Thursday, March 30, 2017

Tropical Lime Finches

(Tropical Lime Finches- Mar. 30, 2017- Measures around 24.5 x 17 cm.)

Materials: White card stock, stamped boarder, scraps of used grocery lists as background, birds created using scraps of a magic eraser box, fios ads, and marker/jell pen. Ground and nest created from scraps of fios ad.

I've been talking a lot about the collage pieces done using scraps of Magic Eraser box. Tropical Lime Finches is the final collage in the collection.

I sort of just found an idea within the shapes of some paper scraps.

Lime Finches are obviously imaginary birds.Though I called them finches, these birds aren't small, an adult female may stand 2 or 3 feet high. They have very large feet, decorative head feathers, and curved beaks.

They make their nests from stones and large twigs, building it on the earth, sand, or in rock crevices behind shrubs and large bushes within a tropical environment. This is a picture of female tending to her chick.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Flowered Sunrise and Toxic Mushrooms

(Flowered Sunrise-Mar. 24, 2017- Measures around 18.5 x 17 cm)

When I start a larger project, I end up getting scraps from a material which gives me extra ideas. "Flowered Sunsrise and the following green mushroom collages on watercolor were the beginning of a small collection of scrap pictures made from leftover bits of a magic eraser box and a few other flier papers.

These mini projects began after I completed two larger images you can see on the post- Lewa The Last Windbreaker.

I had taken a picture of the process for Flowered Sunset. Forgot to look at the picture as reference later during the gluing, but the set up turned out all right. 

Most of the elements of this picture were magic eraser box scraps, excluding the flower and butterfly, which were made from flier pieces and a bit of marker/pen detail.

I changed my mind about using the background shown in this photo, and created a new one with brighter green moss and the use of a Tim Holtz stencil for creating my sunbeams. 
The previous background was saved and used for one of the mushroom images shown below.
(Green Glow-Mar. 25, 2017 left- measures around 16.5 x 21.5 cm) (The Green Mushroom Toxic-Mar. 24, 2017 right- measure around 23.5 x 19.5 cm)

With the mushrooms made from magic eraser box scraps, I created the two images above, and gave them titles written in French for interest.
I used letter stenciling for the titles, (Vert Luer- "Green Glow"-left), and the other (Le Vert Champignon Toxique- "The Green Mushroom Toxic"- right).
Different mediums were used for these. The right one was given a watercolor background, stamped, and then accented with green marker and jell pen. 
The one on the left was placed onto black paper that I added pan pastel to for a soft glow. I really wanted to make them seem like cave mushrooms.
During the process I also discovered a way of making a fairly non toxic sealant for pastel work. I experimented with Elmer's glue mixed with dish soap and water, then tried the same thing using Liquitex varnish. To my surprise, it actually worked, though it kind of dries in an odd, dull sort of way. Regardless, I appreciate it as a simple sealant for the fact it has no odor, unlike the sealants that come in spray cans.
Only set back of using a homemade glue spritz in a small spritz bottle is that the water may cause your paper to slightly warp, and you have to keep up on cleaning the spray nozzle after every use to avoid clogging. 

Green Racer-Collage

Green Racer. Collage measures around 13.5x17 cm.

Made from a light blue watercolor background, scraps of magic eraser box, scraps of green headphones boxes, and parts of some Fios ads. Final touches were added using a stamp and black Staz-on ink.

The green racer started off as just a helmet design made from some scraps, then an idea to give him a bust popped in my head, and out of nowhere came a new character who could become part of an interesting story.

I thought about calling his motorcycle or race car the E-Razor (eraser). He drives so fast that he practically erases tire treads from the road.
The green racer may also be a character in disguise, possibly my character Erozion hiding his identity so he can race without his dad finding out just how many speeding violations he's made.

I would say this is one of my favorites in the collection of Magic Eraser box scrap collages. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Collection Of Ukrainian Eggs

Whimsical Chicken Egg

We've kept a collection of different Ukrainian eggs in white painted golf ball display cases over the years. Occasionally during certain months like in April or November, we've made different kinds of batiked eggs, each member in the family having their own unique style.

Today some of those eggs were transferred to a different display case, and I saw this as good moment to photograph them individually.

I haven't done very many eggs, and it's been years since I've tried it, but the ones I do have are distinctly whimsical. 

The chicken egg (made from a chicken egg) makes me laugh every time I look at it. I remember the day I made it, putting my heart into it, and then crying when the first one I was working on cracked from getting a slight bonk on the table, no more than an inch above the surface and still in my hand. I had to start the whole process over again (which isn't fun considering each egg can take up to ten hours or more to create). 

Anyway, I pushed on, loved the colors that peeked through as I melted off the wax, and laughed a lot when I emptied the yolk from the egg (the chicken looked like it was pooping). Originally I put an x where the chicken's butt was, then I realized an actual hole would end up there anyway.

Sometime in the future I hope to make chicks from quail eggs, and display the hen with her babies in a little nest.

Whimsical Fish Egg

I applied a similar style to my whimsical fish as I did my chicken, this time emptying the yolk from a hole in the mouth.

(Crayon Sea Line-left) (Coy Fish egg- right)

The Crayon Sea Line is a funny one. It was the very first egg I ever did. I can't quite remember how old I was, but I think I was maybe only 6 or 7. 

There are many eggs still in the display cases that I haven't taken pictures of, but I did get pictures of whatever was being moved from the case. Most of the egg displays shown in this post are designs done by my sister. I wanted to remember her work, so out came the camera.

The coy fish egg is the beginning of my sister's egg collection. I'm not sure what she calls each of the designs, so I named them just for fun.

(Tropical Reef egg-left) (Thorned Flower-right)

Each piece she's done over the years have had lots of detail and gradient colors. I've always liked the flower one.

Poppies In the Wheat

Poppies In the Wheat is actually another family member's egg. This is one of the more traditional designs from the Ukrainian egg book.

Danish Pastry egg

This egg reminds me of Danish pastries. The white is like a cheese, and the pink makes me think of strawberry jam. 

It's unfortunate that some of the eggs suffered damage during transfer. We used sticky tack to hold them in place within the case, but some stuck too well and the shell came off during removal.

Wine Finches

This egg may have been one of the earlier pieces my sister did, based more around traditional designs. It makes me think of white washed picket fences and grapes in the countryside.

Mushroom Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope eggs are always interesting, like looking at stained glass. 

Peacock eggs

There were two peacock eggs, and it was odd how the ink faded on one side for the upright peacock (left). One side remained dark blue, the other one became more purple after many years of exposure to the dining room lamp I guess.

Running Pheasant

The running pheasant kind of reminds me of something you'd see on a crazy quilt.

Partridge In A Pair Tree

Like in the Christmas song, my sister did a partridge in a pair tree egg. These eggs have been turned into Christmas tree ornaments before, so it would probably be a pretty funny series to make eggs for each object in the 12 Days of Christmas song.

Dragonfly egg

The dragonfly egg inspires ideas for an interesting quilt pattern, one with dragonflies that have sparkly wings.

Quilted Star egg

A lot of the eggs remind me of quilts, but this one also makes me think of an alien space ship, or some kind of pod if looked at overhead.

Dark Chocolate Mint egg

I love these three colors together, so naturally this egg makes me happy. It reminds me of Wizard of OZ, structured, yet delicate in detail. 
I'm also reminded of a tasty dark chocolate I once had, filled with white mint cream.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dragon Fish Lagoona Fashion Designs

Lagoona Dragon Fish- fashion line.

A collection of Lagoona fashion ideas based off of actual materials I have in my fabric bins. I made sketches of these designs on paper first, then created digital versions so I could better choose what style I liked best when seen in color.

My pencil sketches varied from skirt styles, tops, dresses, pants, and aquatic themed tights (right).

The designs were based around some specific trims that I had mentioned about in a different post. The collection of teal colored trims (left) are what inspired the sleeve design, and below is the trim which inspired the basic outfit concepts.
For accuracy and time saving, I selected parts of the actual trim photos, and applied them to the digital fashion.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Eat Fish Book

 (Mar. 21, 2017)
"Eat Fish", a book which was completed some time before the 21'st (the day I took the pictures). This book was made as a gift for someone who wanted to know how to shop for different kinds of fish.

I used a saved sardines box from a brand I came to really like the flavor of. They're a product of Spain, found at an Asian food store.

It turned out pretty well, as it ought to have considering I spent over a month practically slaving on it as I went through the process of assembling the pages, then chronicling them into signature sections which matched up with the index numbers. 
even more of a pain was thinking forward, back, and flip side for proper printing of double sided pages.
After all that work, I saved the print pages for future use, hopefully for when I'm ready to make a fish book of my own.

The spine of the cover is silly in the sense you can read the ingredients of the once existing sardines.
I covered the insides of the book with origami paper that matched the red of the cover, while reminding of fish scaled and ocean waves.
It had to be glued to white card stock, then sealed with liquitex varnish for stability.
I had four signatures in total, which scrunched up into a relatively small width. At first I thought I wouldn't have enough room along the spine to fit them comfortably.

One of my favorite pages in the book is where you find the mahi mahi fish. Its colors are all my favorites.
I did have to look up the names of the fishes on Google images as I worked, which took some time, but made the book that much better. This tiny booklet is a condensed collection of all the fish descriptions listed on the Chef's Resources website, including screen shots of the flavor scales.

Only thing I had someone else do since they wanted it, was to list oily or white fish next to the names of the fishes in the index.

I found it convenient to take pictures of the book on my recent water color background project which I just started the night before.
Enjoy a small video flip through.

Matcha Mint Dancer

I settled on making a fashion design based off the Mint Matcha collage which has bugged me as an art piece for whatever reason.
I believe there's something off about the actual collage, so I set out to redeem one aspect of it, the outfit design. I liked the designs that came from the experiment (shown left), and decided to create an illustration with the main one (right). 
The fashion pieces were done digitally, and then I worked on a digital collage by taking my fashion form and applying document textures to the body and hair. The crown and background were selected from the original collage, and face details were digital painting.
Awhile ago, before the fashion experiment, I had played around with cropping options to see if that would help the collage seem more interesting. Even with these I wasn't fully satisfied, but they did seem a bit better than the full picture.
One more experiment with cropping (speaking from the future-Aug. 9, 2017). I cropped the bust, specifically using rough cropping shapes. The results were much more pleasing. 
I then came to the realization what's been wrong from the start with the original collage, the skirt came out wrong, which skewed the models height way out of proportion, hence creating an off feel.

I decided to draw in a new design over the original collage in PSE, and redeem parts of it as best I could. If there was a way to disassemble the original collage, I might turn it into something closer to this.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Joe and Nouvea

Yesterday I had some fun working on these small photos of GI Joe and Nouveau. One of the older gentlemen of my figurine club was aloud in the halls of the museum for a private viewing of the newest props in my collection.

These small Nouveau prints were part of a framing experiment when we set out to see what glue could properly adhere cotton fabric to mat board.
We needed to try something small on pieces of scrap to make sure a certain cross stitch picture could have a cloth covered mat. The experiment was a success, and the cloth had no leaking problems due to the dry, stickiness of the PVA book binding glue we used.
I think Joe enjoyed his visit, especially taken by the celestial daughters collection, but just as enamored by the "Dawn" picture.

Honestly, I would have both these images in full size if I could. These two are my favorites in the Nouveau collection, which is why I chose them for a miniature experiment.
It was fun. we used a brown purple for the celestial one, and a wine purple for the "Dawn" image. Then to get that glass look, we used some thick plastic from a headphones box.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Jasmine Fairy Bath

While all the trinkets and trays were out from the photo project of table setting ideas, I went ahead and set up some of the trinkets from the displays to create a fairy's bath time image. 

The idea was inspired by the gravy boat from day one. My first shot was unfortunately blurred in warm light, so I switched to a brighter light. I only then decided that after a full photo shoot beneath LED lighting, I didn't like the clarity or brightness of the light, finding the white blue color of it to be a bit too modern for an Arabic setting (original shown left above).

Not like that couldn't be adjusted, as I later discovered during editing. I used an image of a sunset from my own photos, changed the setting of it in PSE, and got an interesting golden, warm light effect for my images.

This was all done after I added in bubbles digitally, to cover up my mini Jasmine doll's body, and to add an illusion of something actually being in the tub.

The idea of a fairy taking a bath in a gravy boat makes me laugh, especially when I dreamed of someone finding the fairy in their gravy, asking her if she knew what she was soaking in, and then saving the gravy to sell as something magical.

One last experiment as part of play time. I took the first, blurred photo from the collection, and used a stamp filter to try and make the image look sort of like a wood carving. Arabic and Indian buildings tend to have intricate, carved details here and there, so I drew from that inspiration.