Monday, October 27, 2008

ATCs for Colour Groupies

Colour Groupies is a small group of friends who exchange ATCs on a color-combo theme. Our September color combo was Black & Beige and the October ATC combo was yellow and purple. I sent mine out together this time, a few weeks ago at the cusp of the two months . . . . and amazingly, while visiting my parents I had a minute to finally upload these ATCs! My husband Steven has thoughtfully set me up with remote access to my computer at home while I am traveling, one of the many benefits of being married to a computer technician extraordinaire - xo! thank you steven and I hope those of you reading enjoy these little works of color combo art.

Thanks to the members of the Colour Groupies: Frieda Oxenham ::: Debby Harriettha ::: Tristan Robin Blakeman ::: and Caryl Hoobler - for sharing these ATC color-combo challenges with me. November's combo is Orange & Red and I so look forward to it! Click on the Colour Groupies link at the end of this post to see more : )

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wedding Wishes & love

I am in Florida right now with my parents. They have gone to bed and I find I am thinking of the wedding steven and I attended yesterday before I traveled here. Steven's cousin once removed ~ Anna, married Bryan, on what was the 4-year anniversary of calling up my old friend Steven Deming, just to talk, a month or so after my ex-husband John had left me. Well . . . little did Steven and I know how much we had in common, what good friends we still were, and how in love we would fall with each other in such a short amount of time. wow. After having a lovely time at Anna & Bryan's wedding, Steven & I came home and read through some of the many, many emails we wrote to each other, starting on October 25th, 2004. We had a grand celebration of love all around!

I painted this 6"x 6" wooden panel for Anna & Bryan in celebration of their marriage. I don't think I have ever worked on a wood panel before, but I enjoyed it and I will do this again. I used acrylic paints for this, mostly Lumiere. I started with the heart first, freehand, and then sponged and painted 2 colors of Lumiere Gold and Pearl White around the heart. I layered the sponging of the paints so it came out very textural and almost lace-like. I finished the background off by masking the heart with post-it notes and spritzing the paint with a little bit of walnut ink to age it. When everything was dry I used VersaCraft ink to stamp the word love, and heat set everything with a heat gun.

I used a small stamp on the inside back of the panel, and hand wrote the newly married couple's names and their wedding date. After being part of their wonderful ceremony yesterday, I know they will cherish it. Love was spoken of many times with great feeling, during the ceremony and after.

Speaking of love, I feel very lucky to be here now, to receive my parents love, as well as give them my love and support. My dad has had an extremely rough year this past year, and while he looks much, much better to me, there are still more treatments he has to go through to fight his battle with cancer. Tuesday, mom & I will go with him for another consultation with the doctor. We will listen and learn, and then do what we know best how to do; surround my dad, an awesome man who loves his family dearly, with our love.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Studio Classes!

Beverley Teichrob from Victoria, BC at my Studio, October 18, 2008

Beverley was a participant in two of my recent studio classes. This was an extra special case because Bev was here visiting from British Columbia, Canada! While her husband was working, she got to play. In fact, we arranged two classes that Bev could take while she was here. I wrote about the collage class she took in an earlier post, and on October 18th, Bev took Nature Printing & Paintstik Techniques with me in my studio. I made a small collage for her as thanks for coming all this way and taking my classes, and that is what she is holding in her hands. : ) Bev is also a frequent participant in my creative swaps.

Here are a few photos from our workshop that day -please click on any photo for more detail:

So, if you are traveling and know you will be near Avon, CT - let me know! We may be able to meet or to arrange a class for you, in my studio. I do have a number of workshops scheduled through December -check my website for more details. There is an Image Transfer class in November, as well as another Collage class, and two silk scarf classes are scheduled for early December.

Alice in Wonderland ATCs

I created the ATCs shown here for one of my own art swaps! You can read all about this ATC swap -not due until the next year (Feb. 3. 2009), on the creative swaps blog. Directions for registering for the swap are right there.

This nine for nine ATC swap uses Alice in Wonderland related images from Alpha Stamps. There are so many beautiful images from this company in various forms of card stock collage images, clear stickers, fabric images, transparencies, rubber stamps, even paper doll sheets - I simply could not resist hosting an ATC swap with them. For this swap you are required to use something 'Alice in Wonderland' (even the tea images) from Alpha Stamps - but everyone who participates will have the chance to win a first prize of an Alice in Wonderland Tarot Card Deck for the most creative ATCs and all participants will receive a custom 'thank you' collage sheet as a gift from Alpha Stamps.

All 4 ATCs shown here started out as plain 2.5" x 3.5" watercolor cards. I wanted something nice & sturdy to create and paint on a little, so I chose the watercolor paper. I combined Alpha Stamp card stock images with rubber stamps and watercolor crayons (wet), on all of them . The card stock images on the ATC above comes from 2 different Alpha Stamp sheets. The image of young Alice (which I love) is from the image sheet called Mad Hatter's Tea Party #2. You can order this any number of ways, not just on paper! The words come from the I Wonder sheet, which I have used here in the paper version, but have since ordered in a clear sticker sheet. I do have a few more ATCs to make, so look for more examples coming up! I adhered these collage images to the watercolor paper with YES glue which I spread on with an old credit card. Because I wanted to use rubber stamps on my ATCs, I reached for the Caterpillar from the red rubber Alice's Adventure sheet. I attached this rubber stamp to an acrylic block (using Tack n' Peel - easy & quick) and I stamped the image with permanent StazOn Ink because I knew I would be using a wet brush over it. For the card above I started colouring with a yellow watercolor crayon (Lyra Aquacolor) and then adder the red around the edge. I tend to work with a special water brush (water is held in the barrel of the brush) but a regular brush & separate bowl water would of course work too.

This is the wildest of the ATCs I made, I think! The Mad hatter is not my most favorite image, but this drawing was so strong, and had so much 'punch', I was inclined to try it. I found this image on the Mad Hatter's Tea Party #2. It is a black & white drawing. First I stamped the phrases "Drink Me" and "Eat Me" from the Alice Tea Party Clear Stamp Set directly onto the card with StazOn Ink and then I colored the white space with my watercolor crayons in various shades, using my water brush to activate the colors and make them pop. Where the color is more intense, I either used more crayon or less water! The watercolor paper makes a great base for this technique.

Below (Alice & the cards) is my most favorite, I think. I just loved this image the minute I saw it. In fact, I had to cut it down and not use the entire image in order to fit it on to the card! Since the image covered the entire watercolor card I decided to try adding my watercolor crayons on top of the card stock image. It worked! The pinkish-red color you see seeping in on the edges is from the watercolor crayons. On all of the edges of the ATCs I used a bit of gold metallic marker, just gracing the edges, but on this card, I added some gold swoops of the marker near all the edges to add to the flying cards. The stamp is actually the title of the red rubber Alice's Adventure sheet. It seemed appropriate!

The last ATC was created the same way with an image this time from The Red Queen and the queen stamp from Alice's Adventure sheet. I thought it was pretty funny I could get the Queen stamp to fit right in on the ATC where the image of the queen was looking right at it! I wanted to add something else to this so I used rub-ons ~ the black vines. I did add brown watercolor crayon and a gold metallic edge to this ATC too.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rubber Stamped card, for Joan

Here is a simple rubber stamped card I made last week for our 'across the street' neighbor. She had invited us to walk up her driveway anytime and enjoy the view from the porch of the cabin on her property that overlooks the Farmington Valley. Our road is situated on a small mountain ridge and some of the houses on the road are lucky enough to have a gorgeous view! When Steven and I called Joan last week to see if it was a good time, she was delighted, and told us to come right up. Amazingly, my grandparents lived on this very same road when I was a teenager. They also lived on the cliff side and their view was much the same as what I was seeing at Joan's ~ it felt almost like a dejavu, being there.

I mentioned my grandparents and Joan remembered them! She said they had been to her home for cocktails! Wow.

I wanted to thank Joan for our delightful visit with her that afternoon and create a card that looked like her cabin sitting there on the edge of the cliff. I found a cabin stamp that was in with my Stampscapes stamps, a grass stamp, and a tree branch. Everything was stamped with Brown StazOn ink and then just a bit of colour was added simply with chalks. I stamped an envelope for Joan, and popped it in her mailbox - we do have bears in the neighborhood and Joan and I have both had a ride in a hot air balloon : ))

Sunday, October 12, 2008

more teaching fun!

Last Thursday I happily spent my morning giving a workshop on oil paintstiks and Nature Printing to my friend and artist Carla Kurt. I was honored that she asked me if I would instruct her! She was surprised to hear me say that, saying I knew so much about mixed media techniques that I could teach her! So, it was quite a mutually beneficial (and fun!) time for both of us and we plan on doing it again. How cool is it that we live about 20 minutes apart and yet met via the internet?

To the left you'll see 2 of my shiva oil paintstik 'rubbings' as well as a number of nature prints. Below is Carla with one of our paintstik exercises/experiments, just as she was just getting started:

And here is her piece as she added more, adding mono printing and stenciling on top of her wonderful masked background.

I love the colors Carla choose and the way she did her masking! I went for a much straighter masking line for my demo . . . .

The Nature Printing leftovers . . . .
they are so beautiful still tinted with Lumiere paint.

Below are a couple of fabric things I nature printed a few years ago. I brought these pieces into my studio to show Carla some more examples . . . .

The scarf to the left was created this past summer while I was on vacation, and features printed grape vine leaves from Wolfe Island, Ontario, Canada. The dogs Asia & Chloe were part and parcel of this private class (Carla welcomed them!) : )

I am teaching this class again next Saturday (October 18th) in my studio located in Avon, CT ~ please email me if you are interested in joining us!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

teaching = more creating for me!

click on any photo for more details -
This is what one of my studio tables looked like after I finished teaching class . . . kind of messy. But, I did not clean it all up right away. I thought if I left everything out I might continue working on the canvas that I had started in class as a demo. Well, this philosophy worked for me & I did finish that collage! (see below) Then a few days later, I created another one; and this one is for my dad. His 75th birthday is on Friday! He has certainly had quite a rough year with a lot of health related problems. But, he is truthfully a fighter and I would say he is cautiously optimistic these days . . . . we just take it one step at a time. I will be going to Florida to visit my parents again for a few days, at the end of the month - yay!

Below is a progression of the first collage I worked on and finished while all my collage class supplies were out:

I am amazed at the way I cover up a lot of the work that I do to start with. Steven says this adds to the texture of my pieces.

I used lots of skeleton leaves, tissue paper, marbled papers . . . the image of the bird & the girl is on the M is for Magpie collage sheet from Alpha Stamps. I added green dye-na-flow with a sponge, in the photo to your right.

Rubber stamping was done with StazOn ink and more paint was added to the top of the collage in pinks & purple - click on any photo for more details.

green leaf ribbon was added . . .

~ The finished collage, complete with a favorite quote (Right)

This is how it started! (below)

And here is the collage I created for my dad, on a gallery type stretched canvas . . .

It started out like this (below left) -

I used lots of handmade papers, watercolour crayons and gel medium . . . gold metallic ink . . .

This collage for my dad incorporates a photo of my dad and my mom sailing the melonseed sailboat he built (cedar strip) on the little lake near where Steven & I lived, about 2 years ago. I printed it out on matte photo paper along with about 5 others, and chose this one because I liked the quality of it and the fact that it was of my mom & dad sailing together. I added a bit of watercolor crayon and white Lumiere paint to the photo. You may also be able to see my 2 nephews and my sister behind my mom & dad, paddling 3 canoes that my dad built! Pretty amazing. He is a very special man, my dad. Happy birthday, dad. xo

The Dog Did It

dog Did It -photo, originally uploaded by creativelenna.

This card features a new rubber stamp from Alpha Stamps, which owner Leslie Elledge sent to me last week. It is designed by Teri Calia, a professional illustrator & participant in my art swaps! I love this new stamp so much, I just had to make something with it right away. We have 2 dogs & two cats, so I could relate! I created this card very fast (and easy) with StazOn permanent ink for the stamping, and watercolor crayons for the border. Little tiny heart eyelets hold the stamped paper to the card, and feathers from birds on Martha Franklin's farm (who is also a swap participant) finish it purrrfectly!

Below is the envelope I stamped to send the card to Teri in, front and back . . . I did this just for fun and because Teri told me she has 7 cats!! Below that, you will find the same cat image on a different envelope to Caroline Hay as well as another new stamp image, also featured on the envelope and a book mark! It's called 'Le Chat'. You can find both new stamps here at Alpha Stamps.