Posts Tagged ‘stamp’

constellation crown

Hello there. My Daily Art project almost did not get done. I deep cleaned several rooms of my house due to absolute necessity, which is the only thing that will get me to do it these days. Plainly put, I was plum tuckered. It was 3 pm and I so much did not want to do anything but shower and sit down. But I’m a trooper, you might say a pooped trooper, but a trooper nonetheless.

I cut our Crown Wearer out of another gift card bag (the skinny kind). The paper cutting where you fold in the middle and then freehand cut out a shape. In my mind was a verse such as “her tangled hair formed a constellation” which is good but her hair wasn’t very tangled. So I improvised. A lot of that happens in the studio because nearly nothing turns out the way I thought it would and that hour goes by fast, people.

But I liked our Cosmic Crown girl, so I riffed off a few constellation crown verses and came up with this one. Lots more words than I planned to use before, so I had to go into the bowels of the hoard to find a rubber stamp set that was small and legible enough to do this verse. Don’t you know I had one?

“Constellation” is a long word and I didn’t want to hyphenate it because I despise hyphens and will move heaven and earth not to use them. You think I am kidding but I am not. I don’t kid about hyphens. They are not funny, they are supremely annoying. Anyway, Hyphen Avoidance brought about the idea of making some of the words vertical, hugging the figure. That way I could start the first part of the verse higher in the image and bring the eye down the left side, eliminating the confusion readers have wanting to go left to right as the default habit. Killed two birds with one stone by refusing the hyphen. Of course, the word “falling” is perfect to make gestural so I did.

The heart is a piece of deli sheet that had black ink splotches on it. I watered down some orange/red paint (the same color I used on Starman yesterday because it was still on the desktop.) I free-cut the heart just like a valentine.

I put iridescent acrylic paint over the top of the Rives BFK printmaking paper as my first step. Scanners and monitors do not pick up iridescence but it is there. Then I took clear gesso and went over the stars and the words to try to put at least a small barrier over what I needed to keep iridescent. I decided I didn’t want to run the navy over the text, so I can’t say if it would have been a decent barrier, but you can make an experiment if you need to, keep it in mind. “They” say gesso can be used as a resist but I can’t say I have tried it much. It seems counter-intuitive to me, considering that gesso’s job is to prepare surfaces to TAKE paint well. But “they” likely know more than “me” so take what I say with a grain of salt and find out for yourself.

I needed another couple of pops with the orange. I never intended to do the stars with orange, nor all the stars, but I did the small one at the bottom and then the top ones needed it too. Then the word “burns” needed it and then the edge of the constellation block said “me, too”. Then the damn thing was done.

I like her very much and am glad I went in there. Now I am more pooped and I will talk with you tomorrow, likely.

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ask for help

Another Daily Art practice piece with a vintage photo as a focal point. The reason I went to a photo again is because I am (again) rearranging and sorting materials and tools in my studio. In my Daily practice I’ve gotten to the point where I simply reach in and pull out something to use.

When I was sorting through shelves of old journals and books I could alter, I ran across some Canson Manga kits. I don’t know if they are still available. They are a beginner set for artists trying the comic book style. There are paper stencils to prepare layouts and one stencil is a “thought bubble” or narrative block. I liked them back in the day to create easy quick grids. They were buried in the journal shelves and I was glad to run across them. This week’s art seems to be a “Hey friend, so glad to see you!” week.

The photo is an odd size and in the portrait orientation. I put it up in the left hand corner and liked the way it went 3/4’s onto the page. But the bottom right was just filler and there wasn’t a lot of room to do any text, which isn’t necessary but the picture warranted something. So I cut the bottom right off and decided to grid it out. Gridding it seemed to help the story. Frame 1, guy on ledge watching Frame 2, guy trying to climb to ledge. Frame 3, rest the eye, Frame 4, narration. I had a piece of brittle aged brown drawing paper laying on top of the work island so I used the Canson stencil to cut out the window frame. The frame breaks up a bunch of non-narrative space and helps the viewer grasp the story. At least I hope so.

In recovery we learn to ask for help, and also learn to be willing to receive it, the way it comes. The guy that’s climbing isn’t asking for help and the guy on the ledge isn’t offering any. Maybe in the next second something happened, but right now I’m looking at what IS preserved and it seemed a good time to remind myself to Ask for Help. I don’t need help right now, but one day when I’m looking back on my Daily practice papers I might and this will remind me.

The wash is walnut ink, the rubber stamp text is StazOn Saddle Brown. The handwriting is Sepia Pitt Pen. As I did yesterday, I doodled a bit outside the photo to extend lines. I added some flowers because they got cut off by the frame.

In the second frame running down the center you might be able to see a stitch line. A few years ago I got froggy and took a bunch of old photos out and stitched them together on the sewing machine. I used them to make fabric/paper hanging collages and some were left over when I got bored doing that. Old photos can be very fragile. They were often glued to scrapbooks and then get taken out and the force of removing them weakens the paper. As I was gelling this photo to the foundation paper, the bottom tore off. No big deal, just wanted to mention that they can get very delicate.

Talk to you tomorrow, I reckon.

A bunch of stuff graces this page. The background was spray inked and I stamped a hand carved dandelion plant image (from Quik Cutz, not a styrofoam plate this time) onto the foundation. Then I began to layer on some ephemer. There are ration stamps, an epsom salt RX envelope, business cards, word cards, more RX labels and some Victorian scrap, plus a lotteria card. The cigar bands and red tickets create somewhat of a border around the dandelion image, and a cute little girl from what could be a paper doll sheet finishes the edge. This page does not feel finished to me. I think it needs a very thin wash of gesso or white acrylic to unify the items, or some journaling in white would accomplish the same idea.

These school photos were blown up on the copier and turned into portraits for display in the Ozark Playgrounds Association handbook. Official member boy has his Bingo wagon with him, and Office member girl brought her doll. I will very likely white wash the map so that I can journal in that space ultimately. I finally remembered I have rubber stamps to use in my journal with this new journal and have been trying to pull some out and print. I almost always stamp in black ink, although I have other colors, and I almost always use Staz-ON even though I have other brands. I like that Staz-on goes over anything and under water and mediums. I am sure not the world’s best stamper as you can tell, but I even like when the images is rough, sort of like an abstract memory in this case. Half faded away.

This page doesn’t photograph all that great but if you look at the larger image by clicking on the smaller one you can see some detail better. There are three stampings of my styrofoam plate image of Guadalupe that I carved several months ago, all these stampings are in blue. And then there are three stampings in black of a rubber stamp that I have of Guadalupe. The background is tempera paint and the styrofoam plate stamps are tempera, too. Tempera is one of my favorite paints to use in art journaling. It dries matte which I like. It dries more quickly than acrylic, which I like. The paints mix well, which I like because the color range is somewhat limited. It’s non toxic and non stinky, which I like. In summation, I LIKE it. It’s inexpensive, too, which I REALLY like. Try it. My go to if I am not trying to prep a surface is white tempera which dries semi-opaque in one coat, opaque in two, much quicker than gesso and much more reasonably priced. Just about every page in my altered map journal begins with white tempera paint.

I believe I said earlier this week when presenting Albert the doll that when I say I have “a lot” of something it is likely to be an insane amount. Such is the case with this art journal page. More than a decade ago I procured a lot of stamps from Ebay and a box from a local used office supply shop. The stamps range in content from images for advertising to medicine to the Olympic games and a space shuttle mission. The text varies from “mixed nuts” to post office sayings to “import” and “export”. My goal was to see which of these antiquities still would print with a regular ink pad under normal conditions. Most of them did, leaving me with this busy page of black inked wonders. I topped the page off with one of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver printed off the Internet. I like this page with its random DADA meaninglessness, graphics printed in simple black ink and old style mid-last-century appearance.

Last summer we had epic rain which resulted in the spawn of mosquito larvae on our flat roof which was holding puddles of water. About this time, dragonflies reached all time highs in populations and record breaking sizes and colors. I even saw a rare for this area bright red dragonfly; most of them here are an iridescent greenish-blue or brown. It was not unusual to see dragonflies last summer the size of birds, and in packs of 50+ swarming the backyard. If I had an ounce less of dragonfly love it would have been positively creepy and The Mist-y. I commemorated one dragonfly filled day with this journal page. I have a ginormous dragonfly stamp and did a lot of coloring with marker over top of already pretty scrapbooking paper. Patterns and lines were made using a white gel pen and I found a cute tree frog in a magazine to paste onto a wing looking like he was getting a free ride. Whee! I sewed around the edge of the page when it was finished with a blanket stitch. I love this page because it reminds me of a real day in the backyard enjoying nature and because of all the summer colors in it.