A Life of Varied Endeavors

Tag Archives: watercolor

August Little Altars – A feather, some brass, some copper

August Little Altars Project-3 After all the ideas and iterations that I went through, I’m not sure what inspired me for August’s Little Altars spot!  There was that feather. I kept wanting to use it, to play with it.  It’s off a larger piece of feather trim that I have, but it’s been on its own for quite a while.  More delicate and enchanting as one than among many.  And then there was the TEENY scrap of 80 mesh brass screen I found from somewhere, but couldn’t find any more, so I had to go buy some more.  Luckily, I found it in a real brick and mortar store, so my ideas could progress.

Originally, I was going to use a right-angle weave beaded heart in this month’s spot (a sweet little thing I’m still very fond of), but things evolved.  So I think what inspired me in the end was the process.  The process of evaluating my choices, listening to my aesthetic, and sensing the right and wrong and good and bad.  It was one tiny inspiration leading to another:  link, link, link.  One might ask, as my husband did, “What is it?”  I said, “It’s cute.”  Nothing more, just that I like it.

I added the little leaves because I liked the spark they provided and I had the opportunity to use them (link, link). They are cut out of copper, primed with Daniel Smith watercolor ground, and colored with watercolor. I used copper tabs on the back to fasten them. More experiments with color on metal; this one is fun.

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE
August Little Altars-1

August Little Altars process

August Little Altars Project-2

August Little Altars

May Little Altars – an elephant and beads for me

Little Altars - Elephant May (2 of 4)Here was May’s project.

Once again, my own collected and unfinished treasures provided the inspiration for this month’s Little Altars spot.  Since I was making the spot “for myself” meaning my exchange this month was with me, myself, and I, this was an interesting and sort of indulgent endeavor.  Some sort of serendipitous spell came over me as I wondered around my little places of projects and treasures, and I pretty quickly came up with something that I thought I’d really like.  Nice when there are very few false starts, and that’s what happened this time.

I’m an elephant fan, so the opportunity to use an elephant bead that I’d probably never put on a piece of jewelry was a plus.  And the flat beaded disk has been teasing me to do something with it ever since I made it.  Of course it was supposed to be part of a larger project, but now it’s in a perfectly happy place, pretending to be a water place for the elephant.  Both now live on top of my currently favorite play materials: watercolor paper, watercolors and gouache.

Little Altars - Elephant May (3 of 4)

Little Altars - Elephant May (1 of 4)

Sequins for October’s Little Altars

Sequined Party Dress

Sequined Party Dress

This month, thankfully!, the trajectory from idea to end result was less wobbly.

For October’s Little Altars spot I was inspired by a beaded and sequined 1920’s dress on Antiques Roadshow.  It was the second time I’d seen that episode, and I liked the dress as much or more than the first time.  I thought it would be fun to do a miniature dress on ____ (?) with some of my “extensive” sequin collection.  Stitching was the first considered approach, but the size of the sequins in relation to the size of our October space and therefore the dress, told me that would be overkill.  Too much structure, overworked.  Been there before….

I’m not really sure how the end result finally came about.  I decided to do some testing, and the testing pretty much turned into the finished product.  I used a piece of water color paper that had been printed with the photograph I used in our February Little Altars spot (the Olympics from Ebey’s Landing).  I covered it with Glass Bead Gel (a new product for me) that I mixed with Iridescent Gold Acrylic.  (In making this, the end product always looked gold to me, but standing upright, it is definitely defined as much by the blue photo background as it is by the gold on top.)

I decided that gluing the sequins on, randomly, would actually get me the effect I wanted.  I really like what happened, although, once again, my husband is a little dismayed, and questioned why he was finding sequins all around the house.  (They stick to you!!)

I thought that Cyn’s wee folk might want to party fancy once in a while, so this is a gossamer and transparent little party dress.It’ll keep them up to mischief, even if a little chilly at this time of year!

 

Sequined Party Dress (1 of 1) P1050269

Sequined Party Dress Blue View

Sequined Party Dress (1 of 2) P1050268

Sequined Party Dress

Little Altars March

Little Altars March

Spring was trying to transition from Halloween for this month’s spot.

 

 

 

February Little Altars

The Olympics from Ebey's Landing

The Olympics from Ebey’s Landing – digital photo and watercolor on watercolor paper with vintage glass beads

For my February Little Altars Full Moon project, I was hungry to do some bead embroidery.  An initial attempt at this less than 3″x3″ space left me feeling stuck in a rut and dissatisfied.  It was going to be a fully-bead-embroidered piece on ultrasuade.When I was about a third of the way done, I told myself this was not right.

Instead, I looked to my photo collection for my beach-and-ocean desired visual. The image at left was taken a few years ago at Ebey’s Landing on Whidbey Island, looking across to the Olympic Mountains.

I printed the photo on watercolor paper using my Canon MG6220 printer (not a high-end photo printer by any stretch of the imagination.)  With water brushed over them, the dye-based digital inks liquify quite interestingly on the watercolor paper, and can then be nicely enhanced by watercolors over them.  After a few practice attempts I got happy with the results.    After “watering” and coloring the photo, I sealed the image with archival varnish.

I wanted a little sparkle, and was still hunrgy for some bead embroidery.  I happily found some vintage two-hole glass beads – when I was looking for some other beads – and they just seemed to hit the spot.  With an awl, I made individual holes one-by-one in the 140 lb. watercolor paper, and stitched each bead on. Make a hole, stitch one end, make a second custom hole, stitch the other end.  Broke a few beads with that awl. Hanakokolele on me!

You might call it embellishment, but I’m calling it embroidery!

This is one of the practice pieces, and I like it well enough to call it my keeper.  The final piece for the Little Altars February spot can be seen (when posted) on Peg’s Getting a “Wild Hair” … Studio blogsite.

I’m happy that this is a lighter, simpler, and more fanciful solution to my original desires for this month’s project. For me, it’s a sign of progress in the letting-go arena.