Sunday, 14 August 2022

2022 Topic 12: Minimalism - Topic introduction {by Keren Baker}


Hi everyone, Keren here to talk about minimalism. To be true to the nub of the meaning, I really should probably just post one photo and reduce my words, but where would the fun be in that?!!
If you speak of minimalism to your non-art loving friends, they'll probably think you're speaking of an interior style or way of living. Some might branch out a little to include music, architecture and art, but where did it all begin?

Some argue that the roots of minimalism can be found in Zen philosophy - think about Zen Gardens and Japanese architecture. Careful placement of items, clean lines and a planned flow. Gardens planned for meditation; stones signifying islands, moss - the forests and the lines symbolizing rivers.

In the West, it is thought that the rise of minimalism was in response to the consumerism mentality after the Industrial Revolution. There was a frustration arising from people overcrowding their houses, cluttering their lives and minds. Control versus a lack of control. 
In art, you can trace the beginnings from the USA in the 1960s. Typified by extreme simplicity; geometric shapes- the square and the rectangle. It was based on the idea that art doesn't need to be an imitation of something. Art requires a response from the viewer. Minimalist artist Frank Stella commented on his paintings 'What you see is what you see'.

Minimalism is about beauty, simplicity and harmony. My hunch with this topic is that our bloggers won't stay strictly within a traditional brief, but may focus on those 3 elements of harmony, simplicity and beauty. One technique that might be employed to focus on simplicity; its use of negative space or white space. Whilst this is probably not going to be classed as minimalism, it's a great example of leaving clean areas, by Kate Yetter.

This next project by Alison Bomber, is full of clean lines, a limited colour palette and little extra elements. A good example of pared back design.

An older piece by Justine Hovey on the PaperArtsy goes to show how bold lines and using partial areas of the substrate more readily focus your eye on the image.

Unusually all of these projects seem to have a similar colour combination. Here's another older one by Sara Naumann. Clean lines and minimal extras.

Amanda Pink often has a minimalist style, and this project is no exception. One useful technique which she employs so brilliantly, is to use texture in place of colour and 'fuss'. The eye is drawn to the undulations in the texture and around the piece.

Staying on the minimalist colour theme, we're revisiting Alison Bomber who excels using a limited palette.

Our PaperArtsy bloggers are often not a minimalist style group, so I wasn't able to find as many projects on the blog so thought I'd go hunting online.

Here's where it gets more complex. Minimalist art can open up an debate about what art is. Some question whether simplicity equals lack of skill or technique. Ask some artists around you.. plenty may say that white space, more clean and simple art (which is an more minimal style) scares them. It demands restraint, design principles and precision.

Traditional minimalism involved many straight lines, yet a modern interpretation involves simple curved lines like in this example.

For some, minimalism might mean knowing when to stop. Architecture involves risk and invention. Despite the love of pastiche in some of us, the desire for reinvention is important for artistic progress.

In interiors, the purging, restriction of possessions flies against the also popular maximalism.

We're often used to seeing wonderfully textured multi layered journal pages. What if it becomes minimal?

Let's push minimalism a little- increase the white space and leave plenty of negative space. Is it minimalist? You decide. What is clear is that you don't have to forgo colour. How could you incorporate colour into minimal projects?

Lastly, in your artistic endeavours think about basic shapes to use in a simple way.

So do you fancy giving minimalism a whirl? Restrict colour, in layers, increasing negative space? What will you pick, how will you choose? Maybe it's less about restricting yourself, perhaps it's more about setting yourself free?!

If you want to create along with us, please share on our social feeds so we can see what you get up to. The best places are Instagram @paperartsy or post in PaperArtsy People Group on Facebook. Make sure you tag us in your contributions, we love to see what you get up to in your creative world! 

Thursday, 11 August 2022

2022 Topic 11: Stamp Mash-up {by Kate Yetter} with Tracy Scott, Nicci Battilana and Scrapcosy stamps

Hi everyone, it's Kate (Kate Yetter – Musings, Tea and Drippy Paint) with you today, and I'm here to share with you a stationery set.

Letter writing is one of my hobbies and I love writing on pretty paper. Lately, I have found it difficult to find stationery in the stores as letter writing is a lost art. I thought, "Why not create my own set with matching envelopes?" 

I knew this was going to become a set of stationery, so I decided to keep the colors pretty and pastel. Some of the stamped images were very detailed so I chose coordinating colored markers for the small areas on the paintbrush and pen handles.

As this was mail art, I challenged myself to keep everything relatively flat. With the rate of postage nowadays, I don't want to pay through the roof for a thick envelope. My goal was to keep it simple yet pretty.

When choosing how to use the stencil, I thought it would be cute to have the squid blowing bubbles up the page. I ended up loving this stencil and using it throughout the set.

Who doesn't like to get a bookmark in the mail? A matching bookmark seemed like the perfect way to use this paintbrush stamp.

On the envelope below, I decided to use the bubble stencil again to create continuity throughout the set. To add depth to the bubbles, I used some pink.

 On the envelope closure, I added the stamped seal, colored with markers. 

 Stenciling around the paintbrush added color and texture.

For the greeting card, I again used the two-toned bubbles and stamped script on top.

Stamping with paint is also an effective way to use paints and stamps together. Just remember to clean your stamp off right away.

To finish off the letterhead, I used an ink pen around the edges to add squiggles. I love adding this hand drawn border to tie a piece together. {NB Irish Cream is a discontinued colour}

To complete the bookmark, I stamped on top of the stenciled area to create more interest.

An area for the name and address was added to the envelope below.

Embellishments were made for the greeting card using stamped images, paints and markers. I also stamped, colored and cut out several circular motifs and layered them on top of the bubbles.

Below is the completed greeting card and matching envelope. This card was the only one where I layered embellishments.

I had so much fun putting this stationery set together. I never intended to make this many things but once I got started, I couldn't stop. While creating, I made an envelope that I had to throw out as it didn't match the set at all. That is what happens when I venture outside the chosen color palette. I like how everything turned out and I am in LOVE with those bubbles! I hope you saw how easy making your own stationery can be. All you need is paper, stamps and some color. You should give it a try!

Until next time,

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

2022 Topic 11: Stamp Mash-up {by Ellie Knol} with Tracy Scott, Nicci Battilana and Scrapcosy stamps

Hi everyone, it's Ellie Knol with you today, and I'm here to share with you the process of creating three connected MDF tags; yes, I cut them myself with a table-saw. To make big tags was my first thought; no real plans; it unfolded as I went.
I did have my eyes on the postage-stamp frame stamp from one of the ESC sets from day one. What if I can use that as a frame for a photograph, to just slide in and being replaced in any later stage with a newer photograph. 
To create I have three very different styles of product of three very different designers, that's for sure!

I've always wanted to create some paper beads and while creating the colourful master board, I decided that NOW was the time to go for it, to be used as a very unique embellishment for the project.

Starting off with creating the master board in my own unique way, I might say. I've done a tutorial in a previous theme, creating a masterboard.

I've added the pictured stages of this step so you can see it unfold to a beautiful and huge 30 by 42 centimetres unique background to be used all over the project and more.
The photographs speak for themselves; if not go check the tutorial; same technique, different product. I will add a few notes though.

I stamped with Scrapcosy stamp set 31 (ESC31) and Scrapcosy stamp set 32 (ESC32)  with Tsukineko - StazOn (Ultramarine) ink random all over the paper and fill it up.

Rub PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylics Cherry RedYellow SubmarineTangerine TwistZesty Zing and Mustard Pickle to the paper with your fingers, blend colours to make gorgeous new colours as you work.

several light and opaque PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylics - SnowflakeLemon Meringue and Cherry Blossom.

Next it was PaperArtsy Stencil by Nicci Battilana (PS290) to dab PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Cherry Red and Brown Shed to the surface.

The cross stitches pop, especially on top of the lighter colours.

To finish the masterboard off, I stamped with stamps from Tracy Scott stamp set 41 (TS041) with Tsukineko - StazOn (Ultramarine), a dark blue.

On the photo below you can see my first ever made paper-bead (details of how to make these colourful beads is coming up son in this post). 

But first, let's take a look at the MDF tags. To be able to drill the holes all in one go I taped the three MDF tags in a stack. The middle tag needed holes on both sides of course.

For the sake of the post I explain the stages of these tags in the photo below: sanded, the first layer (white gesso), and the second layer painted with PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Snowflake. It was only necessary to paint one of the sides.. the other side will be covered with the colorful master board paper.


I've always wanted to create some paper beads!
Below is the test-run first bead. It still is my favorite of the whole batch, even though this was my initial test of the process. I covered it with Glossy Accents but also thought of doing the whole batch later on with UTEE (or clear heat embossing) with a heat tool, or in a melting pot as Leandra showed in a post and a video on the PaperArtsy YouTube channel (The Leandra Bead).

With the leftover masterboard paper (after covering the MDF tags on the unpainted side), I cut the strips of paper for the paper beads into long triangles...all different sizes and lengths...

... next to roll from fat to thin end, and glaze them with clear heat embossing. Toothpicks were used to let them cool on. 

.. and this picture (below) is the batch I've created so far. I also added different sizes of eyelets to finish them off. I still had paper left and of course I made more in a later stage.
Some of them look like porcelain Royal Delft Blue pieces ..  we call it Koninklijke Delfts Blauw here in the Netherlands.

As mentioned, the paper from the master board was used to cover one side of the MDF tags. I finished it off with a fussy-cut stamped ladybug from Tracy Scott stamp set 27 (TS027).

The front side of the MDF tags were also decorated. First I stamped images onto the white surface.

The postage-stamp frame from Scrapcosy stamp set 31 & 32 (ESC31 , ESC32)  in action:

I stamped onto a white sturdy cardstock, fussy cut it, adhered it on top of a piece of transparent sheet cut to size, adhered that on top of thin strips of painted-white greyboard to make them raised enough for a photograph to be inserted easily on the left, right and bottom of it so the top will stay open. Adhered it to the tag as shown.

This close up shows that I applied embossing paste through the very versatile PaperArtsy Stencil designed by Nicci Battilana (PS290)

It's very subtle in the background, but the sponged blue Distress Ink makes it a little more visible.

The three tags can stand upright all by themselves.

The beads were used to embellish the tags; attached and knotted with Scrapper's Floss. 

Lots of beads left .. 

Pieces of leftover paper were slid into the frame and can be used to adhere photographs to or taken out.

Happy ending to a happy project that took more hours to create than I envisioned when starting off...Oh well...I had fun!

As far as I am concerned I went a bit overboard with the number of beads added to the project, but hey: I have some left still and who cares anyway.. never too many beads!

LOVE how this project unfolded itself through the process of creating.

I am not nearly finished with creating paper beads, (happy-sigh) it's very addictive!
I have quite a few ideas for making paper beads; adding other product too. The ideas pop up in my head all the time. I shall call it WIP, or INSPIRATION-for-the-near-future. It also bugs me that I still haven't made paper beads the way Leandra did them in her You Tube video. 
Note that I can easily remove the ladybug as it's been adhered to a tiny piece of 3D tape. 
Will I go another route if I would ever create something similar? Maybe start off with another color of stamping ink! I had to change plans during the creation process because of the color of the ink. On the other hand some of the beads look kind of 
Royal Delft Blue porcelain; the ones that have a lot of white in them. So, that's good!

I really hope you got inspired by my project and go create with inspiration on any aspect of the techniques shown in this post.

Happy day! Ellie Knol