I hope you had a chance to tune into my Instagram Thursday and Friday for a takeover from the super talented printmaker, book artist, and artfoamies designer Sarah Matthews!
When Sarah and I talked about the process and got to know each other we decided we would want to challenge each other by sending each other a background which then the receiving artist would finish up – A real Collaboration …passing the brush so to speak. Here is what Sarah sent me!
I loved it right away – in one of our conversations I had mentioned that I had a garden and some lettuce and she thought of her carved lettuce stamp.
I love the background and cool layering – It was sooo precious- But then I got to work.
And then I felt I would really not want to cover it more as I wanted to keep Sarah’s background alive and so I went for a final addition of adding some text.
I pulled out my woodblocks and some Speedball inks and added this …
I am quite in love with our collaborative piece. And if you want to see her take on my background -she will share it with a video on Monday. I do hope we get to make more art together in the future and as I said Lettuce build a better tomorrow.
A couple weeks ago Kim and I went to a lecture about Marbling Paper at Kremer Pigments in NYC. It was a great lecture by Sarah Oppenheimer and I learned a ton.
While I love the Western style of paper marbling I was totally taken by Suminagashi – which is the Japanese paper marbling technique where you basically float sumi ink on top of water.
We couldn’t try the technique ourself since it was a lecture and demo but I knew I had to try this at home.
The pictures you see – starting with the one above are all from my second try. The first try was a total disaster and I didn’t take photos because basically I just used “bad words” and tried to figure out what was going on. My ink would mostly blob to the bottom of the container , the ink would just run off my paper …water everywhere- ink everywhere – you get the picture.
But ..of course I wouldn’t give up – after some digging for information of what possibly could have gone wrong and some research and reading I was ready for the second try and that was wayyyyy better.
For this second trial I used Sumi Ink – which is the black ink you see in the pictures as well as some Shellac Inks by Kremer Pigments. You also need a surfactant (which can be watercolor medium, dishwash soap, a marbling surfactant, soap nut ….and it is a trial and error to see how well they work) and two or more Sumi brushes. The problems of my first trial were a mixture of wrong surfactant and also dipping the brushes way too far into the water.
Basically you start with for example two or three brushes- here in the picture above you see a sample where I worked with three brushes . One will be dipped into the surfactant and the other ones in ink. Then you patiently dip just the very tip of the brush onto the water surface and alternate between the brushes – meaning between the colors and the surfactant.
At some point you will have tons of rings on your water surface and you can then either manipulate the “design” with some “wind” – meaning carefully blowing the surface or using a hair of your scalp to go through it. Then you lay paper -preferably washi paper on top of the surface and slowly pull it off.
Does that sound stressful to you? LOL- not at all- all good. The washi paper as the one above was my favorite result but also the most complicated to handle. Taking it off of the water and not ripping it – not folding it and just handle it in any normal way was sooo tough – little bit of stress here …but I think next time and with more practice that will work well. Having some non-washi paper on hand definitely helped.
Look at the gorgeous pattern and the texture of the washi paper- I cannot wait to use this as collage paper but that will take a bit hahahah- I need to pet it a bit more before i can let go ;)
The one above was after I blew onto the surface before adding the paper on top – I love how the rings just went nuts and zig-zaggy . BTW this was done with red and black ink. The colors will always be very very washed out and muted, which is the charm of this. For me this creates so many opportunities to incorporate the paper into my artwork without being overpowering.
For this one above I used a hair of mine and swirled it through. Apparently the oil on your hair makes sure that the rings won’t get interrupted as it would if you would use something else like a comb – but don’t quote me on this- I haven’t tried a ton yet because I first wanted to get a feel of how things work …without having the ink coming off the paper or just sitting in the bottom of the tray.
It was so much fun and I love the couple papers I made with my first sitting. I could have done way more papers but the problem was basically space – next time I def. have to set myself a bit better up – close to the sink and also with some better space for the paper to dry.
I would also love to try some other colors and actually also different inks- for example also acrylic inks. I am not sure if it will work but hey – that doesn’t stop me ;)
The blue came out quite nice
And then this one – I pulled the blue ones on the top and then instead of cleaning and skimming the water right away I added some black ink with surfactant and then printed again – I love the result.
The one on top is a layered print – first I printed black and white and then blue and white on top . I love it- but have to practice this also a bit more to get some better prints.
And there you go – a pile of paper that I love. I cannot wait to do this again. If you want to try it yourself find different videos about Suminagashi – and start maybe with a small container and dishwasher soap and see if it works – It seems to be quite a trial and error if you do not want to dive right away in the “traditional right way” but I have to say – I enjoy that journey because that gives me the possibility to adjust to my own needs and to what I have.
I cannot wait to show you some art journal spreads I used them for.
Do you like those prints and how could you see yourself using them?
It was fun being invited by the peeps at Ranger to participate in the 2019 Ranger Designer Challenge with the focus on Dina Wakley Pouring Medium. The pieces are yearly displayed at Creativation former CHA -a big Craft and Hobby Trade Show happening every January.
I have played with pouring medium before and it was especially fun to play with Dina’s Cell Creator.
Here is my piece for the challenge
It was really fun to play with Dina’s products – even though it was a bit out of my box as it is so different from what I usually do and use. But hey- it is called challenge for a reason ;)
It was also fun to spy the piece here and there on social media since I didn’t go to the Show this time
Here is a another art journal spread using the hand carved stamp I showed in my Creative JumpStart 2019 class video ( you can still join us if you want – lots of fun tutorials). Here I inked it up with black archival ink
and used it cut apart as shown in the tutorial. I also used it with my RubberMoon Rubberstamps – I love the mix of hand carved and hand sketched next to each other.
I painted the stamped images and the background in with acrylic inks and acrylic gouache and added the journaling with a white sharpie. Love how the colors glow.
Here are some of the supplies I used for this spread:
A new finished painting which I call Swapped. I was intrigued by the story of the Morton F. Plant House, located on the prestigious Fifth Avenue in NYC.
Apparently Cartier wanted the building, and Plant exchanged it in 1917 for 100 Dollars and a double stranded pearl necklace worth about 1,000,000 Dollars at the time. Then the necklace “only” made 151,000 USD in 1957 at an auction, so I guess that swap didn’t really work out. And so there is a jeweler and watch store up to this day in the building. There are quite some weird real estate exchange stories in NYC …this is certainly one of them. I imagined the building being just an “ordinary” apartment building -it is still so beautiful and one could only guess at how many necklaces would be needed for such a swap today! These are the things that went through my head when I painted Swapped.
The painting is 24″x18″ in size, acrylic paint, spray paint and marker on canvas.
It is available in the store here and meanwhile waits for a new home on my living room wall.
It was so cool to see all the new stamps in store as well – it was the first time I was using them in a workshop – woot woot. A lot of them sold out but she might still have a couple!
We even did a group photo- yeahhh!
Loved the art journal classes as well- loads of pattern play and color exploration.
Look at all the stencils and stamps- It is still a weird thing to see- seriously!
Here is my wonderful sunday crowd – they were so much fun too!!!
This weekend made me super happy- I just love hanging out with people that love to create and smile a lot :)
Art Journal Spread before some color hit it
Thank you so much to all the students for coming to the classes and spending such a fun and wonderful time with me and thank you Christy for having me! I hope I will be back some time :)
If you want to take a workshop with me in-person – some of my 2018 workshops are posted here – some i still need to add – I would love to see you ! I am super excited that I will actually be also teaching in Europe 4 times next year, I will be teaching in The Netherlands in April, in the U.K in June together with my sweet friend Birgit Koopsen, in Germany in September, and in the U.K again in November with my wonderful friend Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. More infos soon :)