Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Mother’s Day Gift Updated-A Peek-a-Boo Project

In times of Yore a thoughtful Mother’s Day gift would be to have family members, especially her children sit for cut out Silhouette Portraiture. In modern day the process can be shorted to these few steps:

Step 1 – Take Photo. Take a side profile photo (your phone is fine) of the child against a white wall. 

Step 2 – Upload Photo.

Step 4 – Tape Paper To Computer And Trace. 

Step 5 – Cut It Out. 

Step 6 – Glue Onto Black Paper. 

Step 7 – Glue Onto Final Background Paper. 

Step 8 – Sign And Date.

An Easy Peasy DIY Reimagining of an Ancient Tradition.

These are the inspirations for this artwork.

Supplies:  Supplies:  GSLC Layered Frames CarlonGSLC Steampunk Lady, Metallic Paint Copper and Gold, Paintbrush, Spices-Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Chili Powder, Cheap Hairspray, Metallic Blue Card Stock, Scissors, WeldBond Glue, Dark Green and Brown Acrylic Paint,Blue Ocean Stencil Butter, Green And Blue Acrylic Paints, Ranger Glossy Accents

  1. Gather Supplies.
  2. Clump on Metallic Paint of Copper and Gold with an Old Paintbrush on GSLC Steampunk Lady.
  3. While Paint is Still Well Sprinkle with Spices-I Used Cinnamon, Apple Pie Spice and Chili Powder. Spray with Cheap Hairspray to Seal.
  4. Use Back Portion of GSLC Layered Frames Carlon to Cut Out a Metallic Blue Card Stock Back.
  5. Use WeldBond to Glue GSLC Steampunk Lady to Metallic Blue Card Stock.
  6. Paint Back Portion of GSLC Layered Frames Carlon With Dark Green and Brown Acrylic Paints.
  7. Paint Top Portion of GSLC Layered Frames Carlon With Ocean Blue Stencil Butter.
  8. Glue Top Portion to Back Portion of GSLC Layered Frames Carlon. Dry Flat and Weighted Down.
  9. Glue GSLC Steampunk Lady Prepared Pieces to Back of Frames.
  10. Use Green and Blue Paints to Add Patina to the Combined Pieces.
  11. Use Ranger Glossy Accents to Seal in GSLC Steampunk Lady, When Fully Dry it Will Appear as Glass Inside the Frames.

Final Thoughts

A Steampunk Woman’s Silhouette might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it a fun nod to an olden art form that may one day come back into fashion. As it is spoken, “Everything Old is New Again”. 

Silhouette (profile) portraiture was the popular way to recreate an image of oneself or loved one before the invention and common use of photography in the mid 1800’s. During the years of 1500 and 1860, professional and amateur artists would either paint or cut profiles – using paints or scissors.

This past Summer I visited Glenstone , a unique art museum in Potomac, Maryland. This museum integrates art, architecture, and nature in a serene contemplative environment. Throughout the nearly 300 acres landscape is a form of art. The landscapes include path, trails, streams, meadows, forests and outdoor sculptures. 

One of the artists on display was Kara Walker , she takes silhouettes to  grandiose level. They covered museum walls, and are haunting and provocative. Her silhouettes depict a historical narrative one with hidden sexuality, violence and subjugation. Her silhouettes are thought provoking, boldly bringing the secrets of our nations past into light. The sharp edges of the cut papers reminds us of the broken hearts and dreams of these antebellum figures portrayed in many of her art pieces. Her artwork is witty and unsettling. 

This would be a nice poem to attach to your DIY Silhouette Portraiture if you choose to create one.

Mama's Shadow

When I was a kid (you know, last year)

I was like your shadow, always near.

While learning what the world was about

I followed your footsteps day in and day out.

There were so many things I wanted to know.

You answered my questions and helped me to grow.

All too soon Mama I will be grown

And making my way in this world on my own.

When you remember the good times we had

And wish I was with you, don't be sad.

Just stand by this picture and pretend

That I am your shadow once again.

~Wanda Atkinson

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

May Day Remembrance-A Peek-a-Boo Project

Long ago and so many years ago I was invited to a friend of a friend’s house for a May Day Celebration. They lived in a cottage by a spring fed river. She was a Wordsmith-a poet, he a Silversmith-a jeweler. Their home was a land of enchantment. Libations and morsels abound. There were Charcuterie boards before we even knew what they were. A maypole was erected with delicate ribbons dangling in the spring breezes. These are the inspirations for this artwork.

Supplies: GSLC Layered Frame Victoria RoundGSLC Layered Frame Victoria OvalGSLC Layered Frame Bella RoundGSLC Layered Frame Bella Oval, Pencil, Magazine Pictures, Scissors, UHU GlueStick, Nail-file, Green and Bronze Acrylic Paints, Paintbrush, Antiquarian Sticker Books, WeldBond Glue, Blue Glitter, Turquoise Stencil Butter, Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold Acrylic Paint, Dura Clear Matte Gel Medium

  1. Gather Supplies

  2. Use a Pencil to the trace Bottom Portions of GSLC Layered Frames Onto a Magazine Picture of Your Choosing.
  3. Cut Out With Scissors and Glue to Bottom Portions for GSLC Frames Using a UHU GlueStick.
  4. Use a Nail-File to Smooth off any Rough Edges.
  5. Use Green and Bronze Metallic Paints to Soften the Edges and Unify Pieces.
  6. Go Through Antiquarian Sticker Books, Selecting Items You Wish to Collage on these Frame Back Portions. 
  7. I Use WeldBond to Add Blue Glitter to Top Portions of GSLC Layered Frames. I would Caution Against This as It was Extremely Difficult to Separate the Delicate Frames from the Substrate.
  8. Once Delicate Frames are Separated from Substrate I Added Turquoise Stencil Butter as Most of the Blue Glitter was Removed by This Time.
  9. To Add an Aged Patina I Used a Dry Brush Technique to add Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold Acrylic Paint to These Upper Portions of the GSLC Layered Frames.
  10. Use WeldBond to Attach the Delicate Tope Portions of the Frames to their Prepared Bottom Collages.
  11. Dry Fully, Flatted and Weighted Down.
  12. To Unify the Art Pieces Coat with Dura Clear Matte Gel Medium.

Final Thoughts

May Day is a European festival of ancient origins marking the beginning of summer, usually celebrated on May 1st. Traditions often include gathering wildflowers and green branches, weaving floral garlands, and setting up a Maypole, around which people dance. It is also often celebrated with bonfires and a good bit of drinking.

There are days I wish I could live again. May Day at the Bastian’s is one of them.

"The world's favorite season is the spring. 
All things seem possible in May."
- Edwin Way Teale

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A Nesting We Will Go-A Peek-a-Boo Project

 In my last blog I wrote of the migration of many song birds that spend the winter in the tropics, now coming north to spend the summer in the United States and Canada.

Some of these birds are dozens of species of warblers, thrushes, vireos, orioles, flycatchers, tanagers, grosbeaks, they are traveling north to find a mate, make a nest, and lay their eggs. This is the inspiration for this artwork.

  1. Gather Supplies.
  2. Use Embossing Dabber to Apply Gel on both Sides of GSLC Scribble Frames- Oval Ivy.
  3. Sprinkle with Allure Charred Gold Embossing Powders and Cure With a Heat Tool.
  4. Add Patina to Cured Frames using Acrylic Paints-Gold, Copper, Green Gold, Gold, Browns and a Paintbrush.
  5. Cut Book-board  to Use as Backdrop for Prepared Frames.
  6. Use a UHU Glue Stick to Add Scrapbook Paper.
  7. Trace Center Part of Frame on another Piece of Scrapbook Paper.
  8. Cut out Ovals and Use as Guideline for Collages.
  9. Choose Stickers form Antiquarian Sticker Book, and Collage onto Scrapbook Paper , Securing With a UHU GlueStick.
  10. Use WeldBond Glue to Attach Collages to Frames and Also to Prepared Background Pieces.
  11. Dry Full, Pressed and Weighted Down.
  12. Once Fully  Dry Add Glossy Accents Medium to the Locations you Desire.
  13. Allow to Dry Fully Creating a Glasslike Center Over Top of Collages.

Final Thoughts

I’ve always been fascinated by bird’s nests and their eggs. I wrote about them in this blog, Waiting for the Robins.In Part: “A little further up the paved road was a farm road that led to the left. It was heavily posted that trespassers would be prosecuted so he ran the first few yards to get under the cover of the faithful trees that would shelter him from all harm. The boy is aware of the chirping of the birds as they flutter about making preparations for their expected families. The boy always remembers to put out pieces of yarn and cotton because he liked to imagine himself a nest maker or at least a nest provider. Perhaps the ‘Jenny’ Wren, his mother's favorite, would use some of it to brighten her home. He loves how the tiny bird makes his mother's heart sing. Her face brightens with a smile whenever she hears the birds bubbling song as she hangs the clothes out to dry on the spring's gentle breeze. 

He noticed a goldfinch that was becoming more recognizable as a male because he was getting the bright yellow color back into his feathers. The boy hopes his favorite springtime bird will return to one of his parents many bird feeders. The indigo bunting is an awesome sight to behold because of their brilliant, almost iridescent blue that will always outshine that of the bluejays or eastern bluebirds.

An observation the boy has made is that birds sing loudest in the springtime. Their songs can seem overpowering. some birds sing with their whole hearts, while others sing with their whole beings making their proclamations of joy.  He is reminded of the mourning dove; whose sorrowful song is strangely silent when they take flight upon their whistling wings. While some birds have beautiful songs, the boy believes that others are no so lovely. In fact, he thinks the blackbirds, the crows, and the starlings, are the troublemakers of the bird kingdom with their robust calls and squeaky cackling.”

I like the classic “cup or bowl-shaped nests”made by robins, flycatchers, larks, thrushes, hummingbirds, warblers, and many others. They are made with twigs, leaves, mosses, lichens, seaweed, mud feathers, fur hair from animals. Furthermore, birds often line their nests with additional softer materials. Some even use spider webs or cocoon silk. Although most reptiles lay eggs, and even some mammals (such as the platypus) too, birds are the only backboned animals alive today that can lay colorful and patterned eggs.