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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Art Journaling, mostly

Since the big Gelli Print day I've been art journaling.

 I did another face, and boy is this one better. I still need to work on painting eyes, but between watching YouTube videos and following the PDF file that came with one class I bought, I think I did a pretty good job. I did not paint the butterflies. They were from sheets of butterflies I found online and printed out and cut up.

By the way, a lot of people have problems with prints from their dot matrix (non-laser) printer smudging. I can attest that the Epson ink does not smudge once it is dry even when you are using very wet media to paste it down.

I'm pretty sure I showed this page before but I wasn't sure so I photographed it again. But just as with the butterflies above there was some pasting going on here. All of the sentences were printed on my printer, cut out and glued down.




This page started out with being completely covered with paper I had painted on regular copy paper or deli paper or book pages or very old music pages from the Internet. And all of the brides and grooms were from similar ephemera, from sites that have free downloads.

I had a lot of trouble with this page because the papers were all different and some of them wrinkled badly, and others went down pretty well. But I like the finished page.
By the time I got to this page I'd learned a lot about gluing things down. The two big green areas are from a napkin that had the birds printed on it. And it went down with no wrinkles at all. There was just a tiny bit of tearing, but I think I've finally figured out how to do this and get it right.







This one is from the small journal. The two color schemes are similar, but there are also differences. I did work on them almost simultaneously, and that tends to result in similar color schemes for me.









And finally this is what my table looks like after I've finished a project and haven't started another. I need to clean up and I will. That filthy glass is not the glass I drink from. I'm careful to keep my own glass far away from the table, although I did almost set my coffee cup in wet paint yesterday. The filthy glass is my water for painting. I need to come up with something else, but haven't figured it out yet.

Take care all.



Saturday, May 24, 2014

Gelli Plate, etc.

First I need to tell the story of the printing plate from the last blog. I wrote to the company I bought it from. I only told them how unhappy I was and why, a very short email. I wasn't angry. I didn't ask for anything. I got an almost immediate reply from them telling me to send it back, where to send it back, and that they would give me credit for it (to use in their "store") when they received it. The company that sold it to me is Blitsy.com. I didn't mention their name the last time because this mess wasn't their fault, but their customer service is very good. The plate is called the Creative Pallet from Stampendous which is a brand name. I'm telling you the name because no one else should make the mistake of buying this item.

I ordered the one I should have ordered in the first place from Amazon the same day I wrote the last blog. It arrived this afternoon, and I've been playing.

This is what the Gelli Plate looks like. I spent the morning getting ready for it. I made three special stamps for it and peeled one side of a bunch of cardboard. When it arrived I used two of the stamps, one more I already had that was commercial, and a stencil.

These were the four best prints from the Creative Pallet.













And these were the 6 best prints from the Gelli Plate. I was afraid the two on the right wouldn't photograph as well as they should have, so I made this photo large. The purple one on the top is only one layer and so delicate it looks like purple lace. The one on the bottom was made with the cut paper mask that was the other half of what stuck to the Creative Pallet. Four of these were printed on card stock and two on Deli paper. I also printed over some of the prints I'd made the other night, but none of them resulted in anything that made the cut.

Do you see all the happy flowers in the two on the left. That was from the very childlike looking flower stamp. The lines in the background of the orange print was the peeled cardboard. These are all very common beginner's prints that just about everyone manages to make, but I am really pleased with my first real attempt at this kind of thing. After all, I am a beginner!

Take care all.







Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Small Haul and Learning

I've been watching a lot of YouTube, possibly too much YouTube, but it seems to fit my learning style these days. I've always learned from books, but that was mainly because there were no teachers available and also because visual learning was also not available in any way. But with YouTube I am discovering that I really learn very well from watching someone else do something. It helps to have some pdf files to go along with the videos, but usually those tend to be minimal, and that also is working.

But one of the things that happens on YouTube is people showing off their "Haul" from various stores, so this is what I bought from Hobby Lobby and Tuesday Morning last week. I didn't take photos of yesterday's Hobby Lobby and Dollar Tree shopping, but it also wasn't as photogenic.

I'll be showing off another layout and some learning experiences after these photos.

This was from Tuesday Morning. The bottle in the plastic bag is Collage Podge in its old labeling at less than half the price I would have paid in the new labeling. There are two packages of napkins, 4 packages of what I thought was fancy black and white tissue paper, but which wasn't, a stamp pad, package of adhesive dots, and a bottle of what I think is an extra glossy medium by Martha Stewart.


I went to Hobby Lobby with a list. I got the big pad that is the background for both photos. You can just see the spiral binding in the upper left corner. I had bought a craft mat, but it was way too small. I've noticed on YouTube that a lot of the video makers there buy two or three of them and tape them together, but a lot of them have moved to the pad of heavier than copy paper but not too heavy. I found a very happy medium at Hobby Lobby and bought it with a 40% off coupon.

I got transfer paper (in the wide package) and a new steel ruler (in the narrow package). Cutting with wooden rulers is dangerous and the only steel ruler I could find was 18 inches long and just too big for a lot of jobs. The two background stamps were on Clearance and I liked them and just got them.

The latest, but one, layout. Love the colors and love that I painted the flowers. I'm not sure it is finished but if I add something to it, I'll post the new photo and this one (again) so you can see the difference.

I learned to make the flowers when I was painting magazine pages. I learned I could trust myself to paint a simple flower. I love the way they came out.

Which brings me to my way of learning. It turns out that I tend to pick a lower priced way of doing something, like painting on magazine pages, or making stamps out of craft foam, or the printing plate I'm going to be talking about soon, and I just keep working on that particular method until I run it out before I go and do things the more expensive ways. Like a good printing plate or making stamps by cutting them out of rubber with real stamp cutting tools. I seem to want to know how to do whatever can actually be done the cheaper way. And frequently a lot can be done.

I've already done a lot with the stamp making, but I've got several addition techniques I want to try. I haven't done it yet so I have nothing to show. Just ideas floating around my head.


I had ordered a printing plate several weeks ago, but it didn't arrive until Friday. I bought from a place that does odd lots of craft supplies, so when I heard the second bad review of it on YouTube I knew I could not send it back. And, of course, since I got a deal, what I bought wasn't the same plate everyone on YouTube was using. Yesterday I tried the plate I had bought. And yes, the one stencil I tried on it did not work. What did work was making marks with various texture tools. One of my home made stamps also worked but I didn't try several ideas I was sure would work with the stamps I've got, or the ones I intend to try to make. I had to make the photo large so you can see the mark making I did try.

I've got lots more ideas of what can be done with this printing plate. Last night I saw two things on the videos on printmaking with the other plate that I watched. About all the video makers did was use stencils, and all of the ones they used had large holes. The one stencil I tried did not have large holes. Who knows if it would have worked if I had tried one with large holes. Lots of things to try out.

These two photos are also about a learning process. I bought a new printer a few months ago and was curious if the copy function included making the copies bigger and smaller than the original. The last printer did copy, but it could not do what I wanted. For that I had to open Photoshop and manipulate the jpeg file there.

Well this one does. The original is the biggest of the three faces in this photo. I have not learned how to actually do what I wanted to do, but I was half way there when I found I had one copy that was about the size I needed. So I stopped when I was ahead.

The background is the blue one I did with one of my home made stamps several weeks ago and did not know what to do with. Next step trace her face on tracing paper and add hair and then use the transfer paper I bought last week (see above) and get her on the page so I can start painting.

And I've gone full circle from the "haul" to what I'm doing with some of the supplies.

Take care all.







Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Still in the Studio

I have been having so much fun painting and playing with my new toys. I've also been organizing all those new toys, but I've got more stuff coming in, so I'll talk organization in a later blog when I have more of it set up.


I am trying to learn a bunch of things at the same time. Or trying to relearn things I knew 50+ years ago. Too many things. Too fast. But I am enjoying the trying.


I've done several layouts in the small journal. I used paper cut into hearts in the first one. I found hand written "paper" written in French online for a free download and I used that for the hearts. I'm trying to learn how to do backgrounds that are light enough to actually do something on, how to hand letter, and how to begin to doodle all on this page. It came out pretty well, and I do like it.

This second one has more cut paper. The bird is colored with colored pencils. Not at all sure I care for that look. The eggs in the nest and the nest itself are papers I painted for collage papers. Love the nest and eggs. The words are stamps this time.

More hand lettering on the page below. Although the word THANKS is a computer font. I am taking an online class on lettering and the hand lettering on the lines was my take on the homework project. 

Not sure how I feel about the hand lettering. It is OK, but frankly my hand shakes. This project was done with a marker with a small, thin tip. I do need to try to do something similar with a thicker marker. But you can really see the shakes when I use it. More thicker marker below.
Another thing I'm trying to learn to do is faces. I'm pretty happy with this one, which is my first, ever attempt to color a face. The last couple I showed you were just regular pencil.

This is a colored pencil technique. Not sure why the girl's eyes look darker in the second photo. The actual color is close in the first one.

I am not really happy with colored pencil techniques. It takes a lot of patience to do colored pencil well, and I do not seem to have the patience for it. Anyway, I think I'd like the look of an acrylic painted face, with or without pencil or markers on top of it. I bought an online class for faces, but it turned out to be watercolor, which is one technique I'm staying away from for a while. I did find a bunch of YouTube videos about painting faces with acrylic, and I've picked one set from one teacher and I'm going to try her technique next.

In the meanwhile I've got background and painting issues that I'm giving some time to. The page next to the girl's is a great example. That is the second page I painted there. The first one was so bad I put a layer of gesso and two layers of paper on top of it until I could no longer see the original page. The page is so thick it is hard to turn the page in the journal.

I found a set of videos online about painting on magazine pages. I couldn't figure out why one would want to do that until I actually tried it last night.

Here are the first three.

Basically it is totally freeing. I'm not doing a JOURNAL PAGE. I'm not doing anything except playing. If the results are totally horrible, I can just throw it all away, but the intention is to make collage paper while practicing with brushes and paint and stencils and large background stamps until you feel totally free.

The person who put the videos up is Alma Stoller, and her thing is that you can use really cheap materials to learn with. She uses cardboard too and found pages to make journals with. I'm not sure how useful those journal pages turned out to be since they were just magazine and book pages. But the painting on the magazine stuff is really useful.

I'm figuring out several things. I'm getting a feel for which colors can be painted into one another wet in wet because that also is part of her system. I getting a feeling for what can be put on top of what you painted under. And which colors will cover the page, and which will not and how to deal with that.

I love how the flowers turned out in the bottom photo, and the background is one of my favorite ones. It might be hard to cut that one up into little pieces, or it might be more fun that anything else I've done. The swirls on the green leaf page were added today. I really like that. The one on the right in the upper photo isn't finished. I put it aside to dry before I start with more layers.

I couldn't wait to get up and get into the studio today to play with my magazines. Can't wait to get back to it either.

Take care all.






Sunday, May 4, 2014

In The Studio

I've begun to talk about the Computer Room as the Studio. I've bought a table and some storage stuff to hold the constantly increasing amount of art supplies, some of which I've made myself.

I've been asked if I could show the stamps I've been making out of children's fun foam, and here are some photos both of the stamps and, in the case of the doodle one, of some paper that I stamped. I've used it in more things and if you come back you will see more of it.

The photo in the middle shows the detail. It is amazing what one can do with a toothpick or with a stylus. It is OK if they don't stamp clearly. Frankly most of the time clear stamping is not what is wanted in Art Journaling.

I've been watching a lot of YouTube. I bought a Roku box about 6 weeks ago thinking that I'd be watching a lot of Amazon Prime since I already had Prime just for the shipping. Turns out that I've gotten to borrow some books instead of buying them and there is Amazon Prime TV as well. I'm already paying for it, so why not watch it. But what I'm doing on the Roku box most of the time is watching YouTube tutorial videos for drawing and painting and Art Journaling. I've learned a lot just by watching what other people are doing since the people doing the videos are rarely professional teachers.

One of the things I learned was how to make these stamps out of fun foam and glue. I made the three big ones to help me with putting layers onto the pages with paint. But the incised ones are the surprise. They are extremely useful.

You notice I am not cleaning them. Basically you can't so what you do is stamp them on scrap paper and use those papers for collage papers on another project. You just keep stamping until the paint is all gone.

And here is a project where I used the stamps. The houses were stamps that I made. You can see them in the last photo. The Balloons were scratch paper that I put the extra paint on from previous projects, and to some extent  just to play with the stamps to see what they would do.

This counts as my 3rd layout. This time in the bigger journal. I'm very pleased with it, and frankly with myself.

I've also been taking online classes. One of them is on drawing the face. Drawing, especially faces, is one of the things I've been avoiding for 50 years. I always hated what I did. The photo below is only the second face that I've done. She doesn't have hair because the part of the class that I've already done didn't include the hair. It does come in a later video.

I drew along with the teacher. And I'm very pleased with how it came out. It is actually better than the photo.

Another class is a lettering class. Don't have anything to show yet, but I have been doing the class homework and it is doing what the teacher, this time a professional one, intended. I'm loosening up. The words and letter in the layout above were from things I typed into the computer and printed out.

Take care all.