Sunday, May 21, 2017

Not so Secret Project

I believe I mentioned at the beginning of the year that I was going to try to get two things done. These two things were left over from the previous year and never completed despite my written goal. One was a calendar of my artwork and the other was to finally complete a version of my Divination Cards.

I can report that I have several calendar pages completed.

I can also report that I am half-way done with my Divination Deck. There are two I need to finish up with little details and I have a pretty solid idea of how I want two more to look. I just haven't really had time to apply them. That's not too bad since it's not quite half way through the year. I also redid/reworked about three of the cards. I just didn't like my initial version.

One came out so well that I'm going to share it here. But's a secret. I won't be sharing a lot of these but I just loved how this came together. (Thank goodness for stencils, huh?)

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Art Journal Adventure: April 2017

I'm so behind but I'm not sweating it. I only ever sweat it when I start thinking that I haven't posted here in a while...and surprise! I guess I should have been sweating it! I haven't made a post in May yet. Well, here I am!

I admit that this is not a complete month. I am still working on the last week of April. I have a good start on it but it's not finished. I'll be tacking that onto next month's post with just a little preview here.

So...this is the Art Journal Adventure Journal inspired by weekly prompts over at the Joggles Blog or check out the Facebook Group where people share their work.

Week 14: Use strong vertical and horizontal elements: Science Shelf. I immediately thought of a grid and knew I had graph paper lying around the stash. Because that always reminds me of science class, I went with that. I wanted neon colors to pop off the background because I'm a child of the 80's. The image is from a Tim Holtz set.

Week 15: Feature round or curvy elements: Mandalas. I love the look of mandalas but have never really been able to do them well. I decided to use this prompt to practice. And to make sure I did it and didn't cop out, I decided to use Moonlight gel pens on black. I wanted to test out the new Sakura pens I got and was super excited with how they looked. I still need some practice and some more ideas for designs but this page left me with the urge to do more. (by the way, in case I hadn't mentioned it before, I highly recommend Dylusions Black Marble paint. That's what the black background is. You apply it over the page in a single coat and it dries so well that you wouldn't even know the page had been painted. Honestly, I can't live without it. The other colors...hey whatever...but the, that's the ticket!)

Week 16: Just say No to the blank page:  Something Fishy. I was dying to use my new Tim Holtz, Sea Life stamps just to see how they looked. The graph paper was still hanging around so I went with that for my background start. I had the intention of covering up most of it with paint but realized the stamping wouldn't show up very well. There was no way I was going to fussy cut out that octopus! Went with drippage instead. I kinda like the messy coloring of the fish.

Sneak Peek of Week 17: Use a hand shape.
This page is CLOSE to being done but I just couldn't pull it out today. My hand shape is a hamsa hand rubber stamp that I carved ages ago. I like it because it is ZenDoodle-ish and it has the "eye" shape in the palm. That blue stuff is the blue glimmer of a Lindy's Spray. (Probably my favorite color in the line!) Anyway, I'll finish this off and show you the completed page next month.

Hoping to get May underway soon! I haven't had much time to just relax into the journals. But I feel rather accomplished today. I'm feeling like I've finished some stuff up and with this post, that I'm moving forward.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Trouble with Defining Style

I took up a big job this week. I decided to sort through and weed out all the photos on my computer that focused on my artwork/card making. Add on top of that project, the fact that I have been working more hours at my "paying" job this month and you end up with posts like this. Not much new, but reflective.

I mainly take photos of my cards and projects to add here to the blog. I like to keep the better ones in case I apply for a design team or want to submit to some magazine etc. Having done this for several years now, it's interesting to look back on some of them to see what's changed and what hasn't. It popped into my head that this would be an interesting time to see if I had developed any certain kind of style.

I have always struggled with defining my style. I mean, I know what I like but to pigeon hole all my work under a particular "style" gives me the willies. Yet, it is that "style" that makes an artist's work stand out and be recognized as distinctive. Applying for design teams requires that you can define your "style". I wish I could. Even "mixed-media" doesn't seem right. My cards don't look like that but my canvases and art journal do, mostly. "Collage" is a broad term that doesn't really define a style but more of a technique. I am not an art school grad and even terms like "shabby chic" don't seem broad enough.

How to combine it all under a simple "style"?

Can you see my problem? How do you take all the above and lump it into a style?

I did learn by looking back on my past cards that I like to use a main large focal image and support it with background paper. I like a clean look to a card with a large focal or the entire front of the card to be an image. I usually rubber stamp cards and do very little with "mixed-media". For cards, I use stamps, ink, and patterned paper. I'll do some ink blending and coloring. While I'm not sure it falls into the CAS (clean and simple) category, the cards that I like the best have very little embellishment. Like those two above.
Not like these that I made in the past:

While I liked the concept and even the color palettes of these cards, they are too busy for me to really love. The Oscar card has disjointed elements, the rainbow card has competing images, and the Pop Of Color card has just too much pattern. I don't hate these cards but I recognize now that they didn't come easily. I worked too hard on them, thought too long, or maybe just hit a road block.

That's what I learned today in my art journal. The page I was working on just wasn't making me happy. I realized upon looking at it that I could see how hard I had worked on it. I needed to loosen it up, to not think so much about that finished project and just throw some stuff around. I needed to relax into the page and make it happy. (I'll be sharing that page when I share my next installment of my Inspiration Wednesday Journal.)

But that still doesn't help me define my style. What kind of style is defined by a large focal image supported by messy backgrounds or patterned paper that just make me happy? I know there are things that I'll always like (ocean life, cute critters, and circles) and things that I always won't (crazy birds, girl forms, and red) but that doesn't mean you won't see the things I don't like in my work. And my work is not defined by cute critters. In fact, I tend to go back to flowers mostly. Flowers with long stems. Backgrounds of blue and green. What do you call THAT style? Scenic?

Perhaps, I should start using the term "eclectic". "Eclectic": deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources. 

I have shied away from the term because I always felt that it told you nothing. In some sense, it does. It basically tells you that you're into everything.
Or maybe I just haven't the right word yet. Maybe I haven't the art background to determine my style.

Or maybe I'll forget about it and just do what I like, when I like it. I've never been a fashionable trendsetter.
Perhaps my style is "Me".