Tag Archives: collage

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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BONUS Day 31: 30 Day Journal

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“Water is the softest thing, yet it can penetrate mountains and earth. This shows clearly the principle of softness overcoming hardness.”   ~ Lao Tzu

Today, for some reason, when I thought of this #30DayJournal and the theme of FLOW, I didn’t think of water or a river. I thought of honey flowing.

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After that, the phrase “Life is Sweet” popped into my head and although our prompts steered us in the direction of letting go of hardness or letting in softness and gentleness, I was focused on life’s sweetness.

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Imagine if this was honey dripping on the page and you could just swipe a finger through it and taste the sweetness.

Tomorrow, my nephew Jake and his fiancee, Chelsea, are getting married. He is the first of my parents’ grandchildren to get married and I know in the midst of this celebration, there will be an ache of sadness that Papa isn’t here to witness it.

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But, even with this, I believe there will be enough joy and love flowing to ease that ache.

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My mom just had her 80th birthday and we’ll be celebrating that event in a few weeks. Lest you get the wrong mental image of this grandmother-of-six let me share a few details: she is active, well read and she does yoga weekly and stretches daily, she walks her dog Molly six days a week, will be retiring for the third (and final) time in about a month, and will be wearing red patent leather pumps with her chic sheath dress at her grandsons wedding tomorrow.

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There is so much to celebrate, including the completion of this project!

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I will be returning to my craft desk tomorrow to create a wedding card, but I’m going to catch my breath and catch up on a few other things in my life, including getting enough sleep!

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Thank you.

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Day 27: 30 Day Journal Project

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“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.” ~ Rumi

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These lanterns are used in a ceremony of remembrance. Names of loved ones and messages for them are written on the sides of the lanterns.

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In my journaling for this page, I wrote about singing with other women in Threshold Choir. The choir sings annually at a Hospice Service of Remembrance as well as individual services throughout the year. But most of our singing is done in twos and threes, singing a cappella, at the bedsides of those people who are on the thresholds of living and dying.

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Our goal is to bring ease and comfort to those for whom we sing: people on the threshold and their loved ones and caregivers.

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“Andante con espressione” means at a moderately slow, walking tempo with expression.

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Yes, I know I wrote just yesterday that I would like to be more metaphorical in my images and here I am today using lamps to illustrate a quote about being a lamp.

But I already had both lamp pictures, and I especially love the floating lanterns. I’ve been waiting for just the right project for them.

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I looked through my paper to find background material for this page, using the sunset colors in the floating lantern picture.

When I came across “You are the light of my life” I tucked it into the pile to see if it would work on the page.

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Our apartment is on a corner and often in winter Rem will light candles that I can see in the window as I arrive home. In this and so many other ways, he is a lantern in my life.

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Thanks for checking out my page today. Only a few days left of #30DayJournal project!

 

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Day 26: 30 Day Journal Project

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” You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.” ~ Hericlitus

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This is what I wrote in response to the question, above:

I feel like I’ve just started a crash course and so far we’ve gotten an overview of the topic: Art Journaling.

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Now I can continue learning, copying, trying things out and when I’m lucky – flowing.

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My images have been very literal. I’d like to be more metaphorical sometimes too!

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I’m trying to find and maintain balance with my art, my health & my life.

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To curate, to keep a space ready for creativity, and to keep journaling (but NOT daily).

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Thank you to my friend Margaret for the beautiful and unique old stamps that I used as embellishment on this page. We crafted together on Friday when I was working on Day 24.

Cheers and hugs for everyone who is still hanging in with the #30DayJournal project! I’m now caught up with both the journaling and blogging.

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Day 23: 30 Day Journal Project

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“It is when we act freely, for the sake of the action itself rather than for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were.” ~  Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

After the last page, which was a struggle, I greeted this one, and the prompt which asked “Remember a time when you acted freely, unselfconsciously,” with open arms.

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My journaling is about floating in a hot tub on a recent vacation. This picture captured that feeling of total relaxation.

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Small pieces of pale blue vellum have been cut to echo the shape of the water. I think they look like tiny rafts.

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Can’t you just imagine sinking into this water in this beautiful space?

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Ahhh.

The name of the author of the quote, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is pronounced something like Me-high Cheek-sent-me-high, in case you were wondering.

Thanks for your visit.

#30DayJournal

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