Thursday, September 06, 2007

Doodle, doodles, everywhere!

Are you sick of seeing my doodles yet? Too bad! Because I'm having way too much fun with these! My close friends know that I love Halloween, hence the witch ATC! And along with that goes a love of the "Wizard of Oz" and now the "Wicked" series. These book pages are a great place to house some of the great quotes I've been collecting on scraps of paper for years. The black spread here started with the quote, then sort of evolved into an Oz spread. I hadn't intended it to have any color at all, but when I thought I was finished, I just had to add the red glitter to Dorothy's shoes! And I'm not a big fan of glitter, but how else do you get ruby slippers to sparkle?!
Oh - I should tell you about the pens I've been using so far...I'm in love with this gel pen made by Pentel, called EnerGel. It goes on so smoothly and is a dream to even just write with. But alas, it isn't waterproof so when I'm going to add color over top of it, I have to resort to the more expensive but waterproof, Staedtler or Micron pens. I do like the really fine lines I get with these pens though. The Pentel is a .5 mm pen, while the other two come in a variety of sizes and I like the .01 the best. Really, really tiny lines and doodles are possible with them!
Then of course, I had to do more bugs! I hope you can see these close up to see all the little doodling going on inside the bug shapes.

A fellow artist and new friend, Colleen McGinty, works for Faber-Castell and she kindly sent me a couple sets of their markers to try for my doodling, so they will be used for my next doodles. I'll let you know how they work! Right after I get done soldering some new pins I have in progress...are you starting to see why I called this blog "Art Frenzy"? LOL!

Doodle ATC's

Here are some of the ATC's I've been doing in spare moments. I do these in the car at lunchtime while listening to books on my MP3 player. I even keep a few blank ATC sized cards next to the phone at work for those times when I'm on perpetual hold! Now my boss won't have to wade through my doodles on the sides of all the invoices we pay! The eyes may look a bit odd and truly are not my normal thing to draw, but I saw another artist drawing eyes and thought what a good way to build your skill at drawing parts of the body...and DOODLING at the same time! The colored ATC's here were done with more of the ColorBox Cat's Eye pigment ink pads. I did find though that if I put the colored ink on last, it sort of greys out the nice black gel pens I'm using. And if you put it on the card first, you have to give it a few days to dry really, really well, or the gel pens don't want to write over it.

More doodling

A couple more pages from my "doodle book". The leaves page is actually the first one I tried. I gessoed the page first. I like that you can see a ghost of the original type in the background. I am not great at freehand drawing, so on scrap paper, I sketched a couple leaf shapes, then cut them out and used them as templates to draw around. Then I sectioned off the inside of each leaf and started filling in the sections with doodles. Lines, dots, circles, stars, wavy lines, spirals, you name it! After the leaves were all doodled to death, I used ColorBox Cat's Eye pigment ink pads to smear on color, using a separate makeup sponge to move and blend the color to my satisfaction. The black page is just black gesso (I'm now in LOVE with black gesso! so rich and dark!) with white gel pens for the smaller lines and the bigger stuff is done with one of the pen-type correction pens for great coverage. I have to give credit here for the little "bug" shapes. A totally awesome artist - Ingrid Djikers - is where I saw these little bug shapes the first time. I've since seen them in a number of artists work, so evidently I wasn't the only one who fell in love with them! Ingrid does some amazing things with her bugs using collage, but I saw them as perfect little shapes for guessed it!....DOODLING!


Oh boy - don't read this if you don't want to become addicted to doodling like I have! If you love details this will be right up your alley! One of my friends, Lou McCulloch shared her book "The Humument" with our club some time ago. I fell in love with this book and all the lovely "doodling" that the author, Tom Phillips did over top of the pages of an old Victorian novel ("The Human Element"). I was inspired to try my own hand at "found text" and "found poetry" - obliterating most of what was on the pages originally and only leaving some (or sometimes none) of the original text while adding my own art on top and around it. I enjoyed playing with trying to make a free-form poem out of the original text, but for me, the big draw to this genre of art, is the doodling. I feel that I am primarily a left brained, organized, toe-the-line sort of person. I work with numbers and facts all day in my job and that organizational bent of mine follows me into my personal life as well. When I'm doing any sort of art, I feel like the right brained part of me kicks in goes to war with my left brained, tightly organized self, trying to burst free of the "rules" I impose on myself. This doodle art, as I've come to call it, allows both parts of me to meld nicely and feel right at home! And the tiny little patterns I draw on the pages is very relaxing and stress-free and sort of....well....mindless! I'm definitely addicted to this and have even taken to carrying ATC sized cardstock in my purse to "doodle" on. I'll post some of those here too for you to see. Hope you're inspired to give this a try too!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Autumn Fire

One of my silk scarves - I just love doing this silk dyeing. It is so rewarding to apply the dyes and watch them blend and move on their own, then I can add my own touches with alcohol, chemical water or salt to move the dyes even more. There is just something so scrumptious about the colors and the sheen of the silk, once the dye has been steam set and rinsed and dried is without compare! I took a class at the university where I work from a great teacher - Joann Giordano and I'm eternally grateful to her kind tutelage for getting me started working with this medium.

Room Boxes

As much as we all hate to think about it, Christmas is less than 4 months away. And for those of you who like to make gifts, I thought I'd share one that I've done in the past and which has been fairly well received by friends and family. It looks like a gift box from the outside. It is covered in some beautiful fabric of your choosing. And when you lift off the lid, two of the box sides drop down to lay flat on the table. Inside the remaining two standing sides of the box I put a small Christmas tree - decorated however you like with gifts underneath and any other bits and pieces you want to add. The two sides that drop down flat can each hold a small vignette of furnishings - cupboards, chairs, rugs, whatever suits your fancy. I usually try to coordinate some of the details of each room box to the person it will be given to: a quilting or fabric them for a friend who loves to sew, a music room for a friend with a penchant for the tunes, etc. I've created some instructions - by trial and error for these boxes and will post them here in a day or two, so check back if you're interested in making one of these fun gifts!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Digital Collage

I know people who do digital collage almost exclusively, but I must admit I've always thought that if I did it, I'd somehow be "cheating". Well, I finally gave it a try and it was fun! And what I love about it is that now that I've done the work, I have a digital file of this image that I can use repeatedly. I can sell cards with this image, or just make some fun art for my own use or for gifts. I think it took me a bit longer than doing actual collage, but then the return on that investment of time is larger and longer lasting, so it is definitely worth it. I did this in Photoshop and as I'm still learning all the different bells and whistles of that program, I'll likely get faster as I use it more. This little girl only had a left arm showing and I took a copy of that arm and flipped it to use as a right arm. And I did use some ink and stamps to sort of "finish" it - see the dots, spirals and numbers? I just had to do some stamping on it! And I added a bit of that gold foil here and there after layering up the image with the brown and blue cardstock panels. I don't think this will ever replace my love of working with diffferent mediums and materials, but it was FUN and I'll for sure try it again sometime!! If you haven't tried digital collage yet - go ahead - give it a go!