Monday 27 March 2017

2017 #5 Born For Joy {Chris Cresswell}

2017 Topic 5: Blue and Ochre

A feast for the eyes this evening from Chris, her attention for detail is staggering, every project is filled to brimming with eye catching details and tonight's offering is no exception.

Hi everyone, Chris Cresswell here from loops and lines .

I am so excited to blog my project tonight for this particular theme because I absolutely adore what I have made. In fact, I loved every part of the process. As soon as I realised that the colour combination was selected from the amazing Somerset Studio publication, True Colours, I knew that I wanted to create a project based on these two contrasting colours: Blue/Ochre

There is a lot of inspiration by various art journalers within the pages of this book and my art journal spread is definitely inspired by them. I love art journaling and since my first attempts at creating a 'niche' inside a book some time ago in a workshop with Lin Brown, I have enjoyed creating doors, windows and niches inside pages ever since.

As I also opted to use JoFy's stamps and stencils for this project, I wanted to use her images to create the idea of a secret garden.This colour contrast was going to be perfect, I felt, to really show off her gorgeous flowers. I knew that I wanted the two windows (that I intended to create in one side of the journal spread) to open into a page that contained an illustrated bird. 

I already had the perfect book for this: a wonderfully aged copy of 'The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady' by Edith Holden. The bird image was needed to echo the quote I intended to use.

To create the windows was just a matter of working back from a suitable image, leaving sufficient pages for me to stick together to create cut out windows that would be firm enough to withstand movement.

The most difficult part for me was creating the colour 'Ochre' or at least the colour I had in my mind. This colour shifts and varies from a deep, rusty orange, through a light, brownish-yellow to a mustard-yellow colour. I aimed for the 'deep, rusty orange' version..

Of course, it would have made sense for me to play around and experiment with various Fresco chalk paints first, but I tend to plunge straight in and mix and layer until I'm happy with the result. To create the final blend, I used: Butternut, Pumpkin Soup, Terracotta, Caramel, Tikka and finally Toffee. In that order!

The blues that I chose to contrast with this colour were: China, Southern Skies and Glass Blue. I used two translucents in order to keep some of the page text revealed at the end.

I mixed some of the Fresco Glass Blue in with some DecoArt Crackle paint and pushed this through PS001 stencil before using Glass Blue again with one of JoFy's new stencils: PS056. I always build layers this way: paint, then stencils, then stamping.

PaperArtsy Minis are great for background stamps. I use my favourites all the time: Mini 23, Mini 41.Mini 61 I stamped these with various complementary Ranger Archival inks. You can really see the build up of layers on the cut out doors.

Choosing one of JoFy's new sets of stamps: JOFY 50

... and a previous favourite: JOFY 33, I stamped and coloured using my wonderful Prismacolour crayon pencils. I love the waxiness of these crayons when I blend them on PaperArtsy Smoothy card and on top of an underlayer of Fresco chalk paint.


Assembling all the cut-out flowers to create the idea of the Secret Garden was great fun, not forgetting the two sides of the cut out door page. (Further details of this on my blog).

Adhering six butterflies on top of each other, stamped on very fragile vintage text, was no easy matter, but I wanted to create the idea of fluttering wings. I love the markings on the butterfly.

Some doodling with black/white gel pens, and added bling (using Ranger Stickles) completed the journal spread. I love it. I love the contrasting colours and the way the whole spread makes me feel happy.
I love the way the little bird (Songthrush?) appears through the open doorI do hope, if you haven't tried creating doors, windows or niches in your art journals you might now give this a try. My next project is to create a niche in this same book to hide my mobile phone from my grandfairies when they come to visit!

Facebook: Chris Cresswell
Twitter: @artmadnana
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Just WOW Chris, you have created an heirloom to treasure here, it is just like stepping into a garden, that it is in a book makes it all the more magical. ~Darcy

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Helen said...

Oh Chris this is such a stunning project! will go back and look again on the computer after dinner but I couldn't wait!

Kirsten said...

That is absolutely gorgeous. Well done, Chris!

Sarah B said...

Wow what a stunning project - the blues jump right off the screen xx

Julie Lee said...

Oh, Chris, this is wonderful! I adore the little niches and - of course - the colour combo is fabulous! I really love 'True Colors' - one of my favourite art books on the shelf! You have created a glorious piece of art journalling!xxx

Helen said...

back having looked in full screen mode... even more beautiful and more detail to see. Well done, Chris!

Hazel Agnew said...

Oh Chris! This is a total joy and makes me very happy. I can see the love that you have put into this. A symphony of wonderful elements. Feel the need to look at it over and over again. Fantastic, you clever thing! Xx

geezercrafter said...

I was not sure about blue and ochre, something I have never tried, But after seeing your splendid creation I am hooked!!
I love the doors you have created, a fab idea. All of the painting and stamping are a real joy to look at, an uplifting and joyful piece of art.

Craftyfield said...

Fantastic project! I don't envy the fussy cutting but, well done Chris, it looks superb.

JoFY said...

Wow! great project! x

Ruth said...

Another Wow!! from me too Chris, a sttunning project, love the depth you've achieved! xx

Colleen said...

This is jaw dropping, beautiful I'm going to have to come back several times to take it all in. SPECTACULAR :)

Lauren Hatwell said...

Utterly fabulous Chris. LOVE IT! Lx

Artmadnana said...

Thank you so much for these lovely, supportive comments everyone. You have no idea how much these lifted my spirits today! xxx

Miriam said...

Gorgeous project Chris.... I love this!

Etsuko said...

Absolutely stunning project Chris!! The Jofy's flowers are in full bloom and the atmosphere of springlike. Really wonderful pages. xx 

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

A delight to see Chris, the colour combo marries together beautifully. I love those little doors and the intrigue behind them. A magnificent piece of artistry Chris, Thank you for sharing xx

Cocofolies said...

Stunning project Chriss, I adore it!!!!
Hugs, Coco xx

craftimamma said...

Wow Chris this is a wonderful project! The colour combo is one of my favourites and you have made it work so well. The project itself is clever and intriguing with the lovely niches hidden by the doors which open to reveal the pretty images. Absolutely gorgeous!

Lesley Xx

Maye M.L said...

Absolutely spectacular. Cheers!

SewPaperPaint said...

This is THE coolest spread! I think you achieved a perfect balance with the ochre. Love love this!

Mac Mable said...

Such fun and the most amazing creativity. Thank you for sharing this amazing project ...Stunning! x

Art By Wanda said...

A totally marvelous project, Chris!!!!

Chris said...

You totally rocked this challenge Chris, it's such a fabulous layout and I'm not surprised you enjoyed making it so much, it shows in every marvellous detail, thank you for the inspiration! C x

Lucy Edmondson said...

This is so incredibly clever with these cut out niches chris, I love it! Sorry to be so behind.