Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Technique Tuesday - Using a Mask

I love using masks in my creative work, usualy along with stamps and stencils.  My thanks to the very talented artist Dina Wakely, who happens to live here in Arizona. She is a wonderful teacher and also runs a mixed media group that meets once a month at The Creative Quest in Glendale, Az.

I have used a mask on this postcard by cutting shapes out of a clothing catalog. I cut out three shapes of women in different poses, layed them together and used a paintbrush to pull paint around the edges of the shape. That gave me the shape surrounded in purple on this fabric postcard.

I could have painted or stamped on the fabric first, but after painting, I used a marker to put the quote from Maya Angelou in the center. I used a ginko leaf rubber stamp with Lumiere paint and used a piece of punchinella as a stencil to add more color to this postcard. And finally, with a hair comb dipped in paint, I made those red lines that you see.

I keep catalogs and magazines and occasionally while watching television or movies will flip through them to find shapes that interest me. I cut them out and might spend a different session painting them with a coat of gel medium so I can use them more than once. If you coat your pieces with gel medium, do it on a piece of plastic so you will be able to lift the piece when dry and turn it over to paint the other side.

Sometimes I'll remember to save both the actual mask and the stencil that is created when cutting out the shape - like this woman from an old catalog I had lying around.

That little strip of blue that you see on the stencil is painters tape that I used to reinforce the portion where I cut very close to the edge. I wanted to give it some stability.

I glued the mask to a file folder, coated it with gel medium, cut it out, laid it on a piece of plastic, coated the back with gel medium as well. I also coated the stencil on both sides.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I would love to hear about your adventures with this technique.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Surface Design Postcard Swap - Texture Postcards

I signed up this week to join a swap on the Surface Design Yahoo Group. The theme of this swap is landscape texture postcards so we have to do fabric postcards with texture and depth to them. We only have to make 4 so I think I can get these designed and out in the mail in time for the deadline of June 20th. Some of my postcards will be going to people in Australia. I love how connected the world is today.

Now what should I do for my postcards? What immediately came to mind was to maybe use some of my photos for inspiration.

Maybe one of these that I took from the car on a trip to Sedona last year:

Hmmm. All of these qualify as landscapes. All three have great visual texture with a lot of options for recreating those textures on fabric. None of these are stellar photographs but they do not have to be since I will add and/or subtract things to make the piece work as a postcard.

And who knows, maybe working on these postcards will spark some ideas for a larger quilted landscape.

As always, click on any photo for a larger view and comments are always welcomed. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cacti In Bloom

Look at all of the pretty cacti. I know this sounds a little bit funny. It is hard to think of a cactus as something pretty when we all know about those prickly, stick-y, ouch-y, hurt-you-if-you-touch-them spines that many cacti have.
Those spines are part of the reason that cacti survive in dry climates like the desert because the spines help reduce the evaporation or loss of water by the plant. The spines also offer wonderful protection.

Cacti are flowering plants and I never think much about the fact that they bloom. So I was absolutely delighted to see the blooms on a recent visit to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ.

The slideshow below shows an assortment of cacti and some of their blooms.


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