Friday, July 13, 2012

Mail art is fun!!

      Remember when mail had so many possibilities, a handwritten letter from grandma or holiday photos finally developed and mailed from your aunt. If you were a really lucky kid a birthday card with a $10.00 bill!! Not so much anymore, ecards are awaiting you in email, you can check out the family photos on Facebook and god forbid you send money in the mail cause it never seems to reach it's destination.  Why is that anyway?

Front and back of large envelope.

     I really enjoy working in my recycled junk journals so why not treat mail as art. Instead of decorating a page in my journal I decided to work on a few envelopes to have handy for mailing.There is a whole movement devoted to 'mail art'. I must admit I have just gotten on this bandwagon....I chastise myself for not sending more cards to friends and family. Maybe now I will be better about mailing those holiday and birthday cards.

Front of envelope, bird and leaf images are napkins.
     I wanted to share a few of the art mailings I have done over the past week. I always begin by looking for book pages, sheet music, napkins or old wrapping paper to apply as the first layer. An artist friend of mine, Judy Evans, always seems to find the most wonderful napkins and she shares them with our local art group...thank you Judy!!

Napkins, sheet music, pattern paper, ledger paper, tissue paper and an old piece of my art applied to envelopes with matte medium, ready for gesso, paint and stamps.

      Using napkins as a focal point makes it so easy to create a beautiful envelope without a lot of work. Just slop it on with some matte medium, wait for it to dry - add gesso, paint, stencils, and stamps. I usually add a final coat of matte or gloss medium to seal it.  If you have beautiful handwriting or a calligraphy pen add the name and address by hand as well, or simply apply a label with name and address. 

Flower and flapper girl napkin peeking through after gesso, paint and stamps.

       Try it....surprise someone with a special piece of art delivered to their door. Next time you send a real birthday card add some art to the envelope first.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Zentangle® Creatures

     Sharing your art with a like-minded group is priceless. I feel very lucky to be able to get together once a month with a local mixed media art group, the 'Articrafters'. I helped to form this group a few years ago. The plan was to share what we know and love - and experiment with all kinds of art and craft.  It is also a great opportunity to be in front of a group of friendly faces and hone your teaching skills.  Almost every member has at one time shared a favorite project, workshop or tip.

  Tangled in a Strathmore mixed media journal, colored with Prismacolor colored pencils.

     Before I began teaching from my 'Stash and Smash' book I practiced on my friends and got some great feedback. It also helps with your timing - class and instruction time can go by so quickly you have to be very aware or you leave students with an unfinished project. Not a good thing.

            Tangled on a Zentangle tile, colored with Derwent Inktense pencils.

     I hope as an artist you have found your own kindred spirits to share your art and your vision with. Articrafters is always welcoming new members, some of them recently requested a Zentangle refresher course. As I was looking through some of my Zentangle drawings I found a few I wanted to share with you. My strings (the starting point for most zentangle drawings) always seem to turn into funky creatures. I love making a few swirly marks and trying to decide what they should become. The creatures don't seem finished unless they have drips, tears or dots!!

                              Tangled with Micron pen on Zentangle tile.