Saturday, June 30, 2012

NEW Studio Series FREE Videos

I can't wait to share this with you!!  I have begun posting studio videos of me demonstrating different techniques that I use in my artwork.  Under the last tab titled "Studio Series Free Videos" you can visit often to see new videos that I have posted.  Feel free to leave comments and ask questions.  As I post new videos, I will let you know on the blog.

The first video, in 2 parts, is Thermofax Deli Paper Collage where I am demonstrating how I use my Thermofax screens on deli paper that I rip up and incorporate into my collages.  The first part is up and the second part will be up by tonight (due to some technical difficulties LOL).  

Check back tomorrow for my Studio Sunday post!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Studio Sunday

This weekend has been a "clean-up" and "make presentable" weekend.  It started with my Creating Personal Imagery 101 workshop which I did some major reorganization on and continue to ready it for launch.  Soon!!  I shifted my program to video direct from Photoshop Elements to my laptop so that I can get a much closer screen view.  I found that videos from my desktop and wide screen monitor were going to be too small to produce the quality that I want to provide so there are some "do overs" in the works.  

I managed to slip in a late night collage as I sipped on my ice coffee well past 9:00 pm.  I was literally picking  pieces of my screen-printed and mono-printed deli papers and collaged them on a large page in my big journal without thinking too much about placement.  I need to add more black to my work right now because I feel like the color is out of control and I need to ground it.  I do like this and plan on restocking my printed deli paper soon so stay tuned!!

I really love the versatility of using the deli paper because of how it takes the paint and yet it is so thin that ripping it up and collaging with it is really easy.  I remember who I was inspired with this way!!  If you haven't heard of Anne Bagby, she is an amazing mixed-media artist.  Another who cuts her own stamps and creates patterns sometimes taken from history.  She is a fine artist and I wish I had a chance to take her workshop when I was out in Washington in 2008 at ArtFest but it was already booked when I registered.

Anyway, I have 2 of Anne Bagby's DVDs that I purchased from Creative Catalyst.  (Oh my gosh, she has a new one!!!)  At the bottom of the page I just linked, you will see 3 DVDs that she has done through this vendor.  I'm telling you, the two I have, "Collage: Paper, Patterns & Glazing" and "Pattern & Form: Advanced Collage Techniques" are both fantastic!  I'll let you know how the third one is, "The Grunge Book: An Acrylic Art Journal" as soon as I receive it! LOL  If you take a moment to look at her art  HERE, you will notice how amazing her ability is to incorporate collage within her work.  Her collaged prints are all done on deli paper!!!  It was after watching her DVDs that I had to find deli paper to try using it with my own imagery.  Funny how I didn't really until now ??!!

Yes, this is the green monoprint again. LOL  I'm getting bored with it as I've added additional stitching and then gone over the edges of the car wash paper towel borders with some Lumiere paint in Halo Blue Gold to accent the edges.  I wanted to add some beading but I see this as getting way out of control because of the strange patterning and I'd rather stop now and make a new monoprint with better placed images to develop on fabric.

The other part of clean up and make presentable I was referring to at the beginning of my post is related to my living and studio space.  Life is constantly changing and I guess that makes it interesting but it also causes lots of stress.  I will be moving again sometime between now and January.  Ugh  It will all depend on when the house I am renting will be rented by someone else or if it sells.  I will be here until January if all else fails.  In an effort to liven the place up a little to make it more presentable, I added this gorgeous rug to the livingroom and placemats to my dining table.  Of course, I hardly use the rooms but with prospective tenants and buyers walking through, I felt the rooms needed a little more inspiration.

I luv, luv, luv this rug!!!  My living room chairs are kind of brick red and this rug tied in nicely.  It also covers any carpet stains on the wall-to-wall carpet that existed before I got here!!!

And how about some inspiring embroidered, colorful place mats????  LUV them too!!!  My dining table is a dark espresso color and these look fantastic on it!

So change is good, I've always felt that way.  The thought of packing everything up again, not so much :(  It could be weeks or months and until then, I still have my very big studio space to entertain myself with.  Let's not forget a couple of adorable little stinky ferrets to add to the mix!  I hope you are having a fantastic weekend and are making studio time for yourself!!!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Her Art Inspires Me!!

If you do not follow any art journal artists or mixed media artists, you may not know of Michelle Ward.  Michelle's artwork is frequently featured in Somerset Studio magazine and other Stampington publications and she also teaches at Valley Ridge Art Studio in Wisconsin.  Can I just tell you that HER ART INSPIRES ME!  I'm super excited that I have registered for one of her workshops at CREATE in Somerset, NJ in July called Debris Journals.  The date is creeping up and I need to figure out what I will do with my fuzzy ferrett friends, Daisy and Dylan, while I trip down to NJ for a couple of nights.  Is anyone going?  I would love to share a room!!!

Anyway, I just love Michelle's artwork and every time I turn around she has something new and different that she is doing.  The upcoming issue of Somerset Studio has another one of Michelle's fabulous articles in it if you happen to pick up the issue, but you can see her generous tutorials over on her blog.  I'm totally loving her stencil cutting and masks!!!  I want to fill an entire journal with this technique and I think that is where some of my recent journal pages are coming from.  

Here is her BLOG and here is her TUTORIAL PAGE.  You definitely have to check out her artwork and her tutorials!!!  Don't miss her stencil cutting tutorial!!!  She uses simple images but presents them in beautiful ways.  And the way she uses spray paint and acrylics to achieve these looks is so very cool!!  I can't wait for  the workshop!!!!

I am also going to be taking Sue Pelletier's workshop, Painterly Quilt!!  This should be fabulous as well!  If you haven't see Sue Pelletier's work, she has a DVD called Preparing to Paint that she did for ClothPaperScissors/Interweave.  I love her dimensional canvases and her use of molding paste.  Sue was recently here locally at Ink About It in Westford, MA but I didn't have a chance to sign up for her workshop so I am psyched to be catching up with her in NJ.

It will be nice to get away for some much needed creative exploration!  The last art retreat I attended was my 2008 trip to ArtFest in April.  It's a good thing I went when I did as there won't be another opportunity to go again now that Teesha has decided to take a break from it (very sad).

NEW BOOKS I RECOMMEND:  I just received a couple of great books you might be interested in.  The first is "Knot Thread & Stitch" by Lisa Solomon on Amazon.  Since I have been working on my hand-stitching on my green monoprint, this book caught my eye because of the untraditional ways embroidery is applied and in some really fun ways!  It's very cute!!!

The other book I picked up is called "Cut Up This Book" by Emily Hogarth on Amazon.  Back to paper cutting, Emily's cut paper imagery is so inspiring and it reminds me of doodles!!!!  There is some great inspiration for stencils and masks in this book for sure!!!

Oh, and if you haven't see this yet (LOL) here is a link to my own DVD for Quilting Arts/Interweave Press!!!

Have a fantastic week and I will catch up this weekend!!!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Always room for stitch

It is absolutely beautiful here in Massachusetts today!!!  The studio slider is open and even with the sun not hitting this side of the house until the afternoon, the shade and breezes are still warm.  That's my kind of summer!!  I'm working away here on everything!  Is it possible to multi-task in the studio?  I think I actually do that.  I have 3 large tables that I bounce back and forth to with different things going on. (I'd share a picture but there is nothing nice about it right now LOL).

One table is set up for stamping, stenciling and screen printing, one for fabric projects away from flinging paint and sprays and the third table right now holds all of my paints for easy access.  I can hang wet things right in front of the slider or pop them outside for quick drying.  

One of the projects I'm pushing to finish is the green monoprint that I started on paper a few weeks ago.  I scanned this print and then printed it to fabric (Jacquard Ink-Jet Fabric Sheets in Cotton) then added an additional stamp to the top.  Today I free-motion quilted it and added dyed car wash paper towels (acts more like tear-away stabilizer but softer) in layers around the edges.  

Now I am using one of my favorite hand-dyed silk embroidery flosses to fill in some of the imagery.  Friends Fabric Art sells the most beautiful silk embroidery floss.  I can't remember how much it is off the top of my head but you can see all of their luscious threads at their web shop here

As I write this, Friends Fabric Art is producing more Thermofax screens for me.  A few are refills and a few are brand new.  Stay tuned later when I post them.  I want to thank everyone who commented on my new Quilting Arts Workshop DVD!  I am thrilled with how it came out and I will be posting a few PDFs under the "Tools and Resources" tab on my blog here for quick reference on brushes in Photoshop Elements 7.0-10.0.

Enjoy the weather and enjoy your freedom to create!!!  Check back for new screens later on.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It's Here!! It's Here!!! My Quilting Arts Workshop DVD


Check out the newest addition to Quilting Arts Workshop DVDs!!!!!

Digital Design for Screen Printing: Creating Mini Canvas Screens for Surface Design

I've got to go download it right away!!!!  I think this calls for a giveaway (hint hint).  The DVDs for purchase are available for pre-order but won't be available until July.  You can still check out the preview at the link!

All feedback is welcome!!!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It's all a part of the process

Change, new perspectives, growth,'s all a part of the process of developing art and defining who we are and what our art well as to others.  As I develop my on-line workshops to share what I know and to help others possibly see their own art in a different perspective, I'm still continually growing and stretching and reaching higher through this process to see myself...
find myself.  

It's play and it's serious contemplation.  
It's developing a language that isn't yet spoken, felt or sensed.

It's wonder and joy, disdain and perseverance. 

It emerges slowly, almost to the tip of your tongue.  
Then it slips away again to the deepest crevice of your soul.

It's peaks and valleys, mile-long paths 
and then brilliant strikes of lightening.

It comes and goes.  
It's all a part of the process.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Can you say yummy????

A little Thursday inspiration......

YUMMY!!!!  I need to screen print on top of this, question is with which image???

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rip it Up!

Happy Tuesday!  I had a little down time recovering from my colonoscopy this morning (all good, just preventive maintenance) so I figured I would share a couple of results from a little studio play.  First, I want to encourage those who have not ever had a colonoscopy to add that to your "To Do" list!  I'm lucky enough to have good medical coverage that allowed me to have my first colonoscopy at 40 because the doctors had caught a pre-cancerous area in my Dad's colon 5 years ago.  Then two years ago, my Mom went in for the same surgery.  The worst part about the entire procedure is the prep.  The actual procedure is a breeze.  I can't stress enough the importance of preventive maintenance and eating right!!!  Now mamograms on the other hand, are a completely different story!!!! LOL

Anyway, I'll get off my box and get to the good stuff.  Remember this from the last post?  This was a portion of one of the collaged journal covers I made for my new journal.  This collage originated from screen-printed deli paper, dyed paper towels and left over pieces of wrapping tissue paper.  I repurposed it!!

I printed out a copy of it, tore it up, and now it looks like this!  I used various colored tissue papers and mono-printed deli paper mixed in and this spread is one of the wide pages in my current journal I showed over the weekend.  There is a fold seam in the middle as it is one of the pages that folds in on itself but I'm fine with this as you end up with two different pieces if you want to develop them separately.  I think this might be the first of many more.  This piece is just begging for stitching but I'm not quite ready to jump in.

Deli paper?  I'm loving it!!!!!  When you glue it down with Mod Podge, the unprinted parts blend right into the background just like tissue paper.  With 500 or so in a box, toss away the ugly ones if you want!  It won't feel that bad.  Or, challenge yourself to add more layers until you do like it or just plain rip it up!

Gelli Plate printing???  Don't get me started...

I hope you are having a great week!  See you Sunday!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Studio Sunday Collage and Journaling

It's the perfect weekend to stay inside and get creative here.  No sun, lots of rain, no distractions.  I wanted to share my easy way for making a new journal.  Every time (well almost) I stop at Michael's craft store (which is conveniently located next to Staples) I pick up a pad of watercolor paper either 9 x 12" or the larger size 15".  I immediately go next door to Staples, rip all the pages off the pad and have them punch and bind one edge with the GBC plastic spine.

These are great because you can take them off and put them back on without the aid of the machine to do it.  This offers you the most flexibility when working on a single page.  If you are like me and you don't like to work in a bound book that is hard to manipulate (especially if using screen printing or stenciling techniques) I have the option with this type of journal.

With the larger pages, you have even more flexibility in creating your own size pages.  On this one I have folded the cover and back pages inside about 5".  Then on every page inside, I have folded them to one side or the other in different widths.  This is simply because as I add artwork to my journal, when it is opened, you can see different things on the different pages peeking out from one another.

Here, I played on the inside cover and you can see how the front cover wraps around .  I am also using these wrapped pages to create mini folders or to secure other things within the journal.  The pic below is the journal back which is also folded in.

I wanted to share this because I'm finding it very fulfilling to create collages using my own imagery and planning for re-use.  If you are familiar with Traci Bautista, she creates a lot of what she calls "masterboards" which she then repurposes into her art in different ways.  This is how I am using my collages.

It is good to create collages for multiple uses.  Before you take that collage and continue to develop the surface, take pictures of it or scan it to save the image in your computer for future use.  You can go crazy with the hue and saturation settings, blending modes, and filters and lots of other things as long as you have that original image captured.

Then you can experiment with brushes and masks to create an entirely different look and feel from your collage pages.  Never underestimate the opportunity to REPURPOSE your art!!!

This final image is comparable to a monoprint using as mask with additional texture built into the background.  I would consider this a "digital monoprint" and it started with one of the collage pages above.  

When I think about it, I am still using my artwork in the same way that I wrote about in my very first article in Quilting Arts Magazine in 2008.  At every step of creating, I scanned the image into the computer and printed it out to continue working on it.  Every time something was added creating a significant change in the artwork, I would scan it in.  If I wasn't happy with one direction I took in developing that piece of artwork, I simply printed it again from the stage I wanted to start from.  I haven't decided whether to finish one of these images on fabric or on paper.  This bird is really calling for stitch and beading!!!