Mixed Media Feed

Slow Stitching and Learning Curves

Eco9

I finished it! Hours upon hours of eco printing and then slow stitching the results. Learning the stitches as I went.

I'm in love with this little journal, the way it feels, the promise of making even more magic on its inside pages.

And, I love the eco printed scarves behind it. Pure magic!

Eco8

I even managed a bit of very basic beading. Very basic was about all I could handle, and just one of the learning curves I mumbled (and yes, swore) my way through. This leaf called for beads, and thanks to Google and a few books, I fumbled my way through it. I pat these beads each time I go by.

Eco7

It's hard to believe that this gorgeous journal cover began as a wool blanket rescued from a thrift shop. Washed and felted, cut into size, and put into a packet of goodies...bits of silk, watercolor papers, and more, then opened up in class at Lesley Riley's Red Thread Retreat taught by the wonderful Leslie Marsh.  Twenty some women gathering leaves, immersing them in boiling water or steam, and cooking them for hours, all of it done in a very steady rain. We must have been quite the sight.

Eco6

It's hard to resist unwrapping them right away, and it's like Christmas day, complete with heart felt oohs and aahs. You never really know what you're going to get. Sometimes, not much of anything, which while there's momentary disappointment, you know that you can over dye it and quite possibly get magic. See the blue leaves? They began as tiny red leaves before nature, some rusty bits, and more lent their magic.

Eco5

There are 8 sets of signatures in this little book. Each signature holds 4 pages, and the whole thing is bound around gathered sticks. True confession: Being tired, but not willing to wait, I cut my first set of sticks way too short. Finding me wandering through our yard and gathering sticks, my youngest son suggested cutting some of the bamboo growing in the back. I cut them down to size, let them harden up for a few days, and stitched away. The first few signatures nearly proved to be my undoing (Talk about awkward...), but I'd come this far, and by God, this book would be coming together. The whole binding bit is a bit funky, and I love it.

Eco4

The signatures are eco-printed water color pages done using the immersion method. We layered 4 sets of pages with all sorts of gathered leaves, rolled them around copper pipes, making sure to get good contact, and then wrapped them with string or rubber bands. I'll be adding precious bits here and there - leaves encased in mica, bits of poetry and more. Each page, in time, will let me know what it wants.

Eco3

I've always loved seeing these fabrics and books, and in a few short weeks, I hope to be doing more. Leaves, I've got. Our heavily treed yard will supply me with more than I could ever use. I need to order more scarves (Christmas presents) and will be on the hunt for old wool blankets to use. I've got a stash of silk and linen bits to play with. I've gathered up old pots to use. Now, as soon as the budget permits, I'll be ordering my camp stove to cook on, and a few other miscellaneous goodies. In the meantime, I'll learn as much as I can about the process, and I'll be dreaming of cooking leaves.

 


Hello, Journals, My Old Friends

I don't know the when, and I don't know the why. But, here's the what: I stopped working in my art journals and working in those journals happened pretty much daily. Somehow, gradually over time, this thing that was beyond important to me simply ceased.

Yesterday morning, I pulled one out of its hiding place - one made up of mostly blank pages. I thought about getting a new one; you know the drill - new and exciting would make me dive in, but I quickly realized that I owned enough journals to start my own little art store. Some new, some old. Some professionally bound, others handmade by me or another artist. Some sported line paper, others watercolor paper.

Pretty much, my studio offered up an all you can eat buffet of journals.

My art room exists in a state of semi-chaos right now. I've been tossing or donating bags of stuff, whittling it down to what I truly love. Piles teeter in several places; the art room lives in that state of it gets better before it gets worse.

Heartheroses1

So, I cleared a few piles off the table, and I sat there staring at the blank page, not sure where to begin, and not sure what I wanted to do. Other than knowing I felt hungry for mixed media, no plan existed.

I started collaging...wax paper that served as under paper in a previous life, deli paper that once protected other journal pages or acted as palette sheets, a few scraps of fun papers, some clippings from magazines, some previously stamped images on maps and texts.

Glue. Paint. Move everything around.

Decide I didn't like it; cover it up. Add some paint, and oh, God, why did I do that?

Pull out the stencils.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Lord, I'm rusty!

Eventually, I coaxed her into an appearance - a rather wonky "angel" of sorts. I don't normally "crown" my ladies, but she was too short for the page, just out of whack  proportionally. I gave her roses and then antlers. I'm not sure why, but she told me she needed some. And, then, some wings fashioned from flower petals.

Heartheroses2

She sat for a bit in all her glory yesterday because I needed to figure out what to do with the other half of this spread. This morning, going back through some notes from last weekend's art retreat, I came across the quote you see above, and how very cool...a quote about roses for a lady wearing them on her head!

She's not what I envisioned or expected when I put her face down. She morphed into other creatures several times, until we both agreed on her appearance. When I look at her, I see the "mistakes" that exist simply because I haven't done this in such a long time.

But, I also see something beautiful, something that makes me happy.

I think maybe she's the guardian of more to come.

Notes: My wonky sweet angel began as an image stamped onto an old map. After I glued her down, I "touched up" her face with water soluble crayons and a Derwent sketching pencil followed by some micron pens. Her wings lived as flower petals in a previous life; her crown and antlers came from magazine clippings of things that appealed to me, cut out long ago. Stencils came into play, layered over so many papers, it would require an archaeological dig to name them all!


Messing with Paint

Backgd1

Various papers, new and vintage, plain and with text. check!

Tubes of acrylics, expensive and not so expensive. check!

Loads of stencils in all kinds of sizes,  check!

Several gelli plates, check!

Time in the studio, check!

Bkgd2

It's been awhile since I played like this, and I'm not sure why. Part of the reason, a cranky arm with a frozen shoulder. Another, my studio became the catch all area for anything we didn't know what else to do with, things in transit to Goodwill, and so on. And, frankly, too much stuff is in here, so I began clearing out, creating  a space to actually do something...like, make art. Go figure.

I've got plans for my space; some rearranging to do, clearing out more stuff I'll never use, and more. For now, though, I've got enough  clear area to play.

I love making background papers, just love it. Layer upon layer upon layer of paint, some of it over plain paper, some over old text. I love layers, love text peeking through. I want you to get lost for a bit, seeing what there is to see.

Can you tell I have a tendency toward bright colors? In the end, some of it will get muted. The pages aren't finished; marks will be added.

As I build my collages and journal pages, the best bits, the "sweet spots" will get torn from the larger sheets. Most "finished" pages have at least a few sweet spots, but I'll admit, some hit the trash can when I forgot to think about the color wheel and created mud.

I'll be at this again tomorrow, using deli paper, which layers over other backgrounds and blends in nearly seamlessly.

Vintage text needs to be glued to canvas and paper and then gesso over it to build the first layers.

My hands are covered with paint, but somehow, I managed to keep my clothes paint free, most likely because I thought to wear old clothes.

Okay, off to create more!