30 October 2009

Making backgrounds for a snowflake Xmas card

I didn't have the same cards that I did last year to produce a snowflake Christmas card this year, so I tried using the Creative Cards by Swarthmore that I'd picked up at Jerry's Artarama. I couldn't reproduce what I had done on the smoother cards, of course, and the ink didn't look the same either. So I ended up doing lots of paint with Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue Deep, and Titanium White. One I used bubble wrap on, but most of them I just painted.

When dry, they still seemed too dark, too bold, so I added yet another a layer, this one composed of 10 parts Titanium White, 3 parts Cobalt Blue, and 1 part Cerulean Blue Deep. I brushed some on with a paintbrush then quickly took a wipe (the Inkadinkado Crafters Cleanups) and smeared it all over the card, then waited a moment and wiped again to remove some of it. I think I finally ended up with some good backgrounds. Got messy though!

22 October 2009

Notes on Pumice & Clear Granular Gels

Just taking notes in preparation for my "Bathtime" piece as well as documenting in general. Not a terribly interesting post for anyone but me, I'm afraid . . . all products used are Golden unless otherwise specified.

Yesterday I mixed Clear Granular Gel (CGG) with heavy body Mars Black + Dioxazine Purple and painted over 1/3 of a gold gessoed mini canvas. I then mixed the Mars Black with Anthraquinone Blue and did the next third. The last bit I painted with untinted gel. Might as well not have used the purple or blue--I couldn't see any evidence of it, so use less next time (or don't bother and put it on top).

Today I painted over the untinted clear gel with fluid Carbon Black. Laying down the untinted CGG and then painting on top of it once dry is good if one wants what is underneath to peek through in places. If full coverage is desired, it's best to mix the paint in with the gel before applying. And remember that although it's named *clear* granular gel, the parts where the granules are does dry snowy white, just as Patti Brady says in her book Rethinking Acrylics.

Over the top of the two-thirds of the canvas that had been painted with tinted CGG, I first brushed fluid Interference Violet, then Interference Blue (Liquitex--Jerry's was out of the Golden). After letting that dry a few minutes, I brushed over all of it with the fluid Carbon Black that was now on the paintbrush I was using. This toned the interference back down and brought the black back up. I think this is going to work for my piece. The purple is quite purple, though; the blue is more subtle.

I also mixed some Extra Coarse Pumice Gel (ECPG) with Phthalo Blue (Red Shade) and applied to a couple of mini canvases, one that had white gesso and one that had a wash of fluid Transparent Yellow Oxide on it. It looks so cool! Putting Interference Violet over this looks pretty neat. I'm not sure about the Interference Blue, but I may not have shaken it enough before applying--it looks milky white, and I don't think it's supposed to be that way.

10 October 2009

Getting Personal & Playing

Last night around midnight I gave in to the pull I'd felt towards drawing all evening (too tired to act on it before), and I finally just sat with my journal and a Koh-i-noor Magic pencil and played. I colored on things that were already in there, and I also did some of the doodling I used to do as a child over a whole page. On yet another page I made marks on it guided by what the song I was listening to at the time was doing ("My Father's Face", by Leo Kottke). I had a great time!

One thing I found had a very interesting effect indeed was using the multicolored pencil over a stamped image (one of Stamp Zia's nudes) that had been partially painted with Micaceous Iron Oxide (Golden fluid acrylics). Great texture and look, and I discovered that when I rubbed my finger over it all, I created a glow around the figure from the pencil particles that had been deposited on the iron oxide.

Also got a very nice look rubbing the pencil over the onionskin paper. The raised veins picked up the color, and it's a more subtle effect than using ink.

02 October 2009

Book Idea for a Christmas Present; Personal Challenge

Recently I found Book + Art: Handcrafting Artists' Books, by Dorothy Simpson Krause, on the shelf at Borders and had to get it. It is beautiful, lovely, and filled with inspiration. I read it at a time that I was wondering exactly what I thought I was doing, and this helped everything to coalesce in my mind. I love books, I have always loved books, and nearly everything I have learned over the last three years is all useful in creating books. I am still going to do other things, because I don't think I'm made such that I could do only one thing, but I can embrace the idea of being a book artist.

I really liked Stepan's blog posts about their trip to the Czech Republic this summer, and along with his pictures I think they would make a beautiful book--and a great Xmas present. Been thinking about how to do it. Would love the images and words to overlap. Wouldn't it be neat to do it on glass pages, and use the nifty Keith Smith Coptic sewing to attach? I think that's beyond my abilities to execute for this Xmas though, with everything else I have to do. Maybe I could print the pictures onto canvas, or do image transfers onto Claudine's sticky back canvas (reverse before printing), and then have the text on paper? Could I use plexiglass pages instead of glass? More durable is better. Then I could put images and text on and have it all look like it's floating. Would it be too hard to read, and would that matter? Or could put the text on a translucent paper, like onionskin or vellum, and have the images printed on transparencies. Ooh, that sounds like it has possibilities. Will keep ruminating on the matter.

One of my biggest challenges is to take my art to a personal level. I still have a very large barrier between me and what I make, and I think if I can surmount that, what I make will have more power. That is going to require me to slow down my thinking a bit and also focus it more. There are just so many things I want to try! And the quote by Lily Tomlin quote about her teenage diaries that I read on Dorinda Fox's blog recently does express one of my biggest fears, I'm sorry to admit. ("What if it's boring . . . or if it's not boring, it might be too revealing, or worse, it might be too revealing and still be boring.")