Thursday, December 5, 2013

I truly love my altered book group. We share our art and push each other to grow and experiment and try new things. So often a new person feels shy about starting because they say the feel inadequate. It isn't inadequacy, it's lack of experience. I love to receive work from new members or beginning artists because I then get to see their growth and their new-found confidence in their work. What a rush that is!
 Two recent books I've worked in are good examples of how we push each other to go in new directions or even to recover old ones.
One of our members chose "My Secret Garden" as her theme. I had recently dreamed about a woodland garden I visited in my long-ago youth, and then saw a picture of a similar scene.  The dream was not at all like a snapshot, so I turned to my watercolours and made this sketch for her book. I haven't painted in a very long time, but this has inspired me to start a watercolour sketch journal again. Thanks, Mitzi!!

Woodland Garden

Another friend created an Artist's ABC for us to work in. The rules were as follows
Choose one two-page spread with consecutive letters of the alphabet
Use a fancy/decorative version of the letter on the page
Use colours that start with the chosen letter
Include a definition of a word starting with the letter and a sentence using words that start with the chosen letter
Use illustrations or other art material that makes use the letter.
An Artist's ABC for Roxanna

I chose the AB combination. On the A page I used Dianne Reavely's new Dylusions Ink line from Ranger Inks and her companion images from Stamper's Anonymous and some graphics images  to create a collage. The background is done with the Dylusions inks sprayed on Deli paper and then painted in with additional colour and layred onto the page so that the printing shows through.  The collage includes the Birth of Venus image. I wanted to use some sand and tiny sea shells, but the page would have been bulky and bottom heavy.
I defined Aphrodite , the Greek version of Venus, and created a quote of my own, "Amorous Aphrodite Arose from Azure Seas Atop an Abalone Shell.". Yes, I know it's a scallop shell, but what is artistic license for, anyway?
On the B page I watercoloured the background and collaged on some pictures of Bobcat kittens at play. The colour is brown, and the quote reads "Baby Bobcats Bound Boisterously in the Brown Brush .What fun this was!!!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Postcards for Friends

I love doing small 1-off pieces of art for friends. These postcards are going to members of the mixed media and altered arts groups to which I belong.
The one on top is on a circus theme, obviously. I have been experimenting with Dylusuions ever since Mary W. Showed some of the work she's been doing with them. Among the things I tried was  using them on Kraft cardstock post cards. It does bleed through due to the fact that the dyes are wet, but these colours just SCREAMED circus to me. So, I used it as the background for a post card on that theme

The next card was done on the theme Vintage Country Music. I'm not a big fan of country Music but I do like Dolly Parton. Love is like a Butterfly is from the 70's. Can you believe that's nearly 40 yars ago?  OK, I'm showing my age.
I used a bit of butterfly printed vellum for the background, found a picture of Dolly and added the velvet butterflies. Fun

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Old fashioned wooden spools.... Used to be all over the place. The problem was not finding them, but what to do with them when the thread was used up. All that wood was too good to throw away. My Grandmother and my Mama had bags of them. I don't remember all the things they did with them, but I do remember spool dolls, 'legs' on tin cans made into pencil holders, Pin cushions on the tops of the really big spools.... all kinds of camp tools and things we did in Campfire Girls..
But recently those ubiquitous spools seem to have disappeared. So, when my online Altered Arts group announded an 'altered spool' swap, I thought... I HAVE IT MADE...
But then I went looking for my spools of thread and ALL of them except the antique ones in the sewing chest I inherited from my Mama were that nasty foam stuff. Sorry friends but those mementos are staying in the antique sewing chest with all the memories of my Mama and the dresses she made for me.

Finally, I located some in the wooden things in Hobby Lobby. So here is what I did with mine
I just love the little nest and the tiny redbird. It was great fun finding tiny embellishments and bits of things to add to the spool to decorate it. . I hope you like it and that it brings a smile 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Chocolate, glorious CHOCOLATE

This was supposed to post just after the meeting of our Second Saturday Altered Books group. As mentioned previosly, we create postcards for assigned members each month.The Second Saturday Altered Book Group post card for the month of January went  to Mitzi D. She chose CHOCOLATE! Now, how yummy is that? Here is the card I designed for her

I am a hopeless medium addict. Bring out a new one and I am just itching to try it. I missed Dylusions last year (don't know how) but had already heard about it when Mary, from our Altered Books group brought home some samples and her own excitement.
Anyway, I managed to get some of the dyes and other supplies at the Columbia Stamp and Scrap Art tour show last weekend. Now that I've had a chance to play with them, I'm hooked. I have to tell you that I think that Dyan Reavely has  followed in Tim Holtz' considerable foot steps and created a line with limitless possibilities. Between the two of them, I think they have Ranger at the absolute top of the mixed media and altered arts heaps.
Here is a journal page that I'm working on. I need to find the right focal pieces to finish it, but I love what I have so far.

I started with Dylusions Chocolate Brown, Cut Grass and Pure Sunshine. I also added a very tiny wisp of Postbox Red. Then I sprayed with some water and blotted it all with a 'kitchen roll'.
Following that, I used various stencils to 'ghost' some images onto the page. The leaves are from the Stamper's Anonymous "Dyan Reavely" line, "Farther Around the Edge." I bleached the leaves with a water brush and tipped in some Cut Grass green on the leaves.  The little stitched looking border is from the same set. The edges were touched up with Ranger Distress Ink, Gathered Twigs. Now to find the right images to dress it up a little more. But I am happy that I've gotten the ground work in place.
The other thing I did was try the Dylusions on a Manila Tag This is one of those BIIIIIGGGG ones. #12 to be specfic.
What I learned there is that the 'ghosting' technique gives a more subtle result. Next I'm goint to try it on Watercolour paper. As the quote says, "I'm currently unsupervised......"