Tuesday, February 19, 2013

More Mini Collages

I promised last month to post some more of my Mini Collages, so here you go!
I hope these inspire you to get out your scraps of paper and fabric and just do it...

I'll be switching back to Encaustic mode here shortly. I just did a demo for the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild gals at the last meeting. Just a short intro to the medium. I will be offering a fairly intensive 2-Day Encaustic and Collage Workshop at Jerry's Artarama on Saturday and Sunday, March 2 and 3, 2013. Sure hope you can come and join the fun! There will be lots of demonstrations and lots of hands on working time. Please check it out! Or if you are more interested in a one day Encaustic only workshop, I have two coming up. One on March 22 at Nicole Kennedy Studio and the other on April 11th at Jerry's Artarama of Raleigh.

Here is a close up shot of a few encaustic pieces I'm working on now...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

More Creative Ideas

I taught a workshop last week, Creative Collage Techniques at Jerry’s Artarama in Raleigh. We all had a great time! Here are a couple of photos…

Friday in the studio turned out to be a very productive day! I experimented withDr. Ph. Martin’s Hydrus Watercolor Set #2. OH MY! They are wonderfully rich and vivid colors! I don’t normally use watercolors, but I had some of these in my studio and thought what the heck. So I got out some watercolor paper and first I just painted lines on the watercolor paper to see the color clearly and to see how far it spread across the paper. These paints are liquid and come with a squeeze eye dropper. You basically take some of the pigment into the dropper and put it to the paper. I squeezed out about an inch long line, then took a wet brush and pulled it across the length of the paper. I then labeled the paper, so I could remember the colors I wanted in my next experiment.

Next, I chose a limited palette and started experimenting with paper, pigments, wax paper and Saran wrap. I wet the paper down with water, then squirted the pigment from the dropper onto the surface, watching it disperse and suspend in the water. Next I tore and crumpled wax paper and laid the pieces on the surface, then squirted the paint underneath. Once I did this in several different areas, I covered the whole thing with Saran wrap, patted in down in certain areas, and set it aside to dry. I did a total of four sheets.

These will definitely make their way into some of my future collages!
And speaking of future collages, here are some of the new pieces I knocked out. I was really on a roll!

The first ones are made with some of my stash of hand painted papers. I collaged these onto Multimedia Artboards, then I embellished them at the sewing machine! The image you see on the link is also one of my pieces.
These were all done on SoHo Urban Artists Painting Panels. These panels are a great bang for your buck! You get 5 boards in a pack in all kinds of different sizes and you can also purchase these in bulk for your students! Please note: When you do collage on these boards, they tend to warp a bit with the addition of mediums used to adhere with. The solution: squirt the back of your finished collage with a bit of water, place on newsprint or plastic and weight down with books from your studio and voila! You now have a nice even flat collage ready to frame in the morning!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Staying in the creative mode

Lots of things have been happening in the studio! Lots of experimentation with all sorts of products. My friend Michelle came over to my studio last Friday - my new "studio day". We decided to mess around with different sorts of resists and inks.

There are some really interesting things you can find out in a short amount of time...One of which is: Inks don't stain and stay in the fabric after you wash out the resist! At least the ones we used washed out. Bummer...

So, I think next time I will do one of two things: use a fabric dye instead of an acrylic ink OR use a permanent resist that you don't have to wash out.
We also were very surprised how clear and crisp our stamps printed out on burlap. In spite of the bumpy surface, the burlap really captured the details of the stamps we tried...

Anyway, it was a fun day of experimentation and creativity!

Next, I was emailing back and forth with our vendor from Australia, Steve Patterson of Matisse and he sent me a link to a couple of posts he has on Youtube. Oh my...yet another addiction. I have seen this done, actually in my own studio. It was during a CMMAG meeting and play date at DiGiulio Studios and Penny was doing a demo using the Gelliarts geletin plates for printing. But, I had not actually played with that particular product and process that day, just sort of watched from afar...So needless to say, that particular item was put on the back burner so to speak. Too many other things going on.
Fast forward to yesterday, when Steve sent me the link to making your own gelatin plates for pennies and a little patience and experimental printing. Here's what I did: stopped at Walmart on the way home from work last night. In the aisle with the Jello, is just your basic gelatin. Pick up one of those. Mine was $1.25 and came in a box with four little packets inside. I simply followed the directions on the box and ended up with some clearish liquid to add to my Pyrex dish. The dish is 8 x 8.
 I just put the cover on it and stuck it in the fridge to set. Left it overnight and got up in the morning.
This morning I got my coffee and the dish and headed out to the studio to play! I was really excited and I only had one hour to mess around. So, out came the palette paper, my Matisse Flow acrylics, a roller, lots of different types of paper: rice paper, watercolor paper, torn pages from a book, luggage tags and more. I removed the gelatin from the dish. Just put a knife around the edge and flip over onto your surface. I set the gelatin on a piece of plastic and was ready to go in no time.

 I randomly added squirts of the fluid acrylic (Matisse Flow) to the palette paper or sometimes directly onto the plate. I rolled the surface smooth with my brayer and then began my experimentations:
1. Comb the surface
2. Stamp the surface
3. Put lace on the surface
4. Lay threads and strings on the surface
5. Crinkle wax paper and lay on the surface
You can work in an additive fashion or a subtractive fashion. Whatever you take off the plate, you can add to any paper. So you're sort of working on several pieces at once. This is my way to work! I love to randomly print and paint and make a stash of papers to use in future collages. It's really very freeing. Here is one of the images I "pulled" from the plate:

So give it a shot. And here is a photo of my "stash" of the morning:

Watch the two videos and that will give you an idea of where you can take this. Then look at the photos I've posted and begin another creative adventure!