March 31, 2015

Stop Writing



This month's theme at Art Journal Journey is a favorite poem or quote and I made a page to show how the words of a poem can say one thing but really mean another.

The poet is not writing about laundry or woman's work. She's writing (as if talking to herself) about the pain of losing her husband.


To illustrate, I pasted the real meaning of the poem in tiny white print over the images and since my photos are hard to read, I've written the poem below along with some of the tiny text:

I Stop Writing the Poem

to fold the clothes. No matter who lives
or who dies, I'm still a woman.
I'll always have plenty to do.
I bring the arms of his shirt
together. Nothing can stop
our tenderness. I'll get back
to the poem. I'll get back to being
a woman. But for now
there's a shirt, a giant shirt
in my hands, and somewhere a small girl
standing next to her mother
watching to see how it's done.


Something very serious has disturbed the poet's life (she's stopped writing). Someone close to the speaker has died (no matter who lives or dies). She uses busy work to keep from thinking about it (has plenty to do). Death won't stop them from being close (brings the arms of the shirt together).

She senses that her creativity and expression, as well as her sense of being a woman will eventually return, even if they are altered by the experience (I'll get back to the poem/being a woman). There may be a pause in her writing, but his departure is forever. The size of the shirt (giant) equals her vast sense of loss.

Her strength comes through because she knows how to regain her confidence. She needs a mentor and will find someone to lead her out of her misery (a small girl standing next to her mother watching to see how it's done).

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It's amazing how so much is said in just a few, well-chosen words!

Poetry is an elevated art form I have always appreciated and it was fun to create using paper and paint to compliment it. I hope you will journal about a favorite poem or quote this month and link up with Art Journal Journey so I can see what inspires you!

March 28, 2015

Prototype


This week's Monday blog challenge at SSS is to use a stamp multiple ways on the same project or use the same stamp in different colors or ways on multiple projects.

So I read through Michelle's creative stamping tutorial, then chose a stamp to experiment with that's always been hard to use--it's large, not very deeply etched and yes, a bit unusual. I was hoping this exercise might shed some light on how to get more out of it.

As she suggested, I just starting making impressions on all kinds of scrap papers. Then I got an idea to cut various parts out of the image from the many stampings and collage them back together puzzle-style.


Click to Enlarge
I ended up making a tag which was embellished with a little paint and ink.

If time permits, I like to try another one and will tell you that I like this stamp a whole lot more than I used to.

This was a great exercise and I always appreciate the inspiration I get from the weekly challenges.

Stamp credit: Paper Artsy

March 20, 2015

Collection

Animals.

That's this week's Monday blog challenge at SSS.

So I took an inventory of my stamps.

While I did have a few that would work, they were all a bit on the tiny side.

No matter.

So I pasted.
And stamped.

Embossed.

Stained.

Painted.

Drew.

Fiddled.

Rubbed.


Erased.

Licked.

Cut.

And pasted some more.


I was going for a Cabinet of Curiosities look.

I ended up with something rather silly instead.


But I should get high marks for my enthusiasm, don't you think?









Maybe I should have started out using something other than a tag....

March 14, 2015

Apidae

Click to Enlarge
This large bee has always been a challenge to work with so I seldom use it. But, on this tag, I've finally produced a result I'm satisfied with.

I stamped and embossed the images on watercolor paper then covered them with masking fluid.

Using a variety of Distress Stains, I tinted the background and spritzed on some watered-down white acrylic paint.

Then I removed the mask and applied watercolor paints over the images.



I did some additional stamping at the base using Archival Ink and made a stab at lettering with fine-tip pens and paint. I felt it needed the heart to help with balance and keep it from looking so serious.

I'm linking to the Monday blog challenge at SSS where this week's theme is the letter B. There's no way I would have missed this one! ☺

On a side note, the geek in me wants to wish everyone a very special Happy Pi Day (a-pi-dae, my blog post title, get it?). This year's celebration is extra special due to the date representing the first five digits of Pi (π), 3-14-15, a confluence that won't happen again for a hundred years. To celebrate I'll be eating pie.

Apidae is the scientific naming classification for many types of bees.

Stamp credit: Violets Floral Fantasy by Stampworkz

March 08, 2015

Explore Life


Tim's March tag for 2015 is a lesson in masking and using embossing powders with texture paste. I have three tags in the trash that just didn't pan out but believe me, I tried. My failures may be related to not having the right mediums so I just had to do things differently.

I don't usually step-out my techniques but, in this case, I thought it would be useful to demonstrate my process (click on the images for a larger view).

I began by pasting a paper from Tim's Crowded Attic paper stash onto a manila tag. They are images of vintage stamp pads and one of my all time favorites.

Sometimes it's hard to visualize where best to place a stamp so I made an imprint on some acetate that I used to try out different arrangements.

I stamped the image using Perfect Medium and clear embossing powder because I wanted to create a resist.


Then I applied a coat of Seedless Grapes Distress Stain and let it dry followed by a second coat of Vintage Photo stain.

As you can see, the embossed image resisted the stains perfectly!



To remove the embossing, I used a hot craft iron and absorbent paper (newsprint is best). The iron re-melts the embossing and the paper absorbs it. Make sure to pull the paper off immediately after you heat the image otherwise it will cool and the paper will stick.


Tim calls this next technique "stamp-to-stamp." I wanted to fill-in the bird so I stamped a library stamp onto the bird stamp then re-stamped the bird onto my tag (whew!).

Hopefully, the photo will help to explain what I mean.


No rocket science for the next step which was simply a matter of sponging paint through Tim's Burlap stencil.

I went over some of the stenciled areas with Black Soot Distress Ink to provide a variation of color.


Tim always says, "it's in the details" so my final touches include a Remant Rub over homemade tape, a touch of Peacock Feathers on the raven's body, a gel pen for the black dots, a black colored pencil to outline one edge of the bird and a white gel pen to bring out a few highlights.

I admit I didn't follow along very well this month but I really like Tim's composition and the idea of using a large bold stamp along with the stencils. I think part of the appeal of his tag is the strong contrast of lights and darks which I tried to aim for.

The monthly tags always make me push my boundaries and try new things which must be the reason I enjoy it so much.


Here's a link to more information on the emboss resist technique from one of Tim's tutorials that explains it perfectly.

And here's a video from Tim that demonstrates the stamp-to-stamp technique (skip to the 6:45 minute mark to by-pass the embossing folder info). I kind of wish I had watched this demo before starting my tag. I would have done things differently but will definitely try this technique again.

Stamp credits: Stamper's Anonymous Scratched Raven and Library

March 06, 2015

Rosie Evening


I am happy to share this two-page journal spread with you today thanks to a prompt from Art Journal Journey where this month's theme is things with wings.

I know I should draw more but I just don't enjoy it as much as cutting and pasting. I have to work at it and I guess I'm lazy. But I thought I'd give a go at drawing these birds using a text book as my guide after creating a background from stamped papers.

The white stamped squares were made with acrylic paint using a silicone pot holder similar to these.



The birds look very much like a pair of House Finch that currently enjoy the sunflower seed feeder placed right outside my window. While most of North America is covered with snow right now, many of our avian friends have come to the desert southwest for a visit.

March 05, 2015

Pinkie


I sure do like to cut out photos then place the subjects in a different background. I guess it's a way of creating more focus and emphasizing the characters. So now these adventurous girls wander through blue green waters surrounded by my own exotica.

Starting with green scrapbook paper that I stamped with leaves, I used flower and leaf cut-outs from another paper along with colored pencils and distress stains for tint.

I'm linking to Simon's Monday blog challenge where this week's theme is just a hint of clover.

Here's what the original photo looks like (click for the larger, light box view). How sad that their story is now lost but what a day it must have been!