Thursday, January 30, 2014

Look to the skies

It's wing week over at the Stampotique Designer's Challenge.  I found this quote that I really liked and thought it was a great opportunity to use Kira Nichols' Stack of Birds .
The stack of bird image was stamped with black Stazon and cut apart to pose on acrylic hand-painted limbs.
My mixed media background incorporates France Papillon's Design Cube, and my Screen and Circle Border images. 
The background layers include recycled party napkins.  I used kid's Crayola markers to colorize modeling paste in a portion of a Dina Wakley Vine Template. 
To color paste, scribble marker color of choice (or blend more than one) on craft mat, spritz with water and mix with modeling paste. 
Thanks for taking a look! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Midge; story behind the stamp

In keeping up with the "star" theme for the Stampotique Designer's Challenge (SDC131: Stars Take Two ) I have used Midge as the star standout on this tag.

Story behind the stamp.  Her name is not Midge, but she is Midge to Stampotique.  I love seeing her pop up on blogs, magazines, and in Stampotique Designer Challenges.  Midge is an adorable and a must have stamp.

Our "Midge" grew up in Tucson and was a childhood chum of a dear friend of mine.  Unfortunately, her real name was forgotten, but when I had isolated her from the original photograph she became "Midge." Her assertive little stance makes a perfect graphic image which lends itself to many possibilities.

In keeping with my resolution to reuse and repurpose I began with a discarded crayon resist background.   I lightened it up with Gelatos sticks and some glitz.  Also in my collage box I came across some aqua spattered paper. I stamped Midge accordingly with black Staz-on then clear embossed.
I took the line "You shine like a diamond" from the Rihanna song which has been replaying in my head.

When I work with children I observe that they frequently get frustrated with what they are working on and want to quit and start over.  I have always guided them into the rescue, working with a happy accident, and turning the art into something they can live with or even like.  I keep my teaching philosophy in mind and apply it in my own studio play.  It's fun to treasure hunt in a paper discard heap and try to make something out of a find.

 Midge should be in her early 70's about now.  I wish she could know how much we love her image and that truly, she shines like a diamond.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Story behind the stamps; The Fleur de Girl Collection

The Fleur de Girls have their roots back in 2001 when Carol and Jim, owners of Stampotique had begun producing art rubber stamps.  I was an art educator in the public schools and taught at the Stampotique shop every once in a while.  Carol suggested I try drawing some images for their new rubber business.

School kept me fairly busy.  I was also teaching art education classes at the university.  Then my husband found himself victim of downsizing. 

My response to this was the original "Fleur de Girl" in the upper right of this photo of ATC's.  While she doesn't appear very happy she is undefeated.  I began drawing girls that looked like and named for flowers.  Strongly influenced by artist Paul Klee, all my work seemed to have letters and numbers mixed in, so I thought it was natural to add type and various text within my patterns.  I wasn't sure if I was on to anything.  When I showed my husband my drawings he smiled, immediately naming them "The Fleur de Girls."

I don't think I knew to scan images back then, so I sent the hard copies images to Carol in a large illustrated envelope.  Carol's response was, "Are these mine?"

Fortunately my husband was back to work in no time and the Fleur de Girls collection grew. 

These ATCs are cropped images from the collection. They are paper pieced and colored with Prismacolor pencils.  The garden themed collection includes sentiments, flowering shoes and handbags that should grow in every girls garden.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Take some honey and plenty of money...

 In my quest to use what I have, recycle, and repurpose, this waste from repeated gelli printing became my inspiration.  The deep dark color and textured layering reminded me of ocean and night.  Immediately the children's verse "The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear came to mind.

I combined a portion of my Cat Family and Kira Nichols Birdy Up to be the stars of the evening scene.  I drew the "pea green boat" as well as the honey and plenty of money.  France Papillion's Banner decorates the mast of the boat.  Shreds of fabric are added to add life to the evening sail.  The images were stamped with jet black StazOn , clear embossed, then colored with a combination of Copics and watercolor.
My background was created with layers of Gelli Plate printing using acrylics, stencils, and stamps.  Colored modeling paste enhanced a wave border that I had on hand.  A vintage button serves as a closure to the journal. 

I like to look for opportunities to combine stamps, cut them apart, add to, or reduce.  I encourage you to look at your rubber stamps (Stampotique of course) as puzzle pieces.  Tell a story, event, play, but most of all, have fun!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Years resolutions

Happy New Year everyone.
Is the New Year another day or a fresh start?  We all know changes have to be gradual if we are going to stick to anything.  In my studio I  have made a conscious effort to recycle more and use what I have on hand, and just create. This year, I will allow myself to make mistakes, let it be O.K. to not like what I do, and just focus on the process rather than the product.  We sometimes get stuck in planning.  When I reflect on my young art students I see them tearing through my hand painted boxes of scraps and ephemera creating magnificent works with an explosion of random beauty.  The older they got, the magic and whimsy decreased for most but a token few.  I need to remember this. 
"Eat more veggies" began with an old postcard that had this wonderful artichoke.  I fussy cut it out and set it on top of a page in my scrap watercolor journal.  I had prepared random pages in a handmade watercolor journal with gesso, stencils, inks so when the mood strikes, I'd have a springboard to create with.
Stampotique's Artichoke Monster  by Kira Nichols absolutely needed to jump on the page.  I had thrown away a spiral notepad in the recycle --- it peered up and begged to be incorporated in the composition. 
A vintage children's book is my source of "vitamin A", added sequins, washi tape, scraps, doodles, and a watching birdie snipped from Kira's Stack of Birds.
Preparing backgrounds in advance and setting them aside can be a great way to get your art engine going.  It is especially helpful if you have to budget your creativity time.