Friday, October 20, 2017


Anachronism, fabric art journal page

Found image inspires needle fiend!
A tiny dictionary picture of an ornate carriage got my creative (and dare I say, spoked) wheels rolling. Visions of irregular edges, a hand drawn horse, and pearly beads immediately came to mind. [So did a chartreuse ribbon with white polka dots but that led to an entirely different pony project. Wait for it.]

Anachronism, fabric art journal page, detail-a

Beyond those elements the rest of the piece didn't come together that intuitively. I played around with sizes and shapes of the vintage paper layer (old French almanac) as I have a frustrating propensity to frame within a frame ever so tidily. Finding the right shades of embroidery perles to stand out from the background without calling attention to themselves - well, there was some unpicking to do.

Auditioning fabric scraps to layer and piece the background is one of favorite parts of the process. Thank goodness I have a stockpile of lace tablecloths too -- instant texture (and a case can be made for coy symbolism too). This was also a perfect excuse to trot out the silver metallic embroidery thread (appearing as glinty French knots).

Anachronism, fabric art journal page, detail-b

The silvery flower button - it has been waiting for this project. I am very proud of myself for actually using it instead of saving for something "special" later. Because frankly I don't know if I'll know when that is. And it turns out there are button factories right now in real time making more, not to mention vintage shops all over the country and online with bountiful inventory.

I didn't plan on this as a sellable piece by itself. I have several of these quiet explorations that could be collected together into an artist book. The old Swedish dictionary providing these little black & white gems will surely yield at least a few more.

In case you were wondering...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Three To Get Ready

Abudanza art journal page go, Journal, go! Every once in a while I get to feeling a little guilty for neglecting my "Art Journal". It's basically a chronological catch-all for experiments that scratch an itch for slapping some paint around, maybe even a little modeling paste, and of course gluing stuff down.

There's no rhyme or reason for these pages appearing together other than they happened close in time. One idea doesn't necessarily lead to another but they may be acquainted.

First page shown hides at least one if not two layers of *ugh*. Going for that distressed texture was a no-brainer even though the color combination was a process of trial and error. The raised lettering is a result of paste and stencils. Note: seal them after the first coat of paint otherwise any wiping tends to strip the pigment off. In this case it was a happy accident. The lovely wench image comes by way of  dried pasta packaging. You just never know...

Copper Fetish art journal page

The second page actually was the first to be prepared -- stamping washers and screens into modeling paste - and then nothing for weeks. The color combinations here too took some trial and error: I have something in mind, it doesn't go as planned, so then I try this and then that until finally I can live with it. The dusting with Pearl-Ex powder mixed with gum arabic over the raised surface felt like redemption. It's the rug that ties the room together.

Ok, I snuck in a little stitching, just to fix the copper scrap to the double fabric layer. (That too was a gift from the Art Gods & Goddesses.)

Hydrangea art journal page

I love purple and have a lot of it in paint form because I didn't realize how ginormous 4 ounces of it is. Note: stamping with pigment ink on acrylic doesn't work well so try a coat of clear gesso first. The flower stamps still aren't saturated and crisp but they're sufficient for delivering enough yellow to pick up on the magazine image and its fabric "frame".

My pride and joy here is the stencil I made from a sheet of acetate and a heat pen. I found the design in a Dover clip art book of - wait for it - stencil designs which I scanned and enlarged in Photoshop. I know there are scads of ready made out there but my imperfect rendition(s) suit my primitive style better.

These turned out to be fruitful exercises - light modeling paste and stencils are fun to play with and I'm eager to incorporate them into more pieces. And I'm confident they can play well with stitching.

In case you were wondering...