Samstag, 28. März 2020

"Gnomes" - Art Elements Theme Challenge

Okay, I have to admit this was one of the more difficult themes for me. Although gorgeous illustrated children's book with wonderful tales on gnome life are a joy to look at and make me smile (Jenny, who chose the theme, shared some) - it never tempted me to create some of my own. It like with a lot of other topics. I can create cute images but they are not "me".

However, it is called challenge and so I challenged myself by starting with some sketches. Trying to find one I would like to use as base for a painting. It didn't work and I stopped working on the theme for a long time. Sure, there were other reasons for this as well, especially changing from the lab to home office.

But then I went back to Jenny's inspirational books and thought of the landscapes and houses. So here is just a picture I had to take with an old tiny dog miniature toy...

...and then I used the Easter egg I made for my Art Elements blog post yesterday and used it to create a tiny landscape as well.

The houses are simply added with polymer clay, I had some organic dried stuff lying around (my stash is enough to occupy several people for a.... very long.... time ;) ), and then I painted everything after baking.

Thank you for joining us and please have a look at everyone's creation! :)

AE team:
Claire (you are here)


Montag, 2. März 2020

"Letters" - Art Elements Theme Challenge

Edit: I am sorry that I am posting late. I fell ill - the kind of where you won't leave the bathroom anymore ;)

This month's theme challenge was one that fits perfectly into my own work. There is something that speaks to me seeing letters and script in all their variety. I often use it in my own abstract art as elements. You don't even need to be able to read something to understand that it is script or that it evokes an impression.

So I want to show you a variety of my work, some newly made for this challenge but also some examples of older work. I incorporate letters and script using stamps, cut out pages from books or magazines, or use my own "letter scribbles". Below is a tiny wee bowl I made with a large script stamp. After the bisque firing I enhanced the impressions with black underglaze and used a transparent glaze on top. The same technique works also well for polymer clay with a stamp and acrylic paint.

I wanted to finish some little deep plates for this challenge, sadly our kiln at the Makerspace was occupied and also, because something always happens, when time is limited, had two problematic firings (nope, we didn't find any explanation). 

But at least I can show you the first stages. We use my handmade plates and bowls a lot at home. Even though I mainly kept the not perfect ones because I gave the other ones away as gifts. But they work fine and I just love to see the color integrated in our everyday life.

The other plate has no letters or script on it, but I want to show it to you either way. At least it was made at the same time like the other one ;)

Here are some of our kitchen fridge magnets I made with the same pattern and a script stamp so you can see how they may turn out with glaze.

Although I love making jewelry, it is not on my main focus right now. I thought about making some and dug out some treasures with script or letters on it. Except for my own little beads, all of the others are gifts I got from my Art Elements team members! Just looking at them made me happy and slowly, oh so slowly, the gears start to turn again. Not for this challenge but I think I may use most of them this year. 

Letters are especially lovely (in my view) to incorporate into collages or monoprints. Here are examples from my old tiny wee art book. I showed in more detail already at Art Elements but it is a nice examples that letters appear in most of my work.

I played a little bit with adding monoprint on MDF plates. I still have way too many cuts leftover from our wedding invitations (our wedding was 2016). ;) I add a base layer of gesso but still have to perfect the pressure of the gel plate on top since I don't want to destroy the plate with the edges of the MDF but also need to really apply pressure to get a good connection. It is easier with malleable paper. I also think about using the thick MDF plates to create a new art book but the ideas are in their initial phase.

And my main love right now is still water color. I got myself to work daily in a calendar with doodles and notes, nothing really great and mostly done in 2 to 5 minutes top. But it helps me. The daily routine and even the pages that are so ugly. Because I let myself lose and I need something to create daily to cope with my stress at work. I chose the calendar simply because it had a star wars motiv on top and I like the moleskin paper for writing. The paper is not good for anything else, gel pens and others easily bleed through, the paper is way too thin for even a light layer of water color, the pigments instantly sink irregularly into the paper, and the water on one side will affect the other side. 

However, I don't care. There is nothing to lose, nothing to gain... just a few moments to get quiet and relax. It still trains my movement and helps me develop new ideas. So here is a fast one with some of my not readable scribbles. They actually have a meaning and while I myself are not able to "read" them anymore, I still understand them every time I see them. I wrote about my darker sides quite often, my fears, my hate, my aggression, and my worries... and my love as well.

Another thing I tend to do is to add washi tape or stickers to my "stuff". Just to add something. It seems that I can't stand empty spaces without with the urge to draw, doodle, or glue something on top. This is true for the make-up cases I use as water color travel kits.

Oh, and I am also tempted to get work where letter art is included. I found this gorgeous handmade sketch book. The fabric cover is handprinted with a handcarved lino print. 

The card of the artist is also handprinted aaaand using letter art, so this is also a reason to share her work with you :) (I am sorry, it is in german but I hope you can appreciate it either way)

Thank you Jennifer for choosing this theme. I was nothing I had to think about since it is already part of my work in so many ways. I was even surprised how often!

And please have a look at what everyone made! I can't wait! :)


Art Elements Team

Donnerstag, 31. Oktober 2019

"Eyes" - Art Elements Theme Challenge

This month's theme at the Art Elements theme challenge was chosen by Laney - Eyes. A wonderful topic and one I sadly was not able to explore as much as I would have loved to. There are several work in progress projects and maybe some of them will also be finished some day (yes, I still haveUFOs that are several years old ;) ).

What I love about the monthly theme challenge, is that it gives me ideas for my blog posts at Art Elements (and hopefully may serve as inspiration for you as well). 

This time I updated one of my old tutorials to create these tiny wee eyeball earrings! They always make me smile, especially mounted on the skull card. 

Although it is not directly fitting to the theme, I also wanted to give you an update about my new ceramic palettes and upcycled/repurposed water color palettes. 

Although not a perfect fit, I managed to put the two smaller test pieces in an old tin I had available (I love old tins!). In some of the small wells I put some water color as well.

The make-up palettes worked better than I thought! Yes, the lid won't open fully so you can't use it as palette but on the other hand it is so small and light weight and allows me to bring way to many colors with me ;)

Even my glued in dividers to create more wells in the lowest row (the are for the make-up brush) worked really good.

I think the plastic itself will be stained over time but nothing that worries be too much. Oh, and I added some Beatles Moeskin sticker on top! Just... because...

The ceramic palette with the larger wells was the only one that had some crackling with the glaze. I didn't notice while using water colors, but I also used some acrylic ink with it and it stained the crackles (being acrylic, maybe it also sealed them as well ;) ). 

A reference picture with my hand so you get an idea about the size.

And the gorgeous tin from the outside! Honestly, all of it worked way better than I thought and I regularly now used it as home as well while sitting on the couch and painting. I got a lot more tins from a friend (she know me, found them on a flea-marked and got them all for me!) and I will try to create some ceramic palettes that fit them. My plan is to finish them before christmas.

Back to the theme... Here are some of my sketches. Playing around with color combinations and styles, not all worked but that is what a sketchbook is for.

And this colorful one is my favorite!

Also an eyeball creature... the people who played pen and paper with me, know these creatures ;)

And my unfinished projects... I painted some eyeball cabochons (some also with glow in the dark paint). The plan is to combine them with polymer clay and create a book cover with a lot of eyes looking at you.

I also remembered that I carved eye stamps during the Luna moth challenge some months ago...

The upper two are still some of my favorite stamps ever.

I played with them on book covers but there still needs to be a lot of marks added to the covers as well as some metallic accents here and there. Also a project that would be nice to be finished before christmas (this year's one).

Thank you for joining us on this month's theme challenge! Laney, I loved your theme even though I was not as productive as I hoped too! But I will finish some of the UFOs! :)

And please have a look at all the other participants!

Art Elements Team
Claire  (you are here)


Sonntag, 29. September 2019

"Foliage" - Art Elements Theme Challenge

This month Caroline chose such a wonderful theme - "Foliage". I was surprised that I actually managed to get quite a lot done because we also were on holidays this month... and at work I had a lot to do to get the huge pile done that accumulated during my vacation. *sighs*

Some of the images you may also have seen (the cat prints) since I wrote about how I create my printing plates at Art Elements ("Printing plates and art prints").

So here are my creations. There no coherent plan but rather I simply tried to get the theme incorporated in all my work and sketches. This mixed media piece started out as some card board I used to clean my brayer on top. I love the gold accents. It is a acrylic gold paint from the PrimAcryl series from Horadam and I was surprised how nice it is.

I also brought a new sketch book and my art supplies with me during travelling including my new ceramic test palettes and also the empty make up tins that I tested for their usability as water color palette. ;)

I played less than I expected but that was due to the fact that I didn't like the paper quality. It was an expensive water color sketch book, sadly not 100% cotton because they had none but a high quality one. And nope, not usable for water color. Still, it worked quite well with gouache. 

I love vintage tins!

My muted / earthy / dark palette... there are three additional wells in the lowest row with gouache and Formentera red earth water color (not on the swatch card).

My rather bright / greeny pallette also with additional gouache in the lowest row (and also not on the swatch card). I nearly used ALL yellow gouache due to the paper problem and thankfully I had a lot of white gouache in both palettes. I used it in combination with water color to get more gouache paint because that worked quite well.

The lizards took me several days to finish simply because of all the leaves... and I had to wait in between for everything to dry. The risk running with my hand over some wet paint was... well... it happened ;)

But I so love them! They feel like summer and sunshine. I am thinking about getting some paintings done in this style as well as to scan these to and print them on thin cotton fabric.

And next to each other...

Also some simple nice studies of leaves as well as color studies.

These are the foliage inspired cat prints I wrote about over at Art Elements. My collection was short of a cat printing plate (shocking, I know!) and I combined the theme cat with the challenge theme.

The prints are done on paper as well as MDF board. The coloured backgrounds are made with gouache and the prints with water-based linoprinting ink (both from Schmincke).

The right print is without any foliage... but dots... I mean.... DOTS! Somehow they make everything better (like the lizards!).

This cat print over the yellowish/mustard background is my favorite print of all cat prints. I think I will keep this one for myself an frame it. 

I played a little bit more with gouache + MDF board + simplified foliage and am surprised how well I like this style. Sadly my camera was not able to capture the true turquoise and purple undertones so you will have to take my word that there is much more contrast in the paintings in real life (also I corrected the paint problems on the left leaf).

Since we were on holidays, I also missed a lot of the annual gel printing challenge in September from Birgit Koopsen.... but I managed to get some done. This one fits her monochrome prompt and our foliage theme! 

Thank you for joining us this month! My entries were a little bit over the place but I have to say, I really enjoyed all my experiments with paint and different styles and love the outcome! 

Please have a look at all the participants this month! :)

AE Team
Claire  (you are here)

Beth & Evie  


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