Thursday, December 8, 2016

Warm Saguaro Fuzzies

Thanksgiving, mixed media journal page
On the road inspiration: three generations camping in the Arizona desert waiting for Black Friday. Because that means - wait for it - (leftover) turkey tacos! Meticulously prepared, deep fried under the stars, wearing our jackets zipped up.

This page was started while there with leftovers as well - random fabric scraps collected into a baggie and tucked into a shoebox of floss and cotton perle. It's relaxing to sit in a family chat circle with a little piece work to keep my fingers busy and out of the chip bag.

Once home I tea-stained a map handed out by park staff, painted it with number stencils (messier than desired), then pasted onto a bright paint-scraped page in the art journal.

I find I really like having just a box of stuff - limited but not predetermined - to invent from. So often I want to stitch without having a particular plan or project. Not an easy thing for a control freak.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Mr Corvid I Presume?

Mr Corvid, mixed media textile collage, detail

I don't have enough never-seen Christmas-themed artwork to trot out all season long so in the meanwhile I will introduce my newest crow - Mr Corvid. These birds and the folk tales that surround them really catch my fancy. They're seemingly wise and naughty. I like that, I wanna be that.

Mr Corvid, mixed media textile collage, framed

I started with an old filled-in crossword puzzle layering on and scraping off paint before stamping with my hand carved puzzle pieces.  The polka dot fabric, one of my go-to faves with its soft cream and brown, created the perfect light-hearted "frame". The stitching - both machine and hand - make wonderful touchable marks - adding texture without too much distraction.

I like the adding of whimsical wording - hopefully not cloying - just amusing. I find it appealing in both folk art and modernist pieces. It's conversational. And I like chatting with people so there you go.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Pieces Of Mind

Susan's Sunflower, detail
Here's my wine - I cross-stitch to relax and keep my fiddly fingers happy when I'm watching television. Sometimes I absolutely crave it.

The scene: a dear lady, hopefully my daughter's future in-law, had a stunning bunch of chocolate sunflowers in her cheerful yellow kitchen. I. Love. Chocolate. Sunflowers. And these happened to have been home grown by the gentleman half of the hopeful future in-laws. As you can deduce I have a double-fisted attachment to these little beauties.

The photo itself of course was nice and crispy in showing the shadow play on the back wall. I played with this in Photoshop to make it more impressionistic before I fed it through another computer program that pixelates just for eager "diy" cross-stitchers. (PC Stitch rocks!) The end size is roughly 6" x 8". I ran out of room on my canvas so unfortunately some potentially clarifying detail is missing.

Susan's Sunflower
Very please to have this completed and hanging in my own home. But I feel a little bereft as I need another cross-stitch project for occupational therapy. My dream project has yet to be put to pattern, and because of the sheer size it will take several years. Better start soon - not getting younger!!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Carrying On

53, encaustic mixed media collage
Like many, I'm a bit out of sorts lately due to our historic presidential election. Lots of intense emotion to contend with. A part of me though is clamoring to shake it off, step back, and let time work its magic of softening the edges.

This is where art/Art comes in. This piece, 53, was inspired by one of my favorite numbers. Sounds kinda silly but I know there are others who have them too. Anyways, it so happens I reached the ripe age of 53 last month which prompted some self reflection. Got me thinking of life's ups and downs we all go through, and that if we're lucky, despite the bumps and bruises, we keep showing up and carry on. Hopefully even thrive - because dammit, we just plain want to.

53, encaustic mixed media collage, detail

How it came together: I had a close-up photo of  the number 5 painted on a wonderfully weathered train locomotive. I stenciled in paste the number 3. I layered this on a collage of paper doilies and stamped fish. Paint was applied then wiped off so it would settle mostly in the grooves. I added a sail of delicate fabric scrap. And then went at the whole thing with encaustic paint (melted beeswax and damar resin). More paint was rubbed in to highlight that beautiful uneven texture. Finally I nailed it (!) to an old weathered board (which I helped along).

Whether or not you're thinking of years accumulated I hope you enjoy that an imperfect journey is a thing to behold and continue.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Leaf Geekery

Fall, encaustic mixed media collage
Fall is my favorite season because leaves yield their lovely shades of emerald to an explosion of russets, ochres, and umbers. And in such random patterns too! It would seem no two are alike, and so each inspection reveals a new delight.

Like many, I can't resist collecting a few of these beauties. And here I present one such specimen - delicately mottled in grey and silver brown. Very subtle. How to lure you in for a closer look though. By saturating the background in a gradation of green, yellow, and orange. Symbolic of the progression from Spring to Autumn, from forest to sunshine.

Fall, encaustic mixed media collage, detail-a

Beeswax or rather encaustic wax (which is beeswax simmered with damar resin for better wear) is my go-to for showcasing natural elements. It seems appropriate, giving depth and texture that are further highlighted with random flecks of color.

I hope that this for you occasions a thoughtful mood, a slowing down to savor one of Nature's many seasonal gifts.

Fall, encaustic mixed media collage, detail-b

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Be Of Good Chair

Posture, mixed media journal page

So I'm eccentric - I like chairs. They appeal to my inner vegetable, the potato. I like parking my ass in a (hopefully) comfortable spot and observing life and it goes without saying, making art too!

This was a fun experiment to play with eye candy magazine pictures without making an image transfer. I instead  mucked around with gesso and colored pencils. Not so many details accidentally lost to The Process.

Seriously you don't need me to explain the rest. I like an excuse to use pretty fabrics, distress vintage paper, practice basic calligraphy, bead, and of course sew by machine and embroider by hand.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Circus Time!

Creepy Clown Postcard
Just a reflection of the times we live in.

This one's for the art journal. I wanted to experiment directly sewing a magazine pic into a collage rather than making a dry gel image transfer. Still used gesso then paint to work it into the background. I'm pleased with the rough layered effect because of the way it catches color. The stamping and hand stitching seemed the right way to round out the mood.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Art Grows On Trees

A Leaf In The World, encaustic mixed media collage
We all know that Mother Nature is the original artist. She works in all mediums in all sizes. So while I won't take credit for this leaf per se, I am happy to highlight one of her creations. While browns and taupes aren't electric, the subtle mottling is a treasure. How nice to be so naturally clever!

To let the leaf take center stage I started with a vague world map tissue napkin. Then I added soft gold and orange sheers to deepen color and a more opaque burgundy scrap to anchor the bottom field. Coating melted beeswax (encaustic paint) to each layer creates translucent depth, and a final rub with rusty oil paint highlights its pocked and wavy texture.

A Leaf In The World, encaustic mixed media collage, detail
Since I was working on a shallow canvas panel instead of cradled panel, I chose to 'frame' this piece by mounting it on a distressed and stained wooden board. Frankly I think it adds to organic feel and really makes the painting pop.

A Leaf In The World, encaustic mixed media collage, mounted

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Stitch Happy Grow Happy

Grow Happy mixed media artist book
Just went to town on making these four panels chock full of color and texture. The guiding principal was exuberance - and an excuse to sew myself silly. Seriously, I find needlework to be meditative with the kantha stitch (those parallel rows of straight stitch) bringing on a state of a zen.

Grow Happy mixed media artist book, detail

Each page of this accordion folded book is 6" x 6" so it stretches out to 24". Of course it would show best displayed on a table or shelf. (Doubt not - the backside is gently decorated too.) And the covers are sturdy textured and painted mat board.

Grow Happy mixed media artist book, backside

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

You Had Me At Taffeta

Taffeta, mixed media journal page
In case the world really does end soon (say November 8, 2016), why wait any longer to pry open my vault of precious vintage ephemera.  And throw in a sense of humor while I'm at it because my default is to take things way too seriously.

Since this is an experiment it's headed for the art journal, but I can see possible a whole artist's book full of irreverence and just maybe a little piquancy.

My aim, my technique: play off a found image (old or new, such as from a magazine, catalog, etc.) with fabric scraps, stitching (machine or hand, usually both), buttons and/or beads, and layered onto a painted background (book pages being a personal fave).

Alternate title: Hand-Smocked, Bitches!  

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Spoiler Alert! Cute Baby

Embroidered Photo Baby M
I'm a sucker for cute kids, ditto little furry animals. Got lucky with a friend's willingness to let me embroider a smartphone pic of her little sprout. It's to showcase customized embroidered photos I'm offering in my Etsy shop, PegasaurusArt.

Embroidered Photo Baby M, detail
Tried to keep it simple with first an edit on Snapseed, playing with filters and bleaching out color. Then on to the box of scraps to see which fabrics played well together with my theme (kid's an angel, of course). The rest was simple hand stitching and beading to complement the overall look.

The finished size is 5" x 7" so it easily fits off the shelf frames.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Own It

Crone, mixed media journal page
All right, Ladies, no weepy woe-is-me-I'm-showing-my-age monologue. This is for those who take the passing decades with a grain of salt and maybe a shot or two. Yep, skin wrinkles and weight accumulates...if you're lucky to live that long! So rock the gallows humor already.
I'm not quite at Crone-hood yet but I will relish a good cackle now.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Catharsis

Midnight Oasis, mixed-media journal page
This began very tidily on another background but geez, it was static. Wanted to banish the damned thing from sight and drown my sorrows in Netflix. BUT (you know something's coming) instead I flew into a snit - grabbed the scissors, a used envelope, and the sewing machine and just. went. to. town. Whether it's fabulous or not isn't the issue at this point (though I do likes it much better) as a good deal of satisfaction can be derived from clawing a 'fail' to near shreds and reassembling it as a cuter Frankenstein.

Monday, April 4, 2016

For The Other 364 Days

Mixed Media Copper Foil Vintage Paper Heart Ornament
I'm counting on folks liking hearts before and after Valentine's Day. So technically I'm neither late nor early. Romance now!

I made these two ornaments by free-hand embossing copper and lighter duty blue foils. The paper heart is a page from an old book on opera plots that I distressed the hell out of then rubbed with a cold wax I tinted to match. The flowers are layered from five different frothy fabrics. And beads were added because that's how I roll.

These boho beauties hang about 8" tippy top to dangly bottom.

Mixed Media Blue Foil Vintage Paper Heart Ornament
More info at: www.etsy.com/shop/PegasaurusArt

Your comments really are appreciated: allycepsilva@gmail.com

Monday, March 28, 2016

Visit With Flowers

Mixed Media Embroidered Textile Collage Visit With Flowers
Farting around with fabric scraps leftover from a just finished project eventually led to this. Cotton perles and embroidery flosses jumped in and then came the "me-too" beads. What're busy fingers to do?

Should I point out how Visit With Flowers is bit of word play - you can visit a garden or you could visit someone else with blooms in hand.

This collage measures 8" x 10" so it fits in a standard frames. See how nicely it settles into the barnwood frame below.

Mixed Media Embroidered Textile Collage Visit With Flowers, detail-a

Mixed Media Embroidered Textile Collage Visit With Flowers, detail-b
I'd be delighted to make another one of these (but not exactly or it'd lose the spontaneous feel) so if you're interested....or just want to comment, go here: allycepsilva@gmail.com.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Kiss

Embroidered Photo Romantic Couple
Some painter dude named Gustav Klimt really nailed it. I'm just going fall in behind him and salute the romance of kissing couples. Since these young people are known to me, I don't want to make it any weirder for them. I just wanted to immortalize this sweet smartphone capture with a little digital special effects, some embroidery and a trinket on a rustic fabric background.

Embroidered Photo Romantic Couple, detail-a

Embroidered Photo Romantic Couple, detail-b
I'm showboating here to advertise that I could work this magic for someone else's dearly beloved. Prob should mention the 3x5 photo is mounted at 5" x 7" for easy framing. Like one could buy a cute little frame for a reasonable amount.

Your comments are most appreciated! allycepsilva@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Artist's Best Friend

Embroidered Photo Dog On The Beach

Photo of a photo - doesn't do it justice. Bear with me. My inspiration came from our eternal puppy, Jasper, looking like Nobody's Dog after a romp at the beach. Fiddling around with a photo editing program to tart up the color scheme, etc. on my smartphone yielded this little gem. Wasn't going to leave it at that, so I adhered a print to fabric, layered it on even more rustic-y fabrics, then free-form embroidered in blue cotton perle. The bottle cap - well, jewel of the crown in my eyes.


Embroidered Photo Dog On The Beach, detail-a

Embroidered Photo Dog On The Beach, detail-b
Comments always appreciated: allycepsilva@gmail.com




Tuesday, February 9, 2016

What Did You Expect

Mixed Media Pink Flowers Foil Heart Ornament Valentine - detail a
Did you think I would stop at one ornament and call the whole affair off? Nah. Here're three more. I made the foil hearts larger to show off more embossing.





























Mixed Media Red Polka Dots Foil Heart Ornament Valentine - detail a


Mixed Media White & Black Flowers Foil Heart Ornament Valentine - detail a

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I Did It For Love

Mixed Media Heart Valentine Ornament

With holiday hibernation behind us, there's a new holiday to look forward to for decorating and chocolate: Valentine's Day! I've been inspired to paw through my fabric scraps, ribbons, yarns, and beads and use a bit of everything to make a heartfelt something.

Mixed Media Heart Valentine Ornament - detail
Now what makes this more special is that I stuffed the heart (much like our very own are filled with love - sigh) and mounted it on a double layer of foil. Each side is decorated - and yes, the back has a different design so when the ornament spins around it always looks good.

This is too fun so more are on the way.