While I love making prints on paper with my Gelli Arts® plates and making books, I also love creating blocks from dried acrylic paints either left over or painted specifically for removing with tape. Sounds confusing? Yes, but really simple.
Here's how I do it.
I pour a few dots of different color acrylic paint onto a Gelli Arts 12" x 14" plate, brayer it so the paint covers the entire plate, add some surface texture (bubble wrap, etc) and let it completely dry. Sometimes, that only takes an hour or so, depending on the paint, and sometimes, I leave it overnight.
The solid wooden blocks I prefer measure 1-1/2" since that is also the size of my packing tape although I have also made 1" blocks and 3" blocks.
First, I paint all sides of the blocks with white gesso. But if you prefer a more rustic/organic look, you could leave them natural brown.
Once dry, I paint one side of the block with white glue (I use Elmers). I lay the packing tape down on the Gelli plate and pick up the dried paint. I put the tape onto the glue and press down. I trim off the excess tape with a utility knife and continue adding tape to each side of the cube.
Here are some closes up of a couple more cubes.
I hope you try this and have as much fun with this technique as I do!
What IS it about these small Inspirational Tab books that fascinate me?
Brown has never been my most inspiring color but now I don't want to work with anything else. It's funny how things can change so quickly.
There is something about creating contemporary art that uses old ideas. And brown seems to tie this all together.
I'm going to make more of these and will sell them in my store in case anyone else has my passion and wants to own one or give one as aa gift to a special friend.
But it might take me a couple of weeks since I will be teaching at Mixed Media Adventures this week!
I'm still in love with creating art using shipping tags.
My latest idea is to create a set of Inspirational Art Prompts that can be used to get us out of our artistic slump or times when we have no new ideas or our brains are paralyzed.
There are many websites that generate art prompts but I thought I would share with you, the prompts I actually use in my creative life so I've stitched up these fabric tags and added some text.
Part of what inspires me is fabric! (Surprise!!!) My sister bought me several FQ's from her trip to Australia last year and I decided to use these for the basis of my Inspirational Tags. I have always loved the Aboriginal art form so just looking and feeling this fabric started my creative juices flowing (love those dots!)
I'm still working through this process and when I'm satisfied, I will offer them in my store. But I wanted to give you a preview into what I'm working on now!
I love working with Gelli® printing. I have lots of gel-printed papers and decided to make these forms from left-over cardboard tubes that many of my decorative yarns come wound on. (I guess I should confess -- I never throw anything away!) I painted the inside and outside of the cardboard tube with black acrylic paint, cut the papers to size, and then glued them to the outside using gel medium. I also covered the outside surface with gel medium to protect the paper from wear and tear.
Loved how they turned out and just wish my hand was smaller so I could wear these as bracelets!
The first Tuesday in September is Art Drop Day. That's when artists all over the world leave a piece of their art in a public place for someone to discover and keep. For free. This event was started by Jake Parker. For more info, visit his website
I've been participating for 4 years and once again, will leave this piece of my fiber art around the pavilion in Cheesman Park, Denver, CO at about 10am. Meet me there!
Check out these hashtags to see what's happening this Tuesday.
I hope you find a piece of art on Tuesday. Keep your eyes peeled!
If you have been following my blog for a while, you know I'm currently exploring creative book-making.
My favorite process is using Gelli Plates to create my covers and pages for my "art books".
I first come in contact with this company and their products at a quilting expo. Gelatin has long been a method for creating color and texture on fabric but it is a messy process. You have to make the gelatin plate and put it into a refrigerator and after a few prints, it begins to deteriorate. (Not a bad thing but totally unpredictable!)
'Two women (Joan Bess and Lou Ann Gleason) decided to invent something better and they were kind enough to send me a plate to play with. Well, I was hooked! I have made many books using this process and thought kids would like it too.
I volunteer every week at the Ronald McDonald House in Denver and they asked me to start an arts program for the families staying there. Printing with Gelli Plates was the first thing that came to mind! So, I wrote them and asked them if they would donate their student kit for my class.
And, they responded back "of course"! (How I love this company!)
I received 5 student kits this week and my new art class will start this September with kids (and their parents!) having some fun printing and making books from this wonderful process.
Thank you Lou Ann and Joan!!!
Please visit their website and buy directly from them. They also have tons of inspiring videos to show you what can be created using their products. Enjoy!
Today was the finale of the Colorado Classic Bike Race.
Luckily, the track went around the corner of my studio on Walnut Street so when I heard the whistle and sirens of the approaching racers, I could step outside and watch them. After 7 laps, four of the riders broke away from the pack and at the end, Travis McCabe from the United Healthcare team won the sprint.
But as I was watching the race, I was again reminded that bike racers race in teams and those teams are denoted by the color of their jerseys. So, watching the peloton (the pack) race by, I could easily pick out which team was in the front or lagging at the back. It made the race much more interesting to watch even though they raced by in a blur.
Color has a very large effect in our lives, our emotions, and our perceptions. Watching this race just made me think more about this topic.
I know I love to wear jewel colors because they make me happy. How does color affect you?
In my exploration of book forms, I ran across a movement called "Junk Journals" and decided to make one for myself. (Actually, I will be making 9 of these since they are so much fun and I love the antique look!)
I think the definition of a junk journal is to use what you have, rather than go buy expensive pre-printed papers so I looked around and found a set of 9 small (4" x 6") hardback books I had collected almost 30 years go when I was into book collecting. They have been collecting dust on my bookshelf since then so that's the set I started with.
I wanted to make something that looked and felt old so I decided to "tea dye" some papers. I loved the way this process crinkled up the papers as they dried and gave some "heft" to my book. The papers I used were copy paper, newspaper, lined notebook paper, graph paper, brown paper bags, tags, dictionary pages, and papers I printed coupons on from JoAnn and Michaels that I never used.
Some of the pages, I further embellished by using stamp ink on the edges. Others, I left alone.
After ripping out the original pages from the small book, I reinforced the spine with masking tape and colored the edges with a marker to darken it so it blended in better. I then made signatures from the papers I collected and dyed and went to the sewing machine to stitch all the signatures to the spine.
I just kept adding signatures until the book spine was full. Then I covered the inside of the cover with some pages from the old book I had torn up.
All in all, I was very happy with the result!
Now, I'm looking in my bookshelves for more of these small, cute, hardcover books to alter into works of art.
These bags are fast, easy and fun to make! Great for using up your stash and giving as gifts. Christmas is just around the corner (!) so I'm in the process of writing up a pattern for making these in multiple sizes. You can also fill them with lotions, sprays, perfume, liners, shadows, blushes,— whatever — to make this a special gift for families and friends.
Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and type Make-up Bag in the subject line to get my FREE pattern!
I have spent many happy hours in Susan Brooks garage in Lafayette, CO, doing all kinds of surface designs from soy wax resist, immersion dying, eco dying, fabric painting, batik, deconstructed screen printing — basically, any technique that you can think of, Susan can teach you. And she is a FABULOUS instructor.
But what to do with all this original fabric?
It's been sitting on my shelf for some time and then it was summer and sitting on my black scooter seat burned my butt! So, I started looking around for someone who could make me a scooter seat from my own fabric and found her!
Her name is Suzy and her company is called Cheeky Seats. (Don't you love that name?) So, I sent her my fabric and this is what she made. It fit perfectly. I didn't have any lime green fabric to match my scooter so I sent her something neutral. But now, I night have to paint my scooter to match the seat.
Hmmmm. Another internet search is in my future.
If you have made your own fabric, how have you used it? Let me know!
Carol Ann Waugh
I am a fiber artist and love color and texture!