Traveler Art

One of my attempts at collage, this piece includes preprinted elements, brads, and wings made with a stencil and stucco acrylic medium.

I’ve been in the mood to do some artwork recently. I signed up for a Craftsy class on working with colored pencils and so now — you guessed it — I have even more art supplies on my desk than I did before I started watching the course. But honestly, is there such a thing as too many pens or pencils? I’ll only consider it to be a waste of money if I put the pencils away without using them.

And I haven’t used them much so far, but I am pulling out papers and other art supplies and creating something. I’ve done a few minor sketches with the pencils but nothing that I want to share. This small piece was done on a 4- by 6-inch card. I sprayed the card with Ranger’s Distressed stain in Tumbled Glass but it beaded up on the surface, so I blotted it with a paper towel. That left behind the impression of the paper towel, so I rubbed at the card until that design was gone and ended up with a nice mottled background. For the edges of the card I just dabbed at the paper with an ink pad.

The wings were done with a stencil and Liquitex ceramic stucco acrylic gel, which I later drew on with a pencil to give them a bit more definition. The color of the stucco blended in too much with the background and I thought it needed a bit more of a distressed look to carry through with the rest of the design.

I’m continuing to work on writing projects but I think there’s a fair amount of burn-out going on. I’m hoping the art projects will help keep me moving forward with a little bit of creative cross-training.

Quilling a Dragonfly

The finished quilled dragonfly rests on a blue ripple of water. I may add something to the bottom right to balance the composition.

The finished quilled dragonfly rests on a blue ripple of water. I may add something to the bottom right to balance the composition.

This year has gotten off to a slow start and most of my writing projects are mired in various stages of incompleteness. It’s quite frustrating and I’ve decided I need some art therapy to let myself relax and play, and I really do believe that one form of creativity sparks other forms of creativity (mental cross-training and all that).

Many years ago my father bought me a quilling kit from a hobby store. The kit included an egg-shaped piece of Styrofoam and instructions for making a goldfish. After I finished the fish I played around with three-dimensional quilling and eventually made a dragon. Then I more or less put quilling aside until a couple of years ago.

I bought some supplies with an idea for doing a specific project, but that fell by the wayside when I got busy with school. I am still busy, but this week I bought Paper Quilling Chinese Style after seeing some fantastic photos from the book on Amazon.

The book arrived today and I decided to try making the dragonfly. My skills are rusty but I’ve managed a decent first project, although I’m not entirely happy with the composition. The card it’s sitting on is Strathmore multimedia paper. I’ve used Ranger Distress ink pads in Tumbled Glass and Weathered Wood, applying the colors to the paper with a foam applicator. For the edging on the card, I used a Faded Jeans color mini ink pad and simply wiped it against the card. The dragonfly’s eyes are 5mm rhinestones glued on top of tightly rolled quills.

The yellow eyes are done, and one wing is finished. The paper clip is holding a set of wings until the glue dries.

The yellow eyes are done, and what will become the head is just to the right of them. The paper clip is holding the wings until the glue dries and above that is the abdomen.