Dienstag, 10. Juli 2018

Seed pod polymer clay beads - tutorial for Art Elements

All the time I forget to link to my blog posts over at Art Elements, but not this time! ;)

I wrote a tutorial for these polymer clay beads reminding me of seed pods. The inspiration was this months theme for our theme challenge at Art Elements.... yes... seed pods!

Just have a look here!

Samstag, 30. Juni 2018

Sunflowers - Art Elements theme challenge!

Edit: I am sorry that my post is late. I accidentally set the wrong time ;)

This months theme at our Art Elements challenge was "sunflowers" chosen by Susan! I really love sunflowers in real life, just gorgeous. You know how it goes, there will be a "but" and in this case it is a big one. Yellow. 

I really struggle to use yellow in my work. I like it in nature, I also like it combined with other warm colours on a bead spread or a pillow... but other than that... difficult!

But this is why I love challenges - it is not only to create something fitting for the theme but rather more so, I want to challenge myself to go out of my own comfort zone.

I thought about sunflowers and the put it down to some minimal elements I could use for inspiration: Colour (yellow to orange, gold counts too since I also struggle to use  gold;) ) and in general floral pattern.

Not sure if you can see it because it is sometimes quite subtle, but in all monoprints I used the resist technique for image transfers with scientific papers about sunflowers. 

Quite literal - but hey, I am a scientist, even a biologist and though I am not working with plants, I actually read some literature about how sunflowers follow the sun. 

This image is also taken from a scientific review that included some really old literature. I will definitively go back to this image creating some more prints. 

Sometimes I love the single details even more than the whole print!

One thing about our new challenge format is that I really create more. It seems that it works for me to use different materials and just play with it.

I created several water colour sketches. My aim is not one perfect painting but to get more training and see what works for me and what not.

One mistake I make over and over again is that I work flat on the table so I look at the paper at an angle. That really distorts proportions! If I look at the painting at an angle, all is perfect but if I look at it straight, the image is not proportional anymore! 

It happens to me over and over again ;)

As you can see on the left page: I try to make a lot of training pieces. You will learn more from painting 100 fast flowers than painting a single detailed one. 

My favorite part on this sunflower is actually the single leaf! 

And this last water colour sketch is my overall favorite! Especially because I became more free in my use of colour and rather focussed on impressions than on reality. Nope, there are no turquoise and bright yellow spots on sunflower leaves but it works for me!

I also made a lot of earrings. These ones are super simple: Nail polish and glass cabochons. They are the perfect excuse to own a lot of nail polish while only using it a few times a year (if at all). 

I made more super simple nail polish and glass cabochon earrings. They are simple, easy, and cute! I only had problems to take pictures because the light is so strongly reflected. In the last image of the collage you can see that I also had some gold flakes before the golden background but... really hard to capture on photo! In case you are wondering how the blueish-purple earrings fit in this collection - they don't - I just loved the contrast ;)

This pair actually way on my table as WIP for a long time. I thought the yellow ceramic beads were a good fit for the challenge. The enamel pieces are from Kimberly Rogers (numinosity) and I think the organic purple and green surface are a nice contrast to the yellowish beads.

I also made several beads with polymer clay (and painted with acrylic paint) and used nearly all to create earrings from them as well. I kept it simple in general because with yellow as such a bright in-the-eye colour it happens really fast, that it can be too much for my taste. I am not sure about the last pair, they are the only ones without a protective coat because I couldn't decide whether to add some gold leaf, crackle paint, or other paint at the bottom as accent. We will see... maybe they can join the other WIP pieces... 

Last but not least more detailled images of the polymer clay earstuds I made. I love to create them, small dots of colour! All the yellow and black combinations are reminding me more of bumble bees or radioactive warning symboles than sunflowers - but they still fit in my "use yellow as inspiration" category. 

Please have a look what all the participants of the challenge made! I am really curious myself (and there were a lot of cool sneak peaks ^^).

PS: Art Elements is also on Instagram. If you search for the tag #art__elements (two underscores) you can find in general work made by Art Elements team members as well as challenge participants or you can use the tags #AEThemeChallenge and #AESunflower to find the work especially made for the challenges!

Thank you so much Susan, I enjoyed the challenge and for a short time it got easier to work with yellow! (I know that this won't last ;) )


AE Team

Claire (you are here)

Donnerstag, 31. Mai 2018

Tide pools - Theme challenge at Art Elements

It is time again for our monthly theme challenge at Art Elements. This month Lesley chose the theme "Tide pools". I don't know what I should say to this theme other than that I believe it is really, really difficult to not find any inspiration in that!

I started playing a little bit with water colour. Experimenting with the effects I get by combining heavily granulating single pigment paints with ones that are not granulating...

...trying out some plant shapes as well as my new diamont silver aqua bronze from Schmincke (yes, so totally worth the money!)...

...and then going for some sketches. I had a look at Instagram for inspiration pictures just to get started and get a feeling for what I like and not.

I was undecided. I am actually playing nearly daily a little bit with my water colours, but not in any direction fitting for the theme. I use this daily play time more as a kind of diary or in combination with some personal note, so I didn't want to force myself to paint for this challenge.

Then I had a long look at my table after seeing  some sneak peaks from other Art Elements team members. Sitting there, looking at pieces of my work, I realized that I am mostly drawn to colours, effects and surfaces that all fit perfectly in the theme "tide pools".

Like I was not really doing anything else! Bowls, spoons, pendants, beads...

I made a tutorial for these glorious crustiness over at Art Elements, have a look here :)

Therefor I wanted to show you some things I made that I thought would fit for this challenge and hoped that while doing this I would get an idea what exactly I want to create.

This years I am mostly working with mixed media, water colours... not so much beads, ceramics, or jewelery. I spend a long time sitting in front of the cupboard where all my bead boxes are (the ones not sitting on or under the table ;) ) and going through all of my beads and art elements for creating jewelery I have. Gosh, it was a little bit like christmas seeing the kind of treasures I haven't looked at for months now!

I made a huge bead soups with fitting colours because I had the idea to finally make some necklaces from all the pendants I have. Didn't work out because in the end I came back to one of my oldest love "Earrings"!

It was a little bit slow at the beginning because my hands had to get their work memory back but after I finished some earrings pairs, all had come back and I realized how much I missed the joy of creating jewelery.

The photos of the earrings were all taken after some heavy rainfall creating a somehow quite fitting background. ;)

I am never sure whether my earrings will find a person who loves them as much as I do, sees the beauty in the single elements included and the stories they tell... but I was often surprised who bought which earrings from me and (sadly) which ones are still in their box waiting for someone to be treasured.

Please have a look what everyone else made for this theme challenge! And just again a thank you to all the guest who participated in this challenge, I can't wait to see all your creations!

And PS: Lesley, thank you for the wonderful theme! :)


AE Team Members:
Claire (you are here)

Sonntag, 29. April 2018

Horses - Theme of the month at Art Elements (AE)

Horses were the theme of this months theme challenge at Art Elements! Jenny chose the topic and put together a wonderful collection of inspirational images. Have a look here!  

My personal inspiration was this little wooden horse I found at a flea market. In one of my planters on our balcony we have some moos growing, so I used it as background.

I struggled a little bit what to do. Seems my usual line at the moment, which is strange, because I am creating a lot at the moment. So while I started with some polymer clay, I stopped that and went back to monoprinting again.

I love the magazin resist technique Birgit Kopsen showed at the Gelli Arts blog. I use it now to create a kind of "collages" with monoprinting. I often use several layers of paint, removing some parts of every layer before I pick it all up with the last one.

I so love how the paint looks through!

I used detailed pictures as well as abstract silhouettes. Still not sure what I prefer.

I also remembered that I carved a Pegasus based on a vintage image years ago. 

So I had a look where it was and played with it. 

As much as I love the stamp, I probably won't use it for monoprinting again.

A really simple technique I probably will do with the small kids in our family. Simply stamping with a waterproof ink and then some water colour on top (the ink acts as a resist... mh...maybe I should try that also for the monoprinting? Have to try that!).

And here is my work in progress piece made with polymer clay. Not sure whether I will work further on it or not.

I also used my handmade coffee water colour (yes, real coffee!) for a quick sketch. I used to paint a lot of horses as a kid and teenager, but I was better during that time than now. Seems I have to train again ;)

Also another fast middle in the night sketch where I went a little bit over the top with the colours. 

Please have a look what everyone else made for this challenge!

PS: Thank you Cathy for taking over the challenge reveal! :)


AE Team Members: 

Claire (you are here)


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