Tag Archives: mixed media collage

Excitment all round – a Birdy blog hop!

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As I said in my last post – Alpha Stamps have released my latest collage sheets – Nesting Instincts & Bird’s Nest & I am thrilled to see what Leslie’s amazing Design Team have come up with in using the imagery………..there are gifts, prizes & give aways if you follow the ‘blog hop’ between the design team’s blogs.

Visit each blog, leaving a comment you will automatically be entered to win a small piece of artwork from each Design Team Member! So if you go to all 9 blogs, between Thursday, June 7th and Sunday, June 10th you will have 9 different chances to win artwork!

That beautiful, hand-stitched coaster at right, by Theresa Martin, is one of the prizes you could win!

AND… check out this post here on the Alpha Stamps blog to find out how to win the new Birds in Hats Kit!

Theresa Martin | Visit blog
Alaskan Sapphire Rose – Shannon Tuttle | Visit blog
Starrgazer Creates – Rhea Freitag | Visit blog
Glitter Tart – Caroline Ouzts-Hay | Visit blog
Junk&Stuff – Kristin Batsel | Visit blog
Rhonda Mum – Rhonda Secrist-Thomas | Visit blog
Artfully Musing – Laura Carson | Visit blog
Pixie Hill – Nichola Battilana | Visit blog
Amys Blam: General Foolishness – Amy Mayfield | Visit blog
Below are my 6 x 6 collages using the newly released sheets – Nesting Instincts & Bird’s Nest.  Click on the link if you would like to purchase some from Alpha Stamps.

days filled with colour

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there is a quote that says ‘when the student is ready, the teacher appears’.  I had that experience this week when I happened across this graduation speech given by Neil Gairman  When I first saw it was almost 20 mins long, I thought I’d listen to a couple of minutes & see what it was like……….and in walked my teacher for this moment…….I was left with that Walt Disney feeling of wanting to do it over & over again.  If you are even remotely creative – grab a cuppa & have a listen.

 

AAA-GAIN i feel compelled to talk about Autumn.  we have in Melbourne enjoyed a week of spectacular days. and now the rain.  I know there will come a point in a couple of months deep into winter when I will tire of the ‘gloom’ but for the moment, the colours of my favourite season surround me.  I enjoy a spectacular view of deciduous splendour though every one of our windows & the yard is littered with leaves that create a colour wheel every time the wind blows. In the long evenings, our home is replete with candles, bringing a cosy glow to everything.  I love the soft light & the smell of melty candle wax!  Autumn is one of my great loves.

I have been working on a few secrets lately – some new collage sheets & my first range of papers – soon to be released at Alpha Stamps (some of you may be aware that I have formerly been a part of Leslie’s design team @ Alpha Stamps) & some artworks to be auctioned at a local woman’s function.  This is the first time I worked on ‘wooden cradles’ and I am TOTALLY in love – it’s a bit of a story – but cutting a 3 month journey into a sentence or two, my artwork came to the attention of an influential gallery curator, who expressed good things, but it was not ‘acceptable’ in books.  (ie art journals) I cogitated on that for a bit – knowing that I REALLY didn’t like working on canvases – they just were too ‘fragile’ for how I liked to work & my habit of really ‘manually handling’  my work as it was being created………I investigated canvas boards, but it still came back to having the cost of framing before they could be exhibited/presented for sale……….what to do…….what to do……I remembered waaaaaaaaaay back that I saw someone painting on a wood panel & investigated this a bit locally.  TOTALLY cost prohibitive & cos of the bulk of sending – the mailing cost + product cost from overseas worked out about the same…………another brick wall.  Enter MOTH…….(man of the house)……….I could make them – easy!!!!  I have to say he is a person with a golden heart & the best of intentions, but usually not so good with follow through………BUT low & behold – he made me a dozen 10 x 12in birch wood cradles (which essentially just look like

 

a thick walled canvas) & I am IN LOVE – TOTALLY in love – it’s a dream surface to work on & can take all the punishment I dish out……….can’t be sewn like watercolour paper – but I’ll just have to improvise with that one…………SO I am a happy little Vegemite (camper)……enjoying exploring a new surface
………AND – as an endnote – waaaaaaaaaay tooooo early for a drum roll – but I am excited to be working on my first range of rubber stamps which will also be available from Alpha Stamps.  It’s fun & scary at the same time – it will be months – but it’s why things are quite here……..lots of hush hush down under!! LOL!

New Journal Pages – Another Perspective

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as promised last week – here’s some of my new & refined journal pages – when you are ‘playing’ with a style different to what you are comfortable, finding the ‘finishing line’ is tricky.  I am really not sure whether a couple of these pages now fall back into my heavier, over coloured work that was beginning to get quite murky………..the very thing I was attempting to make a break from.  I usually create a new journal one of two ways, either I create signatures & work in them & then bind it all together, or I create a blank journal and work through the pages in it.  Each has its benefits and draw backs, however the perfectionist in me struggles to complete a book when I start to dislike one or two of the entries.  It just languishes on the shelf, untouched.

This time I tried a whole new approach, I have torn up a whole stack of pages and am just working on the pages as I go – they are not even a ‘folded page’ (for a signature) – just loose pages.  My intention is to ‘Zutter Bind’ them when the time comes to bring them together.  It is actually quite liberating – ‘cos if I really hate something – I just don’t have to include it.  That makes a big difference to how I approach each page, I don’t feel the anxiety of the ‘blank page’ because I can abandon the composition at anytime.  Sounds VERY precious & non commmital doesn’t it???  I have just found that it’s liberating. 

SIGNATURE – (as far as in relation to Communication Arts / Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding)
Printing a.  a sheet of paper printed with several pages that upon folding will become a section or sections of a book

from the guilt box

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I have something that I am sure NO OTHER ARTIST has in their studio!!   It’s kinda ‘the elephant in the room’ – I know it as my guilt box! My guilt box is something that kinda evolved gradually in the year before I began studying.  For anyone who knows what this means, it was the year of living with a black dog in the year that our business collapsed & we lost two little grandblessings.  A corner started to evolve,  that I avoided, it contained a growing pile of  beginnings of projects had become ‘stuck’ for one reason or another. 

I became paralyze and stopped beginning things, because I didn’t think that I was going to be able to finish them, so it wasn’t worth commencing.  I DO read my own advice to others! LOL!

The following year, (2009) I began studying art full time as a kind of therapy to ‘jolt’ me out of the ‘dog kennel’…………..but still the pile in the corner remained, and expanded.  It kinda happened as projects for leisure ongoingly took a back seat to the need to endlessly ‘produce’ artwork for one timeline after another for college, on subjects that I really didn’t have a great deal of interest in, but was obliged to complete & go through the process.  Works in Progress (WIP’s) were frequently packed up to ‘clear the decks’ for the current ‘SCHOOL’ project & WIP’s soon became Projects of Waiting (POW’s – waiting for inspirations, supplies, time, help!!) gradually slipped into the Unfinished Objects (UFO’s) & and then, as inspiration & momentum was lost along the way, gradually joined a growing list of things on my ‘guilt list’. 

GUILTY because
– I had bought/hunted out supplies especially for this project & now it was languishing, I have wasted time & money
– It is outside the expected time line (postage date, agreed timeline)
– I can’t think of an idea that doesn’t seem to lame to even begin to complete the task of completing
– The work I have already done isn’t what I want it to look like & I don’t know how to make it better
– I have completed/are doing other things instead of the thing I ‘SHOULD’ be doing/completing

OK!!!! IS THIS SOUNDING LIKE A PSYCH CONSULT?  AM i ALONE HERE????  Does YOUR studio have a ‘box of guilt’ in a corner or a drawer???? or do you all just begin & complete projects in one hit, and THEN move on to the next thing???  As we will be moving house soon, and I am going to have to literally pack up EVERYTHING and PAY to have it stored………..it will cost me money to retain these projects.  I MUST MAKE  A DECISION & I am a shocker when I don’t know what to do – I do nothing – it has been both my personal & professional undoing – but it is painfully true!  SO – here’s my plan – one month at a time – on the first of the month (I HAVE EXCUSED DECEMBER for pending Christmas projects) I am going to get something out of my guilt box or my pile of UFO’s.  I am going to give myself the whole month to ‘deal’ with them – ie make progress, send it back, complete it, decide how I am going to move forward……….at the end of the month – if it is still in the same state as the start of the month – it will be taken apart as ‘salvage’ – cut up, torn up, supplies separated, etc.  THAT’s my plan anyways!  SO the pictures you see here are October’s contribution.  I have had this journal (GULP) for about 18 months – sitting in my drawer, with the page below semi painted.  I wasn’t happy with my ‘Lady of the Lake’, I wanted her to be regal & kind of stately, without being pouty – I have painted & painted this mouth about TWENTY-SEVEN times!! LOL!!!  She still seems pouty to me!  Anyways, it’s done  & I had a delightful couple of late nights painting the ‘midsummer night’ pages at the top as penance (do an extra spread) before the darling little book goes home to it’s rightful owner.

THESE ARE THE BOOKS INFLUENCING MY ART THIS WEEK

also the article in CLOTH PAPER SCISSORS
Dec issue article ‘Artist Heal Thyself’ by Lorretta Bendetto Marvel

More from ‘A Different Perspective’

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Thank you for the kind, & encouraging comments & private emails in reference to my last post – saying my art wasn’t very good – it really sounded like a pitty party & I am sorry if I lost you there – it wasn’t my intention – the story is that I am on a cusp of my art moving from altered art to original art (printing, painting & drawing) – but my ‘original art’ is not of a good enough standard at the moment to stand alone – then I try to blend a little original art and the ‘muddy’ colourful altered style that I tend to lean toward – & that’s were the self loathing kicks in!  I usually don’t like the result.  It actually gets back to what I talked about here  Perception & Reality are not always aligned.  Anyways – moving forward……….

Here’s a couple more pages from my recent art efforts for my new ‘simple look’ journal……’A different Perspective’  Some of them are still works in progress, however I am not sure whether that’s me trying to complicate them or whether they truely need more – so I am just sitting with them as is.  UNUSUALLY – not many photographs this week, not much happening that has captured my attention………except to say I love the late afternoon sun in my new west facing studio room.  It bathes me in orange & watermelon pink & I love it.  I imagine it as glory!

post script …………. this little ‘vessel’ has slipped out of the slide show & I can’t put it back – so it stands alone at the moment.

A Different Perspective

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another month has flown by and our souls are starting to dry a little from a very wet winter (which of course we are thankful for!)  Life has gotten in the way of art this last month & I have been trying to find my artistic voice within constraints of limited space, limited supplies & limited time.  They all suck – but it’s just a season & that’s how life goes sometimes in families.  I wanted to create myself a new journal to work in & to be able to at least be doing a little something, & so I started out with to book board covers cut to A4 size & punched that & 20 pages of water colour paper for zutter binding.  These covers were subsequently collaged, layered, painted, glazed & rubbed on but when it was finished I hated it.  Although I recognize that I lean toward the ‘murky’ (clear colours look so insipid to me) I have just lost the plot here, & it’s so MURKY it’s just a green blob – had I just painted it in a mottled effect over some newspaper, I don’t think it would have looked any worse!  LOL!! the saving grace is the gorgeous vintage flower buttons that are on the cover.  They are a treasure & although you can’t tell in the picture, they are really finely detailed.  So I had a week or so mopping, dissatisfied, but not really knowing where to head next………….I am seeing amazing colour all around me as Spring transforms all of my senses.

Baby birds are everywhere & our garden is filled with gorgeous crimson rosellas & king parrots feeding on the seed we leave out for them daily.  As I type this, I can hear the chortling bell like sound of their call to a garden with a generous bounty.

spring light has saturated the dark corners of winter & the days are stretching out into early evening…….the canvas spread before us from our front verandah every night is jaw dropping and a photograph is a poor substitute – but here’s a glimpse

and of course the gardens are resplendant with a riot of colour which our grandblessings are just lovin’…………despite all of this, (I, the COLOUR guru!!! – note the irony,) have felt that I need to parr back & simplify a little.   I have shelved my ‘green lump’ book (the one with totally gorgeous vintage buttons wasted on it!! LOL!) & though I know that will come into it’s own at this point (I have a use in mind, but at the moment, I don’t love it enough to open it, or to want to work in it & when I am already time challenged) – an uninspiring surface to begin with is not going to help progress.

I  have been encouraged in one of my online art groups to contemplate “Sprezzatura”  or  deliberate carelessness.  Wikipedia defines it as: “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it.” Vasari, Raphael and Leonardo were exponents. Picasso’s drawings are a good example- simple expressive lines with little or no attention to anatomy

Being such a perfectionist, I struggle here & I have found recently that perfectionism like a ball & chain, because my art is not that good – and my ‘artly vision’ for my piece is that it have a realism impact- and then when my skill deficit kicks in & the piece is mid process, it’s not what I had in mind at all.  Robert Genn (from The Painter’s Keys) has suggested:

  • Put speed into your strokes by lengthening them.
  • Leave parts unfinished- let the viewer complete for you.
  • Put the mark “near,” not “on” the place it should be.
  • & THE HARDEST ADVICE – Just for a while, don’t take yourself so seriously!!
  • Make notes of incomplete thoughts, fragments, figments
  • Let ideas freely associate and take you where they will
  • then, revisit your thoughts and ask, “What could be?”
  • then – Liberate yourself by consciously omitting the word, “I.”.. &.Circle, highlight and re-illustrate ideas in progress

Some other thoughts he has are:

  • Choose your brush, then take a bigger one.
  • Think of your brush as part of your voice.
  • Fight the common tendancy to tighten up.
  • Try working with ‘idea,’ not style.
  • Don’t fret the Freudian slips.
  • Be esuberante (exuberant).
  • Trust your instincts.
  • Sing Italian arias…….not that I sing them – but I often play THIS in my studio

A sweet & dear friend who has seen my recent state, gifted me a gorgeous journal book by Sabina Ward Harrison – The True & the Questions.  The perfectionist in me prevents me from actually writing in it! LOL! but it is provoking & influencing me right now, especially to work with ink again, which has been set aside for for a while.

SO – here’s the new journey – I HAVE parred back, AND AGAIN, parred back – for the moment I am working with a palette of Titanium White, Titian Buff & Burnt Umber, with little splashes of colour, that I am then wiping back & ‘whiting’ over to lessen their impact.  I am also working with stamping & alcohol inks for highlights & text.  Here’s the results so far…………I have titled this new art journal..”A Different Perspective’…………. as it began life by me finding a broken magnifying glass in an antiques junk shed……….

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Colourful houses

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You may remember a month or so ago, me revisiting the ‘little houses’ genre for a swap I was hosting at Paper Traders…..we’ll day by day, over the last little while, villages of little houses have been arriving, (16 groups in all) which has been great fun.  Somehow or other, some people got the instructions a little ‘confuzzed’ (easy to do) & some of the artists made atc’s with houses on them, as opposed to houses that fit within atc dimensions……….no worry, they were all mixed up a bit & look lovely together, but to tie the theme together & as a RAK, I thought I’d make ATC’s with houses on them to go out with the swap.  Not one to make anything much in multiples (the whole reason for not joining some groups!! LOL!), I needed to find some way of ‘expediting’ a large output of cards, but still making them different.  So, I got some paste board, & collaged up some backgrounds using paper scraps, postage stamps and vintage music & book pages, which I then sliced up in ATC sized pieces. 

Using acrylics, crayons & pens, I added houses on top & finished with more pen work & some rub ons. (luv ’em)

latest art projects

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Juggling plates is my new pass time – some have food on them – others appointments – others family – yet others home duties – although I am still managing to fit art in – the time it takes to photograph/scan it, download & sort pics, upload to the various places I have my art on show & create some sort of narrative or explanation of them has taken a back seat………SO – I am still arting most days, some days only a little art! But I just don't have the time on the computer that I used to have – it's either create art – or sit on the computer & look at the art of others & talk about making art – so as a conscious decision – I have to cut my blogging back to an entry a couple of times a month – & I have set aside some time to upload a little of what I've been doing in the last little while tonight………IMG_2292_resize of course I zzsshuuieeezzzed up my Moly that I showed you last time, adding in some trims & papers, just for a little variety – it's now in Jenn's capable hands & I can't wait to see what she comes up with………..With all my 'plate juggling' drawing seems to be easier to keep up with than collage & mixed media, as I can take it with me.  I have begun my next one, which will be on the way to Rachel shortly – titled 'Lanes, Alleyways & Other Quiet Corners'  I hope for it to be largly in black & white with touches of other colour..you can check it out here…….IMG_2896_resize

 I have been creating some 'add ins' for my journals from 3 x 5" index cards using vegetable dyes, inks & bleach – messy – but good fun & well worth doing in batches……………

bleach & ink stamping 
I just COULDN'T resist participating in the Paper Trader's Renaissance Women Gothic Arch swap…I created these by layers and layers of acrylics, wax, & stamping, before I added the images & embellished them with pearls & bling……..here's a glimpse of some of my arches & charmsRen women 1_resize (made from up-cycled opp (thrift) shop treasures)   Ren Women 2_resize IMG_2764_resize

I finished off that journal I was telling you about last month & sent it to its new home.if you'd like to see it all – here's the link……& here's a couple of pics to tempt you to look!IMG_1700_resize IMG_1734_resize IMG_1932_resize

changing medium with the weather

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I have GENUINELY been a MIXED MEDIA artist lately….changing medium with the weather & accomodating what ever my pain level of the day is…….IMG_0036_resize
We have been having wild extremes of weather – at the end of last week there were parts of our state in 'Catastrophic' Bushfire conditions and today – it has snowed!  We have had so much hail it has been like snow!…& of course this has provided us with a spectacular vista, night after night from our front verandah as the sun sets……last week it was a golden haze that almost hovered from the heat….tonight it is an ominous stormy sky, with smatterings of the purest white…… .. I am continuing my 'learning to draw' journey, done some collage work in a journal, made up a few ATCs, and continued with my 'love quilt'.  Here's a few pics of my recent work: 2-072b-Somewhere-far-Merged
I was incredibly fortunate lately to spend a little time sitting beside this lovely river recently.  A friend & I had caught up for coffee & she had to leave me & get off to work.  As it was so far from home I allowed a little time to explore & had come prepared to art!  I got down enough visual info (as well as photos) to capture what I needed to complete the drawing & then finished it off at home using watercolours, markers & tech pens.

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I've had the priviledge of having a 'play' in Jenene's gorgeous 'Affectionately Yours' Round Robin Journal from Paper Traders…..the journal is based around correspondence, notes & letters, to create the topic for your pages……I have used a whole lot of vintage bits & bobs to create a story around the garment & fabric industry.   I hope Jenene likes what I have created as the last entry in her book.

Fish garden webJan 10

This is one of my latest ATC's called 'Fish Garden' inspired by the ads we are seeing at the moment on TV about our City Aquarium.  It has large sharks swimming through the air overhead.  The Princess LOVEs these ads & has put in a special request for Poppa to take her to see the fish swimming in the air!  (they have an overhead viewing tank)  

I have also been creating a Valentines Token to participate in a swap at Paper Traders.  For those from Oz – it seems that in USA the tradition of Valentine's Day has retained some of it's original glamour & extends to friends & aquaintances as well as members of the opposite gender you may have designs on.  (or have re-designed LOL!)  I dithered & dalied with this so much – it was on my studio table for a week and it NEARLY ended up in the bin in frustration.  I have really gotten out of the altered art process & I just couldn't seem to bring this to a happy conclusion.  It is made on 640gsm Fabriano cotton watercolour, so it was a dream to work on & then I decided I wanted to stitch it, which of course was a little bit of a hassle as it's NOT that bendy!  I also created an ATC to add to the Paper Traders' Winner Takes All pot (one artist is randomly drawn to win all the cards entered for that month)  I thought that February's should be one for LOVE!

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As I said I have also been doing a little patchwork, continuing with my 'love quilt' & incorporating some of my Nan's linens (as well as some found vintage treasures) as I said last time, these blocks are 15in square – so they are quite large.  It's a nice size to work with actually.

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actually, in reviewing this post, it may not have been entirely a bad thing being without my computer, it's certainly been a productive few weeks.  The thing that I didn't add is that The Princess has been for a 'little holiday' at Nonna's and we have had some fun times playing.  She has started on her FIRST mixed media journal and I am convinced (in typical Proud Nonna style) that she has the makings of a fine artist!

OH, and BTW – I have FINALLY joined into Facebook – if you are out there and want to touch base via facebook – here's the link to my facebook page.  I haven't worked out how to link my blogs & pages all up yet – I will get on to that shortly! 

Presents & Lines That Ask Questions

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I have heaps of work from my end of year assessment to scan & photograph to post, but some of it (A1 life drawings, are just too hard – even to store & I have already 'binned' them!  In the process of 'filing' & sorting' all of my work from the year, I came across this quote from my drawing teacher.  He said it at the start of the year, at the time, I was still under the illusion that going to 'art school' meant that you would get some actual 'instruction' in art – instead of here's the 'thing' (whatever that happened to be on the day) – draw it!  Lines that ask webso, after quite a frustrating year, I felt it only appropriate that I create something funny out of these 'high brow' ideals of drawing……….. this is my page for the Paper Trader's calendar for 2010.  I will post a link to buy them if you'd like one, in a couple of days when it's ready.  I am not sure if the resolution is high enough for you to read any of the questions these lines are asking of each other, like….

does this drawing make my nose look big?

How do you like your hair cut?

Is it nicer to kiss fuller lips?

I wonder what it would be like to be taller?

Can I help being so straight?

What do you do with your self when you are not part of a drawing?

I used my old typewriter to create the text, then coloured the paper by giving it a 'quick' bath in clean water, spraying some walnut ink & Horny Toad Teal Moonglow on it & then drying it with a hairdryer.  The hairdryer gives nice 'spidery' lines that look intriguing as a whole, but when they are cut up they just add interest & tonal variation.