PERFECTLY IMPERFECT-I may not be the best at what I do, but Nobody has MORE fun trying than I do! :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Gathering-Art Journal Page


I've been playing with fluid acrylics, gesso, textures, and patterns again in my Moleskine art journal. It started out as a background for collage or an ink drawing, but by the time I got the 4th layer on, these figures had emerged with the heart (or wings) over their heads, and I was fascinated with them. I have decided to leave the page as it is. I think.

I started by dropping large drops of white gesso on the page, then brushing it out into thick ridges making a waffle pattern. I used a blow dryer to speed up the drying time. Then I added drops of red and yellow fluid acrylics and brushed them all over the page, mingling them together. When that was dry, leaving an orangish color, I decided it needed a peeling paint effect and applied some vaseline around over the page and brushed on some thickish magenta acrylic all over, including the vaseline and let it dry. I wiped off the vaseline with a paper towel, taking much of the paint with it, until there was no greasy film on the page. This is when the figures emerged. Can you see them?

I thought it needed something else, so green-gold fluid acrylic was dripped around, then spread and lifted off in vertical swipes to add another layer. I'm thinking I may add some gold leaf paint to the green to tone it down some.

The above picture scanned brighter than it actually is, so I darkened the one below to see if it looked better. The actual page colors are much better than either version here, but this gives you an idea of what I've been playing with.

I love the surprises that pop out when you just let go and play! Don't you?

Go ahead! Do some exploring and playing. It's good for you...and it's fun! :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Horses and Sleepy Sheep

 This little fellow was in a magazine ad and just captured my heart, so I did a quick sketch of him on an ink spattered page in my journal. The spatters came from the opposite page, so I just sketched over them. It was an ad for sleep aids, thus the nightcap, which I thought was adorable and wish I'd had room to get it all on the page. I do plan to draw a better one, but this one was fun.

I am very reluctant to share this one, because it didn't turn out well at all. It's another experiment in my Moleskine art journal. I started out just gluing random pieces of scrap papers off my table to the page, then I used gel medium to glue a paper towel with splotches of red and black sumi ink on top of the other papers, which accounts for the net look of it. The black ink splotches formed a base for the large sea horse and the other horse mane, so I painted them in with red ochre acrylic paint, then painted in a small yellow sea horse and a mixture over the rest of the page. I glued bookbinding thread in the background and stars cut from scrap paper across the bottom. I didn't like it, so I took irridescent oil pastels and painted over nearly everything, changing colors, I had irridescent overkill, so I used a tad of turp on a paper towel and rubbed a lot of it off. I glued a piece of green hemp thread across the top. I meant for it to look like fishing line, but I didn't succeed too well. It still needed something, so I cut two fish out of my hand made paper and glued them on. I like the idea of the horse head at the top looking down at the sea horses in the water, but I'm still not happy with it.

Oh, well, I learned some things, and maybe I'll try this subject again in another painting where I'll do better. Meanwhile I have a kind of interesting page in my journal. At least it's interesting to me. :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sumi Ink, a Rooster, and a Crow

I've been playing with my Sumi ink again. Just experimenting and having fun...being fearless with my materials. It's taken me years and years to learn that I can't improve and grow unless I take risks and use my art supplies and techniques without being afraid of wasting or ruining my materials. Art is a lot more fun for me now than it was when I was all tensed up and afraid of ruining whatever project I was working on. They don't always turn out well, but I learn from them and move on to the next thing.

For instance the "Crow" in the tree, above, started out in my Moleskine art journal as a sumi ink sketch of a tree trunk with a crow sitting on a branch. I drew in some smaller limbs with my zig marker, which I don't like, but can't erase. I decided it needed some leaves, so I dipped the brush in ink and kind of threw it onto the paper (and everything else around :)), letting the puddles smush into one another. Throwing paint/ink releases tension, you know. :) It was looking kind of blah, so I threw in some cerulean blue watercolor for a sky effect and altercation. The picture on the left is the way it is in the journal. I know, the bird blends in with the foliage too much. I may or may not try to change this. The picture on the right is lightened digitally to show the crow better. I don't particularly like the page, but I had fun and I learned from it, so the time or effort wasn't wasted at all. :)

"The Rooster" - You may have to enlarge the picture by clicking on it to see him amidst the chaos. Hint: He's black in a white spot...

The quarter sheet of watercolor with very little texture started out with a light cerulean blue watercolor wash, so light that it all but disappeared when I added the inks. I let it soak in a little, then poured black sumi ink onto the paper, tilting it in different directions, spraying water onto it and letting it run, and dabbing it with a paper towel. I let that set a few minutes, then dripped some more black ink all over, and tilted the paper for the drips to run together. It cried out for some red, so I dripped red sumi ink around and stood the paper on edge on a paper towel and let the inks fuse and run where they would and left it to dry. When I picked it up to see what else to do to it, the little crowing rooster jumped right out at me. The rooster shape was all there. I added red dots under the beak and on his head, plus a little streak in his tail feathers. I just love him! ;)

This painting could also be called "The Rooster's Nightmare," since, according to one's imagination, there are numerous other shapes and faces among the drips and runs. When I paint it's more realistic usually, but I love learning new things and doing different things just to keep myself inspired and motivated. I kind of like this painting just the way it is, so I'm stopping here.

So these are two of my ink experiments from the last couple of days. Now I'm playing with collage and oil pastels, back in my art journal. Hope you're having fun with your art! :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dabbling With Paper Dolls and a Crow

Good Morning! I have some time to myself this morning, so thought I'd share what creative dabbling I've been doing for the last couple of days. And I do mean DABBLING! :)

One day I took a notion to see if I could still cut paper dolls from folded paper. I couldn't remember, so Mama showed me how. I haven't practiced much, so I'm still not good at it and sometimes they turn out single instead of connected, but it's all good. :)

Left: These cutouts are glued down in my Moleskine art journal. The orange cutouts are card stock, the top row of dolls is decorative paper, and the bottom row of dolls is printer paper stamped with olive green ink. The "birds" sitting on the girls shoulders are the cats turned upside down. The Moleskine pages are buff colored, and the stamp in the middle is cherry pink ink and says, "Of all possesions a friend is the most precious." by Hyronomus (or something like that).

Right: These dolls, dogs, and stars are cut from a tan colored sheet of pastel paper that I was using under projects. I wrote on it, wiped excess paint off my brush on it, stamped on it, and swiped paint and ink across it just because I felt like it. What fun! :) The dogs were supposed to be Scotties, but somehow they turned into more like weenie dogs, but that's ok. I like weenie dogs. These are not glued down. I haven't decided how I want to use them yet.

These are the negative shapes left from the dolls, etc. that I intentionally cut out. Aren't they interesting? The two that are square and rectangle would make great inchies. I can see all sorts of possibilities for both the positive and negative shapes in art journals, mail art, mixed media, atcs, inchies.... With a little imagination or different angles they can turn into other shapes. The whole sheet could have been cut up in inchies, atcs, twinches. They would have been pretty as is or as backgrounds. I'm loving the colors and patterns on these. :)

The other day Sammidog and I rode down to the pond about sunset. On the way, I noticed a crow sitting on a dead tree branch surveying the landscape. Not an unusual sight, but something about this one pricked my interest. I didn't have my sketch materials with me (Note to self: Never leave the house w/o something to sketch with), and it kept nagging at me, so the next morning I tried to sketch it from memory into my Moleskine art journal with my Zig marker. Very rough and very simple, but I like it. He was kind of far away, so no detail much. The red ribbon bookmark got scanned in with it, but I like the dash of red and the angle, so I left it. I'm a little quirky that way. :)

Now I'm off to see what kind of creative dabbling I can get into today! Hope you have a wonderfully creative day, as well! :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Amusing Myself

Yesterday I rode to town with hubby and waited in the car while he went into the grocery store for a few things. We live in a really small town, so it's fun to see or talk to the other people going in and out of the store. Most everyone is friendly and will speak whether they know you or not.

Anyway, as I waited, a large white van pulled into the space right in front of the door. I had already noticed little fuzzy heads bobbing around in the seat beside the large, older man, who was driving. The man got out and walked in a slow, painful looking, shuffle through the store entrance, leaving the windows down in his van.

Immediately, two little heads popped up in the window away from me. They were standing on their back legs with their front feet propped on the armrest by the steering wheel, like two little fuzzy kids. They weren't missing anything going on outside the van either and would occasionally yelp, causing someone to look around.

The smaller one was a toy breed and solid white. I don't think it was a poodle, but it's hair was curly fuzzy, like a poodle, and covered it's stocky little body. I'm sure when it was curled up asleep it looked like a big cotton ball. The other dog was some taller and more wiry looking, with medium straight hair, a weir haired terrier, I think. It was black, except for some white on it's chest and the salt/pepper of it's chin whiskers. Neither of them lacked for energy... or love. You could just tell.

They kept me entertained, bobbing from window to window, but mostly they stood side to side looking out the window. Had I been a dog knapper, I would have stolen these two. I know the heartbreak of having a pet stolen though, so instead I scrounged around in the car pocket and found an old Bic pen and a pale yellow post it note pad and tried to sketch them, as best I could, given that their heads were in continuous motion.

When hubby returned, I pointed the little dogs out to him. He started whistling and talking to them, at which point I had to caution him that he'd cause them to jump out the window. When we left, the little black and white heads were still sticking up in the window side by side, excited by what was going on outside the world of the van. I was excited by spending time in their presence and getting a, not too well done, but fun, sketch of them down, which is going into my sketchbook.

For some reason, I wanted to share this little excursion with you. I enjoyed it immensely, and from now on I'm not going anywhere without my sketchbook, even a quick trip to the store. You never know where or what subject matter will pop up that you want to capture! (Note to myself! :))

Thursday, September 9, 2010

In a Charcoal Mood...

Got in mood to use charcoal a couple of days ago, and without thinking, I started drawing in my Moleskine sketchbook, which has slick pages, not ideal for charcoal. However, I liked the feel of the charcoal sliding around on the paper and continued to play. Before I knew it I had drawn up a face from my imagination. I scanned it as it was first, then decided she needed red heart lips. I sprayed her with acrylic sealer and called her done, only to discover that I had drawn her in my "Book of Me" journal. Do you suppose my subconscious was trying to tell me something?

I also digitally darkened the second one. The paper was buff colored to begin with. I like them both. I know there are flaws, but if you really look at peoples' faces none of them are perfect..unless they're made that way surgically. The imperfect ones are much more interesting and full of character, at least to me. The perfect word to describe this face will present itself eventually. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Art Journal Pages 2nd Look...

Remember these journal pages? I shared them from "The Book of Me" a few days ago. I thought I'd share them again since I added some white stamped words to them yesterday. The words helped a lot, but I may or may not add something else as I work on other stuff.

The words are Unexpressed Anger-Depression. Anger is stamped vertically and didn't show up too well in the scan. The black letters are linked together to spell Lonely and were done with a brush. Other words are hidden under the layers of paint.

The pages had stuck together on this one, and, of course, when I pulled them apart the paint came off the paper on one side and stuck to the other, leaving a spot of white in the middle of her face, which didn't look too good.

I sealed the torn paper with gel medium so it wouldn't have a rough texture amid the slicker paint, then painted over it with liquid acrylics and re-painted the lips. She looks Mysterious to me, so that is what I stamped across the transparent mask covering part of her face. The whitish streak down the middle is glare from the scanner. Sorry! I really like this one like it least for now.

Isn't it amazing how just a word or two can bring a page to life?

Both of these were started as texture studies in my Moleskine sketch book with Liquin fluid acrylic paints. But then I saw other "stuff" coming forth amidst the layers of paint and texture and I went with it in a fit of bravery. :)

I love it when something that I've been letting sit for a while suddenly shows me just what it needs to complete it! Don't you?

Monday, September 6, 2010

More Bead Experiments...

I'm still playing with my beads, among other things, experimenting with different bases for beaded bookmarks. Here are some of my latest ones. These are so fun to make!

Left to Right-Purple ribbon with small beads and one of my home made paper beads, black leather with copper and turquois beads, natural raffia with antique looking beads, Fun yarn with copper metallic and turquoise glass beads, orange raffia with glass beads (the large bead is actually a gorgeous dark blue).

The one in the book is one of my favorites so far. Love the fuzzy multicolored yarn! I started the book and as much as I was enjoying it, I got sidetracked and haven't finished it yet, but I will. :) Mama picked out a black leather one with antique looking bone and brown/orange/green beads to put in her Bible.

I got a lot of my large full sheets of watercolor, pastel, and printmaking paper out of storage yesterday and brought them into my dining room studio/rat's nest. I've had them for years, too expensive to mess up. I've decided it's better to mess them up by using them than for age and bugs to  ruin them. I'm thinking I may cut them into smaller sheets and make usuable art journals out of them.

I have so many projects in progress it's not even funny. And I keep seeing all these new things that I want to learn or try. I hope I live long enough to at least finish what I have started with a few new things thrown in. It's all fun anyway, as long as I'm making something! :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I'm Seeing a Little Pink Elephant. Do You See It?

Just a little sketch with a zig pen marker of an elephant, inspired by an elephant charm that I bought at Hobby Lobby the other day. For some reason, I thought he should be pink. :)