Encaustic and Origami Collage

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This article is written by Vicki Ross

Love our local thrift store, Helping Hands in Bentonville, AR. Found an origami kit that followed me home. Since I like to see how I can incorporate these types of treasures into my regular art (I think that’s an oxymoron…my regular art :)

Anyway, I tried folding paper. MUCH harder than it looks. And, of course instructions were not the best. I had to fudge a few folds.

encaustic tiles with mixed media collage

encaustic tiles with mixed media collage

encaustic tiles with mixed media collage

Next, I took 4″ square tumbled marble tiles and coated them with a couple coats of plain encaustic medium (beeswax and damar resin, I make my own). Yup, visit all those flowers and bring the pollen home to my web. Shoot, my colony. Then, off to Madagascar to drain sap out of the damar tree. (I made that up, FYI)

encaustic tiles with mixed media collage

encaustic tiles with mixed media collage

Each gets a pour because I wanted to keep the three dimensional look of the folded paper. After two pours, fusing, I took a brush and made sure all crevices were filled. When cool, I scraped back as far as I could, again maintaining the 3-D look.

encaustic tiles with mixed media collage

encaustic tiles with mixed media collage

encaustic tiles with mixed media collage

encaustic tiles with mixed media collage

encaustic tiles with mixed media collage

When I declared victory, each was signed…not an easy process on such smalls. Here is the group.

encaustic mixed media collages on tiles

all images © V.N.Ross

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Vicki Ross is focused on sharing her journey to art and how life events can shape us through creativity www.Axully.com. Vicki has always been involved deeply in the creative arts, from professional soft crafts publications (knitting/crochet/needlework) to French Hand-sewing, stenciling to macramé, oil painting to encaustics. Whatever your leaning, she believes in the healing power of creating.

You can see more of Vicki’s work at VickiRossArt or via blog posts at Axully – Solid. Useful. Beautiful

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I’m NOT Obsessed with Art Journals! (Am I?)

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This article is written by Vicki Ross

Please note: any snarkiness is directed toward Wicki…not Mixed Media :)

I am by nature a studious sort. I seem to get more pleasure out of figuring out all the ins and outs of a subject long before I experiment with it. Used to purchase software books and manuals (back before information was available online) and attack them page by page before I ever loaded the corresponding software.

I’ve done the same thing with art. Even though I am a retired graphic design professional, I knew nothing about the application of “Fine Art” materials back in 2002 when I made serious life changes that pushed me to learning to paint.

SO, instead of experimenting with watercolors, I studied the chemical formulas and what made some pigments play nice together and that some made mud. THEN I went to the studio (after collecting the vast array of materials I thought I HAD to have). Same with pastels, acrylics, oils, and encaustics. Now, thanks to sites like Mixed Media Art, videos by Terri Sproul, Carolyn Dube, and my fellow writers here, I’m doing the same thing with ‘journaling’. Lurking around, soaking up the wisdom and tutorials, and maybe, just maybe…ya never know where Wicki will be next!

Coming to the conclusion a week or so ago that I really hadn’t crossed over to the dark side of crafting (not that there is anything wrong with that), I could start art journaling as a means of technique experimentation for implementation in my ‘real’ art pieces. Then, one morning a couple of days ago, I remembered a journal I created back in 2004-ish that was intended to be filled with artwork from members of a critique group I was in. Some were happy with a simple spiral bound notebook, but not Wicki!

art journalling journal

Would you just look at this? I spent hours making the journal! Now I’m considering re-purposing/finishing out the pages as an art journal.

The book was a post system binder filled with handmade paper. I carefully took it apart and added a sheet of glassine between each page.

The cover looks like tissue paper attached with mat medium. I don’t think I used stamps (didn’t have any). A laser print of one of my graphics projects was collaged on, then a ribbon and wad of copper wire.The inside covers are collaged with mulberry paper.

To add to the obsession, I took a placemat with beaded trim and attached it to the back of the book. Add ribbons and beads and it folds and ties over the cover to protect it.

mixed media art journaling coverNow the fun part! Switching the books between the artists in the group, the idea was to get it filled. The group drifted apart as these experienced artists transitioned into senior centers and they lost touch with their art experimentation. My train took a dirt road about that time as I ventured into soft pastels.

Imagine my pleasure as I opened the book and out fell some cards from art friends…one from Anita from Germany we met on a watercolor workshop with Charles Reid in Salzburg and Prague in 2006. A delightful original watercolor with a note on the back from Jan in Australia. Another card from a good friend, Jodie from Texas. Then a few pages from the critique group…and an ATC card from friend, Erika from Bentonville. Another page revealed a detailed pencil drawing of a design I was working out for a painting. I was experimenting with pencil as an art form, not pencil for sketching or guide for painting.

So, what do you think? Should I throw caution and frugality to the side and pick this bad boy up for art journaling? OR, put it back on the shelf and save it?

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Vicki Ross is focused on sharing her journey to art and how life events can shape us through creativity www.Axully.com. Vicki has always been involved deeply in the creative arts, from professional soft crafts publications (knitting/crochet/needlework) to French Hand-sewing, stenciling to macramé, oil painting to encaustics. Whatever your leaning, she believes in the healing power of creating.

You can see more of Vicki’s work at VickiRossArt or via blog posts at Axully – Solid. Useful. Beautiful

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Journal Pages for Dummies

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This article was written by Vicki Ross

I have achieved some abilities in fine art. I know which end of a brush to use, the quality differences of pigments, softness of pastel brands, how to mix oils…and apply any medium with some success…most of the time. This is the original portrait of Natalie and Blake, more interested in their ice cream and new shoes than what I was doing. The Phoenix painting in the back was a family project that everyone worked on and signed. Their great-grandmother initiated it and supplied the ice cream. Pastel, © V.N.Ross

Journal Dummies

Mixed Media and all the products available for the craft and scrapper market are somewhat familiar to me because I am a child of the 70’s. (ok, 60’s-ish.) I have officially crossed back over! Not regressing back to macaroni on cigar boxes, but I’m learning how to meld new products into my fine art, and having a bit of fun on the way. Didn’t expect the learning curve to be quite what it is, though. Never do.

The subject of this article is about how many ways you can screw up a project and still come out OK in the end. Key take-away is to not give up. Most of these things never turn out like you plan, especially when working with strange new products. Even old traditional media don’t behave exactly like you want and plan, that is why the Muse has to be involved for problem-solving. Same Muse, different project!

Materials:

  • Journal
  • A frame pattern
  • pictures
  • cardstock for frame
  • Golden Matte Medium
  • Foam Brush
  • Silver embossing powder
  • Silver Marker
  • White charcoal pencil
  • Workable Fixative (I used Winsor&Newton)
  • Heat Gun

The painting of Natalie and Blake started this project, and would make a neat personalization for a writing journal for their mom, Jennifer. This is how most of my little ideas turn into BIG ones. Just a tiny idea. The Journal I picked out of my stash had a great cover…too nice to cover up (I seem to collect these with the best intentions of using them, but am reluctant to “mess them up”). BUT, the inside cover and fly sheet would provide a nice canvas. I found a photo for the other side.

Journal Dummies

Made several attempts to cut the frames until I got them at just the right size for the book, and laser prints of the images. Must have cut, edited, re-cut, printed, trimmed 6 or 7 sets to finally figure out the Explore quirks and my lack of experience with it.

Journal Dummies

Found a wonderful piece of black cardstock from an advertising book. The Explore barely cut through it…must have had a plasticizer coating or something, and might have been better had I set it to cut several times or had a deep-cut housing. Oh well, an exacto knife is like an extra appendage for me…so I finished the cuts by hand.

Everything fit! Used a wee bit of scotch tape to hold in place, then put the project up a day to “percolate”.

Finishing time!Carefully removed the tape, and the paper stuck to it and left me with a few blemishes. No big deal, right? Marker to the rescue! Got out the Matte Medium and applied a thin coat to the back of the laser print. Of course, the paper curled. No biggie. Just apply it quickly and burnish it down. Ended up with a few minor wrinkles that added an aged crackle look where the color rubbed off. STILL OK.

Journal Dummies

Added the black frame with the Explore silver lettering at the top. Hmmm. Letter Outlines, but OK. I’ll do something with that. Forget being sparing with the Matte Medium (no point in being frugal). Darn! The silver Explore pen wasn’t permanent. Grab a can of fixative and spray the rest of it. Dry. Finish the coat of Matte Medium.

Of course, the pages buckled up nicely. Heat gun to the rescue, and they did begin to behave. Every place I touched to ensure adhesion left a bubble texture. New challenge. No problem, right? Just make more texture to make that blend in. Type still faded. Pick up a white charcoal pencil and re-outline. GREAT! Spray fixative. Charcoal disappears.

Journal Dummies

Move on to the texture issue. Sprays don’t show up on black paper. Neither did the stamp inks. Picked up some embossing powder, and the grey powder turned silver with heat! Perfect. Squiggles helped hide the texture bubbles. There is a reason video demonstrations show tapping off the excess embossing powder BEFORE you heat. Now we have lots of texture, silver this time!

Journal Dummies

Another coat of Matte Medium.The heck with the brush. Pour a glob on and smear it with my fingers. My hands are now covered with drying matte medium and embossing powder. Manage to knock over the embossing powder container. Scrape most of it back into jar and CAP IT.

At this point, seriously thinking about starting over, but thinking about wasting 1/4 of a 16 oz bottle of Golden Matte Medium made me take a break, let everything dry, and come back to it. Remembered some silver markers that helped fill out the letters some.Used a black marker to cover some of the wayward silver embossing. Fixative again, another coat of Matte Medium, and Victory!

Lessons learned, as always! Video demonstrators have used the product several times before the camera starts rolling, trust me!

Journal Dummies

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Author bio:

Vicki Ross is focused on sharing her journey to art and how life events can shape us through creativity www.Axully.com. Vicki has always been involved deeply in the creative arts, from professional soft crafts publications (knitting/crochet/needlework) to French Hand-sewing, stenciling to macramé, oil painting to encaustics. Whatever your leaning, she believes in the healing power of creating.

You can see more of Vicki’s work at VickiRossArt or via blog posts at Axully – Solid. Useful. Beautiful

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Rainbow Grunge Backgrounds

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This article is written by Kate Palmer (aka Sparkle Tart)

Today I’m going to show you all how to create a vibrant Rainbow Grunge Background suitable for cards, pages, journal backgrounds and even canvas!  This background style is particularly useful for low mojo days as it is low stress, uses up extra paint, when finished can be used as a base for many different projects and of course, it can be created in any colours you like!

Finished background using Rainbow Grunge Technique

Journal Background

To create a page similar to mine you will need:

  • Lindy’s Stamp Gang Starburst Spray: Time Travel Teal and Flat Fabios: Summer Lovin’ Sun, Ocean Breeze Blue, Hibiscus Rose and T-bird Turquoise
  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paint:  Seashell White, Royal Fuchsia, Deep Lilac and Laguna Blue
  • Ranger Archival Ink Pads: Deep Purple, Aquamarine, Magenta Hue and Watering Can
  • Delicata Ink Pad – Golden Glitz

Stamps:

  • Dina Wakely & Stampington – Create with Abandon & Script Heart
  • Stampers Anonymous – Spills & Splatters
  • Pam Carriker – Honeycomb
  • Kaisercraft – Bubble Wrap
  • Old credit card or paint scraper

Step One – randomly spray paper or canvas with a variety of Lindy’s Stamp Gang Sprays and allow to dry.

Rainbow Grunge Step 1

Step Two – using a credit card and Ceramcoat Royal Fuchsia paint, add a little paint to the background by dipping an edge into the paint (I squeeze a little onto my work surface to make this easier) and then scraping the edge along the paper.  Make sure you only add a tiny amount of paint to the credit card otherwise you will end up covering far too much of the background, less is more definitely applies with this technique.

Rainbow Grunge Step 2

Step Three – using this same scraping technique add a little of the Laguna Blue – I like to overlap the colours a little – notice how they appear translucent and you can see one colour behind the other – this can only be achieved by scraping very thin layers of paint – add too much and you lose this effect.

Rainbow Grunge Step 3

Step Four – is a little more subtle as a result of the colour of paint I used - Deep Lilac.  In this step continue to scrape paint onto the background, but add a few horizontal elements.  I like to make sure there is still uncovered background so the whole thing doesn’t end up looking too busy.

Rainbow Grunge Step 4

Step Five – time to tone it down a bit by adding some of the Seashell White (you could a watered down gesso for this if you need to).  Add the white over roughly 1/3 of your paint in both horizontal and vertical directions – it helps to break up the paint streaks and tone down the colours a little.

Rainbow Grunge Step 5

After you paint has dried it’s time to add some stamped images, using Ranger’s Archival Inks.

Stamping on Rainbow Grunge Background

Step Six – using Aquamarine ink add some Bubble Wrap impressions, I like to hold the unmounted stamp in my hand to create these marks as you get a more random and less perfect impression.

Stamping on Rainbow Grunge Background Step 6

Step Seven – using Magenta Hue ink add some Honeycomb stamped images, notice how I’ve echoed the colours used on the first background layer in both the paint and ink layers – this helps to keep the background unified and stops it looking to overwhelming.

Stamping on Rainbow Grunge Background Step 7

Step Eight – time to add a little darkness to the background – but be careful not to overwhelm the more delicately coloured layers underneath.  I’ve used Deep Purple ink and the Script Heart stamp, but to keep it soft, for several of the stamped images I have inked my stamp then stamped lightly on scrap paper before stamping onto my project.  This creates a lighter coloured impression.

Stamping on Rainbow Grunge Background Step 8

Step Nine – this is my favourite part, I’ve added the beautiful text stamp Create with Abandon using Gold ink – while it may not add any additional colour it adds a textural element to the page and catches the light.

Stamping on Rainbow Grunge Background Step 9

Step 10 – this is the final background element and is the only additional colour I have used – Watering Can – a wonderful grey.  I’ve used one of the Spills & Splatters stamps to add a little extra grunge to the background and tone it down a little more.

Stamping on Rainbow Grunge Background Step 10

Now for a few close-ups so you can see the background elements.

It’s important to have a little bit of ‘something’ everywhere on the page as you never know which bits will be seen in the final piece.  You can see all of the layers and elements – the translucent images and paint marks, really help to bring this background together.

Rainbow Grunge Background Close Up 1

Just a little touch of gold can really lift the colours around it.

Rainbow Grunge Background Close Up 2

While I created this page in one session, the fantastic thing about this background is you could easily create it overtime with the leftovers from other projects.  You could create the first layer from over sprayed liquid, the paint scrapings could be left over paint that you add as you need to (rather than waste it) and the stamped images could easily be added whenever you have ink left over on a stamp – you could even play with the order that each item is added to the page, eg: stamps then ink then paint, as each layer is translucent you will still see each element.  Cool huh!

Challenge and Give-Away Winners

Now I’d like to issue a little challenge - I want to know how YOU would use this background – now that you’ve created it what would YOU use it for, what comes next? THANK YOU for all of your comments and inspiration – it is amazing what can be done with a wonderful background!

And the winners are:

Carole Furlong and Joan McAlpine

Carole Furlong says:
“I love this – the lovely warm yellow survives to the last layer – gorgeous. I would use as a background in my art journal. I think I’s do something like a technical drawing over the top – scaffolding, pipes, conveyor belts and that sort of thing – would be a great contrast to the prettiness of the background”

Joan McAlpine says:
What a beautiful, bright background. More like spring than dull and dark winter in Melbourne.
Firstly, I’d photocopy the original and then play to my hearts content with such things like a small Banksy stencil or a silhouette stamp in black archival ink on the top. Of course I could decorate my studio wall (only one with the window as it might be too much if I did more) and use it as wallpaper, then the colours are there all the time to remind me what works. This would be more interesting than the two colour wheels that hang there (obviously one is not enough as colour is sooo… important).” I love the idea or a living color wheel wall!

Ladies – please email Michelle [Michelle @ MixedMediaArt.net] and we will con-ordinate with Kate to get your prizes posted to you!

Plus a HUGE “thank you” to Kate for offering the give aways!

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Kate Palmer though perhaps better known as Sparkle Tart loved playing with mixed media and techniques.  Most of her work incorporates sparkly media of some sort, which is used on journal pages, canvases, scrapbooks or hand made cards.

You can see more of Kate’s work at Sparkle Tart or via Facebook – Keep It Simply Sparkly

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