Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Score, Score & Some Art

I went to The Scrap Exchange a few days ago & totally scored!!  I got everything in the above picture for about $22.00.  There are 7 skeins of nice wool yarn, a new bottle of Folk Art Artist Pigment paint, 4 (3 not pictured) bins that were originally used for something, but will be perfect to hold magazines, 15 new chicken boxes that would be perfect for me to alter & use for an ornament exchange I'm going to participate in next Christmas.  On the bottom is a sweet little art journal for me to use when I finish my current one (composition book).  The Scrap Exchange is a non-profit reuse center that has great "stuff", especially is you like mixed media.

I also scored with my first ATC swap.  Our theme this month was Frida Kahlo.  I received my wonderful ATCs yesterday & now can't wait for next month's swap.  Here are the ones I sent to my partner:

 I like using playing cards for ATCs because they are the perfect size & the corners are already rounded.  I actually picked up this mismatched deck of cards on a trip to Scrap Exchange for about .50 cents.  The lighting is really bad in these pictures so the color is washed out.  I added some tiny little flowers to her hair & little seed bead along the bottom, on top of the paper I sewed down.

This one was inspired by Frida's painting Broken Column & her quote "Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?".  I used an old cross-stitch pattern & sketched out a dress form for her body.  I tore it down the center, then stapled it back together.

This is what I received:

Are they not just gorgeous???  There is so much texture & color in these little pieces of artwork that I could stare at them for hours.  I didn't have a lot of embellishments to use on art, but after seeing these, I'm definitely going to Scrap Exchange to pick up more bits & pieces.  Where else could I buy one puzzle piece or one computer keyboard letter?

I just met up with a good friend of mine to exchange Christmas gifts.  She have me this great box of bits & bobs (buttons, beads, wood figures, etc) & I love it.  She knows me so well.  I came home & dove into the box pulling out every piece & thinking of all of the lovely things I can garnish with these lovelies.  For her, I made a pair of fingerless gloves & made a journal for her.  She's writing a book so I thought I'd make a little something to carry in her purse that she could jot down her ideas, or reflections, or grocery list....whatever she wants.

The front & back cover are made from a canvas for ink jet printers that I painted, then gessoed, then sanded, then gessoed, then painted again.  There is a coating on this canvas that gets sticky when water is added, so when I added water to start working the background it got mucky & gooey.  It was an experiment & now I know.  Well, once the canvas was properly defiled, I collaged a bit, painted a likeness of my friend & sewed on the fabric for the spine cover (don't know what it's called) onto the front.  The fabric on the back is just glued, but could have been sewed, had I planned ahead.

I used a cracker box for the inside of the cover to make it a little more sturdy (sorry, no pictures) & covered that with scrapbooking paper.  For the inside pages, I used reclaimed papers from notebooks, old ledgers, resume paper & an envelope made a couple of pockets.

I made this for a dear friend of mine who has a thing for owls.  He's the kind of man with professorly tastes (maybe because he is a professor) so I wanted to stay away from the cutesy, whimsical owls.  I hope I did OK......he seemed to like it.

I used a piece of a cardboard box & collaged vintage pages for the background.  I painted the owl with watercolor crayons & acrylic, then cut out his tummy & added scrapbooking paper before I collaged him onto the branch.  I used tissue paper on top of the moon to give it a little texture & before it was all said & done, used just about everything I had in my art arsenal (artsenal? lol) before I completed this.  I used paper, matte medium, watercolors, acrylics, oil pastels, graphite & pen.  Whew!!

Here's one of my girls.  She's created with watercolor crayons, acrylics, graphite & pen & ink.  I've cut her out of the watercolor paper because I think I'm going to collage her onto wood & maybe add some leaves & flowers to her hair.  She reminds me of one of hippy chick friends, so maybe this will be a gift to her.

Just a couple more fun little goodies that I did while I was at Mom's over Christmas.  She gave me a little set of acrylics & call I had was a sketch book & watercolor pad.  I cut up the box that the pots of paints came in & tried my hand of "pulled" art.  Mystelle calls it pulled art because you start applying paint to the surface with a brush, credit card, or whatever.

  I used a piece of cardboard to smear the paint onto the cardboard.  I stood back to see what was popping out of the paint.  I saw this lady standing in her village.  At first the poodle only looked like a giant fire hydrant, but finally I saw him.  I also saw a giant flower in a barrel to go along with her big doggie.  It's a very rough painting, but I like it.  I'm finding that I really dig messy art with not realistic faces & smeared graphite & paint.

I tried pulled art again & got a little stumped.  I think I work better in portrait than landscape because there's a big empty spot in this one that needs....something.  I know it's not finished so I'll keep working on it.  

I really enjoy painting on cardboard.  For me, there's no pressure of  "ruining" more costly paper or canvas, it's almost always available (& free) & it's also reusing something in a different manner than was initially intended.  I've done that with a lot of things.  I've turned a garden plaque into a clock, windows into candle holders, shutters into CD racks.  I have a lot of old things that I'm going to convert into new things.  I've got spindles, finials, etc.  I hope to get started on those when it gets a little warmer then I can show you before & after & steps in between.  

I haven't forgotten about the copper etching tutorial I promised.  It's coming up soon, I just had to get back into the swing of things after the holidays.

I hope y'all have a warm & cuddly day.


CarolynArtist said...

OMGOsh I LOVE THEM ALL, the Fridas are amazing, ALL of them!!! (who doesn't love her???) It's always incredible to see how peoiple approach a project. Okay get out of town, I had no idea that playing cards were the same size as ATCs, SWEET!!!!! Love that you used them! Love your watercolor, and your poodle painting, love the book you made and gave your friend! LOVE that OWL oly shite (sorry for cussing) it's off the charts beautiful Pam!!! If I've not mentioned something it's because I'm in awe of your talents.
OMGOSH I see your FINGERS, I'm guessing brown to blonde hair??? Green eyes? Am I right so far???
Thanks for sharing you made my day I was getting soooo bored cleaning my studio and doing laundry!!!

CarolynArtist said...

*spell check next time for me :D

Willow Branch said...

*gasp!!!* I know!!! You can see my fingers & the tips of mah kicks. That's the most I think y'all have ever seen of me. I wish I was so exotic. I'm a brown hair, brown eyed girl, with dry, weathered hands from not lubing up in the winter time.

I'm so glad you liked my stuff. It's always scaring posting something for everyone to see, but I kinda got over a lot of that when I started posting jewelry. Everyone's not going to like it & it's ok...as long as it makes me happy.

I want to make more books, just need to work out my system a bit, the last one was trial & error & took forever.


Nikki said...

Girl you have been busy and I love those Frida ATC's! Keep sharing all the delightful projects you are working on...it is so inspiring.

Joy said...

I love how you have taken old items and made them into beautiful new things! :)


Willow Branch said...

Thanks Nikki!! I was so excited when I saw the ATCs from my partner. It certainly gave me an idea that the sky's the limit when it comes to ATCs..other than the size.

Joy, I love using reusing old things & it's cheap or free. I see that you're in NC...what art of NC?


silverscreamgrl said...

Pam... I am amazed. Simply amazed. I gasped after each picture you added. I wish I had half an ounce of your talent. Truly. Incredible.

Willow Branch said...

Thank you so much, Beth. You are very talented yourself!!! I can't do what you do.