Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sketchbook Pages: Pastel Dots

Since I've felt especially inspired lately, I've found myself working in many different sketchbook / art books at the same time. That includes my altered Amber book, a book I am determined to finish this year. That should be doable: there are only six spreads to complete... eight if you count the two that I want to glue together for stability (to prevent the pages from ripping further and because the book is already so full you can't close it). Two of the six remaining spreads are blank (the inside covers) and the other four have a layer of paint as a starting point.

Here is the progression of the last page I recently worked up. I started this page ages ago: with leftover paint from this piece and the gender reveal cards I made (almost a year ago). Earlier this month, I got back to this page and added the following collage plus washi tape:
I toned it all down with a thin layer of gesso:
I broke out paint for the next layer - adding lots of texture with stencils (light blue dots and triangles), stamps (pink and purple circles), my fingers (white and yellow dots) and brushes (dark blue dots and lines). I used patterned tissue paper for more texture. I wasn't sure what to do next, so I darkened the edges (using a black gelato stick) because I knew I at least wanted that done:
The page sat for a bit. Finally, I decided to experiment with the gelatos. I added a bit of colour here and there to sort of bring the separate elements together. I also went with the dependable ink splatter (in both black and white.. although the white is paint, not ink).
I'm not sure if this spread is done yet.. it doesn't exactly feel done. But nothing else is really speaking to me yet, so I've moved on to work on one of those last six pages in this book. Maybe I'll come back to it... we'll see if something strikes me.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Greens

Greens have really been speaking to me lately.
This last collaged piece is very inspiring to me at the moment. I love the splattered colours and circle pattern. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My New Espresso Pot

One thing I miss the most about working is my weekly - ok, fine, near-daily - coffee shop americano or latte. There's just something about that extra richness espresso lends that turns a cup into a ritual.
I first heard about Bialetti espresso pots on Smitten Kitchen. Her dilemma of the daily expense for good coffee stuck with me and when I saw a display of the pots at the mall a month or so ago, I dragged Pat over to take a look. I told him I wanted one for my birthday; the 6-shot size should do. Two days later: there's my pot! Sneaky Pat ordered it for me on Amazon and had it delivered. (Romantic or tired of making early weekend morning Starbucks runs? I'll let you decide.) Now I get to enjoy delicious coffee from the comfort of my own kitchen!
It couldn't be easier: fill the bottom with water, fill the strainer with espresso grinds and let it percolate over a low flame. This size of pot - 6 shots - is perfect for 2 americanos. If I'm making one mug, I only fill the strainer halfway with grinds.
Add a bit of cream and there's really nothing better first thing in the morning... or late morning... or early afternoon...

Speaking of early afternoon coffee... I need to try making an iced americano immediately!  

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sketchbook Pages: Week 28

This week has been very prolific when it comes to art, all thanks to the inspiring creative retreat I blogged about last week. Every single one of these really speaks to me. Usually I don't say much about each page in these posts, but these make me so happy that I want to talk about how each one came about..

7/9 Spring Garden
I started out the week with a simple collage, still working towards my goal of using up my vast array of paper. The colours came together perfectly though - every time I look at this page I get a little jump of happiness.

7/10 Leave Space
This page was directly inspired by the creative retreat. I don't remember which artist talked about finding that inner space and just being there... I needed that reminder.

7/12 Shadow and Light
Here's where I started to work in more layers. I couldn't resist. I also incorporated more mark making, which is something I love to do and revisited during the retreat. This page started with some journaling, then a bit of collage (mostly in white) and gesso... then I experimented with orange ink and finished it all off with a heavy bit of pencil scribbles.

7/13+14 Golden Blush
Oooooh this spread. *heart eye emoji* I started with some journaling and a collage (in olive and cream) and then finger-painted with more creams and a bit of red, orange and gold. I actually wasn't too impressed when the paint was still wet, so I took a palette knife and scribbled through it. LOVE! It turned out amazing! A bit of gold and black doodles and some splatter finished it nicely. The photos do not do this page justice!

7/15 Summer Rain
I took a similar approach to the previous page, but ended up in a completely different place. Collage, paint, doodled texture (I played around a bit more with different doodles this time) and splatter. Bonus: using up old paint I haven't touched in a really long time. These pages are making me so dang happy! I'm so glad I'm back in the zone in my craft room!

Materials used:
  • various papers (scrapbooking paper, magazine pages, handmade paper, recycled papers, ephemera)
  • stickers
  • paint (various brands)
  • India ink
  • pencils
  • black pen
  • Sharpie paint pen (white, gold)

Thursday, July 13, 2017