Thursday, July 30, 2015

Forget those apples... a bit of Art & a Chuckle a day keeps the doctor away!!

Just a quicky Show & Tell for you today... I was going through some of my art supplies on a quest for a specific item that I could not find, after quite some time I became frustrated and gave up the hunt. Unfortunately, I ended up with a bigger mess than I started with! While trying to find places to return items to, I came across a colorful stack of tissue paper that I have been saving from past projects. Needless to say, the tissue paper was taken to my work table! I just simply love tissue paper, the colors are so vibrant and even when they get wet the colors remain in tact without fading or bleeding! They are the perfect medium for adding color to collages or creating backgrounds for other projects.  When the different colors are layered on top of another color, the variations are endless. Depending on the project, tissue can create added texture where desired by creasing & overlapping as you apply the glue.

Below are postcards that I created tissue paper backgrounds for. I chose not to have too much texture so that I could do detail work to finish; otherwise, my fine tipped rapidograph pen would snag on the paper folds preventing the clean lines that I prefer! The cards are very bright & vibrant in person as well as finished with a semi-gloss surface.
Postcards - tissue paper, hand carved stamps & ink - approx. 6"x 9"
So, if you're looking for a quick & easy project on a lazy summer day...
Take it from me, "nothing says fun like tissue paper & glue!!"

I have a little extra for your viewing pleasure... I took a ride outside of town the other day, much to my surprise I came upon a sight that at first glance had me slamming on the breaks for an urgent stop. In my defense, at second glance I did realize that I had fallen for a cleaver prank! (The sun was also in my eyes, really!)  Below is a photo of my sighting, keep in mind that with a telephoto lens it doesn't look as lifelike as it did as I came around the bend in the distance!

Hope you had a chuckle or two, (even at my expense!)
Until next time, Blessings to you all!!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Artistic Block? Let your muse out to play!!

Whenever I find myself focusing on two dimensional projects for any length of time, my muse starts feeling restless and deprived while continually longing for her first love... 3-Dimensional Art!! Time has come to release my creative juices and shift my artistic gears from seeing flat to feeling form!! 

I've had a project idea resting in the wings, waiting for that urge to follow through and give it a try! In recent months, I have acquired a real appreciation for Assemblage Art... it's a wonderful way to justify all of the collecting that I do before someone starts to label me a hoarder!! A few months ago I found some old used children's wooden blocks at a junk sale and scooped them up for less than a dollar. I had just finished an AFA swap making Domino Dolls so I was inspired by the idea that Block Buddies would also be a fun challenge... and as you can imagine, I believe that I was 100% correct!! 

Starting out, I knew the main component to create a Block Buddy would of course be a body made from a wooden block. The next component needed to bring life to your Buddy would be it's head, vital to creating it's own unique personality!! In previous posts, I introduced everyone to my collection of Deadheads (for those who don't know...through the years I have saved the heads off of broken or unsuccessful sculptures that I created, I keep them in a box until I find a new project for them to become a part of!) I was successful in finding two very endearing characters in my stash and they were soon "born again" as Block Buddies!

Wooden Blocks for Buddy Bodies

Box of Deadheads - each hoping to live again!

From this point on, anything goes... Assemble your Block Buddy with a variety of supplies and found objects. The only thing between you and a truly unique work of art full of character, is your imagination

Below are my first two Block Buddies... they both stand on their own two feet!

"J" is for Jester aka "Dunceton"

"T" is for Termite aka "Chewy Louie"

 I don't know about you but they just make me smile!?

Thank you for stopping by...
Until next time, Happy Creating!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Finally... the Chunkier it is, the better it is!!

I recently was gifted some art supplies as a prize in a contest that I participated in. Among those items was a package of blank "chunky pages" that are used to create an aptly named Chunky Book. I had never given much thought to creating a chunky book, the only thing that I knew of them was that their dimensions were a 4"X4" square. Since receiving the blank pages, I set out to find some additional info on what was expected when putting my Chunky together. I saw some wonderful examples by some very talented artists and the main thing that I learned was, just about anything goes!!  The beauty of a chunky book is that it lends itself to any style or medium you choose, it's the perfect mixed media project with embellishments totally welcomed!! 

I decided to jump in and begin to create my very first Chunky Book. After a few mis-starts with me thinking that I needed to create something chunky & stuffed full of mixed media pages, I stepped back to regroup!! I resigned myself to the reality that my first attempt needed to reflect me and my own unique style and so, Janoodle Chunky was started!!

As mentioned in my previous post, my first two chunky pages were created from my ice dyeing project. I decided to use them for the front and back covers of my book. My plan is to keep creating and adding more pages so I decided to use steel rings for binding which will enable me to make it as big as the rings will allow!! (I guess I could even get bigger rings?!)

Front Cover
Back Cover

Bound with Steel Rings that open

Below are photos of my first six inside pages for my Janoodle Chunky. I'm really looking forward to continuing to add pages to this book and hopefully creating another chunky book by experimenting with some new mixed media techniques along the way. 
Heat Wave


Good? Jinn

Lady Wellington

At a Snails Pace!

Wild Royalty

Below is one last photo showing the Chunky as it opens!

Hope you have gotten inspired to create a Chunky Book 
to showcase your own unique style of artwork... 
 They make wonderful presents, give a gift of your ART!! 

Until next time, Blessings!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Success or failure... can be in the eye of the beholder!

I'm always game for trying new ideas and experimenting with art techniques. To be perfectly honest,  I admit that I seldom follow any instructions without altering them for my own purposes or visions of "what if I do this?" running through my head. I was recently introduced to some video tutorials on Ice Dyeing Fabric. The results are very interesting, kind of a mix between a watercolor wash and tie-dye. I normally don't use fabric in my style of artwork, so my brain immediately went to thinking of using paper as a substitution... "What if I could Ice Dye paper and use it for Janoodling?" And so, the fun began! 

I began by using 140# watercolor paper. I placed the paper on a wire rack in a shallow pan that would hold the water as the ice melted away. In the original fabric instructions, powdered dyes were sprinkled onto the ice. Since I didn't have any of them on hand (and in my quest for instant gratification), I decided to use the Jacquard liquid dyes that I typically use in my artwork. I sprinkled a few colors on the ice in separate areas in hopes that they would create interesting patterns as they mingled in the melting process! 

Below is a photo of the ice and dye covered paper, awaiting success!

Well, much to my chagrin, I am not always successful in accomplishing the desired results of my visions! In this case I didn't factor in just how much water that the ice would create as it melted. In hind sight I would have realized that the liquid dyes would dilute greatly with that amount of water (I'm used to the vibrant colors they produce in my usual work!). In the end, I was not completely satisfied with the results, which is why I [forgot] to take a photo of the papers. The longer I looked at the results, I saw some areas that I found quite interesting and decided they needed to be salvaged! There were areas that had been totally washed out from the extreme amounts of melted ice water. After the paper was completely dry I came back to just those sections and reworked them with my familiar wash techniques. I am very happy with the results and feel the combining the two techniques created a very desirable effect. I am not discouraged, I have already come up with a few ideas to "tweak" my technique for obtaining more successful results!

Below is a photo of the final results. I ended up using the paper to create "chunky pages" (for a project to be seen in the near future). Please note, the darker outside edges of color, they were created by the ice with the washed out area caused from the excess water. I wish you could see it in person, the high concentration of color on the edge created a marvelous effect!

 Hope this has inspired you to do an experiment, maybe there's a technique you've been wanting to try... go ahead, jump in and make it your own!!

Until next time... Blessings to you all!!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Does size really matter?

I just have a quick Show & Tell for you today... I've recently had the opportunity to work in a much larger format than I've become accustomed to when creating ATCs. I successfully ventured out to try my hand at Janoodling on 4"X6" postcards and now I have decided to raise the bar even higher by advancing to an 11"X14" sheet of paper!

Below is a photo to show the size comparison of an ATC Janoodle (top rt.) to a Postcard Super-Size Janoodle (bottom rt.) to my new Mega-Size Janoodle! (left) 
3 sizes of Janoodles

Below is a solo view of my latest work, Mega-Size Janoodle... I enjoyed working in this larger format, it presented a challenge to step out of my comfort zone!

"Wild Garden"  Janoodle Style
Detail view of a small area (bottom right corner) 

Soooo Glad you stopped by... Until next time, Ciao!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Art & History walking hand in hand!

From May through September each year, I am a volunteer and board member of our local Kettle Falls Historical Center. Located along the Columbia River, our interpretive exhibit "People of the Falls" celebrates the rich history of the Colville Confederated Tribes as well as the Hudson Bay Company along with the pioneers, trappers and military personnel that settled into this region.

I do enjoy history, but if anyone knows me, they know that ART is what makes me the happiest. So, it's no surprise that the best role for me to take on at the Center would be to spearhead marketing, advertising and ART related exhibits!

This brings me to today's Historic Show & Tell... we have started an annual marketing competition for the participation of local artists. This is a theme related competition to celebrate a part of history and life along the river. The winning entry will be used as a marketing and advertising tool throughout the next season, such as posters, postcards and advertisements. As a board member, I am exempt from competing for the prize money but I am still able to participate in the accompanying Art Exhibit .

The theme this year is "Salmon". The salmon rich waters of the Columbia River provided a vital food source for Native Americans. With the long winter season of the region, the salmon were dried to provide the needed nourishment to see the tribes through until spring of each year. The Native Americans would prepare huge "Salmon Feasts" in celebration and gratitude for the bounty that the river provided.

It's been awhile since I've created anything much larger than in an ATC sized format, so I did find this a bit of a challenge. The minimum size requirement was 11"X14" so that's what I decided to do. My artwork was inspired by Native American Salish Art, the style represents similar drawings found in this region. Of course, I did take artistic license and made it my own. (Once a Janoodler, always a Janoodler!!)

Below are photos of my original design and of the finished work.

Basic Ink Design

Salmon "Janoodle Style"

Until next time... Happy Creating!!