Sunday, March 26, 2017

Painting the Apron

Last year I painted an apron to submit to the Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine for the Mixed Media Apron Reader Challenge.  It was selected as a finalist, and I was really thrilled to see it in the July/August 2016 issue.

The apron was created in layers with fabric paints and my own designed stencils and masks.  Below are some pictures of the process and some details.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

The background was created with stencils over a round Tyvek stencil with a sponge.  The idea was to cover the background with interesting shapes and different colors.  I think I got a bit carried away with the colors :)
Using leaf and flower stencils and masks, I added a watery layer over the background.  I held the flower masks in place, and pounced with the sponge around it.  The leaves were done with the stencil first (painting the inside), then a mask over it, to get the shapes inside the leaves.
The leaf and flower shapes were outlined with a fabric pen.
Next the shapes (from the first layer) were now outlined inside the flowers.  Shadows were added to the flower shapes to make them stand out a bit more.
Some of the background shapes were still too strong and competing with the foreground, so they got a layer of white dots through sequin waste.
Finished!  Added some doodling to some of the leaf shapes, and put it away so I wouldn't keep messing with it :)

While it was gone, I started another apron and a tea towel with some of what I had learned.  I got Textile paint and decided to go with greens and blues.  Below you will see the first step and the finished pieces.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tessellations - How I do it

I've been having a lot of fun this month creating tessellations and carving stamps for #CarveDecember.  Since I have been asked several times how I created them, it seems it would be nice to share :).

I hope these steps help you!  Enjoy!

Step 1.  Go to a website where you can create your own tessellations

A couple of my favorite sites:

  • You can create tessellations right on your browser - no software to download or buy -
  • Software that allows you to create curved tessellations - you can download a demo version and get a screenshot of your tessellation - TesselManiac 
       NOTE:  This is the best one I have tried so far and I love it

Step 2.  Play around with the shapes, until you see something you like 

You can try making something specific or just play - use your imagination very much like seeing images in the clouds.  I just go for the outlines and work out the inside of the tiles afterwards.

Step 3.  Save the tessellation or tile 

I would recommend saving the tessellated screen for sure - it will help you figure out how to print it later.

This is a simple one... pretty easy to figure out how to print.

Others can be a bit more complicated, like this one.

Step 4.  Print the tile the size you want

Be careful that you don't skew the image when you scale it to print - the proportions have to be exactly the same or it won't work.

Step 5. Using Tracing paper, go over the outline of your tile with pencil

You want to trace it as accurately as you can so the tiles will fit together as expected.

Step 6.  Design the inside of your tile

You can do it different ways - you can draw directly on the tile you outlined on the tracing paper (if you are really confident), or you can use another piece of tracing paper or transparency over the tile, until you get something you like.

This is where your creativity and imagination will come in.  For instance, the bird above in step 3 turned into this - not much different, but the details help:

Step 7.  Transfer the tile with the complete design to the carving material

Step 8.  Carve the stamp - be really attentive to the edges of the stamp

I always start with the edges as if I mess up, there is no point in going further - it won't work.

There is another option - you can carve inside the edge, and then leave a little border when printing.  This makes it a bit easier to print, and it can give  quite a nice effect.  So, don't throw your stamp away if you mess up on the outside edge - you can still use it :)  
See the space between the trees?
I carved inside the line.
Compare to the print of the bird in step 6
where I carved against the outside line.

Step 9.  Print your awesome tessellation tile 

Refer back to your tessellated printout (step 3) to figure out how to print it :)

Have fun!!!  

And do let me know if you have any questions.  I'd love to see what you come up with, so feel free to share :).

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Challenge 270 and Work on Scarves

Challenge #270

This week's challenge (here) was to use the tangle Skye created by Margaret Bremner.  I really enjoyed this one, and this one I'm sure will be better with practice.  

My first attempt from memory (after seeing the steps) was not good - the strips were not connecting properly, so I decided to give it another try.  This time I didn't do the little angled lines on the short ends, and that made it possible for me to adjust as needed to make the lines connect.  Also, I started with an "S" instead of backwards "S" so then had to start on the left instead of on the right.  All in all, it came out fairly decent, I think, but like I said I think it can really improve with practice.

Work on Scarves

I'm enjoying seeing my work on the VIDA scarves, so I have been looking at some of my work differently to see if they might look good as scarves.  Also, because the scarves are large and you need really high definition files, I have been playing around and spent many hours last weekend doing some experiments.  Ended up figuring out that it would really help if I knew Inkscape better (free vector software), so started going through some tutorials on YouTube to learn it better.
Here are some of the ones I have created recently.  I hope you enjoy them:

These first two were inspired by a carved flower on a stone wall in India (when I visited last year).  I hand carved a stamp to create the pattern and then fiddled wtih it to create the pattern in larger scale for the scarves.  Both are using the same pattern, just with different colors and scale.
Indian FlowerIndian Flowers

These 2 are square scarves, so I used works that might not do so well as a repeating pattern.  Both were created with the same hand-carved stamp (leaves repeating pattern); the left on paper with ink, watercolors and colored pencils; the right one on fabric with inks, and acrylics.

Leaves and Moon AbstractLeaves and Moon
And the last one I just added last night from an old piece, that needed a bit of work.  I used the same hand carved stamp as for the ones above and really had fun.  Can't you tell I love the moon? :)

                    Blue Moon

If you are interested in any of these, you can check them out on my page on the VIDA site (here).  You can get 10% off your first order with the code VIDA10, and if you get one of my designs, you would get a $25 VIDA gift certificate (for the first 10 people).

I ordered one with my tangled mountains, and can't wait for it to arrive.  I received a free one from another artist and the $40 scarf is really well made and so very soft!  I was very impressed.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Challenge #269, Magazine Publishing and Tessellated Fish

Challenge #269

The Diva's challenge this week (here) was to try out the newly released tangle Ellish.  You can find the step outs for Ellish here in the Zentangle Newsletter.

You are seeing my very first attempt at this one, and for some reason I really do not like the tile, but decided to post it anyway.  This proves that sometimes you really need to practice to get something right :)

Magazine Publishing

I love Cloth Paper Scissors and have had a subscription ever since my niece gave me a 1-year subscription many years ago.  If you don't know the magazine, there is a challenge in every issue and once in a while it grabs me, and I have to participate (and hope my submission gets published).  No matter what, I always learn lots when creating my submissions, so even if they don't end up getting accepted, I had fun :) 

This one was to design and cut a stencil and submit a 6x6 in work made with the stencil.  My piece showed up in the latest magazine - May June issue, and I was thrilled to see it.  This is the piece (below) and if you have a copy, it is on page 88.
This is the dirty stencil after creating the piece.
I even lost a little piece of it (top center flower)!

And here is the piece I created with the stencil, molding paste, watercolors, ink, colored pencils, acrylics, and who knows what else!
I also submitted an apron for the next issue, so we will see if that one will make it as well :).

Tessellated Fish

Escher's tessellations are incredible, I love them and find them very inspiring.  Mine are completely amateurish, but I don't care... I love creating them and it is always a huge challenge to make them fit perfectly, especially when you want to make it a repeat pattern.

My latest try was with the fish I hand-carved (here), but I wanted to make them a little rounder and lighter, so I fiddled with them, the design and size until I got to this:
Tessellated Fish repeat pattern painted
with watercolors in blue tones
After making the repeat pattern, I tried it on the VIDA scarves, and loved how they looked - actually was very surprised :)  Here is one:

Tessellated Fish
Cool, don't you think?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Challenge 267, The Present, and The Collection

Challenge 267

I was determined to do the challenge early this week :).  After a troublesome day at work, I decided tonight would be a very good night to work on it and try to relax :).  So... this week we had a DUO tangle - to use only 2 tangles in the tile: Poke Root and Drupe.  Drupe was new to me and I had not used Poke Root in a long time, so it was fun even though I'm clearly out of practice :)

The Present

A couple of years ago I started making a piece of art for my kids' birthdays.  Last Saturday I worked on my my oldest's favorite cat - he named her when she was just a few days old, and I think he still loves her the best :)

Rosella's Portrait

The Collection

Last month I was approached to design for VIDA - I think that any artist can join, I just had not heard about VIDA so it was a surprise to me.  I loved the website, the products, and the idea of the company.  So, I decided to give it a try.  I started out with a black and white art collection (here), and will see how it works.

I ordered a scarf with my tangled mountains (here), just to see the quality of the product and printing; I hope I will love it.

I'm loving this one, too with my dancing trees :)... but I will stay with the tangled mountains - at least for now :)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Challenge #266

Life (work) keeps getting in the way and I see now I have missed 2 of the weekly challenges since my last post :(.

This week's challenge was fun - you can see it here.  I believe I have tried this tangle before, but... still lots of fun and I'm sure it came out differently than the last one.  I always mess it up on the first try... put too many lines on the diagonal :)

This was a very quick posting... hopefully there will be more time next week to share more :).  Enjoy your week!!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Challenge 263 and The Sunny Window

Challenge #263

It's been quite a while since I have posted and participated in the challenge.  Life gets so busy at times that when you need it the most you don't even get a chance to relax and create.

This week's challenge (here) was quite fun... even though I just saw it today, I just had to do it :).  I'm not thrilled with it, but since it is the first I have created in weeks, it will have to do.  I still had fun, so that's what's important.

The Sunny Window

In our bedroom we have a wall of windows; I absolutely love them as I love light.  The only problem is that the semi-circular window lets in a lot of light as it does not have a shade. 

So, I have been thinking about what I could do to block some of the light, but not too much.  Here is my solution - window art made with used tea bags, and lightly painted with Inktense.  We will see if it will last :)  If not, then at least I loved using recycled materials.

2 layers of tea bags (one horizontal, another vertical) on top of freezer paper.  I used about 1/2 of Mod Podge mixed with 1/2 of water.

While the tea bags were drying, I drew the design on a large piece of paper.
Added the design to the tea bags.
Went over the design with 3-D paint.
And this is what it looks like at this point when you turn it towards the light.
Then I painted the different shapes in yellow, green, and blue tones of Inktense.
This is what it looks like against the dark floor...
... and here held up against the light.

Here is the window now with the sun hitting it.  The colors sort of disappear in the sun, but at night they are quite visible.  I will leave them as is for now; can always add more color later if I want :)

Of course, now I want to try small pieces, and experiment with other materials sandwiched between the teabags.  Lots of ideas, just need to find the time :)