Friday, May 29, 2015

Today I Want to Make...... EVERYTHING!

Yes, I actually do want to make everything, and learn how to make everything - It's a problem.  This morning I started working on a project I began earlier in the month.  I was really excited about it because I was trying out a new technique I developed.  I am using Delight™air dry modeling compound as a three dimensional drawing surface for colored pencils.  At one point I needed to add some more clay to the piece, and that's when the trouble started (again), because, once the wet clay was added I had to wait for it to dry.  I started work on another project, also began some time ago, but needed some reference photos for one aspect (this one is a miniature cottage) and got lost in the photos for a little while....because, aside from photos, I really need to actually know how real-life thatching is done, and maybe a little bit about the lives of the people who thatch roofs - right?  After working on that project for a bit, and also getting to a point where I had to let things dry, I worked on a drawing.  The drawing was of roots, which I began because I saw a new drawing technique I wanted to try.  I finished the drawing, then went to check my mail and social sites.  I consider myself very lucky to have so many artistic friends, but there are some days when their works of art are so inspiring and overwhelmingly amazing that I want to stop what I'm doing and try one of their techniques.  *sigh* and so it goes.  After lunch, I decided to write some poetry - which doesn't require drying time, research, etc.  Here it is:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Spontaneous Whimsy

 I'm pretty happy with the way this month's Creative Paperclay® Design Team project came out.  Actually, I'm really happy with the way it turned out - but, to be honest, it is not anything like I envisioned or what I started out with in my original design.

My first plan involved the use of pink globes for the bulb part, then flowers, frills, ribbons and charms around the base - I even purchased tiny bells that I was going to include, and some gold and pink ribbon.  I made the pink bulb and tried it with a light in it, and it was a sort of yucky orange-ish color.  It was also too small, and didn't really look like a flower or natural element of any kind.  I gave it one other try with a different shade of pink and a larger, pointed bulb, a little closer to the kind I used on the final pieces, but still, it just wasn't right.  Next I tried the creamy yellow color that I used in the finished project, and cut the ends to look more like natural plant pods.

When it came to sculpting the bases, I started out with a very symmetrical approach and planned petal layers all the way up to the top, finishing it with a sort of looping vine much like a cake decorator's trim.....but then.....whimsy happened.  I rolled a bit of clay into a vine shape, stuck the large end onto the base, and as the rest of it fell onto the base I knew it "wanted" to be there.  I took the layers off and started over, roughing out the first petals, then adding leaves and vines.  I still planned on adding flowers, but as you can tell, that didn't happen either.

I coated the bases in gesso, and when that was dry I sat down and started to paint the leaves and vines in a realistic manner.  When I accidentally got paint in the wrong spot and quickly added a bunch of water to get the paint off,  I was enchanted by the way the resulting paint wash looked on one of the leaves.  This is NOT my normal painting style, but, maybe it should be.

Anyhow, I just let it happen.  I ended up using a very limited palette and just washing and dabbing on colors as the mood struck. I put them aside to dry, and the very next morning, the fairies had brought twisty curly vines, branches, lichen, etc. and finished decorating the lanterns!

Well that's not *exactly* the way it happened, but it certainly seemed like something magical occurred in the studio! My current project isn't really going as planned either. This one involves a mermaid, and I hope it will surprise me as well!

For complete instructions on how to make your own Fairy Lanterns, please visit the Creative Paperclay® blog.  and if you make some, please let me know what kind of magic happens in your studio!