Monday, July 27, 2009

Mad Scientist in the Studio!!

Took some time this weekend to play with gelatin monoprints. Cheap and fun, you use grocery store clear gelatin and whatever paper, paint or dye you have on hand. I did a thin layer of gelatin in a cookie sheet so I had plenty of room to play with. I used Dr. Martin's colored India inks and Golden fluid acrylics with gloss medium for an extender. I applied the color directly to the gelatin and brayered or fingerpainted it across the surface. To clean up after the colors started getting muddy, I just laid newspaper in the pan and pressed gently.
So far, I've tried 3 paper types for the prints. First, I gathered my ugly paper- you know, the ones in a variety pack that you never use but can't throw away. The colors were transparent enough to allow some of the pattern to show but the the new colorways were much better than the originals. Secondly, I have a whole set of old encyclopedias that I'm using for altered books and other projects. These pages look great when they are overprinted. The text and pictures peek through the color and will make great backgrounds. Finally, I tried paper leaf stencils. I covered the gelatin with paint, then laid the stencils and pulled the print. Then, I overprinted the page with a different colorway. Had some technical problems with the stencils getting stuck so next time I'll use plastic or chipboard stencils and explore this option further.
I want to use as much original paper in my projects as possible and these monoprints are quick, easy and crazy fun! I had paint all over me and half the studio by the time I was done! A couple of hours yielded 30+ sheets of great paper. Now, I will go back through the stack and stamp, stitch and further embellish them to create really special collage components.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'm in the 2010 ClothPaperScissors Calendar!

My art was selected for OCTOBER in the ClothPaperScissors 2010 calendar!! Autumn Leaves is a mixed media design sewn to a pieced quilt background. The leaves were cut from various decorative papers then glued and sewn to the fabric background. Beading and decorative stitches accent each leaf. It's a beautiful calendar -like everything else from by Interweave Press. Get your copy today at

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Book Cover- Putting It All Together

As you can see from previous posts, I am always experimenting, using up scraps and stockpiling collage components. When it's time to create finished pieces, all these piles of things around the studio come in handy. For this book cover, I had muslin that I had gessoed and painted with rainbow colors. The main collage image is a combo of holey paper scraps, colored clipart, an ATC and faux postage. The title piece is 6 kaleidoscopes torn and pasted to an oblong card. The fabric , small collage and faux postage were not made at the same time or to go with each other but when I chose my color scheme and title for the book, I had lots of things to choose from in my design stash. I find that when I experiment and play, the results are much better than when I agonize over just the right thing. Plus, using this method justifies making 50 ATCs at one time just because it's fun!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Fun with Leftovers

My desk tends to pile up with leftover bits and pieces from finished projects. This design is a mishmash of several things. The original background piece was a combo of black and red Tibetan paper with my kaleidoscopes collaged all over it. All the rectangles were cutouts for faux postage. The resulting holey background was too cool to toss so I glued it to some painted newspaper experiments. This got moved from place to place in my studio while I thought about all those holes. In the meantime, I had been doodling up a storm at night watching TV. I decided to cut up the doodles and fill in the holes. Once that was done, a scrap of turquoise painted muslin caught my eye and I ripped strips for each side. The total piece is 14" x 14". Now, I'm considering stitching the muslin strips down and adding Sharpie doodles to them to relate back to the center. I may use the whole piece as a journal cover or cut it up for smaller projects. These experimental pieces are the play that leads to great ideas. There are no preconceptions to hold you back and you're just using leftover stuff anyway so if it ends up being a flop- you toss it or cut it up.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Green Continued

My last post showed the progression from Scrappy Background to ATCs and the doodles created to become focal points for the ATCs. I am still working on the large finished green piece but I had a little pile of tasty bits left over from all the cutting. So I decided to make more faux postage. Sometimes I make sections that can be used together like the 12 small stamps at the top. Other pieces work better by themselves. Either way, by using all the scraps, I can make a stockpile of great collage elements. Any time I need a little something to perk up a project, I have a whole box of faux postage to peruse. I could also have made some great inchies to have in reserve. Using your scraps is a great way to clean up your leftover pile and make unique mini tidbits that will enhance your work.