Thursday, July 5, 2007

Hand Decorated Papers

Lots going on this summer. I got to accompany my s.o. to Bellvue, WA while he attended a conference for several days. We got to stay at the Marriott, which is quite comfy and has a Starbucks right in the hotel, a nice exercise room; an impressive library right up the street and a very nice staff. We have a great friend in Seattle who was kind enough to take me to the Goodwill. It's huge, in an old building and full of cool stuff. I got some beach glass mosaic pebbles, a big spool of craft wire, some books, some shirts, a watch and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. WAY cheaper than Oregon! Fun!

I took along my decorated papers for the Art-e-Zine swap hosted by Christine Shebroe. I've listed links to Art-e-Zine and to Christine's very cool blog. Art-e-Zine is the grandmommy of alternative art websites. It's monstrously huge and always teeming with new cool art. I've admired Gillian Allen's art and talent for years. Jet on over and donate your $10.00 to support this incredible site. To reel in from that tangent...I took my papers with me on our trip because I still had to assemble and label them before sending them off to Christine. I went to the coffee shop and as I got them ready I started thinking about taking the decorated papers to the next level. I had purchased a rolling stamp thingy at a thrift store recently. Ingenious little thing--it's just pvc pipe cut to fit so that it slides right over a 4" mini-roller. A Greek key design made of dense foam is glued to the cylinder to make it into a stamp. I had used glazes and metallics over the top some of the papers I have lying around. I liked it a lot but I wanted to go even further. I had also been future tripping, you see, about trying out the spray paint stenciling technique I saw on some incredible blog (can't remember where). Please email me if you know about this particular blog.
This woman uses stencils in combo with a lot of pink and black spray paint for very bold designs--she also does a lot of decorated envelopes for mail art. I've often used stencils in journals and on canvas wall hangings and for background papers but never with spray paint. I've always used either pigment inks (we did this a lot in the altered book classes I used to teach) or acrylic paint sponged on. This idea kept niggling at me until I finally went down to my studio the night we got back to Washington. I had some purple, some white and some pinky-red spray paint available. I found a sort of conventional looking bold flower stencil and started spraying over top of some pre-decorated papers. Cool effects and the added bonus is that the stencil gets really loaded up with paint on the side you're spraying through. I hate to waste paint and don't like to stop to clean up when I'm in a creative frenzy so I just turned the stencil over and burnished down the negative part of the original design. I think that almost looks cooler in some ways. The pictures you see here are just a few of the 40 or so designs I did that night and in subsequent days. It was really fun, too, to switch stencils and go for a traditional wallpaper motif in a Victorian/Art Nouveau style.