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

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

When Confucius met Pollock .....

The next Craft Barn Q&L challenge words are MIND and IGNORANCE.

Which led to my first Jackson Pollock moment!

I'm still in that whole universe thing, so when I found this quote by Confucius which featured both words, I immediately thought of a black hole!

Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon or star.

So, armed with a piece of black card, bottles of acrylic paint, and a stencil brush (they are great for flicking paint), I first cut a paper circle to act as a mask.

I then spent a happy time flicking lots of paint - Pollock on a small scale!  I would love to have a go with a very large canvas.

It was only when I was finished that I became aware I had flicked paint absolutely everywhere!  All over the desk, pen pots, tools, water bottles, lamp - and me (good thing I remembered to don my apron).  Maybe I can start a new interior design trend .....

The words were created in Photoshop.

That was fun!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Pan's Pastel adventure!

Next Wednesday evening at the Ashtead Craft Club monthly get together, I will be demo-ing the basics of Pan Pastels ..... which give a soft colour to any project.

Just using Pan Pastels to colour a background is quick and effective, especially if the card is slightly textured.

Then just add some stamped images.

Use Versamark ink to create a stamped background.

Here one stamp has been used for the background and then stamped again in black.

The Versamark ink grabs the Pan Pastels and gives a stronger colour.

It is very easy to erase Pan Pastels from a stamped image, to get a lighter, near white, shade; seen here on the butterfly, and to highlight the flower stems.

Finally, this is my take on the Northern Lights effect, using Pan Pastels.

There are special Pan Pastels  application sponges, but they are expensive.  I've found that make-up sponges work just as well, though they don't last as long.

I usually buff my finished pieces with some kitchen roll.  You can also seal your work with either a pastel sealing spray, or cheap hairspray.  I usually don't bother with sealing cards, but would seal a piece of artwork.

Explore your soft side .....

Monday, 21 July 2014

Yummy Yupo!

As promised in my previous post, more information and examples of alcohol inks on Yupo paper.

I was inspired by June Rollins (see here), but it took me ages to find 91% rubbing alcohol. Finally, I found some on Ebay.

Got together with a friend to have a go at this technique.  First couple of tries were to find out how the alcohol inks flowed with the rubbing alcohol, and also trying out various implements to push the ink around - coffee stirrers, straws, cotton buds, etc.

We did try this technique on glossy card, but it didn't work at all as the ink dried too fast. With Yupo paper the ink flows long enough to get creative, though you still have to work pretty fast!  When the ink has dried, it can be reactivated with more ink or rubbing alcohol.

These pieces are small, about 5" x 4", so decided to turn them into cards.

This was really fun - my kind of thing, as the end result is unpredictable!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Let your IMAGINATION fly

It is the 14th Craft Barn Quotes & Lyrics Challenge, and the words this time are IMAGINATION and LOGIC.

I have long been fascinated by those awesome photos taken by the Hubble Telescope, so when I found this quote by Carl Sagan .....

Imagination will often take us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.

Also, by happy co-incidence, I spent some time yesterday with a good friend playing with alcohol inks and Yupo paper (I've not yet taken photos of that session, so will feature my efforts in a different post).

So, this morning, I thought I would continue playing and try to create a faux Hubble photograph!

The good thing about Yupo paper is that it is completely non-absorbent, and the ink just sits there, waiting to be pushed around, and even when it is dry you can reactivate it with rubbing alchohol.

Here's a close up.  The trick is not to overwork it!

Nothing like a little star gazing!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Who said that .....?

Whilst taking part in the Craft Barn Quotes and Lyrics challenge, I am finding more quotes I like, so thought I would make a couple of quick cards using some newly discovered ones.

The first quote is by Oscar Wilde.

I printed the quotes onto card first, but as I use an inkjet printer I had to be careful not to smudge the ink with anything too wet!

So, I've brayered some ink lightly in the background, then used a favourite stamp - can't remember who this stamp is by.  Added dabs of glitter glue and punched some butterflies.

This quote wasn't attributed to anyone when I originally found it, but having done some research it is from a poem called Tears (1892), by American poet John Vance Cheney.

Another brayered ink background, and more favourite stamps.

The water droplets (Designs by Ryn) have been Glossy Accented.

The butterfly stamp was a freebie (I think!).

Here is the complete poem, which I rather like!

Not in the time of pleasure
Hope doth set her bow;
But in the sky of sorrow,
Over the vale of woe.
Through gloom and shadow look we
On beyond the years!
The soul would have no rainbow
Had the eyes no tears.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Happiness is PATH shaped!

The Craft Barn Q&L fortnightly challenge comes round too quickly!  This time the words are PATH and HORIZON.

Found quite a few quotes, but the one I chose gave me instant inspiration.

There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.

Brayered some acrylic paint onto card, stamped some butterflies in white paint, then punched out endless butterflies from leftover scraps, and collaged them onto the path.

Happy July!