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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Papers from Women's Retreat

On Saturday, there was a one-day Women's Retreat held at our church. Twenty-six women, all ages, spent the day playing and celebrating God's love. As part of the day, I led this mixed media project.
There were seven tables, covered in white paper, and I let the ladies loose with acrylic craft paints. It was so cool to see how everyone played with the paints. Some went crazy, covering every bit of paper with color (like my table).
Others painted little designs and happy symbols all over, using lots of colors.
Then we texturized and let everything dry. Later we came back and embellished with stamping and images and written words.
It looks all crazy, but everyone had fun, even the ones who were leery at first. It was great to see these women let go and play with the colors. The energy in the room was wonderful.
And everyone went home with some papers to use as wrapping paper or cards (or for me, background papers to use for other art). Communal art--FUN.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Remember those rainbow sherbet claybords I was working on before? Well, I worked and reworked, til I got a little better contrast. They're better than they were before, but I still like the smaller ones I did better. These became almost muddy.
I added darks and lights and more darks and more lights. Even a little gold mica flakes here and there. The ampersand tells the name: AND
Which is appropriate, now that I think about it! I added this AND that AND more AND more....
Don't know why this one turned sideways on me, but you get the idea.
AND here are the four pieces, together. The added collage elements--tapes and the word, and the 3 small discs--helped pull it all together. AND now I'm on to my characters......................

character creations

I've been thinking for awhile about creating some human characters. I went through my stash of people, and came up with around 20 little kids' faces. Took them to Staples and resized them so they're all close to the same size, and made several copies of each. I didn't realize until I was at Staples that most of them have some kind of hat or other covering on their heads. Isn't that interesting?
So last night I cut out the heads, and a few legs, and started playing around with what I might do. After experimenting with several shapes--circles, stars, rectangles, etc., I finally settled on the triangular shape. It just seems to fit these kids better. Then I took a pencil and began some experimenting with arms. I like the "real legs" effect. I think I may need to find some more legs in my stash.

Last night I woke up around 3, as I sometimes do. I have random thoughts, ideas, song lyrics, etc., swim through my mind. I try to dismiss them, but my mind has a mind of its own sometimes. Anyway, one of those random thoughts was to add a word to each character. So that's what I shall work on today.

Still not quite sure what I'll DO with these characters, but enjoying the process as it evolves.

Friday, January 15, 2010

color fanatic

Yes, I admit it. I'm addicted to color. Especially in the winter. One of my favorite January/February pastimes is to get paint swatches, just to soak up the color. I was so excited to find these at Home Depot! Cute little leaf shapes, with pre-cut holes and they even give you the ring to put them on! I was there to get paint for the kitchen. My husband doesn't understand it much, but I had to paint the kitchen green. Now keep in mind, that it's already green. And the new shade is similar to the old one. But to my eye, it's totally different--lighter and brighter, and goes much better with our other new paint colors. Big sigh....just had to.

So if anyone else out there is starving for color, go to Home Depot and snatch up some of these great flavors!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

one set finished

I now have one set of claybords done. These are the ones I started Sunday with the Creative Spirits group. I like how they flow together, and yet each one could stand on its own. I just now came up with a title: CYBERSPACE. It's the combination of letters and pseudo writing and outer-space feel. Make sure you enlarge the photo to see the details.

They still need to be varnished, which will bring out the depth more. Love working with the claybord. Thank you MaryBeth Shaw!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Claybords Set 3

Here are the 4 claybord pieces I worked on yesterday at the Creative Spirits all-day art workshop. I like the flow and swirlies, but I noticed this morning that it needs more red. I think I will gesso over that X and paint it with a contrasting red. I'm also toying with the idea of adding a small 1-inch square of claybord in that left bottom corner to add some dimension and texture.

It was a wonderful day--always great to create in community. The energy is amazing. Later today I plan to work on both sets of claybords, and hopefully finish at least one. Off to my monthly massage now....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

more progress today

Here's where my claybords are now. Layer upon layer of colors. I think it's time to stop and re-evaluate on another day. First thing I notice here on this photo is that I need more contrasting values. It all looks like rainbow sherbet. Isn't that interesting how I can "see" it better in a photo? Somehow it makes it more objective or something. Not sure I understand how that works, but I'm glad it does. I'm planning on adding some chipboard letters that I've painted in bright colors, to the final boards.
Here's a close-up of one of the panels. That's balled up tissue paper around the word. It just felt like it needed a word--since I have the letters and language thing going on here. So I rummaged through my stash of single words, some of which are old word cards used to make sentences, from my teaching days. This word seemed perfect, since I already have the ampersand carved into the other panel. Perhaps I need to darken that ampersand a bit? Anyway, AND seems symbolic to me--there's always more. In this time of advancing technology, we text, email, tweet, facebook, blog, etc. There's always more to say. Speaking of words, how do you like my psuedo language? It says nothing--just the hint. Love it.

Day Three Progress

OK, here's my progress on the 4 8 X 8 claybords. I added some texture with tissue, gel medium, and cheesecloth, then today I started layering with pastels and fluid acrylics. Pardon the shadows on the corners. I can see in this photo that I have a blobby reddish spot in the middle of the two right ones, but it will gradually fade and blend in as I continue to layer. Havin fun!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Finally am playing around with all the claybord I bought after my class with MaryBeth Shaw last Fall. I have a set of 4 ready for our art retreat Sunday, but I also began on these 8 X 8's so I could keep going with the process. I spray painted stenciled letters on them last night. I wanted to do white, but had no white spray paint on hand, so I settled for what I had--lime green.

Oh, and I also traced an ampersand into one of them, and carved around the outline for depth. Hmmm, I just realized--the claybord's brand name is Ampersand.....curious....

I have no idea where this set is going, but it will be interesting to see if and how the spray paint takes any other color over it. I am going to work on it right now, adding texture. Will post later when I've done a bit more to it. Later, alligator....

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I bought tulips yesterday on an impulse. I went to the grocery store to get ingredients for soup today, and these caught my eye. I'm so glad I did. They certainly make this day more hopeful. They are sitting in the middle of my table, where I tend to spend a lot of time on days like this, watching the birdies (and squirrels) at the feeder, and watching the snow fall. I am grateful that I have the choice to sit there, instead of being out driving in it.
I like the contrasts in this photo. Winter/Spring. White & Black/Pink & Green. Rough/Smooth. Calm & Quiet/Bright & Exuberant. Blah Snow & Cold/Cheerful & Hopeful!
I actually captured the snow falling in this one! Love the lines and contrasts. Today I'm spending in my studio, playing with claybord and getting ready for our art retreat Sunday. Oh, and making chicken tortilla soup. mmmm.