Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fun with Beeswax....

Yesterday i had the pleasure of giving a beeswax collage class to a group of 4 ladies in the home of a friend. We started by selecting a couple of vintage images from my stash and cutting them out. Because the class was for a group of friends, i brought mainly images of females. Including a couple of nuns, two girls in communion dresses, some showgirls and my mother and aunt. And birds and butterflies, because, well, everybody just likes 'em these days.Next we created backgrounds from various ephemera i had assembled in their kits. Then embellishments like stamps, buttons, butterflies were added. Finally wire hangers, beaded or not, are added to the top of the 5" by 7" canvas boards. The gals did a great job and we had a fun and creative afternoon. I don't usually focus so much on words, but we found some great lines in pages of a typed written novel with gloriously yellowed pages, i got from a friend. She bought it at a yard sale. No idea if the novel was ever published, but their words are immortalized here! For this one i tried to do something different. I created a nest of cut strips of paper and a group of children for "chicks". I added a little branch for the bird to perch on.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Collage workshop a la Papaya!

Just back from our altered book meet and workshop at our delightful hostess Dorothy's. It was wildly successful. Here are the Papaya style collages we did. Check out all the elements that went into them in my prior post:

Here is mine with Nicole. I gave her a crown of lavender roses and a couple of birds. She is a beauty indeed:
Here is Dorothy's, we love the tilt of the head and the abundance of flowers - tres Carmen Miranda. The circles on the deli paper background are echoed in the circles at the top right corner.:Here is Carol's with a cool yellow flower border, like bunting at a july 4th parade. That huge hat of flowers looks like something barbra Streisand would have worn in the 60's:Here is Shelley's with some great tonal orange pattern play, a great contrast to the black and white image. She used some fun borders stickers to frame her artwork:
And here is Denise's, our guest participant at today's workshop, because i needed a ride. Well and because she is a charter member of my altered book group and she was happy to come and play. Sorry for the camera flash glare: And here is the one i made earlier that i forgot to bring today to show off. drat. Thanks Dorothy for a lovely afternoon. Thanks Bruce for the cookies! it was a terribly miserable grey and rainy day today. The time spent with these ladies making happy bright fanciful collages was just the ticket to think forward to spring!

Channeling Papaya!

Today my altered book group meets to swap our books, do some show and tell, and do a creative workshop. I have been toying with the idea of creating collage artwork in the style of Anahata Katkin and her company Papaya. This is my Papalicious agenda. I also have a cool calendar. I do not like to post other artists' work on my site, so please click on the links to see her blog and company website. If you are a fan of her beautiful designs on cards and journals and want to try it yourself - here is how i am approaching it:

1. Background - we'll be using my freshly painted stash of deli paper. the fun colour combinations will be put to good use. We'll use glue stick to attach the deli paper to a 9x12 sheet of heavy water colour paper. Deli paper glues beautifully. I may have mentioned that.
2. Focal Point - instead if hand painted faces, we'll be using fashion magazine images. You just need to find a face you like. Below i chose the girl from the Mama Mia movie.
3. Embellishment - to surround the face we'll be using flowers, butterflies and birds. You can use stickers or take the time to cut them out of magazines.Many of Anahata's artworks include sun rays. I have some tape in assorted thicknesses for that. She also does alot with circles and ovals. I found using a roll of tape is perfect to create "earrings" with a coloured marker. And finally i used a stencil to write the work LOVE on the top. I have BEAUTY prepared as well.
I'll have more pics to share later today . Yes - i MUST remember to bring my camera!

Here are some other versions i am working on. These are on 18" square stretched canvases. I painted them solid robin's egg blue and used gel medium to collage on top. You can see how they have the same recipe. Background, focal point, and embellishment: Flowers, Circles, Sunrays. This one has some painting along with the collage to blend the elements.

This one is a bit edgier looking, but it still needs more details - that will soften it up. Hubby said, "It is hideous, yet i can't look away." You know, like Kramer's portrait on Seinfeld. I think it was a compliment...!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New altered book pages

Tomorrow i will be swapping Shelley's altered book, titled Written on the Body. Please be aware that my spreads include beautiful images of the female form, which might offend.

We were asked to use vintage photographs and combine them with words. When looking through my ephemera, i found this 1892 bill for a meat store in New Hampshire. I am SO NOT about making serious social commentary in my altered books. I just thought this was an amusing backdrop for a nude.

Shelley's book is a fragile old tome in a smallish size. It is too delicate for chunky embellishments - so i kept my pages quite flat.
This page evolved from two separate magazine clippings i found in my files. The page on the left is one of those "priceless" credit card ads. the one on the right was from a fashion magazine. they both had the same dappled sunlight. I added some mini sticker bubbles to enhance the effect. I am not sure why this spread came to be. My husband is a little shocked by it. I think the two "f" holes just called out for some words, and this just fit perfectly. Did you know they were called that? I didn't. But that makes it even MORE appropriate somehow. Let's pretend this model was pissed at Man Ray. Wouldn't you be if your butt was compared to a cello?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Estate Sales are Awesome

My neighbour invited me to an estate sale she heard about through a friend who collects books and sells them on Amazon. It was right around the corner from my house, and had lots of very cheap, albeit disorganized, ephemera. Very few things had prices and there was a long wait at the cash - so you just had to hope it would be reasonable. I got a bunch of silly things like these mini books. They had a whole collection of doll house acroutrements.
I bought three bags of these cheesy wooden birds. i wonder what they were for? I think painted plain white and glued onto a branch they might look really interesting.
They had quite a few old sewing patterns for 25 cents, so i grabbed a bunch. It was funny to see that they had some of the same ones i remember from my sewing days back in the 70's. I looked at a big bag of wooden thread spools, but opted instead to just take a full roll of brown seam binding.
I picked up a few random vintage paper things, like these silhouettes, two envelopes with interesting handwriting, a 1939 high school yearbook from across the bay in Crockett. It is not very thick, but i love the images and so many signatures. I also got a stunning Architectural trade magazine. it has floor plans of mansions and NYC apartments i just love pouring over. But the BESTEST thing i got today, is an actual audubon book from way back, with 435 bird illustrations. I mean like, i NEVER have to buy or download another bird image ever again. Have you ever seen a room in a magazine, where they practically paper the walls with images from an old book? It would be SO cool to use these images on a wall. I guess you'd have to use 218, since they are printed on both sides.

Final Valentine Swap

I was out of town for a few days, and was pleased to see my 14th and final valentine had arrived from Samantha when i returned home.
It is a cool modern take on valentine motifs with metal wire wrapping the heart. there is red stitching around the edge of the card. I love the haphazard-ness of it!
Here are all my cards displayed on a wire rack on the wall in my kitchen. There are more than 14 because i received a few extras, plus i kept one of the ones i made to swap with the gals.
I thought i would also share my valentine gift from hubby. I make sure he knows my favorite stores, where i would love just about anything he picked up there. This time he went to Anthropologie and picked out these two hooks. He thought they were cool, vintage, decorative and practical! I love 'em!
Thanks to Samantha and all my Valentine buddies for a great winter swap! And especially to Samantha and Ramona for organizing the whole thing. Check out their blog Altered Art Junkies to see some other cards.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

one more valentine

I did a valentine themed art piece this week, that was inspired by a fellow blogger Beelieve. You can see her work here and here. I saw her textured hearts this week as part of the mixed media monday "romance" theme challenge. For my version I covered an 8x10 canvas with french dictionary paper. I chose pages with words like heart, love, tenderness, etc. Once applied i thinly brushed over it with white gesso. trying to be careful not to cover the words. then i applied a bit of pale aqua paint. Just cus. Next i drew a large heart shape with white glue. I have a bunch of really thin gauzy tissue. it isn't much good for anything because it has no weight. But i decided it would be perfect for my textured heart. I basically shredded up some pink, some blue and some white tissue and applied it to the glue shaped heart. more glue. more tissue. once it was sort of textured enought i applied more white paint to soften it. I had some space at the top so i added a romantic phrase. Since it was still off balance i added three vintage rhinestone buttons to the lower right side. You know the kind of thing you love but don't want to use up? Well i think they look lovely and deserving here!
Here is my finished piece. Or maybe it isn't finished. I might apply a coat of beeswax. or more paint. or other collage elements. i'm not sure. I need to live with it for a while.
Thanks Karen for the inspiration!

Deli paper note cards

Here are some notecards i made from the big batch of printed deli paper i made last week.
I just cut out the paper into 3 x 4 1/2 pieces and glued them onto blank notecards with a glue stick. Deli paper glues beautifully.
I plan to give them as thank you gifts, so i printed "thank you" on colorful tags and tied them onto a stack of 4 cards with vintage seam binding.

Wedding Journal Round Robin

My wedding journal is ready to mail around to the first of 6 ladies who are participating in this project. The title of our books is "my wedding day" so you start off with a book featuring your own wedding day, and then it will have pages by each artist about THEIR wedding day. I decided to use an old small photo album for my book. I covered it with old lace paper doily placemats i picked up at an estate sale. i replaced the posts with large key rings and added an assortment of ribbons and lace in the colours white, cream and gold. I cut out all the paper for the book, 8 1/2 by 7 1/2 out of assorted white, cream and metallic papers. Not that my wedding was so elegant. But since i was not into paper arts back then, it was fun to "re-imagine" my wedding day, by changing the images to sepia tones. But since my actual colours with peachy pink and lilac - well - there had to be some pages done in those tones. Here is my actual invitation. I find it so dated - but it isn't that bad. I added gold wings to my beautiful bridesmaids. I wonder if they would have worn wings if i had actually asked them to, hmm? FYI - in the photo their feet were hidden in deep grass - so i just cut out long pointy shoes. They actually wore ladylike white sandals.But here are some pages i did on a whim - they have nothing to do with my wedding. I made this card in a workshop years ago and have been saving it for something, so why not add it to this journal. If i got married today, it would certainly be all about the perfect robin's egg blue and abundant bird and nest related elements. Wouldn't that be lovely?
You can see that i used many different papers, including some wallpaper, vellum, metallics and hand made paper with flower petals. I also scattered gold and vellum envelopes throughout - a little place to hide a photo or two. Or a scrap of actual peachy pink bridesmaid lace dress fabric!