Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Coming along...

After working on the backgrounds of my Italy pieces for a few days (here and there), I got a little stuck as to where to go next.

Then I got a little scared. I was liking the backgrounds and didn't want to ruin them.

So I started by laying out the photos and the ticket stubs and various paraphernalia that I wanted to display on the boards, moving them around to suit me, and fitting in each place name where it seemed to go.

Then I looked some more, day after day, afraid to do anything permanent, to wreck all the work and thought I had put in so far.

On the weekend, we worked like crazy on Saturday to get everything around the house done so we could relax on Sunday.

And then here I was with this time, late Sunday afternoon. For a moment I hesitated: should I just charge right in and glue the stuff down, or should I spend more time agonizing over whether I had everything just right or not?

I decided I was being ridiculous and just started getting the stuff attached, one panel at a time.

I need to print a few more photos- there are a few holes now where there weren't before... not sure how that happened exactly...

I am debating whether to label the photos on the front, or make a list on the back. I need to decide also how to and how much to tone down some of these items that really stand out.

I have walnut inks in four different colours, which I could brush or spray on.

I have both Paynes Gray and Burnt Umber Golden Fluid acrylics which work wonders at shading- but as there is both blue and brown in these, I am not sure which way I want to go.

It's a little odd; usually when I post my work up here and I can see the photos from a different perspective, I notice many things that I don't like and that don't fit. But these actually look better in the photos than I think they look on my table.

Which brings up important questions. What do/will others see? Should I work forward based on what I see in the photo here or what I see in front of me?

I guess this is where some experience would really help me. And I guess the only way to get it, is to DO it! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Still working on background

So I have added more to the backgrounds- Titan buff rubbed on, then splattered on.

Rubber stamps (two I made myself from scraps of a new set I just bought), in blue, green, mauve, and white. See, I think the background is nice, but so dark that the photos won't show. This is my attempt to lighten it up. I might put some light coloured ink around the torn edges of the photos too- but I am trying to be careful not to introduce too many colours. Maybe I already have too many... I could paint over it, if I must!

A closer view of one panel- I need to lighten it without completely covering the Italian newspaper I used as a first layer.

A view of the set. The place names are rub-on letters on scrapbook paper then torn- they look good to me, but as I look at these photos, I can see they will need to be grunged up a bit so they don't stick out like a sore thumb! lol 

I may have to change/paint over some of the colours too, but I am waiting to see.

I have my photos sorted and torn, my ticket stubs and maps all ready- now for the courage to start putting it all together!

I find I do better work when I don't think TOO much. My subconscious seems to have a better feel for things than my conscious! lol

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Next step in Italy series- and suggestions if you have them!

Well, getting ready for our kitchen renos has left me very little time to work in my studio, though I have been thinking a lot about it.

Now that the renovations have begun and things are getting into a bit of routine with them, I have some time.

My first challenge was to see if I would be able to use photos printed on paper without the ink running and blurring or smearing the photos.

To test it out, I decided to do an Italy panel featuring a bunch of my favourite photos of my dear hubby I took on our vacation.

Thinking that the photos are so full of blues and greens (Italy is so lush and bright!), I began my background with a green hill and blue sky. It turned out way too bright and so I scraped a whole bunch of Titan Buff on it to tone it down, and I liked it!

I bought some chipboard letters on sale and coloured them with some little stamp pads I have, in blue and green. Then I edged them in Raw Umber. I love blue and green and brown together!

I had some white tissue paper that said "100% handmade in Italy, with a little picture of the boot- I tore pieces so I just had "Italy" and the picture, and collaged it all over the canvas.

Next I tore the photos to give me raw edges and placed them where I wanted them. I used matte medium to brush the backs and glue them on, using a dry, clean finger to smooth themout (I didn't want the ink to run). I let it dry for a while, then came in and quickly brushed a layer of matte medium over top of it- so far, so good!

I tried attaching a photo I had printed on fabric too, but it got too wet and dried in a complete blur. I attached a copy of the same photo printed on paper on top of it.

After the photos were dry, using Raw Umber, both out of the bottle and mixed with acrylic glazing liquid, I brushed the paint on and wiped it off, doing layers to make the photos stand out a bit.

I love the palette, and have carried it over to the seven original panels that I started in newspaper and walnut ink (last post). I dabbed on some blue and green paints, and let them dry. Next step will be some Titan Buff before I add anything else.

I had a little bit of blue and green paint left over, so I covered the ninth panel and might do an end piece to tie it all in- hang all nine together... AND I worked on a background piece. Backgrounds are my weak area and I am trying to learn how to do a good one. I have no idea what I will do with this yet, but it isn't going anywhere so I guess I don't have to decide right now!

But now I have a question for you: do you have any suggestions for what might enhance/finish this first panel? I am planning to write the locations of the photos in brown ink (which I have to get first), because I don't want to depend on my memory to remind me where they were all taken.

I am happy with it, and could probably leave it, but I have the feeling it might need something else to fill it in or finish it, other than the writing... just not sure yet what it should be. Maybe I need to do the writing first and see what I think. Maybe I could journal a little in handwriting...

Aaaaakkkk! I am a little anxious, I don't want to ruin this, especially when it is at a point that I like the overall look.... lol

I am continually amazed at what comes out of my original ideas- because they are never what I imagine at the beginning.

I am fairly new to mixed media and my biggest challenge to date is knowing when to stop. Oh. And when to keep going.  lol