“All Love Can Be” and Dreamscapes

Meh. Blah. Blah. Blah.  It has just been one of those days where nothing I tried to create turned out the way I wanted it to. I started feeling ho-hum about my attempts at “art” and this blog and wallowed in self pity for a bit. But then I put my big girl panties on again and reminded myself that even if no one reads my posts or appreciates my creations, that was not the point when I started this journey. I started to bring more creativity back into my life as a form of therapy, a path out of (or perhaps through) the darkness of the mind. And baby, I’ve come a long way from where I started over a month ago. I have created something every day, no matter how I have felt. I’ve found that creativity only brings out more creative energy. It isn’t something you run out of. It is something that keeps growing.

These works are dreamlike in nature and I though “All Love Can Be” would be an appropriate song to accompany these creations. So listen and view, if you feel inclined to do so.

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“Dream Forest” Materials: cardstock, stencil, acrylic paint

birds

“Dream Birds” Materials: stencils, cardstock, acrylic paint

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“Dreamscape” Materials: stencil, cardstock, acrylic paint

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“Dream Guardian” Materials: cardstock, stencil, oil pastels, baby oil, acylic paint

All Love Can Be Lyrics

I will watch you in the darkness
Show you love will see you through
When the bad dreams wake you crying
I’ll show you all love can do
All love can do

I will watch through the night
Hold you in my arms
Give you dreams where no one will be
I will watch through the dark
Till the morning comes

For the lights will take you
Through the night to see
All love, showing us all love can be

I will guard you with my bright wings
Stay till your heart learns to see
All love can be

Written by Will Jennings, James Horner • Copyright © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group
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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

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

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Here is another one with bubble wrap stamping on top.

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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!!

 

 

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.

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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

 

Furry Friend Friday

I’ve been practicing drawing some more animals and wanted to share Mr. Fox and this gentlemanly bunny with you. I’ve been experimenting with a variety of media. Happy Furry Friend Friday!

mr-fox

Materials: acrylic paint: colored pencil, crayon, soft pastel, pencil, patterned paper

party-bunny

Materials: patterned paper, colored pencil, pencil, ribbon bow embellishment, crayon, soft pastel

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

 

Watercolor Tape Resist with a Twist

hearts-on-willow

“Frozen Hearts” photo (c) Sofia Smith 2017

More snow overnight. We have a real winter wonderland in our back yard.

Another fun watercolor technique I tried recently is the tape resist. The idea is to use masking tape or painter’s tape to block off areas where you do not wish the paint to stick. When you remove the tape, the blocked areas remain white (or whatever color paper you are using). I decided to do something a little different. I used this collection of Washi tape (make sure to use Michael’s coupon to reduce the price 40-50%) to block off sections on a 4X6 inch piece of cardstock. Instead of peeling back the tape to reveal white space, I kept the tape on for a different effect because the pattern on is designed to look like watercolor painting.

watercolor-tape-resist-1

Materials: Washi tape, watercolors, cardstock

watercolor-tape-resist-2

Materials: Washi tape, watercolors, cardstock

watercolor-tape-resist

Materials: Washi tape, watercolors, cardstock

Marbled Paper with Shaving Cream

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“Icicles” photo (c) Sofia Smith 2017

heart-of-ice

“Heart of Ice” photo (c) Sofia Smith 2017

A garland of dripping icicles lines the edge of the roof. Snow and ice shimmer in silver frost on branches. It is a wintry day indeed. I ventured outside for a few photographs, but am happy that I don’t have trek further in this icy weather.

It is the perfect day to stay in pajamas and create some marbled paper.With shaving cream! What? Yep. A friend of mine shared this fascinating technique with me and I had to experiment. Sounds strange, but it works and it is fun. A note of caution: make sure you like the scent of the shaving cream because it will linger in the air and embed itself in the paper. I used both food coloring and watercolors.

And here are my results…

marbled-3marbledmarbled-2

 

Watercolor Experiments

The tips of my fingers are stained violet and green, my right thumb is speckled with fuchsia, and there are turquoise streaks on my wrist. My hands now resemble my mother’s hands. Her godchildren used to inspect her fingernails at church, fascinated by the woman with pigmented digits. But genetically, I inherited my father’s hands. With these hands I am experimenting with a medium used by both parents—watercolors.

Below is a bird painted by my father, followed by flowers painted by my mother. As you can see, with endless hours of practice, each parent became quite skilled with these paints.

jm-watercolor

Bird by Jorma Meller

tiina-2017

Flowers by Tiina Reed

The most vivid childhood memory I have of using watercolors involves a stuffed animal hospital where my stepbrother and I were the doctors. We mixed red with water to create blood samples for the test tubes my mom, a nurse, had smuggled from work for me. Said paints ended up staining the white table in our bedroom in Helsinki. I was sure it would wash off, but found out otherwise and ended up in some trouble with my father.

Now, as an adult, I am giving watercolors another try. (I bought a set for $5 at Michael’s. I love the fact that on my budget, where even $5 feel like a splurge, I can still buy  decent quality art supplies.) So far I’ve mainly used them for background papers. Below are some of the various techniques I have played with.

watercolor-techniques

Watercolor Techniques (left to right): pencil eraser stamping, sponge painting, paper towel stamping, cellophane stamping, bubble wrap stamping, spray bottle of dry paper

At this point, I feel ambivalent. Watercolors are versatile and (in most cases) fairly easy to clean up, but I’m not sure I have the patience required for mastering the skills I want to develop. I’m thinking I’m more of an acrylic paint girl. (On a side note,the cuffs of my bathrobe sleeves are crusty with acrylic paint. They There is nothing neat and tidy when it comes to my creative experiments.)

watercolor-dots

Materials: watercolors and cardstock

watercolor-fox-on-tissue-paper

Materials: watercolors, paint marker, fox stencil, tissue paper