Sunday, March 30, 2008

Crusade 18 - Carve your own Stamps

Lots of fun with the Green Pepper Press Street Team this month! Michelle challenged us to carve our own stamps, direct results may be seen in the new and improved banner for this blog - made from one of my newly hand-carved stamps. Here are the images I carved - thank you for looking at them!

This was the first stamp I carved - mehndi inspired - I used to bellydance a couple of years ago, and I learned henna design from one of my teachers. I still use a lot of inspiration from henna in my doodling.

I decided this stamp looked like a Moroccan rug.

The second one started out as my name, and then (due to my realization that I would need to write it backwards) it morphed into a life of its own. I think it's a butterfish (butterfly x fish hybrid!)

The third one I made just for me; it is Lili, Infanta of Dachsonia (seen as the "furry muse" in a previous post) as a fairy of the spring.

Here's my favorite; this one was the most technically advanced of the lot (I actually carved it in relief as opposed to just carving down onto the surface of the stamp.

Thank you so much for playing along with me, and be brave with your art! Thank you Michelle for your inspiration.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Infanta is on a Royal Progress

I have it on very good account that the Court of Dachsonia is having a royal progress...and will be spotted in this hamlet upon the near-morrow as they go to visit neighboring Weenrovia.

Will Lili, the Infanta of Dachsonia appear? She is regarded as both a beautiful maiden, and a fierce and feisty warrior...attacking rogue zip ties and defending her family against gangs of marauding river otters. Who is this VIP (very important pup), and where can you buy souvenirs of her Royal Progress? Watch this spot for details. In the meantime, I (her scribe and servingwoman) will leave you with a vignette of her most recent comisioned portrait.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Peaceful thoughts on a Sunday morning

I am not a religious person, in the conventional organized religion sense, but I am a spiritual person. Who am I to say what brings you peace and a sense of the divine? I know that for me, I went out in the garden this Easter Sunday to look around at the fruit on the Japanese plum tree, and the flowers that are opening, the lizards that are emerging from their winter slumbers.

Look around you at your beautiful world and see. Slow down and really look, even in the forgotten corners of your garden or look at your front porch flowers. You don't have any? Get thee to your nearest nursery/garden center and try your hand with a few spring flowers. Consider the peace and tranquility to be found in nature.

Peace, love, and be brave with your art.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Titania - queen of the beeswax

Since joining Michelle Ward's Green Pepper Press Street Team activities, I've been feeling pretty motivated to actually make art, instead of just think about it. That, and I've been sick for the last week, so I've had some time to actually dream and ponder...let my creative, right-brained mind take over from my left-brained work mind. I would like to say the gears shift easily, but actually, they don't.

Well, when I wasn't fast asleep from taking cough syrup, I finally decided to put my courage to the sticking spot and break out the Melt Art pot and the beeswax. I've been wanting to try this, but too intimidated by the possibility of it catching fire (I hear wax has a low flash-point) and what if it looks terrible, and what if I burn myself, and oh, I just don't know.... Don't you hate it when you finally acquire xyz art supply, all excited to try it, and then you lose your nerve ? So there it sits, taunting you, in your art supply area, until finally, one day, you just can't take it any more.

Finally, the artist comes out, and says, well, it would be nice if the artist said something like the quote by Anais Nin - "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

Actually, this artist said, "Oh, quit havering and just bloody well do it!"

Whatever works.

So, the result of my experiment with beeswax collage is above. I have to say, I really like it! I had so much fun with it that I made two more pieces of art today as well! Now I just need to figure out how to get the right lighting to show them to you. The light in my studio/library/lair just wasn't adequate so I'll keep trying with them, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this one.

Oh, I should tell you what I learned right? I learned that alcohol ink shouldn't be used to change the color of wax - it stains the melt pot (duh, me! it's metal) and that wax melts a lot more easily than embossing powder. When you hit the wax with a heat gun, it turns liquid almost instantly. Interesting effects can be had as far as moving it around that way, but it gets a little too random. I'm going to try using the quilting iron (as Claudine Hellmuth suggests in her book "Collage Discovery Workshop") next.

In the meantime, be brave with your art! You'll be glad you did.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Crusade 17 - My journal "to go" box

Here's my journal box! It contains:

  • My hand-bound journal - it's in the back with the fun hanging fringe.
  • Water brush and watercolor pencils (a bit obscured in the picture)
  • Glue stick and trusty Cutter Bee
  • Pencil and London Underground eraser (souvenir from a trip to London)
  • Archival ink from Ranger and rubber stamps - for journal titles
  • Prepainted background pages (in the back next to the journal)- the journal is ring bound so I can make the pages and worry about attaching them later
As you can see from the picture, I had a bit of help from from my friends - this is Lili.

Who says dogs don't appreciate art? She's out enjoying the springtime in the garden. Where I live, spring is beginning to, well, Louis Phillipe antique roses (behind the dog) are blooming, the orange and lemon trees are blossoming. It's a beautiful thing.

Here are some closeups of the pre-painted (and inked) background papers.

And finally, here are some actual pages - one is a very quick watercolor sketch of Lili on the move - at six months old, she's on the move a lot.

Below is a page I did when I was feeling particularly frustrated that it seems like the quick answer is far more rewarded than the considered answer in our world. We all just need to stop and smell the roses a little more often.

I hope I get better at formatting the blog; I've never tried blogging before, so don't know anything about html, other than it seems a bit tricky....

Thank you Michelle for hosting the GPP crusade! I'm glad that I've finally gotten my act together and started coming out to play with the group!

"Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life" Pablo Picasso