Sunday 27 December 2015

2015 Round up: Fragile Papers, Shiny Stuff, Paint {curated by Lynne Moncrieff}

Good Evening from PaperArtsy HQ, Leandra here to introduce you to an exciting few days in the week ahead here on the PaperArtsy blog.

I do hope your Christmas was an enjoyable one spent with friends and family. Now we enter a relaxing wind-down after the hustle and bustle of December, and a great time to think about the year to come ... and I find it is often a chance for some stress-free crafting.

We have appointed a handful of curators to each prepare a celebratory post each highlighting their choice of PaperArtsy blog posts of 2015. Lots of eye candy to reminisce over! 

I constantly pinch myself how incredibly fortunate to have such breadth and depth of talent who create for our blog. This information is so valuable for retailers of our brand who look here first and foremost for ideas with our varied stamp collections. We work with well over 40 regular contributors who bring our stamps and products to life in such a wealth of imaginative ways.

In the week to come, each post will reflect on 3 topics, bringing to your attention some of the highlights and perhaps even some of the challenge responses that you, our blog followers, posted on your on blogs.

Each curator has a tricky task to select just a few highlights from 6 weeks of stunning content, but I am sure they will take us back down memory lane to weave a tale of creativity, learning, enjoyment and encouragement.

It is so important to me personally that we all make time, and develop the confidence to express ourselves creatively in some form. To share in your experiments, happy accidents and wide-ranging creative styles makes every week of the year a pleasurable one for me when you blog.

I leave you this evening in the hands of Lynne Moncrieff, she is recounting the first 3 topics of the year: Fragile Papers, Shiny Stuff and Acrylic Paints.

Enjoy, Leandra

Hello Bloggers, Lynne Moncrieff here.  This past year had new creative opportunities presented to me which at the time found me inhaling deeply but in retrospect, moments that became some of my more memorable creative moments of the past 12 months. 

At the beginning of the year, such an opportunity found me working with new Fresco colours. As someone who favours pale and interesting (!) it was a personal challenge to embrace colour entering my life and also a turning point regarding a broadening of stamp style selection.  This all coincided with a question I had been grappling with... "Is it more authentic to stay true to a recognised style even though a wee voice inside is urging you to dip your toe into new waters or are we being more true to ourselves by listening to that guiding voice?"   Why was this voice whispering to me? Is it possible my creative life has been on automatic, working with stamps/paints/materials which were the equivalent of a comfy pair of slippers. It isn't about me wishing to turn my back on the style I favour, more a recognition and desire to sample beyond old favourites. Maybe it just speaks of me being a Gemini, now finding myself split in the middle moving between muted vintage and something with a bit more colour to its cheeks!

Comfy slippers may be a life essential but that does not mean there are times when donning a pair of something less comfortable will pay the dividend by bringing colour and excitement to life!

A trio of Journals created for the PaperArtsy Words challenge was an opportunity for me to freely apply colour and incorporating some of my most favourite stamps.  What makes this personally special for me, this trio was published in the Winter issue of Somerset Studio Gallery.

Topic 1: Fragile Papers

Fragile papers are close to my creative heart but I have to share that this first topic of 2015 opened my eyes to new possibilities when incorporating fragile papers into my artwork and I will be looking towards variety in my choice of fragile papers instead of automatically reaching for my beloved vintage book text or other "go to" papers.

I really loved Clare Lloyd's post for her journal tag has the most infectious injection of colour achieved by adhering torn coloured tissue paper to a tag which she then continued to stencil and stamp onto.  

Later in the week, Helen Chilton shared a fabulous post highlighting techniques for working with Portfolio crayons on wax paper, creating that incredible background and also displaying how to stamp with a Portfolio crayon.  If you own Portfolios and happen to be apprehensive about working with them on what can be a tricky surface, then I advise you to visit this post!

Let's not forget the talented Darcy who created stunning fabric paper postcards.  This postcard began life as a multitude of fragile papers all layered onto a nappy liner! Most times fabric paper is created in large sheets and what stood out for me is how Darcy's technique makes creating fabric paper easily achievable if space is an issue.  I might not have nappy liners to hand but I have already noted Darcy's technique on my 2016 To Do List!

When we have a broad topic like this we get such diverse challenge entries. I hope you saw this post by Patty Szymkowicz.  Created in her art journal where she incorporated 1930's book text, Patty captured a beautiful, dreamy quality, as though stepping into the past.

And personally, I was transfixed by this post by Diana Taylor where she used a vintage book as a substrate and creating lacy papers from Tyvek.  I feel inspired to explore Tyvek further than I have to date, especially to mimic the beautiful lacy results. 

Topic 2: Shiny Stuff 

As artists, it seems fair to say that many of us are attracted to Shiny Stuff. This challenge theme made me take stock and look at products I own in quite a different light, a bright and shiny light! Out of the three challenge themes mentioned within this post, this theme is the one which I have embraced the most, especially in recent months for festive/winter creations  where I have explored metallics for canvas, with paperclay and I adore the effect on deli paper.  There continues to be much I want to explore along this theme. 

Trish Latimer's  post has much I want to explore. Isn't her treehouse just so charming! Be amazed as she shares how Grungepaste applied to a heart mould is transformed into a shiny, mouthwatering heart!

Later in the week Lin Brown's post featured her own stamp designs used in conjunction with black polymer clay and mica powders, producing the most exquisite results, bringing to mind a piece of ceramic. Previously I have only worked with white paperclay but I am certainly enthused to try Lin's technique for myself. I could envisage this technique to create jewellery. 

Let's not forget the talented Lou Collins who went to great lengths to display a Faux Patina Metal technique on a clock.  I loved that this technique required only a handful of Frescos, eliminating the need to purchase patina solutions.

The challenge entries were fantastic, I hope you saw this post by Hazel Agnew where with the aid of paints and gilding wax, she breathed elegant life into found natural elements, grouping them together to create an exquisite home decor piece.

And personally I loved this post by Gini Cagle. Gini clearly enjoyed creating this shiny, faux aged metal effect heart as the focal on her assemblage. Visit the link to study Gini's video as she takes you through the steps on how to create such a heart.  Paperclay is a favourite of mine but I have never worked with it in such a way.  

Topic 3: Acrylic Paint

Paint is a constant as I personally have always found it more successful to work with compared to inks.  During my early days of stamping, I began about 8 or so years ago, I would purchase sample jars of chalk finish emulsions from a well known D.I.Y. store.  So paints have been a constant however the rainbow of colours I now have would have been unimaginable even this time last year and I am learning about Frescos all the time, how perfect they are for a multitude of surfaces, perfect for custom colours and whether you opt for dreamy, grungy or vibrant, Frescos will work for you.

I really loved Liz Borer's post where with a limited Fresco palette Liz expertly demonstrates how to paint faces and flowers with the most exquisitely elegant results.  Visit this tutorial to also learn how Liz extended her Fresco library, creating custom colours. A  tutorial which is a must if you want to explore painting stamped faces and flowers.

And later in the week Wanda Hentges showed us how to up-cycle a glass jar into a vibrant vase, complete with a bouquet of Eclectica {Lin Brown} flowers.  Wanda expertly showcases the perfect coverage achieved with Frescos when painted onto glass and how an empty bottle, which we all have around the house, can be transformed into a bright and joy filled piece of home decor.

Let's not forget the talented Alison Hall who went to great lengths to show the versatility of Frescos for her fabulously grungy mixed media wall plaque.  Alison creates custom washi tape with Frescos and masking tape and watered down Frescos create this fabulous splattered effect.  I have a weakness for paint flicks/splatters so this definitely caught my eye!

The challenge entries were fabulous too, I hope you saw this post by Gabrielle where her use of colour happens to be both lively yet at the same time, achieving a gorgeous dreamy quality which enhances the theme of romance prevalent throughout this art journal spread. By adding Fresco Chalk to the Lin Brown Frescos, Gabrielle's art perfectly displays how she customised the Frescos in her stash to suit her artful requirements.

And personally, I loved this post by PavlaH. This caught my eye because the colours look as though they are glowing against the black background, truly capturing the colour of leaves on an Autumnal tree. I also selected this as the artwork perfectly shows how due to their high pigmentation, Frescos retain their depth of colour even when painted onto a black surface.

And Finally from me....

How about an item that links all 3 of these topics? It's fun when you are given a specific brief. It seems to reduces that 'blank canvas' stumbling block. I wanted to bring all three themes together to create a sense of a countryside walk on a frosty, winter morning.  A bird perched on a branch is a peaceful companion during this time for reflection when silence prevails, aside from the crisp noise underfoot as ice crystals crunch.  Dappled sunlight announces break of day, the emerging low winter sun catching the hard frost, causing the light to dance. 

The three challenge themes at times overlap on this assemblage. Fragile Papers appear in the form of deli and delicate handmade paper with a piece of tree bark which I delaminated to produce a paper, of sorts. A scrap of lace and PaperArtsy white/greyboard panel were transformed into Shiny Stuff with the aid of Fresco Pewter, Old Gold and Snowflake (also a hint of Distress Stain Spray).  Shine was enhanced by wisps of silver mesh material, glitter fabric ribbon, Mother Of Pearl button and a beautiful pearly silver vintage button transformed into an embellishment with the aid of a glass bead dangling beneath. Pewter, dry brushed onto a piece of driftwood mimics a tree branch, with a dusting of Snowflake Paste enhancing the overall sense of winter.  Featured throughout are Sara Naumann designed stamps.

If any of the challenge themes, either in this summary post or others during this week are areas you have not explored previously with your art then I urge you to dip your toes in.  We all have nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain as even with our less than successful experiments and explorations we will discover a new lesson to be learnt about our art and even about ourselves. I genuinely am so excited at the prospect of a new year of discoveries with PaperArtsy and where it might lead us all.  

Here's to spreading our wings as we soar into 2016!

Lynne Moncrieff
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Helen said...

What a great summary from Lynne and a chance to see some gorgeous projects again. Makes me want to get my paints out!

Julie Lee said...

Really inspiring post from Lynne! It was great to take a trip down memory lane and see these lovely projects a second time around and Lynne's exploration of the 3 topics with Sara's lovely stamp and her own unique blend of Rustic, wonderful textures and Old World charm! Lovely round up celebrating showing the fabulous range of styles that makes PaperArtsy special. xxx

PaperArtsy said...

Gorgeous summary Lynne. It's fab to see a reminder of the wonderful posts from earlier in the year. I live your selections! Thank you for a beautifully written reminder!

Miriam said...

What a fabulous summary - it has been an amazing, creative and inspirational year and I cannot wait for 2016 to see what you have all got up your sleeves!!

experiments in paper said...

Fabulous summary, Lynne......I've learned so much from these Topic Challenges, and it was absolutely lovely to revisit some of the beautiful work from so many talented people, including you! I feel that Paper Artsy and so many of the artists posting here have really inspired my dive into this incredible world of mixed media; the depth and breadth of it beckons, and I look forward to seeing what everyone does in the coming year! xxx Lynn

Deborah Wainwright said...

A truly wonderful post Lynne. Great choices to remind us of the themes, and we were spoilt at the end with your gorgeous art. A real treat!

Hazel Agnew said...

Fantastic trip down memory lane! Love your new piece featuring all 3 topics...I can almost hear the crackly paper rustling! Xx

Gabrielle said...

Ooh! What a fabulous reminder of the topics! Thank you for including my journal page! Loved making it - but these delicious paints make it pretty easy for us don't they?!

Jane said...

So good to look back..thanks for the recap with some stunning creations x

Words and Pictures said...

So lovely to revisit these amazing projects, as well as catch some I missed in my busy times. A beautiful summary by Lynne, and what a fantastic project at the end deploying all three themes in one. Brilliant post!
Alison xx

Astrid Maclean said...

Such a wonderful choice of projects showing the diversity of all the artists and designers. A truly wonderful and thoughtful post. The final projects encapsulates the 3 themes to perfections!

Lauren Hatwell said...

I've just had a lovely stroll through all your fabulous selections Lynne, ooh-ing and aah-ing all the way through. Lx

~*~Patty S said...

Lynne you continue to inspire with your words and prolific and beautiful creations!
What an honor to see my pages included in your roundup.
I remember beginning the year so excited with intentions to participate fully in Paper Artsy's amazing challenges.
That said I am not sure where the year has gone.
Many thanks to all of the talented and generous artists who inspire again and again by sharing what they Love!
Here's to another exciting year.

Paper Profusion said...

Well if ever I've read a post that inspires me to make creative new year resolutions, then this is it!! Also, note to self, to pay much more attention to the very talented ladies posting here. Serious thanks to the lovely Lynne for her gorgeously written post and insight into her own artistic journey. Stunning creations including Lynne's own. Nicola x

Redanne said...

A wonderful post, filled with inspiration from some hugely talented ladies!

Sandie said...

A wonderful post that feels authentic and inspiring. I look forward to an exciting year ahead with my favourite products and design team!

craftimamma said...

Excellent choices of inspirational projects Lynne and a fabulous roundup of these three topics. Your final piece is so delicate and I love the neutral colour palette.

Lesley Xx

Kirsten said...

Great to be reminded of all of these gorgeous projects again.

craftytrog said...

A wonderful look back Lynne, and your final project is so beautiful and inspiring!

Ruth said...

Just catching up, fabulous to look back at all the wonderful art and your final piece is simply beautiful! Ruth x