Sunday, June 19, 2016

Playing with Fabric for Paper Artsy!

I love the latest PaperArtsy challenge to use fabric.   As a longtime art quilter, I adore fabric and thus was a bit disheartened to recall that I have shipped my entire quilt studio to the new house across the country, with nary a scrap of fabric around.

I thought about using a piece of clothing, but I've cleaned out my closets and kind of need to hang onto what is left, lol!

Then I saw Ruth and Darcy's posts.... and somehow seeing these clicked my brain to recall I do have a nice stash of Sari remnants, just waiting to be used!  But how to do this?  I tossed around a few ideas involving matt medium or other glues.... but worried that the teacups I wanted to die cut would not appreciate such a hard layer (and I wasn't sure how dye-fast the Sari strips are).  Then I thought about all the double stick tape I have, some of it in a very wide roll (5 inches).

And it worked!  I love the shadings.  This is a piece of cardstock, with a large piece of double sided tape applied to the front, and peeled of its second protective layer so I could place down the Sari strips.

I did this in each of the three colors (but forgot to take a picture of the teal - oops).

Now for the cutting - and yes, it worked, with virtually no fraying, just the odd bit of side piece poking out.  Gotta love those steel rule dies!  I did place the fabric side down, so the steel would cut toward the back of the shape.  For those of you not familiar with this die, the little white lines on the middle blue and coral cups are actual cuts - this is the white edge of the underlying paper.  Normally, I would ink this, but it will not show in the final piece.

These remind me of Fiesta Ware, so popular here!

I decided to use some of my new PaperArtsy Infusion Powders to make a background to complement these fun fabric cups.  I used Royal Blood (a gorgeous blue), Sunset Beach (a lovely coral), and A Bit Jaded (fabulous teal).

I loved this initial application, but decided to keep going.... But will definitely make some  pieces in future where I stop here - the vibrancy and mixing is all so gorgeous.

After the initial application of powder (first only with Royal Blood and Sunset Beach), I blotted and dried, and repeated.  And then added the Jade - just what I needed to pull in that third color of Sari strips!  And I love the depth the walnut crystals add; it looks like a pretty stone!

And here is the finished piece.  I have made this in my EverythingArt journal, sadly neglected for many months.  Need to remedy that, and this is a great start!   I've been longing to use this die since I received it many moons past, so hooray!! Sure does help to clean out the workspace, lol!!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and if you've time, please do leave a comment, as I appreciate them all, and YOU!  xxx Lynn

I've linked this to the current PaperArtsy challenge

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Losing My Heart to Marbling!

As a longtime bibliophile, I have also long been interested in marbled paper, which was common in past years as endpapers, and even along the page edges..... not that I own any of these types of books, mind you!  Two artist friends took a paper marbling workshop with master marblers Regina and Dan St. John of Chena River Marblers a few years back at a local art venue, Creative Arts Workshop, here in New Haven.  And since then, I've wanted to take this workshop.  I jumped for joy when I saw back in February that it would be offered this June, and immediately signed up!

Warning - THIS IS PHOTO HEAVY FOR MY OWN RECORDS! But I hope you enjoy as well!  And forgive the photo/text spacing - Blogger and I have our little tiffs and tonight is one example!

We started with some free form "drawing" with a stylus once the acrylic paints had been added to the special "bath".  The paper is regular paper, primed with an alum solution, which acts as a gesso to give tooth to which the paint can adhere without washing off in the rinse.  Here are two examples in two different color ways.

Here you can see some white areas where the paint did not cover the bath.  These are known as "worms", and can be removed with certain techniques.... but I kind of like the design element here, lol!  Almost looks like stitching in some places.

Then we moved onto a bull's eye pattern.  I used primary colors, and did not make my circles merge (which really just reflects the amount of paint on the bath before laying the paper.  I do not have any pictures of the first layer, but once it dried, I overlaid it with another bull's eye pattern.... not really my style, but whatever!

Here you can see that we were working on large pieces of paper.... but one can marble on virtually any size object.

The red paint here is starting to break down, producing a lovely but unexpected crackling effect....not treasured by most marblers, but I loved it, lol!  And Regina told me some folks try for this... they must be part of our clan!

Below is an attempt at a classic chevron, which should be much straighter!  And following that is where I swirled it with my stylus because the pattern was going really funky due to poor technique with the tool to produce the chevron.  Reminiscent of a hurricane weather map in steps, lol!!

Here is another experiment with the combs and rakes that are dragged through the paint for patterns....
Here is a beautiful pattern originated by Galen Berry, a noted American Marbler.  Regina made this pattern from my paints on the bath.
Playing around with color and the tools...
The following blue and green was made with my sister-in-law in mind, as she is a devoted fan of the Seattle Sounders soccer team - these are their colors!

Some more play with colors and tools...

This is a technique known as Moire - it looks dimensional, but is not.  The "folds" are created by squishing the underlying base color together when moving the paper as it is laid into the bath.... this is a very poor example, but hopefully you can see the idea!  It is absolutely beautiful and amazing when done properly by an expert.
So, just what I need - another paper obsession, lol!!  But will definitely be diving more into this, as I adore the exploration.... and can see many uses for the (usually) beautiful papers created.   

Thanks so much for hanging in here with me, if you have!  And if you've time, please do comment - I always love hearing your thoughts about my work!  

xxx Lynn 

Rocking in Morocco with Lynne Perrella & Anne Bagby!

I have been promising this post for a long bit - since I took this incredible workshop with Lynne Perrella and Anne Bagby in early May!  Although my piece is not yet finished, given the time lapse, thought I'd better show what I have at least!  The theme was Morocco.  I chose to depict an inner courtyard, as I am familiar with these having grown up in New Mexico, which in select areas still reflects a combination of the indigenous pueblo people and the 15th century Spanish invaders, who had by then thoroughly absorbed the Moorish influence.  For this piece this means the outside of the house will be very plain, even drab, made of mud brick and covered with the same mud.  The plain style is not only simple (and to my eye very beautiful in itself), but also deflects any hint of the wealth of the family - which would be displayed within the hidden courtyard.  You don't see the plain exterior here, but it is in my mind nonetheless, as I make the interior very lavish.

One of the things I love about Lynne is her sense of theater - she is a master storyteller, and loves to make her pieces dramatic.  I always learn from her, as I do not generally think this way!  When I created these two women, I had them facing each other - but she suggested putting them "at odds" - leaving it to the viewer to discover why.  Perhaps they are in a harem, with a younger woman surpassing an established courtesan.  Perhaps they are related and having a tiff.  Or perhaps they are wisdom and yet-to-be wisdom.... you can come up with your own take!

Below, you can see I added stenciled script with silver acrylic - I wanted the sense of incantation, or repetitive chanting or prayer, but was pleasantly surprised by the energy this script provides as well!

I love the background of this piece.  We started with gessoed Bristol, and then I added fluid acrylics with a sea sponge....which melded the colors while providing a lot of texture and depth....

Here is the front of the piece, which I see as an entrance from within the interior courtyard to the actual house...

 The door is a laser print photocopy of a Moroccan door, which was then colored with Portfolio water-soluble oil pastels, a favorite Lynne Perrella medium.  I added the little dots of gold around the windows with paint, as well as stenciling across the piece with the same paint, using commercial and self-made stencils to add the other motifs to the background.

You can also likely make out a guard figure..... or someone wishing to communicate with the women within, or ???  His headpiece is made of complicated paper using Anne Bagby's technique, as are the black & white stripes surrounding him.  I also made the headdresses of the women using Anne's complicated paper technique -  a spontaneous collage.  The end results are fabulous - and it is so fun to just put stuff down willy-nilly and then figure out how to make it work!

Here is the back of the piece, painted again with the sea sponges and fluid acrylics, and stenciled with gold acrylic.

Here are some examples of Anne's complicated paper technique... which do not do justice to her work!  They are largely made with paper stamped with her own designs (carved, not commercial), and various bits.  For instance, the little black dots you can see on the beige below just left of center are from the bottom of a garden kneeling pad.  The black and white pieces, and the red bits are from her carved stamps.  All of this has been painted with Golden Asphaltum glaze, which adds a lovely vintage color to everything.  Alas, Golden no longer makes this, but here are the ingredients and ratios from their website:  1 part Carbon Black, 2 parts Red Iron Oxide, and 2 parts Yellow Iron Oxide, to 30 parts Satin glaze.... or to  your taste.  To me, it looks something like a deep tea or tobacco infusion once applied.

I hope to finish the piece this summer - it needs some more stenciling and some work with the headdresses of the women to make them more integrated into the background.  Thanks so much for stopping by, and if you've time, please do leave a comment!  I always love hearing your thoughts!

xxx Lynn

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Look Who Came for a Visit!

Ah well, it has been pretty quiet here lately.... though not at all indicative of the real day-to-day, lol!  Other than a fantastic workshop in early May with Lynne Perrella and Anne Bagby (post to follow soon), very little crafting except a project I cannot yet reveal!

Much of my time has been put toward summer class preparation (we've only a few days between the end of one semester and the start of the next), and packing for another partial move of my worldly possessions to the new house in Idaho, where I will be staying for the month of July.  My crafty mojo definitely needs some exercise!

So I was absolutely thrilled when the beautiful Paloma arrived after a stay with Pamellia up in Canada... just the inspiration I need!  Lys of ImpressionScrap sent Paloma on a mission of spreading peace shortly after the terrible terrorist attacks in Paris late last year.  Since then, Paloma has visited several continents and many wonderful wonderful to meet her face-to-face!

Like many of us, our art and nature are sources of inspiration, peace and comfort.... and thus I took Paloma around my garden a bit (in between rain showers!)

When it rained, we sat on my front porch, and listened to the gentle patter on the roof....

My craft desk, being in the middle of an experiment or two, was too messy to show Paloma directly, so instead I made her a special background which symbolizes to me her journeys from one to another of us, across the seas, mountains, lakes, fields.... all the while carrying her message of peace and well-being.

And so I send her on her way, to one who I consider an early inspiration as I followed her work for over a year prior to putting myself in the game.... and from whom I continue to draw deep inspiration!

Adieu, Paloma - safe travels and know our thoughts are with you!

xxx, Lynn