HIM tribute album

A few years back I was introduced to the band HIM via the wonderful artist Michelle Ward. Tony and I both loved HIM instantly and have most of their albums. Tony just likes the sound, I think, but there’s something in their lyrics that speaks to my heart. I have often used their words in my journal pages.

Recently they announced a worldwide tour (but, sadly, not to NZ) and that they’re disbanding. I am pleased they’re going on to other creative adventures, but I will miss their presence in my life. I’ve decided to do a small art journal – just 14cm square –  featuring all the lyrics that speak so much to me. Here’s the first two pages.

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CJS17 with Michelle Ward

Today we were inspired by the lovely Michelle Ward. I have followed Michelle for many years and enjoy her style, and dedication to her art practice. Heck, we even share a love of Ville Valo and HIM. So this was exciting for me, because I got to do a project inspired by her processes.

As always, I’m not going into the process I used, but I have to say this … my project was meant to be a solid red, but the spray paint wouldn’t set on some of the pieces I used. When it’s totally dry I’m probably going to try a light coat of gesso then respraying. Although I quite like it as is, to be honest.

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New stencils – oh my!

I was fortunate to be able to purchase some new Michelle Ward stencils recently. I had been thinking about the Frond Collection ever since Michele released them, and I was finally able to get them. And boy, they were worth the wait … I love them. I’ve just been playing round with them using gesso, inks,  fluid acrylics, and working in three different journals to see what happens on the various surfaces. Here’s some of what I’ve done so far.

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Combining the elements

I’ve been piling up the gelli prints, writing and drawing in my journals, and playing with photos. So the next step was to combine some of it in Photoshop. This is fairly small, and has about 7 layers. I’m slowly learning to do more in Photoshop but it’s still feels a bit foreign to me. I need to head over the Michelle Ward’s blog and reread her information about making digital brushes masks – she’s an awesome teacher and incredibly generous with  her knowledge.

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Poppies, and stencils

When Mum passed away recently a friend gave us some flowers which included poppies and seed heads – awesome! I have been fascinated with poppies since we visited Italy in 2010 and use them a lot in my artwork. Having the real thing on display in the kitchen inspired my to take a bunch of photos, do some drawings, and finally cut some stencils. Huge thanks to Michelle Ward for lessons learnt while doing the Crusades – without your lessons I doubt I would have managed it. I have now got stencils for two flowers, and two different heads plus the masks for all but the big poppy. I couldn’t work out the bridges to keep it in one piece but may have another shot at it yet.

I have had a quick play with them on newsprint and am happy, so tomorrow I’ll start playing in earnest. Earlier in the year I was given some lovely old, never used and in mint condition, prints of  John Abbott’s The insects of Georgia produced by the Alexander Turnbull Library. I am going to be participating in Legato 2013 and have a vague plan in mind involving the prints, transfers of photos of Dad from the war, and the poppy stencils. We’ll see…

(the images are wrinkly because I am too impatient to wait for the ink to dry before scanning)

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A little Christmas house

I am a regular follow of Tim Holtz’s blog and have been looking at the Christmas decorations people make with considerable envy, although I admit most of them are way too fiddly for my patience level. The other day I was in @yourlotto in Hawera looking at the KaiserCraft mdf projects and there was a small fairy castle. It’s only about 5″ square and $11 – perfect! Finally, a wee Christmas decoration I felt I could tackle.

I painted the inside white and then stenciled a pattern in silver onto it using one of Michelle Ward’s stencils. I covered the outside using KaiserCraft “Just Believe” 6.5″ papers, and had plenty left over for making more Christmas cards too. I added some die cuts and a mountain of Kindy Glitz round the tops of the spires to look like snow or icicles. I don’t usually use Kindy Glitz but I loved it for this project.

The only problem I ran into was that I painted and papered over the tabs that hold it together and then they wouldn’t fit into the slots, so I had to sand them back. Other than that, it’s the first time I have tried one of KaiserCraft’s mdf projects and I’m sold on them.

My icy fairy castle is now on our mantle piece with a candle in the centre, looking very snowy and festive.

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Got stencils?

As many of you will know, I have participated in Michelle Ward’s Crusades over the last few years. Michelle’s taking a break from the Crusades but her presence in the art community remains strong. I have long admired her stamps, and own quite a few; recently she bought out stencils. So cool! With all the recent upheavals in our life, I needed a bit of cheering up, and what better way than with new art supplies? (chocolate would have worked too of course)

You can a blogpost about see her stencils here. My stencils have arrived from the USA and they’re even more awesome than I imagined. I’ve had a quick play with them and, as if often the case, my first attempts turned out nothing like what was in my head. I need to puddle round a bit before I get comfy with new supplies. I think tomorrow might be a spray paint day 🙂

The year that was – 2011 as I remember it

At the end of each year I think back on what I have done; it’s easy for achievements to sort of slide on by barely noticed. Knowing what we have done, and where we’ve been, helps map the road forward – so here a quick recap of things that stand out from 2011. When I first started thinking about this post it seemed I had not achieved much, but that’s not the case. It’s just that this years list is less dramatic than last year’s which had things like an art exhibition in Italy. Not the kind of thing that’s going to crop up year after year!

  • Joined in many of the Crusades with Michelle Ward over at the GPP Street Team site.
  • Re-elected as Co-Chair is PubSig, a national organisation that supports librarians, to serve another 2 years.
  • Did all the ‘stuff’ that needed doing when Aunt J passed away after years of suffering with dementia.
  • Accepted for Post Grad Diploma in Museum Studies at Massey for 2012 – they take quite a limited number.
  • Enjoyed another year of love and friendship with Sandra; 40-mumble years and counting!
  • Officially recognised as Deputy to the District Librarian at work
  • Co-presented an interactive workshop on Koha at this year’s LIANZA annual conference
  • Kept Mum at home for another year; safe, happy and reasonably well.
  • Appointed to the communications committee for the 2012 LIANZA annual conference
  • Supported another Kiwi artist who was offered a residency overseas

My guiding word for 2011 was DETERMINED and I did about half the things I was determined to do. But I also did a lot of things that were not on my radar when I wrote my original list. I’m happy with what I achieved for the year. I have a fair idea of my word, and to do list, for 2012 but am not clear enough to capture it here yet. In the next day or two I’m sure I’ll post it…

 

Anyone for half a pear?

Michelle Ward’s GPP Street Team Crusade No 28 is about “portion control” – using part of an image to create interest and mystery. Last month we were challenged to really explore a shape, I chose the pear. You can see some of the images I created here, here and here. I have kept using last month’s PEAR shape, and have been making new images on watercolour postcards. This way, I get to do the Crusade, and keep up my stock of postcards for sending off quick notes to people. Win win! For these three I used acrylics, gesso and Stazon ink pads, acrylic stamps and handcut stencils and masks.

Running kinda late – GPP challenge

Back in November Michelle’s challenge at the GPP Street Team blog was to explore the properties of gesso, and have a play at making some cool backgrounds. So, it’s almost 2009, and I finally got to it. Running kinda late, but it was fun anyway – and I learnt some new stuff along the way.

I used some pre-cut watercolour postcards, fluid acrylics, Making Memories foam stamps and Golden gesso. I stamped with gesso then painted over the top, painted them stamped on top with gesso, dribbled ink, rubbed with metallic crayons … and so on. Here’s just one of the backgrounds I now have ready for when I went to send a postcard to say hi to a friend.  

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