Making up Stories, Gelli plate and Duck tape book

Hello my artful friends! Here is what I decided to do with my Duck tape and gelli print book. I glued in vintage images from my stash…a drawer of colored images.  I decided to make up stories to go with the pictures.  I titled the book,  “Stories They Told Me”.  So I’m pretending I’ve met these lovelies and talked with them about this particular photo. I gave them names. The first is Anna Yvshenkov. I chose a Russian sounding name because I think of ballet and Russia together. I kept thinking of sad stories and didn’t want to go in that direction. I also wanted to leave you wanting more of the story…so feel free to elaborate in your head. The whole birthday idea came from some confetti that was on the table in front of me…it had this birthday cupcake. The rest of the page was done with Stadler and IDentipen markers. The little stars and ticket are tim holtz rub ons.Image

The next page spread is of Lovely Lorraine Littmann.  She got her last name from another random piece from my art table(sometimes used as a dining room table).  It probably came from clothing of some kind and says Littmann Quality with an L.  (Perhaps it wasn’t clothing at all, and I apologize for not knowing the source!) Again I used pens for the rest of the spread and may or may not add any other embellishments. Sometimes something just calls to be added, you never know. I am more interested in art play than in stressing over whether or not something is perfect, or finished, or anything else. I just want to amuse myself and make something.  Image

Hope you find the time to go make up your own stories. Just play and be joyful!


Sketching on location with colored pencils

Are you a sketcher?  Well, if not, you should just go out and try it! You don’t have to show it to anyone and you don’t even have to be on public display. Some of my favorite sketches are done in my back yard. Spring  always has me wanting to capture those peach and apple blossoms. But I digress….Yesterday I wanted to see the new art display at the Mission Trails Visitor Center near my house.  A friend of mine was included in the artists from the Colored Pencil Society of America. I usually sketch with a micron pen and watercolors, but as homage to the display I took my Toned Grey Strathmore sketchbook with a set of 24 Prismacolor pencils.Image

There are quite a few wonderful rock formations and hills in the park. These are some of my favorite subjects. I began with the three main hill outlines and then put in a lot of white rocks.  I always seem to change the colors and arrangement of the scene…but I call that poetic license.  The hills have scant green areas with lots of grey and yellowish soil and rocks. I used all the blues I had along with white and purple for the sky, keeping the lines going in the same direction.  The real sky was a pretty and cloudless even blue color. I used purple, red, brown and black in the shading of the rocks. 

Colored pencils are fun to layer and layer. I didn’t have all the colors I wanted with me, so I finished up the sketch this morning with my 48 color set of Prismacolors…I really wanted a grey, more greens and browns and yellows. I pushed the back hill back with a nice layer of grey and purple. I brought the hill in the foreground forward with lots of little dots and strokes of texture. Pencils are fun to play with when you have great pencils on nice paper. Now go play!Image

Dylusions, Gelli and Duck tape book

Yesterday I decided to make a quick book. I saw a YouTube video by Kiala Givehand on making a book with Duck tape. (Her videos are wonderful!) I have a lot of tape from when I made duck tape pens and a case for my tablet.  Previously I cut 12×12 scrapbook papers in quarters to fit my gelli plate. I made a pile of backgrounds, and these are what I made into the book.  I followed Kiala’s lead and cut my duck tape in half down the middle of a 6″ long piece so I wouldn’t cover up too much of the patterned papers. I used an exacto knife on a cutting mat so the tape was easy to measure and cut with a metal ruler.ImageImageImageImage The papers were aligned next to each other and the tape made them into a 12×6 page spread. After about 5 pages, I had to open the book to even out the sides so my new page would have some pages under it and there wasn’t such a discrepancy in height.  I thought I would use all my papers, but 20 seemed like enough.class project007

Now it was time to find a big enough piece of paper for the cover. It needed to be slightly larger than my book pages plus room for the spine. There was a heavy watercolor paper filled with dylusions spray patterns that was large enough. I cut the 6 1/2″ piece from the long side that I liked.  I measured the spine, beginning after the 6 1/2″ cover, and scored the paper on the back with a smallish stylus. After scoring the back of the spine, I cut off the last piece after lining up the back cover with the front. I attached this to the book with additional pieces of duck tape inside the covers.

This book went together very quickly.  I’m not sure what I’ll use it for yet. Perhaps it will be quotes, perhaps collages and thoughts.  I tried to do some pen work, but the gelli inks seemed to clog my black and white pens. I use block printing inks, so I think that is the problem with the pens.

Encaustic on Canvas

Today I wanted to see if I could make encaustic art on canvas. I used a 5×7 canvas board and an 8×10 stretched canvas. First I covered the front with handmade papers that I bought in a pack from Costco years ago.  I used mod podge to adhere the papers, but only on the back of the papers and not on the front as is the usual collage process. The reason for this is to let the front be more porous to accept the wax medium.  I use tiny chunks of the medium which is a mix of beeswax and damar resin from a 1 lb. bag. Ideally encaustic is done on a wood substrate, but we were having trouble finding a source for the wood for a class I plan to teach next month.

I added my signature with black permanent pen and drew the tree on the larger canvas.  Then I added a layer of the wax medium with a small quilting iron to both canvas’.  To the smaller canvas I used the melted wax to add pieces of gelli printed tissue paper all over. Then I added a copy of a vintage child.  With puddles of wax I added the embellishments of vintage flowers, gold braid, a metal heart and buttons. I kept adding pellets of wax pushed under the edges until everything was well embedded.

To the tree I added layers of oil pastels in black, grey, brown and blues. After each layer with wax, I would make some scratches and fill them with more color. The tree now has a raised textured look and feel.

I think this technique worked just fine on canvas. Now I will wait until they set for 24 hours before I polish the wax to a beautiful shine. Now go play!ImageImage 

Playing with gelli plate

Yesterday my art-heart sisters and I played with our gelli plates. In the past I did gelli prints on the backs and fronts of scrapbook papers, plain white papers and tissue paper. I made journals and cards from some of my prints on papers. I made washi tape from the tissue paper. I use yudu water-based screen-printing ink and Speedball block printing inks. You can also use acrylics, but these inks stay wet longer. I learned to do my prints in layers using only one color, or sometimes a touch of another. The first layers I like to do a pattern, like bubble wrap, or an overall pattern.  The top layer I like to use a stencil.  I had read about prints on deli paper. It is stronger than the tissue paper and so not as likely to tear.  It has a transparency, so I’ll try to make some washi tape and use it as a collage element in my altered books, canvas’ and art journals. If you don’t have a gelli plate, you could always smear some paint on a piece of glass and try making a monoprint from that by laying a paper over the paint and use a brayer on the back to transfer the paint. Without a brayer, you can use a bottle or glass or rolling pin to press the paper down. The advantage of the gelli plate over the glass is the “give” of the gelli plate gives a lot more pattern in the transfer than the hard surface of the glass. Now go play!ImageImageImage

ATCs, Artist Trading Cards

Have you heard of artist trading cards? They are original works of art, 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″, to trade with other artists.  They are the same size as poker playing cards, baseball cards or other trading cards. You can use any medium to make art on them as well as a variety of substrates. You can join online or in person groups to trade with artists around the world. I belong to an international online group called atcsforall. I am also lucky enough to have an in person group for art card trades.

Atcs are what led me in new art directions. I had done watercolor and acrylics and sumi e, and the cards encouraged an exploration of mixed media which led to altered books, art journaling and encaustics. 

After a week away, my atcs were my daily art recently. Our in person atc/mixed media group is exploring uses of washi tape and paint chips.  My atcs with washi tape include a variety of Tim Holtz elements plus some others. I used Miracle Tape by Viva Las Vegastamps to make some original washi tape from my gelli plate printed tissue paper.

I plan to make some paint chip atcs similar to some I made years ago. The idea is not original, but I don’t remember the original source. For these I attached the paint chips with eyelets using my Crop-a-dial.  I drew the faces, arms and legs on flesh colored paper, gluing on the heads and arms, but letting the legs dangle from small pieces of trellis yarn.

If you haven’t tried making atcs, it is a quick art form because it is so small. You can use so many of the art materials you have on hand and it is great for using up small pieces. In another post I’ll talk about round robin atcs. Now go play!ImageImageImageImageImageImage