Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Thought for Sunday, July 26, 2015

"We will often find compensation if we think more of what life has given us and less about what life has taken away." -- William Barclay

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Having Fun with Fun Foam Stamps

The other day I was poking around in my paper stash and noticed a paper I had created several months ago using one of my own stamp designs. There was a stack of ACEO-sized watercolor papers on my work table...hmmmm....inspiration struck. I used an ACEO-sized viewfinder (a piece of scrap matboard with an opening 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches cut into the center) to select a couple of sections that would make good designs for ACEOs. (An ACEO being the sellable version of an Artist Trading Card.)

Then I cut out those sections, trimmed them to the size of the cards, and glued them down with acrylic matte medium. Here's one example:

©2015 Lynn Edwards

You may be wondering how I managed to get a two-color design using just one stamp, which was nothing more than fun foam cut into shapes and glued to scrap matboard. The secret technique? I just painted in the negative spaces. On the ACEO above, the dark blue part was the stamp, and the orange areas I hand painted using a small round brush.

If you haven't tried making your own stamps with fun foam, you're missing out. Sheets of the adhesive backed type, which is what I use, are less than a dollar each at arts and crafts stores. One sheet makes a lot of stamps! For the bases, you can use scraps of matboard, heavy cardboard, or foam board. (For longevity, seal these on all sides, including edges, with acrylic gloss medium or soft gel.)

I've got a few dozen fun foam stamps I've been using for years and they're still going strong. Literally costing just pennies apiece, my stamps are studio tools I just can't live without. Whoever named fun foam really hit the nail on the head. Making your own stamps with it is just as much fun as making art!

Text and image ©2015 Lynn Edwards

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Rest of the Photos

Hooray! Finally... below are the photos showing more views of "Journeys," the very first piece in my new Chunkies series. There are others in various stages of completion in my studio and I'll be sharing pics of those with you soon.

This is a collage comprised of  36 one-inch squares, all hand painted by me, on bright white gloss paper stock that has been flush mounted on a 6x6x2 inch cradled wood panel. The glossy surface lets its vibrant colors really shine!  Better yet, you don't need any hanging hardware or an easel to display it. Just place it on a shelf or table top and it will brighten your day every time you look at it!
"Journeys" will be available for purchase through my Etsy store on Wednesday. It's a great chance to acquire original art at a very reasonable price -- $79 -- and that includes shipping!

Text and images ©2015 Lynn Edwards

Monday, July 20, 2015

Bear With Me...

On Saturday I said I'd take some additional photos of number one in the Chunkies series to post here on the blog. Well, life got in the way: intense storms, unexpected but delightful overnight company, and a doctors appointment that took much, much longer than anticipated. So bear with me, please......the photos WILL be posted either tonight or tomorrow. Scout's honor!

©2015 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Thought for Sunday, July 19, 2015

"All animals except man know the the principal business of life is to enjoy it." -- Samuel Butler

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Introducing "Chunkies," 6x6 Art with Attitude!

This week I've been busy working on a series of pieces I've dubbed my "Chunkies" collection. They're so named because each collage or painting has been created on heavy watercolor paper and then mounted onto an extra deep 6x6x2 inch cradled wood panel. Here's Chunkie #1, which I finished just yesterday:

"Journeys," the first in a series of 6x6 "Chunkies." ©2015 Lynn Edwards

These little gems are perfect for displaying on a table top, shelf or desk. The sturdy cradled wood panels with their extra deep sides means Chunkies can stand on their own -- no easels, frames or hardware needed.

In keeping with this little guy's happy colors I've painted the edges the same red as a color in the art. (Would have included a side view but it was starting to rain so I could only get one photo. Will get another pic or two as soon as I can, and will post them here on the blog.)

Affordable, original, one of a kind art -- just $79, and that includes shipping! Be the first to claim this Chunkie when it makes its debut this Wednesday in my Etsy shop,!

Text and image ©2015 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Making Collage Postcards

Just can't seem to tear myself away from playing with my new EK square punch! Here's yet another collage postcard I made the other day with this helpful little tool:

The papers I used were already in my paper stash, so it was simply a matter of selecting colors and patterns that looked good together and using the punch on them. The 140# watercolor paper the 1x1 inch squares are adhered to had been cut for another project but never used. So without the need to do anything beyond creating 24 squares, the postcard went together lightning fast. I used my trusty matte medium to glue them down, then applied it over the surface of the card to seal it.

If you don't have any hand painted papers, you can use images from old magazines, calendar illustrations and any number of other "found" papers. Packaging materials often have very bold graphics and interesting typography that work well also. This postcard was one I made using black and white typography taken from magazine ads:

I didn't use a punch because at the time I didn't have one. I simply used a craft knife to cut the paper pieces into rectangular shapes. Then I arranged them on a piece of watercolor paper and glued them into place.

And here's a third postcard with a playful look. To make it, I punched out one inch squares from a  magazine ad featuring bright colors and simple designs:

It may not be "high art," but making your own postcards is a whole lot of fun. You'll have the satisfaction of knowing the correspondence you're sending is one of a kind, and as such, it's sure to delight the recipient. And if you use materials that were destined to be discarded, you can pat yourself on the back for re-purposing them into mail art that's attractive and useful!

Text and images ©2015 Lynn Edwards

A Thought for Sunday, July 12, 2015

"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." -- Aristotle

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Collage That Started It All

Ooops! I think I had promised to post a photo of the finished collage I was working on during my June 5 demo at 2Rules. Well, here it is...better late than never. It's comprised of 285 mostly handpainted paper squares that are slightly larger than one inch in size. I included some found papers as well, but the majority are my own. I also included several glass tiles ranging in color from clear to green to cobalt, placed in a random pattern. (They're hard to see in the photo. Ansel Adams I am not!)

The tiles refract the light and provide an exciting dimension to the surface of the work. To give it the maximum amount of UV protection, I used several applications of an isolation coat, followed by several layers of varnish. This was my very first venture into working with tiny squares of paper, and I'm delighted with the outcome. It now hangs on a wall in our new sunroom where it sparkles in the light and looks very much at home.

Text and image ©2015 Lynn Edwards

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Serendipitous Art -- From a Paper Towel!

I always wipe my brushes on paper towels to remove excess acrylic paint from the bristles. A while back, I was painting away with a riot of colors in a slightly watery manner, and was using a slightly dampened paper towel to wipe off my brush. When I was finished, I didn't discard the paper towel, I just set it aside to dry.

The next day, a different painting had me using a lot of golden yellow that was fairly diluted. (I use fluid acrylics; adding water to them creates a watercolor-like wash.) In this instance, I had about a quarter cup of this watered down paint left over at the end of the day. So, on a whim, I applied it as a "background" color to the paper towel I had used the previous day. Here's what I ended up with:

I kinda liked the effect -- cheerfully colored brushstrokes with a washy look -- but didn't have any use for it in mind, so I just added it to my paper stash.

Then a week or so ago I bought a paper punch on Amazon that makes perfect one-inch squares. I had a field day going through old magazines, looking for ads with colors or graphics that caught my eye. I like to use snippets from magazines to make little collage postcards I send to friends and family. It's a good way to upcycle and it gives me something creative to do when I'm watching TV at night. Here's a postcard made with the new punch:

After making up a couple of these using magazine pages, I got the idea to try using that paper towel. Much to my surprise, the punch had no trouble slicing into it, consistently yielding pieces with nice clean edges. With this punch, you can turn it over to see exactly what you're punching out, so I tried to position it over the choicest parts. When I had a couple dozen pieces or so, I adhered 24 of them to a piece of 4x6 watercolor paper using matte medium. Here's the result:

As each piece was glued down, I brushed more matte medium over it to seal it well. The surface texture is still apparent, which gives the piece a very dreamy, "soft" look, I think. I really like the way this little collage turned out. It tickles me and tugs at my heart at the same time, knowing that it's not meant for me to keep.

But, as a postcard, I don't think it would survive the rigors of the postal system. So I'll put it in a nice mat and offer it for sale through my Etsy shop later this week. I hope someone who likes it as much as I do will buy it and enjoy it each day as it brightens a space in their home!

 Text and images ©2015 Lynn Edwards

A Thought for Sunday, July 5, 2015

"If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too." -- Somerset Maugham

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Painting Up a Storm

I have a thing for painting everything in sight: woodwork, bookcases, decor accents, furniture -- you name it. My mother is the same way, so I guess the apple falls not far from the tree. So enamored we are of transforming our respective home environs with paint that we've been nicknamed "The Krylon Girls" by other members of the family.

These past three months there have been a number of painting projects on my agenda as Hubs and I had the exterior of the house landscaped, and then had our screened porch converted into a three season room. All this home improvement had me doing lots of painting, since I'm a terrible perfectionist who'd rather go for a root canal than sub out the work to someone else. (None of these projects included the paintings in various stages of completion in my studio, mind you. Those are in a different category altogether, and do not involve latex paint!)

Anyway, here are just a few of the projects that have kept me busy for the past several weeks -- and somewhat neglectful of updating this blog:

Remember these?? I wasn't sure how I'd use them until....
It occurred to me they'd do a good job camouflaging an old utility box that was a real eyesore.
I painted this adorable little table that we inherited from my hubby's grandmother. Originally stained dark brown with a broken top, it now does colorful duty as an accent table on the sunporch. I also painted the old carpenter's bench in front of the wicker sofa. It makes a nice coffee table.
This chair and another just like it were being used in the breakfast room, but now the pair has been moved out to the sunporch and given a new look, below....
I had just barely enough fabric left over from the sofa cushions to recover the two chair seats.

Another chair, found at a thrift shop, received a coat of bright lime green paint. The woven seat was falling apart so I turned it into a planter that sits in front of my studio. Love that lime green and purple combo!

Oh, and I also completely repainted all of the woodwork on the porch in advance of the enclosure installation. But I'm not done yet! Still on my to-do list is repainting a glass top table that we're using for dining out on the porch. Meals taken out there are delightful, but I will enjoy them even more when I can treat that table to a lovely coat of fresh white paint!

Text and images ©2015 Lynn Edwards