Sunday, November 17, 2013

Back to Painting

Inscribed Origins
6" x 6"
acrylic on Claybord panel

Back to my very favorite art form--painting!

I'm experimenting on flat panels from Ampersand as well as canvas boards. Some could become front covers for future journals, others finished paintings. Using these rigid surfaces allow for texture experiments: light modeling paste, tissue papers, metal objects, heavier collage items.

Tendrils of Power
6” x 6”
acrylic on Claybord panel

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Handmade Stamps

Do you love using stamps in your journal or art? Have you ever made your own? My first attempts were a mixed result. A few turned out well when using a definite design. Two favorites are one with abstract symbols, another with the famous ancient triple spiral from Newgrange (but with an inadvertently reversed image).

Leaf 1 design.

Leaf 2, carved on a slim eraser.

This time, I consulted “Rubber Stamp Carving” by Luann Udell and a few other articles. Instead of carving away all the excess around the main design, I tried leaving some lines showing on some stockpiled Staedtler Mastercarve blocks. I planned and transferred pencil drawings on a small piece of velum. Then using a clean piece of velum to hold the block in place while carving, I found it quite easy to use linoleum gouge tools, taking shallow cuts. Two leaf designs I free-hand drew onto the block itself. The Celtic heart knot is a Courtney Davis design from a Dover copyright free book. And, the bird in the tree is from a photograph I took on a walk.

First phase of carving the design.

Here more around the design is removed but some lively lines remain.

The carved block.

Getting into the flow, I enjoyed my carving session and created four new stamps. A bonus discovery is the beautiful worksLuann Udell does based on ancient cave paintings of animals. The sad news is Staedtler doesn’t make Mastercarve blocks anymore, which is too bad since they worked well.