Monday, April 21, 2014

Artful Beginnings - Wrap Up

Yesterday was the final day of my 40 day creative project - Artful Beginnings. It was heavily inspired by the work I've done in the last several months through my online classes. Both teachers, Tamara Laporte and Andrea Gomoll, are an inspiration and I feel blessed to have found each one. I did a similar project last year with a focus on scrapbooking - it completely jump started my mojo and I had a really productive year on the memory keeping front. I'm happy with the idea of this project (that coincides with Lent) and will do it again next year.

I thought I'd take this opportunity to share my last project and some of the things I've learned in the last forty days. I'll start with the picture I shared in Saturday's post.

I really loved the doily in her hair - but didn't particularly like the loss of definition between the yellow portion of the page and her hair. So I added a line.

This is the final piece (with the line added to her hair) - I'm still not sure about it...but that's okay. The words are the first paragraph of the poem "Caged Bird" by Dr. Maya Angelou. It's my favorite.

So here's a quick round-up of my project.

11 Artful Girls
4 Two Page Spreads
9 Art Journal Projects
8 Art Mediums Used (Gesso, Ink, Gelatos, Big Brush Markers, Paint, Watercolor Crayons, Inktense Pencils, Modeling Paste)

I'd also like to share a few things I've learned.

  • Modeling paste does not adhere to gelatos. I peeled it completely off the dress of one of my art girls.

  • Take your time - originally I had planned on doing 40 girls which was totally nuts and impractical. Sticking to the rule of working on one project a day was a revelation for me.

  • I prefer a mix of Inktense Pencils, Watercolor Crayons, and Gelatos to create my skin tones. I'm still in the world of trial and error - but I prefer those products.

  • Use everything in your arsenal - I've used stamps for facial features and I've drawn my own and that's okay. I don't beat myself up about it.

  • Be careful with paint pens - they will burp (letting out too much paint) and alter your project.

  • I prefer working in an art journal. Separate watercolor pages don't really work as well for me.

  • Large binder clips are a must when using an art journal. I couldn't work without them.

  • Be easy on yourself - this is a process. Have fun.

So that's it for now - my wrap-up of the last forty days. I plan on extending my project through the end of the school year and then evaluating my progress. I think this project will be ongoing as long as it's fun and playful. I love where I'm at now in my artful journey. I look forward to my next project. It's a good feeling. Anyhoo...that's it for today. I hope everyone is having a great Monday filled with crafting and fun. Until then...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Two Weeks Gone...

I'm so sorry. I have fallen quite short of my goal of posting weekly about my face painting progress. I was going to call it portraiture but who the eff am I kidding. I've made some progress in the last two weeks. As time has went on, I have learned that making one face a day is not really for me. I need time to think, layer, and erase mistakes - specifically with gesso which takes some time to dry. I also need a lot of practice attempts to get the skin tone right. I've learned a lot and am pretty happy with my later pieces. I PLAN on doing a post about the things I've learned during this challenge later on this week - since it actually ends tomorrow. Nevertheless - I thought I'd publish a quick post of what I've been doing over the last two weeks. I even have some process pictures for the more curious. So without further ado...first up is my tree of life project from Lifebook 2014.

She took a lot of tries. I had a lot of stops, starts, and restarts. I think it's because I overthought it and let some of the elements of the assignment overwhelm me - like the swing. The swing was definitely my nemesis. I learned one major thing - I love scrubbing paint into paper. There's something cathartic and haphazard about it that meets my need for chaos with the utmost respect for order - does that even make sense?

On to the next girl...I've been working on her for more than a week.

I was definitely inspired by the work of Tamara Laporte. I loved the idea of wind in the hair.

I call this the crazy muppet stage. I hate this stage.

She's definitely starting to take shape. I love her hair and dress. My plan was to put a stanza of one of my favorite poems in the open yellow portion of the page spread.

Started to add some texture to the background with some stencils and paint.

Had to redo the middle after a disastrous attempt to use my own handwriting. I really ended up liking the marble effect created with distress paints. Also - notice I got rid of the bird. I've started to work on the poem stanza and painstakingly added every letter of the stanza in tiny letters. It was a good lesson though. I'm not reading to try hand lettering on my pages - I know I'll get there...just not yet.

So that's it for now. I hope everyone is having a lovely Saturday. I plan on doing a round up post on Monday and finishing up this girl in the next 24 hours. I'm hopeful. Hope you're spending the day doing something you love. Until then...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fear and Loathing in My Craft Space

Happy Sunday! I wanted to do a quick update on my progress on the painting/art journal/mixed-media front. It definitely has not been an easy week on the crafty front. I got one piece done that I'm fairly happy with.

I drew this girl from start to finish. I think that this is the thing that held me back the most. I did not want to mess up the eyes or make her look like a rabid Muppet. I find that it's much harder to finish a piece when I'm responsible for the facial features. It seems to be the most scary part of the process for me. It's something that I'll be working hard to push through in the next few months. I plan on practicing in a sketchbook so that I improve on my facial features, and more confidence. Speaking of scary, I tried to do two different assignments from Lifebook 2014 and this is my progress…

In all fairness, there were problems from start to finish. The clear gesso did not react well to my graphite pencil. I was totally mystified by making a 3-D swing. And I'm having the hardest time with proportion. It was definitely a "draining my will to live" kind of situation. I don't know if I'll be going back to these assignments anytime soon - but I hope that I'll be courageous enough to revisit them before the class ends in December.

Anyhoo… That's it for now. I hope everyone has had a really great weekend. I also hope that everyone has a really great week full of creativity, crafts, and fun. Until then…

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