Imagine. Create. Enjoy.
DIE GOLDENE MEDINA - HER DREAMS
“Beds, three tiers high, were still not sufficient to accommodate the 5,000 immigrants who arrived daily. Many, like this young woman, were forced to sleep on benches, chairs, or on the floor.” – Lewis W. Hine
When traveling, have you ever felt bone-weary…so tired you feared the next step? Have you ever been stranded in an airport, with nothing but what seemed like unending hours until the next flight? I have. And if you are like me, I am sure all you could think of was getting somewhere, anywhere, to sleep. To lessen the discomfort of my situation, I like to visualize of my cozy bed at home, covered with a warm, colorful quilt.
My inspiration for this collage was a photograph from the Hine Collection. As an educator, Lewis W. Hine encouraged his students to use photography as a tool for social change. He often held his sociology classes at Ellis Island. In five years, 1904 to 1909, he produced 200 photographs of the immigrants passing through the Island. The young woman trying her best to get some sleep is one I thought fit perfectly with the new Artistcellar Quilt Stencils.
The new series features four quilt designs: The Bear Claw, The Star Flower, and the two I chose to use, The Ohio Star and the Amish Star. Living close to Lancaster, PA it’s nice to see the Amish star included in the series.
Going back to my Strathmore Journal, I sponged on layers of acrylic paint, letting each dry between applications. Having the stencils in both the 6” x 6” and Pocket size is really useful. In my work, I used both. Again, the quality of the stencils didn’t let me down. Even though the paint was dry between multiple layers, clean up was a snap, with each stencil back to immaculate condition. I built the background quilt layer by tiling the image as on a true cloth covering.
Completing the collage, I drew upon my collection of ephemera. I surrounded the Slavic lady with what I imagine surrounded her: mountains of paperwork as she made her way through the Ellis Island process.
And was she like you and me, tired and sleepy, dreaming of a familiar place to rest? Did her dreams include quilts and thoughts of home?
Is it too early to think about Saint Patrick's Day? If you asked my dad that his answer would have been a resounding, "NO!". My father was very proud of his Irish heritage. He had quite a collection of Irish themed objects including several books about Ireland, pins, ties, green shirts a'plenty, knick knacks and even his business logo (which he asked me to design) was a shamrock! When I saw an unfinished wood shamrock at the craft store the other day I knew it had to be mine and I knew it needed two things: Artistcellar stencils and Dina Wakley acrylic paints. Well, and a wee bit of Inka Gold too, of course!
Here's what I used:
After lightly sanding my wood form I gave it a coat of Evergreen paint.
While I waited for that to dry I used the stencils and paint on deli paper to create a few sheets with interesting layers.
I chose a couple papers and tore them into smaller pieces and applied them to both sides of the shamrock with matte medium. The best way to do this is to apply a thin layer of matte medium, then the paper and another thin layer of matte medium. Use your paintbrush to smooth everything out.
When dry I painted the edge with the Penny and Umber paint. I used Distress Crayons to add a depth of color to the outer edges of the surface and bring out more green. I also rubbed Inka Gold along the edges to give it some sparkle.
I found an inspiring Irish proverb and simplified it to add a little text to my shamrock.
A few little details made with my acrylic paint pens and a coat of clear finish later and I have a finished piece!
I really like the layers of texture and the shimmer of the gold. Many thanks to my lovely eldest daughter for being a fabulous hand model for me once again. May you all have the Luck O' the Irish with you in your creative pursuits this week!
This week I wanted to do something different and fun. I'm not working on paper or canvas I like I usually do! This time, it's all on a re-purposed vinyl record!
Grab a record... and note - it must be something you will never listen to -ever- again. Pick one that isn't your favorite, isn't worth much or is damaged. (Also, you can usually find these super cheap at thrift stores too!)
First, I used Dina Wakely acrylic paint in black to paint over the label on the record. Then I used modeling paste and a palette knife, to scrape through a 12 x 12 Artistcellar Stencil (This one is from the Sacred Geometry set - "Flower of Life") Once the modeling paste is dry, set the record on a circular metal base and start heating it up with your heat gun. As you do so, the record will melt and form a "bowl" shape around your base.
To finish it off, I used my finger to add Inka Gold in Gold around the edges of the bowl.
Use it for anything and everything!
Here, I'm using it as a way to store my crystals.
I have had a memorable week. As I celebrated Thanksgiving with some of my family my thoughts were with my mom and her sister. My aunt entered the hospital with pneumonia after battling a different infection that we thought had cleared up. Her body struggled. She unexpectedly passed away a few days ago.
That emotion has been close to me for several days now. As an artist I usually can express feelings through making things but with grief I struggle. It can close you up and isolate you and the thought of creation when I have just experienced loss seems foreign.
But, through the creation of something I can process the grief, give it a name and begin to progress again.
I share this only to explain my little art journal page I made. It's small and not my favorite but it is significant to me and a step forward. I like making whimsical, beautiful things and it can be difficult for me to express grief through my art but I discovered through this that creating beauty during sad times helps me grow. I miss my aunt but she was a creative soul who inspired me and will inspire me still.
May you find joy in all your creations my creative friends.
This week I'm working with chakra's again -- but with a little bit of a different approach. Lately I've been having a lot of fun using Amazing Mold Putty and creating molds of various items I own --- especially from my doll collection. I've been creating artwork on canvas with these pieces. Today, I wanted to create a painting on the theme of the "Third Eye".
Every time I think about this -- it reminds me of one of my favorite Tool songs by the same name. Before I started painting -- I lit some candles, turned on some music, and used a tiny bit of Clary Sage essential oil in my brush water.
I have created a little video of what happened next:
Its my turn again! I am hoping you are all doing well my Lovelies!
This weeks play time ended up totally different than what I had first planned to start out with. The start of my page I wanted to be sweet, maybe a girl with a teddy or something equally sweet. But my page turned into this worried girl.
At first I was frustrated and was going to start over, but after some deliberation I realized this is what a journal is for. I may not write my feelings down in words but the face I painted shows how I have been feeling as of late. I have multiple family members that have medical issues that are very scary right now and this causes me to worry, and worry causes anxiety. These are the times when I should be working in my journal the most but I tend to lock up and it's a fight for me to get into my studio, but once I do I feel all of my anxiety start to melt away. Sometimes I forget what the best medicine for me is.
To start I used my Stathmore Visual Journal, starting with a page painted in a sloppy black layer. My girl and the idea I had for my page were inspired by another artist, Mindy Lacefield. So I started my girl using a palette knife to lay down some white Dina Wakley paint for her head and shoulders, I then used some of the other vibrant paint colors from Dina to create shadows. I used my Generals Scribe-All to add definition to some of the features. I then went in with more of the paints to add more definition using brushes and palette knife.
For the background I used a big paint brush to 1st do a layer of orange to which I added some stenciling. I decided to cover it and I used another layer of paint using white this time. I decided I needed a bigger shape in the back ground so I used Bodacious Pods stencil from the Playful Pods series using orange, then using green to fill in space.
I love how this page turned out, it shows how I was feeling but also shows the bright outlook in my background, which encompasses my fake it until I make it way of life! And so far I'm winning!
So I guess my lesson learned is that I need to use my journal as way to better myself instead of worrying what I think everyone else will like! If you would like to watch my process take a look below at my video up on youtube.
Big Hugs and Mushy stuff!!!
- Shana Banana