Saturday, April 19, 2014

Can Deli Wrap Become a Quilt?

In a previous post I showed some of the pretty papers that I created with the Gelli Plate.  I have a large stack of pretty papers.  A LOT of them.  I can and do use them in my journals.  But I still have a LOT of them.  So I was considering how to use what I had created in a new and unusual way.

So I backed some of them with fusible Wonder Under, cut them in layers, fused them onto batting, and created a little quilt.  Here it is.

And I really like it.  I quilted it and there was no problem with tearing.  The texture is quite different than fabric - but I think it may offer a new and interesting variation to my quilting.

Next I am going to create a background this way and then add a shape in the foreground. 


Art Object

My brother has a strange sense of humor just like I do.  So I find weird things to give him as presents.  If I see something and it makes me laugh out loud and it doesn't cost too much, it becomes a present for Bobby.
I found this little treasure in an antique store.  Made me laugh out LOUD.  Bobby liked it too.
Too funny not too share with you!            barbara

When is a Cow not really a Cow?

  While they worked on their projects (which turned out to be AMAZING) I played with a CB2 catalog and just cut out shapes and designs that I liked.  Had a little stack of them and started to put them together - and this is what it turned into.

I laughed and took it home and put it on my design wall - and fell in love with the basic shapes and the way they worked together.   I was done with my 100 Days of Paper and decided that this was the perfect design to launch myself back into quilting.

Here is what it looked like before it was completed.
And here is what it looked like when it was done.
And I love it.  People have rather strange reactions when I show them.  Many of them are concerned about the two "missing legs".  They don't mind the wing too much - but the legs.....  I am amused by that reaction.  But most people who know me just smile and say that it looks like something I would create.   Such a Happy Cow!           barbara

100 Days Project is Over

So I actually DID work in my studio - ON PAPER NOT FABRIC - for 100 days in a row.  And I am glad that I did.  It was hard at times to convince myself to keep going.  But I learned a lot - found new materials to use in my quilts, and discovered a new inspiration for my next chapter of quilting.

And I am excited about quilting again.  So - are you wondering what the inspiration is?  Check out the picture below.
I started with a beautiful face from a magazine - Kate Winslet.  Then created a background with strips of paper and some paint.  Then started adding whimsy to the face and hair and dress.  And a bird.

AND - this is the important part - I realized that maybe this would work with my portrait quilts.  I could COMBINE the technique I learned from Esterita Austin to make portraits and then ADD whimsical elements around the face itself.

This may or may not excite you.  But WOW was I excited to have this thought enter my head.  I had never considered combining the two very different styles that I enjoy into a single quilt.  AND it would make my portraits even MORE my own style.  Hmmmm.  My very own style....  Makes me grin and feel all cozy just thinking about it.

I'll post some photos when I get started.....     barbara

Where have I been?

Oops.  Just realized that my last post was in January!  Yikes!  What have I been doing?  Well....
Winter was crazy weird and COLD for Arkansas.  So there was that.  Then I had the horrid flu thing and was too sick to even quilt or draw.  So there was that.  And then stuff happened and got busy - BUT all of that is NO excuse to have skipped all these months.

I guess part of me isn't sure that anyone ever looks at my blog (I know, boohoo poor me) so I just don't take the time to update.  BUT that is no excuse either.

So.  I am going to backtrack a little bit and you will see all sorts of entries with this same date.  But it took months to actually make all the collages and quilts. 


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Three Melting Ladies

Another experiment.  Gosh it is fun when things don't work out.  I learn SO much more!

I was experimenting with the PaintOver technique starting with a black and white copy of a face from a magazine.

The one on the far left is my first attempt.  When I tried to paint a glaze of white paint over the face, the ink smeared.  No matter what I did, it smeared.  I tried different products (see the middle face) and that helped a bit - but still smeared.

Hmmmm.  I called my friend Jan for advice.  She uses many products in her art journals and is more experienced with smearing water soluble inks.  She suggested a few things to try.

The one that finally worked (face on the right) was to iron the copy, then spray it with Fixatif.  I had to be quick and cautious - but almost no smearing.

So then I was faced (ha!) with the dilemma of two smeary faces.  Should I just toss them in the
trash?  Tempting.  But I want to learn to honor my mistakes - so I stacked them up and plunked them on some scrapbook paper.  And I like it!  Looks like it was planned from the beginning. 


Successful Gelli MonoPrint

I have printed MANY prints on paper and on deli paper with the Gelli Plate.  And gotten lots of fine results.

But - never what I would call an Intended or Purposeful print.  One that turned out like it was planned.

And that is because you have to think sort of backwards to get what you want.  And I have trouble both driving my car backwards (trust me I am DANGEROUS!!) and thinking backward.

So I signed up for one of Julie FFBalzers mini lessons on Gelli printing.  And I did every single lesson.  That is where I learned to make those gloppy faces in the previous post.  She is an excellent and organized teacher and I finally understand.

This is the print that I made following her very specific instructions.  And I love it.  It is even better in real life than in the photo.  There are five layers of paint on this monoprint.  And the paint is so thin that you can barely feel it on the paper.

I intend to make more.  I like the way that you can see all this depth in the design.  Do I need to start wearing my baseball cap backwards now that I know how to THINK backwards??    barbara

Friday, January 10, 2014

Experimenting with Faces

I always enjoy playing with faces.  Many months ago I bought this face stencil from Julie Fei Fen Balzer (one of my All Time Favorite artists and on line class teachers!!!).

Never used it.  Then remembered it when I was re-watching a DVD called All About Faces.  Julie shows how to shade faces and how to USE the stencil without making it as rigid a tool as you would imagine.

So I tried her technique which involves penciling in the basic edges of the stencil and then glopping (aka casually applying paint in large areas) for the face background and the hair.

Next you use the stencil again to pencil in the eyes, nose and mouth.  Then add a couple of layers of paint for shading the face.  Then use the stencil to add the dark lines.  Then use a teeny tiny paintbrush to connect the stencil line and add details to the facial features.  And VOILA - you have a face. 

It looks like a Julie Face (of course - no surprise).  And I wouldn't just add Julie Faces all over my journal or whatever.  BUT - here is the awesome part - it made me feel secure about the location of facial features. 

I have been drawing faces for years but this gave me a whole new layer of confidence.  I was surprised.  Didn't really realize I was lacking confidence.  Ha!

Sooooo - this is what I did next........
I took the blobby faces that I had made with the Gelli plate (again based on Julie FFB's great instructions) and bravely added lines.  I made a color copy first (on the left) to show the difference a few simple lines could make.  I didn't add anything other than the black lines.

HUGE difference.  So I tried it with a few others... check it out!

Are you ready for a surprise?  This guy was made using the same face as the yellow guy as a guideline for the Gelli painting.  Uh huh!  Shows how unpredictable that whole process can be!  And super FUN. 

One more.....
And I realize this little chickie looks rather evil.  In part because of her green face.  But I am dazzled by the structure that a few little lines can add.

I am going to experiment with this some more.  AND cut out these new funky faces and put them in my journal.  New post coming SOON! 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thoughts on 100 Day Project

No photos in this post.  Just thoughts.

Tackling a project for 100 days is a significant commitment.  I think the important thing is to select something that has room for a lot of experimentation.  And Paper Collage certainly has given me room to grow.

What have I learned?  A million different things.  But the most important is that having ART in my every day life is really good for me.  As a person and as an artist.  It makes me happy.  It fills my time with wonderful ideas and creativity and having that time filled instead of empty makes me happier.  I don't have room for political and grumpy clutter thinking.

And I am learning things that are going to make me a better artist.  For sure.  About faces and color and balance - room to experiment has given me time to make mistakes and to learn from those mistakes.  Much better than learning from a book.  Or should I say trying to learn from a book.  Real hands-on learning is totally different.

So.  I am happy that I started this project.  I will continue to the end.  And I may even do another one - with a new focus.   Hmmmmm..... something to think about.            barbara

Long Time

Wow.  It has been almost forever since I posted photos about my 100 Day Project.  Does that mean that I stopped?  Nope.  It means that I have been so wildly busy creating that I haven't wanted to take the time to post on my blog.  My bad! 

But - here are a bunch of photos of some of the things that I have been working on and learning from with short notes explaining what they are.....

Created a background using the Gelli Plate and then added a magazine photo.

And then added lots of bits and pieces and layers and paint and ended up with this piece.
Pretty interesting - and a LOT of fun.  Learned a lot too.

  Then I tried another one.  With a bird.  I like the layers around the edges and had a lot of fun adding tiny bits with pens and such.

This one started with a manila folder, scraps of all sorts of paper glued on in a random pattern.  Then an orange glaze to pull it all together.  Actually I had a lot of doubt about the glaze thing actually working - thought it was crazy to even try - but VOILA - it worked and the background was fine.

Then started adding layers and details.

And was OK with the basics.... then added more.....

This one got totally crazy.  Started with the purple boots.  Grew from there.  LOTS of fun.  Pretty peculiar but I learned about distributing color and white to balance the composition.

Found some old alpha stamps that  I got at a garage sale and never used.  But they had really neat little wooden handles.  Took off the alpha stamps, used some bits of sticky foam for designs - and they are wonderful for adding a bit of texture to any design.

Also learned that almost all of my old and moldy stamp pads no longer worked at all (FRUSTRATING!) and that I need to get some more...... 

But had fun experimenting.

These are some larger sticky foam stamps that I made.  These will be used to add texture to my Gelli prints.  They work great for that purpose.

This type of project is SOOO much fun.  You can really explore making exotic and creative designs with inexpensive materials.

Need to see if I can brayer paint on these and add to existing designs....  Hmmmm.....

Some friends want to try making paper dolls.  There are a million ways to approach this project.  Some are better than others.  One of the limiting factors is how to make a very "personal" doll without a huge amount of ephemera to pull from.

This is one idea.  I know, I know.... you can tell that one of the catalogs that I drew bits from was Victoria Secret!  But this is fantasy!!  Cool!!

This would be the first thing to try for a paper doll - sort of a way to get brave and experiment.  

Check out the next one.....

Ah yes.  This one is much more MY personality.  After getting the basics down and getting confident - one can sort of leap off the edge and get really crazy and fun!

More experimenting with the Gelli plate.  Place a photo under the plate and sort of glob paint on to trace the features - then print.  Sort of scary.  

But then I did something more - in the next post you will see the difference.

Here is the second globby painting.  I like it a lot.  

Sooooo - Lots of experiments.  Lots of FUN.  Lots of learning.

More soon....  barbara