Sunday, July 09, 2017

Art Journal Adventure: June 2017

There are those times when you tell yourself you're working too hard. I'm kicking myself as I realize this is my first post for July. But...meh...I do what I can. Don't we all?

Art Journal Adventure for June was a bit tricky. The prompts weren't exactly my cup of tea but I finished them. This journal is a large Dylusions journal and the prompts can be found at the Joggles blog or Facebook page.

Week 23: Color Gradations: Fantasy Flower:  My plan was simple: use Gelatos for the background gradation and use up the red paper scraps I had from one of my canvas creations. (Look back and guess which one.) I ended up with this large fantasy flower and the blue/yellow/green combo is one of my favorites. I just added a bit of wording and called it done. This has to be one of my favorite pages so far.

Week 24: Something Old/New/Borrowed/Blue: Regretfully Yours:  This week was challenging but it started with "New". I had the new Gelato colors from Faber-Castell; the iridescents. But since I had done the background last week with gelatos, I decided to use them differently. I used them to stamp the butterfly and it worked great. I tried pink as a background again, hoping to redeem myself from the "fantasy fiasco" of a few weeks back. I don't think I gained much ground. I needed blue so I went with a "chipped sapphire" tone. The page came together under the wedding theme.

So here are the elements: New; Iridescent Gelato, Old; photos, Blue; blingy butterflies and squares, Borrowed; the quote, "I can hardly wait to regret this" (Dyan Reaveley set) that seemed quite appropriate. (Note: the page was neater until I did the next spread. I used spray ink on the other side and some seeped through the spine and the edges. Fortunately, the color matched the blues already on the page. So it's more of a "happy" accident.)

Week 25: Borrow Supplies: May:  I borrow very few things from my sisters because I have more supplies than I can ever possibly use. But my sister does have a die cutting machine and I don't. She cut me these two birds and I just had to use them for this page. This page isn't actually in my journal; it was a separate sheet torn out and used as a mop-up page. This will probably appear in a calendar I'm working on to represent the month of May.

Week 26: Mystery: The Hound of the Baskervilles:  This was a theme I could get behind and since I had just ordered a new paper pack, I went with Sherlock Holmes. I needed another paper pack like I need a hole in the head but when you're a Sherlock Holmes fan, there are some things that you simply must have. It's elementary. I knew I'd use the paper pack's ephemera to collage with but I wasn't crazy about the colors. The orange/green scheme seemed too "Autumn" so I hoped a deep blue and jade would contrast. I think it looks okay but I'm not entirely satisfied with it.

 I wanted to create the Hound but my drawing skills aren't the best. So I went through my magazine cut-outs and found a jaguar snarling. I decided that I might be able to paint it into a dog. Whether or not I was successful is debatable. I think I'll have to come back and look at this page after a month or two and decide. I kept the mouth and eye and covered the rest with black paint. Then went back in with a white pen to add details to the darkness. I also highlighted the outer line with a bright yellow/green gelato to give it the phosphorous glow.
Hound or jaguar, monster or shadow, it is quite the specter of the novel and I rather like it.

More to come soon.
Have a great week!
"Where there is no imagination, there is no horror."

Monday, June 26, 2017

Tunnel Book: Itsy Bitsy

So decided to have a little sale on tunnel books. They make a chipboard book about 6" X 6" and laser cut a hole in each "page". The hole (either circle, square, or heart shaped) gets progressively larger as you turn each page to the back of the book creating a tunnel appearance. The sale is to promote a little "contest" where you can win a gift certificate to the store.

I was thinking maybe I could make one. I even finally finished it. The deadline was extended.
I don't much like the book I made. I mean, I like it mostly..

Well, I'll show you some pictures and we'll see what you think. Just as a disclaimer: I often write posts in which I am unsure if I truly like what I've created and this is one of them. It was an experiment with a new "canvas" and I learned stuff. This post more or less reminds me of those lessons and what to do with my next one.

First of all, I decided I wanted to use some Joggles products. I have a fascination with bugs...I don't like them...I'm just fascinated with them. A collage sheet of watercolor beetles was just what I needed to jump start some creative energy. From the collage sheet, I advanced to a stamp set from Stampin Up that was all bugs. (It's actually a layering stamp set but I only used the single detailed stamp and colored in with markers rather than layer every one.) That's when I just couldn't get the song, "Itsy Bitsy Spider" out of my head. So I figured I might as well use that.

The book comes with a front cover to hide the tunnel and the back cover is the last page. I actually did the covers last and they are a part of this project that I really like. The letters were from a Lawn Fawn set and I just colored them in with black marker. I split up the title and carried it to the inside cover as I felt that the word would take on a different instead of a cutsy little spider trying to get where he's going, it would be a person yelling from the bathroom like the world is ending..."Spider!"

Take note that I did remove two pages of the tunnel book. I didn't need them and I think the tunnel still looks pretty good.

So this shows the tunnel. The grey page was to signify the drain/spout. The bugs I thought would all be trying to help our spider up the spout.

Up the Water Spout:   So I split up the pages to each represent a line of the song. I figured the left side would be where the words were and the right still revealed our bugs. Bonus! The word shows through the tunnel openings when you look back. 

I used the first gray page to see if I wanted to cover the book with papers or just paint it. Painting won out after I had a difficult time cutting out the opening with a craft knife. I used Distress paint with dauber tops and did not prime the chipboard. I did two coats and the coverage was pretty good. I have only 4 colors of Distress Paint and wanted to use them up. (This gets me a tiny bit closer but there's still a lot of paint in there!) I tried to match up colors to the line of the song. I also tried to match up the collage sheet beetles with a color they'd stand out on.

Down came the rain:  I used a stamp in the background of the blue pages that I thought might look like bubbles or waves. The black you can see around the edges of the circle opening is the back of the ring I used to add the words. On the left page, you can see the ring of words. A bit of that black shows through the other side, so each tunnel look like it has a bit of a black trim.

Out came the sun:  I tore patterned paper to make my sun. This was the only page that I had an idea of what I wanted it to look like. I added stenciling to this as I had with the first page. I cut out each of the watercolor beetles from the collage sheet. Only the larger ones that show through the tunnel had their legs still attached. The smaller ones that are glued onto the pages are simply bodies and I added the legs in with a fine point Sharpie. (Um, yea...I wasn't cutting out itsy bitsy legs!) 

Up the spout again:   The spider is one that I drew and cut out. I also drew in his web. The spirals are a couple stamps that I thought looked like webs. I drew in the little itsy bitsy spiders on the left side. (Sorry, in the photo they just look like dots but they are very tiny spiders.) I embossed the large spider with a black sparkle powder just to give him some bling.

The back cover seemed like a good place to practice my bugs before I went crazy with the front cover. I stamped a few in a line and used them for practice. Turned out ok.

Overall, I like the book but it seems to lack a lot of detail. I had a hard time figuring out what to put on the pages since a good chunk of it wasn't even there. The focal point of every page is whatever is in the bottom of your tunnel, so I had a bit of difficulty in trying to find a unique look to each page.

I like it and I don't. I think I learned that I really need to get excited about what I'm going to make. I wasn't excited about this. The fussy cutting of the beetles just seemed time consuming. The painting didn't go as I wanted. The rings for the words were hard to size and then they showed through anyway. (Though that didn't end up looking as bad as I thought it would.) This project seemed more like work than play, I suppose, and I think that shows.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Canvas: The Deep

It should come as no surprise that I had this canvas with a background on it that I really liked. So much so that I almost didn't want to cover it up. That's always a problem. I'm not an abstract artist and I don't understand abstract art. So when I make a background or cover a canvas, it's with the intention of adding more on top of it. But sometimes I find myself just loving the colors and the movement of them and I have a hard time envisioning what should go on top.

This was a canvas like that. I had no intention of falling in love with the background. In fact, the background was like several I had done before only with different media. And I was just using up stuff. I had these Izinks laying around and I wanted to just use them up so I could pitch them. I wasn't going to buy more, I found a different line of similar products that I liked better. But in the process of throwing them on a canvas and messing around with them to create a bit of texture, I re-discovered why I had bought them in the first place: I loved the color! The blue was my absolute favorite and I just couldn't bear to cover it all up.

So a sea-scape it is!

The canvas is 18 X 24 and the background is composed of three colors of Izinks, which is a form of acrylic ink. I finally decided to mimic an art journal page I had done with tentacles and fish bones.

Because I loved the background so much, I didn't want to make it the background, if that makes sense. I wanted it to have equal "eye" time as my elements. I decided to use the fish bones stamp on tissue paper so the background would show through them. I highlighted them with white gelato to give them a ghostly essence. I wasn't sure what color to do the tentacles but went with contrast over my original thought of purple.
I added some embellishment with bubble like rhinestones. I had planned to draw in the little suckers on the tentacles but thought of my extensive button hoard. I added some neutral colors and some pearl buttons that fit the size of the tentacles and really liked the way they draw your attention right into that corner.

This canvas was selected to be displayed in a local art gallery this coming summer. This, along with my small canvas, Moisture, will be on display at the Gibson Gallery located on the SUNY Potsdam campus in Potsdam, NY. Moisture was the canvas I shared here a few posts ago:
This canvas will be part of a card deck I'm currently working on.
I'm still deciding on whether The Deep will appear in my future Calender project! (I'm thinking it will but can't decide what month!)
If anyone is in the area, stop in to see them in person. The photos never do them justice.
Take it easy,