"Go to Your Studio and Make Stuff" Fred Babb

Monday, November 21, 2016

Fingerpainting Swap

Today I sent off four postcards I made for an art swap.  

The theme was fingerpainting.  Well, I don't mind getting messy, so I decided on some colors and smooshed them around on the card stock that I had cut into postcard sizes.

Rules allowed the use of a stencil if you used your fingers to push the paint through it.  I don't have very many stencils, but I found an old fancy paper cupcake holder and used that to make the turquoise highlights.

I'm always on the lookout for items around the house or outside that I can use in my art.  The more unusual - the better!  :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Easy Marbling Technique

I finally tried the shaving cream marbling technique.  And I'm so happy I did.  What fun!  And it was easy!  

There's videos on Youtube that can easily be found.  But basically, it's just putting shaving cream (bought at the dollar store) into a shallow pan, putting a few drops of acrylic paint on top and then swirling it around to make a pattern.

Then whatever paper you want to "print" on, just put it on top of the swirled paint and lightly press down.  Push around to all of the edges so it gets pressed down all over.  Peel the paper off from the paint/shaving cream and use a ruler or squeegee to scrape the excess off from the surface.  Let dry.

I made some papers and also did a few envelopes.  I protected the envelopes with a matte sealant so they could be sent through the mail.  

Here's some pink papers and envelopes that I did because I loved how the blue colors turned out.  

Think I'm inspired to make some in more autumnal colors next!

And I hope you're inspired to give this easy technique a try!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Feeling Like Halloween

Wooooooo - doing some spooky Halloween themed postcards and envelopes to send out to my like-minded art friends and family.

This Dogman is headed to Wisconsin to someone that has an interest in the many reports in that area.  Of course, I've never seen one, so I have only my imagination to draw from...I think he looks rather frightening.  And it was fun to create a subject matter I'm unfamiliar with.  I'm hoping our postwoman will be entertained.

Here's some colored pencil silhouettes that were fun to do.  I usually do something like this while watching football or whatever program we happen to have on.  I'm kind of partial to the Haunted House.  That one's headed to Scotland.

And here's some less scary options for those that don't like a spooky theme or don't recognize an All Hallows' Eve type day in their country.  I'm not done creating yet, but I'd better get on it or they'll miss receiving them this month.  

It's been awhile since I've posted on this blog.  We downsized this summer and the move was a bit stressful and hectic.  I hope now that we're getting settled in the new (and it sure feels little) place, I can contribute here a bit more often.  Thanks so much for checking in.  Please excuse quality of photos here today, I took them with my phone instead of the Nikon.  

All of the above were created with colored pencils and ink on cardstock or plain white envelopes.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Feeling Kind of Tribal

I've been meaning to do some portrait pieces of different tribes.  So tonight I did a quick painting of a woman from the Karo tribe of Ethiopia.

This represents how they paint their faces with ochre and chalk.  The dots mimic the feather patterns from guinea fowl or from leopards.  They also take ochre and animal fat and wind their hair into little pellets that makes it appear that they're wearing a sort of hat.  I don't think I quite captured how that really looks, haha.  

This is acrylic on bristol board made into a postcard to be sent off to a new art friend in Singapore.

May she travel well...

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

My Weird Valentine Art

Yeah, this is another of my art collage postcards...it's been so much fun to put these together.  I wanted to make something to do with Valentines Day, but wasn't sure what.

So, I just look through some magazines and old books and find this and that and start throwing them together.  I don't even know what they mean or what message I'm going for half the time.  If it has an overall unity and the colors blend well - it's done!  

Here's the flip side.  Once again, it has nothing to do with the front side.  Oh, well - who cares?!  It was fun.  And the best thing - time escaped me.  When I start getting into doing art, and I have no idea that hours have gone by - that's the best feeling!  

Friday, January 29, 2016

Collage Mail Art

This week I did a postcard swap with an art therapist that lives up north.  I'm wondering what she thinks of my rather dark collage.  I didn't "feel" dark when making it, I think it just came about that way after painting the background.

I liked the Mona Lisa in sunglasses that I found in a magazine and the rest just sort of morphed together from there.

The back side has absolutely nothing to do with the front.  Except for the words "This Place is Amazing" - because if you've had the pleasure of visiting the Louvre, you'd have to agree, lol!  

The paint from the front got on the back along the edges and I thought a graffiti type look was the way to go.  I didn't work too hard at this, but then I never work too hard at any of my art.  It just isn't fun then.  

I definitely had fun putting this together and hope to find more postcard artists to exchange with.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Mail Art and Penpals

Well, here I am, still enamored with creating mail art.  I've started working on Valentines to send.

I'm making my own envelopes out of a roll of brown Kraft paper that I got at a garage sale years ago.  I love recycling and being able to make something that I normally would have to go out and buy.

I'm cutting writing paper from odd sources of leftover paper.  I use only clean, unmarked pieces and trim it with a deckle edge scissors that I got at a craft shop.  (Trying to make it look a little pretty)

Then I draw something Valentine related on the outside of the envelopes with an ink pen and color in with colored pencils.  I may try using gouache paints.  Gouache is an opaque watercolor paint. It would hopefully hold up okay on this heavier paper.  Or acrylics. 

I'm also making Valentines on cardstock to stick in as well. But that's another post as I haven't finished those yet.  

I've discovered there are quite a few places online to find a penpal.  Of course, some are not particularly comfortable feeling - like those that have turned into a dating site.  But there are a couple of places where I've been comfortable finding a suitable pen friend.

 Letter Writers Alliance does have a one time $5 fee.

 Swapbot is a bunch of crafters that like to swap everything from letters to handmade items to favorite quotes.  It's free and there's tons of swaps to choose from.  

 Postcrossing is just plain fun!  You sign up and send out up to 5 postcards to the addresses that the site assigns to you.  Then you'll receive up to 5 postcards from somewhere in the world - you won't know from where until you receive them.  It's free. 

I've also found a few penpals from posting my hobby of letter writing on my Instagram account.  These fellow gardeners have been followers for a couple of years and I've come to know them and feel comfortable exchanging addresses.

You can always get a post office box and that way there are no worries about giving out your home address.  And of course, you have to use discretion and common sense about who you choose to correspond with.  No, thank you is perfectly acceptable.  Most sites take care to keep your address private and usually you ask by sending a private email to a person you're interested in being penpals with.  

There are plenty of sites, I haven't explored many of them and quite a few seem to have a lot of teenagers.  There's also a site on Tumblr that I haven't looked at, but sounds interesting called Handwritten Inspiration.  It allows people to send a card or letter to someone who is feeling lonely or depressed in hopes that it will brighten their mood.  The site might be a couple of years old, but I'm sure there are other like it.  It's something I will be exploring!  

I absolutely love getting mail again, and maybe I'm a bit overenthusiastic, but it's been years - and I mean years since I've looked forward to going to the mailbox.  And I've met some very nice people all over the world that are feeling the same way...happiness at getting the mail!  


Monday, January 18, 2016

Envelope Art

I've discovered a new hobby of late - penpals!  It's been ages since I had a penpal, not since my teens.

Apparently, it's popular again with the Snailmail Revolution.  Younger people having fun sending and receiving mail in their postboxes.  I forget, they grew up with the Internet already established and snailmail is truly something new to them.

Well, I've found that I'm loving going to my mailbox again and receiving letters instead of just bills and ads.  What a joy!  And I absolutely love meeting people from all over the world.  It's always so interesting to learn how people live their day to day lives in different countries.

Anyway, I've been decorating my envelopes with art and it's been so much fun!  Here I did three in a tropical theme with colored pencils and sent them off to Norway, Scotland and Finland.  I hope it brightens up their cold wintry day!  

Next, I'm working on some Valentines.