Sunday, May 20, 2012

Iron Your Artwork!

What!? That was my reaction the first time I read someone suggest this. Seriously? How do you iron artwork and why? Only recently have I been creating artwork that could or should be ironed. With the exception of quilt making all my previous artwork was acrylic paint mostly on stretched canvas or canvas panels. Not things I would think to iron. But more recently, I have been doing watercolor or collage on heavy paper. As it turns out both of these types of works can benefit from a little ironing. To iron a piece of painted collage I place it between two sheets of parchment paper and iron it with a dry iron. This helps flatten the paper and smooths out the surface of the collage but stills leaves plenty of texture. And it seems to me to make the colors brighter! I'm not sure about that but I like the overall result. I like the results so much I will probably go back and iron some of the other collages I have done in the last couple months.

These are a few of my recent collages that were ironed. You can't really see the difference here but they are smoother, lie flat and scan nicely.

Painted paper and tissue paper collage

These are a few collages made from old calculus pages, maps and painted paper towels:


Monday, May 7, 2012

Butterflies are Easy

Sometimes when I am uninspired, unmotivated or just plain undecided on which project I want to work on I just sit down and draw a Butterfly. I have source books with thousands of examples of butterflies from around the world and countless imaginary ones to dream up. It is an easy shape but with endless possibilities for use of colors and patterns.

Today was one of those days so I tried something new. I used water based markers that I knew would bleed to draw parts of the butterfly and watercolor crayons to fill in the remainder of the colors. This was the result of my experiment:

Telipna transverstigma

Controlling the watery colors and the bleeding of the ink is a new challenge for me. I didn't want the black and orange to run together and become a grey mess. I think it came out OK but I plan to do more experiments like this.

After I took this picture I decided this plain little butterfly needed something more so ran it through a few photo filter apps on my iPad and settled on this conposition:

There are so many options in these apps that it is sometimes hard to decide what effects to apply but that is also the fun in playing with them. I usually end up with multiple pictures that I like and save them all but I liked this sunny little butterfly for a sunny day.

BTW, this is my little drawing spot, complete with sleeping cat:


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

More Art Journal Pages

Way back in February I started working on an Art Journal I made out of old Manila folders. I have been collaging and painting a few pages at a time since then. Well, I am almost done putting something on every page. I posted some of those pages here ( and have a few more shown here: