Sunday, February 22, 2009

Valentines (really long post)

This year was the 20th anniversary of my 1st date with my husband. He's really difficult to buy for, and nothing really jumped out and shouted This is it! This is perfect for Valentine's Day! But then I got the utterly mad idea to make him 20 valentines. Why mad? Because I got the idea late Friday morning, February 6th. That left me with only part of Friday and Monday to work on them, because he'd be home on the weekend, and I wanted to mail them to his office as a surprise.

I called Mom in a bit of a panic, and asked if I couldn't get enough done on Friday, could I buzz down there for the weekend. Which is what I ended up doing. Turns out that when our daughter was getting off the bus at a quarter to 3, his truck was behind the bus! Meanwhile, I am wildly pitching random art supplies in a large box, flipping it closed when he walked in the door, then resuming when he vanished into his office. I told him that I was going to help Mom with some bookkeeping, as she'd gotten behind (that was true, she was behind), if that was OK. Predictably, he said that was no problem, making the lie even more uncomfortable.

A 2-hour drive, and many errands later (Mom doesn't like to have to run into town after dark by herself), I was unloading all my crap on the dining room table, my art studio for the next 36 hours (or so). Dad was Not Amused when he saw it all (and it wasn't even all out of the box!). but he didn't grumble too much, and I did clear everything away when we ate, of course. I was up until 11pm that night, up at 6ish, back at it by 8 and working until 1am Sunday, stopping only to eat. I finished up after 4 hours of sleep later Sunday morning. (Took me a week to recover from my sleep deprivation and stress to get them done.)

ANYWAY, here's the 21 valentines (the pack of cards had an extra, so I used it to symbolize the Valentine's Day yet to come).

aluminum AZ Ice Tea can

Shrinky Dink, colored pencil

paper lace, clear red plastic sheet

suncatcher paint on plastic

woven cardstock, foil paper

plastic mosaic cabochons, foil paper 

toothpicks colorwashed with diluted acrylic paint, cardstock

pastel chalk



rubber stamped cardstock, colored pencil, glitter

acrylic paint, heavy gel medium, glitter

wire, cardstock, satin ribbon

feathers, metallic cardstock

polymer clay, resin face

duct tape, Dymo label

glossy cardstock, wallpaper sample, clear mosaic tiles, glitter

mulberry paper

stuffed fabric, lace

cast paper pulp, eyelet, pastel chalk

needle felting

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Experiment Results

I'm an impatient sort; a hair dryer sped things along between paint layers. But here it is, complete with the frame I picked out, ready to hang. The dark squares in the opposite corners are the mirror tiles. It's not exactly, precisely what I wanted/intended, but I'm pretty pleased with the results, just the same. Getting the texture I wanted out of the gel medium was really, really difficult. That will take some practice.

Getting Started

I bought Altered Surfaces (below). I took it back. It's very colorful, lots of interesting ideas... and very superficial. I have been looking at The New Acrylics: Complete Guide to the New Generation of Acrylic Paints instead, and will probably pick that up with a 50% off coupon. Seems to me that AS is intended for crafters, and TNA is aimed at artists. I fall somewhere in between, but AS is $17 with 51 pages; TNA is $25 with 160 pages, and it has far more in-depth information about what you can do with acrylic paints, not so much project ideas.

SO! After talking to my mom, who used to paint, and picking her artist's brain, we agreed that the best way to approach my brain-on-fire for this idea of mixed media on canvas was to do it. I saw this great dragonfly pendant at Michael's and decided to use that as my jumping-off point.

I am working on an 8x10" canvas board, and I have my first paint colors on the board, along with a crackle finish coat. Once that's dry, I'll paint on my second pair of colors and wait for that to dry and crackle. The dragonfly is pewter in color and has some Deco styling. I used turquoise glass teardrops and hung them from the holes in the wings, and broke off the loops that were intended to suspend the pendant. I bought some dried reeds I may or may not use, and some mirror tiles. I thought about using vitreous mosaic tiles, but decided against it, because I want to use extra-heavy gel medium to create texture in what will be air and water, and didn't want to take away from the space I want to create movement. Mulberry paper may also appear in there somewhere, but I haven't decided. 

I'll post pix when I have something to show for all this mania.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Canvas Craving

I am mad to try some of the ideas I saw in this book:

It appears to be a fairly basic intro to messing with acrylics and the various Golden media that they can be added to. I've had an itch to try playing with canvas for a while. This book shoved me right over the edge.

Only a matter of time before I end up with the book and the supplies. If I can hold off til spring, maybe I can set up in the garage...