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


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