Sunday, 19 January 2014

Welcome New GD: Ellen Vargo #1 Abstract Tag

"Hi everyone, Ellen Vargo here! I am so, so excited to be part of this amazing group of Guest Designers - what an honor! Thanks to Leandra for thinking of me! I've been on a journey for about a year to try to discover *MY* style of art. I've been stamping for about 10 years and have learned so much from so many different artists, but I became very good at doing *their* art. I've been working hard to develop my own style, drawing on all the experience and techniques I've learned over the years.  I hope to share that with you during my time as a Guest Designer"

My love for PaperArtsy started when I went to England for the first time. My friend Hels took me to visit Lin Brown's LB Crafts = heaven! Here is a picture of me, plopped down on the floor, surrounded by PaperArtsy stamps and (clearly) blissfully happy with hands full of Hot Picks!
My latest artistic obsession is abstract painting with collage and stamping. This week we'll be doing all of that, starting basic and working to more complex projects each day. I hope you enjoy!  You may want to grab a cuppa!  I went a little nuts with the detail pics. Today, we'll be working on an abstract tag. 

We'll start with a list of supplies for today's tag:

* Fresco paints: Cheesecake, Limelight, Guacamole, Hey Pesto, Beach Hut, Inky Pool, Little Black Dress, London Bus, Zesty Zing
* Brayer
* Stamps: HP1010, Lin Brown quotes (available soon!) see sneak peeks here
* Twine
* liquid glue of choice
* white gel pen, black detail pen (PITT pen or other)

Start by spreading out some Cheesecake with your brayer on a craft sheet or scrap paper (I have a stack of newsprint that I use for brayering and clean-up, that I turn into collage papers when it's full). Brayer a thin layer of the Cheesecake over your large #10 Manila Tag.  This gives a base coat for the colors to come, so they won't absorb directly into the tag.
I did an uneven, light handed coating which will give some variation to the colors we will be applying over this base layer.
Now we will begin adding other colors.  I'm working in a green/blue palette today, starting with the lightest shade of green and working to the darker shades, *then* adding some blue at the end. We'll start with Limelight.
{TIP: remember apply the paint to your scrap paper palette first, and pick it up from there, this helps you control how much is on the brayer, and therefore how much you put on the tag}.
I add an uneven amount with the brayer, covering a large area of the tag, but still leaving some areas untouched. We're trying to build up layers of paint, with each layer showing through even at the end. So I'll be using progressively less paint as we move forward.
Next up is Guacamole ...
And now Hey Pesto ...
Now I'm adding the lighter, translucent shade of blue, Beach Hut ...

And finally, Inky Pool, just around the edges...
Now we have an interesting background with lots of coordinating variety of color, with many layers and some texture. I love painting with the brayer because you don't always know exactly what results you'll get. I like that. I wanted to brighten things up a little, so I added some Zesty Zing to some areas ...
Now it's time to add some stamping. I like random shapes and textures in my stamping, so I chose the bubbles stamp from HP1010.
Going back to our Cheesecake colour, I spread some out on my craft sheet with my brayer. You could also use a palette knife, whatever works for you ...
And I stamped the bubbles in random areas all over the background.
Next I wanted to add some texture, so I used grunge paste, the Mini Spinning Tops (6x6) Stencil, and a palette knife...
I used the palette knife to spread the Grunge Paste down the length of the tag, working from side to side, leaving some areas untouched.
You could leave this to dry on its own, but I'm impatient so I used my heat tool.
Now that the Grunge Paste is dry, we can add some Treasure Gold over top. I chose Olive Bronze since it will compliment our green color palette. 
On this occassion I decided to apply the Treasure Gold, using the tip of my finger to swipe over the Grunge Paste texture. You only need to barely touch the tip of your finger in the pot - *less* is definitely more in this case... you don't want to color every area, just give some metallic, shimmery highlights.
For those of you who may have followed my work, you'll know that I love a "pop of red" in my art, So I decided to do a red border. I used London Bus and a flat paint brush ...
I used the flat paint brush to do a border around the entire tag, leaving space between each brush mark ...
Then I used a white gel pen to outline each section of the red border ...
Now it's time to add some embellishments. I chose these large flowers from Petaloo...
I glued two flowers to the tag, and then cut two lengths of twine to use as flower stems, attaching it with my Tiny Attacher (but any stapler would work just fine).

Next I chose a sentiment... one of the fab new quotes from Lin Brown (Plate ELB06)
For any lucky peeps attending the Stamperama show in Stevenage, these stamps will be available on the day. There isn't a bad quote in the bunch - trust me you will *love* them! I stamped the quote onto the #2 Manila Tag...
And then cut out each word in the quote and placed it on the tag. I often do this with quote stamps. It gives you much more flexibility in using quotes when you aren't restricted to putting it in *one* place, but can spread it out any way you like... I glued each word down and outlined it with a black detail pen. Here's our finished tag!
And here are a few more I made in the same style... this one is almost the same as today's tag, but has a more predominantly blue color palette, and I tinted the grunge paste with some blue paint.
And here's another with a yellow/orange/red color palette, and tan alpha/number background stamp. Instead of using big paper flowers, I stamped some flowers in black on the background and just added a small paper flower to the bottom of the tag. 
 Here's a peak at another new quote stamp from Lin Brown! (ELB05)

I hope you're still with me... I know this was a LONG post, but I wanted to show you my process since it's a little different.  I'll be back tomorrow with another abstract project to share. Thanks for stopping by!

~ Ellen.

Leandra Says: Love how the brayer effect gives that texture as the layers build, and i like how you have used opaques and translucent to clever effect too! Nice to see Lin's stamps in use, they are going to be a hit me thinks! Gorgeous colourful start to your semester Ellen Thankyou.

Gillian Says: I am uber excited by your GD appearance, as you know I'm a huge admirer of your art work and look forward to seeing what you create with all the lovely PA goodies {obvs I know what's coming up with being Phat controller #1 lol}. Like Leandra said the application of layers using the brayer gives a great texture effect and the colours you chose to work with ... love love love. Thanks Ellen.

If you would like to join in this week's challenge and play along with Ellen's techniques, then do link up your creativity here, and go in the draw to win some PA stamps of your choice! You need to link your entry by 17:00, Sunday January 26th 2014.

33 comments:

margaret said...

Lovely stuff Ellen never thought of using the brayer, cool idea!!

Deborah Wainwright said...

Really love your style Ellen the layer on your tag looks really fab. Cannot wait to see your other projects. X

Helen said...

Beautiful tags, Ellen - what a wonderful look you get applying the ink with the brayer. I knew this was going to be a good week.

Hazel Agnew said...

Another technique to add to my limited repertoire. Love the finished effect and the pop of red with white edges. Thanks.

isisimaginings.com said...

Ellen, your tags are fantastic. I love all the layers & adding London Bus as a border was a great idea - so effective. I hardly ever use my brayer, but I shall definitely be attempting this technique.

Lin said...

Hello Ellen and welcome :D love all the layers on your tag..haven't used a brayer with my frescos so will have to give that a go!!

Sarah B said...

must dig my very under used brayer out - can't wait to see tomorrows project x

Craftyfield said...

Beautiful tags, love the brayer technique for the background. Definitely one to try!

Emma Dawson said...

Wow, stunning tags. I really look forward to seeing the rest of your creations this week.

Emma x

Claire said...

Lovely colourful tags Ellen! Love your style and looking forward to seeing what else is coming up over the next few nights! Claire x

ellen vargo said...

Thanks everybody! I'm so glad you're liking the tags and the brayer technique - it's my fav! So so happy to be here with the PA GD group! More to come this week!

Mark said...

I really forgot about using brayers for the background. Thank you Ellen for reminding me. Your tags are very colourful and contain lots of depth. I will try to follow (and copy) your work this week.

Carol Q said...

gorgeous tags Ellen - I love your contrasting red border - not a colour I would have thought of using against that background.

whyducks said...

Lovely

Rebecca said...

Lovely work, welcome Ellen
Happy craftin
Rebecca

Alison said...

Wonderful painty goodness Ellen! I love your style!
Alison xxx

Julie Ann Lee said...

Welcome, Ellen! Really exciting to be introduced to yet more we can do with Paper Artsy goodies! A truly inspiring post. Julie Ann xxx

Sarah Dunkley said...

Fab tags! xx

Miriam said...

Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Gorgeous!

Kathi said...

Wow! Fabulous tags.

Thanks for the great instructions and photos.

My brayer will be coming out of hibernation!

Linda M. Cain said...

Whoo Hoo! Love them tags!

~Linda

Elaine said...

Totally amazing tags ! Love your style ellen ! Inspired x

butterfly said...

Gorgeous layered brayering - and I love those twine stems - fabulous tags!
Alison x

Marjie Kemper said...

Beautiful tags, Ellen! Love all the texture. I just got my first tubs of Treasured Gold and can't wait to play.

Sid said...

Great effects with layers here, the tag looks great !!

Yours Artfully said...

Wow Ellen, what a fabulous first post, just loving your brayer technique. I'm going to admit I have brayer technique envy as I am truly rubbish with a brayer!!!
I love that photo of you in my shop, it was so lovely to meet you in person.

Lin x
P.S. Thanks for using my new stamps!

Redanne said...

Love your gorgeous painty tags Ellen, they look amazing! Really must try out this technique, thanks so much for the inspiration. Anne x

Coco said...

Really love the two first and your brayer technique on newsprints first!! Thank you for the inspiration and your great presentation! And your scraproom is just.... WOOOOOWWWWW!!! :))) Hugs, Coco x

Julie Steed said...

Beautiful! Love the pop of red.

Hels Sheridan said...

LOVE what you do with a brayer, tis like magic seeing the transformation... LOVE these tags very muchly.. neeed that stencil! x

Julie Bell said...

Never thought about using a brayer with frescos what a neat idea. Great tag an lovin the stencil x

Wanda H said...

Totally love these tags, Ellen!!!!

sara j said...

Wonderful process and a great finished piece!!! It's fun to watch you work.

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Even though we've been blogging for quite some time only just figured out the followers button, so please follow us to hear about all that is new in the land of PaperArtsy. We'd love to share our ideas with you! Leandra

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