If you’ve been noodeling around the web for more than a few years, you can empathize with my quandary. By the time you realize that you really should have set up a better file/folder structure –you’ve uploaded thousands of pictures with only numerals as id and going back to categorize and file them is as appealing to you as rolling that dang boulder up the hill again must’ve been to Sisyphus. Yes, there are a few triple Virgo’s out there who always read the directions and proceed with their laptops, new software, cameras and phones in an orderly fashion. Then there’s me. I can usually figure out to power up the battery and start pushing buttons until I get what I need. I have to fight my normal passion to just rush into things daily at work where I’m ever the proper model of organization. Not so on the home front, after all – there’s only so much time to play.
What does this have to do with inspiration? Well, I have oodles and oodles of links, sites and photos for things I want to get to someday, try, or simply remember when I’m making attempts to push my boundaries a tad. Some folks have a future project page. That might be too optimistic for me. They are things I want to dabble in, but I may or may not ever get to them.
Perhaps my blog can help. I’ll create an inspiration sub-category to each of my main categories and track my favored information and posts with links to trigger the muse there.
So, something I haven’t talked about yet is surface design. I did a pretty good cleanse when I moved a few years ago from my very cluttered home to my new, larger “swore it will never be cluttered” home. It’s a constant battle for me. For awhile I had my own rubber stamp company and was totally into paper/surface decoration with swaps and mail art everywhere. I was able to be ruthless at move time in the hopes that I would create new art (a very few distinct pieces, no collecting, nope, no multitudes, not gonna do it) for my new home. It’s still on my “to do” list. We’ll just say I’ve been busy and leave it at that.
Inspired to Quilt highlighted this tutorial on JaneVille’s blog for a layered journal page. So, I’ll tag this post inspiration under textiles and fiber and my new cataloging system begins. I’d love to do this technique with some prints of photos I have of Machu Picchu as background. Another excellent source for daily tidbits on Facebook is the TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List.
I did a quick shot of some of my papers and handmade papers that have been languishing unused. The shiny stuff is a neat trick where you 1. Put a plastic drop cloth over your work area 2. Take inexpensive white tissue paper and brush on acrylic gel medium, let dry, paint, sponge, stamp and away you go. The shiny ones are Pearlescent liquid acrylic paints. I *think* I first heard that technique from Susan Pickering Rothermel (we’re talking ages ago, on discussion boards when she was just starting ArtQuest). Be sure to move it about as it dries so it doesn’t stick. I also *think* before Susan marketed PPA (her Perfect Paper Adhesive) she shared this as a homemade collage paste (we were all experimenting with Yes glue, adhesives from book binding suppliers and more. I am so not a fan of Yes glue):
1/3 white glue (polyvinyl acetate), 1/3 water (distilled best), 1/3 gel medium (polymer emulsion)
One of the other messy, been meaning to do it again, fun things is paste paper. Not using pre-mixed texture mediums but Wheat Wallpaper Paste and plain old brown craft paper on the roll. You can color the wallpaper paste. This works fine for flat things, or something you paste on when it’s the shape you want but don’t bend it once dry. Wheat Wallpaper paste is also good for paper mache.
Lastly, one of the really cool but dangerous techniques was to 1. Seal your artwork 2. Wipe Vaseline thinly over a lot of it 3. Whitewash with off-white paint. Let it thoroughly dry. 4. Gently wipe – might take a little dish soap and water (see the danger and the importance of #1?) for a nifty aged effect.
So, if I ever get caught up on gift making, on making simple “clean line” sewn pillows and decorations for my home (previous home was a riot of flowery cottage-y patterns, going for something different here) I’ll drag out those papers and canvases put aside to “someday” create my own artwork for my walls and have at it. By then I should have a good collection of “inspiration” stored here on the blog.