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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Train of Thought

Late summer is the ideal time to take a leisurely train ride.  Leaf colors are beginning to change, wild flowers tend to be the gold- and purple- varieties.  The air has a slight tang, sunshine is a mellow orange-yellow.  Riding in the back open air car was less stifling than being in the closed train car. This train ride brought back memories of childhood rides on smaller models, but the steam engine was both noisy and smoky.  When it went in reverse, those of us in the back of the train got to experience the sooty spray.

 

Really old engine

Interesting scenery- odd place for a commode?

Conductor taking a break

Engineer back on the job after hot dogs break
 


Fields of corn as far as the eye can see

Turning Over Another Leaf

After another blackberry-picking session, I brushed past a maple tree with red and green leaves. Some were splotchy.  I don't know if it was the onset of early autumn or a blight.  But here's the prettiest leaf in Christmas-y colors.


After the peaches are preserved, I hope to get back to making more mail art, because that is what I really LOVE to do.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pink and Gray, Can't Walk Away!

Help, I'm making Pink and Gray art and I can't stop!  (Actually, I think this is the last of it for a while.)

Used more of the painted cardboard punchinella

Shaving Cream Marblized Doily center

An astronomy calendar of some sort

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

When Life Hands You Scraps - Make Scrap Art!

During my quilt-making phase, I attended many shows to gather inspiration (and stood in awe of others' incredible talent).  I took lots of pictures wherever it was allowed, then spent hours trimming and arranging them in chunky photo albums.

In one such trimming session I was removing edges that showed parts of the large college gymnasium where that particular quilt show was being held. About to discard the scraps. I noticed some patterns that had previously escaped my attention.  I began arranging and gluing the strips onto long rectangles of photo matte board.

In this one, someone's legs are facing right in the first strip, but near the other end someone else is walking facing left.  The brown and white patterns resemble windows and/or doors.

I was intrigued to realize that, in the same location and within the space of several hours, the background lighting appeared different colors.  When I put these strips together, sections of pipes from the facility ceiling appear to form cages, as perhaps in an animal shelter.  Odd!


There was something fun in the interplay of yellow, white and black in this arrangement.  Looking closely you might see a clock and bits of other images.


The flow of pastels here, set off by black strips, reminded me of ocean currents, except for the high window.


The viewer may decide if this gray-and-white line-up is of any interest.

So you see, even scraps may provide an artistic opportunity!

Altered Matchboxes

The same sisters who invited me to make and exchange Mug Rugs suggested an altered matchbox swap.  Here are some I decorated, filling them with little pictures and treasures.  A large polished pebble seemed the only thing I could come up with that would match the teal hand made paper background.  One matchbox cover has a real key attached to it, another has feathers.  Two are topped with a large glass button.  A leaf skeleton decorates yet another, and a plastic oriental design shade pull made an unusual adornment.  The purple one has a butterfly applique on it.





Cyano Prints

Many many years ago when I was a curious child, I discovered some photo-sensitive paper in a basement cupboard.  I wasn't sure what it was, but I soon found out that when I placed objects on it and exposed it to light, the areas behind the objects stayed white, while the surrounding area turned a purplish brown.

Decades later, I ordered some specially treated fabric and tried the same experiment outside, using a plastic container lid and grasses for one, and Queen Anne's Lace flowers for the other.  I was really pleased with the results.




Tuesday, August 18, 2015

More Collages I Have Made

This colorful iguana was featured in a paint advertisement, the dot background beneath his feet in another.  I added coordinating thick glass buttons, which unfortunately make it difficult to scan.


I made this large square for a West Coast art-pal.  It started with the female foundation garments, and became more abstract than most of what I had previously put together.  I still struggle sometimes figuring out what goes with what.  I do like to incorporate words, since I am also a writer.

stalking the butterfly
Blondie, a fashion plate from a Sally's Beauty mailer, needed a different hat and dress, and a stole to wrap around her shoulders.  Putting together her "look" was like playing paper dolls.  She is in one of my art journals.


Lastly, a friend whose husband builds wonderful spec houses gave me some scraps of Tyvek, an insulating house wrap (also found in some flat USPS mailer envelopes).  I had read up on how to alter it and first applied acrylic paints, then pressed a piece between two heat-resistant ironing sheets to partially melt it.  The resulting shape looked like a relief map.  I created a country!  Peace-loving, of course.  I had to name it "Tyvekistan" and wrote a story about it- which I affixed to the back of the piece.


As porky the pig used to say,  "Ba-deep, ba-deep, ba-deep, b'that's all folks!"

Blasts From the Past (Collages I Have Made)

While going through pictures of former projects, I found my "Collage" file and wondered if I had ever posted most of these on my blog.  I think one of my first collages was made from objects I picked up while walking along the lake shore during a very happy outing with a quilting friend. Bleached fish bones, driftwood, and a fishing bobber were the start, on top of a hand-dyed fabric background.  Then I added wadded-up white netting to simulate wave froth over a netting layer to suggest water.  Metal tines left behind by a street sweeper were a stand-in for shoreline reeds.  Fancy yarn was my "seaweed."


I think the next one was my fabric-on-photo-matte-board collage.  This was for someone who loves the color Purple.  I made some thread embroidery on the sewing machine, and also added fabric cut-outs.



One of my very talented southern friends suggested a collaborative challenge including several artsy friends of hers.  Each participant sent the others a nearly-identical package of items which had to be incorporated into a finished piece.  I tend to do things bigger, so my collage is on a sheet of poster board.  Interesting oddities include several small glass bottles to hold Kosher salt which, although sent to me natural, I dyed with food coloring so it would show up better.  There is a leather ponytail holder, a key, and a narrow rectangular painted picture someone sent me, to which I added collage. Plus a "wah-wah" saying about collage, composed when I was experiencing artist's block. 




I will continue this theme in another posting :)

Mug Rugs

A while ago, I participated in two online fabric post card exchange groups.  It was marvelous fun, making embellished collage with some of my quilting material,  sometimes incorporating "found objects" and sending them all over the world.

Recently two sisters, with whom I had regularly exchanged fabric post cards, asked me if I would like to swap Mug Rugs.  I had not heard of Mug Rugs but figured out that they are small quilts (like padded pot holders) on which to place one's hot tea, coffee, cocoa, etc.  I agreed.

Although I have been sewing for many decades, the peak of  my quilt-making days was almost fifteen years ago.  It had been a while since I revved up my sewing machine.  What a pleasant surprise to rediscover a love for piecing.  On the reverse side I made a pocket to hold teabags and another pocket to hold a spoon.

One got the blue Mug Rug, the other got the red one when I sent them south to their new homes.










Sunday, August 16, 2015

More Drip Watercolor Postcards

A while ago I posted some abstract design yellow/green/blue pieces with added collage.  I finally finished the rest tonight:


How To Grow A Planet?


These water color drip designs were enhanced with paper collage, some parts outlined with color ink pens, and 3-D puffy stickers.

Sneak Peak at Pink And Charcoal ATC's

Here are a few ATC's (and extra's) I made up this weekend, for the upcoming group swap:
I started with a base of dripped and smeared gray and pink watercolor paints  Then I added cap ring marks with pink and gray acrylic paints.  The top layer is collage with colored marker details or puffy decals, stickers, circles covered with a layer of clear gloss, or painted paper "sequin waste."   Fun, fun, and more fun!

Nature's Art

While berry picking in the woods today I chanced upon this leaf.  It looked like some one had superimposed a twisted ribbon of Gelli-Plate printed paper upon it's length- variegated pink!   Whether caused by insect infestation, virus or other blight, it is still lovely.  So maybe I should not be so hesitant with my own artful attempts.






I will press this leaf in a book, but doubt the vivid coloration will be as impressive when dried.  Time will tell.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Pink and Charcoal Gray side trip

As I gathered bits and pieces to audition for some "Pink and Charcoal Gray" group swap Artists' Trading Cards, I rediscovered a stack of 'clean-off' papers on which I had wiped my brayer while using acrylic paints on my Gelli Plate printer.  Each piece of paper ended up with a mountain range on it, something I have been unable to duplicate since.
Boar-derline weird art...
 Anyway, one of the images I clipped was a wild boar from a men's clothing catalog, not knowing if or when I would ever use it.  Well, here it is- not on an ATC, however.  It's a half-sheet sized simple collage, enhanced with rubber stamped trees and grass, and charcoal gray marker birds in the distance.

While I'm posting, I may as well show a blue 'clean-off' sheet I enhanced about two years ago when I first noticed the pattern.
Castle in the Mist

 Here's a picture of the Gelli Plate I made myself, from very expensive ingredients but I couldn't wait!  It worked just fine for a while, and when it got damaged, I melted it down in the microwave, then placed the gelatin in a glass baking dish in the refrigerator overnight.  Now I have the real deal, and I'm afraid I might damage it with sharp edged tools or stencils, but it's still lots and lots of fun to use!









Monday, August 10, 2015

Feline Frenzy

Meadow nap time
I had the cat clippings folder open on my work table and wasn't ready to put it away.   Do you think I went a little overboard on making cat collages?  Guess I've revealed my affinity for felines.  My magic mesh collection has been neglected for a while, so I used a bit on some of these cards.
Stairs and Ceilings

Here's looking at you Kid! 

Wide awake and almost asleep

Leo has a new pal

Warm and fuzzy


Don't look now....

Sushi!