I cant believe that it is almost August! Time has flown by this summer and I have so much left to do before that dreaded day when my wonderful husband has to return to work (elementary teacher) and I will have my art work time cut in half! I am ecstatic to be able to stay at home with my son while my partner works to support us, but I have gotten really spoiled with 3 months of help and space to give me lots of me-time in my art room. I will miss that. The other freak-out part to this coming transition is that I am looking at THREE major craft festivals in Oct and Nov and I am nowhere near ready for them. There is SO much work needing to get done in the next 3 months, and I thought I would be much further along by the end July than I actually will be.
So in light of my waning time being able to have full days of work time, I've been feverishly creating away all week and wanted to take a little break and show you a bit of what I've been doing.
Remember the Custom Nursery Painting Project I had going on a few weeks back? I blogged about it here. Well, that buyer ended up backing out, and I was left with 4 super fun backgrounds ready to paint on, but no real inspiration for them. Without a buyer for the nursery art idea, I just wasnt really feeling excited about the content enough to keep going with it. So I put the canvases aside and let them wait until they spoke to me and told me what they wanted to be. A few days ago inspiration struck! It came with the discovery of this artist, Rania Hassan. She makes these amazing art pieces she calls Ktog (knit togethers). I just adore her art. If you have a few moments just peruse her gallery on her website. The pics of the installation pieces with many of her works all together are just breathtaking!
I got an idea to use hand carved stamps with a monoprint technique to create the subject of the pieces and then connect them all together using crocheted yarn. I started working in layers, doing some stamping and then covering the paintings with a resin glaze to add depth before affixing the final prints on them. I am in the process of crocheting the webbing I need to connect them all, then they will need frames attached to the sides and a final layer of resin glaze on the top, but here's a glimpse at the series so far in progress...
I am really excited about these pieces! I think it could end up being a beginning of many more mixed media works just like it. What do you think of them? I plan on using the stamps I carved for them on a few art journal covers for my etsy shop, so keep an eye out for those. I think they will be quite lovely.
Here's the fun part for you! Before attaching the monoprints on the surface, I scanned the paintings, just to see what came out (you never know what you'll get with a super glossy surface like these. What came out was AMAZINGNESS!! I loved the look of the scans so much that I wanted to share them with whomever was excited to add onto them. I put them in my brand new blog page called Art Journal FREEBIES! Just look for the tab at the top of my blog. The files are there for you to copy to your desktop and use for personal use only. I thought they would be perfect as backgrounds for an art journal page, as a great journal jump starter. I just ask that you respect my work and not use them for anything that would be resold.
While I was scanning, I got excited about making more art journal starter pages and started making scans of other textures and items that I thought would make great backgrounds to work on. Here are my two favs...
This is a scan of lace scraps left over from when my mom made my wedding dress. Its a gorgeous imported French Lace and I saved every bit and scrap that was cut away as she sewed. It shows up now and then in different collage works I do. I love the possibilities of using it as a background for a painting.
This one I did on a whim and it turned out really beautifully. Its two scans actually, overlayed and dissolved together using photo editing software. The first image is a mess of ribbons and handspun art yarn that I use as embellishments on the Art Journals I make. The other image is a bunch of cut twigs and branches found at a very personal and spiritual place in my life, collected a few years ago while hiking out in the Utah desert. They remind me of the incredible beauty of nature and the cycle of life and how I fit into it. It seemed fitting for these two images to go together and I think they look really lovely. I faded the images a bit to make it easier to write/draw/paint over. These scans are also for grabs on the FREEBIES page, ready to jump start your imagination and creativity in your personal journaling or artworks.
If you do end up using any of these images for your personal artworks/journaling, I would LOVE IT if you shared the end result with us. I could do a whole post showing all the different ways they were beautified. Just send the jpegs to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ok, it's back to work for me... Ciao Bella!