Sunday, February 10, 2008

Inspired by Kelly Rae Roberts

For my next workshop session i wanted to try a technique i saw in the Sept/Oct issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. I absolutely LOVE that magazine. I tell my students to subscribe RIGHT NOW and to buy ALL the back issues. Seriously - it is just that great. It is full of wonderful lessons by such artists as Leslie Riley, one of my favs.

But this month i wanted to try Kelly Rae Roberts mixed media collage. I interpreted what i saw in the magazine and on her website. I hope this is perceived as flattering, to try to emulate a wonderfully creative artist, and not as "copying".
I started with a brand new pad of scrapbook paper from K&Company. It is reminiscent of old textiles and wallpapers in the faded tones of yellow, aqua, red, green and brown.
I took a page of each pattern and cut them into 3x3 and 3x4 squares. (yes i know 3x4 isn't technically a square)I spent a few minutes composing the squares until i felt i had a good balance of color and pattern. Essentially you are creating a paper quilt. Then I glued them onto a sheet of 9x12 water colour paper using a glue stick.
Next i applied some random items to add some interest to the pages, such as stickers, stamps and words cut from a book.
Next i applied some gesso (white paint) with a old credit card. Save all the ones you get in the mail soliciting for new accounts! I just scraped it on the page allowing it to build up a bit where the squares meet. Don't apply too much or it will completely hide the pattern on the quilt squares.
Next i applied some misty blue acrylic paint using the same credit card application. Using glaze instead of paint might give you better control. If you wanted to make sure some elements stay clear of paint, apply some gel medium, like to the words. That way you can wipe the paint off before it dries.
Next i used water soluble oil pastels, Portfolio brand to create a female figure. If like me you only have basic painting skills, then avoid complicated body parts like hands and eyes. I used black for the outline then smoothed it with my finger. You know what is cool? If you mess up you can wipe it away with a wet nap or moistened paper towel and start over! I did simple features for the face (eyes closed) and simple hair. The dress is also very simple with the arms behind the back - see no hands to paint! I smudged away most of the black and used navy blue for a softer look. Then filled in with other colours. A combination of white, pink and yellow for skin, pink and blue for the dress. Once you have the image complete you can add further elements, but i love the randomness of the collage and embellishments. It looks less "arranged". As a final touch i added some simple flowers to balance the composition.
See links to the left for Kelly's work and to subscribe to Cloth Paper Scissors.


Aileen (Pronounced A-Leen) said...

Hey good to hear from you! I shall actually post a comment on your blog LOL glad to see you finally got on the blog band wagon! I've been up to my eyeballs with my new site redesign it will hopefully be unveiled this week so stay tuned!

carol said...

this is so nice! and I think it's terrific how you are capable of producing such different styles!