Tuesday, April 28, 2015

LB2015 : your help please!

This Life Book project was created by Jenny Wentworth. Another face, this time in a more painterly style she called expressive portrait. Pushing my boundaries again - I have never painted in this way before....
I can't quite cope with looking at just brown, cream and yellow so I add pretty turquoise clothing early on!
I quite like her face, but I think I rushed to do "what I know" for her facial features - eyes especially (I've only started drawing faces this year in Life Book Lessons). When I put her next to Jenny's sample (below right), mine doesn't look like the same style at all and I find myself feeling anxious/disappointed/stressed somehow about that...
Does she need more colour and texture, or does this mean I am developing my own style and should leave it there?  Should I watch the demo again and give the lesson a fresh try, or do I just not have this style in me?....
I'm leaving it at least overnight and would love to hear what you think.
You can see all my posts about Life Book HERE and I've created a Flickr album for all my completed Life Book projects HERE

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Week 17 : DLP 2015

Information about the FREE Documented Life Project is HERE. Since April's theme was revealed 
I've been waiting for this week's challenge
It's no secret that I love using sprays. This post will be the 79th that has Spray as a label! I have a variety of sprays in my stash, and particularly love the vibrancy of the Dylusions sprays which I used in my Dylusions journal for the base of week 3's challenge :
In the Dylusions journal they don't bleed through to other pages and they blend beautifully.
I wanted this week's spread to honour our ANZAC100 year anniversary so that was my starting point.
I decided that I would like to have poppies on my page and have a lovely stencil by Donna Downey. If you want to have a design embossed and you don't have the right colour embossing powder, you can use Ranger Distress Ink pads and then a layer of clear embossing powder. I thought it would be cool to have embossed poppies and then sprays in the background, but I wanted to be sure this would work as a resist technique so tested it first on a manila tag :
The embossing adds lovely dimension and shine as seen in the photo below
and it was really good to do a test first because you can see on the top poppies I didn't quite sprinkle enough embossing powder so will be more careful on the actual page. Also able to experiment with adding black pen detailing. So into the actual journal :
I used distress ink pads in fired brick and peeled paintapplied through the stencil with a cosmetic sponge. I turned the stencil over sometimes so they look more random. I applied the inks a section at a time and then did the clear embossing powder and heated that before moving on to inking another section so the ink was still wet to capture the powder.
Then I sprayed dylusions inks - London Blue over lace, and Dirty Martini, Cut Grass and Fresh Lime randomly behind the poppies. 
I wanted to use the black leaf washi tape because I knew I would add some black paint to my spread. I wanted to keep it fairly simple so sponged black heavy body acrylic paint within a silhouette shape - the poppies even resisted that paint. Really happy with the effect :
Then I added 100 for the anniversary, and the written phrase. Just a few lines of black pen at the base of the poppy heads and I called it done.
So I completely ignored the art prompt this week, but used 2 kinds of ink effects and am really happy with how my spread turned out. Click on the photo to enjoy it larger or see it in the Flickr album I've created for all my Documented Life 2015 spreads HERE. You can see all my posts about this project HERE.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

ANZAC 100 years

Here in Palmerston North we are remembering them

Posted by Rob Edwards on Thursday, April 23, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Week 16 : DLP 2015

Information about the FREE Documented Life Project is HERE
I have been having a couple of "blah" days which could probably have been less blah had I made myself go out to the studio! I think sometimes when you do have a lot on your plate, things can get a bit overwhelming and I forget that if I managed to fit a bit of art in it always makes me feel better. Today I felt a bit more energised so was enthusiastic to start this week's challenge. I only had 20 minutes initially, but was excited to use my Gelli plate again, so thought I would just see how far I got. I decided to try some feathers and yarn for the first print - don't they look pretty?
This print is the left side of the journal spread.
The right side is the ghost print once the feathers and yarn were removed (below)
Had ideas of trying to leave white space this time around - the feather gaps weren't what I had in mind so I added a layer of white next. I need to learn to work lighter in my initial layers.
Next up was a gorgeous blue through a flower stencil. Left top was print with stencil on plate, then lifted the stencil off and printed what was left onto the smaller journal. The other stencilled flowers on the upper spread were cleaning my stencil with a wet wipe onto the background.
Added more layers - not enough contrast here for you to see what I did. 
This was the end of my initial 20 minutes. I'm not in love with it, but I've worked with worse! Off to work and other jobs. Back to this later in the afternoon....
Decided to add white border scallops to lift the spread
and then, looking for more contrast, I did some black on the gelli plate. Used some circle designs I'd cut from needlepoint canvas but this wasn't the print I thought I'd get! Quite liking the contrast and grungier look though.
Not really sure what to do next and don't want to do something that makes me not like it again so used a paint marker to define the border.
Next up is stamping with acrylic paint and a bit of contrasting colour through punchinella
Liking that (it's lighter in real life) and it needs a focal point. My 'go to' focal seems to be a face at the moment - this time I used the same Jane Davenport stencil that I used for her Life Book lesson last month
Click on any photo to see it larger
Started stamping in her hair area, and then finished that with another stencil
I decided I needed words to finish this one - even when my plate feels full, I need to find time for art because that always nourishes me and provides balance and perspective
It feels good to still be using my word of the year in my art. I really like this close-up where you can see the interesting depth of the gelli printed layers
Here's the finished spread :
Click on the photo to enjoy it larger or see it in the Flickr album I've created for all my Documented Life 2015 spreads HERE. You can see all my posts about this project HERE.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Holiday Play : week 2

I haven't been able to get anything finished lately except for my documented life spread from last week (see my previous post) so thought I would share some of my distractions from the second week of our school holidays. We had a cold snap - had to purchase some new merino. Loving the jewel colours :-)
Unfortunately I read 180 pages of this book
and then decided I didn't care enough about the characters/plot to finish the rest of this more than 600 page novel! Do you finish novels because you feel you should - I figure life is too short and there are lots of great reads out there. In fact, I re-read an old favourite
I've been interested in the release of the TV series Outlander - the characters don't look like I pictured them, but the previews make me think I should give this a try.
It was week 15 of Documented Life project
We did have a day of blue skies and a trip to the beach - even though it was chilly, it's still my fav way to recharge 
My big boy played in a 2-day high school basketball tournament in Wellington - we had an early morning on Saturday but it was worth every minute to watch them comfortably take the semi-final and then win the tournament.
I also spent some time catching up on looking at other people's arty blogs - this is a cool technique by Dyan Reaveley - I quite often use baby wipes to apply paint on my pages. 

I'm interested Dina Wakley's new fine tip applicators 
and who says adults are too old for colouring in?
Click here for the post to download these cool designs
I've packed my youngest up and sent him off to school camp for a week, and the rest of us are back to normal routines. Hopefully I'll have some art to share with you soon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Week 15 : DLP 2015

It is school holidays in New Zealand, and last week the weather was still lovely for bush walks. On Easter Monday we did the Sledge Track with my brother's family. It was an easy walk alongside the river being escorted by fantails, hearing the call of tuis, lovely dappled light, and the view and sound of water tumbling alongside. 
Information about the FREE Documented Life Project is HERE. This weeks challenge : 
I'm not interested in crying a river, but I wanted to celebrate our river walk. I decided to try something different for my page this time, and started by gathering some previously gelli printed papers in bush-like greens/themed.
I then printed my photo (at the top of this post) on my canon printer onto a piece of A4 photo paper, so it was larger than normal photo size. I cut it in half and glued it to my spread thinking I could use that to inspire the rest. I tore various pieces of gelli printed papers and added them with gel medium. Then I covered the whole with clear gesso to ensure I had the same surface for consequent layers and I wasn't sure if the ink on the photo would run if I added wet media without a protective layer. I'm happy to see the sections of the photo are already blending harmoniously with the papers
I like the printed piece on the left that will become my journaling spot because it's not too dark and has a variety of pattern. I am absolutely in love with how that purple swirly piece makes me think of the water swirling over rocks. My next step was to add lighter greens in acrylic paint, with additions through stencils that suggested rocks in the lower right and dappled light along the top
Click on any photo to enjoy it larger
Then I was thinking about how to add more light and decided that stamping with perfect medium and apply some perfect pearls would be nice - I was right
This naturally led to me using the same stamp but with embossing powder this time for a different texture/look. The darker bronze is utee ultra-thick embossing powder
I have an old book of the "Famous Five" that has lovely old thick paper and good words. I roughly tore words to capture the event and once glued down, outlined it with a black marks-all stabilo pencil which makes a lovely grungy line when activated with a water brush
I had also used the stabilo pencil to make some tree trunks  before I did the embossing:
I really enjoy applying acrylic paint with a cosmetic sponge through drywall tape - it gives a lovely subtle effect so I did that next for adding the sense of more different light and shadow
I just needed to add a little more movement and blue to the water
and can't forget the fantails!
I feel really happy with my spread. I have captured the essence of that lovely morning walk - the feeling of the light and peacefulness. 
Hope you enjoyed seeing how other media can complement acrylic paints, and how you might include your gelli prints in your art. You can see all my posts about this project HERE and I've created a Flickr album for all my Documented Life 2015 spreads HERE.
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