Friday 3 February 2017

2017 #1 No Place Like Home {by Chris Cresswell}

2017 Topic 1: Pink and Orange

It's lovely to have Chris with her vibrant art on the blog tonight. Chris is a master of creating layers and contrast, and she always throws herself enthusiastically into all she makes. Enjoy, she has lots of tips for you tonight!

Hello PaperArtsy Blog followers, it’s Chris Cresswell here, sharing a post on this fabulous Pink/Orange challenge theme, using Stamps designed by Ellen Vargo. Anyone who follows my blog will know that these are my favourite ‘Go-to’ colours, and Ellen’s stamps are perfect for art journaling. Therefore, the colour theme and stamps dictated my project choice: mixed media/art journaling on a 10” x 12” canvas.

I love to use bright colours in my art journaling (my art work is seldom subdued!), and I love adding lots of layers despite the fact the first layers seldom make an appearance in the completed project. I don’t mind that. I never have an ‘end view’ in sight when I begin. I start with paint and I just keep layering! I love the process and learning more about the products I’m using as they mix with, blend or cover the layers underneath.

For this project, I first created a collage of various torn pieces from my stash, to deliberately create different textures. This is an idea I’ve borrowed from Birgit Koopsen who tends to use all her gelli-prints to create a collaged layer.

I chose quite a few Fresco Chalk paints in various yellows, oranges and pinks (I’ve listed these on my blog), and starting with dry brushing but ending with my fingers, I blended the colours, layer upon layer until I was happy with the result. My art journaling style is very influenced by Kate Crane, so I tend to add layers in a similar way to her: paint, stencil, stamp, spray or drip, not necessarily in that order.

As Ellen hasn’t produced any stencils for PaperArtsy, I looked through my PA stencils for designs that would match her stamps: PSO15 by Emma Godfrey was perfect.

I first used Emma’s stencil to push through some  Prima 3D gel before using the same paint colours to stamp randomly over the canvas with a variety of Ellen’s stamps: 

I also used a Tim Holtz Distress crayon, Picked Raspberry, to highlight the raised gel, screwed up tissue and corrugated card. I stamped again using Snowflake before watering it down slightly to flick the paint across the canvas.

I was very aware at this stage it was very bright and needed more contrast. I was longing to bring in some blue to create a contrast and cool down all of this orange. However, I wasn’t ready to do that yet, so I introduced some of the darker pinks; and of course my favourite, Bougainvillea. I added more stamping, this time using Little Black Dress to produce an even bolder contrast to the pinks and oranges. Ellen’s stamps are great for this. However, it was still too bright, even for me! So a little further dry brushing with DecoArt translucent white toned it down to a level I was happy with. But this meant that some of the original stamping had been concealed by the further paint layers. Luckily, some added doodling brought them back into the arena.

Now to prepare the main focus which was to add collage papers to three of the little wooden houses I’d bought from PaperArtsy at Port Sunlight. This is where I was going to introduce some blue. I chose some papers from my stash that would complement the background but add some contrast, be in keeping with the subject but also draw the eye of the viewer. Some corrugated card painted with Autumn Fire was glued to the roofs and some doodles with a white gel pen were added onto the house fronts. In  true Kate Crane style, I added little numbers to each house. Love that idea!  I deliberately left the little wire hooks in each roof to represent chimneys as I knew I was going to add twisted wire to these at the end.

Before adding the houses to the canvas, I doodled a little more with black and white pens, used a black Posca pen to darken the black circles, added some washi tape and rubbed around the edges of the canvas with a mix of archival inks and Distress crayons. Now, it was just a case of gluing the houses to the canvas and deciding on some text.

Originally I was going to title this: The Blue House, as I intended the middle house to be a much more vivid blue. However, it didn’t seem to match the finished result, so the old cliché came out! I used a mix of Tim Holtz’s Alpha Parts and Block letters for the title. The border ‘flags’ were created using the triangular block stamp from EEV03. I sprayed some card with a mix of Dylusions spray inks, using oranges and pinks, then stamped on top with Ranger Jet Black Archival ink. I cut the triangles out individually and glued them in twos and threes to the sides of the canvas. I wound some thin blue wire around a pencil three times  to represent curling smoke and attached these to the wire loops on the roofs.  Finally, I added some Treasure Gold (Renaissance and Classic) around the edges of the canvas, over the raised parts and on the wooden letters.

I was very much in my comfort zone with this project. I realise that not all of you may wish to work with such bright colours and some will be horrified that I haven’t left an inch of white space (I really struggle there) but that is not me! I love what I do. Bright colours make me happy. In fact, I loved this challenge so much, I actually made two projects. Photos and information about my second project (a Heart-shaped Wall Hanging/Note holder) using these colours and stamps can be found on my blog, if you’re interested. Do join in with this challenge if you haven’t already, you might be surprised at just how happy it makes you feel!

Chris Cresswell
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Twitter: @artmadnana
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Ohh another bold and beautiful piece from Chris. I love your explanation of how you make your decisions, it's so interesting to see how we all approach a project in our own way! This is such a great piece Chris, thankyou! ~ Leandra

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Helen said...

wow, Chris, this is beautiful! loving the bright colours and the houses are fabulous.

Kaz said...

Gorgeous project Chris, love those little houses xx

geezercrafter said...

I enjoyed reading through the process of your creation, a happy cheery piece!!. I have embraced orange and purchased Tango and Zesty Zing!!

Miriam said...

Lovely project Chris. I love all of teh details and textures that you have created.

Jennie Atkinson said...

Fabulous project Chris - so many wonderful details and textures and oh so glorious colours!

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Gorgeous background Chris and I love those houses. Tracy x

Elena said...

This is wonderful Chris x

rachel said...

this is amazing chris - I love it xx

Lucy Edmondson said...

This is a wonderful piece chris, fantastic use of colour and layering and i love your choice of stencil with ellen's stamps and i love the houses, it's just perfect!

Lucy x

Hazel Agnew said...

Loving your choice of background papers Chris. Brilliant layering and colour choices. Sweet little houses and a great finished piece! Xx

Craftychris said...

Love those houses and the colours are just divine! Wonderful piece! xxx

ellen vargo designs said...

Love the way you've used the stamps ! Gorgeous page!

craftimamma said...

I really love the collaged background and all the texture you created with it. Your painty layers and doodling are amazing but my favourite part of this awesome project is the little houses! Absolutely wonderful!

Lesley Xx

Etsuko said...

Amazing your canvas! I love how you built up the background-great colours and texture. these little houses are so lovely!! xx

craftytrog said...

This is my kind of project Chris! I love all the layers and colour, and those fab little houses!
Alison xxx

CastleKelly Crafts said...

Love this piece, so vibrant and the houses are perfect. X

Julie Lee said...

Great canvas, Chris! Of course I adore the theme!!! I love how bold and 'happy' it is. Your post is so interesting to read. Thank you so much for inviting us into your process with this heart-warming and fun project. xxx

Wendy Mallas said...

This is gorgeous, Chris. I love it x

Lauren Hatwell said...

Wow! This is fabulous Chris. Lx

Artmadnana said...

Thank you everyone for your lovely, so encouraging comments. I know that a bright, vibrant use of colour isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I so enjoyed making this. xxx

Ruth said...

It's a fantastic project Chris, lots of detail but works perfectly...and the houses are too cute! Ruth x

Kirsten said...

This is GORGEOUS. I love the background, the different layers look amazing, & the little houses are so cute.