I usually steer clear of recognizable & cute images but today I just gave in to it. All of a sudden I had a cup with the word ocean written on it, and in a way there is ocean in my metaphorical cup. My life is filled with solitary beach walks this time of year along with solitary studio time (ocean and paint). As much as I love the beach I'd like to see some people and cold cash showing up in my cup as well. Hmmmmm ... maybe I should paint them in?
I have a large supply of brown paper bags because plastic shopping bags are illegal in my town and I'm always forgetting to bring the reusable ones. I find that painting on the brown bags and other "trash" is a great way to loosen up and get into the process not the finished product. For this piece I started taping bags together to make a 2 x 3 ft surface, then used 5 different kinds of tape, collage and paint.
One of the most fun things about this collage was the lively comment thread on FB after I asked for title suggestions. Titles included "50 shades of Mouse" (several people saw mice, I don't see them, do you?), "Got My Brown Paper Bag and My Take Home Pay", "Sacked" and my favorite, "Scraps of Life".
I For my latest "creative experiment" I used raw canvas, lightly primed with white gesso as my surface.
I used a variety of charcoal, pastels and pencils in black, white to make marks, along with more white gesso and a spray bottle with a rag as erasing tools.
I made random mark making then defined shapes that "spoke" to me and "erased" the areas that I found distracting with white gesso.
My ah-ha moment came when I saw a mid century upholstered chair in the lower right area. I do love mid century chairs! I gave it a home, a lamp and a friend.
This experiment was really freeing because I never, ever draw and have long considered it something I just couldn't do. (Like driving in NYC or surfing). The selection of drawing tools were left here by my ex 15 years ago, and being a packrat I held on to them and even remembered where I put them.
I've hit a bit of a roadblock when it comes to collage so I decided to try something completely different. I signed up for an online class "Grit and Grace, The Heart of Co-Creative Painting" with Katie Kendrick. The first assignment, shown here, was a mark making exploration. I tried a new product, Liquitex Clear Gesso to build up layers, and its already one of my favorites. I think it will be great to prep vintage books for mixed media as well.
My primary medium is collage and mixed media. Creating this piece was a very interesting journey territory because I only used drawing tools and paint.
A friend gave me a vintage wooden ruler with a metal strip on the edge and challenged me to make something with it. I used the metal strip as a base for this pendant. Here's how I did it:
1) I removed the metal strip, created a teardrop shape then wrapped the top with wire.
2) Traced & cut the shape from a vintage dictionary page, then filled it with Ice Resin.
3) Used Glue 6000 to glue vintage rhinestones around the edge.
4) Attached the pendant to a vintage rosary.
Times have certainly changed, but I'm sure I'm not the only one would could use springy shoes to get it all done before Xmas (and work off all those holiday calories)!
I'm fascinated by mid 60s style and culture. It was an age of innocence desperately tottering on the edge of extinction. With great colors & design! Soon there would be more freedom, more conflict, more drugs, and ... a whole new color palette.
This year I dove into my collection of mid 60s Women's Day magazines to create my annual holiday card. I quickly found myself floundering in a sea of tacky nostalgia: colored toilet paper, Sea Monkeys and other mail order fantasies, virtually inedible jello molds, and impossibly difficult (and often hideous) holiday crafts.
Christmas with my mom pretty much centered around the pages of these magazines. We found so much joy making the budget friendly treats and holiday ornaments featured in Woman's Day and Family Circle. We made a clever center pieces from evergreens in the yard and sent away for gifts in the special advertising section that practically never panned out, like a tiny working spy camera and a lemon tree that (never did) grow real lemons.
I finally did make my collage Christmas card, but it took me a really, really long time because I enjoyed reading the magazines so much!
This 50s housewife is dreaming of Toyko while she prepares the family dinner. Don't you daydream while you cook? I know I do because I'd much rather be crafting than cooking. Hmmmm... I wonder how she got a cookbook with her photo on the cover?
This is the third year I've participated in the iHanna DIY postcard swap and its a tradition I now really look forward to. Snail mail is cool, and its great to walk to the mailbox with anticipation of finding something special. Also its a really good creative challenge to create a ten postcard series in reasonable amount of time. Every year I do something different, but my theme is always nostalgic/retro. I collect vintage postcards and I'm equally fascinated by what is written on the back as with the cool images on the front. The 50s housewife is from Lunagirl.
lTrue confessions: I live in a 1950s kitsch time warp. Its the house I grew up in. Basically we just never modernized anything & I developed an addiction to garage sales. The kitchen is my favorite room in the house but not because I enjoy cooking. There are so many wonderful things to collect & display: salt & pepper shakers, cookie jars, barware, Russel Wright dishes (the list goes on & on).
The three images of women in this collage are from the Lunagirl Retro Housewives digital collage sheet. I used tissue paper layers for the yellow and orange pops of color, an orange patterned napkin and some washi tape in addition to the collage papers. The drawings of the figures were done on Strathmore tracing paper. (Note: I had trouble with it wrinkling when I applied the gel medium. I'm going to try Canson Archival next time.) I happened to have a postcard invitation to a buffet supper from the 60s so I included that too.
Don't you just love this pair of creepy girls is from the Lunagirl Edwardian Gothic digital collage sheet? I happened to find some paper dolls that were just their size and thought they could do with a a makeover. They've been wearing those some old white dresses for over a century! And once they got dressed it seemed fitting to give them a few friends to go trick or treating with. This collage really makes me laugh because in spite of they fun outfits and fun friends they still refuse to crack a smile.
I did a little research on why people rarely smiled in old photos. One reason is that they had to hold a long pose for the long camera exposures. Another seems to be about what was "in" at the time. People with big smiles in photos were considered to be lewd, poor, drunk or stupid. Throughout the history of portrait photography people have the same goal, they want to impress other people. So being serious in a photo back in the day was just as important as looking like you're having fun in a selfie is today.