Thursday, May 2, 2013

Learning Curve

These are images of my completed first two projects from Dina Wakley's Art Journal Freedom.  If you have her book, you'll notice my work here looks a lot like hers.  What better way to learn is there, than emulation?  Many painters learn their art by copying works of the Masters.  Anyhow, I'm learning a lot of new techniques and it's fun to try new things, new styles, different ways to work with media.

The first piece is on 12x12 inch canvas board.  One of the cool things I learned here is scraping acrylic paint on gessoed canvas, lifting paint off through a stencil, and placing that same paint elsewhere on the canvas using the stencil.  I also built a piece of watercolor paper with glued-on pieces of newsprint and old book pages, then cut that sheet up and stitched around the edges.  What this collage says is, "My challenges in life have shifted ~ from emotional survival to creative expression.  And my inner needs and desires have become rich and deep."
The second piece is in a watercolor journal, the same journal I started a while back with backgrounds.  New page, new techniques.  I spritzed ink through a stencil on the background and let that dry.  Meanwhile, on small pieces of the spray-dyed background sheets I did about 10 days ago, I made tiny collages.  Stamped images are from Stampotique. What this piece says is, "Better off alone...making my own music."  Which totally defines my life.
Below are just some of the rubber stamps I purchased recently, these from Zettiology and CatsLifePress.  I wanted to show you how I'm working with unmounted rubber stamps ~ which are cheaper to buy, easier to store, and IMO make better images than wood mounted stamps.

All the mixed media supplies shops these days are selling 8-1/2x11 sheets of sticky-backed cling mount to use with stamps.  That stuff comes either 1/6 or 1/8 inch thick and costs about $5 per sheet.  After mounting your stamp on that, you've got to put the entire thing on a small piece of acrylic in order to use the stamp.  After some personal experience using clear stamps on acrylic blocks, I've found that to be a cumbersome hassle.  Most of the commercial cling mount (as opposed to the clear) stamps can be used without an acrylic block (they're made and marketed to be used with one), but they're a bit thin to get a good grip on.

You likely already know that I look for alternative ways to do things. What I'm doing with my unmounted rubber stamps is this ~ I use double-sided sticky carpet tape, available in rolls at the hardware store for less than the cost of one sheet of cling mount and with enough tape for possibly a lifetime of use.  I tape the stamp on one side, and for the cushion side I'm using 3/16 inch craft foam (the medium-thick stuff) that I buy at Michaels for $.99 per 8-1/2x11 sheet.  Then I imprint an image from the now-mounted stamp on card stock, and when that's dry, I glue it to the stamp with acrylic medium.  You don't want to use actual glue here, because it's water soluble.  Acrylic medium (gel or regular) is permanent once it's dry.  Viola, a stamp you can easily impress because of the give of the craft foam, weighs practically nothing and takes up very little room in storage, and doesn't have to be mounted on an acrylic block to use.

A word about purchased rubber stamp images ~ you want to buy from "angel" companies.  Those are companies that allow their images to be used copyright free on your personal artwork AND artwork for sale, as long as the images are stamped and not mechanically reproduced.  All the links above are angel businesses.


Els said...

Lóve that first one Connie !
The colours, the handwriting on the silhouette and the pieces of newspaper ..... it all comes together só well !

MegWeaves said...

Connie, after much contemplation, I went with the wood-backed stamps from Catslife because I thought it'd be too troublesome/possibly expensive to get supplies to make the stamps... usable. How thick do your stamps end up when converted in your style? I'm VERY clumsy with stamps so I wonder if I still need the volume of the wood...

Valerie Kamikubo said...

Wow! Those pieces look amazing!

frazzledsugarplummum said...

Wonderful. Thank you for all the details. It was very interesting.