We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
"Little Gidding"
T S Eliot

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Spread your wings .....

It is the second bi-monthly Craft Club art journalling challenge, and this time the prompt is "showcase a stamp you like, and one you don't".

The Club provided a heap of weird and wonderful stamps that could possibly qualify as an unloved one - depending on your point of view.

I chose a  stamp depicting a heap of cats with wings.  Now I like things with wings - but cats?  No, I didn't like it at all, though I'm sure some of you out there will love it!

Keeping with the wing theme, I chose one of my favourite moth stamps.   Entries have to be A4 sized, so I brayered paint over a sheet of watercolour paper, and used white paint to stamp "yes" and "no" over each half.

To ensure there was no confusion (!) I  put a black cross over the stamp I didn't like.  I also used a favourite border stamp too.

Still on the wing theme, I visited the National Gallery this week to see the Veronese exhibition, which has 50 works brought together from all over the world.  Fabulous exhibition - here are a couple of my favourites (I bought the postcards!).

Lots of winged angels and cherubs in this one -

The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine, about 1565-70

Veronese did a lot of commissions, and  this is one of his portraits -

Livia da Porto Thiene and her daughter Deidamia, 1552

If you love Italian Renaissance I really recommend this fabulous exhibition, which ends on 15 June.

Finally, with the National Gallery being on Trafalgar Square, I couldn't resist taking a photo of another winged thing (no, not the pigeons!).

The giant cockerel on the 4th plinth - in a spectacular shade of blue.  Need I say more!

It was a really dull and drizzly day, so the light was very bad.  This was the best angle to take, but the scaffolding on the Canadian Embassy doesn't provide the best background!

That's enough wings for today!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

And the score is ...... passion 1, music 1

It is the Craft Barn's 10th Quotes & Lyrics challenge, and the words are PASSION and MUSIC.

I  found a quote that includes both words - by Friedrich Nietzsche - which says it all (in few words)!

In music the passions enjoy themselves

A bit of an abstract entry this time.  Cut some heart shapes from sheet music, and stuck them on a 10 x 8 sheet of thick card, then randomly brayered acrylic paint, using some iridescent paint.  Flicked a little white paint, and used a squiggly heart stamp, together with a large musical note stamp.

The rest is done with my trusty pens.

I nearly missed the "O" in passion, but managed to squeeze it in!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Eebyâk discovered!

Once upon a time .....
No - too predictable!
It was a dark and stormy night .....
No - too Snoopy!

I went for a walk the other day when I chanced upon a strange object -

OK - that is not going to fool you!

I do like hidden surprises though, and using an old tin is a good foil as an opportunity to let fantasy take over. This is a mint tin from M&S (the same size as an Altoid tin). On the outside I gave it a good coat of gesso, then crackle glaze between two acrylic paint layers, followed by a bid of sanding and black ink.  A chipboard skull was given a coat of shiny copper paint, and a pointy finger stamped onto shrink plastic.

Shall we go inside?

Book pages as a backdrop, some stamped shrink plastic pieces, a piece of abalone shell, a Swarovski crystal, skull, penguin ..... and other random items. Decided to drop some Pebeo fantasy paint into the little bottle - it didn't react as it normally does, and took 3 days to dry - so I won't be doing that again!

I had so much fun doing this, that I'm searching out other tins now!

Do you know Eebyâk?

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Curious Challenge Consequence!

The Ashtead Craft Club issues a annual challenge each January, and this year it is an art journalling one.

So, never having done any art journalling before, I'm now taking part in two challenges! The other one is the Craft Barn challenge based on Quotes and Lyrics; as I've collected quotes forever, it really appealed to me. And then along comes the Club Challenge ......

I'm coming to realise the point of art journalling - which is experimentation; exploring techniques and ideas  - and it doesn't matter how it turns out!

The Club Challenge is based on Wreck this Journal, and called Dec this Journal.  A list of subjects/topics has been provided, and there are additional challenge pages every couple of months.  At the end of the year a minimum of 10 pages have to be completed (out of a possible 24).  I've already done some, and I have already shown one in a previous post - The Blue Girl (see here) - where the challenge is "choose a colour, make a collage".

The first bi-monthly challenge was "take a book page and highlight favourite words", and entries were due in at the last workshop.

I turned (again) to one of my favourite books - Through the Looking Glass.  I've got a copy that I found in a charity shop, which I don't mind tearing up! I've also got some Alice stamps - perfect!  I love alliteration, hence my choice of words; but I wasn't sure how it would turn out - and that is the beauty of art journalling - surprising myself!

The background is created by random diluted acrylic paint. The highlighted words read - a cautiously curious consequence of the prettiest sheep ..... and have been cut from the page - up to you to figure out which word goes where on the original page!

The prettiest sheep is hand cut from card, and I think she deserves her beauty contest crown!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Each of us is a unique strand in the intricate web of life and here to make a contribution

That is a quote by Deepak Chopra, and here is my contribution to the Craft Barn's 9th Q&L challenge!

The words this time are FAME and UNIQUE.  Why not visit the CB blog (here) to check out the other entries.

The first thing that came to mind was the song from Fame (I'm sure I wasn't alone in that!).  I then found the quote from Deepak Chopra, and considered using that, until I found a fabulous poem - The Crayon Box - with no attributed author.  It is rather a long one, so I've just included the last four lines on my page, but here is the poem in its entirety.

While walking in a toy store 
The day before today,
I overheard a Crayon Box
With many things to say.
I don't like red! said Yellow.
And Green said, Nor do I!
And no one here likes Orange,
But no one knows quite why.
We are a box of crayons
that really doesn't get along,
Said Blue to all the others.
Something here is wrong!
Well, I bought that box of crayons
And took it home with me
And laid out all the crayons
So the crayons could all see
They watched me as I colored
With Red and Blue and Green
And Black and White and Orange
And every color in between
They watched as Green became the grass
And Blue became the sky.
The Yellow sun was shining bright
On White clouds drifting by.
Colors changing as they touched,
Becoming something new.
They watched me as I colored.
They watched till I was through.
And when I'd finally finished,
I began to walk away.
And as I did the Crayon box
Had something more to say...
I do like Red! said the Yellow
And Green said, So do I!
And Blue you are terrific!
So high up in the sky.
We are a Box of Crayons
Each of us unique,
But when we get together
The picture is complete.

The background is made up of some torn book pages and a little paste through a stencil.  I then brayered some acrylic paint.  I included the dimension of paste as I wanted to create that halo effect when brayering paint over it, to leave some white areas.

The little people are holding balloons that contain the last four lines of the poem.  The balloons are cut from a waste piece of card that had been spritzed with mica mixtures.

PS:  I've just discovered this poem was written by Shane DeRolf.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Take 4 boxes .....

Another get together for the Fearless Four (well, we will have a go at anything creative!) found us each with a plain MDF box.

Here it is in all it's naked glory!

Two of us decided to be a little bit steampunk, and two a little bit floral!

In my excitement (!) I totally forgot to take stage photos of my efforts - so all I have is pictures of my finished box.  But regular readers of my blog will know the stages I go through! (For a good example see this previous post here .)

The main decoration on top of the box, consists of die-cut cogs (from Grungeboard) and old bits found in tool boxes - cable ties, a fuse, and other nameless items!

Decided not to go down the rusty brown/red route, but stuck with greys and blues (yes, I know!) with a little metallic pearl paint.

Along the bottom edge I used the waste from the die-cut cogs - the small round centres - to give the impression of rivets.

All four sides were covered in plasterboard tape, which gives an interesting texture (a bit industrial), with more cogs, and on this side a couple of wooden hearts.

Because of the dimension involved, I do like the resulting halo effect after applying the various paint layers.

Time to see the other creations:

Monica did a blue (yes!) and purple design, with die-cuts and some lovely roses.

I think I can see a little bit of blue (yes!) in Lin's creation, with purple too. Love the large bead as a lid-lifter!

Linda's musical steampunk look is unfinished here, but the finished creation can be found on Pinterest here (a little blue I think - yes!).

Linda is also a convert to creepy crawlies - on the side of the box is ..... see here .

It was a fabulous day, we are now pondering on our next adventure - maybe a shadow box frame .....

By the way, this is my 100th post - do I get a prize for that (or maybe a telegram ??!?!).

Happy Bank Holiday weekend!