Pages 02/01/09

I just wanted to share some swaps back I received from the ZettiZoo Yahoo Group Day of the Dead swap. I was really blown away at the quality of these pieces. There was so much thought put into them right down to the tiniest detail. Left: By Catherine van der Hoeff, of the Netherlands. Incredible key chain featuring felted beads, and an array of fibers and ribbons. There's a nice little jeweled piece up the center with a tiny shrinky dink sugar skull. This is just an awesome piece. Even the back of the shrink charm is thoughtfully covered in a black lace finish. Her presentation even blew me away. The presentation cards are also hand made. Middle is by Teri Velazquez. This is an altered locket key chain. Another fab piece which has been covered with fabric and paper embellishments and highlighted with sparkles and metallic zig-zag rick-rack. Right is by Lori Nowak. Lori has taken a paper maché ornament and has decorated it with hand painted skulls and patterning. The back is finished nicely with hand colored DOD rubber stamps. She's added some brightly colored fibers to finish it off. I love the details in this piece as well. Lori even has a tiny bone paperclip hanger at the top. Awesome work ... I am very pleased with my returns. Thanks to such talented artists.


Pages 01/30/08

Wow, I actually have blogged quite a bit this week. I think taking the online workshop has been helping me loosen up and get back into making art.

This is the 2nd exercise in Traci Bautista's workshop. We were supposed to look for imagery that had patterns or shapes and try to create our own designs from them. Traci suggested taking digital photos, but since I am chained to my office chair, I had to settle for magazines.

I liked this jewelry I found, and thought it really worked with the style of doodling I like to do. I pretty much just abstracted the shapes, and took some artistic freedom to make it my own. Interesting exercise. I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but I can really see how this can be useful if you're stuck in the rut of drawing the same thing all the time. (Like me! lol)


Pages 01/29/08

I tend to get bored when I do one type of artwork for too long. I think mixing it up is a really good thing to do. This week I am totally on a ceramics kick. This is a bisque fired little box I bought and I painted it last night. I painted all the surfaces of it, so anyway you turn it there's something to see and to disscover. Like the skulls, this will need to be fired, and then I will paint on colored underglazes and they will be fired one more time.


Pages 01/28/08

I've been working on clay Sugar Skulls. My husband and I hand molded the skulls, and they were bisque fired. Once out of the kiln I draw on all the line work. They will be fired again to make the black permanent, and then coated with transparent glaze and fired one more time. I hope to do a few with colored underglazes, but that will be ALOT of work. I'll post the finals once they are all complete.


Pages 01/27/09

I am taking an online course with one of my favorite artists, Traci Bautista, author of Collage Unleashed. This is week one and the first exercise. (There are several exercises which I've not completed yet.) Week one is all about ideas and inspiration. The idea was to chill out and randomly write our thoughts on the page with various pens and marking tools. I was really surprised at some of the things that came out. It was also very 'freeing' to draw without a plan. So far I am enjoying the workshop. It's also really nice to set aside some time for myself to learn new techniques.


Pages 01/25/09

Last night I made some bookmarks out of trimmings I had leftover from various projects. I am terrible about throwing anything away, especially perfectly lovely painted trimmings. I also had some vintage faces leftover from the Hearts 5X5 collages I wanted to use up. First, I started by applying some white gesso to a hand carved stamp and stamping directly onto the paper. I like to stamp on an old magazine. I stamp my artwork and let the overflow paint go directly onto the magazine page. Then I just turn the page and stamp the next one on the new page. It saves alot of mess, and I can work my way through an entire magazine without having to throw away wet scrap or newspaper. I let it dry and apply my faces and whatever other papers I want to use in my collage. I punched a hole at the top of the bookmark and then used the punched piece as a button. Next, I paint all the hair. I let it dry really well and then draw on the swirly lines with a gel pen. To finish up I tied on some cool fibers I got at Michaels last weekend. ($2 for a spool of coolness!)


Pages 01/24/09

Hi everyone, I must apologize for not being around over the past few weeks. Work got crazy busy for me and I wasn't able to do much art! I have a couple swaps I am involved in so I am posting one of the collages I made for Alerted Art Obsession Yahoo Group 5X5 Hearts swap. We are making 10 5X5 squares with a 'hearts' theme. Once we send in our hearts, we will be mounting them into a display. Once I get my swaps back I'll post some of the results. Mine is made up of a panted background which has been stamped with hand carved stamps, collaged, and then individually painted. I masked off the bottom and painted the stripes. I finished the edges with rubber stamp pads.
I'm not sure I am done though. I may add some other feature, like some sort of text treatment or an eyelet with some danglies. I am ambivilent about adding any hanging elements though since we are going to be mounting these. Hmm.
Featured left (click to enlarge) is another approach to the Hearts 5X5 collage by AAO member Teri Velazquez. I like the different texture treatments she did. All the hearts are similar, but the treatment is very different.
The swap hostess, Tejae Floyde, has posted some info about the process she used for her hearts collages. I thought the technique she did for the background was very interesting. Check it out!
By the way, the Altered Art Obsession Yahoo Group is once again open for membership. If you are interested in joining, stop by. The group is juried and you must provide images of your work and requires filling out a questionnaire. It's one of the best groups I have belonged to with very quality swaps. If you make high quality work, and want high quality work in return, I suggest you apply.

Update: Above, a picture showing all the participants of the swap.