Monday, June 28, 2010

Color Inspiration and Grids

I'm working on an altered book with the theme Color Inspiration.  I'll use it to help me out when I'm stuck for ideas or need to check out colors or color combinations.  Color inspires alot of my art ideas - I'll see what I think at that moment is the perfect color and will be stuck with it in my head - I'll have to create something using that color to release it from my head!

This month is Michelle Wards' GPP Street Team Crusade No. 41 and the challenge is Grid Lock.  You can check it out here.
Here are some pages I did recently in my Color Inspiration AB using grid layouts:

For this page I masked out the squares then painted the page with black acrylic paint.  When I removed my masks the text showed through.  I really like to leave some text showing in an altered book when I can.  I like the way it looks.  I then stamped the puffin rubber stamp in each square and hand colored the beaks.  I love the contrast of the black and white on this page.

This page is photographs I took at an Oregon State Park called Thompsons Mills.  It's an old flour mill and I was fascinated by the rusty gears and parts I found.  I took alot of photos so may definately have another rust page for this altered book.  I thought the specks of paint and the haphazard stamping of "RUST" sort of fit with the subject matter of rust. 
The facing page to this one follows and has a rust background.  In addition to looking at this page to see the dif shades of rust it also gives me ideas for combining colors like rust and turquoise.  I love the way they look together.  Although I would say the turquoise background does enhance the rust more than the rust background enhances the turquoise. 

This was a page in a magazine.  As soon as I saw it and the "Tranquil Turquoise" I knew it was destined for my color book.  And since I had already decided to do the rust page with a turquoise background this seemed like the perfect stuff for the facing page.  It was alot of fun to cut up the pieces and figure out how to arrange them.  Just cutting out squares all the same size was just not going to work for this grid!
Thanks Michelle for the Crusade idea.  I'm really enjoying working with grids!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Owl Collage

Here's a collage I did as part of the Spill It online worshop I took from Carmen Torbus.  You can read more about the workshop in this previous post,  I am soooo LOVING this workshop and all I'm learning about acrylics!!!
For this piece of art the lesson was transfers.  I learned alot in this lesson - mostly to learn from my mistake and move on.  My orig transfer was too similar a color and didn't really show up.
So, as you see in the completed collage (first photo) I painted over it in black. 
I then used some of my very favorite owl postage stamps that I had been hoarding, because I love owls, to complete the collage.  I've been wanting to do something cool with those owl stamps for a long, long time so I'm glad I finally came up with something! 
I've finally decided it is alot more fun to have something I made with a fav supply I have than hanging on to the supply!  What am I saving them for?!? 
I am an art supply junkie!  There, now I've admitted it!
Anyway, hope you enjoy the collage.  It's pretty cool, huh?  

Monday, June 21, 2010


Lot's of different things inspire my art - nature is a big inspiration, colors also spark many ideas.  Something I like to use for inspiration is song lyrics.
I just completed a journal page inspired by the Shinedown song - The Crow & The Butterfly. (lyrics can be found here)

The background is acrylics.  I turned the journal on it's side and put the colors of Golden Fluid Acrylics along the binding and sprayed it with water and let them run down.  Once dry I wrote the lyrics with a white pen.  The crow I drew and cut out of black paper and glued on.  The butterfly is a rubber stamp (that I recently got out of the $1 bin at Michaels-pretty nice, huh?).  The title I printed on ledger paper and cut out (ledger paper is sort of a unifying theme in this journal.  It's along the bound edge of all pages and used somewhere in most of the pages).  The dandelion at the top I painted over the top with golden acrylics.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I love the bright colors in the background, and the white writing, and the bird, and well, I guess I like it all!  I enjoy the song too...I'm sure you can find it on YouTube if you want to give a listen.

Here's some tags I created in the past using song lyrics for inspiration:

Think about some of your favorite songs or lyrics, look up the lyrics online if you aren't sure of what all they say.  What does it make you think about?  How can you use that as inpiration for an art project?
It's alot of fun to think about! 
What else inspires you?  I'm always interested to hear about inspiration...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Playing with paints - monoprints

I spent several hours Saturday out in the garage where I have set up a paint playground (use a garage for the car?  but then the driveway would be empty!).  I have an art desk and a card table.  Even a couple easles and all my paints and applicators and stencils and lots of paper.  The garden hose is even close by for easy clean up.  And it can all stay out so it's ready to go at any time - loving it!

Yesterday I decided to give monoprinting a go - as described by Michelle Ward in one of her GPP Street Team Crusades from a few months ago. I hadn't yet found this great blog at that time so wasn't in on the Crusade. But it looked like so much fun! And it was! Check out my results:

Some of them I love just as they are, some will be great in collage, some will be great touched up with a black pen, or colored pencils.  Most of all it was a BLAST to play around with these.  From drawing and stamping designs to cut out on a tyvek envelope to picking colors and paints to spread out on the piece of acrylic to pull the print from.  Give it a try sometime!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Having a BLAST spilling acrylics!

I've been taking an online workshop from Carmen Torbus called Spill It!.
I've loved playing around with acrylics for awhile now but Carmen has taught me to take it to a whole new level and really helped me expand my creative use of them.  Now I get a whole range of colors out of each bottle and from using colors together.
Also, I tend to be a messy artist anyway so anything that tells me to Spill It! on purpose and get my fingers into it and messy...well, all I have to say is more power to it!
Here's my first completed collage above - this one is pretty much all paint with a few touches of some fav paper added at the end (then painted over again).  She's also taking us through some transfer techinique, more collage, using words and using inks.  I'll have more art to share with you soon.
I would highly recommend this workshop if you are looking for some fun backgrounds, great art and collage pieces, want new ideas and technique, want to see a great artist at work, and/or want to meet a very nice lady online!  

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A great idea for altered books or any book!

My friend Debbie has just open her ArtFire Studio and is selling the wonderful book thongs that she makes.  She uses the most amazing beads and they are beautiful.
The perfect thing for marking your favorite page in an altered book or to use as your bookmark in any book you happen to be reading.  Also, would look great adorning a coffee table book you might happen to have sitting out!
I love the turquoise one shown here.  She gifted me with a beautiful one - I'll take a photo of it soon to share with you.
So, head on over and check out her artisan studio here .  You'll have to keep checking back.  Rumor has it she'll have more great stuff for sale soon including some destash from her stores of lots and lots of really cool stuff.  In fact, if you check out her blog here you'll see a chance to buy a mystery box of some of that cool stuff direct from Debbie.  I've got boxes of stuff from Debbie before...I can tell you from personal experience that she can fit an amazing amount of stuff in one of those flat rate boxes and you won't be disappointed by what she sends - it's all really good stuff!!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Art through a kids eye

My 10 year niece, Piper, spends alot of time at my house doing art with me.  We recently set up an art desk in the garage and use that for all our painting (I'm out of room in the house, plus I like to make messes!).  We have easels, and paints, and brushes, etc.  We're all set.  Piper and I spent some time over a couple days playing out there over Memorial Day weekend.  Piper is working on an altered book.  Here's a torn paper collage she made of trees.  I love it!  And especially how she used her fingers to paint the word trees.  We went to the thrift store to look for a book to alter.  She found a really cool little cookbook that had a border around each page.  I really like how she left the background painted so a little bit of that shows through.  You can see a little more about Piper and her art in this previous post.  Thanks for taking a look.  Feel free to leave a comment, I'll be sure to share them with Piper.  I'm meeting her school bus when she comes home tomorrow and will show her this post then.  Of course, I'll see her later in the week too.  She did give me permission to post a photo of her great art.  :)   

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cutting out red and blue!

Here's a couple pages I did in the Color themed altered book I just started.  Just started going through magazines and garden catalogs looking for red and blue stuff and started cutting.  All images on both pages are adhered with a glue stick.
I actually had been saving the bottle of hot sauce for awhile for just the right use - probably therefore the Red Hot Red title!  I first painted the background pages with gesso for these red pages.  The text still slightly shows through which I really like the look of.  I used the non brush end of a paintbrush, the non foam end of a foam brush and a q tip to stamp the dots.
The blue page all started with an ad with butterfly wings and this word - 
It pretty much fits perfectly with how I think of blue thanks to blue in nature - blue skies, ocean, mountains, etc.  Guess I didn't just cut out blue, for one page I simply tore strips.  Then punched circles and squares out for both pages.  And used a stencil and midnight blue craft acrylic for the word "Blue". 
Thanks for taking a look!