my heart as well as my body was essential to survival. When I saw the Sacred Geometry series stencils I could hardly wait to use them in my work!
I created a three dimensional heart as a focal point for meditation to visualize love and compassion for all beings including myself. It serves as a reminder to believe that anything is possible as long as I believe in Love.
Apply a coat of gesso onto the entire surface of the papier mache heart to seal the surface for painting. Apply a coat of Ruby acrylic paint to all surface areas of the heart and let dry.
Lay the small Heart Chakra stencil onto the heart and apply violet paint using a small stencil brush. Center the Sacred Heart stencil over the Heart Chakra image and apply paint. Keep the stencil brush as dry as possible to avoid seepage under the stencil.
Fill in details of the heart by using an assortment of acrylic paints. I used green as the main color for the heart and highlighted with white and detailed with black and blue. The rays were created blending red, orange and yellow. I love how the colors pop in this! For the back of the heart I applied violet paint to the Believe stencil.
I used the Permawriter Pen to detail, write text and sign the piece. The Permawriter is great for writing on painted surfaces as it won’t smear or fade. Once everything is dry, varnish it entirely with a satin water based sealer.
I hope this project will warm your heart as much as it did mine.
Paper Mache Heart Ornament (I found mine at a local craft store but you can find them online) https://www.consumercrafts.com/store/details/catalog/basics-paper-mache-specialty/2833-44
Yasutomo Permawriter pen .07 (for detailing)