Friday, October 30, 2015

Postal Swimmers!'s weirdy time again...

   Envie Addict's Unite, our mail art group, is wrapping up our weirdy mail month. Normally we do art envelopes and postcards...but we get restless and need to get a little crazy! We send objects, as is or "naked," through the mail. We somehow, through conversation, started to call this "weirdy mail." Below is a pic of what I sent...

These postal swimmers are made out of canvas. Here's how I made them.

First, what you don't see, is how I prepared the canvas material. I took clear Gesso and brushed it over the area that would be painted. I can't wait for it to dry, so I took a hair dryer to it. Next, I sketch directly on the prepared canvas. I used water soluble, Inktense pencils to color in the fish. With a brush full of water I drag the colors until I was happy where everything ended up. 

Once everything is dry, I line it all in Sharpie. Then comes the sewing machine....I know how to use it...just not neatly! So, before I sew two halves together, I take one side and sew around the fish two times. I purposely cross the stitches and try to make it look imperfect. For the last go around, I sew the two sides together. I am not turning this project inside out. Gesso prevents the canvas from fraying. I just leave an opening large enough to add stuffing.

They end up like this! Oh-fish-al! ... Postage was troublesome though...I ended up using Glossy Accents under and around the edges of the stamps. Glossy Accents is sorta like resin. :) 

My Postal Swimmers front and back. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cigar Box Art

...a non smoking situation...

   I don't like anything about smoking...except empty cigar boxes and labels. :) ...admittedly I've been hoarding some cigar boxes. I keep thinking that I'll make some kind of cool shadow box art, but still haven't gotten around to it. I sorta have that fear of messing it up, much like a new clean sketch book. I got as far as cutting off the lid of one of these boxes. (It stayed that way for months.) Then I tried a painting...and I's not that bad. Here's where I started...

First, I ripped up a thin brown paper bag and decoupaged it to one side of the cigar box lid. On the lid the word "handmade" was on I left that spot open, along with some of it's gold designs. I'm using "Collage 'Pauge" matte. 

After the decoupage has dried, I do a little sketch. I lined the sketch with Sharpie and Micron pens. Then comes the fun part...color. I used Inktense water soluble pencils.

I used a sort of grey green and Payne's Grey on the fish. Their under belly done in yellow to give off a light source. I used a few different colors of teal and blue around the fish. Loaded my brush and dabbed at the color. With each addition of dabbed on water, I let it drip. To make the drip marks pop more, I lined them with a white pen. (Uni-ball Signo) I used the same pen to put a glint in the fish's eyes. A few sprays of clear coat keeps it all in place. :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Season For Carving

...lino blocks...

   Most of you are probably thinking of carving pumpkins. I haven't carved one for the last couple of Halloween season's. (Kids are too grown for the excitement of them.) Instead I'll stick with Linoleum Block Carving. There are several types of blocks that you can buy. I happened to have two choices in my stash. One is mounted on a block and the other is just a sheet of the Lino on it's own. 

If you look at the bottom portion of the picture, you can see the difference in thicknesses.These block are cut at 3x4 inches. Just a smidge bigger than a baseball card. Which is a size that I haven't done in a while. I think I'll stick to bigger carvings. Details are so hard to achieve in such a small space. 

I know, I always say it starts off with a sketch. I cheated this time. I couldn't think of what to carve for the swap that it's for. So I traced a drawing that I had already done. From the top left you can see the block that I chose and the drawing that I traced on to tracing paper. To transfer the image, tape it face down to your block and use a bone folder to rub it down. Before removing your tape, take a peek. Did everything make it to the block? Yeah? Good! Now bust out your tools. I have two gouges and one Exacto Knife. 

The above split pic shows the starting of my carving...then I did a no no! I couldn't wait to see what the block was gonna look like! So I used one of my markers and ran it over the block. I ended up printing this in red,...but the black stained places in the block. It ended up leaving black marks on my first prints. With that particular ink, it was hard to scrub off. 

Below is my original drawing that I trace from...It's on a paper doll.

...And here's the finished print...

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Waning Art Funk muse is slowly returning...

   In my last post I was pretty much belly aching about, how my muse was no where to be found. It seems that she's finally making small appearances. First it happened with a tag swap that I joined. The rules of the swap was that there had to be a bird, a fish and something furry. I did a fourth tag, which was the customary gift to the host of the swap. Here's what I made...

My favorite is the one with the bird that has a number three on it. However, it seems more peeps liked the fish and the bunny. It's funny how I will think one thing will be favored over the others, but my guess is usually wrong! LOL! It just goes to show that art really is in the eye of the beholder. 

So, next up are Two Sleeve Art Dolls. Their name comes from the fact that it takes to baseball card sleeves to cover them. It's just to protect them on route to the peeps you are trading with. I wish that I had taken pictures as I went along with my drawing, but I didn't want to stop. Here's one completed doll and another just being started. 

I got to see the blood moon eclipse. Did you see it? Anyways, thought I'd do up a doll to mark the event. 

I had every intention of showing you the progression of the second doll...but this is as far as I got...

Usually I try to make my paper dolls look pretty. However, it's sometimes fun to go outside of your norm. The monster below is inspired by Don Kenn and Edward Gorey. Some of you might be familiar with Edward Gorey's work. He illustrated the opening for the show "Mystery," on PBS. 

A lot of my work will include song lyrics or found poetry. For this monster I added the lyrics from TLC's, "Unpretty."

Below, is the whole gang...

The last one is my favorite...but let me guess. It's not yours. :)