Tuesday, January 24, 2017

BOOK ART: Anyone Can Do It!

I'm not one to fold book pages into fabulous, complicated designs, but I admire those who do.

Guhin, mixed-media This is a terrific way to create beauty from unloved, unwanted books.

I'm the free-form type, decidedly not methodical, so the project detailed below was just my style.

I filled a large pan with a little acrylic medium and a lot of water.  White glue would be a good substitute for the medium. I also collected thin pencils, thicker ones, and fat rolls of waxed paper. These would serve as armatures. Remove hard covers from the book unless you want a straight "stem."
mixed-media, art+blog
Oh, but wait, there's more!
Dipping pages--still attached--into the pan (sometimes just one or two, sometimes more!), I wetted them, removed from pan, and rolled. I varied the directions and amount of curve, as you can see in the photo above. And yes, this takes awhile, since I only recommend doing a few sections at a time. I left the supports inside until dry, but the diluted mixture dries fast. 
art+blog, mixed-media
Took a couple of days, but so fun and simple to do!

I used spray paint and a touch of brushed-on acrylic paint on  mine. Then I photographed it from above. I suggest either white, gray, or black as a background.

Here's another idea to try, if you're more precise and meticulous than I: a butterfly!

                (Art teachers might find discarded books and try this with fast-working kids who always seem to need more to do. If not photographed with a digital camera, try scanning.)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

ACCENT LINES WITH THE THREAD TECHNIQUE

This simple non-objective painting (done with acrylics) needed a finishing element or two, so I
painted a piece of sewing thread and dropped
it onto the surface in a couple of places.
painting, P.Guhin
Pretty much primary colors!
Originally intended as a background for collage, and who knows?
Maybe I'll still use it that way!   Here's a link to a more interesting mixed-media work I did with the same thread method: http://mixedmediamanic.blogspot.com/2015/06/paint-curly-lines-with-thread-wild.html

Sunday, December 25, 2016

MONTAGE & SCRAP PHOTOS & MORE

Duplicate prints and downright bad shots
 can be put to good use...I've said it before.
SURE, PHOTOSHOP CAN ACCOMPLISH ALL THESE
TECHNIQUES, BUT THE OLD-FASHIONED
WAY IS AWFULLY FUN.
In this first example, a large print served as the support (or background, if you will). Then I found other, smaller prints to cut up and arrange to make the work more interesting. Do try this, but only glue the pieces down when you're happy with the composition. I like the complementary colors together.

collage, montage
Good method for hiding the worst parts!
This next idea is the "more" mentioned in this post's title. My so-called example below is a straight photograph, with no manipulation or mixed-media. But it gave me an idea! Make your own "trellis" with thin chart tape, fine-line tape, or other colored tape! So easy, and yet you can be as creative as you wish.
how-to, tutorial
Copyright Paula Guhin
Our third photograph has been manipulated a great deal!
It's a weaving, of course, with yarns, wallpaper strips, and more.
I worked around the figure...she's not simply pasted on top!

 
I've featured other fun photo projects on this blog. Check out this photocopy fun page and this painted collage post. Also another painted collage page here. AND 3 photomontages, fun and cool.
Happy New Year, everyone!

Friday, December 16, 2016

CHRISTMAS AND KINDNESS

They go together, don't they? The holiday spirit just makes me glow.

A very gifted gal gave us a kind mention in her latest blog post, at https://artbymeera.blogspot.com/2016/12/mixing-up-media.html
 
Meera Rao was such a peach to take part in a post here some time ago, and I can't say enough good things. Take a peek at her lovely poinsettia painting below:
painting, mixed-media 
In the same post, she also experimented with some Pebeo paints, which I just bought myself and haven't yet used. Her result is very mixed-media and fantastic!
painting
Thanks, Meera, for your generosity!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Assemblage, The Legend of Theseus

The myth of the Minotaur always fascinated me, and I had this boy doll, see. Found a single bookend (not a pair, mind you!) with a bull on it, and then a wooden shelf-hanging thing at the thrift shop. I had to take out one of the shelves, then add my very own "grotto" or cave from the labyrinth. Foam insulation from a can did the trick.
Some cutting, glueing, and painting ensued, as well as a few Halloween decorations and yes, those tiny swords that spear olives in a bar! Not that I drink or anything, heh heh.

copyrighted, art+blog
Lots of texture!
This can be wall-hung or free-standing. Why not try your own interpretation of a myth or legend? Pick one that really inspires you!

Friday, November 25, 2016

ALTERING PHOTOS FOR FUN!

photo, how-to, mixed-media-manic
Scratched first, then the color was enhanced with markers.
Got any old processed prints that just aren't the best? Did'ja go through old albums with relatives at Thanksgiving (or maybe you WILL, at Christmas), and found or will find some duplicates or just plain bad shots? Here's some ways to have PHUN WITH PHOTOS! Even with kids (see my caveat below)! One or two can even be done with inkjet prints, while a couple of others require commercially-processed pics.

First, for the scratching activity (the photo above with the leaded glass), dip a processed print in lukewarm water about a minute, blot, and use scratch tools or even sandpaper on the parts you wish to lighten or remove. If the emulsion hardens too quickly, just run warm water over the picture again.
If you want, add color back in with markers, watercolors, or inks. This project is a great way to re-work photos that contain distracting elements! Here's a link to another scratched example.

Next, bleaching the print is best done on a commercially-printed photo, since rinsing afterward is a good idea. Inkjet prints would run with a water rinse.) Try a bleach pen if you want to write words or numbers or symbols. Then wipe with a damp paper towel, rinse under water, and dry. Young children should not attempt this project.
tute, how-to, mixedmediamanic
Shot inside an old house to "frame."
In the photo above, there was just too much dark and my view wasn't great anyway.
BUT, here's another way to use household laundry bleach with photos! Mix a solution with half water, half Hilex in a tray. Dip part of the photo in and watch the colors change! You can even protect parts of the photo with a wax resist product first if desired, and then dip the entire thing into the tray of bleach solution. See example below. Also see "Dodg" at this link.

tutorial, photos, Guhin
Partially bleached in a tray.
Cutting and rearranging the parts is nothing new, but it IS easy and sometimes the results are striking. I've also previously discussed stretching two similar pictures into one, discarding the most boring strips. (See another example here.)

how-to, photo, art
Of COURSE it works with either
horizontal or vertical strips, even
angled pieces!
Finally, coloring photos the easy way, with markers: Try buffing or smoothing out the streaks with cotton balls. Go for unreal colors and psychedelic effects.
tute, photography, how-to
Markers are just so easy!
Thanks for viewing this post! I appreciate it.



Saturday, November 12, 2016

PET PEEVES & SUGGESTIONS: ART-MAKING DO'S & DON'TS

Today's post is about some of the things that I, as a visual arts educator, believe in. You may not agree with everything here, and that's okay, but I feel each of the following.
  1. If at all possible, don't trace. You'll learn with drawing practice...the more the better. Tracing is often a crutch.
  2. DO substitute materials and use what you have on hand. Save our resources, don't waste. Such experimentation with media, tools, substrates and more may lead to some pleasant surprises!
  3. Don't rely on reference photos if you can help it. Draw from life or your own imagination.
  4. Pretty or cute aren't necessary in an artwork. Nor is "whimsical."
  5. DO explore outside your comfort zone. And play, play, play!
mixed-media