Butterflies everywhere…

blog batik pink and blue butterflies © Lynne Medsker

I’ve been working on two large pieces of art featuring butterflies. Today as I was waiting for some of the layers to dry on those two pieces I took time to create three smaller butterfly pieces. Using the batik style I’ve been fond of lately I started by drawing them with a Sharpie on some hand made paper.

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After the outlines were down I added color with my Pitt pens that are full of india ink. Love me some Pitt pens!!blog, butterflies in progress 2

The next couple of steps involve wax being applied on the surface to make a resist when I spray liquid watercolor onto the paper. The first layer of wax just covers the part of the the drawings I don’t want to blend with the background color. After that has been sprayed on and dried I cover the entire piece with wax. Then comes the part that continues to make me nervous – wadding up the paper into a tight little ball to crack the wax in a random kind of way. Then (gently) unfolding it and spraying the piece again, this time with a contrast color to make random lines throughout the piece. I used black watercolor on these pieces but have some white ink on order than I’m anxious to try for a different result.

The final step is to place the waxy art between sheets of newspaper and iron it with a hot iron, which pulls the wax out of the art and leaves it on the newspaper. Sometimes this takes a few ironings before it’s totally wax free. Ta-da! Art! Well, okay, I did go back in with some gel pens and add a few details. Then the ta-da happened. 🙂

blog batik blue butterflies © Lynne Medsker

 

blog batik orange and purple butterflies © Lynne Medsker

Rather amusing is that these quick little pieces are more exciting to me than the larger ones are right now! Go figure. I’ve added these three to the “Giftables” page on my website so go pick out your favorite and give it a home!

Lynne

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Totem

Getting back to sharing the process images of the artwork I created for last November’s show at ArtSplash Gallery in Carmel, Indiana. Totem

All the pieces had materials and inspiration drawn from nature, this particular piece started as a fallen branch that my grandson found for me while he was playing back in our woods. I was given instructions to “make some art” with it, so that’s what I did.

Most of the bark had fallen off, whatever hadn’t I striped and then smoothed off any rough spots. The very bottom of the branch was split so I ended up cutting that portion off. I still ended up being four foot in length! After it was cleaned up I began adding designs to it in black.

Totem, WIP, image 1 (c) Lynne MedskerTotem, WIP, image 1 (c) Lynne Medsker

Once the entire piece was covered then it was time to fill in the designs. Much of it was done using Pitt Artist markers, which lay a nice layer of India ink into tiny places. The black & white areas were painted with F&W artist acrylic inks with designs added on top of the white sections with Gelli glaze pens.

Totem, WIP, image 3 (c) Lynne MedskerTotem, WIP, image 4 (c) Lynne Medsker

After the painting was done it was looking pretty good but I just felt like it was too tall & skinny and needed a little variety to it, width wise. Out came the drill and I (carefully!!) drilled holes in it, gradually using larger bits until I could fit this aluminum wire through, bending and curling it in different directions until I was happy with it.

 

"Totem" mixed media (branch, paint, ink, wire) wall sculpture. 10x48" $375 (c) Lynne Medsker

“Totem” mixed media (branch, paint, ink, wire) wall sculpture. 10×48″ $375 (c) Lynne Medsker

Ta-da! This is one of several “branch” pieces in the body of work. I’ll be posting more down the line.

Later Gater!

Lynne

Stamp it up, some more!

 

On Tuesday’s post I showed you how I made some stamps to use with my gelli plate. Today I thought I’d share some of the results once the stamps were dry enough to play with. These were all stamped on card stock, some white and some buff colored. Here we go….

First I used my brayer and a couple of orange/yellow/red acrylics and rolled them all over the plate. Then I stamped the dot/hole stamps on the gelli plate and printed them directly on the paper from the stamps until I’d covered the entire play and most of the paper with a random design.

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I pulled the first print on a new sheet of paper without putting  a lot of pressure on the paper since there was plenty of paint on the plate.blog 20150110_153742

I like to do that so that there is quite a bit of paint left for a second, lighter print. The second print I made on top of the paper I had stamped on in the beginning of this process. Here’s a pic of both of them after printing:blog 20150110_153836

Here is another series using the same process with different colors & stamps….blog 20150110_154639
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I discovered that piece of wood was a bit warped and it was hard to get the middle to print. Once I realized what the problem was I was able to press the stamp hard enough to make it work, it just wasn’t quite as effortless as the other ones! A few more random shots from the day:

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I also used some of the lighter prints as an under-layer then used a stencil and black paint over them:

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At the end of the session I ended up with some very colorful stamps and some nice prints too!

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blog 20150110_162530Happy stamping!

Lynne

Stamp it up!

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Last weekend in the studio I decided to do a little side project while I was there. I’ve got a nice stash of scrap wood from the studio construction that I’ve squirreled away so I dipped into it and pulled out a selection of different size pieces. I spent a few minutes with my hand sander knocking off the rough edges (I hate getting splinters!) before I continued.

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Then I rounded up the rest of the materials I’d need:

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A sheet of block printing foam, white glue

Pen, ruler, scissors, hole punches

Exacto knive/Cutting mat

The first step was to trace around the blocks of wood on the block printing foam and cut them to size, at least for the first few.blog 20150110_115936

For the larger two stamps I created the designs with a pen, the rest I just kind of “winged” as I went along. After drawing the design I marked out the pieces I’d be removing from the foam with the exacto knife.

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I kept all the removed/marked pieces to use on the second large stamp. I felt like I should seal the wood somehow before adding the foam so I sprayed the wood block with some clear spray paint. After assembling that stamp it dawned on me that by covering the entire surface with glue that was probably enough of a seal so I skipped that step on the rest of the pieces. One or two already had paint on them so they were going to be fine anyhow. The gluing was easy and straightforward, the drying time always takes the longest!blog 20150110_122115

For the second stamp I used the cut-aways and arranged them randomly. With the pen marks they leave a fun print! The next few stamps were all random lines and curves to fit the sizes of the stamps. blog 20150110_141306

The last two stamps I brought out a few hole punches. Circles, holes, dots, squares and rectangles, all just willy-nilly random fun.blog 20150110_142822

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I ended up with eight new stamps for just a bit of work, a few materials and a little time. The best part? No one else has one like them. 🙂 Later this week I’ll share some of the prints I made with these new stamps and a gelli plate that added the fun colors you see in the top image!

Hugs,

Lynne

 

Photos of Artwork: A How To

Just for fun I thought I’d share with you how I take photos of my artwork. (Disclaimer: The photos I’m sharing here were taken with my cell phone and would not be the ones I’d submit for shows, etc.!) Since I’ve set my website up to have all the images on a black background that is how I always photograph them. Occasionally I’ll do them on both black and white backgrounds if one just really needs the white to look good. I don’t keep my photography backdrops, stands, etc. set up in the studio so I pretty much drape the black cloth over whatever I can find. Depending on the size of the art I’m photographing some creativity might be needed to get it large enough to surround the artwork. Here’s ares pictures from this morning showing both the front & back of the set up.

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As you can tell from the shot of the back this is one of those “creative” set ups since a few of the pieces were over three foot tall. As long as it works no one (normally) sees how it’s put together so who cares? I placed it up on the table so I wouldn’t be bending over so much to get the pics, plus there was more available light coming in through the windows & doors at that height. Unless it’s a late-night desperate situation I prefer to take these shots with natural window light instead of room lights or using a flash. Today was cloudy out so it was perfect conditions…not too dark but no hot spot of sun shining in to deal with.   Here is a pic of a new art piece sitting in the photo area:

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Doesn’t look too spectacular at this point but, as I said earlier, this was taken with my cell phone so I didn’t have a lot of control over the amount of light, etc. that was being captured.

One of the hardest parts of photographing square or rectangle images is to get the perspective correct so they actually look like squares or rectangles. Aiming your camera at the center of the piece and keeping it parallel with the artwork helps a lot, plus just being aware of that it’s not skewed when you shoot helps too. (Multiple shots up the odds as well!) If all else fails you can straighten while you’re making adjustments to the image with your computer, but that’s extra work so I try to get mine lined up correctly when shooting.

This final image was still on the cell phone but was taken closely to the art and then I also tweaked the lighting/color in photoshop before I uploaded it here. It’s an improvement over the previous image!

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currently untitled, mixed media art (carved wood, painted stones, driftwood, paint) on 6×16″ wood panel © Lynne Medsker

The one taken on my Nikon will be even better than this! Since this is a semi-flat (it hangs on the wall, anyhow!) piece of art with black borders on it I didn’t care that it blended right into the black background. With more dimensional pieces I try to place them with a space between them and background to help emphasis the depth and give them some separation.

So that’s that…

I’ll be sharing more new work as I get a chance, heck I’ve still got a couple of pieces from this summer I haven’t gotten on the blog yet.

Busy, busy,

Lynne

Sunshine (and some friends)

As I’ve been working from a table in the kitchen while waiting for the finish of the studio construction my art took a turn toward the small. blog sunburst © Lynne Medsker

Many pieces were created on scraps of wood collected from the building and some, like this sun, are on small 6×6″ wood panels. Painted backgrounds in various shades led me to create a variety of different images with torn book pages. Here are the beginning stages:

To see how this, and others progressed, here are additional images.

I like to add shading with charcoal or graphite before I do the outline & design work. It helps the pieces to seem more dimensional! The details are done with marker and ink. These are just a few of the pieces I made over the last few months. Some have found new homes during art shows and from galleries and a few are still keeping me company. I’ve even presented a couple of classes guiding others through the process, which was a lot of fun!

Keeping creative,

Lynne

Taking a Journey (or three!)

"Journey #1-#3" mixed media on wood panels © Lynne Medsker

“Journey #1-#3” mixed media on wood panels © Lynne Medsker

Continuing from my post on Monday, I’m sharing today images of the steps that went into creating “Journey #1-#3” (shown above). They began as textured concrete & mortar on wood panels. Then the fun began! Rather than bore you with a lot of words I will just tell you the most important one: LAYERS. Lots & lots of layers!

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I wasn’t kidding, was I? It’s kind of like a dance, paint on, paint over, add more, cover it up, letting the layers and colors build and peek through. The final layers on all three pieces consisted of a copper paint. This gives you a close up view of each individual piece:blog Journey 1 © Lynne Medsker

blog Journey 2 © Lynne Medsker

blog Journey 3 © Lynne Medsker

While I creating these three pieces I had another one in the works. Different size, shape and texture but the same colors. You’ll be seeing it shortly!

Lynne

Circadian

As promised in the last post, I’m continuing with artwork created on old LP’s.  Today’s piece began as all the others shown here, stacked and waiting for some creativity to find them. It is actually the one on the top of the pile, that’s been spray painted with hammered metal color paint.Blog, 2013-04-25 11.41.38

Different from the last post, there are no magazine pages. Instead,  I began by outlining the record onto a piece of watercolor paper and drawing a mandala with that circle. On one side was the drawing, on the other side I had fun with some abstract painting of watercolors.

Once the paint was dry I began the tedious task of cutting out tiny areas of the mandala so that, once attached, the record would show through.  Yes, these images show some pink & brown instead. That’s my pretty cutting board and my work table. 🙂

After all the cutting was done the paper was attached to the record and extra drawing, ink and glass pieces were added to it for some dimension.Blog, 2013-05-25 13.06.03

The final step creating “Circadian” was to add the mechanism and hands to transform it into a work clock. Viola!

"Circadian" © Lynne Medsker

“Circadian” © Lynne Medsker

Hmmmm. I wonder what the next piece will look like? You’ll find out in a few days!

Lynne

 

The start of a series…

Okay, so I know I’ve been trying to catch up with all the upcycled/recycled artwork from last year but in the meantime I’ve been doing some other fun art so I thought I’d take a little “time out” and share something new with you before we finish up with the last half-dozen or so pieces from last year. My obsession with trees continues, both in my art and at home.  Both in the form of bonsai trees! I’ve adopted a little juniper bonsai tree and have two other types I’m trying to grow from seed (as I wait impatiently for sprouts!). I’ve always loved the “personality” of trees, how they branch this way and that, twist, lean and each just seem to have a story to tell us if we listen closely enough. With the way bonsai trees are pruned and trained into such interesting shapes I suppose it would be inevitable that I wouldn’t be able to resist them and, after trying for several years, I gave in. My sketch book is slowly filling up with trees from my imagination and now I am producing some in a more presentable manner. The first three started together with a (very) rough outline of the trucks and limbs.

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From there I added some softly blended layers of color to the background areas.

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After that dried I began adding the areas where the leaves would fill in the image.

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I am always amazed at how much difference adding some shading can make in an image. Suddenly the tree has some dimension and looses that flat feeling!

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If you know how I like to make art you might have guessed what happened next.  Yes. Doodling, Zentangles, whatever you want to call it…lots of tiny detailed patterns!

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After the patterns were all added then came the color! I’ve clumped together the rest of the progression shots, you can click on them to enlarge the images and scroll through at your leisure.

All of which leads us up to the finished image:

"Bonsai One" marker, ink & watercolor on 12x12" watercolor paper, $175 unframed/$350 framed © Lynne Medsker

“Bonsai One” marker, ink & watercolor on 12×12″ watercolor paper, $175 unframed/$350 framed © Lynne Medsker

Since this is the first one that I finished I took lots of progress shots with my camera. When I share the other two finished pieces there is not near as much to see!

Look for them to be posted soon,

Lynne

Corridor

A while back I told you I’d be sharing more artwork created from an old metal file cabinet. Today I’m continuing with that by sharing this piece, Corridor.

"Corridor" 12x36" repurposed metal on wood panel with paint & decorative nails, $595 © Lynne Medsker

“Corridor” 12×36″ repurposed metal on wood panel with paint & decorative nails, $595 © Lynne Medsker

Much the same process (and created at the same time) as “Conversion” the pieces were laid out, numbered, cut, cleaned, painted and re-assembled. Here are images of the work in progress:

Details and decorative nails were added as part of the finishing process.  You can find this piece, and Conversion, at Artistic Designs Gallery in Brownsburg, Indiana.

I’ve got one more piece created from repurposed metal but it’s not as abstract and geometrical as the two I’ve shown so far. Stayed tuned!