Friday, October 31, 2014

Homage to Red and Aqua

Do you have a color combo that makes your heart sing?

For me, that is red and aqua. Look in my closet, and you'll find at least half the clothes are red. These are live-out-loud colors. These are colors for the brave of heart. These colors are my opposite. When I look at all the red in my wardrobe, I wonder why. I'm fairly reserved. I don't like to call attention to myself. And yet there it is: Pop! Zing! Take THAT world!

Pairing it with aqua becomes a matter of yin and yang. Fire and water. Sweet and sour. Hot and cold. I love the balance. Red is passionate, and aqua is the relaxed feel of tropical waters.  I hadn't thought about it before now, but I suppose that balance is why it made perfect sense that those colors should be our wedding colors.

This week it also found its way into the pages of an accordion album I made for a swap. Here are a few of the pages:

I also made a vintage woman postcard for a swap. I'm now wishing I hadn't doodled on the image of the woman...but sometimes the hand does what it wants to do before reason can step in:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

One Hour at a Time

I find that I get grumpy when I'm not creating something. However, there are weeks when I can only squeeze in an hour per day. This was one such week.

 Hobbies/Personal Interests ATC Swap:  I incorporated 5 things that interest me: hands, clocks, the color red, vintage images, and poetry book pages. I really do need to stop trying to color the lips of these ladies. It fails me every time, as I don't have a red pen that doesn't bleed. Thus, they take on the look of little children who've been drinking Kool-Aid or the crazy ladies in the movies who put on their lipstick in a psychotic way....

 This was my faithful companion this week. He was feeling under the weather. I'm not sure why. Perhaps he ate something he shouldn't have. Perhaps he is just getting older.

 I participated in an elephant swap. I found a foam elephant puzzle for $1 at Staples and instantly decided it would make a good tool for my Gelli plate. I stamped the image and then used a white Signo gel pen to clarify the pieces.

 When you participate in art swaps as I do, you know it's a faux pas to send anything naked. That is, you have to jazz up the envelope. Yet I've been busy, so lately, when I have any time at all to work on my Gelli plate, I will often use envelopes to clean the plate surface. This gives me envelopes with a little color or a little pattern. However, even that seemed to minimal, so I added a handful of collage elements and felt instantly better about sending it out to my partner.

 I made this for a mermaid swap. The body began life as a coloring book page. I then used tracing paper to ascertain the shape of Gelli print paper I needed to make her scales. I added a rosy cheeked vintage image and tons of collage bits and pieces. With the exception of her hands, which are the balloon-ish cartoon-y hands, I l ike how it came out. I even like her chubby belly.

 I got lots of interesting mail this week too. One swap partner sent me a selection of crouched (or is it knitted?) items. I'm most enamored of the red flower and the neck wrap. Red is my favorite color, and I think wearing both items at the same time would be quite fetching. And her swap couldn't come too soon, as it is freezing outside.

 I participate occasionally in collage collaborations. You send out a textured background, and then 3 or 4 ladies add to it and eventually send it home. Honestly, I can't remember what the background looked like before it left my hands, but this is what it looks like now. I like the scroll background and the moon elements best.
 I also got this in the mail. It's a set of 10 Halloween-themed ATC (Artist Trading Cards).  Many many people participated in this, and I imagine it must have been quite a task to sort through 400+ cards.

 I got this from Texas. My partner made me mermaid-themed items. She suggested that the larger item would look good as a journal front, and I will likely do that when I have some time.

 This is another collage collaboration. In this case, I am the final person to add to the collage before sending it home to its owner. On the back of the collage, the original owner requested that someone add a lady to the piece, so I will see what I can do. I'm also pretty sure those red moon and star elements won't stay red and that I will use some black pen to clarify the tree branches.

Finally, I participate in an online art community that provides participants with weekly prompts. This week's prompt asks people to incorporate leaves. I used one leaf I made out of a Gelli print. I used various painted papers in my stash. Finally, I have this childish side that likes to imagine there is an artist who hand-paints each and every leaf, so I couldn't help but try to visualize that artist. Don't you love his expression and his giant ears?

Not bad for working one hour a day on art, yes?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Some Assembly Required

Most of the time, I work in 2-D. I prefer to work in an art journal or to send artsy friends postcards, ATCs (Artist Trading Cards), or small art pieces. 

Recently, however, I signed up for a found object art swap as well as a fabric art swap, and these two pieces seemed to scream out for something tactile.

This is the piece I created for the found object art swap. The house began its life as a cheap key holder I found at a thrift store. The door was broken. I ripped it off. I also removed the row of gold hooks on which the keys are meant to hang.  Next I added to the inside square with numerous metal bits and pieces I'd squirreled away: an orphaned zipper, a key, a squashed rusty bottle cap, row of fuses, a washer, and even a feather. Some found pieces of metal were mysteries to me. For instance, the two metal strip around the bottom and right side....what's their actual job? And that square at the top...what original purpose did it serve?  Eventually, I added a photo of my grandmother as well as sheet music to the outside of the house shape.

This is the piece I created for the fabric swap. I decided to work in the inside nook of a photo frame--the part that normally faces a wall. The frame was covered with a black, cream, and gray fabric. Next, I crated stripes with duct tape and fabric tape. Then I created the two girls and made their dresses by winding embroidery floss around the dress shapes.Their little heads suggested the entire color scheme to me. I rummaged around in my stash and found two old spools of thread that continued the color scheme. Finally, I created a cascade of different types of flowers. Several of the flowers were cardboard or paper. Two were made of felt.

I made the two largest pink flowers. This is a process I learned well while making decorations for my wedding last year. It involves cutting several different circles of a rayon-like fabric and then using a candle flame to melt the edges into ruffles.

Final touches included a vintage clock face, some pink beads and the whimsical lettering to spell "Create," which seems apt, considering that the piece is being sent to one of my artsy and creative friends.