Category Archives: Art

3 Juicy Journals from 2 Sheets of Paper

Ok, make that 2 BIG sheets of paper. 58 x 42 cm each, to be exact. Or 22.5 x 16.5 inches, if you’re Imperial.

For this project, I wanted to create some square Juicy Journals. I decided to lop off 8 x 17 cm from the two 58 x 42 cm sheets of paper that I’d already Gelli printed on both sides. This meant I could then divide the sheets up into strips of 50 x 25 cm. When folded in half, this would give me a booklet 25 x 25 cm square.

From the 2 large sheets, I was able to get 16 strips of 50 x 25 cm, and the leftovers were enough to make another Juicy Journal, not quite a square one though.

image The 8 pieces that I further divided into 2, to get the 16 strips.

image The 16 strips that will be folded in half to create square signatures of 8 pages each. I’m going to bind 2 signatures together, to get 16 pages per Juicy Journal.

image Each signature consists of 4 strips of 50 x 25 cm, folded in half to create 8 pages.

imageI’m using a pamphlet stitch, so I’ll need 3 holes in each booklet.

Basically, this technique is a really simple one, and is an optical illusion. You simply put two 8-page signatures together and sew them using a pamphlet stitch, and then fold the pages back into their respective signatures. The stitches will be hidden within the pages. I could take this a step further and create a hard cover, but I like to show off my Gelli printing, so I’ll leave them naked, so to speak.

imageHere’s how I sewed the Juicy Journal. Stand the 2 signatures you want to join together like in the photo. Open them up and align their holes. Bind all 8 layers together using a pamphlet stitch.

imageSewing the pamphlet stitch.

imageTying the knot to secure all 8 layers together.

imageFold the 2 signatures back to their respective starting points. This technique produces a booklet with a very neat finish at the spine. The stitches are hidden inside the pages.

imageFrom my 2 big sheets of Gelli printed paper, I managed to create 2 square Juicy Journals and 1 not-so-square one (from the leftover paper). That’s the one on the right, with the pamphlet stitch’s final knot showing on the outside.

imageI like the square format and think I might create some more of these. They require a bit more thought in measuring and tearing to size, but the results are very encouraging.

I also like the technique of sewing 2 signatures together, with the stitches hidden on the inside of the booklet. Might make more the same, too.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! :-)

Graffiti Art : Baldivis

Baldivis is a newish suburb a few miles down the road from Rockingham, where I live. It started out with some new housing developments, a couple of schools and a small shopping mall hardly worth mentioning. Without a car, the Baldivis mall is terribly inconvenient to get to…there are only 2 buses that go anywhere near it, and 1 of them stops half a mile away.

That was then. This is now. Over the past 2 years, Baldivis’ “Stockland” shopping centre or mall has slowly been expanded and renovated. Just recently it celebrated the grand opening of a new extension. And what an extension it is. It’s gone and quadrupled its size from 7000 square metres to a whopping 29500 square metres.

I happened to visit Stockland Baldivis just last week, as the newest extension was opening to the public. As hubby parked our car outside McDonald’s, I noticed 2 great big walls filled with the most wonderful, vibrant graffiti. So, after having our lunch, and before going into any of Stockland’s shops, I took the opportunity to take some photos of the graffiti.

Here they are. I hope you’ll find them as cheerful and happy as I do.

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This mural is a collaboration between 2 well-known street artists, “Beastman” aka Brad Eastman and Kyle Hughes-Odgers. Click on the hyperlinks to access their respective websites.

I hope no one tries to deface this beautiful mural, or spark off some graffiti artist turf war. I’ve seen similarly wonderful graffiti art in Perth City defaced by lowlife scumbags with no respect or intelligence. Hey, people, it’s Art and it’s meant to be enjoyed by everyone, so please respect it and leave it alone!

Art Around Perth : At the Esplanade Bus Terminal

Just some pretty Art on the walls of Perth’s main Bus Terminal at the Esplanade. I was going to use these for projects, but, being an eclectic magpie and with an attention span just as fleeting as a bird’s, I’m onto other projects now so these have fallen by the wayside.

You’re more than welcome to save them to your own devices and use them however you like – as backgrounds for digital photography art, to print out as postcards, for collage, for art journals, etc.

Have a great day!

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You’ll notice the signature of the artist at the bottom of a few of the photographs. I tried searching for “Leanne” the artist, but was sadly unable to find any mention of her or of the wall art at the bus terminal. If anyone knows who “Leanne” is, do let me know so I can update this post, many thanks in advance! :-)

Favourite Quotes

Just a collection of my favourite quotes, curated from my Pinterest board, “Inspirational Thoughts”.

imageThis is so true. I never know how a piece of my Art will turn out, until it’s finished. But I know that if I let my self-doubt win, I would never even be able to start that project.

imageActually, my list is very short. I’m lucky enough to be able to do what I love, Art, on a daily basis. Everything else is a bonus.

imageIf you don’t take that first step, your Journey will never begin. The first step is always the hardest. What if I fall? Ahhh..but what if I fly?

imageI believe in empowering my fellow women, that is why I always encourage and support them, and never think about bringing them down. Why would I? Women are Awesome!

imageI believe we all owe ourselves the responsibility to stand up for justice and equality. Change must begin from within ourselves first, before it can affect the world outside. More people need to wake up to this realisation.

imageSmall minds want you to be just like them, and to stay with them at their level. They can’t bear to see you succeed or move on upwards, so they will endeavour to bring you down to their level by belittling everything you do. Don’t allow this!

imageEven Sylvia Plath suffered from self-doubt at the best of times. The question “What am I doing, why am I doing it, am I any good at it?” is forever on the minds of great creatives. Forget about what others think, just do it for yourself. If You like it, it’s good enough.

imageThis is so true. But there are also “Commercial” artists whose job is simply to churn out piece after piece of art, a la “Painting By Numbers”, to satisfy consumers. Such as commercial Art by Chinese artists for the home decor market. And then there are also artists who deliberately create controversial or expensive art, just to make a statement. Or artists who hire underlings to mix their paints and fill in prepared templates, in order to mass-produce “Art”. So, caveat emptor!

imageWords to live by. We can change the world, if we ALL pulled together, put our differences and egos aside, and really tried. Let’s do it!

imageI love this – the layered background, the turquoise colour, the sentiment. The world is as wonderful as you allow it to be.

A Morbid Fascination

I remember a trip to Singapore many years back, standing at the Victorian-style bay window glass double frontage of a Doll and Teddy Bear store. I’d gone there to look at the teddy bears, but it was the doll displays in the next window that caught my attention. For some reason, the dolls looked like dead babies, grey and ashen against the delicate pastel lace and frills of their accessories.

For this reason, I’ve never been into dolls, least of all the lifelike ones, or those that can cry and pee. I didn’t mind the Barbie-types, with their impossible proportions. I didn’t mind the GI Joe types for boys. I’m talking about a 40+ year-old woman here, dear readers, not a pre-teen girl.

Recently, though, I’ve discovered that I DO like dolls. Only one particular type of doll, though. And not because they’re beautiful, or cute (they’re both)…but, most bizarrely for myself, because they are plain weird, strange and morbid. Hmmm…maybe a reflection on myself? LOL.

I’m talking about Monster High dolls by Mattel. They appeared on the scene only a few years ago, in 2010, but such is their appeal that they are the Bratz dolls of the Noughties. Bratz are so 20th Century hehehe.

Monster High uses the strapline “Be Yourself. Be Unique. Be a Monster”. The range is inspired by monster and horror movies and popular thriller fiction. Think Frankenstein, the Loch Ness Monster, Dracula, Big Foot, Dia de Los Muertos, Jekyll and Hyde. Think dragons, ghosts, banshees, gargoyles, werewolves, big cats, mummies, gorgons, invisible men. Creatures from popular culture, turned into highly articulated 10-12 inch dolls (1:6 scale).

Monster High (MH) dolls have elfin faces on disproportionately large heads, a very curved spine, short torso and long, long legs. Some sport protruding ears, tails, fangs, fins or scales. They come in a wide range of colours, from normal flesh colours, to blue, green, lilac, grey. They have amazing to-die-for hair, in envious shades, lengths and styles. Their limbs are articulated, at the wrist, elbows, shoulders, neck, hips, knees and ankles, allowing them to be extremely poseable. Apart from the clothes they wear (expandable with the purchase of “fashion packs”), each doll comes with its own accessories, which may be a coffin-shaped mobile phone (but of course!), shoes or boots, pet, and any other accessory relevant to the theme or the doll’s character.

The original MH line began with a few main characters but soon expanded to include over 2 dozen, with weird and wonderful names like Frankie Stein, Operetta, Draculaura, Robecca Steam, Ghoulia Yelps, Spectra Vondergeist, Lagoona Blue, Jinafire Long, Skelita Calaveras, Marisol Coxi, Abbey Bominable, Toralei, Catrine deMew, Avea Trotter, Gigi Grant, Rochelle Goyle, Nefera de Nile, Cleo de Nile, Clawdeen Wolf, Howleen Wolf, Twyla, River Styxx, Venus McFlytrap, Casta Fierce etc. With each edition, or “Wave”, Mattel releases new versions of these characters, placing them in locations like Paris (“Scaris”), or Hollywood (“Frights, Camera, Action!”), adding new clothes and accessories, and along the way introducing some new characters and hybrids too. And yes, there are boy Monsters too, known as “Mansters” – Deuce Gorgon, Invisi Billy, Jackson Jekyll, Slo Mo Mortavich, Holt Hyde, Heath Burns, Gil Webber, Clawd Wolf, Porter Geiss, Neightan Rot etc. Headmistress Bloodgood of Monster High is literally headless, as in she’s able to carry her head in her hands, and rides a blue horse called Nightmare.

Add to this already highly successful franchise a range of movies, online videos, Young Adult books, clubs, add-on packs, furniture sets etc and Mattel have a real winner on their hands.

Yes, yours truly knows her Monster High dolls, because she’s been secretly researching their suitability for a future Project. Shhhh!! ;-)

I believe MH dolls should be considered Art Dolls, as they are manufactured to very high standards, and their degree of articulation and poseability, and appeal to all ages, is unsurpassed. All other dolls fall by the wayside when compared to MH. Which is why many artists have taken to customising MH dolls, with startlingly beautiful results.

Here are just several images of my favourite customised MH dolls, curated from Pinterest. You’ll appreciate why I’ve waxed so lyrical about these dolls. They’re amazing! And the artists that created them – WOW! SUCH TALENT! is all I can say.

Enjoy! From this:
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To these:
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Child’s Play

Gather your Ingredients:

1 crazy Gelli Plate addict (moi!)
1 Gelli Plate
3 double-sided children’s texture plates
Your choice of acrylic paint colours (I use them All!)
Some glitter paint (if you have them)
Brayer
8 sheets of A4 art paper (I use 190 gsm, but anything from 120gsm upwards is ok)
Sheets of Deli Paper (or Greaseproof paper for those who can’t get hold of Deli Paper)

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One side of the 3 children’s texture plates I used.
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The reverse side of the same texture plates.

Method:
1. Load up your Gelli Plate with several dots of different coloured acrylic paints at the same time.

2. Use brayer to spread paint over the Gelli Plate. Do this quickly and try not to smear the colours too much, or go over the same areas more than once or twice. Otherwise you will get mud.

3. Use the kiddy texture plates to stamp patterns onto the painted Gelli Plate. Take the painted texture plate and stamp it at random places on some of the A3 sheets of paper.

4. Place a sheet of Deli Paper/Greaseproof Paper over the Gelli Plate to absorb excess paint. Pull a print. Remove and put the printed Deli Paper aside for other projects.

5. Place a sheet of the A3 art paper over the Gelli Plate and pull a print. If there’s any paint still left on the Gelli Plate, pull another print.

6. Repeat steps 1 to 5 above with different colour combinations, until both sides of all 8 A3 sheets are filled. Leave some white spaces, for contrast.

7. Frame your favourite prints. Or, I would tear the A3 sheets into smaller pieces to bind later into my Juicy Journals.

Some of the results:

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And some close-ups:

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You can’t really make it out in the photos, but there is a glittery shimmer to the papers, as I’d mixed some glitter paint into some of the Gelli prints. I love the effect! It’s quite sophisticated, instead of being childish.

Now, go play! :-)

My Favourite Fractal Art (as seen on Pinterest)

Okay, following on from yesterday’s ramblings about Pinterest, here as promised are some of my favourite Fractal Digital Art, curated from Pinterest, of course ;-).

There are just too many artists to credit, but if you need information, just visit my Pinterest page, (I’m alyzenm there), and look for my board “Fractals”. When you click on an image there, it tales you to the weblink, if available.

Many of these uber-talented artists can be found on DeviantArt, worth a check in there too.

Enjoy!

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Pinterest: Cascading Walls, Surges, Virgin Boards

My Pinterest wall showed up a feed with several gorgeous examples of Fractal Art. The way Pinterest works, you share your Wall with your followers and people you follow (similar to Facebook), and your Pins and their Pins appear on the Wall. So, if someone is researching something by using Pinterest’s search facility, and then busy repinning their finds onto their own Boards, those pins will appear on the Wall and anyone can see them.

I’m guilty of doing this quite often myself on Pinterest :-). There’s nothing wrong with doing it, it’s actually how Pinterest has been set up to work. What happens when there’s a “surge” of one particular topic or subject on the Pinterest Wall (I like to call it the Cascading Wall myself, as scrolling down it reminds me of a waterfall, or cascade), Pinners either ignore those Pins if they’re not interested, and scroll down until they reach a more “normal” homogenised patch of Pins, or leave it until other more usual Pins have superceded the patch of Pins and check in later. Or, sometimes out of curiosity, Pinners might go look at one or two of these “surge” Pins…and get hooked themselves. That’s how new Boards get created, when Pinners realise they’ve started pinning so many of those new images that they really should start a new Board.

A “surge” is like a tsunami, it can literally take over the Wall if Pinners are spending hours pinning and repinning images. I’ve sometimes logged into Pinterest and found the Cascading Wall full of nothing but fashion shots of clothes, shoes or handbags. Or of images of jewellery. Or of holiday destinations. Luckily, I’m an eclectic magpie and will often repin even fashion Pins, if the mood strikes me. We all share the Wall, just like we all share this Earth, so instead of beating ourselves up because right now the feed is full of nothing but Media News and Cute Puppies, just either go with the flow, or switch off for a while. No biggie, either way.

I’m an avid Pinner. As a visual person, I find Pinterest is akin to Google Search, but on a visual level. Google Images just doesn’t cut the mustard sometimes, as its search engine algorithm casts the net further and can throw out some pretty strange results. Pinterest’s search is more precise, I find, and depending on whether it’s a popular topic that’s been well researched and Pinned and RePinned or not, you’ll find loads of hits or conversely, hardly any. And if you can’t find it on Pinterest, but it’s on the internet, why then just start up a new “Virgin Board” and link your internet finds to Pinterest that way. Be a pioneer! Other Pinners will appreciate you for it. “Virgin Boards” are very rare, because you and I might categorise the same thing differently, with a gazillion variations, so while you might think there’s no Board for say, the “Abominable Snowman”, you might find examples under “Yeti” or “Sasquatch”, that sort of thing.

(By the way, the terms “surge”, “Cascading Wall” and “Virgin Board” are my own inventions, not terms used by the creators of Pinterest. It’s just how I visualise Pinterest working in my mind’s eye).

Here are some topics that I’ve been guilty of “surging” on Pinterest. My favourite topics, you might say:

1) Monster High custom
2) Italy
3) Pit bulls
4) Fractal Art
5) Assemblage, Altered Art, Steampunk
6) Art Journaling
7) Gelli Plate Monoprinting
8) Warrior Women

I’d started writing today with the intention of sharing images of Fractal Art that I just saw on a Pinterest “surge”…but I think I’d better make that tomorrow’s post instead, as this post is already way long. See you tomorrow! :-)

Oh well, here’s one anyway LOL.

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Artist Inspiration : Erin Ashley

I love love love Erin Ashley’s Art! Bright, zingy colours, in strips and stripes, splishes and splashes, drips and drops, text and numbers, weathered and scratched, grunged and textured…wonderfully vibrant, beautifully translucent, many layered, infinitely interesting. Or, how about just plain Gorgeous!

Excerpt from Erin Ashley’s website, which explains her thought processes behind her art:

Art has the power to make one see things in a new light. It helps us see the beauty in things that some may overlook, or take for granted. As an artist, inspiration comes to me in many forms. I see so much beauty in old weathered things. A new life that hides behind an old, waiting to be discovered. Layers of chipped paint, rusted metals and old buildings- they excite me and spark new ideas within me.

I begin my work without any preconceived ideas at all what the finished work is going to look like. I like the idea of each painting being a journey, ending at a beautiful destination. My paintings are made with lots of color and textures, bringing out the old with the new.

I am a self taught full-time artist with a desire to create, capture and preserve a true beauty of art in each painting – in hopes to create a happy escape for the viewer.

Erin Ashley’s work has appeared in several galleries in the US and Italy. Her work has been shown behind the scenes on The Rosie O’Donnell show airing on the Opera’s Winfrey network, DreamWorks studios in Los Angeles, Cartoon Network in which she designed a custom logo painting, Time Warner editing suites, Dick Blick Art which commissioned her several paintings to display in their corporate office Chicago, HGTV Housing Works Show/Design on a Dime held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC and Best Of Fall Designs held in NYC. Erin Ashley has received several awards for her art and currently works with many prestigious interior designers and publishers.

Published in Professional Artist magazine, American Artist, Better Homes and Gardens/Color Made Easy, Studios magazine, Art.com Fall magazine, Art.com Spring magazine, Art.com Summer 2014 magazine, Art.com Holiday catalog, San Francisco Chronicle, American Airlines/Sky Mall magazine 2013 and 2014, featured on cover 2012 Liberated Dreams gallery book, Arte Energia Creativa gallery 2014 art book / Italy, Art Journal magazine, 2014 inside cover of Surround magazine, Holiday Surround magazine, 2015 Summer issue Cover and spread Better Homes& Gardens REFRESH magazine. Erin Ashley’s painting titled: Pier 44 will soon be aired on “Million Dollar Listing” San Francisco – stay tuned!

Prints of her art can be found across the globe in most major known home stores and catalogs such as, Bed Bath and Beyond, Z Gallerie, Home Goods … her art is now featured on many home store products such as ottomans, clocks, bath items, hand bags and bedding comforters.

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I could post up more images (from Pinterest, where I’m curating a Board specifically for Erin Ashley’s work), as Erin is quite prolific, but I’ll let Your fingers and eyes do the walking and seeing instead. If you’re interested in purchasing Erin’s artwork, you can contact her through her website, or visit her Etsy shop.

Enjoy!!

Gelli Printing with Deli Paper

At last! As part of a job lot I purchased from Interweave (the people behind the mixed media mag Cloth Paper Scissors), I was able to get my grubby paws on the almost-mythical, legendary American “Deli Paper”. The paper that American artists have been waxing lyrical about, pun intended.
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Now, I haven’t yet done a comparison study between our Aussie Greaseproof Paper and the American Deli Paper, but to me they feel pretty alike. I was intrigued by the claim that Deli Paper will become transparent when glued to other substrates. So, let’s take this baby for a spin, on my Gelli Plate.

First, I must share with you the object that inspired this latest experiment. It’s actually a teacup and saucer that The Kid picked out for me from T2 in Perth City. The range is called “She Loves“, and my teacup and saucer are no.633 of a limited edition of 900.

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The wrapping paper it came in echoed the theme, and once I’d painstakingly removed the sticky tape cleanly, said wrapping paper went up on my bedroom wall. I used a couple of Apps on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to edit a photo I took of the wrapping paper, and added slme more colour and texture to it. It is now my Note 4’s wallpaper.

Here it is:
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So, with this colour palette in mind, I decided to play with my new Deli Paper, to put it through its paces and see what all the hype is about.
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As my Gelli Plate is 8×10 inches, and the Deli Papers are 6×10.75 inches, I found the best way to marry the two was to use 2 pieces of Deli Paper. I’d already tested out 2 sheets previously, glueing them onto a large art tag, and making more art tags seemed a good place to start. Of course, in retrospect, I could’ve used all the Deli Paper on my Gelli Plate, leaving some extra paint on the outside of the Plate…but hindsight is always 20/20, right? ;-)

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I deviated from my usual method of Gelli printing, by experimenting with the way I laid my acrylic paints down. Normally, I would work with 1 colour at a time. This time, however, I decided to go for a mixed, ink splashy look, just like on my teacup and saucer. So, this time I squeezed a few drops of 1 colour onto the Gelli Plate, followed by a few drops of a different colour, and perhaps a third colour, before using my brayer to smoosh the colours around. I tried not to mix the colours too much, as I didn’t want to end up with homogenised mud.

So here are the results:
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These are the printed Deli Papers. I’ve put them aside to dry. I also have 4 A3 sheets of paper, printed on both sides, as a result of brayering off excess paints and stencils etc. Because I only used 4 sheets this time, as opposed to my usual 6 or 8, the sheets are super-saturated with all sorts of interesting abstract shapes and colours. I don’t think I’ll be needing to use any or much Dylusion Ink Sprays to fill in the blank spaces, as there aren’t that many blank spaces!

Not sure what I’ll do with all these yet, but watch this space!