Tag Archives: acrylic paint

The one with my first art journal workshop

30 Mar

Good morning and happy Sunday.

I think I see a bit of blue sky out there today. Which is really nice since it poured yesterday. Maybe it was Mother Nature’s way of honoring my first art journal workshop. Personally, I would have preferred sunshine.

First of all I have to say thank you to Kelly and the Turnip Green Creative Reuse for hosting my workshop series. Kelly is warm and welcoming and so generous to this new to the art scene artist. She’s really flexible and understanding that building an audience for these workshops takes time and is really a process all it’s own. I am really grateful to them for allowing me the space to grow as I learn the best way to share my art journaling with folks. They are fantastic people and I love being part of the community.

The lovely and talented Shelly was on hand at the TGCR yesterday to help me set up.  She volunteers at the TGCR and is a fantastic artist (and I’m kicking myself right now for not taking pictures of her work which is part of the current show there). If you’re in the Nashville area, go and check it out. She has several beautiful painted tile pieces that you will love! Best of all, she joined us for the workshop!

We started off by binding our journals. We used leftover posters I had from work and I showed them how to do a simple saddle stitch to bind the books. Workshop9They measure 8 1/2 by 11 when completed. After we applied a layer of gesso, we set the journals aside to work on our painted magazine pages. I’ve written about this before (here) but the idea is to get paint (color) down on the pages. We used Real Simple magazine pages. You can apply acrylic paint straight to their pages (no gesso required!). The paint doesn’t slide off like it would if they were glossy pages.

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WkShp1They really enjoyed this step. I hear things like “this is so freeing” and “this is so much fun”. Oh and we discovered the best paint color ever – Bronze Yellow. It’s a Basic Liquitex color and we LOVE it. It blends well with everything!

While our magazine pages dried, we added the second layer of color to our journal covers. Using a few colors and a (gift card) pallet knife, we painted the backgrounds. We completed the covers by cutting out the focal elements and adding them to the covers. We used Tacky Glue.

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Wkshp4The best part about creating in community? The conversations.  Playing with paint and paper while in a group seems to naturally encourage people to open up and share their stories. Its a great way to bond and get to know someone. We had a lot of laughs, shared some of our stories and were inspired by each others work. It was a fantastic day!

Next month, we will continue in these journals with a gratitude layout. Join us at 1pm on April 26th. I’ll have journals ready for you to create in! See you then.

Cheers,
Michelle

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The one where I test out my teaching skills

2 Mar

Happy Sunday,

You my recall  that I hope to be teaching mixed media workshop classes at the Turnip Green Creative Reuse. I haven’t received official word yet, but a little birdie told me that it looks like I will be added to the schedule. YAY!!! In the meantime, I decided that I should practice teaching these workshops. After all, working in my art room by myself is very different than standing in front of a group of people and leading them through the various stages of a project.

So, I called upon a few friends who said they would be happy to be my “guinea pigs.” My overall plan is to teach folks to make their own art journal using recycled posters. Each time we meet, we will work on a new layout in the journal until it’s complete.

Here’s my art room all ready for the class:

Workshop1I did a simple saddle stitch binding on this journal. Well, I say simple. I was able to bind it on my own, but I flubbed a bit when I was showing the group how to do it. Needless to say, this is one area I will need practice!

Workshop9I decorated the cover to have a sample to share with the group. I used magazine pages and acrylic paints to create the focal elements.

Workshop2The group working on their journal covers.

Workshop4The cover I created working with the group.

Workshop7The group and their finished covers. Thanks, Jen, Marie & Breanna for playing student for the afternoon.

Workshop6I had the chance to teach a second class with another friend and here is the page I created (I’m not sure why I didn’t think to take a pic with her – Sorry Tina).

Workshop8I learned  a lot with these test workshops. I’m not used to starting and finishing a layout all in one sitting. Going through the process of working on a page, liking it, doing something and then hating it until I figure out how to “fix” it all a short period of time is a new experience. A bit uncomfortable to tell the truth. But I figured out how to overcome that. I’ll keep working on it for now. And I’ll be sure to announce my class(es) as soon as I get on the schedule.

Till next time,
Cheers,
Michelle

The one with painted magazine pages

16 Feb

Happy Sunday.

It’s been a productive week. I’ve been working on a few projects and checked some of my February goals off my list (yay!). Here is my visual reminder to ACT; took this yesterday while I was working on a few of those projects:

photoMy friend, Jennifer, lent me these stamps (by Close to My Heart) and they are perfect for mixed media.

I recently found the artist, Alma Stoller, and her work with magaizne pages. In fact, I’ve started using her idea of paint anything for 10 minutes as a creative warm up. Basically, you tear out a magazine page and start painting. I use a mix of Liquitex Basic acrylic paints and fluid acrylics (Folk Art and Americana which are inexpensive and work pretty well for this). So, here are some of my creations

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paint3

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paint7

paint8It’s a heck of a lot of fun! I try not to over think it and just get the paint down on the pages. I made a bunch of cards with these pages, but unfortunately, forgot to take pictures of them. I have this one, so you can get an idea of what they looked like

photoThis is definitely a practice I am going to continue. These pages can be used in art journaling, mixed media pieces, and of course cards. So, give it a try and let me know what you think!

Till next week,
Cheers,
Michelle

The one with works in progress

26 Jan

Happy Sunday,

I hope you all have had a fantastic week. Today, I’m going to start off by sharing my creative reminder to ACT (my one word for the year). It’s pretty simple, but taking the time to make this banner reminded me that I have a plan. If I want to  achieve my goals, I have to make time every day to work on those goals.

aI spent most of my time this week finishing up new items to take to Atmalogy. I took my new items over last Tuesday and

1 spruced up my space…..

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(Not sure why this photo came out so blurry, but you get the idea). Here’s a close up of some of my new creations:

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Cityscape granola box mixed media art piece – acrylic and drawing ink

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hand crafted greeting card – acrylic and water color

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Hand crafted greeting card – acrylic paint and drawing ink

Here are a few of the pieces I’m still working on:

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my version of She Art – acrylic and drawing ink

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Collage art – magazine page and acrylic paints

Looking back, it was a pretty good week of creativity and action. I’ve checked off most of my goals for January and I need to start planning for February. I also need to revisit my overall plan for the year to make sure I’m still on track. I’ve also been working on something just for myself (well, actually it’s the circle journal I share with my mom – I’ll share pics from that once I mail it out and I know she got it). Time to head back to the art room. My head is filled with new things to try and ideas on how to finish up these two pieces.

Until next week,
Cheers,
Michelle

The one where I go back to my art journal

19 Jan

Happy Sunday!

I am continuing with my One Little Word, ACT this week by going back to my art journal. But first, here is my creative reminder to ACT:

ActI haven’t created in my journal since I went to the Estuary late last year so it was fun going back where this all started for me. I chose random papers to start and then covered the entire layout with gesso.

journal 1Next layer is some various shades of blue acrylic paints. J2I didn’t really  have a plan for this layout. I have been admiring Roben-Marie Smith’s work for a while so I think in the back of my head I had the idea to create something inspired by her.

J3I created this element using book pages and an old map.

J4The Nashville element was a leftover experiment from another art piece. I used Liquitex acrylic ink around the circles on the left side.

J5I added the little element at the bottom left using more book pages and washi tape. The border is Tim Holtz’ Distress Paint. I picked that one up a while back and hadn’t used it yet. I am happy to report that I LOVE it! The distress paint comes in a little tube with it’s own paint dabber. Super easy to use.

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J9I don’t think this layout is finished and I’m not sure where it will go from here. However, I’m really pleased with the it so far. Even more pleased that I took some time to create something for myself. I’ve been busy this week working on new items to take to  Atmalogy, so it was fun to work on something for myself. And I think that’s what I’m taking away from this week. I am working hard (ACT) to complete the steps necessary to make the move to being a full time artist. But all work and no play will quickly take the joy of being a full time artist away. So, moving forward, I will do my best to include some art play each week.

Till next time,
Cheers,
Michelle

The one that disappeared

24 Nov

Well, this has never happened to me before. I had half this post typed up, saved it and now it’s gone. I was working in Chrome, because it’s my preferred browser, but I forget it has a few quirks. One being the weird way it doesn’t scroll feature works when I’m on WordPress. And  every time I start a post, I start in Chrome, cause, well, it’s my favorite. Anyhow, I saved, closed out and re-opened it in Safari so I could scroll and darn it, the post is gone. The pictures I uploaded are still in the library, but the post is gone…….Maybe Chrome is mad at me for cheating on it.

Ok, take two (right after I save this one). So, I’ve been working on the next steps in my creative life but unfortunately, none of that includes finished pieces to share with you. I hope to be share some of my news soon but for now, I will share a few things I’m working on.

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I made these tags to go with my those art pieces I finished recently (my last post here). I thought they were kinda cute. The background is watercolor, the heart is acrylic and  (it’s a hand cut stencil I made).

new canvasI started 5 new granola bar box canvases. I’ve got the backgrounds complete on most of them and the focal points are beginning to take shape.

stampsI wish I could remember whose blog I was on when I saw this idea so I could give proper credit, but her name alludes me. Anyhow, I had hubs bring me some plastic washers home from the hard ware store and glued them to cardboard. Super easy and they work really well. I’m using them in a few projects already.

new projectAnd finally, we use a lot of posters to advertise events in our school. As a school, we do a great job of recycling, but I have started up-cycling and using a lot of them in my art. This is the start of a new set of greeting cards. I have a cool idea; I hope it comes to life the way I picture it in my head.

Hopefully, I’ll have some good news to report next week.

Till then, take care.
Cheers,
Michelle

The one with the canvas that took months to complete

19 Oct

Happy Saturday!

Last month, I shared a few photos of a canvas piece I’ve been working on for a friend. Today, I am happy to report that I have finished it! I will warn you; this is a long post as I’ve been taking photos over the last few months (I think I started this back in April?). So, grab a blanket and a cup of coffee on this gloomy fall day, and take a look. And if you are so inclined, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments at the end.

Oh and by the way, everything used for this piece, including the canvas, is recycled (well, except the paint and adhesive). Yes, this fantastic 3′ x 3′ canvas was given to me by a good friend (her company prints photos on stretched canvas and when they are done with them, she gives them to me!)

So heres where we started. One large 3′ x 3′ canvas. First layer was of course, gesso (not pictured).

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I knew my color pallet was going to be purple (my friends favorite color) and yellow (to match her office) so that part was easy. A lot of times my second layer of miscellaneous paper helps me determine the colors I’ll use. Since that wouldn’t be the case here, I went with papers that would complement my pallet.

2I used Regular and Soft gel medium to adhere the papers (I used both cause I ran out of the regular part way through). I used the old gift card to smooth down the bubbles.

3 I used a combination of book pages and wall paper samples.

4Using one of my favorite stencils, I added some texture down the left side of the canvas with Golden Course Modeling Paste. I love using the paste as it gives the piece dimension and interest (and it’s so touchable!)

5Here I’m starting to add acrylic layers. I used all types of “tools”. For example, a large plastic bowl as a circle stencil.

6I began adding more color using a (new) kitchen sponge. It adds great texture.
Ok, I have to be honest here. I wasn’t too happy with the the way the background was turning out. Actually I was getting frustrated. This process usually comes together nicely and I’m always pleasantly surprised at how it all comes together. Especially since it’s so random. That’s part of the fun! But, this wasn’t turning out how I pictured it in my mind and I started to panic. After all, this is going to hang in my friends office (where we both work) and everyone will see it. I know, artists; we’re kind of a mess. So, I left it alone for a bit. I imagine she thought she was never going to see it completed. And everyday, I walked by it and hated it even more. Until I realized the purple wasn’t right and that was throwing it off for me. So, I bought a new tube of purple (more blue than red this time), started over (and by that I mean new layers on top of the hated layers) and LOVED it!

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Look at all that textury goodness!

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This time, as I added layers of paint, I pulled some off with cling wrap. Now, I am loving the background.

13Next, it was time to concentrate on the focal element. I knew I was going to use my signature flowers and my friend had given me her favorite proverb. So, I covered about a dozen pages of thick magazine pages with gesso, allowed them to dry, and drew the petals using Winsor & Newton black drawing ink.

14After a few attempts to choose the right shade of yellow, I finally settled on this. Too bad the purples were all off.

16As you can see here. I thought I had the petals completed but when I put them on the canvas, I realized the purples were too red compared to what I had going on in the background (a more bluish purple). So, I made new sets of petals……

17And finally landed here. Or so I thought. More on that in a minute. I was really pleased with the center parts of the flowers (the anther). I used painted granola bar boxes and a circle punch to create them.

18Ok, so here we are. Flower petals (before I redid them) and the proverb (printed out on printer paper) which I went over with drawing ink so it was really crisp. I’m playing with the placement (and not too happy). It seemed too heavy with this design.

19Moving things around…..

20Finally deciding that yes, these are the correct placements….

22And that’s when I realized that I still didn’t like the insides of the flowers. The purple was too much. Yes, after I had adhered them to the canvas. Yep, I was back to hating it. Until I decided to soften it up by adding some yellow.

24Much better!

23I also decided that the printer paper was too dull. So I cut each letter out with an exacto knife and glued them down on gesso covered book pages. Again, much better! That took an entire afternoon.

29And now we have this……

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26I think it was a happy accident that the placement of the proverb makes an upside down abstract flower (do you see it?)

So, from start to finish, this took about 5 or 6 months. And it was quite a journey. It reinforced my love for paining and mixed media. Even though I had moments when I hated this piece, I think in the back of my mind, I knew it would all come together. That’s the beauty of it; you get to keep trying till you get it right. Kind of like life. I’m back to my much smaller canvases this week, but I am ready to challenge myself again on a large canvas when the inspiration strikes.

Oh, and my friend loves it. We’ve joked for a while now that I would know if she liked it based on where she hangs it in her office. You know, if she hangs it behind her, not so much, but if she hangs it where she can see it, then clearly she likes it. Yeah, she has it on the wall right in front of her desk so she sees it all day. Now, if she could just get me to quit parading people in her office to take a look at it. First I was afraid for people to see it and now I want everyone to see it. I say it again, artists. We’re something else!

Till next week,
Cheers,
Michelle