Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

RESTORING THE BALANCE

“Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot”
“Big Yellow Taxi” - Joni Mitchell

Why is that song stuck in my head? Like me, have you ever wondered how a fragment of a melody started what seems like a never-ending loop in your brain?  Did a memory trigger the earworm? Perhaps it was a date? I started working on my latest collage on Earth Day…so it’s no wonder Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” became my musical imagery repetition inspiration.

And here my collage begins. I really like my Strathmore Visual Journal. The spiral binding allows me to place the book flat on my work surface. This makes anything I want to do to the page easy. There’s no holding back a cover or other pages getting in the way.  It’s such a time saver, especially when working entirely conventionally.

The collage began with a discarded page from a dictionary I found in my box of unbound books pages.  I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw the listing included the word “taxi”.  I attached the page to the Journal using matte medium…a quick coat to the paper and back of the dictionary page.

When dried, I started the work from the outside in. I painted the border of the page with Dina Wakley heavy body acrylic paint in Lemon. For the center I mixed Dina Wakley Ruby and Lemon and created a glaze using the Golden Glazing Fluid. It’s a great product. The Fluid allows you to hold vibrant colour, yet produce a lovey transparent effect.

Now it was time for the part I love best…the stenciling. I started with the Artistcellar Blocks Series-Open Work which mirrored the checker board pattern on the taxi perfectly. I wanted an organic shape to compliment the patterns I created on the page. Artistcellar Playful Pod’s Petite Pods fit the bill. It complimented the design just as I had hoped.

I’ve rediscovered how much I enjoy using Dylusion Sprays. I have to admit Bubble Gum Pink is my favourite. The pop of colour is exciting, especially as the hue stays true…no fading when dry.

All that was left was the ephemera and texture techniques I wished to add.  It’s been fun working with Seth Apter’s “low-tech” materials. In this piece I created the textured lines with corrugated board and gesso. I had a piece of anaglypta wallpaper. The flower pattern worked well with the gesso technique…subtle but effective. I even added a few words from transfer lettering I had in my collection. From a selection of old newspapers I found the headline: "Restoring the Balance". Perfect.

As collage and mixed media artists we embrace the mantra of reuse and recycle.  For us everything old is new again. In our work, our life, the environment:  Aren’t we all trying to restore the balance? And often balance is not perfection. “Give me spots on my apples, But leave me the birds and the bees.” Let’s hope it’s not too late.

 

MATERIALS USED:

So as I said in my last post I have been taking part in a Faces of February challenge, I have been making a face everyday, using different mediums or styles. So that being said, this post is not about a face I did! lol! because I have to plan these out a bit I just wanted to play and do a bit of playing with stencils and paint today!

I started by getting out my Gesso and covering something I didn't care for in my Strathmore Journal. I completely covered my pages in layers of color using multiple stencils, (here is the list: Playful Pods, Japanese Geometric, Traditional Japanese, Halftone Dots, Marked Series and Steampunk, I thinks that's all of them!) and Dina Wakley Acrylic paints.

I grabbed my Generals Scribe-all pencil and made some simple scribbly sketchy flowers on the pages. I then used gesso to outline them.

I grabbed more of the Dina Wakley paint and mixed it with some gesso and made some beautiful blendy loveliness around the flowers.

After that I just went willy nilly, grabbing more paint, some pens and the generals pencils to play until I was done having having fun! The last thing I did was add some simple silhouettes of a fairie and random bugs and some purposely sloppily written "It doesnt have to be fancy to be fun"

This process is by no means something that I created but it is a wonderful way to play with my supplies and make something that I enjoy looking at! Here's the video: 

 

Big hugs and Mushy stuff!

Shana Banana

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

Wouldn't you know we're riding on the Marrakesh Express
Wouldn't you know we're riding on the Marrakesh Express
They’re taking me to Marrakesh
All on board the train, all on board the train
All on board – Graham Nash

We are in a cycle of dark dreary days filled with rain and humidity. Not the most advantageous to inspire creativity on these late Spring days. I needed an escape!  I wanted sun! I wanted warmth! I wanted exotic locations! With a bit of imagination and the best tools at my disposal I magically escaped the monotonous and traveled into a world of colour and exploration.

Opening the box from Artistcellar that arrived at my door was like grabbing my passport and getting on board to an exciting journey! Included with the supplies was the CHRIS COZEN - PLAYFUL PODS SERIES stencils. As with all of the Artistcellar stencils, they are made to last and perform perfectly with a variety of media. Clean up is quick and easy, leaving the stencil in like-new condition. I have been hearing a lot about the use of Rubber Cement. It seems to be the “go to” everyone is discussing…from Google+ Communities to Workshop details that land in my Inbox.

I selected the Bodacious Pods stencil from the series. They reminded me so much of Moroccan pouffes…the lovely Ottoman footstools that take lounging to the pinnacle of relaxation.  In my collection is an exquisite image of Sir Francis Bernard Dicksee’s "Leila", which I purchased on a Digital Collage Sheet. The woman, painted in the Oriental style, at last found a home.

My idea was to give the art a rough, almost sun worn finish similar to the buildings I photographed in Marrakesh. I chose a heavy watercolour paper for the substrate.  I dabbed the rubber cement through the stencil with my fingers…varying the amount from thick to thin, hoping this application would produce a mottled effect when covered with paint.

The rubber cement dried relatively quickly, even for impatient me. As an impulse buy, I recently purchased  pearlescent watercolours. I go weak in the knees for anything with a shimmer, and the selection of colours looked scrumptious. I covered the paper with a wash. I chose all the gorgeous Bohemian colours available on my pallet: Hot Pink, Vermilion Orange, Cyan Blue, Turquoise and Bright Violet! I blended the colours using a tool new to me… The SAKURA KOI WATERBRUSH. If you haven’t tried it you must! The brush is made of flexible nylon fibers that are fed with water from a refillable reservoir. When I was finished blending, the paper was once again set out to dry.

With my fingers and an eraser I removed the rubber cement. The result was as I had hoped…patchy, worn, sun kissed, with a dazzling shimmer…just as I remember my travels in Morocco.  It would be the perfect home for Leila. I scanned the altered paper and revised the image of the woman. I wanted to keep as much of the paper without further alteration, so I only added Graham Nash’s lyrics…the inspiration for the piece…surrounding her.

Art, I am sure you will agree, can take us to the places as far and as wide as our imagination. With the proper tools at our fingertips we can re-experience the wonders of travels past. Or we can dream of places we’ve yet to see.  Either way, won’t you join me? All on board the train, all on board the train!

MATERIALS USED

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