Monthly Archives: April 2016

Believe in Love & Magic

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When I saw this sweet handmade card by Violet Annie on The Paper Wallflower, I knew I would be borrowing the phrase for one of my Hello Soul, Hello Mantras paintings.

My intention, when I started this one, was to play. So I did.

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First things first: get some color on the canvas board – canvas that is stretched over a hard backing.  A squirt of green acrylic paint and I was off.

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I smeared it around with a plastic card, added different shades of green, squirted on some water to create drips, dragged a plastic fork crisscross through the paint and use a bottle lids and a cork to stamp some circles.

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I smeared more paint and then stenciled some hexagons in different sizes. I painted over some of the stamped circles, but decided to re-stamp them.

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Once this verdant background paint was dry (with the help of my heat gun), I started collaging paper onto it.  A piece of map, some textured flowered paper, a bus transfer I found while walking earlier in the day, green tissue paper and a photo of a leaf  with raindrops from a birthday card.

Even though most of these things don’t show in the finished painting, I love how they are all part of it; the layers make the whole thing more interesting. I know what’s under the collage and paint.

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Now back to paint to start to blend the paint and paper layers into a more cohesive background.

I’ve done some painting, dripping, stenciling and a bit of rubber stamping. I’ve also added more collage elements including a fortune from a fortune cookie that says “You are a deep thinker with a knack for problem solving.”

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Several of the collage papers have orange-red on them which you can see peeking from under all the green. I decided to add more of that color to the piece along with more pattern; stamping a harlequin design in black ink.

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Here I’ve added some buff paint to help the letters of the mantra stand out. Once I’ve stamped the letters, I’ll go back in and put some richer color around the letters. A horizon of lace, fabric and paper has been added along the bottom edge.

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Finally – the mantra is stamped onto the background. I think it was a bit more to the right side than would have been ideal, but it just seems to be the best location.

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Last but not least: finishing details. I used the same harlequin pattern for a border, and brought the flower back into view with more of the red-orange color. I also added lots of little details with white and black pens.

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I love how these final details seem to bring the piece into focus (and I do mean more than my photos, which can be a little uneven).

Thank you for your visits and comments.

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Give Me Wings

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Last weekend I spent a glorious afternoon crafting with my friend Margaret. I brought all my new paints and some collage goodies and started on my second Hello Soul, Hello Mantras mixed media piece.

After a delicious lunch we got started. Margaret was working on a batch of greeting cards while I was painting and collaging.  The teacher of the e-course, Kelly Rae Roberts, said in one of the videos that working with a friend was a good way to be a little distracted from the the piece and to not overthink the process.  Crafting with friends is one of my favorite things to do.

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I’d been to the Farmer’s Market in the morning and picked up a bunch of spring flowers and wanted to use the colors from the bouquet in my painting.

Before starting on the piece, I wrote my intention down to keep in mind as I was working. I planned to just jump right in and start getting messy!

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After smooshing and dripping and scraping paint onto the canvas, I used gel medium to collage some scraps of paper onto this painted background. These included postage stamps, sheet music,  a parking slip from a fun shopping trip in Berkeley, a Christmas tag and a piece of a pretty liner from an envelope. Using a heat tool to dry the paint and gel medium between layers helped move the process along.

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Paint is layered over some of the collage pieces, integrating them into the painted background. Feathers are one of my special or  sacred images so I included one on this piece.

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After stamping the mantra, I embellished the letters with curlicues and dots. In this picture you can see other details:  the butterfly with halves from two different sources, the edge of a page torn from a calendar, a piece of corrugated cardboard with a heart in it, lace, and washi tape.

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The next day I painted over the stamped mantra. The added curls and dots weren’t working for me. Or more specifically, though I loved dots on the overall piece, I wanted the mantra to be clearer and more readable. Some lighter paint behind the words helped  them to stand out.

Other finishing details include a small dragonfly, another heart with more text, a small bird sticker, two small pieces of paper with a dictionary definition of the word “breathing,” and flower silhouettes stamped in black ink.

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Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’re enjoying these pieces because I sure am! I’ll be posting more soon.

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Choose Kindness: First Collage/Painting

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I’ve really been loving the Hello Soul, Hello Mixed Media Mantras e-course I’m taking. It is by Kelly Rae Roberts. There are loads of pictures and a video or two to watch in each section. We’re encouraged to choose an intention for each painting session. She makes suggestions in case you can’t come up with one. This one, “simply trust,” is from a song I sing with the Threshold Choir.

First we learned about and experimented with different paint techniques; ways to get paint on to the canvas (or for these practice pieces, I was using heavy watercolor paper) and to add texture and layers. I showed this in my last post.

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Then, surprise! We find out that these “practice” pieces are actually the ones we’re using for our finished paintings.  I didn’t get photos of the whole process – but I have taken a few more on other pieces I’ll share here soon.

Bits and pieces of paper are layered on the painted background with more paint going on the paper to blend it with the painted background. The final piece may not show all the stratified layers, but they are still a part of the finished piece.

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My background layer has the label from a delicious chocolate that was a gift from a friend, and part of a birthday card which adds lovely texture. Both add interest to the finished piece.

After the background is finished, our mantras are stamped onto the canvas. Finishing details are added with black and white ink. In this picture you can catch a glimpse of  a map on the right. Hearts are special symbols for me, so I included some.

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An old letter I picked up at a vintage store is visible above the lace.

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At one point, I collaged a page from a little calendar of birds but it wasn’t working. After I painted over it, I still wanted a bird, so choose to add one via a rubber stamp.

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Here is the whole piece. The paper has curled somewhat. I’ll either frame it or perhaps glue it to something a bit heavier.

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It was lots of fun to make. Most of the paint and collage work is done without brushes, so it is a messy, hands-on process. The scallops on the edges are created with painty fingertips.

Thanks for the visit. More mixed media mantra pieces soon!

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Getting Started: Hello Soul, Hello Mantra

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I played with paint and water last night. I let my 4-year-old self drip and splatter and it was wonderful!

Over the weekend I sorted through and bagged up some art supplies I’m not using to pass along to someone who will use them with an after school program. Some old paint got tossed out.

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I was going shopping for new art supplies and I wanted to have a place to put them..

These are the first baby-steps in an e-course I’m taking, Hello Soul, Hello Mixed-Media Mantras, which you are going to see more about as I go along. Actually, the very first steps are journaling. The artist, author, and creator of the course, Kelly Rae Roberts, gives the participants lots of prompts and guidance and it’s good stuff. But I was excited to get my fingers into paint last night.

My intention (and pardon the poor lighting – it was one little lamp over my craft desk):

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These are practice pieces, to just play with the paint and the different techniques. I’m using acrylic paint on watercolor paper (140 lb.).

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First drips of paint.

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Smearing, smooshing, spraying with water. Drips.

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I did three playground pieces.

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Here’s what I made:

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Thanks for the visit.

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Hidden Meadows Hike

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My sister Kathleen and I took a hike we haven’t been on for quite awhile – we call it Hidden Meadows. We start by looping part way around Phoenix  Lake than head up Shaver Grade Fire Road and take the Hidden Meadows trail. This connects to the Yolanda Trail and eventually comes back down to Phoenix Lake Road.

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Stella, Kathleen’s dachshund, is turning one. It wasn’t easy getting pictures of her standing still.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of Molly, but she had a good hike too.

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Mt. Tam was hidden in fog, but it was still a beautiful hike with the green hills and wildflowers.

Thanks for the visit.

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