Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Artist Trading Card Challenges

Hello again! I've been making some ATC's for a couple of challenges over on Think Monday Think ATC. I was hoping it would be a good quick way to loosen up my creativity and it did not disappoint.  
 The above card was made for last week's challenge "Mushrooms".  I am also entering it in Take A Word's Heart challenge. I used stamps by Lawn Fawn, Sweet n Sassy Stamps, and the sun is an incredibly ancient D.O.T.S. stamp, colored with my alcohol markers, then outlining with my epic carbon pen and gel pen.  I approached this first one like I would a greeting card front and also practiced my masking. I didn't get it finished in time before the next challenge began, but the linky stays open for latecomers like me, so I am adding it...and moving on to the current week.

The current challenge at TMTATC is "Camera and Filmstrip".  I went all through my stamp inventory and found quite a few cameras and other appropriate images. The thought came to me to do a series, like 6, and group them in an 8x8 frame. I wanted to do these first couple more artsy, so I quickly made some backgrounds with my inks and then played with stamped collage, where you collage with stamps instead of paper.

It's always a challenge for me the few times I've ventured. So, "Lights Camera Action" is as far as I got on that. Made a few errors because it wasn't planned out enough, but I'm happy enough with it. I used stamps by Artistic Outpost and EK Success.

"Smile Click Capture" was a good effort in me calming down, I think. Sparse and simple. 3 elements: image, text, border. Stamps are Maya Road and Kaiser Craft. I accentuated the words with some marker and gel penning. Stamps by Maya Road and Kaiser Craft.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you have great week!


Sunday, September 10, 2017

T (for Technique) and Sympathy

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. I'm popping in to post a sympathy card I created for my neighbor whose husband died last week. We took her some food but it took me a while to get this made as I've been doing laundry for some family friends who are flooded out of their homes from Harvey. (Miraculously, we were blessed to be high and dry despite getting visited by him twice!)  I created the background of clouds using a technique called Bleach Blocking that I learned from Technique Junkies and am entering this card into their monthly technique challenge.

I began by stamping the Angel of Ascension stamp onto white cardstock using blue pigment ink and clear heat embossing powder. I then colored her with my various alcohol markers and fussy-cut her. I took another piece of cardstock and swiped it with various shades of blue distress inks and a little pink, spritzing with water just a bit to haze it overall.

Then it was time to get a Tim tool ink foam applicator to dip into bleach and stamp in a pattern on the distress ink, which reacts with the bleach where stamped and bleaches out the ink. I wanted the look of clouds so I took a Sharpie and drew a cloud and cut it out. It worked really well!
Here's a close-up of the background. Some of the bleach-stampings turned white immediately, some stubbornly refused, so I just gently re-stamped until each cloud looked good.

I added some gold touches to the angel's garment and silver to her wings using my Wink of Stellas. This close-up shows how much shimmer this added. I believe the sentiment stamp is by Skipping Stones and the frame is from Clear Dollar Stamps, but don't quote me as both are so old CDS is out of business.

 Inside of card: top poem stamp is Skipping Stones Designs and the bottom sentiments are by I Brake for Stamps.

And on the back, stamp by Sweet Stamp Shop using white pigment ink (Hero Arts rocks!) and white heat embossing powder. 

My town was hugely impacted by Harvey, so I am praying for Florida and the states to the north that will get Irma. Everyone affected by all the hurricanes. And elsewhere, wildfires and storms and quakes. Mother Nature is quite active right now and in this high tech world we forget just how small and defenseless we really are. What I have learned from my history reading hobby is, we have come so far and yet not really in the end. So everyone has my thoughts and prayers.

I really enjoyed being able to participate in this challenge. I've got a few ideas for creating for a few other challenges I keep up with, so hopefully I will finish something else! Thanks again for the visit and hope to see you again soon. 



Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Art Journaling with Private Dancer

Hello all! I'm posting to share a spread from my Little Book of Wisdom quotations art journal. It's more song lyrics, this time Tina Turner's Private Dancer, which was #811 on Marit Berentsen's 2016 Top 2000 List. I am posting it on the Top 2000 Facebook group page and am also participating in Art Journal Journey's August Challenge, Poetry In Motion.

These lyrics have always haunted me. Seems like they really get to what this kind of life is like for some women. Again, poetry sung to music. And the backstory of this song is interesting: it was written by Mark Knopfler for his band Dire Straits, but he pitched it instead to Tina, as he thought it was a woman's song. It spoke to Tina, who had given her share of private musical dances earlier in her solo career and knew the mind-set but also how innocent some of these women were, and that came through in her delivery. Some members of Dire Straits performed on the original recording.

I worked with a previously-created background of acrylic colors. Here's a shot I'd taken of the left side, the right was the same. I knew my page was going to busy with collage sheet images and text strips, so I wanted to tone it down.

I accomplished this with a couple coats of Liquitex Interference Red acrylic (which is like a glaze) and then a coat of Golden's Soft Gloss Gel. I wanted a shimmery somewhat glossy background that would take my gluestick well.

Alrighty, then. Ready to Rumble!
First thing I wanted to do was make a border and I tried experimenting with one of my fan brushes and liked the effect...sort of like a curtain. So the red went around the edge first... then I began choosing, printing and fussy-cutting my images and my song text.

Here is my mock-up placement pic before glueing down. I ALWAYS take a photo that I display on my computer monitor as I glue. Yes, it always changes slightly due to artistic creative epiphanies, but it's a perfect starting blueprint for me, a LOT better than my memory, lol. These images are all from Gecko Galz, Collage Visions (can no longer find a link) and Dezinaworld. I fussy cut these and many more before narrowing it down...

After getting them all glued down like I wanted, I put the black border paint layer on top of the red. I like the distinct scallop black border over the red fringy one. When I turn to this spread in the future, I will remember why this song touches me so. One of the best things about filling up an art journal is getting to enjoy it, remembering how and why pages and spreads were created. 

Well, it's been another long-overdue post from me. This time my hiatus has been caused by my personal life. You wouldn't believe it if I told you, at least some of it, anyway, and it's all TMI. But it was sucking out any artistic motivation inside of me. Thankfully, my life as of late has settled some, problems not all solved but the light's on at the tunnel's end, and art is the first thing I've run to. I was really shocked I did not escape to it whilst in my chaotic situation. Guess I do have to have some level of harmony in my life in order to create! Lately, I've found myself jonesing to create, so hopefully I'll have more posts because I always share. Except not so much my drawing. I have discovered I draw more if I don't share those. LOL 








Sunday, April 9, 2017

Song Lyrics and Me

Hello again! I am sharing the latest art journal page in my Little Book of Wisdom quotations journal today. The reason for this page was to participate in a challenge that happened back in December, Marit Barentsen's annual Top 2000 List. Lucky for me she keeps the Facebook page open all year, so I was able to finally participate, lol. But I enjoyed working with song lyrics that speak to me so much that I have a few more pages in process. No eta, though - I'm slow. :-)

Took some progress shots, and thanks for those comments telling me you like to see that, I will try to oblige. I began with this background already waiting, a multi-layering of blue acrylics on gesso, painted, sponged, palette-knived:
I then took a Crafters Workshop 6x6 stencil and some Liquitex Dioxazine Purple Heavy Body paint to make the mountains in the distance. I love how that heavy paint made ridges in the mountains. Here's a close-up of it:
Now, since my stencil was 6x6 and my page is wider, I was left with gutters. Instead of painting that out freehand, I thought of using up some washi tape as a frame (the facing page is framed as well). It's just what I went with. For some reason, it looked strange to me otherwise.
Then it was off to painting the ground. I'm trying to use up my oldest paints, so I just began picking up bottles and shaking (found a few dried-up ones to throw away). I settled on this nutmeg color for the desert floor (really old Making Memories paint - ha!). Then, I tried my hand at some cactus rows after googling some images. I did use 3 shades of green and some of them look pretty good. As usual, I overdid it, but as you will see, it might have a good thing I did that because most of it ends up covered by deli paper. I should have probably used my pen and made cactus pricks but I was lazy at that point.
I attached the washi tape around the edges with Sukwong tape so I wouldn't have to worry about it unsticking. Then, it looked really white, so I got out some Archival Tree Branch ink and stained it.
Onto my collage pieces. I could have searched for just the right images to convey the story, but the  more I looked at the Artistic Outpost stamps I already had from their Wander and Dream set, I wanted to use what I had. Colored and fussycut them out, then I edged them a bit with Smooch Midnight ink. I wanted Desperado in big letters so I turned to my QuicKutz Washington font dies (which I love but never get to use because they are huge).
Cut them in white cardstock, then I colored them with Smooch Copper and outlined the edges with an Indian Red Faber Castell Big Brush pen.
I then ran them all through my Xyrons and adhered them to my page. Next up, my lyrics. I wanted to show the lyrics that reflected the scenario I'd created from the song. And I wanted them to cover up and mute out the cactus a bit, so I went into PSE as I often do. Scanned in the page, then created an additional layer for my text and typed it on just where I wanted it on the page, this is what it looked like on the screen:
Then, I closed the layer visibility on the background and printed out only the top text layer. I printed first time on my copy paper, then taped my deli paper to cover that text with my low-tack artist tape, and printed again. I LOVE how that works!
I have been a fan of the Eagles since my college days and I have seen them live twice, both in the 70's. I love their music (that progressive country-rock thing back then set my tastes. I was 18 in 1974.)  But it's their lyrics that have kept me a fan. My favorite songs are those written by Glenn Frey and Don Henley (songwriter Hall of Famers indeed!). In addition to Desperado, I'm talking about Peaceful Easy Feeling, Witchy Woman, Lyin' Eyes, New Kid in Town, Hotel California, Tequila Sunrise, Life in the Fast Lane, Best of My Love, Victim of Love, and Take It to the Limit. They all tell stories: poignant, real, organic tales. So, this is why I was drawn to this song. And in doing this page, I discovered that I really enjoyed art journaling with snippets of good lyrics because I love to tell a story on my page.
I am participating in a few more challenges with this page:

1. Art Journal Journey's April challenge Magical Mystery Tour - my connection to the theme is that Desperado's Lyrics talk about the same things as the MMT album songs All You Need is Love and Hello Goodbye, just think of them set in the historical American West, which still maintains its own magic and mystery to this day.

2. Paint Party Friday Week 5, Year 7 - this is basically a share what you painted challenge with open themes. Many people share actual acrylic paintings here, and one day maybe I will as well, but for now if I used acrylic paint, I'm participating. I think a multi-layered painted background is a work of art all on its own! In some circles they are called abstract paintings. ;-)

3. Mixed Media Monthly Challenge #35 What's Your Superpower? theme - I'm a non-cusp Pisces and my intuitive side is my superpower. It really connects me passionately with history, my genealogy, and their stories. This page is an example of what I key into intuitively and how.
Well, that's all for today. Thanks to each of you who stop by to visit and comment. I've been having a bit of a confusing tech problem replying to each comment lately, but please know I read and appreciate them all. See you again real soon!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Culture Shock, According to Plato


Hello again! I'm popping in to share another art journal spread completed in my Wake Me When It's Over journal. I am participating in the March Art Journal Journey Challenge with the theme Out and About. And I will also link this up to Paint Party Friday on Friday (Week 4, Year 7).

Forgot this time to take a photo before I began of the background that I'd created a long way back, so long ago that I do not remember what was involved other than what I can see, which are very many layers of collaged scrapbook paper bits and acrylic paint and glaze. It ended up being really bumpy and textural, and frankly a pita to adhere to, but I managed mostly with sookwang tape and xyron for the alpha stickers and word strips. The car was from a magazine cover and was a bit thick, so went on well with gel medium. I painted the roadway and white striping with Posca paint pens.

Now, about the spread itself and what I am conveying here. Those of you familiar with Plato's Republic may remember his description of life in what he called Late-Stage Democracy. People remember it most for the political meanings, but that is not what I'm addressing at all on this spread. I'm only documenting 2 of the cultural behaviors in that time, with trending examples from today.

I will also explain that ever since I read Plato in college (last century), I have called Late-Stage Democracy Plato's L.S.D. Trip. Yup, the acronym was just too tempting for me to ignore, lol. The yellow handwriting is in my own words how Plato sees culture in any phase.

The two examples from today are behaviors that I think are over the top, particularly the one about parents and children. I see far too little respect given elders. Everyone who is lucky enough will become an elder and so will it be for the young who do not seem to realize that by phasing out elder respect, they will not get it either, but by then it will be late. Some say the current elders killed it during the 60's and that argument has some merit, but I personally never approved of that and taught my child to honor the traditional. Alas, when a culture appropriates the teaching, this is what happens.

As for the animals, while I do not currently have a pet, I've had several and loved them dearly. But because I have allergies to their dander, they were always outdoor pets. What I find a problem is that places like hotels are always up in arms about cigarette smoke, but hey, pet animal dander and fluids, no problem! To someone allergic, it's equally offensive, and sometimes medically more dangerous to stay in a pet-friendly hotel room. From my perspective, it's now pets are the rule, no pets the exception in culture...and I see a parallel to back 40-50 years ago when people could and did feel free to light up anywhere and everywhere and objecting was the exception.

So, I decided to document these and then see how they evolve over time. This is why I left the bottom open space on the right hand side, because I will probably have something to observe at a later date.

This represents me (as do all my pages in this journal) because it's an example of what I read and think about. Plus, I cannot lie, I had that cool winged car image, lol. Mashup! ;-)

Thanks for visiting and see ya again soon!