Wednesday, February 10, 2010

GPP Crusade No. 37: Love Letters (part2)

Could it be any plainer?
This is a love affair with X's & O's!

Have you visited the Green Pepper Street Team yet? Take this link to the site where you can link to other artists who are participating in the challenge. Their names are on the left side column.

As you can tell by the post title, this is my second entry. I worked this journal spread during the same sessions as the previous post. It's good to have simultaneous projects going. It helps me stop long enough for a layer of paint to dry before going on to another and causing a muddy mess.

I used the same magenta and phthalo turquoise as the previous spread, but the look is very different because I omitted the gold. As a result, I didn't get the range of secondary colors.

I'm not sure if I will do any journaling on these spreads. Thinking about it. I did a bit of research on the origin of X & O which was interesting. Just google the phrase with your question. It's amazing how much info is on the web! I think I should scan these pages before I write anything. Maybe I could write on the print out because these pages have lots of texture from the gesso spattering and writing could be a challenge.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

GPP Crusade No. 37: Love Letters (part 1)

X & O
A great motif for creative play...

Michelle Ward, leader extraordinaire of the Green Pepper Street Team has challenged us once again.
After you're done reading this post, why don't you go here and play along?
Let it be a Valentine to yourself!

Just a reminder, click on images to enlarge, then hit your browser's back button to return to the post.

I'm a big fan of the X & O, and have a small collection of stamps to prove it.
But the nature of the challenge is to go beyond the familiar and try something new.
What happens if I use resist ink on watercolor paper and paint an acrylic wash over it?

What happens if I make my own tools or use my fingers as stamps?

A simple triad palette inspired by Mary Todd Beam's Celebrate Your Creative Self.
Could I make an XO mask by folding paper according style?

What will happen if I use a spatter brush over my masks?

Are you going to come play with the team?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Always Learning About Color

When I started painting, I was overwhelmed by all the color choices. I took a water color class with excellent instruction where I learned a lot of techniques. The mystery of color choice was a non-issue because the instructor suggested the colors to use for our projects.

I picked up just enough information about the pigments to know that some would be opaque and others transparent. I couldn't mix just any red and yellow to come up with a lovely orange... and don't get me started on which red and blue to select for a pretty purple! I was so intimidated that I could have given up painting if it it hadn't been such a driving passion for me to learn.

Experience is one of the best teachers. You just have to use the paint and experiment. I found Nita Leland's book Exploring Color and Dory Kanter's book Art Escapes. (More recently Nita released Confident Color which I also added to my reference library.) These books helped guide me in color selection. One concept that I greatly appreciate is the limited palette. It's a great place to start your color education. I dabbled with my paints and came up with palettes for paintings based on information I picked up in these books.
I can't omit another great book. Stephen Quiller's Color Choices is a wonderful reference book with color exercises. It was recommended to me by Joen Wolfrom whose color theory books are oriented to the quilt artist. Color Play is a gorgeous and informative book. It was a thrill to meet her in Houston at the International Quilt Fest several years ago and discuss our mutual love of color through quilting, art and photography.

About five years ago I moved from working primarily with transparent watercolors to acrylics. I introduced white pigment to my palette and I'm still getting to know my pigments. When I need new inspiration or I need help developing a palette, I still use the books I mentioned. I use a spiral bound watercolor paper tablet to make reference of my paint collection. I also work out my color schemes as you can see in the photo I posted. I work out intermediate colors by blending complementary colors and making tints by adding white. Its important to jot down the color names.

What prompted me to write this post?

Julie Prichard and Chris Cozen are co-teaching an on-line class: Color-Beyond the Basics.
This looks like it will be fun and very informative. Chris is a Golden Paint Working Artist and author. I have one of her books in my library and have read and skimmed it several times for inspiration and technique advice. I have attended workshops by another Golden Working Artist and came away with tons of great information. I have been following Julie's blog for a long time. Her work is exciting and her blog is fun. Be sure to go to Julie's blog where you can see a short video that introduces you to these artists and lets you know how you can sign up for the class. The great thing about taking an on-line class is you can work it into your own schedule and you don't have to go out in the inclement weather that many of us are experiencing this winter.

Alright. I'm done now. Now go to The Land of Lost Luggage!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Stamping with Hero Arts

I've been trying to renew my stash of greeting cards this past month. In the past year I've discovered some very inspiring blogs that feature stamping and card making. I find the techniques cross over very well to my visual journaling as well.

More recently I discovered the Happy Heart Studio Blog. Nancy is having a drawing for the newest Hero Arts catalog which was signed by the artists at the recent CHA convention. You must make a card using Hero Arts Stamps. Both of the above cards feature E1212 Bold Birthday Candles. The the black embossed image is on water color paper. Caran d'Ache Neocolor II was used to color the image. Printed scrapbook papers inspired my color choices. I used a glitter gel pen to write "happy birthday" on the above card.

This is a set that was given to me and has always posed a challenge to me. I decided to this was a good time to take on that challenge. This is what I made:

The white card was stamped with G2678 - Art, Life & Beauty using Distress Inks.

The green "tiles" were stamped with the LL637 Woodcut Leaf Pattern Stamps using Versamark Ink on a medium green cardstock. I didn't get as much contrast as I'd hoped for, so I decided to try "chalking" the stamped image using dark blue NuPastel dust that I sanded off the stick & rubbed into the stamping. I trimmed the squares and rounded the corners with a punch. Next I added the sentiment - C1122 - Thinking of You.

Arranging the tiles was my biggest challenge. I added a matte layer to the sentiment tile. I'm not big on embellishments, but I knew something was missing. So I searched my little drawers and found this leaf skeleton that I adhered with vellum glue dots.

I hope you will check out Nancy's blog. Here's another one of my favorite paper art blogs - Jennifer McGuire Ink.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Copper Archipelago

How about a hint of flying over a tropical archipelago?

I love images of turquoise water. Even more, I love being in water.

Textures excite me.

Iridescent, interference and metallic paints are fun.

I am inspired by the beauty God created in this world.
These come together when I make my art.

I previously posted this painting here. More glazes of interference green and phthalo blue were added to the border and portions of the interior space. I made adjustments to the turquoise and green passages on the interior. Metallic copper had been in my plan throughout most of this project, but I had to wait for just the right time when I felt brave because there would be no turning back...
Today I used a scumbling brush and applied Golden Iridescent Copper (Fine) very sparingly. It immediately brought new life to this painting with its complementary hue.
I had been seeing a topographical map in the surface of this painting. With the addition of the copper, that allusion became more apparent to me. As I took the close-up images, the word archipelago came to me. Then I knew I had the title for this painting.
I'm not sure how I will frame it. I put a coppery brown border on the image in PS Elements.

The border area is very reflective because of the glazes of interference color. It can appear either very light or on the dark side of a medium value depending on the light source. These photos were all taken with diffused natural afternoon light coming in a south window. There was a medium covering of clouds, so I wasn't getting glare, but it wasn't gloomy dark either. I discovered that by changing the white balance on my camera to cloudy, my colors were much truer than when I had the setting on auto.
I hope this post helped you escape to beautiful places today!