Happy New Year and a Piece of Art a Week

A Piece a Week 2013

Happy New Year to all of you! This year is going to be one of art and I’m starting out with the attempt to get one Piece of Art COMPLETED per week. Considering my last post, completing is something I really need to do more of.

So here be my first Piece a Week and a short story to go with it.

Yesterday I took my sister into a nice bookshop in town and we bought art books – she had a voucher I bought her for Christmas, I just had my credit card which moaned at me extensively as we purchased four arty books between us. More on those later 😀

Anyway, she asked me if I could sit down and show her how to do some of the techniques in one of the books. So late yesterday afternoon we sat together in my art studio – without the children! (well, for the most part, they did eventually invade) – and I showed her how I would go about doing the first two techniques in the book – the first of which was stamping and the second was stencilling.

Hand-carved stamps

Fortunately I have a small stash of handcarved stamps I created for some handmade books awhile back. So we played with those and some other balsa wood stamps I had created even before that.

We discussed colour and composition and confidence. That last being what you need more of, Sis. Being a perfectionist myself, one of the most valuable lessons I have learnt in the last three years since I started attempting to reinvent, vitalise and actually do something with my art is not to fear ruining your art. If at first it doesn’t work, keep working on it until it does. If it is working and then it isn’t, work it some more. And ultimately, if it doesn’t work at all, do another piece of art. There is always room for more art, and as my Hubby has been known to say to me repeatedly – perfect is the enemy of good. I’ve taken notes from Juliette Crane and Tracy Woodsford on these fronts and the core of my resultant philosophy is that I can create more art if I don’t get hung up on one piece and stagnate there because it is not working for some reason. Now I shove it aside and pick up something else and come back to it later.

And ultimately, with acrylic, there is always the gesso paint over to reuse a canvas – which I did for the first time a short while back – Happy has bitten the dust (it always read as Herpy anyway, not quite the sentiment I was trying to convey :D).

Anyway, I babble and preach. I did a journal page to show Sis how I work with these tools. Truth is, I’m really new to stamping and stencilling and what I do know, I’ve fumbled and played with and pretty much worked out for myself simply because I don’t really have any inks or stamp pads and want to use my acrylics to keep to the media I know. But ultimately it is the end product that matters and whether or not I get a result I’m happy with. So I showed her how I mix my fluid acrylics with some glazing medium to thin them down enough to stamp with, how I use a brush to load the stamp, how to mix on the palette, some composition and colour theory. I cut out a simple stencil out of some stashed juice carton cardboard and used a toothbrush to splatter paint all over the page and deployed my gel pens to straighten up my design.

This is what I came up with…

It can be anything you want it to be scan

It was fun, and hopefully Sis gained some value out of the early stages at least (I tend to get absorbed by my art once I have an idea of what I’m doing and I was determined to finish what I had started in the end). We should do this again. What is the next technique in the book you would like to explore?

And this is my first Piece a Week  for 2013 (even though technically I did it the day before :D).

This is going to be a great challenge, so wander over to the blog, Facebook group or Flickr group and jump in. The more the merrier.

Best wishes.

PS: And oh! It is my two year blogoversary on this blog! Yay for Gumnut Inspirations, you’ve definitely been inspirational for me 😀



4 responses to “Happy New Year and a Piece of Art a Week”

  1. Thanks for sharing! Great post!

  2. Liz – this sounds so fun! What a nice kick off to a piece a week! I’m inspired!

    1. Thank you, Rani 😀

      I’m glad I could share a little inspiration…can never have too much of that.

      Best wishes,

  3. Happy blogoversary!
    Looks like you both had great fun. What books did you buy? I bought one called ‘Digital Art Wonderland’ to help me master Photoshop. I’m having great fun experimenting with it, although it isn’t quite the same as getting your fingers dirty 🙂
    And thanks for the mention.