Thursday, July 10, 2014

Card in a hurry

I needed a card in a hurry, but inspiration continued to treat me to the cold shoulder. Then I remembered that I didn't actually need inspiration. Instead I flicked through my sketch books and found something I liked. Them I grabbed Peeled Paint and Barn Door Distress Markers and whipped up this little card.

It feels quite amazing to have a rich resource that I've created myself. I have to confess that I feel quite proud of myself.


Thursday, June 05, 2014

Happy Accident or Serendipity in Art


Anyone who creates knows that sometimes you only like what you've made because of a happy accident. Sometimes it doesn't seem happy at first, but it can lead to something. These finally finished ATCs are a perfect example. I'd outlined the shapes with black pen:


Looking at the inked and uninked ones next to each other, the black definitely enhances the piece, but I also knew it was a little overpowering. But what to do? In my case, grab some alcohol. That would be blending solution, not a gin and tonic. I grabbed blending solution and a paint brush and hoped I could soften or remove some of the black. And that's when serendipity leapt in, not to mention a little science.

Black pens aren't really black. They're a very, very, very dark shade of another colour. Blue, black or purple are common. When I brushed on some alcohol, the black revealed itself as the perfect colour for these ATCs: purple. With a little painting and pushing, I had softened the harsh edges and increased the sense of drama.

I've loved creating these ATCs. It took three attempts to figure out how to make the backgrounds. And then another three attempts to figure out what would look good on top of them. Not to mention struggles with colour choices and edgings. But they're worth it. I'm really pleased with them. There's also a wonderful bonus for me: lots of ideas on how to develop these further and how to use the techniques in different ways. Stay tuned for more fun.


Wednesday, June 04, 2014

WOYWW - the back to reality edition

After all the fun and ATC sharing of last week (not to mention my own week off work) reality is back with a vengeance. But I'm very proud to announce that I've nearly finished some ATCs. I tried a trio of small flowers, but it wasn't doing anything for me. Image transfer definitely have some potential, but I need to edit my images to remove the dark backgrounds. What's the point of creating gorgeous backgrounds (please note my modesty) if you then obscure them.

What seems to be working are some bold die cuts. That's right, I chopped up my backgrounds! It was kind of fun. I used the torture tool (Crop-a-Dile) to cut the tiny centres; scissors took care of the stems and Tim Holtz's Tattered Flowers created the flowers. I need to add a little ink to the die cuts to give them some depth, but I'm very close to being finished. I think that they've taken so many attempts makes me feel prouder of them than if I'd been able to whizz through them.

Now it's time to do some desk hopping. I'm going to start at Julia's and see where the interweb takes me.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

WOYWW - the incomplete edition

I don't know what's on your workdesk (although that will be fixed after some blog hopping) but I have incomplete ATCs on mine. It's taken three attempts to get these backgrounds and I'm still not entirely sure what to do with them next.

It's either flowers (not plain like the ones above) or image transfers. I'm leaning towards the flowers. I've tried to fill the ATCs in a bit for a smoother image transfer, but I'm not sure I like the effect.

Regardless fo what I end up doing with them, I love the backgrounds. In fact, if you want a background to do something with yourself, let me know and I'll pop one in the post. To be honest, I could happily sit and make a ton more of them. I really do love making backgrounds. If you'd like one with flowers on, let me know about that too. I have 16 to give away, or rather I will have 16 to give away by the end of the week.

I'm taking a bit of a risk by posting so early. I've been posting late in the day so I don't get too many visitors. Apparently when I get a lot of visitors I start panicking about visiting everyone back and I'm pretty sure this is supposed to fun not panic inducing. But I feel guilty if I don't visit everyone who visits me and then I freeze and the whole thing gets ridiculous.

Today, however, I'm on holiday, so it should all go a bit more smoothly. Happy WOYWW everyone. Happy 5th Anniversary. And here's to Julia, the crazy fool (and I say that not only with love but as someone who is also a crazy fool) who started all of this. I was sad not to go to the crop this year and meet up with the great people I visit, but we'll always have Wednesdays.

Now I have to nip off and buy cheap theatre tickets for a matinee performance. And it's just started raining. Could life be any sweeter?




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WOYWW - the bad photo edition


For this fabulous What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday I have a couple of canvases and not much else. Both are works in progress, but clearly the one on the left is a little further a long. And I've figured out what I'm going to do with it, so that's exciting.

This weekend I"m going to treat myself to some ATC making. I have some ideas, but we'll see what happens when I force myself to sit and create.


Monday, May 12, 2014

What next?

I've had a lot of fun working on a canvas.

A nice bold start, but then:

What have I done? At this point I nearly painted over it so I could start again, but I resisted the urge and carried on.

OK, not so bad. And I've used a colour from my colour chart.

Bit more shading and it's starting to look quite interesting.

Here I started to create some faux rivets with white enamel that I knew would hold it's shape.

It was at this point that I suddenly realised that if I'd created the rivets directly on the canvas before all the painting, they would have been much easier to paint. I guess now I'll know for next time.

This is as far as I've got. Once the rivets are aged and attached, I'm not quite sure what comes next. I have been thinking of doing a collage on top, involvoing a steampunk dress form. But I could also do some image transfer into each of the areas. Or both. And should it be flat or dimensional?

I do love this part of crafting, when you don't have a plan and you have no idea what should come next. It's an exciting time, full of potential and opportunity. I think I'll try cutting some shapes out of paper and laying them on the canvas to see what tickles my fancy.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

My Colour Chart


I can't help it, I keep gloating to myself over my chart. It's exactly what I hoped it would be: good to look at and very useful. And it wasn't boring to create. It took a long time, but was never boring. How could I be bored when I was busy discovering great new (and often unexpected colours?

Who knew that the brown paint I thought of as flat and boring could lead to a range of rich and interesting colours? And that the teal colour I'd never tried mixing before would give me such an amazing purple? Or that the best way to understand a colour is to find out which colours it plays well with?

Mixing all these colours gave me a lot of good ideas as well:

  • Why not create my own paint chips?
  • What about mixing three colours?
  • How about varying the proportions of colour instead of 50:50?
  • Can I use the idea of colours in a grid to create art?
  • Why don't I use woven paper more?
Lots of ideas to play with plus more charts to create, with watercolour paint, inks and even coloured pencils.


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

WOYWW - the almost there edition


I'm just showing a portion of my desk for this week's What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday because my desk is too big for one photo. Showing off? Moi? Hell yeah!

On top of the chest of drawers is my Desk Guardian, the lovely felted Puffle. The hands at the back are two bargains that I picked up and have no idea what to do with. I figure if I stare at them for long enough I'll figure it out.

Centre stage (technically, bottom right) is my colour chart. It's almost there, but not quite. It's been a lot of work, but I'm really pleased with it. It's made me mix colour combos I would never have thought of using, not to mention discovering some really great colours. And one or two that are really quite hideous! Plus, it's going to look great on my wall and be useful. One more push and it will be done.

So that's my desk. Now I have to go do my Daily Drawing and then go visit some desks. Why does no one ever warn you that the creative life is a very busy life?

Thursday, May 01, 2014

WOYWW - the "it's Wednesday somewhere" edition


Let's see, a bad picture and a Thursday post. Can you tell I'm having one of those weeks?

What's really annoying is I had quite a creative week but my desk looks almost exactly the same as last week.

Ah well, at least I can hop over to Julia's and visit some interesting desks.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Drawing ideas


I'm still drawing every day. (Given this was a New Year's Resolution, I'm always very proud when I say that.) My theme for April has been dress forms and in many ways it's been more a study in creating and using pattern than drawing actual dress forms. I've really enjoyed it.

However, the last few days I've been drawing with a very specific goal: creating ATCs. The four sketches above are me figuring out what might work. It is definitely a much quicker way of trying out ideas than actually creating a collage.

I wonder when I'll feel confident enough to use my drawings on ATCs, rather than keeping them all in my sketch book? Maybe at the end of May. Oh, gosh, I have to think of a theme. Any suggestions?