Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Personal Piece of Art

Today, I wanted to share a commissioned piece of artwork that I did for the graduation of my friend's daughter. The brief was something Celtic-inspired that included the child's name. I adapted this tree image that originally included a Celtic knot as the roots of the tree. I then added the name in relief. I also added the stained glass background.

I colored the image as a mock up. The reds and oranges represented the sunrise/sunset, the blue represented the sky, and the browns represented the earth. The green for the name represented her Irish heritage.

When I presented the rendering to my friend, she balked at the colors. She said that it wouldn't go well with her daughter's color palette for her new dorm room. The daughter's favorite colors where shades of purple.  So this is what the final version looked like.

I decided to make some homemade wrapping paper to present the gift. I used a Celtic Knot stencil for the paper. I specifically left the paper unadorned so the daughter could color it in and then use it for a decoration in her dorm room. Maybe she could color in the sheet with her new roommate and they could create something together.

To finish the wrapping, I simply used a double belly band in two different colors and weaved them together. I tied two bows in sheer chartreuse ribbon and I was done.

Monday, August 21, 2017

More Mail Art

Today is dedicated to postcards. There were cards that I sent out as part of various swap challenges. The first card is a version of a screen printed card that I had in my stash. The theme of the challenge was Mostly Purple. The card is made from duplex heavy paper. This has a Columbia Blue reverse side. The images were printed with my Gocoo Printer.

As you can see, I was in a NY state of mind. The above card was a sender's choice. I had some bits and pieces leftover from a subway map reprint. I glued it to a blank watercolor postcard. I then cut out a larger version of the Statue of Liberty stencil in the first card and then used it to hand color the image. I also used an NYC stencil in the lower left hand corner.

This swap was an interesting topic--Altered Text. The goal was to take a printed text and make a poem out of the the words by indicating which existing text should be read. We were to use the original text as the basis of the design. I found an old book that was being thrown away outside of a second hand store. Most of the pages were brittle and water damaged so I salvaged it for this swap. I stenciled over the page with two separate stencils in red and blue.  The poem ended up reading: trying to remember, Mother's hands, she smiled a wonderful smile, There was no one like her, Nana died, gently, sweetly, as an old lady.

The reverse side was stenciled with the same two stencils, in red and blue, but opposite from the front. I always like to clearly delineate the salutation section from the address section on a handmade postcard. I just find that it is easier for the letter carrier/post office to know how to process it.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Coloring--Day Five

For the coloring book swap, we are required to send our coloring book to each artist in the swap. Since I provided a small book for my swap, I decided to give each of my swap partners, an uncolored envelope for themselves to keep and one to send my book through the mail. They could either leave the envelope uncolored or send it colored through the mail. I thought it would be fun for each of the swap recipients to receive something fun in the mail. I also provided labels for each swap partner to use.

Of course, the first artist in the swap was the luckiest in that they got to chose what they want to keep and what they wanted to color.

That's all for another week. Have a great weekend and I look forward to share more things next week.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Coloring--Day Four

I refuse to send out a plain envelope in the mail. It really takes very little effort to fill up an envelope with color. This is my rent check envelope. This is the back of the envelope. Here I used Tombow markers and detailed with a extra fine tip Black Sharpie.

This is the front of the rent check envelope. To say the least, my landlord knows when my rent check arrives and has expressed his appreciation of the extra effort. His office carefully opens the envelope and has collected them over the 10 years that I have been sending them. His secretary teases that she is going to have an exhibition of my rent check envelopes.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Coloring--Day Three

I have been sending out a lot of mail for my swap-bot challenges. This was the envelope that I used to send out the coloring book to next artist for the coloring book swap. I decided to keep the front of the envelope plain because the artist had such a long name and the city name was long as well. I needed as many lines as I could fit in so there was little room for any extra decoration.

The back of the envelope was decorated with a mod 70s vibe. I used Sharpie markers to fill in the all of the blank spaces.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Coloring--Day Two

This is the second page of the coloring book for my first partner. This page was filled in with Tombow dual tip markers. I used a subtractive method on this page. First, the page is filled in with markers. This method works well because Tombow markers are very heavily pigmented. The page is then lightly misted with water. The final step is to take a paper towel and place on top of the wet surface. Press down (do not wipe since you don't want the ink to spread). Lift the paper towel and continue to blot the page (do not re-mist) until you reach the level of coverage you desire.

This technique mutes the colors a little, especially if you use bold colors like I did. 

The above image is the blotted paper towel. I am sure that if I used an absorbent artist's paper that I could have used this blotting image as a basis of some other artwork.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Coloring--Day One

This is week will be dedicated to coloring. Different people have different definitions of coloring but I simply go with the most basic definition--adding color to something. I am participating in an adult coloring book swap. We have three other partners and we are required to color two pages in our partners' coloring book.

When I color, I always color on a smooth surface. I usually enlarge my coloring surface by using a piece of foam core. I like the smooth surface of foam core. The problem with coloring directly on a surface is that you can transfer the texture of the surface onto your coloring page. Since I normally don't want to do this, I work on foam core. On top of the foam core, I usually place a piece of newsprint to capture all of the bleed through and so I can make any notations that I want.

This page was colored using Copic Markers for the background. I always keep my colors (regardless of medium) out until that particular phase of the coloring is completed. I used the markers for the background only. I use the newsprint to sample the colors that I want to use and to make notations of the colors should I need to reference them later.

The foreground of the page was filled in using Sharpie Extra Fine markers. Granted this is a non-traditional style of coloring. This is more like a mix of coloring and doodling.