What makes a gator a gypsy?

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

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mixed Media Mayhem - The Documented Life Project - Adding texture with cheese cloth

Touchy Feely (Texture)

May 23
Art Challenge:  Cheesecloth
Journal Prompt:  Say Cheese

The challenge continues the quest for texture by suggesting cheese cloth for the art technique and "say cheese" for the journal.  I wanted to use the cheese cloth to bring some dimension to a portrait of a women from my practice book.  In teaching myself to draw, I have found the hardest part seems creating a natural mouth.  I want this woman to smile.  Everybody looks better smiling.  I used a photocopy of my drawing to create the image and the dyed cheesecake for drama (I used a new product, Tint It Spray Dye Paint, which I love because it does not interact with liquids once it is dry)

Mixed Media Mayhem - Post & Postage - A Note from the Sea

In my "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" phase I sorted out piles of postage ephemera including stamps and photocopies. I tried to use them in a variety of journal entries.  I was happy to see the Post and Postage challenge on the Art Journal Journey blog.

 It was the end of the school year and I wanted to make a thank you note to my students at Indian River Academy where we had worked on a literacy/art project based on the work of James Prosek whose Ocean Fishes are on exhibition at VBMA.  In addition to the postage with fish images, I had several fish prints that I had generated for samples for the Japanese Gyotaku lesson and the brochure for Prosek's show.

After building a base coat of acrylic paints applied with a palette knife I was ready to layer on the imagery.  My fish print was on deli paper.  Adding this print provided a translucent top layer for a watery effect. Using postage stamps and rubber stamps of postal marks, I composed my note.  The bright yellow title from the museum brochure was added for contrast.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mixed Media Mayhem - Rise Above

Art Challenge:  Modeling Paste

Journal Prompt:  Rising to the Occasion

The beauty of art journaling is in the opportunity to work out my ideas and feelings concretely while protecting my vulnerability.  I can vent and celebrate but do not have to explicitly express these intimacies.  My journal entry tells my story, but only to myself.  I have the genuine key to the secret diary, but I can invite others to look for their own meaning.

I was really inspired by this challenge - texture - modeling paste.  I have been in a whirlwind of art making.  Bins of paper everywhere.  I am determined to use what's at hand and make this part of my problem solving.  I had some beautiful deli paper left over from a printing session.  I was excited about the color, the crinkle, and the translucency.

I also have drawers and bins of alphabet stamps, stencils, masks, grungeboard, and lazer cuts.  I used a sheet where after punching out the letters, I could use the leftover as a stencil.

I glued the letters and numbers randomly to the background, then used the stencil first to spray dylusions and then, to apply a layer of modeling/molding paste.

To add variety while sticking to the theme, I used some of my large lettering stencils choosing the "A" for "above."  I was able to use the stencil two ways, first as a stencil, then as an image.  

To extend the graphic and the message, I used punched letters to spell "above," traced them with graphite pencil. 

To set off the square stencil I added tiny copper brads to attach it to the background.

To make the message more explicit I stamped "Seek Clarity" on a piece of Braille paper.

Now I have the composition to tell my story.

Mixed Media Mayhem - In Stitches

Documented Life Week of May 9 - Theme - Texture
Art Challenge:  Stitching

Journal Prompt:  "All that I'm after is life full of laughter."

Considering the Documented Life Project theme for May 9, texture through stitching, and the prompt of "a life full of laughter" I pondered how I could use these challenges to document a contemporary event in my life.  To begin I followed my usual pattern of diving through stash or product to see what speaks to me.  In my wicker trunk of fabric snippets, I found a crazy quilt square I had made by hand in an Art Chix gathering where we learned quilting methods and practiced our embroidery stitches.  Of no use to me except as a memory, the quilt piece became the ideal centerpiece for this entry.  Thinking about our meeting at Liza'a house working together sharing fabric swatches and helping each other recall our basic stitches of the sampler, I was struck again by the warm camaraderie and non-judgmental support provided by this group of women artists who gather monthly to create art.  The friendship provided by members of this group provide me a life full of laughter - keeping me stitches.

To set the stage for the crazy quilt I used the most favorite tool, a credit card, to scrape black acrylic paint over the two pages and auditioned the placement of the quilt.  Once I had determined to leave the quilt whole, it was obviously out of balance so I glued some trimmings to the left hand page.

To tell the story I adhered some dyed, ripped tags with journaling and wrote around the edges with a white gel pen.  I let my stitches be the detail on page 2.