Try a New Technique Tuesday: Paper Quilting

Still sick as dog, but thought I’d share something from last week.

No fabric. No thread. No sewing. This is my kind of quilting. I cut out these shapes using a Fiskar’s hexagonal paper punch. I made a brilliant (insert eyeroll) decision to sell most of my paper punches at a purging garage sale a few years ago, but luckily I kept a few.

paper-quilting-2

Materials: Paper punch, acrylic paint, stencils, cardstock

paper-quilting-1

Materials: Paper punch, acrylic paint, stamps, stencils, cardstock

 

Advertisements

Piece by Piece: Behind the Scenes of “Guardian of Dreams”

I’m miserably ill with a chest cold that keeps me coughinh all night, so I though I’d share some behind the scenes views of a piece I created a few days ago.

First, I created the background by using the scraping method. I dotted the top edge of the paper with various colors of acrylic paint and dragged it down using a piece of corrugated cardboard (which created the striated effect).

piece by piece.jpg

Then I used a stencil to create some birch tree trunks with white acrylic paint.

piece-by-piece-1

I cut out the trees and colored on top with oil pastels.

piece-by-piece-2I used baby oil and my fingertip to blend the oil pastel over the trunks.

piece-by-piece-3

I used another stencil to  trace out a fox and cut it out of cardstock.

-piece by piece 4.jpg

I used the same oil pastel and baby oil method to color the fox.

piece by piece 5.jpg

Finally, I glued all of the elements to the background and stamped the leaves on the trees using a round sponge brush and acrylic paint. Voila!

dream-3

Capturing Sorrow in Words and Images

 

sisters-of-sadness

sisters-of-sadness-closeup

“Sisters of Sadness” Materials: paper flowers, acrylic paint, glitter, patterned paper, ribbon, rhinestones

How do you capture sadness, sorrow, melancholy, loneliness, depression, and other abstractions in concrete ways in words or images without being melodramatic? This is a question I find myself asking when I’m trying to write or create visual art. Some have mastered the art — those who compose songs that hurt in just the right ways — so I decided to borrow some song lyrics and experiment with excerpts and erasures. (But what happens when you divorce lyrics from melody? Is something essential lost?) I tried to strip down the words to the part where I felt the essence of the emotions. Here is what I came up with.

the-lonely

“The Lonely” by Christina Perri Materials: printed lyrics on cardstock, chipboard hearts, acrylic paint, soft pastels

sound-of-silence

“The Sound of silence” by Simon and Garfunkel Materials: lyrics printed on cardstock, acrylic paint, chalk pastels

hallelujah

“Hallelujah” bu Leonard Cohen Materials: printed lyrics on cardstock and Washi tape

 

 

 

 

 

Try a New Technique Tuesday

During the past month of my “art therapy” journey, I’ve discovered a passion for making background papers for future collage projects. I’m actually thinking about doing a blog giveaway of some of my background papers for one lucky winner to use on their craft projects. Would you be interested? Let me know.

Pinterest has enabled me to try a variety of new techniques. This is probably my favorite one so far.

One of the easiest and fastest ways to create a background is to simply squirt some paint onto your page then move it around with an old credit card or key card. With this technique your paint will dry super quick, you waste little to no paint, and it creates a neat printmaking effect! Scrape the paint up and down, then scrape side to side, letting the colors mix slightly.

©Kristal Norton – Read more at: http://kristalnorton.com/art-journaling-101-background-techniques

background-technique-3

Here is one example of a background I made using this technique. I added circles by stamping with a soda bottle cap,

background-technique-1

Here is another one with bubble wrap stamping on top.

background-technique-2

This one probably shows how you can blend color the best. The circles are bottle cap stamped.

background-technique

I embellished the circles with some buttons for this one. The lighter areas are actually silver, but the color doesn’t photograph very well. 

The verdict on this technique? Awesome and satisfying! Dare I say it? Craftgasmic! I had almost as much fun as this lady. Hahaha!!

 

 

Valentine’s Day Eye Candy

I could have ranted on the ridiculousness of Valentine’s Day, or about how I hate the unnecessary pressure it puts on relationships, or about how lonely it can be. But I drank myself into  a nice little buzz and decided to make some Valentines instead. Win-win for both of us, dear reader.

valentine

Materials: Bubble wrap, acrylic paint, tissue paper, cardstock

valentine-3

valentine-2

Materials: toilet paper roll (yep haha), acrylic paint, cardstock, tissue paper

valentine-1

Materials: cardstock, tissue paper, hand embellishments, acrylic paint

My Early Days of Drawing and Some Party Animals

I wish I had some of my drawings from the early days pictured here. Judging from the expressions on my face, I was deep in concentration and did not want to be disturbed. Some things never change.

drawing-early-daysdrawing-early-days-1

And now for some more recent work…

 

party-raccoon

Materials: pencil, colored pencil, watercolor pencil, acrylic paint, Washi tape, paint marker

party-giraffe

Materials: watercolor pencil, cardstock, ribbon bow, paint marker

party-panda

Materials: watercolor pencil, Washi tape, foam embellishment, acrylic paint, cardstock

 

Self Portraits

puzzled-me

Materials: photo printed on cardstock, acrylic paints, buttons, puzzle pieces, flower embellishment, buttons

blogcopy

(from 2007)Materials: cardstock cutouts, googly eyes, arrow embellishment

self-portrait

Materials: glasses embellishment, patterned paper

self-portrait

Materials: acrylic paint, patterned paper, chipboard shape, glasses embellishment, bow embellishment

 

Playing with Pastels

I bought a set of chalk pastels (AKA soft pastels) at Michael’s for five dollars and fell in love with them. I’d like to invest in some higher quality ones someday, but for now they will do the job. My favorite technique is to rub them with my fingertips on chipboard. In case you are not familiar with chipboard, it is the material jigsaw puzzles are usually made of. The gray backside of the puzzle pieces has the texture I’m referring to. Here are some of my soft pastel on chipboard experiments. The bunny is my favorite because the combination of media created the perfect texture for a well-loved stuffed toy. Instead of fixative spray, I used cheap hairspray to set the chalk.

chipboard-croc-and-pastels

Materials: chipboard, cardstock and soft pastels

bird-on-branch

Materials: patterned paper, chipboard, chalk pastels

 

bunny-in-pastels

Materials: chipboard, chalk pastels, cardstock

pastels-on-chipboard1

Materials: watercolors, chalk pastels and chipboard

 

Across the Universe

Across the Universe
Words are flowing out like
Endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe.
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
Are drifting through my opened mind
Possessing and caressing me.
Jai Guru Deva. Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world (X4)
Images of broken light, which
Dance before me like a million eyes,
They call me on and on across the universe.
Thoughts meander like a
Restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe.
 Jai Guru Deva. Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world (X4)
Sounds of laughter, shades of life
Are ringing through my opened ears
Inciting and inviting me.
Limitless undying love, which
Shines around me like a million suns,
It calls me on and on across the universe
Jai Guru Deva. Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world (X4)
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney

The magic of inspiration is that you never know where it will come from. One song that has been on the soundtrack of daily life lately is “Across the Universe” written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. My favorite version of the song is actually a cover by Rufus Wainwright (this is where I smirk to myself because I can only take Rufus seriously as a dog’s name) and that is the one I’ve been playing over and over. Anyway, the point is that the song inspired some artwork and I wanted to share it with you. The artwork looks a lot better in person. It is hard to photograph shiny things, such as sequins.

across-the-universe-1

Materials: stencils, acrylic paint, sequins

across-the-universe

Materials: patterned paper, star embellishments, acrylic paint, stencil, Sharpies

And of course, I must share the music video of the version I’ve been listening to.

The flavour of the song was heavily influenced by Lennon’s and the Beatles’ interest in Transcendental Meditation in late 1967 – early 1968, when the song was composed. Based on this, he added the mantra “Jai guru deva om” (Sanskrit: जय गुरुदेव ) to the piece, which became the link to the chorus. The Sanskrit phrase is a sentence fragment whose words could have many meanings. Literally it approximates as “glory to the shining remover of darkness”[3] and can be paraphrased as “Victory to God divine”, “Hail to the divine guru”, or the phrase commonly invoked by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in referring to his spiritual teacher, “All glory to Guru Dev“.[4]

Source: Wikipedia

Healthy, Balanced, Creating

Keep painting your demons.

~ Jack Beal

I’ve dealt with mental illness, specifically depression and anxiety,  all of my adult life. At times it is completely debilitating and at other times it merely lurks in the shadows. Either way, it always seems to be there.

I recall my psychology 101 instructor at Whatcom Community College referring to depression as “the common cold of mental disorders.” But it is still stigmatized.  I’m going to talk about it here from time to time in hopes of doing my own small part to contribute to the open conversation  regarding mental illnesses.

Without getting into too many details in this post, let’s just say that the past year has been trying—emotionally, psychologically, financially, spiritually, and academically. With depression and anxiety symptoms out of control, I finally reached out for help (once again) in the beginning of January. Unfortunately, getting help (medication adjustment and finding a counselor) in the behavioral health system isn’t exactly smooth or timely. I decided that I had to start doing something for myself while waiting for the help from others. This is how my creative exploration journey began.

hello-darkness

“Depression and Anxiety” Materials: tissue paper, Sharpies, cardtock,acrylic paint and googly eyes

I started by making a list of priorities, areas where I wanted to work on improving my life. The items fell into three general categories: being healthy (physically, spiritually and mentally), balancing my life, and pursuing more creative avenues. To remind myself of these priorities, I made a visual. It has also become a makeshift mantra I mumble to myself.

healthy-balanced-creating

Materials: patterned paper, chipboard letter, acrylic paint, and Sharpie

I’ve found my own informal art therapy (more details about how I do it to come) to be immensely fruitful and helpful. I can forget some of my worries while I concentrate solely on the stroke of a brush, the squish of paint, the slice of the paper cutter, or the crinkle of tissue paper. This might not work for everyone. The key is finding your own medicine (whether or not you are taking actual literal medicine). I’m going to keep painting, drawing, crafting, photographing, writing  my demons as well as my angels.

squares-and-circles

Materials: tissue paper, cardstock, acrylic paint