Imagine. Create. Enjoy.
This week, I started working in a new little journal for the Columbia Center for the Arts, “Collective Wisdom: The Artist Sketchbook Project”. Basically, I just fill this little journal with – whatever I want ! – and then send it off to live there! Pretty cool, huh? I have to fill it by December 1, so I've been diligently working on filling this little guy up.
Today, I started with no plan in mind other than I knew I wanted to use some of my brand spankin' new paint and stencils! To start, I used a paper towel to "dab" some Dylusions Paint in Fresh Lime, Vibrant Turquoise and London Blue. Along with the paper towel, I also used some brushstrokes here and there for some different texture.
Next, I used Artistcellar's Arabian Nights: Celestial stencil with DecoArt Media Mister in Carbon Black. What a contrast!
For some extra fun, I brought out the old favorite - the Pearle pen in "ice white" for some extra dot details
and then finished off with some acrylic paint and a paintbrush to brush on the lyrics, "Reaching out to embrace whatever may come."
That is a snippet of a favorite song of mine, "Lateralus" by Tool. As I create I'm always listening to music, and this one just happened to be playing at the time.
Ta-Da! Super simple art journal spread that is so visually appealing!
I also love that I was able to morphe two of my favorite things together - art and music! Speaking of, I'm currently teaching in Mixed Tape II with Effy Wild and Sarah Trumpp and I would love for you to join us! Class has started but you can still sign up, and since you have forever access there won't even be a rush to catch up. Sign up here!: http://bit.ly/MixedTape2
This week's project is brought to you by insomnia. I am returning to my elementary art classroom this week and I have had a difficult time falling asleep with all the to-do lists running around in my head. And let's not forget the back-to-school nightmares. I had them as a student and I'm having them as a teacher. Yikes. This project happened late late at night when I wished I was sleeping!
After I finished I realized my current mood was conveyed in the finished portrait. It made me chuckle because I wasn't planning on creating art reflecting how I was feeling tired and overwhelmed at that moment but when you let go and try not to be too controlling your subconsciousness communicates!
Here are the supplies I used for this project:
Let me start off by saying that sometimes it's good to just create a bunch of backgrounds on various substrates. That way, when it's super late and you wish you were sleeping but your brain won't let you, you can just grab the nearest prepared background and begin.
The background I chose was prepared with a layer of modeling paste that I randomly scraped onto the surface with a palette knife and tinted with acrylics. I used the Celestial stencil with the palette knife to create raised stenciling into the modeling paste for even more texture.
I used a pencil to sketch out the face and then took Night acrylic paint applied with the media tool to establish the shadows on the face. I mainly used the media tools to scrape and rub the paint onto the surface to build up layers. After my shadows were established I used white to create the highlights and Sky, Lime and Lemon for the skin tones. When needed I used a small paintbrush for details.
For the negative space around the face I painted warm colors with Ruby, Lemon and Tangerine. On top of that I used the Miro stencil with white and Ocean paint to give the background a texture (apparently communicating the fact that my brain is overflowing with to-do lists).
As a finishing touch and when the paint was mostly dry (which doesn't take long here in the desert) I lightly sanded the surface to highlight the stencil design created with the modeling paste. I like the weathered effect it gives.
I hope you take some time this week to create a portrait. Remember to let go and allow your subconscious to do the talking!
“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” - Marcus Aurelius
Returning to my prayer flags seems especially timely. Viewing the events of the last few days has been emotionally exhausting. But a quiet place to reflect and dwell on the beauty around us is always found when I begin any art project. For my next flag I selected the Eternal Knot from the Artistcellar Tibet Series.
The interlacing design of the knot is found in many cultures. It represents the concept of duality and the search for the interweaving of qualities of wisdom and empathy, as well as femininity and masculinity. The ultimate objective is to acquire the necessary stability to allow us a clearer path to enlightenment.
I couldn’t wait to stat the project. This time I decided to use a heavier 100% cotton duck fabric. I wasn’t sure how the acrylics would work, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the results. The colours are vibrant and blend as I intended. The heavier weight also made the flag easier to adhere to the card I sprayed with adhesive.
To compliment the Knot I selected the Shooting Stars and Celestial stencils from the Artistcellar Arabian Nights series. What could be more inspiring than observing the sky at night? Working with various shades of blue and green, colours traditionally representing unity and balance, I enveloped the shooting stars with a grand blanket of the cosmos. The flag was finished with a selection of multicoloured Halftone Dots and Diamonds. As in life, it’s the compliment of colours that unites and enhances the entire composition.
I, as well as many of my friends, have experienced great dismay at the world events surrounding us. Sometimes we opt to step back as a way to make sense of the insanity. But there are moments when we need to make our voices heard. Beauty in life includes thoughts and actions. I choose to focus on the people who in my mind are the stars. They are the brave that shine. They speak their mind with wisdom and empathy. They are the stars I aspire to run with.
Hello beautiful souls,
I am so excited about this post since I have been on such a roll with art since my new 4x6 pieces I did for first Friday. I started out working on this piece from a 4x6 piece I used to save some of my dylusions ink sprays from the back side of my stencil. There was so much ink that would be wasted so I used some 4x6 pieces of watercolor paper I had to pick up the excess inks. I used to kind of not like this stuff because it does pick up the back layer when you try to paint over it, but when I did these next pieces it really was just perfect and now I kind of want ALL of the dylusion ink sprays, lol.
Here are the 4x6's I used as a base with the Buddha eyes stencil.
I used the dylusions "ground coffee". I started out by filling in some of the white spots with water colors using a dabbing motion to softly add color. I used 3 different purples and then topped them with 3 purple distress inks and the flower of life stencil. After that I did some drips down the piece using water from my paint brush rinse jar. As you can see the drips and layers of stencils look awesome already!
Then to finish it off I added all of the fine details with some metallic gold paint penned in the pupils of the eyes, the swirl in the middle of the face and on the forehead. I added a few drips of gold since my gold pen leaked when I was outlining some details. Oops! This is mixed-media art so we just call that a "happy little accident" and add things to make it look like it was intended. I finished off the design with a few doodles in black.
Here is the finished piece.
I was so freaking excited with this piece! I just love all of the layers and details. I love how the ink, distress inks, and water colors have such pretty translucent layers. I was so excited about the 4x6 I just HAD to try making a shrink plastic pendant to match!
Here is the pendant before I shrunk it down. I love that you can get a feel for the layers in such a small piece. The piece is about 2.5" before it shrinks down to about 28mm.
Here is how it looks tiny size. So awesome! I even turned it into a necklace and took these necklaces with me to first Friday.
You can see it here with its other friends.
I also made another 4x6 with the other print I had, but I decided to make this one more masculine feeling. I used reds, oranges, yellows, golds, and blacks with a white ghost layer and the star & cross stencil since it was chunkier.
I am really in love with this one too!
I can't wait to show you what I have in store for my next post. There are just so many elements to the design it needs its own post.
Do your one of a kind designs turn into a series?
Love, light, and creativity,
“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.