What an honor to be invited to participate as a Guest Artist for The Documented Life Project. These girls have been inspiring artists for almost two years with their wonderful art and generous weekly challenge site. When Roben-Marie sent my assignment back in January I was thrilled. Stamps, Stencils & Masks are right up my alley. Not only do I love using retail products, but I also love to custom make all of these tools for making art. I have tutorials on both Stamp Carving and Stencil Cutting if the process is new to you or you want a refresher.
A few words about process....I love to work spontaneously, with no plan, no agenda. But I also love thinking about a project in specific detail, especially if I have an assignment. I make notes and some sketches, and try to discern what I want to express, or more importantly, what is channeling into my thoughts after being prompted with a subject. I love being immersed in the pre-project-thought-process as you give consideration to all the ways your ideas could be manifested. Here are my notes from January:
Last week I revisited the prompts, handcarved stamp and tapestry, and still found myself focused on a mental visual of the things I jotted down earlier in the year. Tapestry > foliage > trees > leaves > Autumn.
This is what I imagine when I think Tapestry. Woven, worn, rich. Lots of color, but a subtle range.
A word that kept repeating itself in my notes - Autumn. A strong influence - we are in full Fall colors here.... although most leaves are now on the ground. I am drawn in by the vibrant colors....especially the reds. I have a favorite quote that I think I will include. We'll see.
So how to interpret this through my own filters, with my own style? Make a few color selections and build a palette, then draw a few things that could be transferred to soft block and carved. Then start painting and see what happens.
The tree I carved is 4" with alot of intricate details so there may be an issue getting a good imprint on a page that has already been layered with gesso and acrylic. Going into this I knew that I wouldn't attempt to stamp the entire tree directly on the page. Through an experience of working on a project with a large (12" x 12") carving, I stumbled upon a trick that I like to rely on when applying an image to a page. Pre-paint loose paper (I used gessoed tissue paper) then stamp with black paint onto several sheets (paint on paint is better than ink on paint). Cut up all the "good" portions and splice together to recreate the image. It's like a paper quilt and makes the composition more interesting. Here is the piece where I learned my lesson of layering, 12" square framed collage painting made from a carved stamp:
My plan was to be tapestry-like but I ended up more quilt-like. This is a good example of how you can take inspiration from a prompt and have some loose intentions, then let the piece begin to work itself out while you are in-process.
I really admire these girls for launching their challenge site in 2014, then beginning again with weekly prompts for 2015. Having hosted my own monthly challenge site for six years I know how much work it is AND I know how much it means to get feedback. It's validating and encouraging. So be sure to chime in when you visit their site and offer your kind words.
Again, here is the link to The Documented Life Project: Art to the 5th Stop by and see what magic the hostesses have conjured up for this week's prompt.
I am so touched by the number of friends who have contacted me about another release of Stampers Anonymous "Classics", as found on Tim Holtz's blog, as they include many designs created by me. Originally released on wood mounted red rubber, the company has chosen to re-release as cling-mount. Since they state they do not know who designed them there are no artist credits given, so I will go on the record and claim the images designed by me, more than ten years ago. As I said before, it's nice to know that the archives can bring forward images that are still deemed relevant....aka classics.
If you missed it, my July 2012 post (click here) illustrates my claim of images from the first sets of Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous "Classic Favorites". Thumbnail reference below:
According to Tim's site, these will be released at CHA next week. I've highlighted the images done by me, sets of images borrowed from his site without seeking permission.
New followers of StampersAnonymous don't know the history, and don't know there were alot of artists who contributed to the line. Back in the day, it was alot of fun and I know we made an impact on the industry. I have to admit it kinda hurts in the pit of my stomach that my images may be misinterpreted as coming from Tim, even though he is not trying to give that impression. It's likely that his followers will never see my post but it feels good to go on record and present them here.
EDIT: Since this post aired, Tim has updated his blog linking to here so that anyone who is curious could click through and see my claim to the images. Although I never was an anonymous contributor, I appreciate his gesture yesterday, and that his name is not on the packaging this time. I also appreciate the support offered to me privately, in the comments, and on fb. I never intended this post to be a platform for insulting anyone - just felt that I could be heard here, amongst friends. So let's keep it friendly. Thx.
CHIME IN! Tell me if you have been around a while and have some of the old images as first released on wood!
I am such a lucky girl - CREATE Mixed Media Art Retreats hosts one of its events practically in my back yard. For four days I got to teach an amazing collection of women just down the road, then had dinner with my family and slept in my own bed each night. The students were awesome - some were in more than one class, and a handful took three. Some were repeat students, and some were new-to-me, and some totally new to this kind of venue. It was so rewarding to see how each artist interpreted the assignments and projects, bringing their own personal flair to the table. I thoroughly understand that it can be difficult to create-on-demand and often a student may experience performance anxiety but while we may be there to learn technique or make a specific project, I think the most important thing is to come away with the momentum to keep going. I've said this before, sharing your enthusiasm for creativity is more important than what you create. I hope I did that last weekend. The other beautiful thing that happens at these events is we get to widen our circle of friends - making connections with fellow artists through a shared experience can be life-long. I know because I've done it.
Here are most of the students I was privileged to spend time with - some got away before we took pictures.
I will never forget this event and some of the very cool things that happened in the workshops. I witnessed big break-throughs and many subtle a-ha's. Lots of eager girls who tried lots of new things and shared freely their discoveries so that we all could learn even more. That's what happens when you are in the classroom - the energy is so positive, so thick, it's nearly as visible as the hanging humidity outside. I always depart feeling motivated to do it all over again, with a notebook of scribbled ideas for next year. In one class I presented a little start-up assignment that became its own thing, took on a life of its own, and we ran with it because it was constructive, productive, and a really useful tool to review and remark on the results as a group. I think that assignment could become a whole class and I can't wait to start planning it.
A special thanks to all my students, the event planners, and the entire community of artists who were present to make this such a remarkable retreat. There was an Artist's Faire Friday night and it was a great success for my little GPP table. Fallon was a terrific helper - thank you to our customers for your patience as we got you through the line. Here are some more of my displays - these were spray painted with all the stencils I sell, in the extreme heat we suffered through recently. A few of the shots of paint never made it to the surface as it actually dried mid-air. Crazy.
Doesn't it look like the stencil sheets are hanging there? I love how the edges show so you can see exactly what the sheet looks like.
Next big teaching gig for me is Art-Is-You in Connecticut on October. Hope to see some of you there! For details on my classes click on the WORKSHOPS button in the toolbar on top.
This heatwave is awful! In about ten minutes I'll be packing up the van with supplies for the first of four workshops just down the road for CREATE NJ. It's such a treat to be so close to the venue! I visited the hotel yesterday and the classroom was nice and cool, whew! I ran into some old friends (waves to Sylvie) and met some new ones. I am so looking forward to this event - there was a creative energy in the lobby as artists were arriving and checking in, it's going to be fun! I will report on everything when I can - until then, stay cool!
Prepping for vendor night....some of the displays:
I'm still playing with cardboard. Here's something I tried this weekend. I traced the stencil onto the cardboard panel, then cut and lifted out the negative. I was so excited by the concept that I wasn't so careful about the cuts and used a chunky blade. I may have done better with a finer knife but who has time to look for one when you're ready to try something? Don't forget that stencils aren't just for paint and spackle - they are cool with pencils and knives too.
As I've mentioned, when I'm behaving, I store my stencils in page protectors in 3-ring binders. When I'm not behaving I toss them all into a large clear rubber bin. But as John Shaw once said, some of my stencil designs do not play well with others (lots of parts that can get tangled) so I do try to separate. At Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago I found this presentation portfolio. Couldn't be more perfect for my new Gothic Collections stencils and masks! Come on, HCIT?
Speaking of the new collection, I've had new customers who are asking what to do with unmounted rubber sheets. There are lots of ways to use them - temporarily mount on acrylic blocks, or if you are a grab-and-go girl, then you might like my method. I use thick foam as a mount as it provides the cushion necessary for a good impression, and it is grab-able, similar to a wood mount. Just pay attention when you are cutting the foam so you have a nice straight line where the rubber ends for aligning on your stamped surface. Here's a quick tutorial:
Gothic Collection stencils, masks, stencil/mask sets, and rubber stamps available at GreenPepperPress.com
The day is almost over, but the month has just begun. A very full schedule ahead. My lilacs are fragrant, bursting open yesterday. I found my first four leaf clover of the season. I didn't get a ding-dong and flower basket (like we did as kids on May Day) but the mailman did ring the bell to deliver a big package of merchandise with the new HIM cd!!! Mini-tour has started, I get to see them soon after a very long dry spell. Bags and bins are packed and ready for my departure tomorrow morning - to Far Away Places - a workshop with my friend Lynne. Looking forward to riding in the van with my band, not literally of course. A road trip is the perfect way to become immersed with a new album. I will report in on the weekend after I get back. The first batch of pre-orders from The Gothic Collection will go out tomorrow too. Thank you so much for the enthusiastic response. My manufacturers pulled off a fast turn around. Life is good!
The first video....
*waves, and blows kisses*
p.s. Gabriele, I got your lovely envelope, and clipping on the collection. I ordered it...should be here anyday. Thanks for thinking of me. It was a super fun thing to get in the mail. <3
I've been off the radar as it's been a busy few weeks here. I feel like a new parent. We are very in tune with our new resident, Lucky. She's a sweet little thing. We've only heard her meow a few times - the tiniest little sound, although her purring is much more audible. I'm afraid to let her have full access to the entire home yet so we have her blocked off from the basement and the studio. Speaking of which, the overhaul went really well. Still a few things to sort and stow or shake off. I've gotten rid of so much stuff - it feels really good to have organized alot of it and allowed more s.p.a.c.e. I've also been designing lots of new things which I will reveal soon. Some prototype stencils arrived and I had to take a break from cleaning and taxes to shoot them with some spray paint. These are going to be super fun and will coordinate nicely with the existing stencil patterns. There will be several in the next release that feature multiple sizes of my favorite shapes. More soon. Sending hugs to Boston - my home for many years.
I started doing gravestone cakewax rubbings when I lived in Boston. There are so many beautiful old headstones in the cemeteries and some of the engravings are spectacular, especially for rubbing. A few years ago I was really into taking crayon rubbings of textures - mostly stamps and stencils. If you use the side of the crayon, and a heavy hand, you can get really nice wax coverage to reveal the pattern, then overpaint with acrylic for a cool resist. You can even iron off the original wax for another effect. Why rub? It's just a way of making your own collage elements. The additional bonus is that once you start doing it you will start seeing interesting patterns and textures everywhere. Don't you love that? A simple case of heightened awareness and suddenly you see your surroundings differently. In these samples I show both current and archived rubbings, some with painted layers to demonstrate the resist. I also include some journal pages that show how you might incorporate a rubbing.
Thank you so much for the enthusiastic response to the new collection of stencils and stamps. I thought I'd show you the prototype for a visual on the set of both stencil and mask you will receive on all but the Grasses and Noise sheets. And here is a large canvas I made using them. LOVE how thick they are, they work like a dream. PRE-ORDER special offer for stencils and stamps good through Monday evening, December 3, then they will be produced and shipped. My guy said turn-around will be quick, yay!
Visit GREENPEPPERPRESS.com for the ordering info. if you're interested.
I've been working on this for a while and I'm really excited to finally share this with you. I'm introducing a new line of stamps, stencils, and stencil/mask sets. Take a look - you get both the innie and the outie - the stencil and the mask with these sets. How cool is that? I've been teaching this technique and advocating that you utilize both the stencil and mask when you apply images. I also love having images in multiple scales which is why you can get the fronds in stamps too. After many requests following my Frond Chronicles workshop (which seems to be the most popular 'pin' of my work) I was swayed to launch this collection. It is available for pre-order this week as I await the inventory, then the prices will adjust. Visit GREENPEPPERPRESS.com to order.
Some digital samples...I like messing around with shapes, color, layering and composition digitally so I know they work prior to production.
I will be teaching this workshop again next year. I can't post details yet - announcement will come in January (I think!) so stay tuned.
There was some chatter that arose after Tim Holtz made his announcements for the Stampers Anonymous new stamp releases for CHA last week. He made it clear he is not taking credit for designing the "Classic Favorites" collection - he simply chose his favorites from the archives of red rubber wood mounted stamps done by other artists. These are being re-released as cling vinyl. As a former designer for Stampers Anonymous, many friends and fans of the line have emailed me about it. I'll bet there are many of you who are not clear which ones I designed so I thought I would go on record with a set of illustrations below. At a later date I will put together my entire Stampers Anonymous portfolio of images that have been selling for thirteen years....for the record.
Questions have been asked as to why Tim's name is on the collection and not the original artists. To be fair, the early artists never had their names on the stamps. It was not the policy of the company or the original owner. In fact, the new owner of Stampers Anonymous may not be entirely clear who can claim the designs. I can only speak up for myself, go on record, and point out which ones were done by me - especially since many of you have inquired. I have to say it's pretty cool that after many, many years, these images are still considered "favorites".
Yesterday I was reminiscing with Mom about May Day activities in our old neighborhood. We would make (and receive) handmade paper baskets and cones filled with flowers cut from the garden - usually nearly-expired tulips or daffodils, wrapped with a wet paper towel and tin foil, or a handful of leftover Easter candy. Ding Dong. We'd drop our offerings on the front step and run for cover. Did you do that too?
My doorbell did ring yesterday, but it was the mailman with an armful of deliveries too big for the mailbox. Included was the latest issue of Somerset Studio. It remains a thrill to be included in my favorite publication. My Make it Your Own column has me standing on soapbox to encourage you to carve some rubber.
Here is a better view on the first piece - metallic doesn't show up very well in print. Made for Shannon. We all think of her when we see pink roses, but sunflowers were one of her favorites.
I included my journal pages but I always find it interesting to see the thought process of an artist at work. Here are what my process pages typically look like while I'm working on other surfaces.
And as I said earlier, and in the article, I've assembled previous posts about carving onto a tutorial page - not meant to be a comprehensive how-to, but you might find it useful, or motivating. See HERE.
I'm a sucker for punches. LOVE this one. It has the new clever option of setting for two different outcomes. One adds a border to the edge of a page. The second yields a freestanding border with more detail. A quatrefoil - swoon! I was so excited to put it to work that I made some quick tags....the stamped images came straight from one of my new sheets. You'll see I didn't even cut it out...item number shows up.
I have other things I should be doing but this recent acquisition has me distracted. Do you do this too - pull out some supplies to test drive your new toys? No purpose, just play?
I don't have my copy of the new Somerset Studio (May/June 2012). If you are visiting here after seeing my article about Why to Carve Your own Stamps, you will find my tutorial on carving by clicking the Tutorial button on the right sidebar, or click HERE.
Thanks for all the comments about our Special Olympics event. It makes it even more fun that you share in the enthusiasm. If you have a chance to volunteer at an event, or just go as a cheerleader, do it!
I was going to say, "here is what's going down", but that's not a nice reference as tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Here's what is also not so nice: I've been a victim of identity theft. Someone has been impersonating me online by leaving rude and inappropriate comments on blogs. Think about it, it's easy to do. You can leave a name and an URL without verification in most places. We trust that people use their own name and address, right? The thing is - you leave a trail with your IP address. I have learned of several instances of this occuring and luckily I was able to confirm it wasn't me because the IP addresses differ. I'm not sure why someone would choose my identity to do this, and I'm not sure why they chose to be mean to the bloggers who were targeted on the receiving end. Both of these gracious women are bloggers I have never met or corresponded with prior to these events. I hate to think of how many other times this may have happened that I don't know about. I do know where the person works and hope to resolve it. Do me a favor, if you can search your comment database for IP address 18.104.22.168 please let me know. (Easy to do on typepad, not sure how other platforms operate.) I'm hoping this person has slipped up and used their own name somewhere. Thanks for your help. EDIT: the issue has been resolved, perpetrator found.
EDIT: Impersonating someone online is illegal. Perpetrator is from California, breaking this law: SB 1411 This bill would provide that any person who knowingly and without consent credibly impersonates another actual person through or on an Internet Web site or by other electronic means, as specified, for
purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Now that the bad news is out of the way, the good news is that both of the anticipated shipments have arrived. The stamps and the stencils are here! Pre-orders will go out Monday and the rates on the products will change back to standard pricing by Monday too.
When I mentioned the bad news affair on facebook I got so much support and I really appreciate my friends circling around with kind words. For some reason the post disappeared, which is so frustrating but I thank all of you who came by in friendship.
The second installment of the OnWARD & UpWARD Collection is now listed for pre-order at GreenPepperPress.com. These images coordinate with the new stencils I showed you in the previous post. I tend to design stamps that I want to have and use. I love having more than one size of a favorite image or pattern. Repetition with multiple scales, swoon. Both stamps and stencils are now offered at a pre-order discount for a limited time.
If you're like me you wonder how the images actually figure into the formats you work with so I have scaled some of the stamp samples digitally.
Visit GPP if you are interested in pre-ordering the stamps and or stencils.
Thank you for all the kind words about my postcards. I loved making them and have adapted the design to a larger format....I will show you soon!
I was watching Letters to Juliet recently and loved being transported to Italy. Part of my journey took me beyond Verona to the hills of Tuscany, speckled with rows of trees that hold down the horizon. I had to cut new shapes - stencils and stamps - so I could investigate how to incorporate the trees in my work. Here is some of the debris from my table left behind after painting a few new pieces for an article...
Want to start a debris journal of your own? Join me at CREATE in July!
Guess what arrived today? The new rubber! I am packing with wild energy - so fun to see the new images, love sealing up the envelopes, and checking off the pre-order list. Thank you for your patience dear customers. Packages will depart first thing in the morning.
For locals, or those willing to travel, the CREATE Mixed Media Retreat in New Jersey site went live today! Wow - lots of terrific classes and instructors. There will be a vendor night too. I'm teaching Friday (7/20)and Saturday (7/21). There is alot to scroll through on the Create site. If you want a quick look at my classes you click over HERE.
Registration begins Thursday, February 16th at 2pm Eastern Time. Hope to see you there! For all the details, click HERE.
The current Somerset Studio issue is January/February 2012. My column, Make It Your Own, is about altering items we find in a craft store becuase we can, and because we feel like being creative. The supply lists and brief project descriptions were omitted so I am posting here.
If you look at the magazine it appears the red egg nest is larger or the same size as the turquoise egg nest but actually it is way way smaller. Looks super cool next to my crows and ravens that are set out at Halloween.
The next crusade was going to be posted today but I'm busy packing rubber so I will get it up tomorrow.
I'm excited to announce my new workshop for Valley Ridge! Their recently revised website officially launched today so I can share details about my workshop PLUS introduce you to my new collection: OnWARD & UpWARD. Two sheets are available for pre-order. Additional sheets will be revealed in February.
Visit Valley Ridge Art Studio site HERE to see all the fine offerings for the 2012 season.
And ta-da! Here are two of the first sheets from my latest collection. You can pre-order at GreenPepperPress.com.
It's been too cold to spend alot of time in my studio so my Ruby Tuesday pages were made from some table scraps I quickly grabbed during a dash in-and-out this morning. I've been logging quite a few hours planning a workshop that will be announced soon on the Valley Ridge Art Studio site. The ideas have rapidly channeled in and I can barely keep up with myself taking notes and making sketches. This is the funnest part of the planning phase - visualizing yourself and your students in the flurry and fun of creativity, and all that is possible at this unique venue. I can't wait for this one!
Last week my friend Anna sent more samples of cool art she made with stamps from Green Pepper Press. Here is a sneak peek, you can see the full images in the guest gallery HERE. Thanks girl, you rock!
I started a new series on the street team: evidence journaling. This month it's about moving the wrapping debris onto your pages. Curious? Come play with us!
You know I love Finns. Here's another....actually, she is from Poland. Her name is Anna Dabrowska, but her nickname is Finn. She's an amazing artist and has made some pages for the guest gallery at Green Pepper Press using some of my stamps. Love that the internet provides an introduction to people we would never get to meet....
See the full pages of her work at GPP, click HERE.
Visit her blog: tworzysko.blogspot.com Thanks Finn, LOVE your work!
I'm off to Valley Ridge! Looking forward to seeing old friends, and to make new ones. Mom will be joining me - always a fun event. I promise to report when I return next week.
I'm sorry to say I have no update on the rubber stamp arrival. I can't believe the new collection isn't here and apologize for the extended wait. Thanks for your patience. I will post here as soon as they get here.
*crosses fingers* & *blows kisses*
On the pages: some of the words that came to mind as I was pondering the new collection. I feel so re*jazzed about stamping, knowing these new tools are on the way soon. I was wrapping up a different series when this one channeled in and wanted to be made. I've resumed normal breathing and will head back toward the previous path, aiming for September. I'm leaning toward calling it GothWard if that gives you any clues :)
The rest of the backstory: