Friday, March 29, 2013

Cut and paste - when bad things happen to good drawings

So I had this rather good drawing that got completely overdone. This happens. I'm very bad at knowing when to stop sometimes. 

This collage, too, is overdone, but I think that works out more OK than not in this case. Overall I think it's a nice artistic save. I want to push my color palette a little bit into less comfortable territory.  I'm enjoying working with decorative papers, also, and I'm thinking about other approaches to patterns.

So, what do you do when you botch it? I also digitized the figure before I glued her in, so I may work with her again in the future. I'm beginning to truly love my printer!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Journal page - The Garden of the World

Some stamping and stenciling with abandon, and a quote. And --- green. Finally broke 40 degrees here!

Simon Says Stamp and Show : Quotable Challenge

Monday, March 25, 2013

...And the original image - mixed media painting @ paperyum

Here is the original image. I worked back into it and you'll see some subtle differences.  It's great fun layering all the papers and seeing what emerges in the end - while a lot of the first layer gets covered, bits of it come through.

6x12, acrylic, inktense pencils, decorative papers, stenciling, vintage book pages, stamping.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Color this Quote Challenge

The fine folks at Artists in Blogland featured my work as part of show off saturdays! Check them out.

This is a paper collage, featuring multiple  hand alterations to a print of one of my paintings, some collage with decorative papers, some stenciling, some lace, some vintage book pages,  and some hand stamping. The wings are from The Graphics Fairy.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Postcard Art - Now He Knew What Shalimar Knew

“For now he knew what Shalimar knew: If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.”

― Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon 

Over at Collage Obsession, the theme this week is "I can Fly."  I was doing some online digging and this young man's image really grabbed my attention, suggesting a less whimsical interpretation of the theme. I don't remember exactly how Song of Solomon bubbled up through my consciousness, but I'm glad it did - it puts everything here into the perfect context. If you haven't read it yet, do so, certainly.

Images and patterns are from The Graphics Fairy and Vintage Printable.
My own collection of vintage millinery flowers.
Decorative papers, walnut ink, distress stain, white posca, doily.


Collage Obsession I can FlySo Artful Shades of Brown

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Try it on Tuesday

Top 5 winners please grab our blinkie
So I like, won top 5!
This week they have a bonnet challenge, and I'll probably get something together again.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Shabby Chic Hedgehog ACEO cards

So, in the interest of getting over my stamping weirdness, I entered a Shabby Chic challenge over at Simon Says Stamp and Show

Some fast fun - these shabby chic hedgehog cards are digitally collaged (vintage nature illustration and papers from The Graphics Fairy) , hand embellished with inks and with a vintage millinery flower.

I'm leaving them blank mostly - but I added an example of how they can be made more awesome.

and yes, these are available at the paperyum shop.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Found via Illustration Friday

Here are some illustrations found while surfing illustration friday  - this is work by Ewa O'Neill based on songs by Jeremi Przybora.
See all three of these beautiful illustrations here.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Print and Process - using the epson for hand-altered art variations

Here's one of my first prints - a mini print on a four inch MDF panel with rounded corners and hand-aged edges. Sweet huh?

Even sweeter is the way she came to be.  In this case, the evolution is right to left.

On the right, my original. Gouache and collage on a canvas, 6x8.  I know I want "more" in this image, it's not a finished piece, but if I had a dime for every time I added "more" to something I like and killed it, I would be a rich lady.  Now, with the epson and my stash of Somerset Velvet papers, I can experiment with much less potential artistic fallout. Whee!

In the middle: a hand altered print. This is a test print that misfired actually, cutting off part of the image. Waste not want not. I went back into her with more collage, more acrylics, intensifying and brightening -  and some stamping, even.

 (I'm such a hypocrite, the wide world of stamps opens before me, yay.)

Last, to the left is the mini print you see above.  The color fidelity is pretty good - I'm actually not a huge stickler for that, as long as it looks good and consistent among the final print outputs.  The only alteration here is a little distress ink aging and some light sealing. My original lives on to play another day and another way - let's see where else she goes!  

 Anyone else use their printer this way, not quite digital art and not purely analog art either? Comments are always welcome below!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Supply Side Fridays: The Epson R2000

I'll have a more unboxing-like feature on my printer at a later point.

Let's look at this quickly in overview.

I had some scratch, dedicated purely to a new printer. I knew I was going to get an Epson.  I went back and forth over which one, the 3800 or the 2000?

I realized that the 3800, while it is the better machine in terms of specs, is really just MORE machine than I need. My work - is generally small. If someone needs a large print, that's where I can enlist one of the outsourcing houses - I will probably never want to get into >22 inches for reproduction on an Etsy scale.

The footprint of my printer is pretty massive, and it has to live in my bedroom.  I can't imagine inviting the EVEN BIGGER 3800 in to stay.  The 2000 is a rollicking beast that vibrates like a washing machine, is picky about paper loading somerset velvet till you want to shout, and makes simply GORGEOUS archival prints that make you forget the pain immediately.

A printer is a tool, a medium, like any other, with a learning curve. I'm just getting started. However, one thing that also sold me on the 2000, is that a full set of ink can be obtained on Amazon for 30 some-odd-dollars.  That's the real Epson pigment inks - less than a refill on my crappy old HP all-in-one.  Wow!

One area of concern, is that the feeding process is kind of like hitting your head on the wall over and over. The art papers have to be fed through the back and the printer rarely wants to grab hold and play nice on the first try. I've heard that the feed issues are better in the 3800, but I'm fairly confident that this is NEVER a fun smooth process until you've lived with the machine a while.

As for inks? Man, they're beautiful.  And the detail that shows with a simple 600 dpi file is amazing. I think this machine is an incredible acquisition for any semi-pro or small scale pro and I am really glad I have it.  There is so much that an artist can do with this tool.  I'm going to be playing with the scrapbooking paper (acid free 2 side print capable) as a way to use my own works in mashups and collages and re-scaled formats, then reprinting them as ATC's and other works.

Here's to the beginning of a beautiful relationship.  The damage isn't too bad with the Epson rebate, either, keep an eye peeled for those.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Dolls and Tales - Art Journal and Flat Art Doll

Cat Flat Art Doll

Another one of my flat art dolls. This one was tough, because of the edge. They're too thick to leave raw or blanket stitch, and they're too fussy to bead around if I cut the limbs separately. However, as I stitch down like this the backing likes to travel out of line with the top layer. I need to find the right fix for this issue!

Anyhow, I may leave miss kitty well enough alone, or I may do an owl companion.  Not sure.

It's inktense, beading, embroidery, and it's backed with cotton duck - showroom sample scrap I purchased at SE Harris warehouse.

While we're on the subject of children's stories (maybe)

Queen Of Hearts Art Journal Page

I've started a small journal (5x7) and I'm not sure if it's going to be themed (I keep trying to do this) or just random. 

I think an "antagonists" gallery would be kind of neat and unusual. I could also write into the theme a lot - thinking about different obstacles.

Should I go for "antagonists" or stick to something more open, like faces or fiction or nothing in particular?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Miriam Makeba Google image

Just 'cause.

IF is "talent" this week, and this Piaf is worth a peek also.

Art and Fear and Tam Laporte's class

Art and Healing Class @

So, here's the thing. The art I'm making now is happy art. It is hopeful art. It is beautiful art.

This scares the living crap out of me!

Everything I did in the past was about investigating problems, creating problems, confronting problems, exposing the dark and discordant problems of how our culture constantly messes up. It wasn't necessarily dark art - it still had its playful, cool, irony. Oh how cool. How comfortable, how hip.

I remember being thrown off in college by the classic assignment "whatever you are doing do the opposite." i couldn't embrace my opposite.  I remember the exhortation to give up control. I didn't want to be sentimental, naive, craft-centered, visually "safe" - God forbid - decorative and "safe" and craft were fine - for OTHER people, that was clear.

What a difference some growing up makes.

The old opposite becomes the new me. And that's an intense thing to actually accept.

So - actually clicking on this, for me, feels like sneaking out of the house and meeting up with a secret rendevous. Naughty and wonderful.

I don't know where I saw the "life book" classes being discussed initially, and I admit I wrote them off a bit. How to make large eyed girls, pretty, cool, I felt kind of "whatevs" because there are SO MANY online art courses lately, a lot of them with overlapping aesthetics.  There's something about Tam's girls that comes across as a little deeper though, there's something that I felt connected to or drawn to in some way, I realize now in retrospect.

Heart, healing? HIGHLY suspect stuff for someone as bottled up as I am.

However, I've got an autoimmune disease so "healing" is something I reluctantly look for sometimes, I had a free Sunday and I figured as they say "what they hey." It's free, right. I realize that free is a sales tool, I'm a pro also, so it would have to be something extraordinary to really reel me in for another round.

I was skeptical. It serves me well.  And now I am fairly certain that I'll be joining up for Life Book.

The first installment did more for me than many rounds of therapy. (Art Therapy, words that send me screaming into the night normally!)  Who knew?  Tam has Hypnosis and NLP certification, and even though I recognized the strategies of NLP in the writing part of the assignment, I'd never looked at the issue of negative self-talk with QUITE the same lens. It was one of those rare, unexpected TRULY transformative moments I've ever had in a class, and I'm not going to give away any more.  Everyone who can pick up a pencil or crayon should consider this assignment. Everyone who wants to improve their outlook and "get their head right" should consider this assignment. It's just that simple and perfect, as metaphors and gestures really are when you let them in.

This is one of those few free things that really IS a gift, I can't stress it enough.  Thanks Tam, for offering up the opportunity for everyone who wants it. It's time well spent.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Rustle of Spring

 That's the theme for this week's challenge at Three Muses.

I'm in favor of spring. 'Nuff said!  Miss Bunny is over the wait, too.

Here's a 6x6, acrylic, collage, vintage papers, stamps, inktense, vintage ad.

Supply Side Friday: Kickin' It Old School: Manto Fev

Hey lovely people.

New Feature - Supply Side Friday!

Look for the tag when you want to read them all - and I'm going to dedicate Fridays to a shop, source, tool, or material.

Today: Manto Fev.
Have you been to Manto Fev?

Maybe you're saying "duh." Then you know.

Maybe you're saying "what?"  Then you should hasten on over to this charmingly minimalistic an un-gussied up shop which is all about the stuff.  You'll find an amazing mix of charms and materials, some of the designer items, but where Manto Fev really outshines a lot of the competition is in its offerings of inexpensive, often bundled - ACTUAL FACTUAL old stuff.

This is the stuff that the collage-sheetists digitize.  Handwritten notes, odd tickets and ledger papers, weird tokens, vintage cards and greeting cards, and all that old old acidic yellowing patina!  I can scarcely contain myself.

Here's some awesome, subject to availability:

Vintage Paper Ephemera at Manto Fev

Labels! Nice ones.


 matchbook mania.

I love Sarah's sense of humor too, and the personality of the shop really shines without having to "look crafty".  Visit. Really.

Oh and the prices are pretty special - actual vintage from Manto Fev  is often less expensive than popular reproductions.