Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm painting again!

Well tonight, I don't know what got into me. I was supposed to be working on my challenges, but for some reason, I just couldn't get into it.

I was really feeling the need to create something on my own. No prompts, no themes, etc.

I had this canvas already painted in a wash of lavender, and the idea for this girl roughly drawn in pencil. It's been sitting on a window sill for over a month waiting for me to finish it.

On a total whim, I grabbed it, and just started painting. With my fingers! I've never done that before, and it was a wonderful feeling. I really wasn't concerned with how anything looked, I just kept painting.

By the time I got to her facial features, I was stumped. I had already done the lips, but eyes have always alluded me.

I toyed with the idea of not giving her any, but that made her look sort of creepy. And not in a good way. :)

Since I felt she probably needed them, I put a bit of hair over one eye, so I wouldn't have to worry so much about the eyes being even. :) Yes I'm lazy that way!

I have to admit, the face was the least favorite part for me. I was having so much fun being carefree and not following any particular rules, that when it came time to do the "detail", I really felt restricted.

I suppose I should either practice facial features so they come more naturally, or learn how to make them more believably "abstract". :)

Incidentially this girl is based on another that I drew in my art journal. Strange thing is I cannot seem to finish her page. Ugh.

Either way, this was a fun piece to work on, and I just may not pick up a brush again!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Flying Circus

This is for the 2nd challenge I'm doing with the Crowabout gang over on Flickr. Such a fun group. Every Saturday Nancy from Something to Crowabout gives us a collage sheet to download, and anyone who wants to participate has until the next Friday to submit their work to the groups Flickr page.

This is my second week, and I tell you I look forward to every Saturday morning to see what the next challenge will be.

This particular week's challenge was well, a challenge. :) When I recieved the collage page, I thought oh my gosh, what the heck am I going to do with this?

The sheet had two lady's torso's, a couple of Valentines cards, Dumbo, an old style plane, some foriegn money, a couple other sign looking items, the word play, and a little girl in a blue hat.

I thought long and hard, and tried a multiple of different ideas, and nothing really clicked. (Sound familar?) For some reason, I decided to flip around in my journal and see what I had left unfinished.

That was the ticket. I had partially made this page a few weeks ago. I had the big bird, and the circus tent in place, but that was it. I knew for certain I wanted a Flying Circus them. So I started cutting off heads from the collage sheet and sticking them on birds bodies.

Once I did that I knew I could make this work. Dumbo was one of my collage pieces and that was perfect too. The sign he is carrying originally said "Learn to Drive", obviously I had to change that to fly. :)

I really like how this page finally turned out. Surprising theme for me, as I actually don't like the circus, becasue of the clowns, but this page seems so fun and colorful.

I'm excited about the circus tent too, because it allowed me to use two different fabrics, I'd been wanting to try. Though I admit, once it came time to do the top of the tent, I was tired of trying to cut the fabric to the right size, so I took the lazy way out, and opted to use pen and glitter.

I actually think it's better, because not only did it allow me to use fun sparkly glitter, but it also gives it more texture and character I think. Then again, I'm no art critic so what do I know? :)

You know it's funny to me, how these pages are coming about. Most of the time, they are turning out completly different from what I intended. It always surprises me to see what shows up when it's finally finished.

Alot of the end product is actually a result of numerous trials and errors/mistakes that I made. Weird how art works that way. Because I always seem to like the final product, mistakes and all even better than I did before.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Flower Queen

Well it's been a few days since I posted, but that's because I've been busy doing all these wonderfully fun art challenges, I just found out about.

I'm doing three this week, and this Flower Queen picture is the first one to be completed.

I made it for the Inspire Me Thursday challenge. The theme this week was yellow.

I really had fun with this. First of all, I love yellow, because it brightens up everything. Right away I knew I had to use the yellow body. I've been dying to use it in something as it was such a cool picture and this was the perfect opportunity. You may not be able to tell, but the body, is made out of little glass looking squares which I thought were really cool.

Originally I was going to use the head it came with and give it funky facial features, but that idea was canned, when I messed up her red flower hat I was going to use as well. Note to self: Do not glue collage pieces down until absolutely sure!! Unfortunately I glued the flower down right away, when I should have cut it properly and put it over the head for a hat. Oh well live and learn.

Turned out better anyway I think, as I found the Marilyn face lying around that just happened match.

This is the first time I've done a double page, and I really like it. The other thing I did differently was trying a new background technique. Usually I just slop watered down acrylic over the page.

But this time, inspired by a Suzi Blu video I saw, I put down a layer of gesso, then used my Neo 2 crayons to scribble over the pages. I brushed water over them in some places and smeared some yellow and white acrylic paint over it too. I then found some cool powdery stuff (don't know what it was) left over from my stamping days and sprinkled that over the pages as well.

I'm really pleased with the effect. While not as bright as I originally wanted, it definitely gives the pages a more textured look that is more interesting to the eye I think.

One more final note about this page is that I used a lot of embellishments, which I really think make it shine. The necklace was my husband's idea, and I'm so glad he suggested it, cause it's one of my favorite elements. I made that out of the extra beads I have lying around. Finally I'm using them!

I'm really surprised once again, how the pages come together to form a picture. When I first stared, I just had the yellow body and an idea for a flower hat. I spent ages, trying to find the perfect borders and collage pieces, (something I really must learn not to do) and nothing worked.

I finally gave up and put it away for the night. I find this is the best thing to do when you are frustrated with a project. Put it away and look at later. Half the time I come back and find what I had really wasn't so bad after all. The other half, I find I come back to the project with fresh ideas, which is what happened with this piece.

Once I put the mushroom with the rabbit in there, the idea for a garden came about, then a new idea for a flower "hat", and presto the Flower Queen was born!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Life is a Canvas

I almost don't have words for this. I can't decide if I like it or not. For some reason it's my husband's favorite piece so far, but I'm still trying to warm up to it.

Some aspects I really like. I like the house a lot. I really personalized it by coloring it and adding flowers etc. The hat is my favorite. :) Overall I think it came out pretty cute.

I also like the "It's a Small World- esque" doll/lady. I saw the dress in a magazine and knew I had to cut it out and use it somehow. Of course I cut off the original head, and added my own as it just seemed to fit the theme better.

I think the main problem I have with it, is all the primary colors. Reminds me of preschool. I never did like that look for some reason.

I was kind of spoilt for choice though, because I already had the dark blue background, and that was the only one I had ready that the red dress worked on. I guess I was a little impatient. :)

I'm a very color oriented person, but my colors tend to gravitate more towards pinks, oranges, reds, yellows and purples. I guess the blue threw me off. I probably will not do another background in that color. Next time I'll go for baby blue or turquoise instead.

Overlooking the color issue, the page is fun. The dolls and the house remind me of Disneyland, and I like how it's so busy. That is the main reason I chose to use the Danny Kaye quote even though it didn't really fit.

Somehow the words, "Life is A Great Big Canvas, Throw All The Paint on it You Can", just seemed so appropriate for this page don't ya think?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Look what the cat dragged in...

So this is the first journal page I ever did. Funny thing was, it totally morphed into something completely different than what I originally had.

Originally the head came with a body, that had a hint of red in the clothing. I kept thinking I had to keep it, to tie it into the background.

It drove me crazy for about a week, because no matter what I did, nothing really worked out.

The body seemed out of place, the borders and other collage materials I chose didn't mesh, etc. Eventually, I got so frustrated, I ended up working on other pages instead.

Flipping past this page every night, was a constant reminder of the mess I left unfinished.

Finally, I decided to do something with this monster. So I ripped the body off, and drew the elongated neck with stripes. As soon as I did that, I felt an immediate relief. Why didn't I think of that sooner!?

Anyway, the skirt was already there, so I added a little torso to fit it.

As I was fooling around with borders I came across butterfly wings, and thought, hmmm... these wings look good, in fact the body looks like an insect body...

Before I knew it, this picture appeared. It was a very interesting process for me, because until I got rid of the offending body part (hey that doesn't sound right), I felt I could do nothing to make this picture any good.

I was ready to rip it out of my journal and tear it up. It's amazing what one little change can do. Now it's one of my favorites. I really like the zetti-ness of it. (Yes I admit, I am totally inspired by Zettiology, and Teesha Moore. I just love her stuff!!!)

Anyhoo, this page has definitely taught me a lesson in art. If something isn't working out, don't give up, because there is always a another option to make it so much better.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Check this out...

Alrighty, just like I promised I'm starting the process of uploading my pictures. Here's a piece I finished last night for the Flickr group Collage Play with Crowabout run by Nancy Baumiller, check out her really awesome site here.

I love doing collage, but I'm so new at this whole art journal stuff, and am not used to working with such thin paper!

Right now, I'm doing all my work in a 9x12 Canson spiral bound notebook. I've been gessoing the pages, then putting a wash of acrylic down for the background. At this point I think the acrylic is too thick, as I'm having trouble getting the water soluable crayons and pencils to show up as vibrant as I want. I think I might try using even more water next time.

I know some people use watercolor, but with the book I'm using I'm not sure how the pages will hold up. I really think next time I will try watercolor paper, then bound the pages into a book on my own. Way more hassle, I know, but might be worth it. That is, if I can figure out how to do it!

For now though, this will work as I'm still in the "practicing stage". :) Next journal will be "real" art...

We'll see how this goes

Hey all, bear with me please. I'm totally experimenting with this blog and my art. :) I don't have many pieces right now, but in time I'm sure that will change!

I'm creating this blog with the intention to show pieces from my art journal, which I just started this past week. (so be nice please, I'm a newbie) :)

I'm also doing collage on canvas, but don't have anything finished to show. Hmmm...maybe I'll show works in progress too...

Anyway, right now things are a bit under construction while I figure out what to upload and show off!

Wish me luck!!