Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Word for 2015: IMPERFECT

As we approach the New Year, I am thinking about my goals for next year, "resolutions", etc.  I had a revelation in the shower (of course) this morning--many people pick a word as their theme for the new year--I decided that my word for 2015 is IMPERFECT.  Seems kind of strange that as many of us are trying to think of ways to improve ourselves and our lives, that I would pick a word like IMPERFECT, but I have decided to embrace my imperfections this year.

I am human.
I am imperfect.
I always do my best, but often come up short.
I will not let my FEAR of IMPERFECTION hold me back from trying new things.
I make mistakes.
I do not know everything.
I am sometimes (often?) wrong.
I sometimes make poor decisions.

But, I am also often right, smart, creative, wise, insightful, and kind.
I love my family, kids, boyfriend and friends and would do anything for them. 
I can laugh at myself and my mistakes.
I can admit when I am wrong.
I can learn from my mistakes.
I am constantly trying to improve myself, and to be a better mom and role model for my kids.

In the past, I have been afraid to do the wrong thing, afraid to speak up and be wrong and be belittled. I have been afraid to try new things and come up short, afraid to step out into the spotlight. 

But I am tired of the fear.
I am not perfect, and I am tired of trying to be.

I will ask "stupid" questions.
I will try new things.
I will step out into the world.
I will enjoy and embrace and learn from my imperfections.
I will try--sometimes I will fail and sometimes I will succeed, and both experiences are equally important.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. 

Dear 2015,
Watch out, here I come!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

DIY Silk Screens

This is a very low-tech way of making silk screens to use on paper or fabric with acrylic paint, thickened dye or silk screen ink.  The advantage is that it is a very inexpensive way to make unique silk screens. The disadvantage is that you cannot get very detailed designs, and these screens will not last through a lot of wear and tear.

Materials you will need:
Corrogated cardboard or thin cardboard from a cereal box, etc.
Silk screen fabric, polyester curtain sheers, organza, or non-fusible interfacing
Duct tape
Matte Gel Medium or Latex house paint
Acrylic paint, thickened dye, or silk screening ink
Paper or fabric
Plastic to cover work area
Paint brush

Cut out a frame from your cardboard. I usually leave a 1-2 inch margin of cardboard around the edge for stability.  Cut your silk screen fabric (or other material listed above) slightly larger than the cardboard frame.  Flatten the fabric taut, and staple around the edges of the cardboard frame every 1-2 inches.

Paint your image--remember that what you paint in this step is what will be masked out of the final silk screened print. The areas of silkscreen that are left unpainted are the images that will print.  Use a thick coat of Matte Gel Medium (I tinted mine with acrylic paint so that I could see what I was doing) or use latex house paint.  More than one coat might be necessary.  Leave to dry thoroughly overnight on a sheet of plastic wrap or plastic bag.

Apply duct tape all around your cardboard frame--on front and back. This will help to extend the life of your frame and keep the cardboard from getting wet during the printing and cleaning process.  I used Matte Gel Medium on this silk screen.

Print your image!  You can use acrylic paint (though this dries fairly stiff on fabric).  Silk screen ink is a great choice for fabric if you want an opaque image. Thickened dye is a great choice if you want to maintain transparency of color.  This one was done with acrylic paint on fabric.

I used Tulip silk screen ink on fabric for this sample.

Be sure to wash out your screen immediately after your printing session. If acrylic paint or silk screen ink dries on the screen, it will ruin your screen.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ink and Brush Doodle Vase

Still trying to get back into the swing of things, art-wise. I am really excited to say that I enrolled in the Studio Art program at a local community college this semester. Right now, I am taking Art Practices I, in which we are doing a variety of projects that have really stretched myself. I'll only be able to take one or two classes at a time with my work schedule and kids, but its a start! Going back to school for an art degree is something that I have wanted to do for several years, so it feels good to be proactive about it.

Meanwhile, I did a few doodle type drawings with a paintbrush and permanent ink on large sheets of paper (18 x 24 inches). These take me about 20-30 minutes each to create. I try to work very quickly and intuitively, and not think too much or over analyze. Just get into "the zone" and make marks on the page. I posted one of them on YouTube--my first video ever!--hopefully, with more to follow. I sped up the time on the video, so it only takes 5 minutes to watch the whole painting.
I recorded the other two drawings posted here, but haven't uploaded the videos. Want to see more? Let me know in the comments section!