Eye on Nature


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I was reminiscing the other day about my childhood artistic adventures when I remembered an old favorite weaving project.  Everyone in art class received two popsicle sticks and various colors of yarn in which to make an Ojo de Dios, Spanish for Eye of God.  Our art teacher also doubled as our history teacher, so not only did we learn how to make a Ojo de Dios, we also were taught that it was an ancient symbol of South American Indians created to protect those who owned one.  I crossed my sticks and started wrapping the yarn, beginning in the center with the eye, and praise myself on creating this magical object that would guard me and my family.  That weekend I was out in the yard stripping branches off unsuspecting trees (I didn't have popsicle sticks) and looting my mom's knitting basket for yarn.  When I used up her colors, I begged for more yarn.  To this day, I feel giddy just thinking about the day my mom took me to a shop downtown that sold fibers of all kinds.  When my eyes happened upon a variegated skein called 'Fiesta' I just had to have it!  Every room in the house (and my Grandmothers' houses and the lady's house across the alley, and...you get the picture) had an Ojo de Dios.  

With this memory flitting about in my brain, I decided I needed to create a canvas with an Ojo de Dios for Mixed Up Magazine.  I read that the ends of the sticks represented the four elements: earth, wind, fire and water and therefore decide to use a color palette of brown, blue, yellow-gold, and green with a background collage of imagery and text about nature. I have a full tutorial, additional images and a product list in this month's issue of Mixed Up Magazine.  Click on the link and head on over to check out my canvas Eye On Nature!

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Late For Dinner

Hello everyone!  Remember me?  I am very late for dinner at Art For Dinner! 

Where have I been?  In the UK!  Well not exactly in the UK; not physically, but creatively.  As I have mentioned before, I have been a contributor and blogger for a mixed media monthly magazine based in Britain.  So here comes my big announcement...I am now an official designer for MIXED UP MAG! 

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I and my fellow Design Team members have so much to share with you in the upcoming months. If you have not subscribed already, what are you waiting for?  This website magazine is loaded with content including step-by-step tutorials (including PDF versions and videos), artsy tips and tricks, challenges, giveaways and so much swoon-worthy eye-candy!! 

I am so excited to show you what I have been making!  Here are a few sneak peeks..

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I hope you have enjoyed these glimpses of my upcoming projects for Mixed Up Magazine.  When these four projects are published during the months to come, I will share step-by-step tutorials, full project and close up images and a product list.  

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you will join our party at Mixed Up Magazine.  Click on the special coupon below to subscribe or to take a tour of a creative wonderland of mixed media!

 

 

 

 

First Light of Winter


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What were  you doing on October 18, 2017? I was celebrating the first day of 'Book Nerd Holiday'. Actually, that's my name for the annual 2-week long AAUW Book Sale that I have attended almost every year since I was a wee nerd...I mean, child.  My bosses even let me leave work early to go treasure hunting among the shelves and shelves and stacks and stacks of books!  I pay my early bird admission fee and shop the first night to acquire certain sought after titles and collectibles for my library.  Then I go back on Half Price Day for more literary gems.  And finally, I brave the frenzied hoards of fellow book nerds on Sack Sale Day, aka 'Book Rescue Day' - again my name for it.  But, rightly so as any left over books are tragically taken to the dump! I escaped being trampled again this year and arrived home with three huge bags of orphaned books including (just to name a few) a Thai dictionary, a ragged book of poetry missing its cover, an electricians' handbook, a shorthand manual and an algebra book.  Many of their tattered pages will be introduced to each other - not in my library, but in my art studio where they will begin a new life on canvas.

November 1: Winter came way before it was invited this year, arriving with a blustery wind, dropping temperatures, snow and ice.  I accepted it stoically.  I just lied with that statement. Could you tell?  Truthfully, it made me the definition of cranky.  A cozy chair by the fireplace, snuggly dogs, a fuzzy blanket, hot coffee and a new book to read was just what I needed to warm my frosty mood.  

And then the sun came out!  The snow laced Autumn leaves, still on their branches, were bathed in a golden light.  That visual became the inspiration for my latest canvas, First Light of Winter.

After gessoing my canvas, I began adding torn book pages with matte gel medium. The terrific mood board at Mixed Media World had inspiration elements that are among my favorites: old paper, writing and rust! 

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I love the look of encaustic and look forward to taking a class called Layers of Light by Laly Mille.  In the meantime, I decided to make my background 'look' like it was encased in wax as I had with an earlier piece called She is of Nature. I set out some of my favorite DecoArt Media mediums and began to apply layers, alternating with more pages, pattern pieces, stamping, stenciling, pen writing and doodling.  I also added some clear ink and UTEE after seeing MixedMediaJenn demonstrate her technique on YouTube (check out her video here).  I took down the shine factor by applying DecoArt's Ultra Matte Varnish.  I applied muted tones of color using Lindy's Stamp Gang sprays.

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I decided to build my assemblage on a piece of cardboard that I treated with more DecoArt products including Crackle Paste and Texture Sand Paste.  I love how it has a look of old, weather tree bark.

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When my background layers were finished and dried, it was time for a play with my found object stash.  I have recently had the pure joy of meeting a most wonderful retired couple.  I feel like I've known them forever and would like to begin adoption paperwork immediately :)  Bill and Bonnie have been bringing me rusted and random old treasures from a cleanup at their rural property. For this piece I selected several of their offerings for my canvas' focal assemblage including a star, a bulb and a chain.  Using an X-acto knife, I remove the negatives from a 35mm film strip and painted it with matte brown acrylic. Color was next.  I knew I wanted to incorporate yellow-gold tones into my assemblage but couldn't decide on the rest of my color palette. When I came across Lindy's Stamp Gang's color board for November, I knew I had to use each and every color on it!  I sprayed, brush painted, dripped and splattered.  And I was so happy with the result; I never would have thought to use purple on this piece, but it worked perfectly.

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I finished my canvas with some die cut pieces, cheesecloth, excelsior and art stones.  

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 Considering where my palette inspiration came from, I would like to enter this project into the  November Challenge at Lindy's Stamp Gang.  

Considering where my palette inspiration came from, I would like to enter this project into the November Challenge at Lindy's Stamp Gang. 

 And more inspiration from this mood board challenge at  Mixed Media Warriors .

And more inspiration from this mood board challenge at Mixed Media Warriors.

Product List

DecoArt Media Mediums:  Gesso, Modeling Paste, Texture Sand Paste, White Crackle Paste, Ultra Matte Varnish and Matte Medium

DecoArt Fluid Acrylics:  'Yellow Oxide'

Lindy's Stamp Gang Sprays:  Flat Fabio - 'Sandra Dee Sepia', 'Danny Zuko's Denim', 'Sidewalk Chalk', 'Greased Lightnin' Green'; Starburst - 'Rusty Lantern Lime', 'California Poppy Gold', 'Steampunk Sepia' and 'Urban Amethyst'

Prima:  Elementals Harlequin stencil, Art Stones, 'Guave Peony Brahms' and 'Coventry Rose Printery' flowers

Penny Black:  'Spread Cheer' stamp

Sizzix:  'Decorative Flourish' die cut

Liquitex:  Clear Gesso

Ranger:  UTEE and Clear Embossing ink

Signo:  White Uni-Ball Pen

11 x 14 canvas, cardboard, book pages, sheet music, pattern paper, silk leaves, natural wood pencils, excelsior, old film strip, wood plugs, cheesecloth and miscellaneous found objects.

 

Knighted


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She wasn’t waiting for a Knight
She was waiting for a Sword
— Atticus

Welcome to my Kingdom! Today I would like to share Knighted, a canvas I have created for the blog at Mixed Up Mag featuring Sin City Stamps!  

When I begin an art project, I usually have a theme or subject in mind, and though colors and assemblage choices may change throughout the process, the end result still retains most of my original plans.

Not so with Knighted!  

When I began this canvas, my intent was to create a whimsical 'Day of the Dead' piece. I had in fact already made my colorfully embellished sugar skull that was supposed to be the focal point.  Then my background happened, and it was magical!  I didn't want to cover the mystical kingdom that seemed to glow from the canvas. 

Two weeks passed.  I had set the canvas aside with no idea how to finish it.  I pondered.  How's that for a 'knightly' word?  But pondered I did. By chance I came across this poetic phrase by Atticus, 'She wasn't waiting for a knight...She was waiting for a Sword', and I knew I needed to create an empowered female subject, a Knight, for my canvas.

I am excited to invite you to the blog at Mixed Up Magazine so I can share my process of creating Knighted with Sin City Stamps. Follow the link above to see more photos, steps and a list of products I used.  See you there!

Leslie

 

The Idea Box


If you are having trouble thinking outside of the box, get inside the box.
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Well, hello there! You found me...inside my Idea Box.

I was having one of those days where my 'creativity' was mad at my 'imagination' and my 'imagination' was not talking to anybody.  Come on you two!  Let's work together here! I hate trying to keep the peace when these two fight; if only I had an Idea Box to go to - LIGHTBULB MOMENT!  

Thomas Edison had 1,093 U.S. patents and 2,332 patents.  He must have had a gigantic Idea Box!  He once said, 'I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.' I didn't need 10,000 ideas, just one, so here is my Idea Box - my latest creation featuring DecoArt products.  I created this Design Team Inspiration piece for Mixed Media World's October Challenge 'Use or Imitate Glass'.  

The base of my project began as a faux marble and wood block made from resin that I had purchased to alter.  I could hardly wait to cover up it's manufactured ugliness with some black gesso and brown acrylic paint!  Next I added a light coat of crackle paste and set the block aside to dry while I worked on the embellishments for the box. 

My embellishments were an assortment of purchased elements and my own makes.  The purchased clock face, mason jar lid, letters, mini padlock and key were treated with DecoArt Texture Sand Paste and 'rusted' with acrylic paint. From a sheet of chipboard, I cut, treated and painted the brackets, arrow and caution sign.  

Back to my box, I chipped away some of the crackle pieces before adding a stenciled number and paint.  I then attached my prepared embellishments to the top of the block and on the four sides to complete my Idea Box.  

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Product List

DecoArt Media Mediums:  Modeling Paste, Texture Sand Paste, White Crackle Paste and Ultra Matte Varnish

DecoArt Fluid Acrylics: 'Quinacridone Gold', 'Transparent Red Iron Oxide', 'Burnt Sienna', 'Blue Green Light', 'Pthalo Turquoise', 'Raw Sienna' and 'Yellow Oxide'

DecoArt Antiquing Creams:  'Patina Green' and 'Raw Umber'

DecoArt Media Stencils: Andy Skinner's 'Industrial Elements'

DecoArt Americana:  Acrylic Paints in 'Dark Chocolate', 'Bittersweet Chocolate', 'Burnt Sienna', 'Antique Gold', 'Burnt Orange', 'Tomato Red' and 'Aqua Sky'.

Kaiser Craft: Roman Clock Face Wood Flourish

Black gesso, 12 x 12 chipboard sheet, wire, miscellaneous found objects.