Monday 3 April 2023

2023 Topic 4 : Mail Art {by Jenny Marples} with Lynne Perrella stamps

Hi everyone Jenny Marples (Pushing The Right Buttons) here with you today.

I've been enjoying some creative time lately. The topic mail art had me thinking about how to use postcards and envelopes when building art books. So I decided to use them both as pages and decorative elements, incorporating as many textures as possible to fit with the over-arching theme this quarter. I'm looking forward to sharing with you today what I figured out about using mail items in books and developed a theme celebrating the masked costume balls held during the Carnevale di Venezia.

It just so happens that Eileen Hull has recently released a couple of die sets that create postage stamps shapes in different sizes, and most excitingly I discovered that these work really well with Lynne Perrella's collage style stamp designs. 

My starting point was Lynne Perrella stamp sets filled with flamboyantly dressed ladies and the Venezia stamp image. It conjured up thoughts of postcards from Venice during carnival time, rich colours, damasks, fabric and lace.

I pulled out a couple of stencils which I already have (a Scrapcosy set of damask designs and a diamond harlequin pattern on a Sara Naumann one) and also introduced a recent mini stencil from PaperArtsy's own collection which replicates the geometric patterns made by the perforations on sheets of postage stamps. 

To begin with I needed to work out how best to incorporate some blank postcards and envelopes into the construction of a book. I started by working on a large piece of heavyweight paper for use as pages, adding gesso with a brayer and stamping the postcard images from the PaperArtsy Ink & The Dog 'Words 4' stamp set in a pale coloured permanent ink. 

Oddly, when tea staining the paper it turned a shade of pale yellow (very similar to 'Vanilla' PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic Paint - a helpful observation for later in the process). I replicated the colour by using a diluted wash of 'Lemoncello' PaperArtsy Infusions on three postcards and envelopes.

Books are usually created with a set of signatures; to begin the process of building these I cut out three folded pages from the stamped paper. You'll have seen in previous posts how I tend to use a pale colour to create highlighted areas.

This was achieved by using 'Cloud 9' PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic Paint, a spatula and PaperArtsy Mini Mask PM023.

Next for the envelopes; as well as folding them in half for use as pocket pages you can gently pull them apart and re-assemble in a smaller form, cutting pieces off as needed.

In this way you can use smaller ones to decorate pages as seen below. I also added elements from one of the collage images in PaperArtsy stamp set LPC060 by Lynne Perrella - you can cut out the script tag and dream labels.

The folded envelope can be cut down at an angle to create a slip pocket on one side of the signature. On this side the pocket is decorated with some stencilling, lace and a stamped glove image.

On the opposite side the decoration is much simpler, including lots of textural lace.

The final envelope has also been used as a page embellishment, this time with the stamp image from PaperArtsy stamp set LPC060 by Lynne Perrella.

You will already have seen splashes of colour added to some of the pages; it's time to look at how to add these to your basic pages, envelopes and postcards.

When deciding on a colour scheme for the finished book I knew it had to reflect the opulence of Carnevale costumes and of course we already know the 'Vanilla' colour was a given following the tea staining. Working with colour wheel opposites I chose 'Pumpkin Soup''Lilac''Amethyst', and 'Blood Orange' PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic Paints, using a gel plate to pull prints with layers of these colours. 

If you are a member of the PaperArtsy People Facebook Group you may have seen that I've been experimenting with using PaperArtsy Infusions and boiled water to stain pieces of fabric. You can also use them to stain regular tissues, allowing them all to air dry before use. 

The gel plate prints and fabric can be used to decorate or even back the postcards before they are inserted into the book. In this case the fabric extended the size of one of the postcards, whilst another was folded in half to create a smaller page and a third used to create a pocket.

As mentioned earlier I used the diamond pattern in the PaperArtsy Stencil PS090 by Sara Naumann and Grunge Paste to replicate the look of a harlequin design (seen on the costume of one of the main images) on the folded postcard.

Below you can see how the finished page is backed with fabric and how the stencilling softens the look of the gel plate printed block of colour.

There is more stencilling and fabric on this page, used in part to extend the size of the postcard.

Layers of fabric can also be used on their own to create pages, with hand stitching adding some extra detail and texture.

Below you can see how that stitched page has been wrapped around a larger paper page in one of the signatures, acting as a calming contrast opposite a highly patterned and decorated page. The fabric layers used here are teabag paper, stained with those PaperArtsy Infusions.

In this next spread the stitching provides the detail opposite a simpler collage page.

You may have already noticed that after adding pieces of gel plate print or stained tissue to the pages they have been blended at the edges with some of the 'Vanilla' and 'Cloud 9' PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic Paint. The stencilling from the main page has then been replicated over the coloured area.

If you need an end of section comment, this is the place for that

The colour added to the page helps to accentuate the stencilling when (as in this case) it done with paint.

All of the designs on the PaperArtsy stencil PS293 by Scrapcosy has been used on the pages throughout the book.

The same design has been used on the next page, this time in combination with more Grunge Paste to create a different look.

Here you can see the same page once completed with some of the stained teabag paper and some stamping.

When the colour on another page became too intense behind the stencilling I used a layer of lace to help reduce it, helping the stamped image on top to stand out even more.

You will have seen stamped images throughout the pages so far; they provide the finishing focal points on many of them and can be used in different ways.

When painting into detailed images with opaque paints I find a stamping platform is a really helpful tool.

By stamping with a pale permanent ink, painting over with your PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylic Paints and re-stamping with a darker permanent ink you can help to bring out the fine details Lynne Perrella includes in her stamp designs.

Here I used PaperArtsy stamp set LPC061 by Lynne Perrella.

And here you can see how it sits in the completed book.

Here is another of the finished pages given the same treatment.

Here you can see how the postcard pocket sits nicely opposite another painted lady.

Throughout this post you will have seen a number of postage stamp shaped die cuts used as page tabs and collage elements. I also found another use for them really helped by the way Lynne Perrella designs her stamps.

Since she chooses to use a mix of images to build her characters you can use those to your advantage by stamping small sections onto your die cuts. In this way you can create multiple focal points from the same stamps as can be seen below.

Using different colours of inks can give the same images a different look.

It doesn't need much to finish a page and these elements can coordinate with the pages underneath to draw your eye through the book.

Throughout this project I've enjoyed building the layers on each page and seeing how the different signatures have come together, but my favourite part has been using small sections of the stamps with the die cuts to create new focal points. It has effectively extended the use of each set which has to be a bonus! I hope that like me you will look at using your stamp sets in a different way.


1 comment:

Words and Pictures said...

Another creation of pure genius, Jenny - huge applause from me.
Alison x