Category Archives: 100-theme challenge 2014

To the World & On the Outside – Final

I finished this today…

I wanted to keep the tissue paper with words visible, so I did the left side in charcoal and crayon. Turns out it also works for the concept of not having “the full-color photo” when you only see what someone presents to the world. You have to see the darkness as well as the light to be able to see the real picture. Seeing just what’s presented to the world is lacking in substance…

2014 100-Theme Challenge #46 & #47 (WIP)

I’ve been trying to catch up on my theme challenges lately. I also saw (again) the art therapy prompt to make a mask representing what you show to the world, and what goes on inside (similar to last year’s “inside-out box”). I liked the idea of the duality, but didn’t want to do an actual mask. I decided instead to do a single piece with a face split down the middle (combining two of the 2014 theme challenges: #46 – to the world & #47 – on the inside).

wpid-20140920_232157.jpgI tried to sketch out the basics first. I kinda like the way the right side came out (the “inside”), though I still need to work on my color-shading skills and painting skills in general for faces. I can get more inanimate objects painted well, but facial features elude me… Anyway, I wanted to make the inside kinda gross and zombie-ish, because it’s how I feel most of the time (and pretty much always like that deep-down). I would have prefered a more realistic look to it, but I’m going to say it’s ok because my painting skills have never been on par with my drawing skills (back when I could draw better). I added the words around the image to convey more specifically my inner dialogue… Needless to say, my self-esteem is below pond-scum most of the time (though with my continued practice of art, it’s growing a bit at least around my artwork).

to the world; on the inside IP)I wasn’t sure what to do with the left side. I thought of trying a painting of a happy face with a happy, confident, and calming image in the silhouette and then marker in the features, but I couldn’t decide on an image I wanted to use that would convey all the stuff I project.  I remembered I had found some cool “inspirational” tissue paper on clearance at the store the other day and had yet to find an art application for it. I tried that for the bg of the “outside” half of the face. I forgot tissue paper gets pretty transparent when glued, so the words are sadly not easily read (had to use multiple layers and over-lapping pieces). I have yet to decide how to do the rest fo the face… There will be positive words around that head, ones that represent all the stuff I display to the world so they don’t see what’s really there.

art journal progress, new coupons, and more paper cranes!

Been playing a lot with art of late. I tried out 3 image-transfer techniques. I did some more therapy coupons, and I added to the crane invasion yet again.

wpid-20140918_160109.jpgFirst up, the image transfers. I used generic materials that I had at home already, no need to buy their products or anything… I tried the packing tape technique first (she’s quite a bit more anal than I was… I like the imperfections, bubbles, and wrinkles).  1. Put overlapping pieces of packing tape directly on the image/words you want to transfer. 2. Soak in/with water untill the paper is saturated. 3. Rub off the paper fiber, this may take a bit of working at it to get it all off, but it can be done. the image will remain on the tape, and in theory, the tape will remain sticky (mine did not so I “glued” it down using acrylic gel medium. you could also probably use modge podge or any more flexible glue that dries clear). 4. Apply the tape with the image to your desired background. Keep in mind the image will be somewhat translucent, so you will be able to see the background underneath it.

I wanted to do more with the piece, so I sanded the tape slightly to give it “tooth” for anything I may choose to put over it (there were some words I wanted to cover up). I then gesso’d the spot I wanted to cover. I thought this was a good opportunity to test out the gesso image transfer method. I made sure to apply enough gesso so that it would stay wet as I applied the image (face into the gesso) I wanted transferred. I smoothed it out and applied pressure to make sure all of the image stuck to the gesso. I waited until the gesso was (almost) completely dry (should have been more patient, but… well, I wanted to keep working), then saturated the paper. Once the paper was sufficiently soaked, I rubbed off the pulp. The image transferred really well, and just as vivid as the original photo because the gesso gives an opaque white bg. Had I been patient and waited for the gesso to try completely before removing the paper pulp, I should not have the “holes” in my image where I wiped away the gesso base as well as the paper pulp. oops! That’s ok though, because it goes with the feel of the rest of the piece.

wpid-20140917_095321.jpgI really liked the results of the gesso image transfer, so I decided to do a layered version. I needed a clear medium for transfer so that the bottom later could be seen. I think I had heard mention fo using gel medium to do transfers. I have a bunch of the stuff, so I decided to try that. I made sure to gesso the journal pages with at least 2 layers before applying the thicker coat of gesso for the transfer. Had I been more careful here (more layers, letting it dry completely), I would not have ended up with large chunks of the image missing. Anyway, I applied the background image (picture I found on the web) with the gesso transfer technique, and managed to rip my pages as I rubbed off damp gesso with the paper pulp (lack of patience on my part).

wpid-img_20140918_101340.jpgI covered over that with two layers of gloss gel medium (needed to make sure I covered the exposed paper and make it all more water-resistant again). I then did the same technique as the gesso transfer, only using the gel to grab the ink off the image… For this layer, I wanted some writing. I copy-pasted lyrics to some songs I like into a word document, formatted the way I wanted them to appear, then saved a screenshot of the text. I took it into a photo editing program (Sketchbook Pro), and flipped the image so the text printed out backwards (it will end up the mirror image of it once transferred onto the gel or gesso). I smoothed the image onto the thicker wet gel medium layer and set aside to dry. I was determined to do it without ripping the base layer or more of my page this time. Once it was completely dry, I soaked and peeled the paper. I purposefully left some imperfections in the transfer (bubbles, brush marks in the gel, uneven gel layer) all to give a more worn/grunged-up look to it.


wpid-picsart_1411093792890.jpgI finished it off with some painting… De would note here that the blanketed girl showed up again. She’s in a lot of places… The dog is also a recurring character (both from a shadow-puppetry piece I never really finished) and is based on the puppy (his silhouette makes for easy-to-interpret art). I decided to keep this piece monochromatic. I don’t think it would have had the same feel with color… Anyway, I figured this worked for the 2014 100-Theme Challenge #14 – Heaviness.

I liked the way it all worked, and much prefer the gesso or gel methods to the tape method, though the tape gives a cool transparent look to the image…

wpid-20140919_211058.jpgwpid-20140919_211136.jpgI was having so much fun with the image transfers, I decided to try it on some of the coupons. I think they turned out better (practice makes perfect when you are trying to get just the right imperfect look to the piece). I also had tried my hand at stamp carving (I had supplies on hand from L, who was big into the letterboxing thing a few years ago. They would carve their own stamps). I used the new peanuts stamp on a few of the coupons. I also just painted a few of them. Over-all, I had a lot fo fun trying out new things for the past week! (remind me to extol the virtues of gelatos some day… for right now, I’m too tired to explain them. Faber-Castell makes them, you can look up more info if you are too curious to wait – which honestly, may be a better choice as I fear I may forget to come back to them)

wpid-wp-1411184192029.jpegFinally, some updated pics on the crane invasion. There are now 315 (I can’t add this late and shorted myself by 10 when I made up the pic)

sales are my downfall…

So, my favorite art store is closing. I’m sad because they were my go-to for bargain supplies, but also for stuff I couldn’t find at Michael’s, A.C. Moore, or Jo-Anne’s. They catered to professional artists and art students… Anyway, they are having a huge liquidation sale, and I had to check it out.  I picked up some stuff I had been needing/wanting, and I didn’t spend all that much (yay!). Well, with all these new supplies, I had to play today.  I snagged some water-soluble wax crayons, some black markers for my recent art journal obsession (at $0.10 each, buying a few that might get tossed soon was a must), and that wax medium that keeps my acrylic painted journal pages from sticking together… I got a bunch of other stuff also, but these are what I used today. The result was me coloring in eyes I had drawn the other day, and also doing the opposite painted page.  I love song lyrics with meaning, so I decided to add some words from Taylor Swift’s Safe & Sound:

I remember tears streaming down your face/When I said, “I’ll never let you go”/When all those shadows almost killed your light/I remember you said, “Don’t leave me here alone”/…/Just close your eyes/The sun is going down/You’ll be alright/No one can hurt you now/Come morning light/You and I’ll be safe and sound…

I think it brought the two otherwise un-related pieces together (something that seems to be important in my art journaling… I really like 2-page spreads that make sense together. It’s just easier to express things that way). What do you think? Kinda work?

Art, tweaked

I had started this on the 25th, then re-did in color on Wednesday (30th)… Tonight was rough. I couldn’t sleep (stupid losses). I heard a song on my playlist that fit the piece, so added the lyrics to the background… the song is “Let you down” by Three Days Grace… (I’ll post a video and the lyrics from my computer later). Anyway, here’s the piece from its third working:


I managed about an hour and 40 minutes sleep tonight, so thought I’d try to add the lyrics and video link via my phone (need distractions at the moment)

“Let You Down” by Three Days Grace

Trust me/There’s no need to fear/Everyone’s here/Waiting for you to finally be one of us/Come down…/You may be full of fear/But you’ll be safe here/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/I will let you down/I’ll let you down, I’ll/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/Trust me/I’ll be there when you need me/You’ll be safe here/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/I will let you down/I’ll let you down, I’ll/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/I will let you down/I’ll let you down, I’ll/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/Never want to come down/Never want to come down/Never want to come down/(Down, let you down)/I will let you down/I’ll let you down, I’ll/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me/I will let you down/I’ll let you down, I’ll/When you finally trust me/Finally believe in me

Updated “no words” and adding #53 Turmoil

I worked some more on the painting.  I think this is a bit closer to what I want the feel of the painting to be:


And then I did this several days ago. It’s also a work in progress, but I have not figured out what else I want to do with it. It started as just an eye doodle, and grew from there… (2014 100 Theme Challenge #53: Turmoil).


Finished the piece for sexual assault awareness month.

I finally “finished” the piece I will be giving to De for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I wanted the background to be different, but the paint and the brush just wasn’t doing what I had hoped.  That’s ok though because I actually like it the way it is. I need to spray fixative on it tomorrow before my appointment, but other than that, it’s done. This is the most work I’ve done on any piece yet. I generally give it one go, tweak, then call it a day.  It’s unheard of for me to go back and keep trying it over and over again. It’s good practice though. I got to try out a bunch of techniques along the way.
Anyway, here it is:

2014 100-Theme Challenge  11) Shattered (final)

2014 100-Theme Challenge
11) Shattered (final)