Monday, July 26, 2021

creative recipe collaboration for StencilGirl®

It's always a treat to participate in one of Tina Walker's collaborations for StencilGirl®, and the most recent one:       "Cooking with Tina" was no exception. 

The idea behind this collaboration was simple, Tina would create a "creative recipe" that each participant would follow in order to create their own piece of art. Over the course of twelve weeks, each Monday we were given a new ingredient to add to our project, culminating in a completed artwork. We were not given the entire recipe in advance; therefore with each step the piece had to adapt to the new introduction. I decided to complete an art journal spread for this collaboration. 

Week one: prep surface, add two colors of acrylic paint

Using my largest art journal, I added two colors of PaperArtsy Fresco finish paint. I decided that keeping the colors fairly neutral would give me more flexibility for adding the future ingredients.

Week two: add collage material

I added pieces of maps as well as some torn tea/coffee dyed papers along each side of the spread, still keeping with the basic idea of a neutral base to build upon.

Week three: stencil a repeating pattern

At this point, I started getting ideas about the direction I would like my journal spread to take. I envision some sort of architectural approach. In keeping with this idea, I chose the arched aqueduct stencil, and distress ink to create the designs on each of the pages. To maintain balance, I flipped the design along the right hand side. 

Week four: scribble/doodle

Using fluid acrylic paint in a fine liner, I added scribbles along the top and bottom edges of the pages. I also added some lines to accentuate the stencil design and bring it into the foreground.

Week five: opposites

This prompt generated a lot of ideas, ranging from symbols all the way to colors. I settled on using words to express opposites. You will notice the words OPEN and CLOSE. My thoughts behind this choice, since I was still under the assumption this would be some sort of architecture based design, was something along the lines of when one door closes another opens... we will see how that works into the future steps.  

Week six: draw a face

I have to admit, drawing faces is NOT my thing, so I cheated a bit and used a stencil as the basis for my drawn face. I used charcoal with the sweet girl face stencil to draw the basic shape and locations for the features, then went back in with a pencil and attempted to add details. This is THE step that changed the direction of my page. I now had no idea of how this page was going to come together... 

Week seven: add the color red

Adding the color red was not a difficult ingredient to incorporate. I could totally see the sweet girl with a red and white striped shirt, so I repositioned the stencil directly over the face and used a paint pen to color in the striped details on the collar. I also added a red die cut heart "barrette" in her hair.

Week eight: stencil with a Tina Walker stencil

Some of my favorite Tina Walker stencils are from her travels abroad. The cathedral floor stencil was inspired by Jedburgh Abbey from the Scottish borders region. I thought it would be fun to play on my original architecture idea by using this stencil, but in a more whimsical way that would work with the sweet girl that now played a prominent role in my spread. The stencil design became the pattern within butterfly wings that flank the girl. 

Week nine: add ink

Using a water brush, I add distress ink within the butterfly wings, as well as on the sweet girl's cheeks. 

Week ten: add words

Since the art journal spread has detoured from my original thoughts behind the OPEN/CLOSE idea, I used this prompt to add words and create the phrases "close your eyes" and "open your heart". In my mind, this gave the whimsical wings a better tie-in.  

Week eleven: cover something up

This was a no brainer step, I covered up the sweet girl's eyes that I had drawn and were so unhappy with the look of. It also worked well with the "close your eyes" phrase.

Week twelve: add finishing touches

I believe there is still some work to be done on this spread; however, for the sake of completing the collaboration, I "completed" the pages by inking the page edges, adding some bold black marks with the art marks stencil to balance and draw attention to the words, and also added some red thread. As I progressed through this collaboration, the ancient Chinese proverb "an invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break" kept running through my mind, and it was inevitable that it would become integral to the piece.

This was probably one of the most challenging collaborations I have ever done. Since I had no idea what "pieces" would be included, I was never able to get a clear idea for the final result. At times this was frustrating. When I am creating something, even though I don't always know exactly where I am headed, I usually have a general direction and concept. When I tried to keep to an underlying theme, things didn't always work with that idea. Even through all of the detours, I ended up being pleased with the final art journal spread. 

I believe in pushing yourself to try new things and explore beyond your normal boundaries, this is how we experience growth. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. I hope that you can visit the some of the other artists that participated in the collaboration, there are so many wonderful projects. You can find Tina's StencilGirl® Talk blog post, including the list of participants here

StencilGirl® stencils used:

Arched Aqueduct Stencil (L359) Carolyn Dube

ATC Mixup Missigman Art Marks (L792) Rae Missigman

Cathedral Floor (S822) Tina Walker

Sweet Girl Face small (S859) Jeanne Oliver

1 comment:

Susie Bentz: My Time to Play said...

What a fun idea! This turned out beautifully!