Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Tribal Tidal Pools-A Peek-a-Boo Project

As stated in previous blog posts I have traveled to both Chemanius, British Columbia and Dublin, Ireland. En Route to Dublin we stopped by Giant's Causeway, known to the Irish as the 8th Wonder of the World.
  It is a promontory of hexagonal, basalt columns along 4 miles of the northern coast of Northern Ireland, the results of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. While in British Columbia I was intrigued by the Totem Poles located there. These are the inspiration for this artwork.
Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Tribal Dolphin, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Tribal Jellyfish, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Tribal Turtle, Planet eARTh Mixed Media Chips-Coral Wreath, Golden Acrylic Paints , Shades of Red and Orange-Cadmium Red Medium Hue, Pyrrole Red, Vat Orange, Chili Powder, Ice Enamels-Garnet, Mixed Media Embossing Power-Scarlet, Bookboard Cut to 6 by 5.5 Inches, Prepared Embossed Wallpaper in Shades of Blue and Green, Brayer, Wooden Grain Embossing Folder, Water Bottle Sprayer, Sizzix Big Shot Embossing Machine, Golden Acrylic Paints-Raw Sienna, Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold, Sap Green, and Van Dyke Brown Hue, Sanding Blocks, Distress Stains-Rusty Hinge, Bundled Sage, and Iced Spruce, Weldbond, Viva Decor Ferro Metallic Paste Celtic, Steelblue,  Red Oxide Paste, Thick Mud Acrylic-Russian

1.  Gather Supplies.

2.  Randomly Paint the Planet Earth Mixed Media Chips-Coral Wreath with  Golden Acrylic Paints in  Shades of Red and Orange. I used Cadmium Red Medium Hue, Pyrrole Red, and Vat Orange.

3.  While Paint is Still Wet Sprinkle with Chili Powder, Ice Enamels-Garnet, and Mixed Media Embossing Power-Scarlet.

4.  Cure With a Heat Tool

5.   Cut Three Bookboard Panels Measuring Six by Five and Half Inches.

6.   Cut Three Pieces of Embossed Wallpapers in Shades of Blue and Green Measuring Six by Five and Half Inches.

7.   Use Weldbond to Glue Wallpaper to Bookboard Panels-Roll Down Flat Using a Brayer. 

8.  While Panels Dry Use Wooden Grain Embossing Folder, Water Bottle Sprayer,  and Sizzix Big Shot Embossing Machine To give a Textured Look to Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Tribal Dolphin, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Tribal Jellyfish,  and Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Tribal Turtle.

9.   Paint GSLC Tribal Critters with Golden Raw Sienna, Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold, Sap Green, and Van Dyke Brown Hue. Making Them Look Like Charred Wood.

10.                Use Sanding Blocks to Distress Edges of Prepared panels.

11.                Distress Further Using TH Distress Stains-Rusty Hinge, Bundled Sage, and Iced Spruce.

12.                Add More Patina by Using Viva Decor Ferro Metallic Paste Celtic, Steelblue, Red Oxide Paste,  and Thick Mud Acrylic-Russian.

13.                Use Weldbond to Attach Coral Wreaths and Tribal Critters to Panels.

14.                Dry Flatten and Weighted Down.

Some Final Thoughts.

This is closer look at these animal totems from the website Spirit Animal.
The turtle totem wisdom teaches us about walking our path in peace and sticking to it with determination and serenity. Slow moving on earth, yet also incredibly fast and agile in water, those who have the turtle as totem or spirit animal may be encouraged to take a break in their busy lives and look around or within themselves for more grounded, long-lasting solutions. Traditionally, the turtle is symbolic of the way of peace, whether it’s inviting us to cultivate peace of mind or a peaceful relationship with our environment.

Turtle Symbolism

The turtle symbolism is characterized by the association with the Earth and earth symbols of groundedness and patience:

Symbol of the world, of the Earth
Ability to stay grounded, even in moments of disturbances and chaos
Slowing down, pacing yourself
Determination, persistence
Emotional strength and understanding
Ancient wisdom
The dolphin spirit animal represents harmony and balance. Dolphins are both highly intelligent and closely in tune with their instincts, striking a balance between the two states. Dolphins are also a symbol of protection and of resurrection. Their playful nature is a reminder that everyone needs to approach life with humor and joy. People who identify with the dolphin totem are usually peaceful and gentle, but with a deep inner strength.

Dolphin Symbolism

The dolphin is a complex animal and has had many different meanings attached to it throughout history, including:

Peace and harmony
Protection
Playfulness and joy
Resurrection
Inner Strength
Cooperation

Jellyfish might symbolize various things. They are a symbol of protection, but also of caution. They can symbolize emotions, sensitivity, flow, faith and trust.

They are also a symbol of inner strength, power, organization, challenges and delegating duties.

Jellyfish also signifies acceptance, softness, transparency, drifting and simplicity. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

So Far From Home-A Peek-a-Boo Project

 It is hard to believe it has been almost twenty years since I spent a summer in India. To say it was the farthest I have traveled from home would be an understatement. I was a very different person then but this trip was the beginning of my emergence. As I read my journal from this journey I hardly recognize its author. I was full of worry and wonder, wanting to be understood insisting others see my views. I had a more rigorous religion but less sure of my faith. I was hoping for some kind of enlightenment but lessons were much later learned. When all was said and done and the dust settled one phrase lingered, credited to Dame Julian of Norwich, "All Shall be well, all shall be well, all manner of things should be well" I have never felt so lost or alone in my life as the time I spent in India, but, I survived and came out the other side. I had never traveled to a third world country before, now known as a Developing Nation. India is considered part of an Eastern World Philosophy and the United Sates is of a Western World Philosophy. I had never seen such poverty or enchanting beauty in my small county boy world. The colors of India are vivid  and vivacious, complimentary and complicated. The buildings are ancient and antiquated with intricate wooden doors and intriguing hardware. These are the inspirations for this artwork .

Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Mandala Frame 1, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Mandala Frame 2, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Mandala 1, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Circle Frame Tracy, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Circle Doily Set, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Wooden Medallions 1, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Hinges Shape Set, Gypsy Soul-Moroccan Tile-Foam Stamp, Assortment of Embossing Powders, Embossing Ink Roller, Heat Tool, Weldbond, Acrylic Paints-Yellow, Brown, Black, Neon, Green, Copper,  Red Oxide Paste, Thick Mud- Brown, Cream Wax-Brown, Nutmeg, Chili Powder,  Cheap Hair Spray, Paintbrush, Indian Print Paper, 12x15 inch Frame, Fiberglass Screening, Goldleaf Rub'nBuff, Foam Adhesive Squares, Scissors

1.  Go Through Your Stash of Embossing Powders and Select Bright Complimentary Colors. I used Pink, Green, Orange, Gold, on One Mandela and Blue, Orange, Red, Gold on Another.

2.  It is Time Consuming But Necessary to do Each Concentric Circle and Layer One at a Time. I Went Color Embossing Powder Largest Circle Then Gold Embossing Powder Until I Reached the Smallest Center Circle.

3.  Set Each Layer of Embossed Circle using a Heat Tool.

4.  Layer Two Circles at a Time and Glue Together with Weldbond, Allowing to Dry Completely Weighted Down. Keep Stacking and Gluing Until You Reach the Center.

5.  Use Pastes and Acrylic Paints to Randomly Paint GSLC Hinges.

6.  Sprinkle With Nutmeg and Chili Powder.

7.  Spray with Cheap Hair Spray.

8.  Sprinkle Tarnished Bronze Embossing Powder and Set With a Heat Tool.

9.  Take Apart 12x15 Frame and Build a Layer of Cardboard to Build Your Assemblage.

10.                Use Black Acrylic Paint on Gypsy Soul-Moroccan Tile-Foam Stamp and Stamp on Top of Indian Print Paper.

11.                Decide on Lay Out of Design.

12.                I Decided to Add an Additional Layer of Texture and Cut a Piece of Fiberglass Screening and Laid it on Top of Stamped Indian Print Paper.

13.                The Hinges Needed Additional Layers and Definition so I Added Goldleaf Rub'nBuff.

14.                To Deepen Their Textures and Interest Even More I Added Additional Acrylic Paints.

15.                  Use Scissors to Cut Foam Adhesive Squares to Attach Your GSLC Prepared Pieces.


Some Final Thoughts.
This project like my time spent in India so many summers ago has layers and unexpected challenges along the way. I know that many wanted me to come back from India a changed man-maybe with a decision to become a missionary or to have a deeper longing to serve the needy. I did not come back noticeably different from my departure. I was worn out and weary. My eyes had seen too much and my senses were over stimulated, I needed time to soak it all in. I will never be a Gandhi nor a Mother Teresa, their shoes and souls are too big for me to fill. This recollection could cause me to feel inadequate and defeated, but I am of the firm believe we all have life to live, a path to follow, a way to interact in our own neck of the woods treating all we see with love and kindness.
This philosophy is reflected in Mother Teresa's Quotes: "There is no great things, only small things with great Love. Happy are those." "Peace begins with a smile." "If you judge people, you have no time to love them." "Spread love everywhere. let no one ever come to you without leaving happier." "Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin" 
Mahatma Gandhi has quotes that also reflect my philosophy: "An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind." "Where there is love there is life." " In a gentle way you can shake the world." "The future depends on what wed o in the present." Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed." 
I am a simple man with simple pleasures. I enjoy solitude found in uncrowded places. I am a man of a steady faith but not tied to any organized religion. I see beauty everywhere as look open eyes and a grateful spirit. I will be forever changed because of my summer spent in India, I have seen the Taj Mahal; taken an elephant ride in an ancient encampment. I have taken many motorized rickshaw rides weaving in and out of crowed Mumbai streets, maneuvered my way through magnificent market places, feasting on the fruits and exotic dishes found there. I have beheld ancient relics and new modern heirlooms manufactured using old world techniques. I love all the places I have been allowing my soul to wander and expand, my experiences have enriched me and made me a better man. No matter how far I go I will always look forward to the place I call home for it is where my heart lies and is kept.