New Work

Showing posts with label Experiments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Experiments. Show all posts

October 23, 2022

The Grid Journal - What I've learned so far

 Back in May I started the Get Messy May journaling challenge and didn't get very far but I did do Kellee Wynne's grid journal class. I was smitten! And I've been making them ever since. 

Initially, simple small ones. 

When I took Kellee's free course Grid Journal Crush, I decided to dedicate my brand new big sketchbook to grid journaling and it's kinda been a game changer.

So what have I learned after making a grid per day for almost a month now?

  1. Even if the individual cells/squares don't quite work, the whole page/spread often does.
  2. Limiting your palette allows more freedom.
  3. Mark making is ALWAYS a Good Thing.
  4. Colour mixing is a whole OTHER ball game.
  5. Sometimes you make mud. Mud can be okay though.
  6. Burnt Sienna is my kryptonite.
  7. White Gesso is your friend.
  8. It's a sketchbook. Make the mistake!
  9. Add your notes because you won't remember what that colour was.
  10. Diggin' the Grid!

April 9, 2021

Experimenting and New Things

Thinking about trying new things.

I've embarked on a rather ambitious garden this year, trying to succession plant plus starting most things from seed. To clarify, I try to start my tomatoes/peppers/eggplant every year, but THIS year I'm adding all greens, onions, flowers, herbs, beets, radish...basically anything that isn't a root crop or doesn't like being transplanted (though I WILL be trying some melons and cucumbers just to see) to my seeding roster. And my brain is in overdrive. What if I don't time it right? What if I have too much? (hahahaha. like that is EVER a problem!) What if I have too little? (Always! I am scarcity phobic) What if? What if? What if? 

And I realized that this state of mind is often present in my art practice as well when I'm trying something new. To clarify, again, this is NOT a problem when I'm in an experimentation "Let's See Where THIS Goes?!" mindset. But after I've already started a piece and decide, "Hey! What if I..."? This usually ends up with less than stellar results.

And I think that this raises its head, but don't quote me on this, due to a lack of direction.


Case in point. I've been working on this particular piece for weeks now. I have scraped it back to the bare board no less than three times. And it's starting to make me angry. Never a good place to be when creating something! (like making bread. but I digress.)

I mostly know where a piece is headed from the start. Oh! Sure, sometimes things/ideas/problems/solutions come up on the fly and have to be dealt with but for the most part I have the end result clear in my head. 

When experimenting and trying new things, by its very nature, the end result can't be known. Which is great. NOT however when a piece is already started. It creates a very muddy path. Like starting with a palette of 3 colours then continually adding new colours as you go along, you're gonna end up with a muddy mess! 

And so it's been with this piece. I knew I wanted to use the vintage paint box as the container. I knew it would be an homage to my mother. And that's pretty much all I knew. I've added transfers and colours and more transfers and scraped it back and started again, transfer upon transfer... it's just a big ol' muddy mess!

I'm learning planning a garden as well as my art practice... that sometimes taking a deep breath and THINKING/planning for the next step is a much better way of moving forward than blasting ahead and getting my brain in a big knot. And to leave the experiments to their own time where RESULTS are not necessary.

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?!

April 30, 2019

Spring Flowers

Trying something new!
I've been experimenting with "Less is More" which is generally NOT where I end up. But these single monochromatic printed spring blooms were calling for simplicity. Of form. Of colour. Of mark making.

This Trillium was the first I took on in this mini-series and after I'd inscribed the squares and dressmakers wheel I couldn't bring myself to add my usual paint layer to bring them out. Something about the subtle under layer of Quinacridone Crimson (oh! so pale! a mere wash and swipe) and the golden hue of the beeswax itself. Also, this substrate was originally one of the Pre-Shrunk submissions so it has extra yummy texture.


5" x 4" x 1 3/4"
Plaster and gesso on plywood, handmade cradle board
Laser copy of original photo, acrylic paint, beeswax medium

$175. shipping included
($US to United States . $Cdn to Canada . International . Contact Me)

This little rose bud was the jumping off point for the subtle pink for all three. Just a kiss of colour.

Rose Bud

4" x 4 1/2" x 1 1/4"
Plaster and gesso on plywood, handmade cradle board
Laser copy of original photo, acrylic paint, beeswax medium

$175. shipping included
($US to US . $Cdn to Canada. International . Contact me)

I've always loved this photo of Rhodendron Canadense which grow wild here along roadsides and anywhere there's a wet spot.

Rhododendron Canadense

6" x 6" x 1 3/4"
Plaster and wax on Clayboard, handmade cradle board
Laser copy of original photo, acrylic paint, beeswax medium

$175. shipping included
($US to US . $Cdn to Canada . International . Contact Me)

May 17, 2016

Experiments. Busy Work.

I haven't been focused enough recently to start any new work so I'm experimenting and dealing with items in the "Finish This Shit" box.

Still playing with transfers. Which really is a fancy way of saying I'm printing my images onto different substrates other than paper. In a previously mentioned post, I've been using various mediums painted onto plastic. So far my preference is still digital ground as it gives a lovely crisp print but I'm still trying for more transparency.

So here's what a print looks like on the 2 gel/2 digital ground background looks like. Love the crispness of the inkjet print out onto the white background. Downside. It remains pretty opaque as this digital ground is white.

And here's what a 2 gel/2 clear gesso background looks like. Very transparent! But the print image itself is rather blurred. I also found that the gesso isn't nearly as thick as the digital ground so the entire 'transfer' is quite thin ... VERY flexible... and VERY sticky.

So much so it reminds me of what a Polaroid transfer must've reacted like. [Caveat: never worked with'em so I'm only surmising.] Still. Some cool things could be accomplished using this. Food for future thought.

On the weekend I scored some (half price!) CLEAR digital ground so stay tuned for that!

In my Finish This Shit box are a myriad of started items including this plaster shrine "Skewed Beliefs" which I finally finished and is now for sale on my baby shop [baby: because I can only sell 5 items at a time]

I've always liked this piece.
I also have a bunch of items I created in Stephanie's classes.

So keep checking the shop as I'll be adding things randomly.

And if there's something you've seen here and would like, please let me know!
My work is, I think, reasonably priced and am always up for a trade.

May 7, 2016

Experiment Eureka!

You know when you've been searching for something only you didn't know what you were actually looking for? This is one of those.

As I mentioned in my last post, I rediscovered Digital Art Studio: Techniques on my shelf last week. (Speaking of which, I really need to do another challenge wherein I actually USE one of the plethora of How To art books I've accumulated. But I digress.) This book is filled with interesting and useful tutorials on how to use one's inkjet printer for mixed media purposes.

I followed one such tutorial, the whole time thinking , "This is SO not going to work!"
Because of my work-arounds (I'm terrible for not using what's actually ASKED for in tutorials, instead filling in with what I have), my not-so-great printer and my general lack of sticking to instructions (truly, given my penchant for not using called-for-supplies coupled with my inability to follow simple 123s I'm amazed I end up with ANYTHING that works!)
But it did! OMG. It did. So. So good.

Here's my very scaled down version of that tutorial (get the book for full details and more ideas!):
  1. Get a sheet of polypropylene. I know you're saying, "Poly what what?!?" Yah. I had to google it too. The book says "trash bags, rolls of landscape sheeting and painter's drop cloths". Google says, "cello bags". I went with google. Mainly because I had a couple of letter-sized bags. (I'm gonna test with cellophane off the roll next) 
  2. Here's where it gets a bit sketchy but I figured it out so you're welcome. Firstly, adhere your sheet of polypropylene to a piece of photo paper. This'll make it easier to put through your printer later. Now, get a piece of tape - I used painters tape but any wide tape'll do.  Stick it to the top of the sheet of polypropylene then fold the tape, back, onto itself. Essentially, you're creating a tab. The reason for this is you want to be able to peel the layers of medium from the polypropylene. So. Be sure to paint over that tape so your final substrate stays in one continuous piece. 
  3. Now, the long agonizingly drawn out bit ... paint the polypropylene with 2 coats of gel medium, again be sure to paint OVER THE TAPE! Then let it dry thoroughly between coats. Being plastic, it takes awhile. Be prepared. I brushed end to end for the first coat, let it dry overnight, then side to side, again drying overnight. THEN another 2 layers of Digital Ground.(mine's from Golden - I'm going to experiment with gesso next week)  Again, side to side for one layer, then end to end on the next. This takes TIME people (2 full days!) so adjust your schedule accordingly. Remember to paint over the tape for EACH LAYER.
    This is my sheet hanging to dry:

  4. Next ... PRINT! (figure out what you want to print/copy - this is a painting I did awhile ago) I used the opposite non-tape end to feed into the printer first. It went through fine. And because of the porous nature of the digital ground (and why I think gesso would work!) the ink gets sucked up. Still. For good measure I left it to dry for a bit before I went on to Step 5 ...

  5. And the most exciting part! Remember your tape tab? Grab it gently and pull apart the gel medium/digital ground layers away from the polypropylene. I can't tell you what a THRILL this was! Like I said, I totally did not expect this to work. Further, the substrate is quite robust and  it could easily be applied to something 3-dimensional. One word of caution ... TIP GOLD ... the backside (ie non-print side) is very shiny and VERY clingy! It will start to stick to itself if you aren't careful. Forewarned! Look how translucent that sucker is?!?! Oh. A thing of image transfer beauty.

If you attempt this, please let me know how it went.
And I'll be sure to weigh in re: gesso vs digital ground. Can't wait to go apply it to something!
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