Tuesday 30 August 2022

2022 Topic 12 : Minimalism {by Asia Marquet} with Seth Apter stamps

Hi everyone, it's Asia Marquet here (Lemon Creation) with. you today, and I am here to share with you a clean, very easy and minimalistic layout using PaperArtsy stamps designed by Seth Apter i named this project Darts and I hope you'll understand why after reading on.

I absolutely love Seth Apter's designs and this is the main reason I choose this project. Also- I wanted to see what the whole fuss is about when it comes to minimalist art. So why not to do it and see for myself? To add an even more grungy look to already grungy stamp design, I've chosen to do the big part of stamping with Infusions. Stamping with powders is such a super-cool and effective technique, don't you think?

Gathering the supplies is always the easiest part, but I never finish exactly with what I choose at the beginning. I knew I was going to use two sets of stamps: ESA14 and ESA24. What I was not sure about was the choice of Infusions.

The most important thing while doing the minimalistic layout is good planning. Since the project needs to be clean and simple, there is less place for error. That's why the first thing I did was to take out the main stamp I was going to use, place it on the paper and then decided on the size of this paper. I will give you a heads-up, I wanted to make 3 rows and 3 columns of circles in different colours, but what I needed was almost surgical-like precision. The circles are uneven, so I needed to stamp them correctly. Also I needed to make a grid on the page to fit them perfectly in the squares. I divided the paper into 3 columns and 3 rows (using a ruler this time- a challenge for me!).

Then I placed the stamp on the stamping block (with a grid) and then draw an arrow on the back of the stamp to be sure I am gonna always stamp it the same way. Truly, it was almost a life-changing idea! Even though I really don't like the logical part of any creative process, I am glad I did it!

Once my paper was ready (it came out as a square of 27x27cm), I needed to make a decision about the Infusions. I was thinking I was gonna use the nicest colours in my stash, going from the brighter to the darker, but I quickly changed my mind and opted for orange, red and purple tones. If it's minimalistic, I thought the colours should be too. It's true, finally I used 9 different colours of Infusions, but because I stamped with them, some of the colours got a little similar to the others and I think if I was to use only 3: red, orange and purple, it would be just enough. Hindsight has its weak points- it happens when things are already done, lol!
Here is the full list of infusions I used:

Once everything was ready and I was happy with my planning (funny thing to plan so much in advance, I am kinda "go with a flow" girl, no real planning, just enjoying the process), I could finally start to great part of the project- stamping. As I mentioned above, I wanted to stamp with Infusions. The process is simple - you need to put tiny bit of powder on the flat surface, add just a drop of water to  it and mix it. I used medium-size brush and added twice water with it to the powder- that's how much of water you would more-or-less need. Don't let the powder completely dilute and when you look at it you still need to see small particles of powder in the mixture and it needs to give an impression that there is not enough of the mixture to stamp. Just give it a few tries and you'll see what I am talking about! 

Then take the circle stamp from the set ESA14 (mine was already placed on the block) and dab it in the puddle. You need to turn the stamp to see how much infusions-ink it took. If you see ink-empty spaces, just take a brush and add the rest of paint to the places when the ink is missing from.

Stamp it away, just be sure to be clean and precise about it. I didn't move the stamp even once from the stamping block- the key is not to move it and keep it in the same place. Of course I repeated this process 9 times, with 9 different Infusions, remembering to change the water and clean the stamp with baby wipes between each application.

This was the end effect and I am really happy with it- no smudges, perfect stamping, Infusions worked like a charm. Ok, it was not stress-free, but totally worth it! I think it's my cleanest project ever!

I wanted to add some numbers to the circles and I found those numbers in the ESA24- second set of Seth Apter's stamps. 

This part was tricky as the numbers are printed in one block. Again it was all about precision and again, despite all odds- I managed! I used Onyx Black VersaFine ink, which is perfect for the intricate and clear stamping and with its corner I inked one by one all the numbers and then stamped them, also one by one, onto the circles.

To be sure I was pressing the correct part of the stamp to the paper, I wrote the numbers on the back of the stamp beforehand. I could have stamped the numbers on the side of circles as opposed to the middle as the numbers are small, but I wanted to make it look like it's a sort of dartboard. The longer I think about it, the more sure I am that I made a good decision- the numbers are another great element of minimalistic design, they are all tiny after all. The fact that they are not very visible, it's another cool point in this project.

The last part was to use the word NOW- so grungy and so cool, which would fit perfectly into the project. The word comes from the stamp ESA14. I stamped it onto a piece of black cardboard paper, but instead of using white ink I just embossed it with Lindy's Gang white EP for more of an impact.

 After drying it with a heat gun, I cut it to size and placed it onto the middle of the middle circle (circle no.5) with double-size foam tape.

The very last part was to just ink the edges of the whole project with black Archival Ink, so there is just this tiny bit of contrast added to the page.

This project is not just a simple minimalistic page. To me it also has a meaning as I would like to think that all those type of projects are portraying something. I called it Darts. There are circles with numbers (even though they are not aligned like in real Darts), but the most important part of this project is the word Now. It's calling me, saying that it's NOW which counts, it's this exact moment, and that we need to make the most of it.  Aim at it, live it and enjoy it.

I am wondering if some of you got that meaning before my explanation? Or do you have another one in mind? Please let me know, I would be so happy to hear your opinion about my very first, very logical yet so minimalist project. I hope you'll go for it and show us your clean and very simple projects.

Wishing you a beautiful day,


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Sunday 28 August 2022

2022 Topic 12 : Minimalism {by Amanda Pink} with Ink & the Dog Mini stamps


Hi everyone, it's Amanda (ink-a-pink) with you today, and I'm here to share with you the project I've created for the current topic: Minimalism.

I've created an art block inspired by some of Frank Stella's paintings.
Frank Stella was a leading figure in the minimalist art movement being one of the first artists linked to this style of art . He was known for his use of geometric patterns and shapes that often had clear transition between areas of colour. His earlier paintings often featured squares and rectangles and it was some of these that caught my eye and served as initial inspiration for my project.

I've also kept my creative processes minimal - just painting and stamping which is in the main unusual for me as I often include a good few more in my work like crackling , adding texture paste, texture stamping, printing etc.

In keeping with Frank Stella's earlier paintings my art block would feature a series of squares that decrease in size from the outside in as that generally was what my viewing eye was  seeing when I first saw these paintings. I know there's far more to Stellas paintings than what first meets the eye but as he said himself  'What you see is what you see'!

I drew out my design on a piece of PaperArtsy White Smoothy.

Then cut along the pencil lines of the squares so I had 6 'open' squares as I thought this would be the easier way to retain their straight lines when painting than if I tried to paint between the lines of the drawn out design.

An alternative option to drawing and cutting out your own squares would be to use nesting dies . (I don't have any this size)

I had always had a classic monochrome colour palette (black, white, grey) in mind for this topic as from my reading early minimalist art tended to be monochromatic with colour (if used) being just an accent. It just so happens to be one of my favourites too ;)

Now though I wanted each of my 'open' squares to have their own colour so when they come  together there would be a clear transition of colour from one to the other. I also wanted the colours of the 'open' squares to flow from dark to light (outside in) so with these things in mind I looked to the colours in PaperArtsy's Grey family of Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic: Snowflake (FF15), Concrete(FF63), Koala(FF141), Elephant (FF64), Slate (FF84), Little Black Dress (FF19).

6 squares, 6 colours = serendipity!

Frank Stella said 'a picture was a flat surface with paint on it - nothing more' and from what I could see that was true of his early minimalist painting's that had initially served as inspiration for this project but I liked the idea of adding some detail to my painted 'open' squares.

I selected a few Ranger Industries - Archival inks similar to the PaperArtsy Fresco colours  I'd used so they wouldn't be too overpowering and 3 of the PaperArtsy Mini stamps (MN23), (MN72), (MN108) I felt would add subtle touches of detail in the form of text, numbers and speckles.

PaperArtsy Mini stamp (MN72) was teamed with Ranger Industries - Archival Ink (Jet Black) on PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Slate (FF84) and Ranger Industries Archival Ink (Shadow Grey) on PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic- Concrete (FF63).

PaperArtsy Mini stamp (MN23) with Ranger Industries - Archival Ink (Watering Can) on PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Elephant ( FF64).

Finishing with PaperArtsy Mini stamp (MN108) with Ranger Industries Archival Ink (Shadow Grey) on  PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic- Koala (FF141).

I left the PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic- Snowflake (FF15) and Little Black Dress (FF19) 'open' squares unstamped as as I thought that would work better in the overall design.

I'd be mounting the squares on an art block so considered how and if I could take the design around the sides of the block in a very minimalistic way. 
I spotted PaperArtsy Mini stamp (MN87) film strip stamp and thought I could use one of the  sides of the strip for this and the small rectangles would play to the geometric characteristics of Minimalism.

Extending the part of the stamp I wanted would allow me to create lengths that I'd cut to fit the sides of the block. The easiest way to do this was by using a stamping platform as it made  stamp realignment much easier and far more accurate than if I used an acrylic block.

Rather than painting the card with PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Snowflake (FF15)  prior to stamping I took the 'scenic route' and stamped the part of the film strip stamp I wanted, left the stamp and the stamped image in place on the platform then painted each of the small rectangles.

It didn't matter too much if I slipped and painted outside the lines as I was able to stamp over it with precision thanks to the stamped image and stamp still being where I'd left them after the initial stamping.

Admittedly doing it this way took a while but when I tried the way I thought would be quicker - painting the card first and then stamping I found I had to stamp and over stamp numerous times to get the 'black' I wanted even with a juicy ink pad so on balance I doubt there wasn't much to choose between the two regarding time taken.

Now I was ready to start bringing things together so my wood block was painted with PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic- Little Black Dress (FF19).

To help define the straight clean edges of the squares I caught them with PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic- Snowflake (FF15) before adhering them to the the block.

At this point although my project was looking ok the centre square was looking a little barren to me. I felt like it needed something...a focal element , but what exactly?? Mmm...

After some consideration I went with a butterfly (a really small one) and PaperArtsy's Mini stamp (MN112) was just the stamp to use as it's design includes 3 lovely little butterflies that I could  choose from. I thought  they'd look good in PaperArtsy Fresco Finish chalk Acrylic - Red Lipstick (FF160) and this would also be a great accent colour to the monochrome palette.
Their bold clean outline took the 'fussy' out of cutting them out.

PaperArtsy Fresco Finish chalk Acrylic - Red Lipstick (FF160) is translucent so the stamping was visible through the colour. No need for any overstamping!

I added a few white highlights to my chosen butterfly rested it on a circle (another geometric) painted with PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic - Little Black Dress (FF19) marked with a few white dots and set it down in the centre square.

Carrying some of the accent colour through to the occasional small rectangle on the side strips helped unify the overall composition.

I couldn't resist making a mini art block too.  Well it is a 'Mini'malist topic after all ! ;)
The mini was created in exactly the same way as the larger one but rather than drawing and cutting the squares myself for the mini I used square stacking dies instead. (I do have some this size.)

I think they make  for quite a complementary pair!

I've enjoyed creating for this topic and learning more about some of the Minimalist artists and the Minimalism art movement. I touched on it when I studied art history back in my college days so it was good to revisit.

I'm a grungy mixed media girl at heart so it was a refreshing change to limit the creative processes I used. By creating with geometrics and monochrome (both often used in my creativity) I never really felt overwhelmed creating in the minimalistic way I have. 

We always love when you join us and create your own art inspired by our topics.  So why not give Minimalism a go even if it's not your usual style of creativity and don't forget to share what you make either in PaperArtsy's Facebook group "PaperArtsy People' or use the hashtag #PaperArtsy on Instagram.
Thanks for spending time with me today/ tonight.
Keep on Creating 

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