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.       


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

My Dad Was a Romantic-A Peek-a-Boo Project

I’ve written about my complicate relationship with my father in previous post- Father's Day Journeyman-but as I have also stated before our parents lived lives before we knew them. In the same envelope of treasure troughs I wrote about in last month's Mother's Days post there were pictures of my dad in his WWII Army Uniform. When we were going through the contents of our family homestead we found a box of letters written to my mom from my dad when he was stationed in Germany. They give us insight to their young love and a side of my dad I never knew. This letters are the inspiration for this artwork.
Supplies:  Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Typewriter Set, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Eiffel Tower-6 inch, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Parisian Shape Set, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Heart of Gears, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Vintage Bulb Set, Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts-Display Tray Dome, Copies of Collected Treasure Trough-Photographs, Maps, Letters, Weldbond, Acrylic Paint-Green, Yellow, Brown, Neon Pink, Blue, Red, Gold, Silver, Paintbrush, TH Distress Stain Bundled Sage, Sanding Blocks, Matte Gel Medium, Embossing Powders-Black, Silver, Red, Yellow, Pink, Embossing Ink, Heat Tool, Copper Foil Cardstock, Weldbond, Heavy Gel Matte Medium, Thin Plastic Spatula, Paper Ephemera, Vintage Postage Stamps, Cosmic Shimmer Lava Paste, Texture Pastes, Metallic Gears, Miniature Screws, Screwdriver, Awl

1.  Gather supplies.

2.  The substrate for this duel artwork is   GSLC Display Dome back section.

3.  Make copies of collected treasure trough-photographs, maps, letter.

4.   Do a quick dry brush technique using yellow, green, and brown acrylic paints.

5.  Fill in any empty spaces with TH Bundled Sage Distress Stain.

6.  Use Weldbond to apply strips of maps and letters to your altered dome substrate.  Adding a few focal point photographs.

7.  Use sanding blocks to perfect and distress edges.

8.  Coat entire surface with Matte Gel Medium sealing it all in.

9.  Use embossing ink to add embossing powders to GSLC Typewriter Set-I used black metallic tones.

10.                Once again fill in any empty spaces with TH Bundled Sage Distress Stain.

11.                Cut a piece of copper foil paper to place behind the cut out typewriter keys.

12.                Sandwich and glue the GSLC Typewriter Sets together. Allow to dry fully being pressed down with a heavy book.

13.                Use embossing ink to add embossing powders to GSLC Vintage Bulb Set-I used yellow, red, German silver. Cure with heat tool.

14.                Use Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold acrylic paint to fill in empty spaces.

15.                Cut a piece of copper foil paper to place behind GSLC Vintage Bulbs

16.                Sandwich and glue the GSLC Vintage Bulbs together. Allow to dry fully being pressed down with a heavy

17.                Use embossing ink to add embossing powders to GSLC Eiffel Tower-I used yellow, brick, and bronze. Cure with heat tool.

18.                Use Raw Sienna and Yellow Oxide acrylic paint to fill in empty spaces.

19.                Decide on placement of these larger pieces on your prepared substrate.

20.                Next Choose items from GSLC Parisian Shape Set and GSLC-Heart of Gears to add additional layers and interest to artwork.

21.                Use embossing ink to add embossing powders to GSLC heart of Gears, Chairs, and Corset-I pinks and reds. For Fleur-De-Lis I used gold and coppers, For scroll work I used silvers and platinum, and on birds I used shades of blue. Cure with heat tool.

22.                Use acrylic paints to fill in empty spaces and to add interest, details and layers.

23.                Decide on placement for assemblage and add to artwork using Heavy Gel Matte Medium and a thin plastic spatula.

24.                Select postage stamps and paper ephemera from your collection and add to empty spaces in your assemblage using Heavy Gel Matte Medium and a thin plastic spatula.

25.                Always allow everything to dry completely as you keep it flat and weighted down.

26.                Wanted to add a vintage appeal and unify the piece I added blue and green texture pastes to the edges using a thin plastic spatula.

27.                Add green acrylic paint to a small portion of Cosmic Shimmer Lava Paste and dab it onto edges using a thin plastic spatula. Cure with heat tool.

28.                To further unify the artwork I added metallic gears using miniature screws, screwdriver and awl. 

 Some Final Thoughts.

My parents were married for 59 years, still together to my dad's passing. They had a relationship that showed their love and adoration for each other. It wasn't free from bickering-dad mowing mom's flowerbeds, dad driving too fast, or him picking at a bandage-but I never saw them fight in front of us kids. They taught me how to be dedicated to another in quiet times, to share the chores-Mom washed dishes dad dried them, mom canned the Bread and Butter Pickles  dad ate them, dad went to work and mom picked up side jobs-picking tomatoes, trimming Christmas trees, selling her produce at farmers' markets, babysitting, selling Amway, vanilla extract, paring knives, wooden spatulas that doubled as a paddle, helping the neighbors butcher in exchange for meat for the table...and maybe more I did not know about. They were not "I love you!" type of people and I wondered why they rarely said to each other or me while growing up. I knew they loved me but I wanted to hear it spoken.

Now having the letters and the history of my parents courtship I know my dad was a romantic and I am inspired to live my life  sharing my love and kindness with others.