What makes a gator a gypsy?

teacher, traveler, photographer, political junky, smash and bash artist, grandmimi, mom, canine companion

Friday, April 3, 2015

Mixed Media Mayhem - Documented Life - Coming into Focus

March Theme   Making Your Mark (Doodles & Mark Making)
March 21   Art Challenge:  As a Focal Point         Journal Prompt:  Coming into Focus

One of the things I love about using art journal prompts is the problem solving.  I love the challenge of a puzzle, finding the answer to a problem.  This week's Documented Life Project became fascinating as I sought to bring this together.  I started with the idea of my focal point.  So many possibilities.  I wanted to use a stamp I carved or a silkscreen I had made.  Going through my little suitcase of screens I came across a set of Wonder Woman images that I made from a postage stamp. I had used Photoshop to manipulate the pop comic image to give it the appearance of a rubber stamp. I used EZ Screen to convert a transparency of the image to a silk screen. First I had to have a background which I put together from the graphic liners to envelopes.  I had so many of these that I prepared two spreads...stayed tuned.

Next I looked at the comic book image of WonderWoman, observing the colors and patterns.
Using a Prima Stencil I added blue dots to the whole page.

Next I needed to add some marks that would convey the energy in the comics and I needed to use the vibrant colors, red, yellow,blue, and black. BAM. SLAP, CRASH. I saw a video (forget source) where a puddle of ink was flicked with the fingers to randomly color the page.  I used my black Dylusions ink for this.  With a series of stencils from Crafters Workshop, I added graphics in the primary colors to emulate the comic book feel.  I practiced the skills taught in Dina Wakeley's ART JOURNAL FREEDOM to balance colors and to show movement...I used Faber Castell Pens and Liquitex Basics  to fill in the stencils adding the red one last to pull page 1 and 2 together.

 Next came the focal element which I screened in Golden carbon black and embossed with black.

 Almost done.  But my lettering doesn't show intensively enough and my focal image is a little lost.

I changed the lettering to make it bolder, added a little arrow made out of printed deli paper to integrate the page, used gesso to bring out her face.

 Finally as I was cleaning up I found an old horoscope in the pile of papers on the worktable.  A perfect find...Seredipity.

 "Focus on whatever will bring out the greatest returns.  Use your insight and experience to guide you."

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mixed Media Mayhem - Birds of a Feather

People tend to think of Florida as an environment with no major seasons, but  living here for fifteen years I have observed subtle changes or natural events that mark the year into pieces.  For example, the live oak trees that shade my yard have a cycle starting in January when they lose about one third of their leaves which I rake day after day, followed by flowering and dropping pollen that coats the windows, cars, and patio. Then by March the blossoms have died and fall in brown masses that fill the pool, stain the deck, and and block up the bromeliads.  Finally the new green leaves come out and a new season is here. This Spring like season is enhanced by the return or conspicuous presence of a variety of birds.  Walking back from the mail box, I saw that I have a woodpecker nest in a hollow place in one of the oak branches.  Washing dishes, I watched several cardinals frolicking in the viburnum.  Reading on the the pool deck, I was distracted by the loud exclamations of black birds that swooped from limb to limb.  All of this bird watching reminded me of the joy I experienced when I lived in New England, and after a lengthy snow season I spotted a blue jay in the forsythia bush...an image that still seems vivd after more than twenty five years.  To commemorate this happiness of impeding spring, I made this journal entry, Birds of a Feather, joining other mixed media artists on Mixed Media Monthly Challenge - Birds of a Feather.

Part of the fun of journaling is searching or creating the images to focus the page.  I love antique postcards and combed Graphics Fairy until I came upon this sweet image of the Tufted Titmouse.  I found the nest in my Dover files.  To make a background I covered the pages the birds' egg blue tissue paper followed by a heavy layer of Golden crackle paste.  As it dried the crackle paste chipped like broken eggs shells.  Some blue Japanese paper, a postal stamp and my Haiku-like poem writtne with Faber Castell big pen marker on white tissue paper completed this page for me.  It makes me happy.