Saturday, April 22, 2017

Mother Nature is a bitch

The Columbine is very pretty this year. Doesn't always bloom, and I'm sure the reason this particular year is all the rain and warmth. We hit 81 degrees here this past week, and it is early for that high of a temperature. But then Ma Nature turns around and kicks you in the butt. Repeatedly. Today is windy, chilly with rain coming in once again. Not a good day for arthritis.

Hope your flowers are also blooming!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Gel Printing Class

Teal with bubble wrap pressed into the wet paint

Layering a red over a teal print

This is 3 ghost prints on top of one another

First printed with yellow ochre, part of the paint removed. Then a ghost print over that
Months and months ago, I don't remember exactly when, my friend Klara told me that Jane Davies was offering a new online class starting this month. I debated for oh, 5 minutes, and whipped out the Visa. Jane Davies is a professional artist, working in collage and abstract, and I love her style. She teaches in person and online, but there is always a limit to her online classes. How she does this is a blog is created, much like this one, for the students and Jane to post their work. We can then see what everyone is doing, and comment.

Normally when I use the gel plates, I use Liquitex Basic paint, which is in a tube and heavy body. Because it is in a tube, you sometimes will get more paint out then what you intended. So you either use it, or take some of it off. Not an exact science. Jane is suggesting we use Golden Fluid Acrylics, which I have in about 20 colors, and I did indeed do this for my first session of practice. To continue that practice, I either need to start to sell a whole bunch of art, or meet a very wealthy man. Just saying. Golden products are expensive. The collection I have I have accumulated over the past 3 years on sale from Dick Blick. Can there really be that big of a difference between paints? Oh, hell yes!

You learn very quickly to control how much paint to put on the plate, and use glazing medium with it to make the paint more open (ie: not dry so fast). Look at the last photo above. The circles are a ghost print, that is the second pull off the plate, with Payne's Grey. Payne's is a dark, dark blue with grey undertones, and I had no idea how transparent it could be. Whoa, game changer. Now I want to do ghost prints with Payne's Grey on everything!

Going to be a very interesting class. I will try to post once a week, which is when a new lesson is released. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Gel Plate Printing

Columbine already blooming in front of the kitchen windows

Gel plate prints on white deli paper affixed to white card stock

Ditto the above caption

Brown (natural) color deli paper on white cardstock

stacks of printed deli papers waiting in line to become cards
There is a Birgit Koopsen video on YouTube about gel plate printing on deli paper, then tearing the deli paper up to make ATC's (artist trading cards) or greeting cards. Do you think I can find that particular video again, so I can link it? Of course not. It's me, folks. Any of her videos that you watch will teach you a ton of techniques.

So. The other day I sat and cut several deli sheets into 4 squares, then used the 6x6 inch plate to print. Then I stacked them up and promptly forgot about them. This is going to sound so weird, but last night I had a dream about making cards with these prints. So yeah, here I am this morning putting Golden Matte Medium on the backs of the deli pieces and laying them carefully on white cardstock. I also tried a few on cheap water color paper. It curled horribly. The card stock is staying flat. I have several pieces of card stock drying, and will show you the completed cards this weekend.

Or not. Again, it's me!!!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


close up of the right hand side

close up of the left hand side

8x8 inch wood frame

The center art work
I have learned so many techniques of late. My hope is that I don't forget them all, and use them repeatedly. One is using deli paper to impress wet paint on a canvas or art journal page. I did this recently after painting a journal page completely black. When it came time to choose something for the center of this frame, I moved the frame around one of the deli pieces, and settled on the above design. What you get depends on what elements are under the wet paint, and how hard you rub. Love the randomness.

The gears are Golden light molding paste thru a stencil. The odd metal pieces are washers and jewelry elements. The larger metal piece with "connective" is from my stash. I think it was a Basic Grey metal embellishment from way back. I painted it white, then affixed the typed word with gel medium. Tore off all the edges, let it dry, and added some Distress Ink in Rusty Hinge. All of the metal parts were glued down with E6000.  The black printed deli paper is on a piece of white water color paper.

When I get stuck on one aspect of art or crafts, I simply move on to something else. This happened with the faces from the Fabulous Faces class. It was time for a break from faces, and a return to grunge fit the bill. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Art Journaling

From the FabulousFacesClass2017 - Ashli Oliver, instructor

The drawing on the eyebrows is something she does, so I tried it

Love this. Love the loose look of watercolor

Dylusions journal - abstract spread done with Dina Wakely paints

Dylusions journal - pattern spread with Martha Stewart paints

My handmade Junque Journal, from the Balzerdesigns class,

close up of the tags

Junque Journal, with cut tags affixed to the page with washi tape

Journaling under the tags

Junque Journal. To the left a clean up paper from a class in Ohio last year

How I talk to myself. In the journal. Or to the dogs. Whatever works
The Fabulous Faces Class with Ashli Oliver is a great class. She explains absolutely everything she is doing, and none of it is in fast motion, all in real time. Here is the deal: I can't draw faces that look different. Or, I am unable to do that in this moment in time. Just corrected myself. I tell people in my exercise classes that the word "can't" is banned. Sets up a negative connotation in the brain.

Due to the weather getting warmer, taking the Jodi Ohl abstract class online, or getting ready for the May sale, I stepped away from art journaling for 13 days. That was a big mistake. I truly believe what all of the artists tell us: if you want to become proficient at something, practice, practice, practice. And instill the movement so it is a habit.

So a few notes: that face was done with watercolors and acrylic white paint. I added some pen work with my old Scarlet Lime black pen. Am I happy with it? No. But I will try again. All of the bright colors you see in the lettering and on some of the tags were done with Gel Roll pens from Sakura. These are not cheap, but yeah, baby, the color you get. You have to allow them a few minutes to set and dry or they can smudge, but love what you can do. So far the colors have not faded, staying bright, popping off the pages. They are just fun.

The smaller tags that have repeating black patterns? An idea I stole from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. She uses her hand carved stamps to repeat patterns. I have tried to carve some stamps and it didn't go well. So I  pulled out some old cling stamps from various companies and used those. Works, and gives you a base for other ideas.

One new habit I hope continues is to journal at night sitting up in bed. This is after various belly rubs, paw massages, ear rubs, and whatever body parts my two demanding housemates want touched. Some nights they are tired and leave me alone immediately. Not often. Why is it that dogs resent anything you are doing that doesn't involve them? My spoiled babies. Wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Paper Mache houses

I finished the special order for a "spring" themed paper mache house. Felt bad because I was not notified this woman wanted more houses by the gallery owner. Hmmmm. It is what it is, but she was very happy with this brightly colored house. I even gave her lace curtains.

Ready to start painting another spread in the Fabulous Faces Class from Ashli Oliver. See if this goes any better. I have erased her nose 5 times. Not looking good, guys.

Enjoy this beautiful spring weather.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


The full spread

Just the head. The huge, too big head
A combination of water color, gelatos, gesso and oil pastels were used to finish this over the pencil drawing I did the other night. Am I happy with it? Hell, no. Her chin is too narrow, her forehead is too wide, I should NOT have used blue for her hair, and the face still looks flat. I am not contouring enough with shading to give a rounded look to the face.

In the past this would have been enough to stop me in my tracks, sometimes for months, and not try again. Now? I will have another one started by this weekend. New philosophy: it's over, it's done, and now we take another step forward. What did I learn from this face? What have I taken away from this wonderful class with soaphousemama? Am I reaching for supplies that normally I would not touch? Yep. All of it. Yeah.

You sit still, you stagnate. You keep trying, keep reaching, you learn and grow and educate. Right now I have a special order sitting on the desk, primed in gesso. I have 3 other projects started for the May 20th sale. Today my goal is promising myself I will work in the studio a minimum of 90 minutes a day.

Yes, I can.